LITTLE SILVER: RBR HALL OF FAMER DIES

Greg Montgomery Jr., a former pro football punter, mental health advocate and 2014 inductee into the Red Bank Regional Hall of Fame, died August 23, according to an obituary published Thursday by the Grand Rapids Press in Michigan. He was 55 years old.

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MIDDLETOWN: A GRAVE SUPER BOWL ISSUE

lombardiVince Lombardi’s headstone at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Middletown, as seen in 2011. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

With the Super Bowl scheduled to be played in New Jersey for the first time ever this weekend, the superintendent of the Middletown cemetery where Vince Lombardi is buried wants the game trophy that’s named for the legendary football coach to pay a graveside visit.

“Bring the trophy here” to Mount Olivet Cemetery, Ed Cardoza told the New York Daily News. “It’s so close now. As far as I know, it’s never been here to his grave. On the hundredth anniversary of his birth last June, there was supposed to be a big memorial that sort of fizzled out. This would be perfect.”

Cardoza plans to be in Manhattan to plead his case Wednesday when the Vince Lombardi Trophy arrives at NFL headquarters by FedEx, the News reports.

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RED BANK: EX-NFLER VISITS, BEARING SHRIMP

Celestine and Wallace Woods in their alter-egos as Santa and Mrs. Claus, above, and former pro footballer Jarvis Green, below. (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

Former pro defensive end Jarvis Green has been on a rampage of goodwill lately, and on Thursday sacked another location with Christmas cheer: Red Bank.

Jarvis, who put in eight seasons with the New England Patriots, is affiliated with a New Orleans-based shrimp consortium that this week joined with the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties to help feed the hungry and spread joy.

On Thursday evening, following a visit to help feed victims of Hurricane Sandy in Ocean County, he stopped in at the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County and Lunch Break, just a couple of doors apart on Doctors James Parker Boulevard, with 100 pounds of shrimp.

“That’s a lot of shrimp,” said Green.

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AT TRTC, AN ACTOR TACKLES TWO PLAYS

Tony winning actor Chuck Cooper is in the house for IN THIS HOUSE, the musical that kicks off its world premiere engagement next week at Two River Theater. (Click to enlarge)

By TOM CHESEK 

When last we looked in on Two River Theater Company, the folks over at Red Bank’s regional professional stage were keeping the motor (and the meter) running on an acclaimed production of August Wilson’s Jitney, a modern American classic set in the heart of a scarred but scrappy urban neighborhood.

When the lights come up this Sunday in the Two River Theater’s intimate “black box” performance space, they’ll beam down upon a now-vacant home in a quiet bit of country; a setting in which two sets of strangers – a troubled young couple who’ve lost their way, and an older pair who’ve returned to this place to find something they’ve been missing – are brought together by chance on a frosty New Year’s Eve, In This House.

At first glance, the two shows would appear to have little in common – but a closer look reveals the presence in both casts of Chuck Cooper, the Tony winning actor and singer (1996 Best Featured Actor in the musical The Life) who topped the cast of Jitney as Becker, the dour and disillusioned boss of the play’s gypsy cab depot.

In the “chamber musical” that’s being staged for the first time anywhere – one of two world premieres in TRTC artistic director John Dias‘s 2011-2012 season (the other was last October’s Seven Homeless Mammoths…) – Cooper co-stars with Brenda Pressley (Broadway’s original cast of Dreamgirls) as the older couple Henry and Luisa. Jeff Kready (Broadway’s Billy Elliott) and Margo Seibert (TRTC’s Orestes) appear as younger couple Johnny and Annie under the direction of May Adrales.

And, as if the production didn’t already have enough to distinguish it, it may just be the only musical you’ll see this season that boasts a score by a former NFL defensive tackle.

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