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david_sedaris_5004Best-selling author and humorist-storyteller David Sedaris (above) returns to the Count Basie stage on Thursday night…while Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood (below) bring their impishly improv’d interactions back to Red Bank on Saturday.

mochrie-sherwoodEven the most polarized of next-door neighbors could use a good shared laugh experience these days — and even as our Count Basie Theatre continues to reinforce its reputation as a premier stop for big-time touring comics, two separate events in the coming nights serve to point out that  live comedy is a big tent, with room for more than just the tried and true stand-up standard.

Returning to the Basie boards for a third (or is it fourth?) appearance tomorrow night, October 13, author and essayist David Sedaris once again displays the audience-friendly skills that have allowed him to transfer his celebrated sense of humor from the printed page (Holidays On Ice, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and other best selling collections of essays, observations and occasional tall tales) to the performance stage, as witness his Grammy nomination for the audio version of Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. It’s a dexterity that’s allowed him success in formats ranging from Off Broadway theater to public radio and even children’s books — with a road show that will find him reading from his excerpted works, riffing on recent events, and interacting with the audience, sometimes in ways that might give pause to even the most “fearless” of comedy-club commandos.

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ColinandBrad_1000The Two Man Group of Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood flips Red once again when the guys from WHOSE LINE retake the Count Basie stage for another go-round of impishly improv’d interactions.

In an interview that appeared here on redbankgreen some seasons back, improv king Brad Sherwood summed up The Two Man Group — the long-running, high-mileage live comedy show that teams him with fellow make-it-up-as-you-go-along master Colin Mochrie — by telling us, “We have more of a communal, collaborative relationship with the audience than an adversarial one… you’re laughing from a different part of your brain.”

If “different part of your brain” means “seat of your pants,” then you’ll understand exactly where Sherwood (a frequent flyer on various editions of TV’s Whose Line Is It Anyway?) is coming from. The veteran of LA’s Second City troupe met up with Vancouver native Mochrie — himself an alum of the legendary Toronto Second City company, and a permanent fixture/ set furnishing on every Whose Line variation from the BBC to ABC, to Comedy Central and the current CW series — on a local West Coast program. The two have crisscrossed the country with their “full time, part time gig” for more than a decade now — and when they return to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre on Friday, November 7, they’ll be bringing their low-budget/ high-yield unscripted show to the Red Bank audience for an eleventh (maybe more?) annual whistlestop.

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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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