IN SEA BRIGHT, WHOLE TOWN’S ON BOARD

Skater1

By LINDA G. RASTELLI

At Long Branch’s Skateplex recently, a four-year-old boy in long shorts, t-shirt and oversized helmet stands hesitantly atop a ramp with one foot on a skateboard almost as long as he is tall.

As other kids go sailing down the incline, the reluctant boy’s father tries to coax him to do the same.

“He crashed last week, and now he’s scared,” the man says, explaining that his son had suffered just a few minor scrapes. Still, he adds, his son “begs to come here every day.”

That’s why the former Sea Bright resident, who asked not to be identified, says he supports a proposal to build a $367,000, state-of-the-art skate facility in Sea Bright.

“They’re going to skate anyway,” he says of the kids zooming up, down and across the Skateplex, “and better here than in the street.”

Read More »

IN TOWN | IN OCTOBER: WEEK ONE

Weekend_1005

For lovers of offbeat films, it’s one of the best things about living in or near Red Bank.

For student filmmakers, it’s a rare opportunity to get their work up on the big screen in front of an audience of more than just classmates and family members. Ditto, frankly, for many of their older counterparts.

And for folks simply looking for intelligent cinema that’s out of the ordinary, the selection could hardly be better.

We’re talking, of course, about the annual Red Bank International Film Festival, which kicks off tomorrow night and runs through Sunday at the Clearview Cinemas on White Street.

This year’s slate of more than 50 films, long and short, offers a range from amusing to heavy, with emphasis on chuckles and some tongue-in-cheek-macabre thrown in for bonus yuks.

“All in all, I think it’s a very tight film festival,” says Marc Leckstein, president of the Freedom Film Society, which puts on the festival, now in its seventh edition. “It’s got basically anything anyone would want.”

Read More »

RED BANK FISH MONGER

Img_4951Greene_gate

Miami Dolphins fanatic Robert Greene in his field of dreams on Chapin Avenue, where the kick is always good and no opponent dares show his face.

Just once a year, barring an extraordinary playoff situation that adds another matchup, the Miami Dolphins visit the New York Jets at Giants Stadium.

That annual contest is tomorrow, beginning at 1p.

By late afternoon, Robert Greene of Chapin Avenue will either be celebrating some combination of the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas and hit-the-lottery day, or he’ll be wishing he was dead.

Read More »

TWO TAKES ON ‘OUR TOWN’ PUPPETS

Star Ledger theater reviewer Peter Filichia finds the puppets that populate the ‘Our Town’ production at the Two River Theater “adorable” but distracting.

In his review, in today’s editions, Filichia calls TRT artistic director Aaron Posner’s approach to Thornton Wilder’s stage classic “an almost great production of a great play. If only he’d kept “Avenue Q” in Manhattan.”

But Tom Chesek, writing in today’s Asbury Park Press, says the theater’s “innovative revival may help you see this richly detailed work with a fresh set of eyes.”

Read More »

IS McLOONE ‘THE VOICE OF NEW JERSEY?’

Timmcc1

Musician, sports commentator, restaurateur and marathon man Tim McLoone is featured in today’s New York Times, which calls him “the voice of New Jersey.”

Now, before any Sinatra, Springsteen and Jon Bovi fans blow an artery, it’s not meant to be a serious claim. Instead, the story is a riff on McLoone’s near-ubiquity, whether playing with either of his two bands — Holiday Express and the Shirleys — some 150 nights a year, or working as an announcer at basketball games and marathons.

From the story:

You can hear his dulcet tones in venues as cavernous as the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford and as cozy as a bar at the Jersey Shore. Or outdoors at a band shell at the beach or on the grass at Monmouth Park, between horse races.

The Eastern goldfinch might be the state bird, but Mr. McLoone, who lives in Little Silver with his wife and four children, is doing much of the singing in the Garden State.

Read More »

DONOVAN’S DEAL DEAD IN THE WATER

Donovans1

By LINDA G. RASTELLI

Just two weeks after a controversial go-ahead for Sea Bright officials to try to buy Donovan’s Reef, negotiations have come to a halt.

Mayor Jo-Ann Kalaka-Adams tells redbankgreen today that the sellers have rejected the borough’s offer for the beachfront property.

Though she declined to immediately disclose how much the borough offered, she says the sum matched an appraised value for the property, which has 82 parking spaces the borough covets, among other assets.

The sellers, members of the Bowler family, are asking $4.5 million.

“It was much ado about nothing,” Kalaka-Adams says. “We offered them the appraisal price, not the asking price, and they turned down our offer.”

Chris Bowler, a co-owner who also owns Brannigan’s Bar & Grill in Red Bank, confirmed that the deal talks are over.

“We’ve received offers above that,” Bowler says of the asking price.

Read More »

BRUCE & BAND: REUNION IN RUMSON?

Just_in_bruce

[THIS IS AN UPDATE OF AN EARLIER POST]

Part-time Rumsonite Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band may be reuniting for a tour in support of a new album, titled ‘Magic,’ to be released in Oct. 2, the Associated Press is reporting, via the Asbury Park Press.

According to Star-Ledger blogger Stan Goldstein, the rumored show dates include Oct. 10 & 11 at the Meadowlands and Oct. 14 & 15 at Madison Square Garden.

“Springsteen fans are starving for the official word,” Goldstiein reported.

Read More »

IN TOWN | IN AUGUST: WEEK TWO

Weekend_081007

Even from the perspective of non-fans of the game, this weekend’s baseball show at the Two River Theater looks genuinely fascinating.

The program calls for a full and wide-ranging schedule of baseball-themed readings (‘Casey at the Bat,’ anyone?), movies, speeches and even a ‘stump the expert’ game.

Red Bank sports artifact shop Fameabilia, which is hosting the event, will hold an expo in the lobby.

Participants include former Brooklyn Dodger Johnny Podres, who will be signing autographs from 1 to 3p; award-winning Associated Press journalist Warren Levinson; actor Joe Russo; theater co-founder Robert Rechnitz; artistic director Aaron Posner; and David Kaplan, Director of the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, who’ll speak on ‘Baseball and Social Justice.’

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN TEEN SCORES, PERCENTAGEWISE

Million3a_ir

Everyone who attended the taping two weeks ago of the debut episode of Power of 10, a new TV game show, was sworn to secrecy about the outcome.

Which meant that, true to her word, Sue Massie hadn’t told anyone how her son, 19-year-old Jamie Sadler, did as the show’s first contestant. And she remained tightlipped even as a couple of dozen family members and friends began assembling in the high-ceilinged TV room of her Fair Haven home to watch the network broadcast Tuesday night.

“Obviously, he won money,” she tells redbankgreen. “But whether it was $10,000, or more, or less, I’m not saying.

“Even my husband doesn’t know,” she adds offhandedly, referring to Jamie’s stepfather, Ken Massie.

Seriously?

“She just didn’t say, and I didn’t want to push,” Ken says with a shrug.

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT CIRCLES DONOVAN’S LOT

Squeezed for parking, the Borough of Sea Bright tonight will mull the question of whether to try to buy Donovan’s Reef.

Hot_topic_2

The beach bar’s owners are said to be asking $4.5 million for the oceanfront property, which is across East Center Street from borough hall.

While some members of the borough council are cool to the idea of dropping that much money, Council President William Keeler favors it, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

“I personally want this. I think it’s a good decision if we can make the acquisition,” he tells the Press.

Read More »

BASIE, TWO RIVER GET BIG FUNDING BUMPS

Both the Count Basie Theatre and the Two River Theater Company were major beneficiaries of whopping state funding increases as part of an effort to “create parity” among arts organizations, according to today’s Star-Ledger.

Money_half_column_2

The Basie’s fiscal year 2008 grant from the state Council on the Arts soared by 42 percent, to $223,325, up more than $94,000 from 2007, and the Two Rivers’ allotment doubled, to $139,477, from $69,183.

“We think it represents an acknowledgment by the council of the growth we’ve had over the past couple of years,” Two River managing director Guy Gsell told the Asbury Park Press. “We’re serving a wider geographic area, and have had an incredible period of growth.”

Read More »

CAN WE GET A DECAF BON JOVI, PLEASE?

People_in_the_news

Pop star Bon Jovi is suing the Ocean County-based maker of an energy drink called Mijovi for trademark infringement, the Asbury Park Press reports today.

The suit against was filed after the singer and Middletown resident previously known as Jonathan Bongiovanni from Sayreville came across the product at Zebu Forno, the Press’ David Willis reports.

From the story:

But after Bon Jovi saw a can of Mijovi for sale in a Red Bank cafe in January, his lawyers sent [Marcos] Carrington, the founder of Manchester-based The Mijovi Co., a letter demanding that he stop using the name Mijovi.

“It is just unfair,” said Carrington, 37, of East Brunswick. “It is unfair because Mijovi has nothing to do with Bon Jovi.”

The name was inspired by his girlfriend, Jovita Saenz, he said.

The suit continued even after Carrington introduced himself and Saenz to Bon Jovi at an unidentified Red Bank restaurant “to try to clear up the matter and explain the company’s origins,” the Press reports.

Read More »

CAN PISCOPO KEEP STRIDE WITH THIS?

Here’s pianist Tony DeSare playing some electrifying stride piano on ‘Fly Me to the Moon‘ during his Jazz Arts Project show earlier this month at the River’s Edge Café.

DeSare, along with Bruce Williams on alto sax, will back Joe Piscopo (yes, you read that correctly; click on his name for more) for his two sets Saturday night at the café, at 35 Broad Street.

A multi-instrumentalist himself, Piscopo includes a straight vocal tribute to Frank Sinatra, not to mention some comedy, in his performances, we’re told.

Read More »

WHAT’S HAPPENING LAST WEEK AND NEXT

Rb_summer2

The upside, from the glass-is-half-full perspective, is that the new Red Bank Parks & Rec summer guide just now hitting mailboxes contains plenty of listings for events that haven’t happened yet.

We’re talking a full roster of concerts and movies in Riverside Gardens Park, a car show, StreetLife and theater performances.

Cynics, though, might immediately notice that the summer’s half over, and a number of the events listed in the guide are already history.

Among them: the KaBoom Fireworks of July 3, and an appearance at Songwriters in the Park by the artist featured on the program’s cover, Ari Heist. He played last Friday.

Read More »

MINGLING AMID THE BLING

Hamilton1

Taking a lesson from art gallery openings, a Broad Street jewelry store is planning to bring a party atmosphere to nighttime shopping this summer with the addition of in-store live music, food and special events.

Hamilton Jewelers is hosting a series of Thursday-night events over the next four weeks with focus on wine, cognac and fine fashion. Two of them, including this week’s, are open to the public; the others are invite-only.

Read More »

TARVER BIDS ADIEU TO RED BANK, IN SONG

Tarver

After 31 years in Red Bank, entrepreneur, education activist and occasional singer W. David Tarver is leaving town. And he’s going out in style.

Tarver tells redbankgreen that he and his wife, Kishna, are packing up their house at the Bluffs on West Front Street for a move to Birmingham, Michigan next month.

The time and circumstances are right, he says. His daughter, Stacy, just graduated from New York University. His son, Aaron, graduated from Red Bank Regional last month and will be heading to college at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Tarver’s brother and 85-year-old mother live near the Detroit suburb.

But before he leaves, Tarver has a couple of pieces of musical business to attend to.

Read More »

LIVE FROM RED BANK! THAT GUY FROM SNL!

Joe_piscopo_2
Joe Piscopo

OK, let’s acknowledge right up front that the dye job’s a little creepy, while the whole “I’m from Joisey” schtick we associate him with could use some Botox, or cyanide, even.

But a quarter-century after his moment in the spotlight, onetime Saturday Night Live star Joe Piscopo has reinvented himself, we’re told, as an entertainer.

Not as a comedian whose routine includes a parody of Frank Sinatra — one of his more memorable skits on SNL — but as a legit jazz singer who does a Sinatra tribute as part of musical act that’s, naturally, sprinkled with humor.

Nobody knows that,” Red Bank Jazz Orchestra director Joe Muccioli says of Piscopo’s love of jazz, and his ability to serve it up. “But he’s been doing this for years. And he’d got pipes.”

On Saturday, June 21, expect to see some disbelieving faces pressed against the windows of the River’s Edge Café on Broad Street, when Piscopo rolls into the eatery for two performances.

Read More »

FIREWORKS TRAFFIC ADVISORY: BE PATIENT

LargemapClick map to enlarge

A full three hours before the first of some 4,000 pieces of fireworks is lofted into the sky above the Navesink Tuesday night, the streets of central Red Bank will be closed to vehicular traffic.

Which for the crowd — estimated in past years to have been 170,000 strong — means one of three things:

• Get here early, find a convenient parking spot and relax in town for five or six hours.

• Be ready to walk to your chosen viewing spot from outside the downtown.

• Make friends with somebody with a boat, pronto.

Read More »

LOOSE PANTIES = BOFFO BOX

Newunderpants2

A play about a young woman’s falling underwear helped arouse record interest in the Two River Theater in the season just ended.

Bootstrapped by ‘The Underpants,’ comedian Steve Martin’s racy farce, as well as receipts from the musical ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’,’ the Bridge Avenue theater company posted its strongest returns ever, both in both seats sold and revenue, the TRTC reported.

Attendance for the season’s plays soared 31 percent, from 23,242 in the 2006 season to 30,463 this year, said theater spokeswoman Jayme Powers.

Revenue from ticket sales, meanwhile, was $747,817 this season, a jump of almost $200,000.

“Every time we think it can’t get any better, this community surprises us by buying more tickets and supporting our work more deeply,” TRTC board president Ann Unterberg said in a prepared statement.

Read More »

COUNCIL TO CLUBS: ‘SHUT IT’

Noisecurfew

Once a month at Teak, after the diners have finished their Asian-fusion sushi, a merengue band sets up in the front room and the place explodes with sounds from south of the border.

In fine weather, the large windows on three sides of the room are thrown open, turning the place into a throbbing lanai on Monmouth Street as salsa dancers spill out into the parking lot.

Well, it may be the dead of summer, but it’s time to button up, borough officials say.

The borough council is dialing up a campaign against nighttime noise with a proposal that would force clubs and restaurants to shut their doors and windows after 11p when they’re playing music, whether live or recorded.

“As more and more places go to big open windows — which is lovely — the noise is becoming more intolerable for the neighbors of those establishments,” says Councilwoman Grace Cangemi.

Read More »