By JOHN T. WARD
A one-story dance studio in Fair Haven is set to make a grand jeté to a second floor following zoning board approval Thursday night.
Board Chairman Todd Lehder praised the Kick Dance Studios plan as a harbinger of the borough’s future. He was also the only board member to vote against it.
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.
The interval between mainstage seasons at Red Bank’s Two River Theater has seldom been one of rest, and this one’s no exception. Witness the annual occurrence of the Crossing Borders Festival (about which more to come here on redbankgreen), the Summer Jazz Café slate that calls closing time this weekend.
This Sunday evening, Two River continues its industrious ways when choreographers Nick Dinicolangelo and Emily Shoemaker bring ‘Sights and Sounds’ to the Bridge Avenue venue.
On Friday, May 12, at 7 pm, the dance majors of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Red Bank Regional High School present their “Spring Dance Extravaganza” inside the theatre of the school at 101 Ridge Road in Little Silver.
The 7 p.m. show will feature 24 pieces, with RBR dance teacher Cara Scacco, describing the program as “a lot of yearning, emotional lyrical pieces in addition to contemporary, hip hop, ballet, jazz, pointe and tap.”
Choreographers include the students, as well as their teacher and two special guest artists, both graduates of Rutgers University — MaryAlice Crelin, whose “fun sassy commercial jazz piece” for the juniors and seniors will open the show, and Garamh Kim, who is teaching the underclassmen a traditional Korean piece.
In an interview that appeared in our paperless pages several years back, famed choreographer Moses Pendleton shared his thought that “if people appreciate what I do, if they go out from one of our performances with a little less gravity in their skip, then I’ve been successful.”
Since 1971, when he co-founded the revolutionary Pilobolus dance company, Pendleton has done his part to fight the good fight against gravity — both the stodgy old natural law, and the sort of attitude that too often keeps a “fine arts” institution from having a joyful sense of humor about itself. When he left Pilobolus to forge the meeting of movement and stagecraft magic known as MOMIX, the self-described “avant gardener” renewed his mission of “exploring new and surprising ways to move and bend.” And when the troupe returns to the Red Bank stage of the Count Basie Theatre this Sunday, they’ll be newly exploring one of the works that made them one of the most celebrated forces in modern dance.
Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
On the evening of Thursday, January 12, the dance majors of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy (VPA) at Red Bank Regional High School will present their winter dance concert, under the theme “Dancing through the Decades.”
Scheduled for 7 p.m., the show features 22 pieces performed by the VPA dance majors in a variety of genres, including contemporary, modern, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop and pointe.
There was a lot to cheer about recently as the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School football team enjoyed a record-breaking championship season. Sharing in the excitement, and thrilled to be experiencing it together, were sisters Malen and Mara Grubaugh of Rumson.
Mara, a fifteen-year-old sophomore at RFH, is a member of the RFH Dance Team — while eighteen-year old Malen, who has Down syndrome and attends the Somerset County-based Midland School, is the team’s first-ever manager.
The Vienna Boys Choir, above, returns to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre on December 12, and the New Jersey Chamber Singers, below make their annual Yuletide stop at Red Bank’s United Methodist Church Friday.
Classic Christmas carols, cantatas and the most cherished of Yuletide ballets fill up the calendar this time of year. Read on for details on traditional holiday offerings from the Tower Hill Choir, the Company of Dance Arts, and a musical organization that traces its ancestry back more than 600 years.
By JOHN T. WARD
A 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.
The TV-tested brother act known as Maks & Val, seen her on the Ellen Show in February, bring the dance-infused “narrative of their life story” to the Count Basie for a two-night showcase this week.
If nothing else, the long-running network TV sensation “Dancing with the Stars” has helped make even greater stars of the professional dancers whose job it is to lift up the sometimes dubious celebrities they’ve been paired with.
So it is with Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, the Ukrainian-born brothers and superstars in the world of competitive Latin dancing who have each won first place titles on DWTS. And for two nights this week, Maks & Val will be telling it in music and motion on the stage of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank.
It’s being billed as the first in a new series of “MoCo Artwalks,” and hosted by the folks at the Monmouth County Arts Council and designed to give arts aficionados a strolling/rolling and altogether unique perspective on some fascinating goings- on in and around the MoCo (Monmouth County) Arts Corridor — a scintillating strip of station stops along the Matawan-to-Manasquan stretch of the North Jersey Coast Line.
Hundreds of Prince fans turned out at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank for a free screening of his film,”Purple Rain,” Sunday night, and many honored his memory by donning their finest purple garments, jewelry and lipstick. Check out our photos, below.
Though Prince had never performed at the venue, Basie CEO Adam Philipson said theatre staffers wanted to turn the rock star’s sudden death last Thursday into an opportunity for “joy,” and quickly obtained rights to show the film. Attendees asked to bring canned food for donation to Lunch Break, a Red Bank soup kitchen. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The Count Basie Theatre invites the community to a public screening of PURPLE RAIN this Sunday night, April 24th at 8pm.
There’s the Andrews Sisters’ rollicking reveille “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” Bing Crosby’s jumped-up “Swingin’ on a Star.” Benny Goodman’s pounding epic “Sing! Sing! Sing!” Glenn Miller’s signature slow-dance “Moonlight Serenade.”
While they might date from your great-grandma’s era of USO shows and network radio, they represent the music of youth — the soundtrack for a country tested by the Great Depression and a Second World War, but ready to seize its moment on the global stage.
One can easily make the case that they’re the real stars of ABC TV’s Dancing with the Stars: the dedicated choreographers, instructors and professional performers charged with the task of making the C-list celebrity likes of Rumer Willis and Bindi Irwin (and Bristol Palin, Tom DeLay, Tucker Carlson, Jerry Springer…) dazzle like Ginger and Fred.
With more than 20 seasons and 300-plus episodes in the books, the prime-time phenom has seen its share of drops, drama, and drastic injury-related substitutions. But when the touring production known as Dancing With the Stars Live! takes to the boards of Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre for two shows this Wednesday, the franchise will reside in the hands and light-fantastic feet of the folks who lend poetry to its motion.
The “Season of Lights” may have given way to the winter doldrums, but on the evening of Wednesday, January 13, the Visual and Performing Arts Academy dance majors of Red Bank Regional High School will be “Dancing in the Dark” during a special event that shines a spotlight on their multi-faceted talents.
Scheduled for 7 pm inside the RBR theatre, the annual Winter Dance Showcase features 18 pieces performed by the 32 VPA dance majors in a variety of genres, including contemporary, modern, jazz and ballet. Most pieces are choreographed by students — including a special tap number to Rihanna’s “Dancing in the Dark,” organized by sophomore Rachel Kline of Red Bank — with two pieces created by professional dancers and choreographers Kimberly Labriola and Noah Gouldsmith, and several by RBR teacher Cara Scacco.
As frequenters of our Count Basie Theatre can attest, there are December traditions (like Bobby Bandiera’s Hope Concerts, Dunbar’s Black Nativity, the Holiday Express fundraisers, and Southside Johnny’s New Year’s toast, to name but a handful), and then there are traditions — the kind that families on the greater Green have grown up with; the kind of event without which it “simply wouldn’t be Christmas in Red Bank.”
One such event returns this Saturday and Sunday, December 12 and 13, when the borough-based Company of Dance Arts returns to the Basie boards with its annual production of the Tchaikovsky ballet The Nutcracker — a milestone 30th staging of the holiday confection that’s employed the talents of generations of performers, in addition to drawing multi-generational audiences to its performances.
While the upcoming Town Lighting ceremony in downtown Red Bank remains the event that officially keynotes the season’s festivities around the Greater Green, there’s already plenty going on to tantalize the appetites of those who can’t wait until after the Thanksgiving turkey is sawed into — and this Sunday, the Middletown Arts Center is the scene for a soup-to-nuts extravaganza that goes straight to the main course.
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.
By JOHN T. WARD
Red 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.
By JOHN T. WARD
Old-timers will recall its days as a WaWa, but its future is as a laboratory for the arts.
So say officials at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre Performing Arts Academy about the onetime convenience store that is now the academy’s home.
By JOHN T. WARD
This installment of redbankgreen’s Retail Churn finds lots of changes underway at the corner of Broad and Monmouth streets in Red Bank.
And a good deal of it is happening at 80 Broad, the former Red Bank Mini Mall building at the southwest corner of that intersection that recently added Toki as a tenant.
A new family-friendly series known as ‘No Shush’ debuts at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank this Saturday. Structured for kids aged 3 to 12, the program combines classical music by the New Jersey Symphony Chamber Players, a performance of ‘Peter and the Wolf’ by the Monmouth Academy of Ballet and a pre-show ‘instrument petting zoo’ – all in an atmosphere designed to encourage chatter, questions, dancing and movement.