66°F broken clouds


The cause was cancer prevention, and the nearly naked male and female models were there for educational purposes – swear!

Go Naked and Check Yourself, a soiree thrown together by Red Bank’s Sugarush cupcakes and Sweetest Sin lingerie, drew some 250 partiers to Teak Restaurant on Sunday, all there to learn how to check themselves for detectable cancers of the skin, testicles and breasts.

Miss New Jersey 2012, Michelle Leonardo of Tinton Falls, added some tiara power. redbankgreen was there, too, naturally, to capture the flavor and flashes of flesh. Hey, it’s our duty.


quaniesha-frostQuaniesha Frost of Red Bank won the Miss Tri-County competition last month and is getting ready to compete for the Miss New Jersey crown. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


Quaniesha Frost, a slender and soft-spoken 23-year-old, has big goals, none of which can be achieved through anything short of intense hard work and a little bit of luck.

She wants to save, and eventually enhance, school music programs. She wants to open performing arts schools around the country. She wants to perform on Broadway.  She wants to be Miss America, perhaps the goal most within reach for the Red Bank native.

In June, Frost, otherwise known as Miss Tri-County, will vie for the crown of Miss New Jersey, the penultimate pageant to the coveted national title.

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Looking a bit pressed for time in the title role of Phoenix Productions’ CINDERELLA, Amy Polumbo (with Matt Walsh as her Prince) seems right at home in a tiara during her reign as Miss New Jersey 2007.


It’s a Cinderella story in itself; the stranger-than-fiction tale of how a hard-working troupe from the “community theater” side of the tracks became the belle of the ball — and earned a residency at that shining castle on the hill.

Cinderella in this case is Red Bank’s own Phoenix Productions, longtime purveyor of musical entertainments for appreciative local audiences, and a nonprofessional company that’s been known to spin a little night magic from a mice-and-pumpkins budget. The castle, of course, is the remade and remodeled Count Basie Theatre — the jewel in the county’s cultural crown, and a nationally notable stage whose boards have supported some of the biggest names in show business. It’s a venue that’s definitely a quantum leap from an all-purpose room or church basement — and one that’s made its mark on the quality of the offerings from the ever-ascendant Phoenix.

When executive producer Tom Martini and company inaugurate their 2010 season of shows this weekend, they’ll be dealing in some pretty timeless stuff — the Richard Rodgers-Oscar Hammerstein II version of Cinderella, a musical that made its debut as a TV special long before its Broadway bow (and which takes much of its present shape from a network revival that starred Brandy and Whitney Houston). It’s a staging that features some familiar Phoenix faces — including in the title role a locally celeb who’s apparently right at home in a tiara, former Miss New Jersey Amy Polumbo.

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