FAIR HAVEN: FATAL CRASH CASE SETTLED

cole porter 3 10313An outpouring of support for cyclist Cole Porter, below, included a bicycle painted pink – his favorite color –and left at the scene of the accident that led to his death. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

cole porterThe widow and children of Cole Porter, a Shrewsbury man who died as a result of injuries suffered in a crash during the 2013 Tour de Fair Haven bike race, have settled a lawsuit in the matter for $7.1 million, NJ.com reported Thursday.

Agreement on the deal was reached June 3 as jury selection was about to begin for a trial over the civil suit in New Brunswick, according to the report.

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LITTLE SILVER: ANYTHING GOES AT RBR

AnythingGoesCo-starring in the Red Bank Regional production of Cole Porter’s ANYTHING GOES are (left to right) Eliana Swartz, Davis Bush, Dana Brown and Justin Giegerich. Performances are Thursday through Sunday, March 26-29.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

As the Spring 2015 student production at Red Bank Regional High School, the Academy of Visual & Performing Arts (VPA) and the Red Bank Regional Theatre Company will present Cole Porter’s timeless musical comedy Anything Goes. Going up Thursday through Saturday, March 26-28 at 7 pm (with a 3 pm matinee on Sunday, March 29), the production marks the last in a distinguished career for retiring RBR drama teacher and production director Joe Russo.

Taking place on a raucous London-to-New York ocean liner cruise in 1934, Anything Goes presents the age-old tale of boy-meets girl with ensuing complications that include stowaway stockbrokers, merry mobsters and bible-thumping burlesque queens. The vintage musical-comedy revue was fortified for its Broadway revival with a collection of enduring Cole Porter songs that include “You’re the Top,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and the signature song, “Anything Goes.”

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FAIR HAVEN SPARED IN SUIT OVER RACE DEATH

fh tour 091513 2Racers during last September’s Tour de Fair Haven. Cole Porter, below, died after an accident in the first race that day. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

cole porterA lawsuit by the estate of the Shrewsbury man who died after a crash during the Tour de Fair Haven last September does not name Fair Haven as a defendant, contrary to an earlier report that the town would be sued for $10 million.

A civil complaint filed Wednesday on behalf of cyclist Cole Porter‘s widow and two children instead names the race organizer, event sponsors and the race official Porter slammed into on September 15, resulting in injuries that led to his death less than three weeks later.

With litigation pending, Mayor Ben Lucarelli said he he does not expect the popular event to return for a sixth running this year.

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‘EVERYTHING WAS RIGHT’ IN CYCLIST’S LIFE

meg porter 2 111113Megan Porter at her Shrewsbury home earlier this month. Her husband, Cole, below, on the morning of his fatal accident. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

cole porter 091513He was going to win this one, his widow says.

Six years into a personal gut job, Cole Porter had transformed himself from a heavy-smoking, overweight electrician and handyman into… well, as his wife, Megan, put it, in a comically theatrical voice, “Cole Porter, you are ironman!

Ironman as in triathlete: swimmer, biker, runner. He’d gone all-in, and with such infectious energy that she followed his lead, as their two young daughters later did, too. It was something they all did together now. Even Faye, at age 10, had already completed an adult sprint tri.

At age 38, though, Porter had decided he would focus on cycling for the coming year. And onlookers that sunny September morning in Fair Haven should not have been fooled by all his laughing and chatting at the starting line – so much in fact that a race official asked him, please, sir, can we have your attention? That was just Porter being his irrepressible self. Inside, he carried a determination to win.

And, as if right on script, as the pack of whirring racers completed the first lap of the first race, Porter was in the lead when he spotted his three “girls” standing on the sidewalk.

Megan raised her camera and snapped a photo as he approached. He was smiling that smile that had captivated her from the day they met.

Seconds later, there was a crash.

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MEMORIALS FOR A BELOVED BICYCLIST

cole porter 3 10313cole porter 1 100313A bicycle painted pink, said to have been the favorite color of Shrewsbury resident Cole Porter, and a solitary candle were left Thursday night on River Road in Fair Haven at the site of the September 15 racing accident that resulted in Porter’s death Wednesday. At right, the marquee at the Shrewsbury Hose Company, where Porter was a volunteer firefighter.

Services in the form of a three-hour viewing that begins at 9 a.m., followed immediately by a funeral mass, are scheduled for Monday, both at the Church of the Nativity in Fair Haven. (Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: SUPPORT ON TWO WHEELS

cole ride 3 091713cole ride 1 091713Dozens of cyclists, some of them regulars on a Tuesday night ride from the Red Bicycle Studio in Red Bank, assembled for a ride Tuesday evening as a way of pulling for Cole Porter, the Shrewsbury cyclist who suffered serious injuries in an accident during Sunday’s Tour de Fair Haven.

Cindy Arko, right, showed off a t-shirt made up to commemorate the ride, which left from Marine Park and was scheduled to pass by a Porter family gathering in Holmdel. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: BIKERS TO RIDE FOR INJURED PAL

red bicycle 4 053113A ride for injured racer Cole Porter, below, is planned for Tuesday evening, beginning at the Red Bicycle Studio in Red Bank, above. (Click to enlarge)

cole porterFriends of Cole Porter, the Shrewsbury man who was seriously injured in a cycling accident during Sunday’s Tour de Fair Haven, are planning what one called a “suffer fest” bike ride in his honor Tuesday evening.

Dubbed Ride for Cole, the event leaves the Red Bicycle Studio in Red Bank at 5:30 p.m. As of late Monday night, more than 50 riders had indicated they were participating.

Porter, a regular in Tuesday night group rides out of the shop, is said to have suffered a brain injury when he collided with a race official during the first of six scheduled races Sunday.

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PHOENIX: ‘ANYTHING’ FOR A LAUGH, AND LOVE

Clockwise from center: Jennifer Grasso, Kelsey Susino, Torie-Marie Gigante, Carly Nelson and Taylor Wallace are Reno Sweeney and the Angels, as the shipboard romp ANYTHING GOES marks the maiden voyage for a new season of Phoenix Productions musicals. (Photos courtesy Phoenix Productions)

By TOM CHESEK

The way Gary Shaffer sees it, “this is the best time of year to do a show — you work all winter, then suddenly it’s spring. People are energized and ready to come out and be entertained.”

If it’s mid-April in Red Bank, it simply must be time for a new season of musical entertainments from Phoenix Productions, the borough-based troupe that’s made a 25-year habit of putting on shows at that classiest of “community theater” venues — the Count Basie Theatre.

With pretty much the entire tri-state region endeavoring to shake off an epic winter of our collective discontent — and the irritating remnants of Sandy still being winkled from the Shore’s cracks and crevices — producer Tom Martini and company have rightly deduced that ours is a community in need of a little levity, a dose of laughter and a love song or two. The result is a 2013 season that favors a set of four feelgood Broadway classics over some of the edgier fare (Sweeney Todd, Rent, Miss Saigon) put forth by the Phoenix phalanx in recent years — a season that kicks off in style  Friday, April 19.

The vessel for this maiden voyage of 2013 is none other than Anything Goes, Cole Porter’s rousing romp of romance and rhythm on the high seas, and a crowdpleaser that director Shaffer describes as “a good, solid show with a funny book –and the cherry on top is the Cole Porter songs.”

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