RED BANK: A SERIOUSLY FUNNY TEDx TALK

TEDxOpen Mike: Humorists Michael Phillips-Anderson and Michael O’Keeffe take the stage of Two River Theater for a special TEDx Navesink presentation on September 25, prior to the 8 pm show of THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES.

They’ll be taking their act to Monmouth University in West Long Branch for their next event in 2015, but before they decamp for campus, the organizers of TEDxNavesink have one more parting event to offer the Red Bank audience — and it comes not with a taps salute, but with a comedy-club rimshot of sorts.

Something of a cross between a sophisticated “salon” and a standup showcase, the Thursday evening presentation returns TEDx to Two River Theater — scene of the sold-out 2014 event — for a special keynote to the September 25 performance of Two River Theater Company’s The School for Wives. Going up at 6:30 pm — and featuring refreshments and drinks by local purveyors Sickles Market and Carton Brewing, the program preludes TRTC’s production of the 17th century French farce by Moliere with a couple of 21st century speakers on the art of comedy — and the ways in which humor, politics and popular culture tend to intersect, despite all attempts to put on a straight face.

An Associate Professor of Communication at Monmouth U, Michael Phillips-Anderson has made a special study of those often blurred lines between politics, punditry and pure parody. He’s reportedly at work on a book about “satirical presidential campaigns” — a volume that promises to embrace everyone from the late great Pat Paulsen to that most sophisticated of satirists, Donald Trump. He’ll be followed on the Two River stage by TEDx Navesink veteran Michael O’Keeffe, a longtime performer and teacher of improv comedy fundamentals.

A $50 package ticket for the September 25 TEDx presentation includes the two talks, reception and the 8 pm performance of the play, and can be reserved through the Two River box office (use promo code TEDXSCHOOL) by calling (732)345-1400. Take it here for tickets to additional performances of The School for Wives — and here for our interview with the show’s director, Mark Wing-Davey.