UPSTAIRS AT BASIE, A LITTLE TOUGH ‘LOVE’

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.

By TOM CHESEK

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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