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WEEKEND: WEDDING WALK GETS SAME-SEXY

weddingwalk-2059705Michael Warmington of Red Bank RiverCenter joins a team of Barbizon tour guides in welcoming guests to a past edition of the Red Bank Wedding Walk, which returns to town this Sunday. Wanda Sykes (below) brings her standup skills back to the Basie Friday night. 

sykes-wanda-2686025RED BANK: When the Red Bank Wedding Walk returns to the blushing banks of the Navesink for its latest edition this Sunday, it’ll be a bigger/better-than-ever affair with an historic edge: it’s “encouraging same-sex couples to join us this year and explore all that Red Bank has to offer for the perfect wedding,” according to organizers at Red Bank RiverCenter.

Taking place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., the 2014 event sounds a call to “prospective brides, grooms, partners, their families and friends” to key into the borough’s “fun and funky vibe” as they visit over 40 wedding-related businesses — florists, gown and accessories retailers, bridesmaid and guest attire boutiques, photographers, wedding planners and designers, jewelers, salons and banquet facilities — many of which will be offering promotions, light refreshments and special amenities.

Diavolo brings its mix of movement and mass to the Basie on Saturday.

The Oyster Point Hotel serves as base camp for the Wedding Walk excursion, beginning at 10 a.m. with registration/check-in and continental breakfast, when registrants will receive a Wedding Walk map/passport, and each registered couple will receive one complimentary tote bag to hold all the giveaways and information. Registration will remain open until 1 p.m.

Arrow Limousine and Great American Trolley will provide free shuttle, limo and trolley service to stops at each of the downtown’s shopping areas; Barbizon models will be stationed along the route to help participants find their way. Drawings for prizes — including a honeymoon stay in Aruba from Aruba Tourism and Brickell Bay Resort; a romantic package at the Molly Pitcher/Oyster Point; a wedding dress from Sassy Chic Boutique; a full DJ entertainment package including lighting and a photobooth from Sounds To Go DJs — will add to the excitement for guests who visit at least 14 businesses (including one from each zone) during the course of the day.

Wedding Walk 2014 concludes with a Champagne-and-hors d’oeuvres reception at the Molly Pitcher Inn, with the prize raffle conducted at 4:15 pm, as well as a chance to win door prizes.

Pre-registration is strongly recommended, with guests encouraged to visit the official event site here to browse the participating businesses, and map out an itinerary. Then keep it tuned to redbankgreen for a rundown of other weekend happenings in and around the greatest of Greens.

Friday, March 28:

RED BANK: We’re embarrassed to say we’ve lost track of exactly how many times Wanda Sykes has headlined a show at the Count Basie, but suffice to say it’s enough to quash any doubts about the relationship between the dynamo comic and the local audience. The Emmy-nommed standup star, screen actor, author, voice artist and talk show host returns to Red Bank for a solo-spotlight session of story, sass and smarts, with tickets ($49 – $129) reservable right here.

Meanwhile, upside that very same Basie building, producer-director Darrell Lawrence Willis Sr. returns with his Monmouth County-based Dunbar Repertory Company for three intimately scaled performances of Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery in the “Studio 99” space at 99 Monmouth Street. Set in the tense South of the 1960s, playwright Shay Youngblood’s coming-of-age memory play frames its storytelling within a girl’s strong bond with the “Big Mamas” in her life — the family members, neighbors and community women who imparted to her “the lessons she learned about survival, healing, deep faith and mystery.” Performances are 8 pm on Friday and Saturday, with a 4 pm matinee on Sunday; tickets ($20) can be reserved by calling (732)370-8982.

Saturday, March 29:

RED BANK: Keep it at the Count for a rare evening of kinetic dance and movement that’s quite unlike the repertory ballet and Irish stepping that usually stomps the Basie boards. Inspired by the street daredeviltry of skateboarding — and influenced by, of all things, the documentary Dogtown and Z-BoysDiavolo Dance Theater “creates abstract narratives about the human experience through surreal tableaux” that more often than not involve ramps, tubes, tilt boards and some of the most formidable set pieces this side of the Swan Lake Skate Park. Artistic director Jaques Heim’s troupe presents its two newest works, Transit Space and Trajectoire, in an 8 pm performance for which tickets ($29.50 – $49.50) can be reserved right here.

Sunday, March 30:

RED BANK: Once a year, the Goldwasser Young Artist Concerto Competition determines a teenaged musician of exceptional potential and real-time electricity — and in spring, that promising young player joins the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra for a showcase performance in Red Bank. Conductor Roy D. Gussman and the borough-based MSO continue their 66th season of quality concert experiences at the Count Basie Theatre, with 17 year old cellist Sydney Lee joining them for a performance of Sir Edward Elgar’s elegiac Cello Concerto. Also on the program: Wagner’s overture to his light-hearted opera Die Meistersinger, and Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony No. 8. The 3 pm concert is preceded at 2:15 by a pre-show talk, with Sydney Lee interviewed onstage by MSO’s bass trombonist and program annotator Tom Avakian. Reserve tickets ($35) here.

LINCROFT: The Social Action Film series at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County continues, with a free 6 pm showing of Kinyarwanda, the Sundance Film Festival Award winning feature that frames the unspeakable horrors of the Rwanda Genocide through intimately human stories — a young Tutsi woman and a young Hutu man who fall in love amidst chaos; a soldier who struggles to foster a greater good while absent from her family; and a priest who grapples with his faith. Acclaimed director (and Peace Corps veteran) Alrick Brown will be present at the Unitarian meeting house to discuss the making of the film, and light refreshments will include a cake to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the acclaimed Social Action series. Then don’t miss the April opening of 100 Days of Silence, a unique art installation, inspired by the terrible legacy of Rwanda, and presented by the not-for-profit CHHANGE organization at Brookdale Community College.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
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