TONY, TINA, BOBBY, SANTTU-MATIAS & MORE

ChampianTuzzoAbove: Champian Fulton, Bob Tuzzo and Tony Corrao take the bandstand when the Red Bank Jazz Orchestra presents “An Enchanted Evening of Song” at Two River Theater. Below, twentysomething European conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali makes his NJ Symphony debut at the Basie. 

Friday, February 28:

SantuRED BANK: While it admittedly ain’t Shakespeare, the interactive “environmental” phenomenon known as Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding can be said to be one of the most influential theatrical offerings in a generation — even indirectly spawning a stroll-through spin on Macbeth at a seedy Manhattan hotel.

Beginning tonight, and continuing for four more performances this weekend, lovebirds Tony Nunzio and Tina Vitale repeatedly renew their vows in a production presented by the Count Basie Theatre — hosted NOT at the venerable Monmouth Street venue, but practically next door, at the nearby Buona Sera Ristorante. It’s there that guests can “eat, drink, dance, converse and get caught up in the festivities” as they stand in for Tony n’ Tina’s various extended family members and frenemies. The comedy and the comedic “drama” unfold with seatings at 7:30 pm Friday, 2 and 7:30 pm Saturday, and 12 and 6 pm. Sunday. Tickets ($100) include the ceremony, reception, baked ziti dinner, champagne toast, wedding cake, music and dancing. A $150 VIP option includes a “classic Italian meal and seat up close to the action.” Check here for reservations, close to selling out as we post this — and toss that bouquet for some more great catches and matches, as we Mach it into March.

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RED BANK: WELL, SHUCKS, OYSTERS FOR T-DAY

Jamian oyster 112413 2Jamian LaViola of Jamian’s demonstrates how to properly and safely shuck an oyster in a video on redbankgreen‘s PieHole food page.

PIEHOLE logoEver since our conversation a few weeks ago with food history author Karen Schnitzspahn, when she spoke how abundant oysters used to be at Red Bank’s bars and taverns, PieHole has had bivalves on the brain.

So we grabbed a dozen Maryland oysters and headed over to Jamian’s Food & Drink for a lesson in how to shuck an oyster without requiring a trip to the hospital.

Check out the video here.

RED BANK: HAPPY SHUCKING THANKSGIVING

Jamian LaViola of Jamian’s shows PieHole how to shuck an oyster. Click here to watch if the video isn’t displaying on your device.  (Video by Brian Donohue. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Ever since our conversation a few weeks ago with food history author Karen Schnitzspahn, when she spoke how abundant oysters used to be at Red Bank’s bars and taverns, PieHole has had bivalves on the brain.

Since then, we’ve been craving the cold and briny mollusk so much that we’ve decided oysters ought to be on our Thanksgiving table this year.

To see what kind of preparation would be involved to get oysters ready for Thanksgiving, we stopped by the Lusty Lobster (the folks who bring Red Bank the oysters for Oysterfest) and picked up a dozen Maryland oysters ($5/dozen) so that we could hone our shucking skills before the big day.

But mere seconds into our first attempt at prying open a shell, we were fumbling through the medicine cabinet for band-aids and combing through our Facebook friends to see if anyone could show us how to shuck an oyster without requiring a trip to the hospital.

Jamian LaViola from Jamian’s Food and Drink on Monmouth Street in Red Bank answered the call.

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RED BANK: TALKING SHORE FOOD HISTORY

schnitzspahn 1Author Karen Schnitzspahn brings her knowledge of local cuisine history to the Red bank Public Library tonight. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

It’s a Friday afternoon sometime in the late 1880s. A guy walks into a saloon in Red Bank. Which saloon isn’t important, because Red Bank is crowded with watering holes, but let’s say it’s Frank Clausey’s tavern on West Front Street.

Now, there would be a list a mile long of differences between his happy hour experience and our modern day experience of ordering up a martini at the Downtown. But two worth noting, according to Little Silver author and historian Karen Schnitzspahn: the women and the oysters.

First off, there’d be no women – “or at least no proper women,” says Schnitzspahn. Second, there’d be way more oysters on the menu, and they’d be really local.

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