A plan by Joe Romanowski to remove the vestibule of his new Goldtinker store on Broad Street won approval. So did Tommy’s Coal-Fired Pizza’s request to permanently enclose seasonal seating area at the Galleria, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The Red Bank planning board approved a restaurant expansion, a downtown facade change and the renovation of what Mayor Pasquale Menna called a “cancerous eyesore” Monday night.
Along the way were some unusual flashes of passion among board members.
A first responder benefitting spring edition of Street Fair returns to Red Bank Sunday while, below, the one and only GROUCHO goes wild, in the person of Frank Ferrante, Friday night at the Basie.
RED BANK: “We all want to be Groucho,” Frank Ferrante told us a few seasons back, “to be that wild, irreverent pulverizer of those in power.”
In the acclaimed stage show An Evening with Groucho, the actor-director gets to be all that and more, as his spot-on channeling of the classic comic force of nature Groucho Marx comes to the Count Basie Theatre for the first time. Performed with piano accompaniment, minimal set and trademark makeup, the 90-minute, all-ages friendly tour de farce mixes canonical Marxist quotes, anecdotes from a life in show business, signature silly songs (“Hooray for Captain Spalding,” “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady”), and — in a bracingly contemporary touch — an interactive element that finds Ferrante/Groucho duckwalking the theater aisles. “Fully one-third of it is improvised,” says Ferrante. “That’s what Groucho’s magic was, really – the ability to create comedy on the spot.” Get your tickets ($19 – $49) right here — and when you take it ’round the corner for more Weekender wonderment, tell ’em Groucho sent you.
Michael Warmington of Red Bank RiverCenter joins a team of Barbizon tour guides in welcoming guests to a past edition of the Red Bank Wedding Walk, which returns to town this Sunday. Wanda Sykes (below) brings her standup skills back to the Basie Friday night.
RED BANK: When the Red Bank Wedding Walk returns to the blushing banks of the Navesink for its latest edition this Sunday, it’ll be a bigger/better-than-ever affair with an historic edge: it’s “encouraging same-sex couples to join us this year and explore all that Red Bank has to offer for the perfect wedding,” according to organizers at Red Bank RiverCenter.
Taking place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., the 2014 event sounds a call to “prospective brides, grooms, partners, their families and friends” to key into the borough’s “fun and funky vibe” as they visit over 40 wedding-related businesses — florists, gown and accessories retailers, bridesmaid and guest attire boutiques, photographers, wedding planners and designers, jewelers, salons and banquet facilities — many of which will be offering promotions, light refreshments and special amenities.
Miriam A. Hyman and Jacob Fishel in ‘As You Like It’ at the Two River Theater, above. Scott Szegeski’s print impressions of vintage “fish surfboards” at Salon Concrete. (Top photo by T.C. Erickson)
Friday, February 14:
RED BANK: Valentine’s Day — that interlude of cabernet and clinking cocktail glasses; of candlelight coronas, candy kisses and cardboard cupids — also sounds a keynote for the final weekend of As You Like It, the Shakespeare play on stage at Two River Theater.
Michael Sexton’s take on the Bard’s characteristically convoluted “comedy of cross-dressing heroines and triumphant heroes” comes complete with some of the author’s funniest gags and laugh lines, some solid comic turns (by Brendan Titley and former Cosby Show regular Geoffrey Owens), and a double-dynamite lead role by Miriam A. Hyman as the exiled beauty Rosalind and her flannel-shirted alter ego, Ganymede. Throw in some savvy use of song (put forth with gusto by J.D. Webster) and you’ve got a fine point of entry to the Shakespearean perspective on romance, mating, and gender politics. Take it here for tickets to the last round of shows 8 pm Friday; 3 and 8 pm Saturday; 3 pm Sunday).
The trailer for Josh Bruce’s film. Below, Bruce in a scene shot near the Red Bank Public Library. (Click to enlarge)
By DAN NATALE
“Of course, the motto on our crew is, ‘we love blood,'” said Josh Bruce. “We love to put our hands in it, we love to roll around in it, we love to stick our face in it.”
Bruce, a Red Bank resident, said this as he surveyed the property behind the borough’s public library, where a few months prior, he and several other young men had smashed a lifeless body’s head with rocks they had found there. But Bruce showed no signs of remorse. In fact, a smile stretched across his face as he recalled the event.
The documentary film INVISIBLE CHILDREN is screened as part of an October 28 program at Brookdale Community College designed to call attention to ongoing human rights violations in Uganda.
An eye witness to the effects of human rights violations against children in Uganda will tell his personal story at Brookdale Community College on Monday, Oct. 28. The talk will follow a screening of the film “Invisible Children” from 7 to 9 pm in the Navesink Room of the Warner Student Life Center on the Lincroft Campus. The talk is sponsored by the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education (cchange).
Time’s running out: Oakes Fegley and Robert Hogan co-star in director Joel Grey’s staging of ‘On Borrowed Time,’ now in its final weekend at Two River Theater. Below, spraypaint specialist Demer judges taking the Jersey Shore Aerosol Art Battle Against Hunger, at Colorest.
Friday, October 11:
RED BANK: Take a late afternoon/ early evening tea break and head upstairs to 135 Monmouth Street in Red Bank, where internationally exhibited multimedia artist (and Red Bank Community Church co-pastor) Gerda Liebmann presents a special opening event at Gallery 135, the must-see space located inside the second-story loft shared by the RBCC. An eclectic array of works in multiple media on the theme of one of the world’s favorite beverages, “Fifty Shades of Tea” spotlights the artistry of Debbie Jencsik, Ellen Martin, Wesley Sumrall, Linnea Tober — and Liebmann, who explains that “the concept of this exhibit is to have the visual reality of art and the multi-sensory reality of tea complement each other to create a truly immersive esthetic experience.” Also offered at the free 6 pm opening event will be a tasting of special-teas from Tea4U of The White House in Oakhurst. Additional exhibit hours will be offered on Saturday (3-5 pm) and Sunday (1-3 pm); call (732)687-3580 for more info.
RED BANK: It’s the final weekend of performances for “On Borrowed Time” at Two River Theater. Broadway legend Joel Grey — who appeared in Paul Osborn’s play as a child back in 1941 — directs this “Americana fantasy that filters big themes of death, devotion and stubborn determination through a Depression-era small town sensibility (and a vague unease over the gathering storm clouds of the Second World War).” Veteran stage-screen character ace Robert Hogan is a refreshingly tart and salty “Gramps” who tragic circumstance has charged with the care of his young grandson, Pud (the impressive young actor Oakes Fegley). Showtimes at 8 pm Friday and Saturday, and 3 pm Saturday and Sunday; take it here for tickets.
Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna, seen above at a 2007 primary school function featuring his cooking, faces restaurateur Victor Rallo, below, in a stovetop showdown at the Basie next Saturday. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
One’s a municipal chief executive with a “total amateur’s” love of cooking – though he does have a chef’s smock with his name embroidered on the breast.
The other’s a serial restaurateur and wine expert who hosts a TV food show set in lush Italian locales.
The Saturday-night faceoff, on the stage of the venerable Count Basie Theatre, is one of the highlights of a four-day food smorgasbord – dubbed Appetite – that also features wine tastings, Scotch and bourbon swilling, a bevy of food trucks, screenings of food-themed movies and more.
The musical act Early Elton featuring members of the Asbury Jukes and the Fab Faux brings its tribute to Elton John and Bernie Taupin to Two River Theater in a Saturday night benefit show.
The start of the 20th Anniversary stage season at Two River Theateris still more than a month away, but even as Tony- and Oscar-winning actor/director Joel Grey rehearses his cast for the upcoming production of On Borrowed Time, the stage of the Bridge Avenue performing arts center is abuzz with activity in these dog-day afternoons and evenings.
It’s a late-summer slate that kicked off with this past Sunday’s Beatlemania benefit concert and which continues tonight with a sold-out screening of the locally produced documentary feature Destiny’s Bridge.
The sights and sounds and screenings roll on right to Labor Day’s doorstep, with a Saturday night benefit concert that captures the soulful spirit of an international music superstar’s introspective early albums.
Centenarian Carlotta Niles at her Shrewsbury home. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)
By WIL FULTON
Born to a silent-film star, Carlotta Niles of Shrewsbury has no plans of slowing down.
Or so it’s tempting to say. From daily drives in her Mercedes convertible to traveling around the world, to learning new languages and mastering bridge with help from her trusty iPad, its safe to say Niles is still living her life to the fullest.
Except for the hot-air ballooning. At 100 years old, she finds she’s had to cut back on that.
Local farmers and craftspeople fill the parking lot at the Galleria every Sunday morning this time of year. Steven Jacobson, the 17-year-old author of “One Last Season,” below, reads from his novel Saturday. (Click to enlarge)
Friday, July 12:
LINCROFT: Royalty graces Lincroft when Shakespeares witty early comedy, Loves Labors Lost, comes to the Great Lawn at Brookdale Community College. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic baskets (rain site: Performing Arts Center). The performance begins at 7 p.m. Park in lot 2. Lawn outside PAC building/Newman Springs Road/Route 520.
RED BANK: The Summer Jazz Café returns to Two River Theatres black box performance space Friday and Saturday nights. Joe Muccioli and the Jazz Arts Project present jazz innovator, trombonist and seashellist Steve Turre. The night promises a big city club vibe with coffee and refreshments served throughout the performance. Tickets are $22 and the show begins at 8 p.m. 21 Bridge Avenue.
Ten-year-old Red Banker Faith King interviews actor Ryan Reynolds on the red carpet at the premier of his new film, “Turbo,” in New York Tuesday night. The short video, made for KidzVuz, a video channel for kids, had attracted nearly 39,000 views on YouTube by Thursday morning. Philly.com has a story. (Click to enlarge)
A full slate of movies, music and workouts is scheduled for Riverside Gardens Park, but minus a songwriters’ series. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)
By WIL FULTON
Despite the loss of a perennial favorite, Red Banks Summer Series in Riverside Park is still poised to draw plenty of fanfare with a busy schedule, packed with plenty of movies, music and fitness events over the next couple months.
After nearly a decade, Brookdale Raidos Songwriters in the Park series will move from Red Bank to Belmar, according to Parks and Recreation Director Memone Crystian.
Belmar was able to offer the program full funding, which we, unfortunately, could not, Crystian told redbankgreen. Basically, it was an offer they just couldnt refuse.
Don’t even bother trying to curb your appetite at Red Bank Riverfest, which runs through Sunday in Marine Park. Details in the poster below. (Click to enlarge)
Friday, May 31:
RED BANK: Come sample the savory and sweet flavors at Riverfest, the annual three-day music and food festival in Marine Park. Stroll the “artisans alley” for handmade items and artwork, cruise the Navesink River, or dance your butt off in front of the waterfront stage to the likes of Brian Kirk & The Jirks, Woodfish, the Moroccan Sheepherders and the Jazz Lobsters. Free entry; no pets allowed.
MIDDLETOWN: The Middletown Arts Center hosts a Luau Party for kids ages 5 and older, offering crafts, limbo contests and games. Pizza and snacks will be provided. The luau runs from 6 to 9 p.m. 36 Church Street.
The Sea Bright Firemen’s Fair brings cheer to the oceanside town this weekend s it works to recover from Hurricane Sandy. Folk musicians the Blind Tellers, below, are at the Red Bank Public Library. (Click to enlarge)
RED BANK: Stores, restaurants and some unexpected places combine to create a townwide art exhibit for Art Walk. Make your own self-guided tour or shadow docents as they guide the crowd through town. The exhibit runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Heres the map: artwalk_map_only-1
The acclaimed documentary feature HARVEST OF EMPIRE screens at Two River Theater Sunday night as part of a three-day Vision Latin-American Film Festival at locations around Monmouth County.
By TOM CHESEK
Its performance spaces may have gone momentarily dark between mainstage productions but this weekend, Red Bank’s Two River Theater becomes one of the newest participating hosts for an arts event that’s primed to connect with some new audiences: the annual Vision Latin American Film Festival.
A presentation of the Latino Coalition of New Jersey the nonprofit organization that’s hosted the annual Latino Festival of Monmouth County in Freehold Borough since 2005 the newly expanded program offers up a slate of seven feature-length dramatic and documentary films selected to increase the understanding and appreciation for the various Latino cultures that thrive in New Jersey.
“Through the eyes of the filmmakers, we will see Latino perspectives on relationships, politics, family, religion and customs that surround their lives, the coalition says in its press materials for the filmfest, which will feature introductions by guest speakers as well as post-screening Q&A discussions.
The celebration of Latino cinema has forged a separate identity from the summertime festival in Freehold, with a two days/ three nights schedule of recent works from North and South America that screens this weekend in three different Monmouth County locations including Two River Theater Company’s branded Bridge Avenue artspace.
RUMSON: The third annual Gayla! prom, a fun and safe evening with food and DJ takes place at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. The Rumson Fair Haven Gay-Straight Alliance partners with Make it Better for Youth to provide support kids ages 13-19 in middle, high, or home school. The prom runs from 7 to 10 p.m. tickets are $20; parental permission required. 74 Ridge Road.
Zakiyah Godsey, left, and Natashsa Cargill of the Red Bank branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County write letters to girls featured in the documentary film ‘Girl Rising,’ which promotes the spotlights the limited educational opportunities of girls around the world, with particular focus on societies in which women are repressed.
Along with 10 other young women, Zakiyah and Natasha attended a private screening, organized by the Sierra Club, at Monmouth Mall. “It was a very emotional experience,” said Boys and Girls Club director Christy Clark. “The girls kept talking about it.” In response, the girls have launched a pen pal exchange and plan to donate school supplies.
‘Girl Rising’ will be screened at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High on Wednesday, May 22 at 6 p.m. Admission is $5. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)
The two-screen White Street arthouse, a favorite of local fans of indie films, is presumably among the assets expected to be acquired by a century-old, family-owned theater chain in a deal announced earlier this week.
RED BANK: SPRUNG! A group exhibition of contemporary art kicks off opening night at Gallery U. Celebrate and admire the work of more than 18 artists from 6 to 9 p.m. 80 Broad Street.
SHREWSBURY: The Monmouth County Library hosts Delectable Desserts: A First Friday for Seniors Program. Watch the chefs from Atria Tinton Falls demonstrate their culinary skills as they whip up some decadent desserts. Sample the sweets and learn how to make the dishes featured; recipes will be available. Admission is free and the event starts at 11 a.m. 1001 Route 35 North.
McHeffeys four-year run with Sterns TV and radio shows and related promotional appearances have brought the 37-year-old Red Bank native national fame. Now, Dead On Arrival, a remake of a classic 1950 film noir “D.O.A.,” is scheduled for online release March 1, with McHeffey in the starring role of a man investigating his own murder. Plans for a TV show are in the works, McHeffey said. Read More »
Filmed in June before a Count Basie Theatre screening of the blockbuster summer hit “Jaws,” the above video is an example of Driving Jersey’s storytelling style. Steve Rogers at work, below.
By DANIELLE TEPPER
In the hands of mainstream media, New Jersey has been not been treated kindly. With shows like Real Housewives and Jersey Shore purporting to offer sneak peeks into the Garden State of mind, residents are rarely seen as they really are, and are instead depicted as “pornographic cartoon characters, in the words of Red Bank videographer Steve Rogers.
That was the injustice Rogers set out to rectify when he embarked on his Driving Jersey video series in 2007.
After losing a media industry job in New York, Rogers stepped into the roles of writer, producer, and director to start telling true-to-life Jersey stories through raw interviews with real residents. Driving Jersey, he says on the program’s website, “represents and reflects the most misunderstood and misrepresented place and people in all of America.”
Since the show started, Rogers and his partner, Ryan Bott of Manahawkin, have dipped into their own pockets for funding. But now, after four years of creative success, theyre asking for help. Via Kickstarter, theyre hoping to raise $10,000 by November 1.
A camera crew with HowardTV On Demand, Howard Stern’s uncensored cable channel, spent Tuesday in the Red Bank Public Library and on the streets of town with resident Peter McHeffey, known to Stern fans as “Medicated Pete.” The segment, hosted by Howard100 reporter Jon Leiberman, left, will focus on a day in the life of Pete, who lives with Tourette’s Syndrome.(Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)