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Creepy clowns are the in thing this for the next three weekends at the annual walk-through attraction at Brookdale.

In a world where the spectre of all-out war can out-spook any hooded goblin, it might seem that the old Halloween haunts can no longer hold a flickering candle to the horrors of the day’s headlines. If anything, the cobwebbed corridors of a walk-through “haunted house” can creak with a reassuring nostalgia, as its familiar fiends create a welcome momentary refuge from the edgy uncertainties of the real world.

As if on cue, the fearless crew of Brookdale Haunted Theater is ready to serve with the return of the annual attraction that transforms Brookdale Community College’s Performing Arts Center  into an indoor flesh-and-blood fright factory that runs for three big weekends, beginning — wait for it — Friday the 13th.

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Canadian singer and guitarist Shawna Caspi headlines the latest in a slate of Earth Room Concert at the Unitarian Meetinghouse this Saturday.

Music fans here on the Greater Red Bank Green know that you can tune in to just about any genre in the area’s clubs, concert halls, community rooms and colorful festivals. From choral classics to classic rock; big band jazz to bluegrass Americana; a capella doo wop to alternative DIY, there’s always been a little something for every ear — although for the longest time, folk music aficionados had to bide their time between summertime special events and the odd little coffeehouse jam.

That all changed in 2016, when Lincroft’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation hosted the first in a quietly ambitious Earth Room Concert Series — a slate of events that has matched international acts on the cutting edge of the contemporary folk scene with an appreciative local fanbase.

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Jody Joseph and her band close out the musical entertainment on the Seeger Stage when the 42nd annual Clearwater Festival returns to the Brookdale campus this weekend.

The Clearwater Festival is a “party with a purpose,” in the words of Ben Forest, environmental policy/coalitions liaison for the Red Bank-based nonprofit New Jersey Friends of Clearwater. And when the purpose is the care of the coast that’s our home, the mission remains the main attraction of the environmental awareness fair, which returns to Brookdale Community College for its 42nd annual edition this Saturday and Sunday.

But still — what a party!

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The Guild of Creative Art mounts a solo show spotlighting works by Paul Hansen this weekend.

Even taking into consideration the generally angry tone of public discourse these days, it’s curiously refreshing to read an artist’s statement that centers around the claim, “art is dead.” And while Paul Hansen goes on to clarify that “art form is everywhere” — including a painted door, a well-swept floor, a rocking chair, and sanding with the grain — he’s not shy about professing that “the combination of years of breathing paint fumes and Viking DNA has brought us to my next show, the ‘Angry House Painter.'”

The solo-show installation of that name takes to the walls of Shrewsbury’s Guild of Creative Art beginning tonight, ushering in an artful interlude that also boasts the continuation of some fascinating featured shows at Detour Gallery and the Monmouth Museum.

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“March Hare” is among the “photographic fairy tales” by Jada Fabrizio on display at the Monmouth Museum in a solo show that opens Friday. (Click to enlarge.)

In an age of “alternative facts,” it’s worth remembering that artistically inclined individuals have been documenting their own alternative realities for eons, and the coming weekend offers more evidence that the gallery spaces of the Greater Red Bank Green are a prime hang for artists from scattered points on the real-to-unreal spectrum.
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The reverb-drenched surf rock sounds of  the Sharkskins close out the concert season on the Fair Haven Municipal Dock Thursday night.

From star-kissed surf and free-range country to plein-air pickin’ and fresh-air film, the season of outdoor diversions remains very much in effect on the Greater Red Bank Green. We’ve got the roundup of public-welcome events under the summer sky — and over the next seven days and nights — all of them free as a breeze.

It all starts tonight, weather permitting, with the latest installment of the Summer 2017 Movies in Riverside Gardens Park series, sponsored by Red Bank Parks and Recreation and brought to you by Shore Flicks.

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Works by textile artist Lisa Lackey are on display through Sunday at the Monmouth Museum’s Nilson Gallery.

Vacation time is somehow never downtime for Red Bank-area artists and the spaces whose walls they festoon, and the mid-August interlude remains a busy one for visual creatives, with a number of exhibits opening or ongoing at venues around the Greater Green (even one that’s technically closed for the season).

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Week two of this summer’s Movies in the Park series in Red Bank features an entry from the ‘Star Wars’ catalog. Below, Layonne Holmes fronts the Motor City Revue in a return to Sandy Hook Wednesday.  

There’s a chance to imagine yourself as part of the biggest franchise in film fantasy history. Some power pop on the dock. A heat-blast of Latin-flavored jazz in the park. A little beach-music soul on the sands. And one of the world’s most beloved plays on yonder grassy knoll.

It’s all going on beneath the setting sun and stars of the Greater Red Bank Green — and all fabulously free of charge in the evenings to come.

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Pegasus Theater kicks off its summer season with ‘Footloose’ Friday night.

The academic session may have concluded back in June, but the Henderson Theatre on the Lincroft campus of Christian Brothers Academy is a very busy place this summer, one that sees the return of some old friends, and an all-new partnership in education and entertainment.

Beginning this Friday, it’s “Let’s Daaaaance!,” as the screen-to-stage musical Footloose stomps the boards of the CBA auditorium — a party made possible by the team-up of CBA’s Pegasus Theater summer stage program, and a name familiar to many a local theatergoer.

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Grab your folding chair, pack a picnic basket, and get thee to the Great Lawn at Brookdale Community College, where the Shakespeare on the Lawn presentation of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM gets well-met by moonlight beginning this Thursday.

If ever was such a thing as “entry level Shakespeare,” then A Midsummer Night’s Dream is that single most easily inaccessible work with a little something for everyone: a hyper-kinetic love story; some slyly supernatural shenanigans courtesy of mischievous magical beings; a charming little play-within-a-play, and some of the author’s wildest opportunities for honest-to-goodness belly laughs, courtesy of the outsize ambitions and actorly egos of the play’s “rude mechanicals.”

It’s also the Shakespeare work that’s most at home in the open air — a thing best done the way the Bard intended, with un-amplified voices, improvised solos by Mother Nature’s minions, and an audience of engaged, enthusiastic (and ever so spirited) folks from all walks of life. And, beginning this Thursday evening, July 13, A Midsummer Night’s Dream becomes the perfect vehicle for the Shakespeare on the Lawn series to get back to its roots, with a new outdoor production on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College.

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The Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College has settled into warm-weather mode, but with an upcoming slate of summer-class training sessions, outdoor theater, car shows and other special events, things can hardly be said to be getting sleepy.

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“The World of the Organ Pipe Wasp” and other works by Donna Payton are among the pieces in the group show ‘Animal Architects’ at the Monmouth Museum.

The paintings, sketches, sculptures, collages and mixed-material constructions now on display at the Monmouth Museum in Lincroft are the work of 11 members of the species homo sapiens. But the inspirations range from the spiral pattern of a spider’s web and the sturdy intricacy of a robin’s nest to the habitats, traps, nurseries, storage facilities and flashy courtship displays built by various insects, arthropods, birds, mammals and fellow aesthetes of the animal kingdom.

Curated and featuring contributions by Donna Payton, the group show ‘Animal Architects: Influences on Human Creativity’ serve as the conversation starter for a summer-long series of events for adults and children. More →


It’s Climb Time in Lincroft again as the Monmouth County Park System moves that portable mountain to the grounds of Thompson Park for another free instructional session.  

A chance to take a “drop in” kayak tour of a scenic waterway… a hands-on, close up look at local marine life… and an opportunity to climb a mountain face in Monmouth County.

They’re all on tap in the coming week around those public places that make life on the Greater Red Bank Green a recreational pleasure — and brought to you by the people of the Monmouth County Park System.

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It could happen, just like that, by the picnic tables near the playground equipment. On the shaded lawn across from the Visitors Center. Maybe somewhere around the barn, along the lakeside trails, or down by the old gazebo. According to the folks at the Bluegrass & Oldtime Music Association of New Jersey (BOTMA), the phenomenon known as Pickin’ in the Park could occur with the suddenness of a kinder-gentler summer storm — and “you just never know who will show up to spend the day pickin’.”

Regular readers of redbankgreen have been clued in to the BOTMA organization’s monthly Sunday jams  at Little Silver’s Embury United Methodist Church — a “best kept secret” that runs from September to May each year. But as to the question of where the music goes in summer, look no further than the many public nooks and crannies of Lincroft’s Thompson Park.

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Tucked away in Lincroft’s Thompson Park, mere minutes from the sidewalk-surfing shoppertunities of the downtown Red Bank busy district, sits Marlu Lake — a reservoir of 20-plus acres, and a site noted for its freshwater fishing, as well as for its field-and-stream hiking scenery, plus wildlife-watching views of turtles and other local fauna.

Several times each summer, the flagship facility of the Monmouth County Park System invites the public to enjoy a paddling excursion on the lake by offering canoe rentals on designated weekends. It’s a recreational opportunity that returns to the greater Red Bank Green this Saturday and Sunday.

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With a slate of public-welcome activities that includes the free weekly Sunday Dialog lectures, regularly scheduled social action film screenings, community forums, meditation/Tai Chi sessions and the well-received Earth Room Concerts series, the Lincroft meetinghouse of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County is a resource that leaves the lights on for its neighbors year-round.

This Saturday evening, the UUCMC addresses its lighting bills with an annual event that stands as “the largest FUNdraiser” on its busy calendar.

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Press release from The Ranney School

The setting was the Collins Arena on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College,  as The Ranney School Class of 2017 celebrated its commencement on May 25.

The Tinton Falls-based school graduated 82 seniors, of which 31 were known as “Ranney Lifers,” or students who had attended the school for 10 or more years. Next fall, the entire group will head off to attend some of the most prestigious colleges and universities across the country, including Columbia, Cornell, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, and Notre Dame, where they will pursue their individual passions and interests in fields ranging from the visual arts and theatrical production to finance, law, and medicine to robotics and information technology.

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Longtime ‘Tonight Show’ bandleader Kevin Eubanks is this year’s spotlight attraction at the annual jazz concert fundraiser at Christian Brothers Academy.

The recent graduation ceremony may have marched to the traditionally stately strains of “Pomp and Circumstance,” but adhering to a recently minted tradition at Christian Brothers Academy, the close of the academic session is being given a jazzy jam-session coda, courtesy of this year’s edition of the CBA Jazz Series.

Tonight, the 350-seat Henderson Theatre at the Lincroft school hosts the sixth annual entry in the fundraiser concert series, an event that appropriately enough stars the onetime leader of TV’s Tonight Show band, guitarist Kevin Eubanks.

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Press release from Christian Brothers Academy

On May 15, just prior to the school’s graduation ceremony, seniors in the Senior Scholars Program at Christian Brothers Academy presented their research as part of the second annual CBA Scholars Colloquium.

The evening featured four presentations, held in the Henderson Theatre, during which members showcased an incredible degree of dedicated research, experimentation, and practical findings. Each senior provided a 30-minute presentation of their topic, led question-and-answer session, and explained their plans for continued study. Senior Manny Lazarro served as master of ceremonies for the event.

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Press release from  Christian Brothers Academy

On Thursday, May 18, Christian Brothers Academy celebrated the 55th graduation exercises inside the Collins Arena at Brookdale Community College.

CBA Principal R. Ross Fales began the ceremony recalling Bishop O’Connell’s message to the seniors at their Baccalaureate Liturgy: to remain men of integrity.

Of the 233 graduating seniors, 220 will be attending four-year schools that rank among the best universities or colleges nationally or regionally in US News & World Report. Two-thirds of the Class of 2017 received merit-based scholarships, totaling $23,576,000.

The Class of 2017 included 27 members of the National Honor Society. This senior class completed over 23,600 community service hours—an average of 102 hours per graduate.

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Press release from Brookdale Community College

Area residents interested in starting a career in construction and building are invited to participate in an accelerated, hands-on training program offered at the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College.

The program, offered through Brookdale’s new Accelerated Career and Technical Institute (ACT), provides students with 170 hours of classroom and practical training from May 30 to June 30.

Professional instructors will guide students through all aspects of the building process, including the use of tools, compatibility of materials and math-based measurements. During the course of the program, students will apply those skills while building a scaled structure from the ground up.

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Folk singer Joe Crookston takes the mic at the Unitarian Meetinghouse this Saturday at the latest in the slate of Earth Room Concerts.

A little more than a year since sounding its first note in spring 2016, the Earth Room Concert Series at Lincroft’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation has established itself as a successful and genuinely “alternative” outpost in the midst of a big music-mad backyard.

Even as other area towns and venues have made a name for themselves as go-to places for classical music, jazz, blues, bluegrass and rock, the organizers of the Earth Room series sensed something of a deficit when it came to connecting folk music fans with national/international touring acts — the kind who often couldn’t stake out a place to play, other than the odd summertime festival.

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Live artist demos are just some of the attractions at Thompson Park during Saturday’s Creative Arts and Music Festival.

While it doesn’t really qualify as a “best kept secret,” the annual Creative Arts and Music Festival in Lincroft does keep a bit of a low profile, relative to such  parking-lot-packers as last weekend’s Red Bank International Beer Wine and Food Fest.

But if your idea of a mid-spring’s afternoon is to enjoy a comfortably paced introduction to some of the Greater Red Bank Green’s  most inspired purveyors of sight and sound — mixed with ample breathing room, free admission, and plenty of free parking — then Saturday’s daylong happening at Thompson Park could be just the pre-season appetizer you’re looking for.

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