Bandleader-composer (and YouTube-spawned sensation) Scott Bradlee brings his Postmodern Jukebox project to the Count Basie stage this Friday…while soprano Victoria Cannizzo joins Roy Gussman and the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra, in a Saturday night inaugural for the new MSO season.
In between offering happy harbor to a veritable Who’s Who of legendary entertainers from all the classic avenues of show business, our Count Basie Theatre has taken its place as a showcase for the newly minted superstars of that most 21st century of spawning grounds — the viral vaudeville that is YouTube and the social media stage.
This Friday, the Red Bank audience gets its first in-person look at an act that expanded its appeal from a literal living-room setting, to an in-demand touring attraction whose homemade videos have been viewed more than 100 million times.
The secret to the success of Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox is a level of musical talent that transcends novelty, even when those prodigious chops are being applied to a formula that recasts pop hits of the present in the styles of the past — thus, Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” arranged for doo-wop harmonies; Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” a la “grandpa-style” jazz, and Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” done up as a 1940s big-band standard. Bandleader-pianist Bradlee heads up an 11-piece ensemble that bases its look in Speakeasy-era sartorial splendor; its showmanship in the cross-pollinating glory days of the great TV variety shows, and its madness in a method that aims to reach across the cultural generation gulf. Take it here for tickets to the 8 pm show ($25 – $45).
From upstanding citizens of the virtual ‘verse we transition to one of the greater Green’s homegrown pride-and-joys: the borough-based Monmouth Symphony Orchestra, the 67th season of which keynotes on Saturday, November 7 with a program highlighted by Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 in E Minor. Soprano Victoria Cannizzo joins conductor Roy D. Gussman and the MSO for an 8 pm concert that further features Edvard Grieg’s seasonally appropriate “In Autumn” and the “Four Last Songs” of liedermeister Richard Strauss. It’s preceded at 6 pm by an Opening Night Champagne Gala on the Basie patio and lobby, and by a 7:15 pre-concert talk and interview moderated by MSO bass trombonist and program annotator Tom Avakian. Take it here for tickets ($5 – $35), and check the Symphony’s site for details on other events in the 2015-2016 slate of concerts.
They’re the fresh faces and voices of a franchise that’s moved some 15 million units here in the still-new millennium — The Kids from Kidz Bop, the “Number One music brand for kids in the U.S.” and a phenomenon that released its 29th album in 2015 to an acclaim that saw it zoom all the way to Number Four on the Billboard charts at the moment of its debut. The quartet of Ashlynn Chong, Bredia Santoro, Grant Knoche and Matt Martinez are the featured stars of Kidz Bop 29, and the attractions on the “Make Some Noise Tour” that whistle-stops on the Count Basie stage this Sunday, November 8. The 3 pm show offers young fans the trademark kid-friendly spin (sans any parental-guidance language alerts) on the greatest hits of the day, along with a special bonus peek at a new video from Build-A-Bear Workshop’s Honey Girls.
There’s also an opening act of great local interest — the students from KICK Dance Studios of Fair Haven and Rumson, showcased in a trio of production numbers. Performing “Orphans” will be Ellie Reiter (10, of Middletown), Mia Bertodotti (9, of Fair Haven), Reilly Kane (8, of Red Bank), Lily LeRoy (9, of Rumson), Ava D’Ambrosi (9, of Middletown), Milanna Strulowitz (9, of Fair Haven), Megan Eustace (10, of Fair Haven) and Aoife Kilfeather (9, of Fair Haven). Performing “I Wanna Be a Rockette” will be Alyssa Lucci (11, of Fair Haven), Katherine Busch (12, of Fair Haven), Sadie Berry (10, of Fair Haven), Arianna Pappas (10, of Rumson), Vanessa Lopez (9, of Little Silver), Ella Heal (10, of Rumson), Grace McAndrews (12, of Fair Haven), and Rosie McAndrews (10, of Fair Haven). Performing “Give Him a Great Big Kiss” will be Arianna Pappas and Sadie Berry with Madeleine Ganun (10, of Rumson). Go here for tickets ($19 – $60; top ticket price includes a VIP Meet and Greet Package option) — and monitor the Basie web site for details on upcoming shows featuring Black Violin (November 17), prog-rock guitarist Steve Hackett (November 23), and The Wizards of Winter (November 28).