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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)


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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Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long, seen rallying her constituents in November, admits the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has begun to weigh on her. Social services agencies are beginning to address the emotional and psychological needs of storm victims. (Click to enlarge)


Less than half in jest, Sea Bright’s can-do mayor acknowledged Wednesday night that the emotional and psychological strain of Hurricane Sandy recovery have taken a personal toll.

At a town hall meeting held in part to promote outreach programs to help residents map out their own rebuilding plans, Mayor Dina Long told a packed community center that five months after the storm all but obliterated the borough, the challenge of piecing it all back together sometimes gets to her.

“I have to admit I have a new favorite saying that’s in direct contrast with my old favorite saying, which was, ‘Do,’” Long said. “My new favorite saying goes something like this: ‘I feel like my head is going to explode! Do you guys feel like that?”

Groans of approval from the crowd showed the frustration was mutual.

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Megan Heath Gilhool first picked up her needles in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, when she was in “full panic mode,” she said. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)


Move over, yarn spinning and yarn bombing. A new knitting-based activity has entered the region’s post-Sandy lexicon: Yarn Therapy

“I think the whole activity of knitting in itself is extremely therapeutic,” said Megan Heath Gilhool, an artist and prime force behind the newly instated weekly knitting sessions taking place inside Sea Bright’s community center Thursday nights.

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Amid a widespread and virulent outbreak of winter flu, immediate prospects for prevention are slim, local health workers say.

According to employees at the Red Bank Rite Aid, demand for flu shots has jumped dramatically in recent days. Jessica Uddo, an employee in the pharmaceutical department, said that activity jumped from between five and seven flu shots a day to about 15 people seeking shots every hour.

“It’s been crazy,” said Paul Mayer, store manager. “People even came in with medical masks a few times each day.”

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Locally connected guys Brian Williams and Jon Stewart — pictured during one of the NBC news anchor’s frequent appearances on THE DAILY SHOW — team up on December 16 for a Hurricane Sandy Relief fundraiser at the Count Basie, with tickets going on sale at noon today.


Ask anyone who’s ever wound up in line with him at Welsh Farms or Super Foodtown. Scroll through those tweets and Facebook posts from your sister-in-law who was seated at the very next table from him at Blue Water Seafood. Remind yourself that of all the refuges in this great land, the most recognized political satirist of our time chose to make his double-wide domicile on the Red Bank side of the Navesink (a scoop first reported right here on redbankgreen). No two ways about it — Jon Stewart is a Local Guy.

Then consider the case of the internationally renowned newsman, whose first job in media was delivery boy for the old Courier weekly in Middletown. A major figure on the national scene, whose interviews are frequently peppered with references to Brookdale Community College, or the former Perkins Pancake House on Route 35. From his days at Mater Dei High School to his time as a volunteer firefighter, Brian Williams remains at heart a Local Guy.

Although the host of The Daily Show and the anchor of NBC Nightly News have sometimes blurred the discussion of “which one’s the journalist, and which one’s the jokester,” the two titans of television have forged a fast friendship over the years — guesting on each other’s shows (with Williams tallying more than 20 shots on Stewart’s cablecast), and joining forces for the occasional tandem appearance. That is, when they’re not variously hosting the Oscars, reporting from war zones, interviewing heads of state, or drawing over 200,000 people to a rally at the National Mall.

On Sunday, December 16, the two locals team up once again for a one-time, one-of-a-kind live appearance — this time on the stage of the Count Basie Theatre, where they’re scheduled to sit down with moderator (and New York Times media reporter) Bill Carter in a free-form event from which all proceeds go to benefit Monmouth and Ocean Counties for Hurricane Sandy Relief, and for which tickets go on sale at noon today, December 5.

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Isaac Coates and Garret Sickels reflect on their classmate and teammate Albert Martin, who died suddenly Monday. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)


Moving through the crowded hallways at Red Bank Regional, on the football field or in the paint on the school’s basketball court, Albert Martin cut an imposing figure.

In reality, though, he was six-foot-four and 220 pounds of “teddy bear,” a young man “just coming into his own” as a student and athlete, one with a future full of promise, his fellow students, coaches and others recalled Tuesday.

Less than 24 hours after collapsing during a basketball scrimmage, tearful members of the school community struggled to come to terms with the Red Bank 17-year-old’s sudden and thus-far-unexplained death.

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A horse named Prince makes his way down Broad Street during the 2011 holiday season. Horse-powered carriage rides resume on Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, November 30
MIDDLETOWN: Each year, Poricy Park Nature Conservancy hosts a seasonal shop with the help of a volunteer staff. Entering its 25th season, the handcrafted holiday craft shop runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through December 2. Items for sale include all homemade quilts, jewelry, ornaments, jams and jellies and more. Kids can also get their picture taken with Santa for a small fee. 345 Oak Hill Road.

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.

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Red Bank musical movers and shakers Chuck Lambert, Joe Muccioli and the Al Wright Unit’s Ruth Wright pay tribute to the late Ralph “Johnny Jazz” Gatta, in a special outdoor concert Friday.

While there’s still technically plenty of summer sand left in the hourglass, the coming of the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair to the greater Red Bank Green adds an ever so slightly melancholy touch to the senior-diet Dog Days of August. We detect a nagging hint of Back to School seriousness; a wrapping up of outdoor entertainments; a change of gears and seasons that’s keynoted by a tuneful tribute, a look ahead to Halloween and a merrily Menopausal musical.

redbankgreen has assembled an even dozen diversions in this pre-Labor Day interlude, starting with a handful of things going on beneath the setting sun and stars.

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Dunbar Repertory Company presents Gail Wynn Huland El’s “dark comedy” GREEN HONEY LOVE in the Count Basie Theatre’s second-floor rehearsal space beginning tonight.


In a cubby of culture that’s long been home to some best kept secrets of local life, most interesting things have happened not so much under our collective noses, but just one flight of stairs over street level. We’re thinking here of McKay Imaging Gallery; the makeshift comedy club at the Dub; and Gerda Liebman’s Gallery 135 inside Monmouth Street’s Red Bank Community Church.

Beginning this Friday, August 17, and continuing for eleven more performances through September 2, the Monmouth County-based community stage troupe Dunbar Repertory Company returns with a new offering at the Count Basie Theatre — not the ornate auditorium of the venerable venue, but the second-story rehearsal space that’s often used for the educational programs of the Basie’s Performing Arts Academy.

Produced by Brookdale Community College faculty member (and participant on the Basie board) Darrell Lawrence Willis Sr., the play Green Honey Love comes to local audiences courtesy of the company that’s brought the annual Black Nativity stage show to the Count’s crib in the Christmas season. Here at the tail end of summertime’s dog days, the Dunbar team switches gears, from reverently joyful to raucously joke-filled.

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Red Bank becomes a bargainhunter’s paradise on Saturday. On Sunday: food, acres of food. (Click to enlarge)

As the headline suggests, the weekend that awaits is jammed with the potential for good times.

We’ve got the fifth Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale, this one making a migration from fall to spring.

We’ve got one of the inaugural events of this year’s weeklong Paint the Town Pink festivities to raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection.

And capping it all off, rain or shine, is the first-ever Red Bank International Flavour Fest, an outdoor celebration of the wide variety of cuisines available year-round at Red Bank restaurants.

And Mother Nature appears to be in a mood to cooperate.

Details, as they used to say when that was still a two-syllable word, are just below.

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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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Above, former Mayor Maria Fernandes, seen being interviewed by a TV news crew in 2008. Below, bunting blows in the breeze at Sea Bright’s borough hall Monday in her honor. (Click to enlarge)

Details of the funeral for the late Maria Fernandes, the former Sea Bright mayor, were announced Monday in the SeaBreeze, the borough newsletter.

Dear SeaBreeze Subscribers,

For those of you who have not heard the news, with regret, we report that Honorable Maria Fernandes passed away yesterday morning.

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caseys-logoThe Red Bank Catholic community is mourning the loss this week of  girls’ gymnastics coach Maureen Sutphen.

Sutphen, 51, died Tuesday of complications of surgery at Riverview Medical Center, the Star-Ledger reports.

A member of four championship RBC  gymnastic teams in the 1970s herself, Sutphen had racked up 118 victories and seven Shore Conference titles as the team’s head coach from 2000 on, the Sledger reports.

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DSC_0128The most eagerly anticipated touch football event of the season takes place on November 26, when the annual Turkey Bowl raises funds for Jason’s Dream for Kids, at Thompson Middle School in Middletown.

donegoodlogoMaintaining the available blood supply here in the most densely populated state of the union is serious business — which is not to say that the dedicated staff at  Central Jersey Blood Center doesn’t get to have a little fun at certain times of the year.

Following a Halloween interval in which they helped Phoenix Productions preview the bloody operetta Sweeney Todd and solicited donations from the thousands who marched and shambled in Asbury Park’s NJ Zombie Walk, the CJBC van returns to Red Bank today, November 11, for a Veterans Day blood drive hosted at the Pearl Street location of Arrow Limousine.

Scheduled for 9am to 2pm, the blood drive offers an additional incentive to registered donors: a chance to win a “Dare to Dream” prize package that includes a chauffered Thanksgiving family excursion for up to six people, with tickets to see Disney On Ice at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford.

Donors can register or obtain additional information at 732-747-4844 — and we’re serving up five more full courses of Done Good right around the corner.

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candidatesWestside Community Group president Amy Goldsmith, right, discusses the debate format with candidates Juanita Lewis, Joe Mizzi, Grace Cangemi and Ed Zipprich. (Click to enlarge)


election_2011_wdebatesRed Bank’s Republican contenders for borough council were on the defensive Wednesday night as their opponents, and some voters, pressed them on their perceived sudden re-emergence as election day looms.

Resident David Prown asked GOP candidates Grace Cangemi and Joe Mizzi how confident taxpayers should feel in their representation, given what he characterized as their low profile between last spring’s candidacy announcement and now. Several questioners pressed them on the point of view that the pair say is missing from the current all-Democrat council.

In the evening’s most heated moment, incumbent Ed Zipprich called his opponent’s criticisms of the current council “absolutely ridiculous,” and said Cangemi, a former council member, hadn’t appeared at a session of the governing body since she lost a re-election bid in 2008, though she had pledged to serve as a watchdog.

“What have you done for the town in the three years since you walked out the door?” he asked.

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imageThe 2011 touring edition of the Beach Boys — with John Cowsill at far left, plus Bruce Johnston and Mike Love front and center — returns (minus John Stamos) to Red Bank on August 23.


It’s been a long time, longer than the days prior to the passing of Dennis and Carl Wilson, since the original members of The Beach Boys shared a ride – or the same side of the conference table at a lawyer’s office.

The American institution that’s fast approaching its golden anniversary in show business split into two factions around the time of the landmark Pet Sounds sessions in 1966 — the studio-bound residency of Brian Wilson and the hard-touring, crowdpleasing roadshow skippered by Mike Love. And despite intermittent attempts at reconciling for albums and tours, the dichotomy abides to this day in the more or less separate-but-equal live shows fronted by the first cousins turned frenemies.

When the 2011 touring edition of the Beach Boys rolls into the Count Basie Theatre for a late-summer’s indoor concert on Tuesday, August 23, the core of Mike Love and Bruce Johnston (the successful singer/ songwriter/ producer whose 45-year history with the band hasn’t stopped him from being “the New Guy”) returns to the scene of some well-received sets of recent years — as well as memorable nights featuring Brian and his band The Wondermints. The two senior Boys will preside over a pretty awesome cavalcade of canonical hits delivered by a crack team of craftsmen that includes veteran John Cowsill (from the bands that gave us both “867-5309 JENNY” and “The Rain, The Park and Other Things”) — although the on-again, off-again stuntcasting of TV star John Stamos as drummer/ vocalist appears not to be in the cards for the Count’s crib.

The story of the Beach Boys is a way-stranger-than-fiction saga that takes in madness, child abuse, mind control, Charles Manson, multi-generational laboratory-level drug use, untimely death and tons of litigation. The story of America, in other words; all set to a soundtrack of the most achingly gorgeous “teenage symphonies” ever devised in a crossfire of inspiration and aspiration.

redbankgreen spoke to Mike Love — polarizing figure, energizing frontman, boosterizing flagwaver for environmental causes, transcendental meditation and not-so-gentle politics — from the Boys’ tour stop outside Philadelphia; turn the record over for more.

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nathaniel-smith-houseBuilt in Massachusetts in the early 1700s and relocated to Middletown in 1962, the former Nathaniel Smith House features exposed-rafter ceilings, as in the library, below. (Click to enlarge)


It took historic preservationist Mary Lou Strong more than a week to get back to redbankgreen after we called recently to inquire about her Middletown home going on the market.

She apologized for the delay, and said she simply wanted to be sure she could talk about it without crying.

It’s not just that the house – located on a tongue-tip of land bound by Navesink River Road and the anchorage to the Oceanic Bridge – is where Strong and her husband, George, raised three kids. Or that it’s filled with cherished antiques collected over a lifetime.

It’s that the house, built in Massachusetts before the United States was born, is itself the manifestation of the couple’s shared values when it comes to keeping history alive. And who knows if the next owner will want to bulldoze it into oblivion?

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relayforlife2009It’s Friday night lights as Relay for Life returns to RBR this weekend. (File photo. Click to enlarge)

donegoodlogoCancer, as they say, never sleeps — and if you’re among the many thousands of people who’ve spent sleepless nights out of concern for a loved one who’s battling cancer, the American Cancer Society has a constructive, even celebratory, way to “walk the walk” — even in those darkest-before-the-dawn hours.

On Friday evening, May 20, the first of two local events in the ACS Relay for Life campaign commences on the outdoor track at Red Bank Regional High School, when close to 600 fundraising volunteers will gather into teams to run, walk and “celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.” The up-all-night benefit takes place under the lights between the hours of 5 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday — and there’s still time to register, sponsor or participate in the event, by taking it right here.

Check here as well for info about the June 17 Relay for Life event at Mater Dei High School in Middletown — and turn the pixelated page for more Done Good doings in the days and nights to come.

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menna-meetRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


He didn’t share any secret recipes or crack too many jokes, and didn’t even loosen his bright pink tie. But Mayor Pasquale Menna got about as informal as he was going to Saturday.

For Menna, the opening meetup in what’s billed as a series of weekend chats was a chance to let his hair down — in the metaphorical sense, at least — an opportunity he took to pat the borough’s employees on the back, recommend a shred job to the state constitution and ponder his daily reading habits.

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rb-budget-040711Borough officials outnumbered residents at the annual Red Bank budget Q&A held at the Senior Citizens’ Center on Shrewsbury Avenue Thursday night. Administrator Stanley Sickels gave a 35-minute overview of the spending plan that was nearly identical to one he delivered at a council meeting last month, and drew only two questions from the audience.

The $19.95 million spending plan, which would raise the local tax on a house assessed at the average $403,696 by $105 for the year, is scheduled for a council vote on April 27. (Click to enlarge)


rbrartWorks by Shrewsbury artists Chelsea Moore (THE BIKE RIDE. left), Hong Yang (WORDS OF WISDOM, right) and other Red Bank Regional students are on display at the Guild of Creative Art beginning Friday.

So we’ve just about made it out the lamb-y end of March, and as the greater Red Bank Green awaits that new grass on the field, we step gingerly over the remnants from the last of the St. Pat’s Pub Crawls on a cultural constitutional that can only be called the April Art Walk.

Starting with… Friday, April the no-fooling First, which marks the first phase of an annual tradition at the Shrewsbury-based Guild of Creative Art — a two-part exhibit that spotlights the work of the most talented young artists from two of our local high schools in a professional-quality gallery setting. Beginning with a reception from 6 to 8p, and continuing through April 13 at the art collective’s Broad Street headquarters, the Guild showcases seniors from the Red Bank Regional High School Visual and Performing Art Academy’s Commercial Art Program, under the supervision of RBR Commercial Art teacher Claudia O’Connor. Featured are drawings, paintings and pastels by Kelly Conley, Kelly McWatters, Chelsea Moore, Andrea Squassi and Hong Yang (all of Shrewsbury), as well as  Jessica Cresanti-Daknis (Oceanport) and Anthony Lee (Neptune City). Then on April 15, it’s an opening reception for an exhibit of artworks by students from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional HS, a display that continues at the Guild through April 27.

There’s much more where that came from, of course, and it’s on view with just a step past the virtual velvet rope.

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jen-beckState Senator Jen Beck talked with residents at the West Side Community Group Wednesday night. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


For months, Patrick Hussey has looked out from his Catherine Street home and wished for pavement. The asphalt was torn up as part of the Cedar Crossing construction project, he said, and he’s been told by contractors that there’s no plan to repave the section of road until later this year.

“I’m ready to plant a garden right there in the street in front of my house,” Hussey said.

He hasn’t been able to get a straight answer from local officials about when his street will be repaved, he said, so he took his grievance a couple steps higher up the chain Wednesday night, when State Senator Jen Beck visited the Westside Community Group for her first time since serving on the borough council.

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A promotional video for the KaBOOM fireworks show. Below, Tim Hogan, new chairman of KaBoom’s executive committee. (Click to enlarge photo)

hogan-2Coming off two years of financial challenges and crowd-control issues, the 2011 edition of the giant annual fireworks extravaganza known as KaBoomFest will feature a renewed focus on family entertainment and security, organizers say.

While some aspects of the event, including whether to repeat last year’s expansion from one to three days, remain undecided, KaBoom is on track to raise more money from corporate sponsors this year and is paying more attention to the importance of security, said Tim Hogan, president of Riverview Medical Center and chairman of KaBoom’s executive committee.

“We want to make sure that it’s safe and want to make sure that it’s family-friendly,” Hogan said.

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