It’s been described as “a love letter to women of color,” one that “reveals heartfelt emotions about intimacy, sexual responsibility and overcoming adversity.” Credited to author and producer Yetta Young — but acknowledged by her as a collaborative effort that features the input of some dozen different women — the intimate theatrical experience entitled Butterfly Confessions has spread its wings and its message to communities from coast to coast, including audiences right here in Red Bank who enjoyed it for the first time in the spring of 2016.
Leave the first-nighting formalwear at home — and feel free to attend in your finest PJs, footed onesies and “sleeping pants” — when Two River Theater presents six public performances of Skeletons: A Day of the Dead Bedtime Story beginning this Thursday, October 12. A production of New York’s Teatro SEA company, it’s the latest in a series of family-friendly events imported to Red Bank from some of North America’s finest purveyors of theater experiences for young audiences — and despite the name, it’s a show that’s far more fanciful than frightening.
Former NFL quarterbacks Boomer Esiason (second from left) and Phil Simms (right) teamed up with Garmany owner Johnell Garmany (left) and comedian Joe Piscopo to raise nearly $90,000 for cystic fibrosis research at a fundraiser held at Garmany’s Red Bank clothing store September 8.
As the calendar strikes October — and those unmistakable breaths of sweater-weather air creep beneath your front door — a spot of tea seems a jolly good idea. This Sunday, the Music Ministry of Red Bank’s St. Anthony of Padua Church brews up a pot of seasonal warmth, as the Bridge Avenue house of worship hosts “Three for Tea at the Piano.”
Sister Bernice Williams, Sister Ann Wheeler and Deaconess Pauline Smith (pictured left to right in above left photo) were honored for their years of service, integrity and wisdom, as Pilgrim Baptist Church hosted its Women’s Ministry Weekend on September 23 and 24. The celebration began with a Women’s Fellowship Breakfast on Saturday, and highlights of the Sunday service included The Women’s Day Choir and sermonic messages by Minister Cheron Whittaker and Minister Diane Watson-Kendal, after which the Men’s Ministry at PBC provided a full course dinner for all Women and Girls in attendance.
“Follow the money,” said the shadowy figure known as Deep Throat to reporter Bob Woodward (Robert Redford), in the fact-based thriller All the President’s Men.
Many years later, the informant who helped break open the Watergate investigation was revealed to be former FBI associate director W. Mark Felt,subject of a new bio-drama that stars Liam Neeson and screens in a special sneak-preview showing this Thursday at Red Bank’s Bow Tie Cinemas.
While efforts are underway to restore oyster populations in the local waterways that once boasted them in abundance, Red Bank celebrates the opening of oyster season by, well, opening a few thousand oysters — not to mention a beverage or two.
For years, music lovers here in the borough that birthed Basie have enjoyed something of a best kept secret exclusive to Red Bank: the “Reckless Steamy Nights” series of house party concerts, hosted on the last Friday of the month at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank (aka the old Anthony Reckless Estate). While those presentations by the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation have become the stuff of legend, the third Friday of the month has been gathering its share of buzz in recent times — and on September 22, the JSJBF offers up another next-gen look to the future of roots music, with the latest in a slate of Youth Open Mic events.
Joseph York (The Prince), Alison Levier (Cinderella) and Gina Teschke (Little Red) are among the storybook characters going “Into the Woods,” when Phoenix Productions stages the Sondheim musical at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre. (Photos courtesy Tom Martini)
On a weekend that marks the official curtain-up for Two River Theater’s season-opening production of A Raisin in the Sun, two of the area’s longest established community stage companies are offering up something for those who get a thrill from first-nighting — with fresh local looks at a couple of Broadway favorites from the 1980s and 1990s.
When last we looked in on Red Bank’s own Phoenix Productions, the resident theatrical troupe of the Count Basie Theatre was marking its turf with a revisit to West Side Story — an early success for the young lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and an indicator of great things to come. When the company’s 2017 season resumes this Friday, September 15, it will once again look to the Sondheim playbook — and to the storybook realm of the Brothers Grimm — with a musical journey Into the Woods.
While it doesn’t claim anything resembling a formal “stock company” of actors and other creative types, Red Bank’s professional Two River Theater Company has been more than happy to foster some mutually beneficial relationships with a number of recurring players — perhaps none more so than Brandon J. Dirden, the Tony-nominated, Obie-winning stage-screen talent who’s made himself quite comfortable on Bridge Avenue, even as his star ascended on television (The Americans) and Broadway (All the Way, in which he appeared as no less iconic a presence than Martin Luther King Jr.).
He hails from no less storied a place than Babylon — and we’re not talking Long Island. As a professor at Baghdad University and a member of the Iraq Freedom Art Movement, Saadi Babely escaped the regime of Saddam Hussein and its program of persecution of citizens involved in the arts, and would lose two of his siblings to Saddam’s troops. Educated in the United States, he made his way to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and eventually back to America, where the mythological figure of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar would once again take flight in his paintings.
Inspired by the deep history of his homeland while remaining contemporary in style and theme, Babely’s paintings are the subject of the latest art installation at Red Bank’s Oyster Point Hotel — Goddesses: An Art Collector Shares His Bounty. The exhibit — one of two debuting in town during the coming evenings — opens with a public-welcome reception this Thursday.
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.
Brad Chavero of Red Bank, a student at RBR’s Academy of Engineering, stands in front of Harvard University, where he was able to attend a very competitive camp for advanced math students this summer. He also spent a month at the Rutgers’ campus for the Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology.
Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
While the American Dream may seem a futile quest for some today, first generation American Brad Chavero, a top student and member of the Academy of Engineering at Red Bank Regional High School, is determined to take advantage of every opportunity presented to him to succeed.
This summer, Brad was able to attend not just one, but two very prestigious programs to further his educational experiences. In July, Brad was selected as one of only 72 students in New Jersey to attend the Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology at Rutgers at B.E.S.T. (Busch, Engineering, Science and Technology) Hall. No sooner had Brad returned home from his Rutgers’ camp than he and his father set out the next day to attend a second two-week camp for advanced math students — this one on the Cambridge, MA campus of Harvard University.
When the folks at Two River Theater Company launch a new slate of mainstage shows next month, they’ll be bringing in the 2017-2018 season with a fresh look at a genuine American classic — A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 drama of a black Chicago family’s struggle to achieve their dreams.
Before the “raisin” of the curtain, however, the Red Bank institution will be raisin’ the roof this Thursday evening with a community “block party,” a public-welcome affair that boasts live music, dancing, food and a a meet-and-greet opportunity with cast members from the show that opens officially on September 15.
It goes without saying that none of the dynamic young vocalists and instrumentalists of Rockit! at the Basie were around for 1967’s fabled Summer of Love — and chances are excellent that few if any of their parents were, either. So perhaps their grandparents could tell them a thing or two about life a half a century ago, when the air was charged with ready-or-not change and momentum, not to mention patchouli oil.
Of course, you didn’t have to be there with flowers in your hair to recognize that the year was a pivotal one for the popular culture in general, and a fast-maturing rock music in particular. So when the kids from Rockit! take to the famous stage of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank this Saturday evening, they’ll be channeling the spirit of the era’s most game-changing album — and welcoming an in-the-flesh veteran of a genuine hit-making institution.
For a performer whose torchy, bluesy vocalizings are normally a study in confidence and timing, Eryn Shewell lost complete control of the situation during a crucial moment of a December, 2016 gig at Asbury Park’s storied Wonder Bar. That’s when her guitarist, Matt O’Ree, halted her cover of the Christmas pop classic “Santa Baby” (on the line “forgot to mention one little thing… a ring”) and proposed to her before a cheering crowd, right there on the stage of the circuit landmark where the two had met some 10 years prior.
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.
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.
While the venerable venue once known as the Carlton can trace its cinematic lineage way back to the silent-screen age, the grand auditorium of Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre put in many decades of service giving the local moviegoing audience what it couldn’t always get at home — from glorious technicolor and stereophonic sound to that all-important enticer known as air conditioning.
Two River Theater marketing director Courtney Schroeder is the new chair of the board for the Red Bank Visitors Center. (Photo by Danny Sanchez)
Press release from Red Bank Visitors Center
In a recent press release, the Red Bank Visitors Center announced the appointment of Courtney Schroeder as the Chair of the Board, for the nonprofit organization founded in 2002.
A magna cum laude graduate of Wagner College, with a BS in Arts Administration and a double minor in Dance and Spanish, Schroeder has for the past six years held the position of Director of Marketing at Two River Theater. Prior to landing at Two River, she worked in the development wing for Ballet Hispanico in New York City.
Press release from The Community YMCA
The Aquarockets swim team of The Community YMCA captured second place overall in combined team standings at the 2017 YMCA Long Course National Championship, which took place from July 31 to August 4 in Greensboro, NC. The men’s team took fourth place, and the women’s team finished in fifth place.
“We are so proud of the team’s outstanding efforts,” said Head Coach Jack Caucino. “This was our best finish ever at the national long course championship,” he added, noting that 20 swimmers earned All American status by placing in the top 20 of an event.
In all, 45 swimmers on the team, which practices both in Red Bank and Wall, qualified to compete at the YMCA national meet. They are: Hunter Adams, Ryan Burke, Caylie Cardona, Leo Carnevale, Matthew Chang, Nicole Dado, Gabriella DeVirgilio, Ben Dupree, Ryan Foreback, Morgan Fuerbacher, Ginger Hansen, Natalie Heim, Joseph Huber, Victoria Ireland, McKenna Johnson, Megan Judge, Shannon Judge, Arabella Lee, Mary Mahoney, Mitchell Malakhov, Dimitri Maldonado, Taylor Marjamaa, Kaitlyn McCarthy, Caroline McGann, Ryan Meng, Caroline Monaghan, Maile Mora, Brianna Mulcahy, Julia Nappi, Madelyn Piasecki, Sammy Rennard, Theo Rennard, Paul Retterer, Meghan Schienvar, Marie Schobel, Skylar Shafritz, Emma Shaughnessy, Abigail Shaw, Haley Stamberger, Richie Trentalange, Max Walther, Joseph West, Katie Wright, Connor Wright and Jessica Zebrowski.
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).
NFL great Boomer Esiason (left) — joined by Phil Simms (center) and emcee Joe Piscopo (right) — returns for a second annual fundraiser keyed to the cystic fibrosis foundation that bears his name next month.
It seems that no sooner had the last of the popcorn been swept after the recent Indie Street Film Festival than another weekend-long celebration of independent cinema prepared to unspool in Red Bank, the town that Nicholas Marchese calls “the arts mecca of Monmouth County.”