Food Network star Alton Brown takes the Count Basie stage for a presentation that just might get a bit messy.

morsels smallThe last time the Count Basie Theatre designated a “splatter zone” in the front seats was during the farewell tour of the notorious melon-mauling comedian Gallagher. But when the TV personality and best-selling author Alton Brown visits the venerable venue this Wednesday night, the patrons in row A (and maybe B and C) will sit duly forewarned — while the plastic ponchos, we are assured, will be “larger and more protective.”

The occasion is the Red Bank whistle-stop of Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science, an audience-engaging stage presentation that the Food Network star is in the process of bringing to some 40 U.S. cities. Just as Brown’s “live culinary variety show” cable series spiced up the stale old cooking-demo format with generous servings of comedy, music and talk-fest antics, the multimedia stage extravaganza offers all of the above, along with “new puppets, songs, bigger and potentially more dangerous experiments, and what every cook needs in his kitchen: FIRE.”

Combining the bearded/ bespectacled look of the stereotypically snooty food critic with the blow-stuff-up brio of the Mythbusters crew, the mastermind behind the award winning print (I’m Just Here for the Food) and broadcast (Good Eats) projects has set the celebrity-chef template on fire, with an approach to the culinary arts that folds in a Science Guy’s kid-like fascination with chemistry, and that places the act of cooking for an audience firmly within its proper pop-cultural context.

Boasting “things that I was never allowed to do on TV,” the two-hour stage show also promises “plenty of new therapy-inducing opportunities during our audience participation segments,” according to the host.

“I don’t want to give too much away, but we’re also going to play a little game with the audience,” adds the creator of the upcoming Alton Brown: Every Day Cook. Take it here for tickets ($39 -$79) to the 8 p.m. event — and here for details on an available $150 VIP option.