Search Results for: basie expansion

RED BANK: BASIE STARTS MASSIVE EXPANSION

Dozens of local politicians and players in the arts world turned out for the event. Below, Basie board members Steven Van Zandt and his wife, Maureen Van Zandt. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A $23 million expansion of Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre formally got underway Wednesday, beginning what’s expected to be a 20-month endeavor to turn the Vaudeville-era venue into a powerhouse for live performance and arts education.

The aim, musician and actor Steven Van Zandt told an al fresco gathering, is “to make Red Bank an example to the rest of the county of what it is possible to do” in elevating the arts.

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RED BANK: BASIE PLANS MASSIVE EXPANSION

Basie expansion 1 102615An architect’s rendering of the expanded Count Basie Theatre includes additions on the east and west sides of the existing structure. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1Red Bank’s Vaudeville-era Count Basie Theatre is in for a massive, $20 milion expansion that will turn it into a “creative campus” dedicated to the performing arts in coming years, officials said Monday.

Incorporating adjoining properties acquired in recent years, theater officials plan to “move toward our longtime vision of an entire city block dedicated to the performing arts,” Tom Widener, chairman of the theater’s board of trustees, said in an announcement released Monday morning.
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RED BANK: BASIE TO OPEN NEW VENUE

The Vogel features socially distant tables. (Photo courtesy of Basie Center. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter seven months in darkness, the Count Basie Center for the Arts plans to snap the lights back on in October.

The Red Bank venue announced Tuesday that it will again host indoor performances with the opening of The Vogel, seating audiences of up to 150 in a new space built for up to 800.

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RED BANK: GRUNIN TO CHAIR BASIE BOARD

Jeremy Grunin, left, with Basie Center President and CEO Adam Philipson. (Mark Sullivan photo. Click to enlarge.)

[Press release]

The Count Basie Center for the Arts, the not-for-profit performing arts center with a mission to “Inspire, Educate and Entertain,” announced today that Jeremy Grunin has accepted the role of Chairman of its Board of Trustees.

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RED BANK: BASIE TAKES OVER MOVIE THEATER

For several months, posters outside the pandemic-idled Bow Tie Cinemas have read: “This is not a Hollywood ending. This is a Red Bank beginning.” (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njDespite facing an uncertain post-pandemic future itself, Red Bank’s Count Basie Center for the Arts has added a two-screen movie theater to its portfolio.

The entertainment juggernaut has taken over the former Bow Tie Cinemas venue on White Street, the Basie said in an announcement Monday.

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RED BANK: HOSPITALS CLAIM BASIE MARQUEE

red bank nj count basie hackensack meridian marqueeThe new name, Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, applies to the historic performance space, officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It may always be best known to locals as ‘the Basie,’ but Red Bank’s oldest and most prominent entertainment venue is nothing if not prolific with monikers.

On Friday, yet another new one went up on the Monmouth Street marquee that bears the name of the town’s most famous son.

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RED BANK: BASIE NOW ‘CENTER FOR THE ARTS’

The rollout of the new name will begin immediately, theater officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Marking the start of a new chapter — and the end of that whole ‘theater or theatre?’ conundrum — Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre has been rebranded the Count Basie Center for the Arts, officials said Monday.

The name reflects the 92-year-old venue’s present and future as a “campus,” where performance art is learned, developed and staged, said Basie chief executive officer Adam Philipson. Read More »

RED BANK: BASIE TO ABSORB CONSERVATORY

Vladislav Kovalsky, below, plans to fold the Monmouth Conservatory of Music, which he’s headed since 1998, into the Count Basie Theatre.

In a move that further cements its place at the heart of the Greater Red Bank Green’s cultural life, the Count Basie Theatre plans to merge the borough-based Monmouth Conservatory of Music into its existing suite of musical training and performance programs.

In a statement released Wednesday, the theater’s board of directors detailed a plan to assume operations of the 53-year-old MCM as a component of the Basie’s slate of specialized instruction programs in jazz, classic rock and Broadway-style performing arts.

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RED BANK: BASIE PIMPS STAGE TO PRESS

Signage touting the Asbury Park Press brand will be installed in front of the stage and projected elsewhere in the venue before and after shows. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After some 90 years as a lights-down sanctuary from the outside world, visitors to Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre will be greeted by heavy pre- and post-show branding by the Asbury Park Press starting Tuesday.

According to an “exclusive” report about itself Monday, the Neptune-based Press will have its name in lights throughout the entertainment space: in front of the stage, on a drop-down screen, and on the walls before and after performances and during intermissions.

“You will be seeing an act that is performing on the Asbury Park Press Stage,” Basie CEO Adam Philipson is quoted as saying.

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RED BANK: VAN ZANDT LINEUP TO ROCK BASIE

van-zandt-guadagno-111416-1Steven Van Zandt and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno on stage at the Basie Monday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

basie-marquee-111416A four-night campaign of classic rock shows curated by E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt in coming months will help drive a $20 million expansion Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, officials said Monday.

But the names of the acts to be spotlighted in the series remained under wraps at a press conference held on the stage of the Vaudeville-era venue.
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RED BANK: BASIE TO STAY BASIE FOR CENTURY

basie awards 051816 1Originally called the Carlton Theater, the Count Basie Theatre will get to keep the Count’s name for at least another century. Below, a bust of the late jazz great outside the Red Bank train station. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[Correction: the original version of this post misreported the year of Count Basie’s birth, which was 1904.]

By JOHN T. WARD

basie-bust2The Basie will get to be the Basie for at least another hundred years.

In conjunction with the anniversary of the birth, in Red Bank, of jazz great William ‘Count’ Basie, the town’s premiere entertainment venue has inked a deal with the trust that controls his estate to enable it to call itself the Count Basie Theatre for 50 more years, with five 10-year extensions, the two entities announced Monday.

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RED BANK: BIG MOVE FOR BASIE BOARD

basie awards 051816 2Press release from The Count Basie Theatre

Amidst its $20 million dollar expansion and improvement plan, the Count Basie Theatre has announced the merging of its Board of Trustees and Directors and the hiring of a new Vice President of Development to join the newly appointed executive leadership team.

As a recognized 501(c)(3) organization, the Count Basie Theatre once operated under the guidance of two governing boards — one overseeing theater operations, and the other the non-profit’s fundraising efforts. With a single Executive Committee under the leadership of Chairman Tom Widener and Count Basie Theatre president and CEO Adam Philipson, the work to merge the boards into one, diverse and powerful force behind the theatre’s ambitious plans for the future have come to fruition.

“This is an auspicious, exciting moment for us at the Count Basie Theatre, said Board Chairman Tom Widener. “Merging the boards creates cohesion, clarity and focus at an important time in our history.”

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RED BANK: COUNCIL OK’S BASIE PARKING DEAL

rb parking 041316 2The Count Basie Theatre, seen at right above, will be allowed to charge patrons park in the Red Bank two areas of the borough hall lot, including the new section, above, with the town getting half the revenue.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1It’s a scenario all too familiar to civically minded citizens and, ahem, the occasional reporter: you arrive at Red Bank’s borough hall as much as an hour ahead of a government meeting, and already the parking lot is packed with cars belonging to patrons of the Count Basie Theatre across the street. And good luck finding a space nearby.

But now, borough officials say they’ve resolved the turf war that flares up whenever the Basie has an event at the same time as a municipal meeting.

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RUBBER STAMP NO. 2: BASIE AL FRESCO

basie-plansCount Basie Theatre’s Executive Director Numa Saisselin at Monday night’s planning board meeting. Below, a rendering of the patio addition. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

basie-patioThe Count Basie Theatre‘s latest installment in a multi-year, multi-million dollar enhancement got the green light from Red Bank’s planning board Monday night.

Pending the acquisition of two lots previously on loan from theater pals Friends of The Basie, the landmark venue will pour concrete on a vacant swath of dirt and gravel to create an open-air mingling area for shows, plus parking spots for tour buses, freeing up coveted street space for guests.

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BASIE ZOOMS IN ON REOPENING

BasiescaffoldAlmost totally obscured by scaffolding all summer, the view from the BasieCam this morning reveals a made-over performance space as it nears completion. (Click to enlarge)

Taking a major step in its against-the-clock interior renovation project, workers at the Count Basie Theatre last week removed the floor-to-ceiling scaffolding that had filled the venerable space all summer.

The move was one of the last major tasks prior to the 82-year-old theater’s reopening on October 30 with the ‘California ‘Dreamin’-themed show by the Jersey Shore Rock-n-Soul Revue.

The pace of the work has surprised even those involved in overseeing it, much as it would anyone who’s ever done so much as a kitchen remodeling.

“We were in a meeting today, and we’re looking at each other saying, ‘Is this really on schedule?'” Basie spokeswoman Diana St. John tells redbankgreen.

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CUE GHOST LIGHT: BASIE TO GO DARK

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By TOM CHESEK

Well, that was certainly the summer that was: the season of beach badges, clam shooters and Met meltdowns is barely a week old, but over at the Count Basie Theatre it’s a time to shut off the lights.

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Or all but one light, that is. The Basie adheres to the grand theatrical tradition of leaving on a ‘ghost light’ — a lone, bare bulb set in the center of the stage to ward off ghosts. And despite the disruption of the next four months, the tradition will continue, a Basie spokeswoman tells redbankgreen.

The landmark Red Bank auditorium isn’t going anywhere, of course — simply having a little work done, a procedure to stay taut and competitive with other newer, spiffier entertainment venues on the regional circuit.

But even though the boards of the legendary stage may lack for famous names over the next four months, the circa-1926 house will be one of the busiest places in town, as an army of artisans and tradespeople endeavor to bring the former Carlton Theatre up to its full potential, both in terms of decor and tech capabilities.

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RED BANK: ONCE AGAIN, IMPROV IN A JAM

Audience members twist the limbs of Improv Jam members Chris Rearick and Mike O’Keefe during a recent skit. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

They’ve been evicted so many times it’s almost funny, and the comedians who brand themselves as Improv Jam are about to lose their current home, in Red Bank.

But they haven’t lost their sense of humor, and comedy lovers — including those willing to surrender their cellphones to the cause — can catch them at their antic best every Saturday night, for free, on Monmouth Street.

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RED BANK: DEBUT VOGEL LINEUP SLATED

The Vogel will host its first performance October 22. (Photo courtesy of Basie Center. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank plans to get back to the business of entertaining with the opening of a new theater dubbed the Vogel this month.

Kicking things off with a two-night stand starting October 22 is singer/guitarist Grace Potter, the Basie said in an announcing the first five acts for the freshly constructed space.

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RED BANK: DINING ‘PLAZAS’ ON THE TABLE

Customers dining in the sidewalk seating area of Robinson Ale House on Broad Street in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank officials have formed a committee to “creatively expand outdoor capacity for restaurants and retail sales” as the town embarks on a post-COVID-19 recovery.

One idea the committee is expected to chew over: use of public spaces for outdoor dining.

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