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BEWITCHED ON BRIDGE

glen-18-48-18A Manhattan transplant turned go-getter on the greater Green, stylist Glen Goldbaum hosts “a magical evening of fantasy, hair, art and more” at his two West Side salons. (Photo by Danny Sanchez)

By TOM CHESEK

From the day that he opened the first of his two neighboring hair/ eye/ makeup studios on Red Bank’s Bridge Avenue, superstar stylist Glen Goldbaum has operated with an ulterior motive of racking up a to-die-for client base.

The Manhattan transplant, who earned a following as an instructor with Vidal Sassoon and the celeb-packed NYC salons of Patrick Melville and Kim Lepine, relocated his residence to the River Plaza side of Middletown a few years back with his wife Stephanie and kids — and promptly hit the ground running (or, more often than not, pedaling his bike) on a mission to “introduce a totally new creative energy to Red Bank’s West Side.”

Known as much for his charitable endeavors as for the public-invited art/ music happenings he’s hosted both inside and outside his salons, Goldbaum ups the ante on the “Left Bank” groove factor Saturday night with an event that defies easy description, even as it draws from the energy of two of Asbury Park’s most styling storefronts.

parlorgallery-493x327The PopArt paradise that is Asbury Park’s Parlor Gallery makes a station stop in Red Bank, for Glen Goldbaum’s BEWITCHED event.

Pitched as “a magical evening of fantasy, hair, art and more,” the event known as Bewitched unfolds beginning at 7 p.m. within the two Goldbaum locations — three year old Glen Goldbaum 72 (at 72 Bridge Avenue, the building with the fading painted ad for Wrigley’s Gum on the side), and its younger sister space Lambs & Wolves Den of Beauty (just a couple of doors removed at 66-D Bridge). As Goldbaum explains, it’s a “whimsical fairytale story” designed to “bring people together and have a party.” And yes, there will be fairies.

“We’ll be staging some little vignettes featuring models made up as fairies and other characters,” says the stylist, describing a scene that suggests a blend of performance art, interactive theater, roleplaying games and Open House commerce. “You’ll be able to tell who’s in character — some of them have wings, which is a dead giveaway.”

To create the distinctive looks sported by his “live sculpture” models, Goldbaum partnered with clothing designer and stylist Casey Pyle of Humor and Grace, the Asbury Park business recently relocated to the city’s Cookman Avenue “Arts Bloc.”

“Casey’s a creative visionary — a designer and a business person,” Goldbaum says of his collaborator on the clothes and makeup front. “It’s part of this nice energy going on there in Asbury Park, part of the same vision I’ve had for the West Side here in Red Bank.”

Also joining in on the bewitching will be co-owners Jill Ricci and “Juicy” Jenn Hampton of Parlor Gallery, an Arts Bloc anchor and a space whose eye-popping Pop Art group shows (including a breathlessly anticipated annual exhibit of erotic art works) have drawn throngs to the monthly opening events. Several of the gallery’s regularly featured talents, including Ricci and the artist known as Porkchop (creator of many of Asbury’s most-photographed murals, and a style pacesetter for the Hampton-managed, “Fellini meets Flintstones” trip that is Asbury Lanes), will be represented on the walls of the two salons, with the display “remaining up for a while” following Saturday’s event.

It’s all part and parcel of Goldbaum’s intent to “think beyond Broad Street,” and to forge a link with a not-too distant neighborhood that’s readily accessed by public transportation (both the Cookman Ave corridor and Goldbaum’s salons are within a fairy-wing flap of their respective NJ Transit station stops). It’s also another milestone in the ongoing effort to draw attention to the Bridge Avenue community, a project that’s seen the stylist work closely with nearby businesses that run a gamut from now-defunct Novel Teas to the endearingly rambling old-Red Bank fixture Dave’s Car Wash (“you couldn’t ask for a better neighbor”).

As regards any particular storyline for Saturday’s conceptual character piece, Goldbaum observes that the free-admission event was planned according to some notion of a script, but “we decided to play things a bit looser… we’ll be emptying the salons of all the chairs, and replacing the front desk with a bed.”

“We’ll have a model in the bed, and the idea will be that’s where the ‘story’ starts,” he explains. “Beyond that, it’ll have its own flow. You’ll mix with people and meet characters as you move from salon to salon, room to room, maybe out in the rear courtyard if the weather permits. It’s about the mood; the message is not that important.”

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