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Ron LevyPiano virtuoso Ron Levy (above) guests with the Monmouth Symphony in a season-capping event, Saturday night at the Count Basie. Up on Tower Hill, baritone Gerald Metz (below) is among the vocal artists teaming up in HEAVENLY HARMONY for the Monmouth Civic Chorus.

Gerald Metz

There are surely worse dilemmas to be had in this world; more difficult choices to be made. But for local lovers of the classical repertory, this weekend poses quite the pickle, with two Red Bank venues hosting must-see events presented by a couple of the best-loved borough-based performing arts organizations.

It begins up on Tower Hill this Friday, when the Monmouth Civic Chorus continues its current season at First Presbyterian Church with a display of Heavenly Harmony that draws from the “visionary and triumphant” work of some choral music masters.

Then, on Saturday, down on Monmouth Street, the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra concludes another successful season at the Count Basie Theatre with an eclectic concert highlighted by an audience favorite that’s been called the ultimate musical marital aid and audio aphrodisiac. More →


SouthsideBasieNewYrsSouthside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes ring in the new year for the 15th time at the Count Basie Theatre on Tuesday, December 31 — a date that also sees the Basie cutting the ribbon on the first “pop-up store” dedicated to New Jersey’s 350th birthday campaign.

From press materials furnished by Count Basie Theatre

The New Year’s Eve performances by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at the Count Basie Theatre have become a 15-year Jersey Shore tradition — and at Tuesday night’s countdown concert, the Basie will kick off New Jersey’s 350th birthday celebration year with the opening of the first official New Jersey 350 Pop-Up store, commemorating three and a half centuries of life in the Garden State. A group of dignitaries will be cutting the ribbon on the Pop-Up in a ceremony at noon on December 31.

The Red Bank store will be located onsite at the Basie, just next door to the theatre’s Carlton Lounge. The Pop-Up stores will travel to venues and events around the state throughout 2014.

NJ350 Pop-Up stores will specialize in merchandise with a unique New Jersey focus. Featured products are what curators have dubbed “Jerseyana.” Included are the “Jerseyopoly” board game and “Goodnight Jersey” children’s book, as well as NJ350 and state-branded merchandise; educational items; items specific to the history of Red Bank and the Count Basie Theatre; Governor Chris Christie’s popular state-silhouette lapel pin and more. The Red Bank location will remain open through January 6, 2014.

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Free_parking_shotParking in municipal lots and numbered street spaces is FREE from December 12 through Christmas Day, with the return of a holiday promotion from Red Bank RiverCenter.

Leave the quarters in your pocket — and don’t lose precious shopping seconds double-checking street-space numbers, or squinting at kiosk display screens. Red Bank RiverCenter has announced that parking in municipal lots and metered streets in the downtown business district will once again be free of charge for the final two weeks of the shopping season, Thursday December 12 to Christmas Day, December 25.

“I’m thrilled that we can offer this great program to all visitors to the downtown,” said Red Bank RiverCenter Executive Director, James Scavone, in a statement thanking the Mayor and Council for approving what has become a welcome tradition in the borough.  “Red Bank has so much to offer the holiday shopper, and we hope this gift gives shoppers yet another reason to shop local and shop Red Bank.”

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