A ROCKIN’ START TO THE SEASON

Thousands of celebrants are expected to pack Broad Street in Red Bank for the Holiday Express concert and tree lighting Friday night. (Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

Just as your post-Thanksgiving torpor has begun to set in, the brand-new holiday season gets a spirited start in Red Bank with a celebration of sight and sound Friday night.

It’s time for the 19th annual Holiday Express concert and tree lighting, which includes a Santa parade, dancing and a display of lights – all on tap starting at 5:30 p.m.

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THIRD GENERATION SETS UP SHOP IN MALL

Sandi Vilacoba demonstrates a core-strengthening device in her new Pilates studio at the Fair Haven Shopping Center. Below, Vilacoba and her grandmother, Ofelia Schwarz, who owns the center. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

A drive down River Road in Fair Haven, with its quaint mom-and-pop shops, can be something of an escape from mainstream consumerism.

But even the borough’s most prominent strip mall, the Fair Haven Shopping Center, anchored by an Acme supermarket, has a family story to it. The Schwarz family’s story.

After nearly a decade of teaching Pilates elsewhere in Monmouth County, Sandi Vilacoba opened her own classical Pilates studio, dubbed The Pilates Project, over Memorial Day weekend. With that, the third generation of her family cemented its ties to the center.

“My grandparents immigrated from Cuba to Fair Haven in 1960 with nothing and built a business from scratch,” said Vilacoba, of Belmar.

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1.21 JIGAWATTS OF ENERGY IN THE PARK

Back to the Future,” Red Bank Rec’s first free, outdoor movie of the summer, rolled into Riverside Gardens Park Tuesday night with bunch of complementary events in tow.

High humidity didn’t discourage visitors from checking out the “time machines,” like the one at right, brought by the DeLorean Mid-Atlantic Club for the screening. Kick Cancer Overboard gave away a free cruise to a family affected by the disease, and a food drive collected for local food banks such as Lunch Break and RAINE. And a flash mob dance routine from Life Vest Inside, a Brooklyn non-profit that promotes kindness, added to the festivities, above.

Up next in the film series, hosted by Shore Flicks: “The Brady Bunch Movie.” The full schedule is here. (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Video by Stacie Fanelli.)

A BEACH BLANKET “BOLERO” AT TWO RIVER

A “flash mob” of nonprofessional dancers in rehearsal for BOLERO RED BANK at the Two River Theater.

By TOM CHESEK

Addressing a stageful of local residents at Two River Theater last Thursday night, Larry Keigwin framed a pre-rehearsal peptalk with “It’s great how in this digitally saturated age, we’re all doing something together that’s live and interactive.”

The occasion that brought the award winning choreographer together with a group of several dozen Monmouth County neighbors — an eclectic collection that boasts at least one septuagenarian, six or seven primary school kids and a dog — is a project by the name of Bolero Red Bank.

Designed exclusively for the Red Bank area audience, the dance piece uses the magnificent musical merry-go-round of Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” as the soundtrack to a celebration of the greater Red Bank area — and the things that the people who live here love the most about it. And, when Bolero Red Bank hits the stage of the Bridge Avenue performing arts center this Friday and Saturday night, it will prove to be something of a “day at the beach” for audience and participants alike.

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TRTC: ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH

A slew of classic characters from the pens of Shakespeare, Coward and Wilson and more will tread the boards of the Red Bank stage this season.  (Click to enlarge)

By TOM CHESEK

“I feel like I’m having a dream,” the playwright and performance artist Lisa Kron said as she faced a capacity crowd at Two River Theater Monday night.

“In high school, we, the theater people, were like the outcasts,” she said. “This is the pep rally we never had.”

The occasion for the spirited assembly was the annual new-season announcement  by Two River Theater Company — one of the most highly anticipated such events in New Jersey stage circles, and one presided over by John Dias, now in his second season as TRTC’s artistic director.

As introduced by the nationally renowned producer and some celebrated associates, the 2012-2013 schedule builds upon the successful template established in the current 2011-2012 season — a season that climaxes with the production of Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s My Wonderful Day, going up in previews on May 15.

Utilizing both the mainstage Rechnitz auditorium and the “black box” Marion Huber space at TRTC’s branded Bridge Avenue arts center, the new slate of eight shows mixes classics of the English language with new American voices; intimate solos with exquisite ensembles, and new faces with a whole lot of returning favorites — with words from the likes of Noel Coward, August Wilson and a guy by the name of Shakespeare.

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OPERA AND DANCE TO LIGHT UP RBR STAGE

Rehearsing for this week’s Spring Dance Concerts at Red Bank Regional, VPA dance majors include (front row, left to right) Phoenicia Butler, Jessica Adderly, Dillion Jackson, plus (back row, left to right) Kendall Van Winkle, Bella Caputi and  Samantha Lore.  (Click to enlarge)

When the Visual and Performing Arts program at Red Bank Regional High School puts on a show, it’s like the Big Game.

Beginning Thursday night and carrying over into the middle of the coming week, the students of the VPA –majors in dance, music and visual arts from all over the Shore area — will take center stage in a series of showcase events, starting with a pair of Spring Dance Concert performances and continuing with the first fully staged opera production in the school’s history.

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WEDDING WALK KICKS UP FOOT TRAFFIC

Models showed off bridal gowns at Sassy Chic Boutique, above, while a passerby did a doubletake at the sight of human mannequin Stephanie Rogers at Barbizon Models during the fourth Wedding Walk in Red Bank Saturday.

Nancy Adams, executive director of event sponsor Red Bank RiverCenter, said the walk attracted about 30 percent more registrants than the March, 2011 edition, with some 600 shoppers thronging the streets in search of dresses, hair styling, DJs, photographers and more wedding-related goods and services. (Click to enlarge)

MAKING LIKE ROCKETTES ON SCHOOL STAGES

rbc-holiday-hoofersSanta and team prep for a grand entrance at Red Bank Catholic’s Holiday Dance Spectacular, going up tonight and tomorrow at the school’s Broad Street Auditorium.

While throngs of shoppers march in step to the One-Day Sales and Midnight Madness events, terpischorean teens from two local high schools are getting ready to strut their stuff in the weekends leading up to the winter break.

Tonight and tomorrow night, the Dance Department at Red Bank Catholic High School rings in the Yuletide season with “high energy, high kickin’ numbers in the style of the world famous Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular” — during a Holiday Dance Spectacular that also promises a Living Nativity and a guest appearance from Santa, conducting “a journey from the streets of New York to the North Pole.”

Tickets for either of the shows (Friday 7pm, Saturday 8pm) are priced at $10 and are available from the RBC bookstore in advance or at the door. Call (732)747-1774 for more info and be sure to bring a new unwrapped toy for this year’s Toys for Tots collection.

Next Saturday, December 17, it’s Red Bank Regional‘s turn to make like the Rockettes, as the dance students of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy bring their annual Holiday Dance Concert to the school stage.

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NICK CLEMONS & BANDITS TAKE DOWNTOWN

The Downtown in Red Bank was bumping and grinding Wednesday night as the Nick Clemons Band, led by the son of late E-Street Band saxman Clarence Clemons shared the stage and runway with the Daisy Dukes-wearing Bar-top Bandits.

Photographer Peter Lindner was there for redbankgreen.

(P.S. There’s a bit of a discussion underway on our Facebook page on whether events and pix like these are part of a societal ill that needs addressing. Pop on over if you’d like to weigh in.)

THREE CHARGED IN RBR DANCER’S BEATING

sean-montgomery-rbrRed Bank police have charged two recent Red Bank Regional High graduates and a third man in the vicious attack that left a classmate with injuries last month.

Police identified Sean Montgomery, left, of Little Silver and Shrewsbury, as the instigator of  the June 19 beating at a party on Spring Street that left Julliard dance scholar Anthony Tiedeman with a broken jaw that required surgery.

Montgomery, 18, turned himself in last week after police issued a complaint charging him with aggravated assault, said Captain Darren McConnell.

Another classmate, Perry Campanella, whose town of residence McConnell did not have immediately available, and Jahmer Bunch, of Neptune, are expected to appear for arraignment in borough court with Montgomery on Thursday. They, too, are charged with aggravated assault. Each is 18 or 19 years old, McConnell said.

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RBR DANCE STUDENT INJURED IN BEATING

anthonytiedeman3By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A recent Red Bank Regional graduate who was accepted to Julliard‘s prestigious dance program was badly injured in an assault Sunday night, Red Bank police said.

Police are still pursuing the assailants who beat up Anthony Tiedeman, right, and sent him to the hospital with a broken jaw and eye, mouth and nose injuries, said Captain Darren McConnell.

The assault occurred after a party on Spring Street Sunday. RBR students graduated Friday, and McConnell said the party had “something to do with kids,” but wasn’t sure if it was a graduation party.

“I don’t know if it was all RBR kids, but primarily RBR kids,” involved in the beating, he said.

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RBR STUDENT DANCES HIS WAY INTO JULLIARD

By DUSTIN RACIOPPIanthonytiedeman3

The chances were about as good as getting struck by lightning, but a Red Bank Regional senior has made his way to one of the country’s most prestigious performing arts schools.

Anthony Tiedeman, right, has been accepted to Julliard, a highly sought-after school that has less than a five-percent acceptance rate.

After a three-round audition process, the school selected Tiedeman and 25 others from a group of 560 applicants, a release from RBR said.

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MARCHING OUT WINTER’S END AT THE BASIE

david-bromberg-2Master multi-instrumentalist David Bromberg makes his annual pilgrimage to the Count Basie Theatre this weekend.

We’ve sprung ahead, clock-wise, and have arrived at the middle of March with the feeling that the roar of the late-winter lion will soon enough succumb to the bleating of the lamb.

While it’s still technically not springtime just yet, a typically busy gust of activity at the Count Basie Theatre sounds the keynote for the coming months — suggesting that we’ve all made it over the wacky-weather hump. Or is it Humperdinck?

Whatever you do, never suggest that his godzillions of female fans are anywhere near “over” the British-born singer who’s been seducing ’em in song since the Fab Four were still touring. When the eternal King of Romance often known “simply” as Engelbert returns to Red Bank on the heels of his 40th Anniversary Tour, he’ll be effectively extending Valentine’s Day well into the season when many of us give up Russell Stover assortments and Pink Champale for Lent — with tickets for tonight’s Humper-palooza available here — and much more Basie-based excitement right around the corner.

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MANY SHADES O’ GREEN ON THE ‘GREEN

irishbandsThe teen music group Ceól Milis, left and the Trinity Celtic Band, seen outside the Dublin House, are among the Irish-themed attractions in and around the greater Green this weekend.

The best thing about St. Patty’s Day on and around the greater Red Bank Green? That’s easy — it never ends.

With world-class publick houses like Red Bank’s own Dublin House taking it year ’round, such arbitrary distinctions as “what day is it” soon melt into mootness — and with frequent visits by various Irish Tenors and Riverdancers to capture our fancies, those disappearing Shamrock Shakes will scarcely be missed.

We’ve got tin-whistle music on the beach in summer, Guinness Oysterfest in the fall; we’ve got the evergreen appeal of Celtic Christmas celebrations — and, as reported by our friends in local Irish band The Snakes (who are playing a gig for the Little Silver Volunteer Fire Company on March 19) we’ve got the phenomenon known as Saint Practice Day.

Here in a month that climaxes on March 26 with the return of the Red Bank Pub Crawl, we’ve also got a mid-March weekend’s worth of four-leaf closure to satisfy all who yearn for a fix of Irish words, music, movement and menu. Read on.

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CLEAN UP YOUR ACT, STREETLIFE’S COMING

img_6371721Buskers, like this unidentified trio from Streetlife 2009, are warming up their pipes for the 2010 edition. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s getting closer to that time when the streets of Red Bank become dotted with guitar slingers, mimes and magicians on Saturday nights as part of the summer-long StreetLife series.

But first, they must demonstrate their street creds.

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THE BEAT@RBR

drum2_irAfrican dance instructor Audrey Davis visited Red Bank Regional’s dance majors for a quick lesson on the history of African drums and dance Tuesday.

The dance program’s theme this school year is the evolution of jazz dance in America. Davis is scheduled to return for another lesson at RBR today. (Click to enlarge; photos by Dustin Racioppi)

In oRBit: MIXING IT UP WITH MOSES

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MosesPendleton

So what’s a Momix Remix?

It’s a look back at more than 25 years worth of
invention from the atelier of celebrated choreographer Moses Pendleton and his Momix Dance Theater company.

A Momix performance finds human bodies exploring new and surprising ways to
move and bend, as they discover what it’s like to experience the world as an
insect, a reptile, or a baseball.


Red Bank oRBit interviewed the self-described “avant gardener” in advance of Friday’s Momix show at the Count Basie.

What does this master illusionist do to “put a little polish on the old third eye?” Does he really only perform for fish?

The answers, friends, only in oRBit

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IN oRBit: D.C. SATIRE & THE BASIE’S BOOKER

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In conjunction with tonight’s reopening of the Count Basie Theatre after four months in mothballs, today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit contains a two-fer:

• We’ve got an interview with a Mark Eaton, a 15-year Capitol Steps veteran (and former lobbyist) who dishes on the comedy troupe’s Friday-night show and what happens after the Nov. 4 bubble deflates…

• And, if you’re wondering how acts like the Capitol Steps, Rufus Wainwright, the B-52s and Patton Oswalt wind up on the Basie’s boards, check out our interview with Numa Saisselin, who not only runs the theater as its CEO, but personally books every act.

We’re oRBit, and we approve this message…

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IN oRBit: A YARD SALE WARM-UP OF SORTS

Noworbiting_iconBargains, lightly used, in Atlantic Highlands Saturday.

In today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit, your comprehensive guide to what’s going on around The Green, you’ll find:

• a item on the nearly nude, airborne dancers in “Garden of Earthly Delights” wrapping up their highly praised run of shows at the Two River Theater

• an update on an almost-sidelined production at New Jersey Rep that hews to the dictum, ‘the show must go on!’

• a sorting out of the bands and musicians — including the panties-flasher we featured last week — taking to stages in and around Asbury Park

• and a look at what we’re viewing as a kind of warmup for the Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale on September 20 as Atlantic Highlands holds its 30th annual outdoor flear market at the marina.

oRBit also features the richest events calendar and restaurant guide to the greater Red Bank area, so pop on over when you’re ready to map out your weekend.

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IN oRBit: DANCE IS HELL

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You may have noticed the cryptic, vaguely erotic posters around Red Bank for “Garden of Earthly Delights” starting tonight at the Two River Theater.

Well, Red Bank oRBit has not only the details, but an interview with MacArthur Award recipient Martha Clarke, the artist responsible for what promises to be a roomful of flying bodies and choreographed hell.

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