RED BANK: A BANQUET FOR THE EYES

oyster pt artSTILL LIFE WITH BIRDS AND DESSERTS and other paintings by Lisa Ficarelli-Halpern are on display throughout the Oyster Point Hotel, beginning with a reception on Friday evening, May 15. 

For the latest in a series of art installations at The Oyster Point — exhibits that have turned the hotel’s lobby and other common areas into a strolling gallery space — Swiss-born, internationally exhibited multimedia artist Gerda Liebmann has curated a banquet of sorts.

Officially opening with a public-welcome reception this Friday, May 15 (and remaining on display at the Bodman Place landmark through June 29), The Painted Banquet is a solo-show look at the work and worldview of area-based painter (and Brookdale Community College faculty member) Lisa Ficarelli-Halpern.

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RED BANK: PAINTERS AND SCULPTORS REPORT

CircusSummerThe Kennedy Mystique: the egg-tempera CIRCUS SUMMER by Eileen Kennedy is among the items included in DREAMSCAPES AND SHAPED DREAMS — an exhibit of works by the painter and her cousin Lynne Kennedy, going up on the walls of the Oyster Point Hotel.

The river breezes may still be blowing more bitter than sweet, but as sure a sign of Spring — surer even than Punxsatawney prognosticators, or pudgy pitchers — is the sudden proliferation of art exhibitions in our area’s galleries, grand lodgings, and even greenhouses. It’s an explosion of color that begins, appropriately enough, amid the plant life of Sickles Market in Little Silver this weekend — and it continues, in the days and evenings to come, in places both safe and surprising.

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RED BANK: BUC BACKERS STOP HERE

Buc BackersThe Ladies Luncheon Committee of the RBR Buc Backers includes (standing, left to right): Committee Co-Chair Carmelina MacPherson, Red Bank; Ida Keiper, Shrewsbury; Lu White, Union Beach; Dulce Feito Daly, Little Silver; Joyce Fernandes of Shrewsbury; (seated) Committee Co-Chair Patti Forsman, Jean Van Loon, and Cathy Balto, all from Little Silver.

Press release from Red Bank Regional Buc Backer Foundation

The Ladies’ Luncheon Committee of the Red Bank Regional (RBR) Buc Backer Foundation invites the public to don their favorite hats, and join them at their annual Luncheon event on Sunday, January 25, 015. Scheduled from from noon to 3:30 pm, the popular event features fabulous chance auction gifts, a three-course lunch, champagne punch and the magnificent water views of the Navesink from the balcony of the Oyster Point Hotel.

All proceeds from the siganture seasonal event benefit Red Bank Regional High School, and early ticket orders are strongly encouraged, as the event sells out every year.

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RED BANK: SELFIES KICK OFF ARTFUL WEEKEND

Mirrored_Bob300A selfie by Bob McKay is among the works on display in the group show FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE opening Friday at Gallery 135 in Red Bank.

Leave it to Gerda Liebmann – the Swiss-born, internationally exhibited multimedia artist (and redbankgreen Clippings correspondent) – to discern the beauty in so tawdry a device as the cellphone selfie.

Liebmann, who established Gallery 135 in the second-floor space shared by Red Bank Community Church, has employed this maybe-misunderstood signifier of 21st century life – and its cousin in succinct cinema, the Vine – as the basis for her new group show, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. Opening with a reception at 7 pm on Friday, the multimedia installation “will give viewers the opportunity to reconnect with the special intimacy and self-revelation that self-portraits uniquely offer,” she says.

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WEEKEND: WEDDING WALK GETS SAME-SEXY

WeddingWalkMichael Warmington of Red Bank RiverCenter joins a team of Barbizon tour guides in welcoming guests to a past edition of the Red Bank Wedding Walk, which returns to town this Sunday. Wanda Sykes (below) brings her standup skills back to the Basie Friday night. 

Sykes-WandaRED BANK: When the Red Bank Wedding Walk returns to the blushing banks of the Navesink for its latest edition this Sunday, it’ll be a bigger/better-than-ever affair with an historic edge: it’s “encouraging same-sex couples to join us this year and explore all that Red Bank has to offer for the perfect wedding,” according to organizers at Red Bank RiverCenter.

Taking place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., the 2014 event sounds a call to “prospective brides, grooms, partners, their families and friends” to key into the borough’s “fun and funky vibe” as they visit over 40 wedding-related businesses — florists, gown and accessories retailers, bridesmaid and guest attire boutiques, photographers, wedding planners and designers, jewelers, salons and banquet facilities — many of which will be offering promotions, light refreshments and special amenities.

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WEEKEND: RIGHT HERE IN RIVER CITY

MusicManGroup_718x370The cast of THE MUSIC MAN brings the Broadway evergreen to ‘Two River City’ for five concert-style performances this weekend. Below, Jersey music Jedi master Glen Burtnik leads an all-Shore team of guests to the Basie stage on Saturday, for a SUMMER OF LOVE salute to the sounds of the original Woodstock festival. (Above photo courtesy NJPAC)

Friday, March 14:

glenburtnik-4-kurdzukjpg-907ec69606a7eef9RED BANK: “Seventy Six Trombones.” “Marian the Librarian.” “Til There Was You.” “Ya Got Trouble” (right here in River City). If you’ve seen but one golden-age Broadway classic performed by a class of drama-club kids, a community of earnest amateurs or a summer-stock touring troupe, it was probably The Music Man, the 1957 Tony winner in which traveling con man Professor Harold Hill brings an outlandish scheme — and, in the process, a healthy dose of life, love, laughter and music — to the stodgy folk of a circa-1912 Iowa small town. What you probably haven’t seen is a Music Man brought to you by an African American cast and director — and this weekend, Two River Theater Company offers up five chances to catch a talent-packed production that’s being presented in cahoots with Newark’s NJ Performing Arts Center.

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WEEKEND: DRESSED TO THE 9’S, AND BEYOND

brittninesAbove: Britt Savage and the Nines recall those 1980s nights of 75-cent ‘kazis and roses for the ladies, when they reunite for a throwback Friday at the Downtown… while below, Ziggy Shock turns Fair Haven’s K of C hall into the best kept secret on the Shore music scene. 

Friday, January 24:

ziggy-shock-would-be-johnny-cashRED BANK: With recent overnight temps threatening to put the Greenland into the greater Green, being “dressed to the nines” has tended to mean wearing nine extra layers of unfashionably lifesaving thermals.

But for just one cold dark night, clubgoers of all ages can wayback to those 1980s summers when the drinking age was 18, closing time was 3 a.m. — and the mega-barbands ruled a clubscape dotted with fortress-like institutions like the Tradewinds, Fountain Casino and Club Xanadu. Tonight, the Downtown welcomes what might just be the first-ever Red Bank appearance by one of the era’s most fervently followed cover combos — the Nines, featuring vivacious vocalist Britt Savage. Now based in Nashville, the in-demand session singer (and 1992 grand prize winner on TV’s Star Search) reunited with her classic band lineup — guitarist Adam Roller, bassist John Rogers, drummer Mick Gormaley, and Bill Dellicato subbing for the late keyboardist Bobby Gordon — for a July 2013 show in Asbury Park that brought in so much love, they up and did it again during the recent Light of Day music festival. Britt and the boys will be taking it upstairs at the double-wide Downtown for several sets of VICE-vintage favorites that could reasonably include everything from “She Blinded Me with Science” and “Kids in America” to some radio-ready originals from Britt’s recent Music City projects. And you can take it right here for a full interview with this most noble of Savages, or take it just around the corner for more frosty fun at the jiggle end of January.

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PTO LUNCHEON IS BEST SERVED CHILLEN’

P1210018Members of the RBR PTO fundraiser planning committee for Still Chillen’ include (left to right, first row) Jennie Kralyevich (Little Silver), RBR PTO President Ilene Reynolds (Little Silver), Tricia Dougan (Union Beach), Kathy Kowlaski (Shrewsbury) and Ida Keiper (Shrewsbury); (second row): Debbie Von Schondorf (Little Silver), Joyce Fernandes (Shrewsbury), Mary Chamberlain (Little Silver), Teresa Jahns Hottman (Shrewsbury), Linda Ferrogine (Shrewsbury) and luncheon co-chair Patti Forsman (Little Silver). Not pictured: luncheon co-chair Carmelina MacPherson (Red Bank).

Press release from the RBR PTO

The weather outside is still chillin’ for the most part, but the ladies of the Red Bank Regional High School PTO have issued the invitation for all to beat the winter doldrums at their Sunday afternoon signature ladies’ luncheon on the Navesink — a little occasion known as Still Chillen’.

The popular event, which features fabulous food, champagne punch and the PTO’s famous chance auction baskets, takes place at the Oyster Point Hotel on Sunday, January 26, from 12 to 3:30 pm. Tickets are $50 per person, or $45 for teachers and seniors.

To reserve tickets, call Linda Ferrogine at (732)539-9121 or contact her at linda.ferrognine@verizon.net. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Red Bank Regional School District. 

WEEKEND: A HOMECOMING FOR NJ SUPERSTARS

jacquie1It’s a Count Basie Homecoming for JACQUIE LEE — seen here performing at a 2012 Rockit! concert in Red Bank — when the VOICE runner-up who wowed everyone from Jennifer Hudson to Lady Gaga returns as part of A SOULED-OUT CHRISTMAS on Saturday. Meanwhile, Ms. Lauryn Hill (below) has rescheduled her Sunday “Homecoming” show at the Basie to February 7, 2014.

Friday, December 20:

RED BANK: “Life can get pretty hectic and crazy the week before Christmas,” says Gerda Liebmann, the internationally exhibited multimedia artist who established Gallery 135 in the second-floor space shared by Red Bank Community Church. With that in mind, Liebmann comes to The Oyster Point Hotel for a special opening event that “gives everyone a chance to take a little step back from the madness, and enjoy some artwork that hopefully will induce a little serenity into their holiday season.”

view_image.aspThe artist will be present for a Friday evening reception (6 to 8 pm) for a display of encaustic paintings — an ancient technique that uses beeswax, resin and pigments melted together — that includes a set of banners based on the Christmas narrative, and abstract paintings (on wood and paper) that include tea and tea leaves. The paintings remain on display at the Bodman Place hotel through the end of December, and are available for purchase as a unique Christmas gift — call Gerda at (732)687-3580 for more info.

RED BANK:  One week after celebrating the feast days of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a procession that brought hundreds of marchers out on a frosty Red Bank evening, the Music Ministry at St Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church takes it indoors — with a special Christmas concert presented in association with the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library. The 8 pm event,   a performance of Handel’s Messiah and traditional Christmas carols, spotlights the Trenton Diocesan Festival Choir and Orchestra under the direction of Shawn T. Mack — with soloists Lauren Walters (soprano), Jody Doktor (mezzo soprano), Justin Gonzalez (tenor), and Wilbur Lewis (bass). Call (732)747-0813 ext. 10 to reserve tickets ($20.00 adults; $10.00 students). Church doors open at 7 pm as part of a silent auction and raffle of gift baskets, to benefit the Friends of the RBPL and their work on behalf of the Library.

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RIVERCENTER AWARDED $20K TOURISM GRANT

scavone-lynn-mass-052313Who’s that behind those Tourism Grants? Left to right, Red Bank RiverCenter’s Jim Scavone and Amanda Lynn are pictured with Visitors Center director Margaret Mass at a May 2013  Red Bank Flavour event. (Click to enlarge) 

Press release from Red Bank RiverCenter

Red Bank RiverCenter, in conjunction with the Red Bank Visitors Center, was awarded a $20,000 Cooperative Marketing Grant for 2014. The grant, available to organizations throughout the entire State of New Jersey, was applied for through the New Jersey Department of Tourism in June 2013, and will be used to expand Red Bank’s award-winning advertising campaign, “Escape for a Little While.”

The ad campaign will reach Washington, D.C., Connecticut, New York State, Pennsylvania, and Canada to encourage tourists and visitors to visit and stay in Red Bank, as well as the entire Jersey Shore.

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LIT AND LIVELY AT OYSTER POINT

gerdaAn example of Gerda Liebmann’s “light paintings,” on view against the riverfront scenery of the Oyster Point Hotel beginning Friday night.

If there’s still such a thing as a Best Kept Secret in Red Bank these days, one candidate has got to be Red Bank Community Church — the “spontaneous and participatory” storefront house of worship (in the 135 Monmouth Street building that houses Prown’s) that also does duty as a groovy grotto of culture, thanks to Swedish-born painter/sculptor (and, with husband Lenny, co-pastor) Gerda Liebmann.

The Liebmanns, who’ve hosted events ranging from fashion shows to car washes, have presented some fascinating installations of Gerda’s art on a regular basis, including her captivating series of one-a-day photos of the Navesink River, as seen from Oceanic Bridge.

Kicking off Friday night, the artist brings her work to a different setting, one with an equally grand view of the Navesink.

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SAVOUR THE HOLIDAY FLAVOUR

sonnykennmcoconnorJersey Shore guitar master Sonny Kenn provides the sonic spice as the Red Bank Flavour culinary campaign kicks off with a special holiday season smorgasbord benefit Thursday night at the Oyster Point.

The culinary consortium that is Red Bank Flavour marks its first holiday-season interlude with a happening that could be the start of a new December tradition on the picturesque banks of the Navesink, when the river-view ballroom of the Oyster Point Hotel hosts a special Holiday Flavour event Thursday evening.

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GET THE RICE READY: WEDDING WALK IS BACK

wed-wlkWedding Walk strolls back into town Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Seems like only yesterday that Red Bank was flooded in white satin, with sparkly-eyed women peering over jewelry cases and trolleys carting hordes of hungry brides-to-be to and from the wedding wonderland that the downtown has become.

Yup, it’s been just four months since the marital merry-go-round last spun in Red Bank, but don’t get used to this being a frequent bridal bacchanal.

Wedding Walk 3.0 gets into action tomorrow — the first and last of ’11 — so, ladies, if a rice cooker isn’t on your registry, this is the chance to find all the essentials for that special day in a one-stop tour through downtown Wed Bank, New Jersey.

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RED BANK EVENT DROPS WISDOM ON WOMEN

career-wiseHigh School girls take notes at Saturday’s Career Wise for Young Women seminar at the Oyster Point Hotel. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Shannon Belforti, a freshman at Red Bank Catholic, had been thinking about her future, wondering what she could do with her interest in math and science. Forensics appealed to her, but when she started asking her mother, Diane, questions about the field, mom couldn’t really help.

“I felt a little limited,” said Diane, who’s background is in marketing.

So she reached out to the Girl Scouts and a long list of other sponsors and put together a daylong agenda of seminars, culling about 50 women from various professions, thinking there were other young women, like her daughter, who had plenty of questions and not enough answers.

She was right.

On Saturday, Belforti hosted a sold-out crash course on breaking into different fields of work, called ‘Career Wise In A Day.’

“Literally, we are sold out,” she said Saturday. “I’ve turned people away.”

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A DAY OF WISDOM FOR WOMEN

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

oyster-pointListen up, young ladies. It’s time to start thinking about the future, and the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore and a slew of volunteer organizations are here to help.

On February 5, they’ll host “Career Wise In A Day,” a medley of seminars geared towards high school women to give them a comprehensive rundown of the possibilities ahead of them post-graduation.

There are plenty of options to choose from. Seminars, to be held at Red Bank’s Oyster Point Hotel (above), include speakers on the ins and outs of being an artist, politician, doctor and, — gulp — journalist, among others.

And if you sign up by the end of the day, there’s a discount.

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A VIEW WITH A ROOM

riverbargeOver the weekend, a crane-carrying barge anchored in the Navesink River opposite the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank, at right. Anybody know what it’s there for? (Click to enlarge)

THE BRIDES ARE BACK IN RED BANK

wdng-walk1A jeweler at A.H. Fisher Diamonds sizes a woman for a wedding ring at Red Bank’s first Wedding Walk in March. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Wedding season is over, but there’s no such thing as planning too early for next year’s, right?

RiverCenter thinks so. Therefore Red Bank is host, for the second time this year, to Wedding Walk, a bride-to-be-minded affair that shines the spotlight on all the business that can help make getting hitched go off without a hitch.

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RIVER WATCH: NO TWO DAYS ARE THE SAME

Several times a week enroute to and from her day job in Eatontown, artist Gerda Liebmann would stop at the northern end of the Oceanic Bridge in Middletown to take photos of the Navesink River.

Time and again over the course of the year, she positioned her camera in pretty much the exact same way and snapped a few frames looking east toward Sea Bright.

“I always said, ‘this is so beautiful,’ until one day I said, ‘I must stop and take pictures,'” Liebmann tells redbankgreen.

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A RED BANK WEDDING, TELEVISED

oyster-pointStephanie Agresta and Chris McCaffrey used only local businesses for their wedding, which took place at Oyster Point Hotel, and their journey will be televised tonight. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Before taking part in March’s Wedding Walk, Stephanie Agresta had already planned on having a Red Bank-heavy wedding.

But, as she pointed out, “the wedding walk really brought to life all the opportunities in Red Bank.”

It also brought another opportunity, which airs tonight.

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