Winners were announced [Wednesday] evening at the 13th annual BASIE AWARDS, honoring excellence in high school theater in Monmouth County.
Phoenix Productions exec director Tom Martini — pictured fifth from left, during the 2015 ribbon-cutting of the troupe’s new Chestnut Street headquarters — was honored with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award during the 12th annual Basie Awards on Wednesday night. (photo by Rich Kowalski)
Students and faculty from five high schools in the greater Red Bank area were honored for excellence in high school theater productions — and the co-founder of a favorite borough-based performing arts company received a Lifetime Achievement recognition — when the 12th annual Basie Awards ceremony took place at the Count Basie Theatre on the evening of May 24.
The big winner among local schools was Red Bank Catholic High School, whose nine nominations for the spring production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Cinderella resulted in three Basie wins: for Shawn Mack (Outstanding Musical Direction), Samantha Siriani (Outstanding Supporting Actress), and Kelly Gemellaro (Outstanding Choreography, shared with Jacqui Fisher for the Middletown High School South staging of The Producers).
The Red Bank Regional production of Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ has garnered seven nominations in the Basie Awards for excellence in local high school theater, as the 12th annual ceremony rolls out the red carpet tonight.
In a pop-culture landscape that’s littered with the sharp metal edges of way too many awards and honors, you could make the case that this is the only trophyfest that matters — the kind that recognizes, nurtures and inspires the next generation of acting, singing, dancing and technical talent.
When the 12th annual Basie Awards ceremony takes the famous stage of the Count Basie Theatre tonight, May 24, students and faculty from nearly 20 public, private and parochial high schools in Monmouth County — seven of them located here within the Greater Red Bank Green — will be vying for a chance to deliver their acceptance speech, in a field that, in the words of Basie education director Yvonne Lamb Scudiery, continues “to set the bar higher and higher, resulting in outstanding professional quality work…and certainly making the job or our evaluation team a very difficult yet gratifying one.”
Press release from Ranney School
A native of Ocean Township and currently an assistant coach at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, Mrs. Gorman was a Shore Conference star during her own high school years at RBC. She went on to play soccer at West Virginia University (WVU), where as team captain she earned a NSCAA national ranking of #7, a Mid-Atlantic Region ranking of #1, led her team to a spot in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, and won the BIG EAST Conference Championship in 2006 and 2007—all while being named BIG EAST Player of the Week six times.
Press release from Christian Brothers Academy
It was a game that took 35 long years to put on the schedule. But on Saturday afternoon, February 11, the matchup lived up to the billing.
In front of a capacity crowd of 900 in the varsity gym, Christian Brothers Academy downed Red Bank Catholic, 64-54, in the inaugural Founders Cup game.
The game was the main event in CBA’s Homecoming Day. Colts fans were treated to a pre-game reception with food, refreshments and music in the McKay Gym, while at halftime CBA honored some past basketball greats.
The reviews are in — and this past Saturday’s “Little Taste of Broadway” fundraiser at Two River Theater was rated “awesome” by attendees who enjoyed an evening of live music, Broadway-caliber entertainment and samplings of wares from Red Bank’s premier restaurants. A presentation of the Navesink Business Partnership, the event raised funds for Red Bank’s Saint James Elementary School, through a cocktail reception in the theater lobby (pictured), hors d’oeuvres served up by students from Red Bank Catholic High School, and a high-voltage performance in the main auditorium by the dynamic singing and dancing professionals of The Broadway Dolls.
The Middletown South production of Green Day’s “American Idiot” (above) score big in musical nominations — while RBR’s Patrick Monaghan (at right below, with Davis Bush) earned a dramatic acting nomination for “Amadeus.” (Photo above by Ayo Oladeji)
It’s Red Bank’s own homegrown answer to the Tonys, the Obies, and any other major accolade for live stage performance. What else but the BASIES, the awards that honor tomorrow’s talents today — or rather this Wednesday, May 18, when the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank once again celebrates excellence in dramatic and musical productions among Monmouth County high schools, with the presentation of the 11th annual Basie Awards.
Hoping to raise $15,000, Red Bank Catholic High School‘s Making Wishes Come True Club held its sixth annual fundraising carnival Saturday for the borough-based Jason’s Dreams for Kids, the not-for-profit organization founded in memory of Jason Douglas Craeger, a young boy who lost a battle with cancer in 1992.
Overcoming a rainy start, the event drew hundreds of kids and parents with bounce attractions, auctions, and food provided by the local Police Benevolent Association and the volunteer fire department. We’ve got more photos from the event below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Mayor Pasquale Menna, right, at last year’s inaugural Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball. The fundraiser returns to the Oyster Point Hotel on Friday as one of several benefit events around the borough this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The month of May flowers into full effect with more than just greenery and colorful scenery — it’s also prime time for charity galas and other fundraising vehicles, dedicated to the benefit of some of our area’s hardest-working nonprofit organizations.
Back in February of 2010, Red Bank Catholic High School science teacher Ashleigh Kennedy received the news that her daughter Kasey was afflicted with a serious medical condition — a diagnosis that saw the four-year old approached by Make-A-Wish® New Jersey, the nonprofit organization dedicated to fulfilling the dreams and wishes of Garden State children with life-threatening medical conditions.
As Kennedy recalls, Kasey’s wish was to NOT take her wish — but rather to raise funds to grant wishes for other children battling as she was. The young girl’s selfless decision inspired the school’s students to establish RBC Making Wishes Come True, a club dedicated to helping Kasey fulfill her wish by organizing an annual fundraising carnival. Five years after the first successful carnival, the event is still growing in popularity — and on Saturday, May 7, the parking lot of adjacent St. James Elementary School (30 Peters Place, between Broad Street and Maple Avenue) will one again serve as the site of the fun(d)raising fair, with all proceeds dedicated this year to a local charity for kids to whom a wish granted could make a big difference.
Broadway has its well-established Tonys; Off Broadway its Obies — and every other branch of show business its various Grammys, Emmys, and Academys. And when the 10th annual Basie Awards roll out the red carpet in front of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank Wednesday night they’ll be doing what they’ve done so well: honoring tomorrow’s talents in the performing arts, both on stage and behind the scenes.
Scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at RBC (30 Peters Place, between Broad Street and Maple Avenue) the event offers up an array of games, amusements (including Laser Tag), music, food, a silent auction, and even fire truck rides courtesy of the borough’s volunteer firefighters. What’s more, every penny earned from the event goes directly toward helping grant the wish of a special child.
Press release from Red Bank Catholic High School
Marianna Williams, a bright 18 year old from Neptune who dreams of a career in finance, had an extraordinary couple of weeks by celebrating two teenage milestones while recuperating from a serious illness. On June 4, Marianna, dressed in cap and gown, participated in Red Bank Catholic (RBC) High School Class of 2014’s graduation ceremony, direct from her room inside the K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
Joined by family, friends, physicians, nurses, and caregivers, Marianna Skyped from her room in the children’s pediatric intensive care unit to the RBC commencement ceremony, which took place at Monmouth University. Supported by the Child Life department at the children’s hospital. the graduating senior remotely joined the ceremony, and received a thundering applause from cheering classmates and supporters when her name was called.
To all those who believe that there are simply Too Many Award Shows well, we certainly won’t argue the point.
That said, when the red carpet rolls and the paparazzi bulbs pop this Wednesday evening on Monmouth Street in Red Bank, it may just herald the only trophyfest that matters possibly even a ground-floor investment in the next generation of acting, singing, dancing talent on the greater Green.
The Basie Awards extravaganza that goes up Wednesday night at the Count Basie Theatre will mark the seventh annual edition of the program that recognizes excellence in drama and musical productions among Monmouth County high schools. It’s an event that’s boasted such guest hosts and presenters as E Street busker Max Weinberg and Tony nominee Lou Liberatore, as well as SNL veterans Joe Piscopo and Siobhan Fallon Hogan. But it’s really all about the kids, of course and when the Basie envelopes are fumbled open on the landmark stage, a collection of young performers from 19 local high schools (including five in the Red Bank area) will be among those hoping that this can be the first milestone item in a glittering trophy case.
While throngs of shoppers march in step to the One-Day Sales and Midnight Madness events, terpischorean teens from two local high schools are getting ready to strut their stuff in the weekends leading up to the winter break.
Tonight and tomorrow night, the Dance Department at Red Bank Catholic High School rings in the Yuletide season with “high energy, high kickin’ numbers in the style of the world famous Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular” during a Holiday Dance Spectacular that also promises a Living Nativity and a guest appearance from Santa, conducting “a journey from the streets of New York to the North Pole.”
Tickets for either of the shows (Friday 7pm, Saturday 8pm) are priced at $10 and are available from the RBC bookstore in advance or at the door. Call (732)747-1774 for more info and be sure to bring a new unwrapped toy for this year’s Toys for Tots collection.
Next Saturday, December 17, it’s Red Bank Regional‘s turn to make like the Rockettes, as the dance students of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy bring their annual Holiday Dance Concert to the school stage.