WEEKEND: WEDDING WALK GETS SAME-SEXY

WeddingWalkMichael 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. 

Sykes-WandaRED 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.

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RBR: MUST-SEE VIDEO

Highly-infectious video posted on YouTube Friday by Amanda Tanai and Natalie Christ, students at Red Bank Regional. High school sure is way more fun than it used to be, huh?

WEEKEND: VALENTINES AND OTHER FISH TALES

AsULikeItMiriam 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:

sg-prints-14RED 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).

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RED BANK: JOSH BRUCE, STEEPED IN BLOOD

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

josh bruce 1“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.

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AN EYEWITNESS TO THE INVISIBLE, AT BCC

invisible-childrenThe 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).

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WEEKEND: OF TEA, TIME AND TAG ART

OBT(horiz)COLORTime’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:

demer_00599RED 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.

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FOODFEST TO SERVE UP A PASTA SMACKDOWN

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 premise: a pasta smackdown cooking event pitting Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna against Victor Rallo, owner of Basil T’s in Red Bank, Undici Taverna Rustica in Rumson – and newsboy-cap wearing star of ‘Eat! Drink! Italy‘ on public TV.

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.

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RED BANK: DOG DAY DIVERSIONS @TWORIVER

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 Theater is 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.

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SHREWSBURY: CENTURY TWO, iPAD IN HAND

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, it’s 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.

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A BUSTLING SUMMER WEEKEND AWAITS

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 Shakespeare’s witty early comedy, “Love’s Labor’s 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 Theatre’s “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.

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RED BANK GIRL REELS IN RYAN REYNOLDS

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)

RED BANK: PARK IT HERE SUMMER NIGHTS

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 Bank’s 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 Raido’s 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 couldn’t refuse.”

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WEEKEND: EAT, DRINK, LISTEN, REPEAT

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 “artisan’s 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.

MIDDLETOWNThe 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.

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WEEKEND: CARNIVAL, NATURE WALK, TRI…

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)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, May 17:

LITTLE SILVER: Come shop the annual Little Silver Springtime Sidewalk Sale hosted by the Little Silver Business & Professional Association. The sale runs through Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Locations vary.

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. Here’s the map: artwalk_map_only-1

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VISIONS OF LATINO CULTURES, “AQUÍ Y ALLÁ”

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.

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YOUR WEEKEND OPTIONS, RIGHT HERE

Images of 20th century Red Bank and other Monmouth County locales are featured in a show of photos from the Dorn’s Collection beginning Saturday at Red Bank Frameworks. (Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, May 10:

RED BANKSandy Hackett’s Rat Pack infests Count Basie Theater. Join faux Frank, Sammy and Dino for performances produced by the legendary Buddy Hackett. Tickets are $19.50, $29.50 and $39.50. 99 Monmouth Street.

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.

RUMSON: The boys from Madison Avenue are back and will perform at Molly Maguire’s Black Point Inn. The show begins at 9 p.m.132 East River Road.

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RED BANK: RISING TO HELP REPRESSED GIRLS

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)

RED BANK: FAMILY CHAIN BUYING CLEARVIEW

The two-screen Red Bank theater was among the assets put on the block a year ago by Cablevision. (Click to enlarge)

Red Bank’s Clearview Cinemas theater may be getting a new owner.

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.

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LET’S GIVE THIS WEEKEND A BIG HAND…

The Two River Theater has a full weekend in store, with a play opening Saturday and a Kids’ Day Sunday. Below, Geri Grey’s photo, ‘Many Hands,’ from the Sprung! show at Gallery U. (Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, April 5:

LINCROFT: Visit Brookdale Community College for the opening reception of Cotillion, the AFA Student Art Show, featuring works by Brookdale’s second-year fine art students. The reception will take place in the Center for Visual Arts Gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. The work will be on display until April 17. 765 Newman Springs Road.

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.

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RED BANK: MEDICATED PETE GOES BIG TIME

‘Medicated Pete’ McHeffey, below, shows off a frame from the remake of ‘D.O.A.,’ in which he stars as a doomed man. Above, three trailers for the film.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOE FISHER

For some celebrities, it’s hard to get out of the house without being mobbed by overzealous fans and tailed by paparazzi. Simple activities like shopping and dining out can turn into a media circus.

But others – in a tacit pact with their fans – find it easy to walk their hometown streets or saddle up at a favorite bar, left with some breathing room. Think Bruce Springsteen in Asbury Park.

In Red Bank, it’s Pete McHeffey, known better to the world as Medicated Pete, a prime cog among “The Howard Stern Show’s” notorious Wack Pack.

McHeffey’s four-year run with Stern’s 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.
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DRIVING JERSEY SERIES RUNS LOW ON FUEL

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, they’re asking for help. Via Kickstarter, they’re hoping to raise $10,000 by November 1.

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IN RED BANK, ‘MEDICATED’ AND UNCENSORED


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)

FILM BUFFS LIKE IT HOT

More than 50 people showed up in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens park Tuesday night for Shore Flicks’ final installment of the summer, “Some Like it Hot” (with Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis).

Since July, six family-friendly movies have been screened in the park free of charge. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)

SMITH FANS UNITE, INCHING TOWARD STASH

Fans waited in line as long as 10 hours with Kevin Smith books, films and artwork to be signed by their hero. Below, actor Jason Mewes, trailed by a video crew.  (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)

By STACIE FANELLI

North on Broad Street, around the bend at Mechanic, sharp right into an alley, past the “end of line” sign and back around again. That’s the route hundreds of fans took Sunday, inches at a time, as they waited in line to meet director Kevin Smith.

Some came from down the block, others from up to five hours away – all to spend maybe 60 seconds with the Highlands native and owner of Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash in downtown Red Bank. The store is such a haven for comic book fans that it is the focal point of AMC’s reality show “Comic Book Men,” for which Smith’s appearance was a part.

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