This weekend marks the return of two more-or-less yearly events to the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College — the Monmouth County SPCA Dog Walk and Pet Fair and the Brookdale Guitar Show — both of which had their origins in the generally cooler months and have since relocated to rank among the favorite rites of spring on the Greater Red Bank Green.
By all traditional expectations a quiet day on campus, this Sunday promises to keep the Route 520 roundabout out front of Brookdale Community College humming with visitors to the sprawling Lincroft complex.
All members of the general public are being welcomed as BCC hosts its annual Spring Open House between 12 and 2 pm, inside the Robert J. Collins Arena. Current high schoolers and the career-changing curious are invited to learn about the more than 50 degree and certificate programs offered at the county college, with guided tours available and faculty advisors from all departments on hand to answer questions about course curricula, scholarships, grants, financial aid, job training and four-year programs.
Also on-site will be representatives from partner universities such as Georgian Court and Rutgers, available for questions on streamlined transfer agreements and discounted tuition. Complimentary refreshments will be furnished by Brookdale’s Culinary Education Center, and parking for the event is available in lots 6 or 7. Take it here for more info — and take it around the corner for more happenings on campus this April 12.
It’s opening weekend for the Two River Theater Company production of TROUBLE IN MIND, above. Below, the kids from Rockit! polish Janis Joplin’s PEARL as part of the annual Brookdale Guitar Festival. (TRTC photo by T. Charles Erickson)
Friday, April 11 – Sunday, April 13:
RED BANK: Although the late Alice Childress is known these days primarily as author of the young adult novel A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich, among her many firsts and foremosts was becoming the first African-American woman to have one of her plays produced in New York. She also became the first female playwright to win an Obie Award, for a 1955 play entitled Trouble in Mind.
On Friday night at 8 pm, Two River Theater Company opens a new production of the comedy-drama directed by the acclaimed Jade King Carroll, associate director for the recent Broadway Streetcar Named Desire. It’s a “backstage” portrait of a multi-racial theatrical troupe, a play-within-a-play about a Southern lynching, and the fireworks that fly when the show’s black leading lady (Brenda Pressley of TRTC’s In This House) questions the inaccuracies and stereotypes being perpetuated by her white director (fellow Two River returnee Steven Skybell).
Surprisingly resonant today, the oft-overlooked play costars Tony winner Roger Robinson (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone), with McKinley Belcher III, Jonathan David Martin, Brian Russell, Hayley Treider, Amirah Vann — and Robert Hogan, the octogenarian character ace of stage and screen interviewed here on redbankgreen, when he starred in Two River’s recent On Borrowed Time. The show continues with performances at 3 pm and 8 pm Saturday, as well as 3 pm Sunday; take it here for schedule details and tickets ($20-$65). Then stick around after Sunday’s matinee show (or drop in free of charge at 5:30 pm), when director Carroll is joined by Pressley, TRTC Artistic Director John Dias, and her longtime associate, Tony winning actor-director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, for a panel discussion on “Modern African American Theater (1950s to Today),” presented as part of Two River’s “Exploration of Justice” slate of special events.
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
It might be getting hard to tell anymore whether you’re at a daylong music festival with a ton of guitars on display, or a guitar festival with a ton of live music on display.
It’s the latter, but having a mix of live tunes alongside hundreds of axes is what makes the Brookdale Guitar Show one of those increasingly-popular exclusive events without making people feel excluded, the college’s public radio director Tom Brennan said.
“It’s not just about buying strings, buying guitars and buying amps,” he said. “It’s all about performances, too.”
Now in year 14, the radio station’s largest fundraiser to keep its audience’s ears pleased and its DJ’s fed, plugs in this Sunday