Long-time Red Bank Regional High School faculty member Joe Russo was honored at the 2015 Basie Awards with the Basie Lifetime Achievement Award in Arts Education. The school’s first and only drama teacher and theater director retires this year, following a distinguished 32-year career with RBR’s Visual and Performing Arts Academy. Pictured are: RBR art teacher Claudia O’Connor, senior Justin Giegerich, senior Noah Beller, Joe Russo, junior Patrick Monaghan, senior Eliana Swartz, Katherine Kennedy, and RBR tech teacher Carl Grillo. Monaghan and Kennedy also won Basie Awards for Best Actor and Actress in a drama, during the May 20 ceremony in Red Bank.
On Thursday, May 28, at 7 pm, and Saturday, May 30, at 2 pm, the dance majors from the Visual and Performing Arts Academy (VPA) at Red Bank Regional High School will present their “Spring Dance Extravaganza” inside the RBR theatre.
In the words of RBR teacher Cara Scacco explains, the show will highlight “a variety of dancing genres, including jazz, contemporary, hip hop, modern and lyrical — an expressive form of ballet.”
In all, forty RBR dance majors will perform 26 numbers; all of them choreographed by the students, with the exception of five pieces which were created by guest choreographers and performing artists that include Barbara Vari, Gabrielle Barnett and Dylan Smith, as well as RBR dance major alumni Elycia Richmond and Sarah Goodhue.
Broadway has its well-established Tonys; Off Broadway its Obies — and every other branch of show business its various Grammys, Emmys, and Academys. And when the 10th annual Basie Awards roll out the red carpet in front of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank Wednesday night they’ll be doing what they’ve done so well: honoring tomorrow’s talents in the performing arts, both on stage and behind the scenes.
On February 8, Red Bank Regional High School was very proud to be the host school for the annual All Shore Concert, with 13 student singers representing RBR in the honor chorus. Pictured above (left to right) are: (back row) Mackenzie Clark, 18, Shrewsbury; Ricci Bigelow, 16, Lake Como; Shannon O’Donnell, 16, Little Silver; RBR vocal teacher Kristopher Zook; Jaclyn Gisondi, 17, Shrewsbury; Victoria White, 15, Union Beach; Brian Healey, 16, Union Beach; (front row) Erin Ostrowski, 15, Little Silver; Kalei McCarthy, 17, Little Silver; Danielle Wolf, 15, Shrewsbury; Allison LaRochelle, 17, Middletown; Eliana Swartz, 17, Little Silver; Alexa DeAnna, 16, Keansburg; and Emma Craven, 16, Brielle.
Co-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.”
Students from Red Bank Regional High School joyfully participated in a school-wide event recently, helping to spread some season’s cheer to the children of St. Judes Hospital in handcrafting holiday cards during their lunch break. Smiling behind some of their creations are (standing, left to right) Allison LaRochelle, Middletown; Brianna Napoli, Interlaken; Sophie Halpern, Shrewsbury; Jeannette McKenna, Red Bank; Emme Scharmann, Little Silver; Eli McCarthy, Shrewsbury, and (seated, left to right) Mackensie Clark, Shrewsbury; Julia Sullivan, Little Silver; Mia Nelson, Shrewsbury, and Eliana Swartz, Little Silver. The activity was sponsored by the RBR International Baccalaureate program and National Honor Society.
Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
Six members of the Visual & Performing Arts Academy (VPA) at Red Bank Regional High School are currently performing in the Phoenix Productions staging of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. The beloved show that gave the world such standards as “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” “Do Re Mi,” “My Favorite Things” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” opened this past weekend and continues with three more performances, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, and Sunday at 2 pm.
A total of sixteen students from Red Bank Regional High School made the prestigious All-Shore Chorus, performing with the best voices from Monmouth and Ocean counties in the 51st annual honor chorus concert held recently at Neptune High School. Pictured above from right to left are: (front row): Allison LaRochelle, Middletown, Kathryn Robinson, Shrewsbury, Alexa DeAnna, Keansburg, Jazmin Graham, Lake Como, Eliana Swartz, Little Silver; (back row): Emma Craven, Brielle, Dana Brown, Red Bank, Patrick Martini, Union Beach, Shannon O’Donnell, Little Silver, Amanda Strydio, Keansburg, Dannielle Wolf, Shrewsbury, Lauren O’Brien, Little Silver, Courtney Ravelo, Union Beach, Mackenzie Clark, Shrewsbury and RBR Choral teacher Kristopher Zook. Missing from the picture were Shurmila Dhar, Little Silver, and Kacey Greico, Keansburg. The Honor Choir was conducted this year by Andre Baldasserini from Matawan-Aberdeen Regional High School.
Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
The Red Bank Regional High School Theatre Company invites the public to “come and meet those dancing feet” when they present the iconic “backstage” musical 42nd Street, with 7 pm performances on Thursday, April 3, Friday, April 4, and Saturday, April 5. There will also be a special matinee performance on Sunday, April 6 at 3 pm.
In the Broadway hit adapted from the Depression-era movie musical of the same name (and incorporating songs from other vintage Busby Berkeley films of that era), the dictatorial director Julian March will be portrayed by Justin Giegerich of Brielle. Eliana Swartz of Little Silver portrays Broadway newcomer Peggy Sawyer, and RBR dance major Bobby Davis of Shrewsbury is a show-stomping Billy Lawlor, with Dana Brown of Red Bank as the veteran Broadway star Dorothy Brock. The RBR chorus and dancers round out a cast of three dozen performers in a high-energy production of the popular David Merrick staging, featuring original choreography by Gower Champion.
Tickets ($15 for adults; $10 for students and senior citizens) may be purchased at the door or reserved ahead for large groups by calling (732)842-8000, ext. 217. Click READ MORE for a full cast listing.
Katherine Kennedy (Avon), Alicia Moeller (Shrewsbury), and Eliana Swartz (Little Silver) rehearse the female lead roles in the Red Bank Regional Theatre Company updating of Moliere’s classic comedy TARTUFFE, opening Wednesday, November 20.
One’s a re-imagining of a French adventure classic, that’s more about the slapstick than the swashbuckle. The other takes the most timeless of comedies by the 17th century French playwright Moliére, and transplants it to the 21st century. When two area high schools present their fall drama productions this month, a couple of beloved tales from the land of the baguette promise to pick up more than a few laughs in the translation.
It all starts at 7 pm on the evening of Wednesday, November 20, when the Red Bank Regional High School Theatre Company presents a new take on Tartuffe, the play-in-rhyme by Molière that remains timeless due to its scenario of a con artist who hides behind the persona of a man of the cloth; the better to cheat a rich man out of his fortune and his frau. Set in the world of the 21st century, the 1664 classic (transplanted to a Dallas-like setting when it was staged by Two River Theater Company several seasons back) continues inside the school’s Red Bank Regional Theatre with 7 pm showtimes on Thursday, November 21 and Friday, November 22. Audiences can choose from either of two shows (2pm and 7 pm) on Saturday, November 23, and a final 3 pm matinee will be presented on Sunday, November 24. Tickets are $12 ($7 for students and seniors) and can be purchased directly on the school website, at by calling 732-842-8000, ext. 227.
Over at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, the RFH Tower Players get set to raise the curtain on “a hilarious retelling of the classic Dumas tale of derring-do,” when they unveil The Three Musketeers: All Swash and No Buckle.”
Set in 17th century Paris and written by playwright Pat Cook, the story follows a young D’Artagnan (Christopher Brodsky) as he meets up with the Three Musketeers — Athos (John Chiarella), Aramis (Andrew Maris), and Porthos (Laurence Morales).
D’Artagnan desperately wants to join the Musketeers troupe, but first he must prove himself by winning a sword fight and attempting to preserve the reputation of the Queen (Jackie Dixon) by helping the Musketeers finding her “missing” necklace — which she had gifted to her love interest, the Duke of Buckingham (Matthew Hughes).
Will D’Artagnan prevail to earn the respect of the Musketeers and the love of the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting, Constance (Mallory McGill)? With the help of some seriously silly narrators, audiences will find out as they follow the misadventures that occur on the roads leading from France to England and back again.The hijinks include sword fights, several star-crossed lovers, a race on stick-horses, a blackmailing Cardinal (Sean Loughran) and his equally conniving assistant (Christopher Tuttle), a fund-raising telethon, and a cast filled with zany characters.
Over 45 members of the Tower Players troupe will be featured in the ensemble of the production, with Suzanne Sweeney at the helm as Director. Props and costumes are under the direction of Carole Malik, and set design under the supervision of Dino Pagano. Sound and lighting are under the direction of Matthew Leddin. Students participating in Stagecraft, a course offered at RFH, are also creating the set designs.
The Three Musketeers: All Swash and No Buckle will be presented in the school auditorium on the evenings of November 22 and 23 at 7:30 pm. The Sunday matinee will be featured on November 24 at 1 pm. Admission $10 for the general public, and $6 for students with ID cards.
Tickets will be sold in the lobby of the RFH auditorium for an hour and a half before each performance. Tickets may also be purchased in advance at the Box Office, which is located in the RFH lobby and will be open to the public from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. on November 11, 18 and 21.