WEEKEND: POP STAR, PRINTS & A PARADE

Dionne Warwick brings her golden pipes to the Basie Friday night. Below, the works of Bruce Waldman are featured in a printmaking show at the Monmouth Museum in Lincroft. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, March 8
RED BANK: Pop legend and five-time Grammy winner Dionne Warwick comes to the Count Basie Theatre for an 8 p.m. benefit concert. Proceeds from the tickets ( $35 to $155) go to the Basie’s Performing Arts Academy, as well as cultural programming and ongoing theater restoration. 99 Monmouth Street.

Saturday, March 9
RED BANK: Bring some heavy gloves and your green thumb to Riverside Gardens Park to help prune the rose bushes that will brighten the park come spring. Warm work clothes are suggested. Register with Robert Hespe via email at hespeb@aol.com. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Rain date is Sunday, March 16. West Front Street.

Read More »

A SHAKING, BOUNCING, OOH-LA-LA WEEKEND

Grace and the Nocturnals bring a bit of ooh-la-la to the Basie tonight. Bar Bounce bops into Red Bank for Hurricane Sandy relief Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, February 22

RED BANK: Two River Theater continues its presentation of August Wilson’s “Two Trains Running,” with performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday. Tickets range from $24 to $42 and are available online. 21 Bridge Avenue.

RED BANK: Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, whose songs have been featured in popular television shows over the years such as Grey’s Anatomy and One Tree Hill, bring their blues, folk, and alternative rock sounds to the Count Basie Theatre at 8 p.m. for a set of tunes off their new album, The Lion The Beast The Beat. Tickets are $29.50, $34.50, and $39.50. 99 Monmouth Street.

Read More »

WEEKEND: FARM FRESH AND NEARLY NAKED

The Red Bank Farmer’s Market winds down its season at the Galleria, and not-quite-naked models mingle with guests at Go Naked and Check Yourself, both this Sunday. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, November 16

RED BANK: Free yoga session at the Red Bank Public Library by Amy Richardson  at 1 p.m. No registration required, bring your own mat. 84 West Front Street.

MIDDLETOWN: The main library invites children ages 5 through 9 for arts and crafts time at 4 p.m.. Kids will create their own “Thankful Tree” to use in their holiday celebrations. Cost is free but online registration is required. 55 New Monmouth Road.

RED BANK: Jersey Shore musicians Joel Krauss and Harry Filkin will play several sets at Basil T’s at 7 p.m.. 183 Riverside Avenue.

MIDDLETOWN: To coincide with the Middletown Arts Center‘s hosting of An Exhibition and Sale Celebrating the 85th Anniversary of the duCret School of Art, painter Michael Donato will present a lecture and demonstration at 7 p.m. that highlights ‘a monochromatic underpainting technique that is the first stage of a painting process used during the Renaissance period.’ The exhibit will remain on display at the MAC gallery through November 26. Free admission. 36 Church Street.

Read More »

RED BANK HEAD LIBRARIAN OUSTED

By JOHN T. WARD

After less than a year in the job, Red Bank Public Library director Mary Faith Chmiel has been forced out.

Chmiel, right, tells redbankgreen she was called to a meeting with borough Administrator Stanley Sickels and two members of the library’s board late last Friday afternoon and given a choice of resigning or being fired. She chose to resign, she said.

Chmiel referred questions about the reasons for her ouster to members of the library board, saying only that she was told she “was not respectful enough and deferential enough” to board members.

Read More »

A FULL SLATE OF WEEKEND DIVERSIONS

Bill Normyle leads a Red Bank Ghost Tour in 2010. See below for details of the current edition.

A quick rundown of things to do this weekend…

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19
Heads Up for 180

October is the time for women’s awareness issues; breast cancer and domestic violence share the month. At 180 Turning Lives Around, volunteers hope to give purple its due in the midst of so much pink.

“Purple is the color that signifies the bruises and shame that come from abuse inflicted by someone that you love and trust,” said Barbara Lovell-Napoli, assistant director of development at 180. Monmouth County has the second-highest incidence of domestic violence in New Jersey, Lovell-Napoli said, and the most effective tool for prevention is awareness.

Each year, former clients put on a gallery show based on 180’s art therapy program. For 2012, it’s called “Heads Up!” and opens tonight at U Gallery. On display through October 24 a will be artwork from survivors and artists who support 180’s mission.

Read More »

AUTHOR OPENS SERIES WITH HARD TRUTHS

By DAN NATALE

What does it take to become a published author of fiction? Will power, says Aryn Kyle, author of the national best-selling young-adult novel The God of Animals.

Kyle served up sometimes harsh truths on what it takes when she appeared at Brookdale Community College last Wednesday as the first author in this year’s visiting writer series.

“The amount of time where writing is fun is a small percentage,” she told an audience of more than 100 students, faculty members, fans, and aspiring writers. “It’s fun to start something. It’s awesome to finish something. The middle is hard.”

Read More »

WOMEN OF SONG RAISE VOICES FOR VICTIMS

Women of Song raised $1,020 for the domestic-abuse counseling service 180 Turning Lives Around over the weekend. The three-day event began Friday at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank, where poet Lauren Elizabeth (above) and singer/songwriter Cat London, right, moved the audience and even fellow artists to tears with their work. The event continued on to Ocean Township and Asbury Park Saturday and Sunday. 

“It was overall a wonderful evening of spoken words, music, and art all three nights,” said organizer Maxine Snow. “And to bring awareness of 180 Turning Lives Around to folks who were not aware of what they are about was a good thing.” (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

WOMEN TO SHARE THEIR SONGS AND STORIES

The Woman’s Club of Red Bank is the kickoff site for the three-day event. (Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

What is the value of art? Is it a frivolous hobby or a creative outlet necessary for emotional health?

Coming up this weekend is a three-day fundraiser designed to provoke such musings. The second annual “Women of Song” event is being held to promote the arts in Monmouth County through music, poetry, and performance. It kicks off Friday at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank before continuing on to Ocean Township and Asbury Park over the weekend.

Organizers Maxine Snow and Helen-Chantel Pike co-founded the event, with help from Brenda Wirth and Jenny Woods, to rectify what they saw as a “lack of representation for female talent in the Jersey Shore area,” said Snow.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN’S KIDS CELEBRATE WALDO’S 25TH

More than 75 Fair Haven kids came out to play with Waldo in a month-long scavenger hunt that culminated in the beloved character’s birthday party Thursday. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

As summer winds down, August starts to feel like the longest month. For kids, it’s one giant countdown to back-to-school time.

In an effort to keep local kids’ minds and bodies active during the season’s final leg, the women of Fair Haven’s River Road Books came up with a fun idea – a month-long scavenger hunt of sorts. They brought Where’s Waldo? to life.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

A TREE GROWS IN… OH, NEVER MIND


7:24 p.m.:
A dozen readers gathered at a long table in the Red Bank Public Library‘s Eisner Room for a discussion of Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” a novel about childhood poverty set in the early 1900s.

When a question arose of whether stereotypes were present in the story, there was a consensus that the librarian character was unlikable. Librarian Patrice Baldino, who led the discussion, chimed in, laughing: “Yeah, the librarian. What was her problem?”

Read More »

RBC STUDENT DOTH GIVE GOOD REPORT

Olivia Mullen ducked into a Red Bank store to get out of the wind so she could recite a bit of the Bard for redbankgreen earlier this week.

By DANIELLE TEPPER

As Olivia Mullen knows, the works of William Shakespeare are a fundamental component of any acting student’s growth as a performer. The Red Bank Catholic junior has shared passions for drama and music, and to her ear, Shakespeare embodies both.

“Shakespeare’s work is beautiful,” she told redbankgreen this week. “It comes to me almost like a song. I’m not nervous performing it.”

Mullen’s heartfelt appreciation of the Bard of Avon won her a spot in the 29th annual English-Speaking Union‘s National Shakespeare Competition held in New York last month.

Read More »

POETIC REFLECTION ON A LITTLE SILVER YEAR

Mayor Bob Neff swears in new council member Dane Mihlon, above. Below, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Zazzali of Rumson prepares to swear in Councilman Dan O’Hern Jr., whose late father served with Zazzali on the Supreme Court. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With hizzoner’s grudging acquiescence, redbankgreen hereby nominates Little Silver Mayor Bob Neff as the Green’s most lyrical mayor.

Neff gets the nod for his state-of-the-borough speech, delivered in the form of a poem shortly after he was sworn in to his first full term Wednesday night.

Read More »

PARKER HOUSE WINS REGISTER ENTRY

parker-homestead-2007The Parker homestead, seen here in 2007, dates back to (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Parker House, Little Silver’s oldest surviving homestead, has won addition to the state Register of Historic Places, Mayor Bob Neff tells redbankgreen.

Read More »

RED BANK AUTHOR DEBUTS NEW RULEBOOK

j-granditsJohn Grandits and his new children’s book, which hits shelves next month. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

John Grandits, the accomplished children’s author and member of the Red Bank library board, is in an especially cheery mood these days.

That’s saying a lot for the ruddy and avuncular 61-year-old, who’s often fueled up on equal amounts of No Joe’s coffee and zest for speaking with schoolkids all over the country.

Earning a star in the Kirkus Book Review and an order for a second edition of your book, which hasn’t even hit bookstore shelves yet, can do that.

“I’m bullish on John Grandits this week,” he said.

After 10 years working on his second children’s book (he’s also published two children’s poetry books), Grandits is ready to hit the self-promotion circuit in advance of the July 4 release of Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want To Survive The School Bus.

Read More »

‘CANDIDA’ MOMENTS WITH A SHAW APOSTLE

candidaposter1The Shaw must go on: Two River Theater Company offers up four nights of previews for George Bernard Shaw’s CANDIDA beginning Tuesday.

By TOM CHESEK

First of all, it’s pronounced CAN-did-uh. Say it like Can-DEE-dah, and you’re referencing a 1970 hit by Tony Orlando & Dawn. Or you could be talking about a yeast infection.

Speak it as intended, however, and you’re stylishly dropping the name of a sharply written comedy classic that represented an early success for the great George Bernard Shaw. The centuries-spanning, Nobel Prize (and Oscar) winning, Irish-born wit and human rights champion was last seen on the stage of the Two River Theater with a topical (if threatening to topple) production of Heartbreak House a couple of seasons back. Beginning with the first of four preview performances on Tuesday night, Two River Theater Company puts on a Shaw once more, with a major revival of the 1898 Candida.

The new TRTC artistic director John Dias inherited this project — in which the strong and supportive wife of a respectable clergyman must make a choice between her husband and a passionate young poet who enters her life — when he took over the creative reins last September. Master facilitator that he is, Dias set about matching the play to a director who, more than anybody else in the business, has kept the soul and wisdom of “G.B.S.” readily accessible on our cultural GPS.

As the founder of NYC’s Gingold Theatrical Group, the actor-producer-director David Staller initiated a little undertaking called Project Shaw — a mission by which every one of Shaw’s full-length plays, skits, one-acts and puppet shows would be performed (often with all-star casts and sometimes for the first time in the United States) as a “concert” style reading. Having successfully presented all 65 of them (and having turned right back around and started up all over again), Staller has arrived at station stop Red Bank to direct Sue Cremin, Steven Skybell and Will Bradley in Two River’s Candida — and it was there that the redbankgreen Drama Desk caught up with this expert on all things Shavian.

Read More »

RUMSON’S PABST BLUE POET

britt2Rumson native Britt Melewski will be published in Liebamour magazine’s spring edition. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A few days before Thanksgiving, Britt Melewski walked down to his favorite bar, Murphy’s Tavern in Rumson, and ordered his drink of choice, a Pabst Blue Ribbon in a can. It was a celebratory libation, he said, for writing his best work to date.

The thickest part of March

Will be a Monday drawn in snow

The simplicity of the poem, and its possibilities, is exactly what Melewski has learned in his years developing as a poet.

“There’s a lot more to poetry than getting drunk and writing something down,” Melewski said.

Those words, sneering and satirical, have something of a Dylan Thomas quality to them, and Melewski, after a retreat to the West Coast to study the art of verse, is back in Rumson and working his way toward what he hopes will be a career as a published poet.

Read More »

RED BANK BOOKED FOR TOWNWIDE YARD SALE

book-barn-2Volunteers from the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library gathered at a barn on South Street this week to sort through books slated for inclusion in this weekend’s three-day book sale at the library, to be held in conjunction with the Townwide Yard Sale. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge.)

yard_infopack_gfx2It’s sale time, as Saturday’s Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale gets ready to unfold under warm and sunny skies.

Today, the Yard Sale website carries the third-annual event’s information packet for shoppers, a downloadable PDF that includes a locator map and addresses of registered sellers, along with brief information about what’s for sale.

More than 115 homes are participating in the border-to-border bargain bonanza, which this year has a new host: the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library. In conjunction with the event, the group is kicking off a three-day used-book sale at the library Saturday morning.

Read More »

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME… POETRY?

dub-readings-1The crowd was all ears at the Dublin House for last month’s River Read event. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

dub-readings2

That’s right, Sunday is not solely about football. Another kind of contact event — one also best enjoyed with a cold beverage — has been claiming a regular monthly audience in Red Bank.

The River Read series, dedicated to poetry, fiction and any other literature that might be read or recited aloud, continues this Sunday at its home of the past year, the Dublin House.

Read More »

IN oRBit: THE WAR AT HOME

Noworbiting_icon
kayliejonessmall1
Dad was the famous novelist who wrote From Here to Eternity; Mom was a glamorous being who was friends with people like Jackie O — and home was Paris in the 1960s, where some of the world’s most renowned writers, artists and actors regularly came to visit, and the drinks flowed, and flowed and flowed.

Novelist and educator Kaylie Jones (right) would seem to have had a storybook upbringing— but as we observe in today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit, it was an environment where “keeping up with the Joneses meant going drink-for-drink against people who could be as competitive about their consumption of cordials as they were in their passionate professional pursuits.” With the publication of her memoir Lies My Mother Never Told Me, Jones details the devastation that alcoholism wrought upon a family in which literature and liquor were given equal heft.

The author comes to Red Bank tonight for a reading and signing appearance at NovelTeas Authors Aromas & Gifts on Bridge Avenue — and we’ve got an exclusive interview, right here in the paperless pages of Red Bank oRBit!

IN oRBiT: DIG IF YOU WILL, A POET

noworbiting_icon2

amiribarakasmall

Following a weekend in which many of us spent our time digging out from winter’s sneakiest of previews, today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit offers a chance to dig on the presence of one of New Jersey’s most consistently confrontational, controversial (but incandescently energetic) international celebrities— a man who, at the recently celebrated age of 75, has scarcely stopped generating fervent followers or fevered foes.

Poet, professor, pioneer of the Black Arts Movement, paragon of social protest — Amiri Baraka (right) has all these identifiers in his column, but it’s through his longtime standing as one of the most astute observers of jazz music that the Newark native visits Red Bank this weekend, as Gilda Rogers and Frank Talk Art Bistro host the author in a Kwanzaa-time reading from his new book Digging: The Afro American Soul of American Classical Music.

Monmouth County poet and artist Kathy Polenberg chats with Professor Baraka as we near a brief holiday break — then tune in tomorrow as Dustin Racioppi examines the burgeoning cultural phenomenon that is The Bouncing Souls, right here in Red Bank oRBit!

IN oRBit: YOU READ IT HERE FIRST

noworbiting_icon2

kimwidenersmall

Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit takes off on a literary bent, with an update on some exciting projects in the works from Kim Widener (left), a former partner in BookIt! Author Based Events and proprietress of the new venture NovelTeas.

The Rumson resident will be bringing some pretty formidable writerly talent to our neck of the woods in the weeks to come, starting with bestelling novelist (and National Book Award) finalist Colum McCann, who visits Two River Theater next week in a promotional appearance for his acclaimed novel Let the Great World Spin.

Widener, who’s also planning to bring NovelTeas to “a permanent space in Monmouth County by early 2010,” has plenty more to announce, and we’ll be bringing the word to you as it drops, right here in our pixelated pages. (See, we like print! Print not dead!)

Also today, we’ve got the absolute first word on the upcoming Celebrate Long Branch Poetry Festival, a day-long smorgasbord of writers and spoken word artists — from published professionals to happening high-schoolers — based here in Monmouth County. You’ll be hearing a lot more on this exciting new event as it nears — and remember, you read it here first, so bookmark it right here at Red Bank oRBit!

IN oRBit: CELEB SUICIDES, SEA SPIRITS

noworbiting_icon2

alixstrausssmall

With the Eve of All Hallows breathing down our collective necks, today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit tantalizes the terror buds with a dose of ship-to-shore shivers, a walk-through spookhouse spelunk — and a Trick or Treat drop-in from a somewhat unlikely exemplar of Halloween tradition.

That would be pop culture writer and “trends journalist” Alix Strauss (right), whose books include  The Joy of Funerals and Death Becomes Them: Unearthing the Suicides of the Brilliant, the Famous and the Notorious. The self-styled “Death Lady” comes to Brookdale Community College this Thursday as a special guest attraction during opening night of this year’s Haunted Theater event on BCC’s Lincroft campus. We’ll have the particulars on the drama department’s sixth annual offering, where madness and The Method go hand in claw. We’ve also got an exclusive interview with the author, in which she expounds upon sucide, a topic of sometimes forbidden fascination (and graces us with her own prime pick for the celeb suicide-watch pool).

From there it’s down to Paranormal Books in Asbury, that parlour of arcane lore that also makes a dandy little theatre for the one-man performances of actor Greg Oliver Bodine. The guy who previously brought some of Poe‘s greatest hits to walking-dead life (and who also spins a killer Christmas Carol) returns Shoreside tomorrow evening with Dark Soundings, a double-bill of antique chillers (by the under-appreciated Francis Marion Crawford) in a salt-water vein.

It’s all here, in that most sincere of virtual pumpkin patches — Red Bank oRBit.