Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

MIDDLETOWN: DURANG, IN SMALL DOSES

durang1color-3367911Ever had a weekend of Durang? You know, one of those interludes in which your every human interaction — whether a disastrous date, a stress-inducing so-called vacation, or a simple trip to the store for a can of tuna — borders on the absurdly surreal?

Fortunately, we have the celebrated Christopher Durang, seen at right, to provide a road map of sorts through these needlessly complicated, often over-thought encounters. And beginning this Saturday, we have Middletown’s Monmouth Players at the wheel of the tour bus.

The program known as A Weekend of Durang comes to the players’ home-stage space at the Navesink Arts Center for four performances, serving up a collection of playlets, skits and monologues from the word processor of the Jersey-born playwright, who won a 2013 Tony for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, and whose other well known works include Beyond Therapy and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You.

With seating at $15 a ticket, the limited-engagement show is a companion to a recently established series of relatively intimate presentations, each featuring a smorgasbord of a selected author’s sometimes unfairly overlooked short works and excerpted highlights. Presented largely free of props, costumes and scenery, the series appetized the troupe’s current “Season of Classics” back in August 2016 with a buffet of bits by Thornton Wilder, and had its genesis in the previous players season with a similar salute to Tennessee Williams.

As it turns out, Williams is one of the esteemed authors who’s been playfully tweaked by Durang, with the one-act For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls (an expected part of the program at Navesink Arts) having fun with the classic play The Glass Menagerie. The Broadway hit Vanya was itself a light riff on Anton Chekhov’s heavy-stroganoff drama The Cherry Orchard, from the same writer (and occasional actor) who previously showed no hesitation in taking on the likes of Dostoyevsky (The Idiots Karamazov) and Dickens (Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge).

Speaking of appetizers and smorgasbords and such, each performance includes access to the players’ justly famous spread of homemade desserts and refreshments, served up inside the historic building’s elegantly refurbished lobby — a space that formerly served as the actual little library part of the old Navesink Library. See our 2013 story on how the players were able to rescue and restore the decommissioned branch of the Middletown Township library system — and if you’re a tea drinker, do not miss the pleasing presentation arrayed inside the repurposed Dewey-decimal card file.

Performances of A Weekend of Durang are March 11 and 18 at 8:15 p.m., and March 12 and 19 at 2 p.m., with reservations available by calling (732) 291-9211. Visit the troupe’s new website for full schedule details on the remainder of the 2016-2017 season, resuming in April with a production of Noel Coward’s Private Lives.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
FEELING SNAPPY
      Snapping Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs this time of year and are a common site along the Swimming River waterfr ...
TUB TIME
RED BANK: A sparrow waits for the next available dirt tub while two others take their Sunday baths. (Click for video.)
CHECK IT OUT
A bench outside the Red Bank Public Library provided a serene view of our beautiful Navesink River Monday evening.
WAYWARD SLIM JIM
Anybody lose a Slim Jim? A “Sweet Mild O’ Mine” flavor Slim Jim was seen left unattended on this mailbox on Mechanic Stree ...
YAPPY TOGETHER
RED BANK: Look for this cutie pie, named Sacramento, at Yappy Hour on Broadwalk Saturday. He's looking for a new home.
YELLOW RAINCOAT DAY
On a rainy May morning, the only golden sight on Broad Street this morning were the matching raincoats of Eileen and her dog Benny.
STOP. JUST STOP.
RED BANK: For those who don't get the meaning of a stop sign, crossing guard Diane Johnson amplifies the message with some colorful outfits. ...
RECORDS SKIP INTO TOWN
RED BANK: Devotees of vinyl records expected to drop needle at Broad and Mechanic Saturday. Here's why.
Feline fortunes on Monmouth Street
Christopher Russell and feline pal Princess take in some fresh air on a warm May night Thursday in the doorway of Gina’s Psychic Bouti ...
GOING UP?
RED BANK: Public Library will be closed Friday for the start of elevator construction. (Click for more.)
TREEBIRTH
RED BANK: Replacement of nine trees gets underway on South Street, where a wholesale removal angered residents last September. (Click for mo ...
RIVERSIDE FLOW
New Jersey Flow Arts brings together jugglers, poi spinners, hoopers and more weekly in Riverside Gardens Park.
Honeybee swarm carted away
Beekeeper Tanya Ptak of Ptak’s Apiary inspects a swarm of honeybees that chose a flower pot in the courtyard of Red Bank Primary Schoo ...
BELOVED POISONED DOG PHOTO SURFACES
   
THREE ON TOUR
RED BANK: Three borough sites will participate in a weekend of self-guided tours of 52 historic locations in Monmouth County May 4 & 5.
VOLUNTEERS GET INTO THE WEEDS
Toting plastic trash bags, 51 volunteers conducted a walking litter cleanup on Red Bank's West Side Saturday.
“IT’S A PARTY AT WAWA!”
You wish you could vibe like Brian, who lives on the other side of Hubbard’s Bridge. He caught redbankgreen’s attention in Red B ...
POPE OKS ORATORY
RED BANK: St. Anthony of Padua obtains papal approval to establish Oratory of St. Philip Neri, a community of priests and brothers devoted t ...
RED BANK: NEW MURAL BRIGHTENS CORNER
RED BANK: Lunch Break founder Norma Todd is depicted in a mural painted this week on the front of the newly renovated social service agency.
TULIPS TOGETHER
Spring tulips taking in the sunset outside the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank Monday evening.