RED BANK: BASIE SEEKS TEEN OPERA VOICES

Press release from Count Basie Theatre 

The Count Basie Theatre Performing Arts Academy today has announced a summer residency with famed Los Angeles Opera director Eli Villanueva, on a summer opera camp program for vocalists aged 10-17.

The two-week intensive, open to students of all vocal types, begins with auditions on Saturday, May 20 — and culminates with a pair of performances of Brundibar, the famed children’s opera originally staged at the Theresientadt concentration camp in occupied Czechoslovakia. Needs-based scholarships will be available to those students who qualify.

The public performances will take place on Saturday, August 19 at the Count Basie Theatre and on Sunday, August 20 at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, located on the campus of Ocean County College in Toms River.

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RED BANK: LAST CALL FOR FEST ENTRIES

Press release from Indie Street Film Festival

Attention independent filmmakers – Sunday, May 7 is the final submissions deadline for the second annual Indie Street Film Festival (ISFF), set for July 26-30, 2017.

Taking place at multiple theatrical venues in Red Bank — including the historic Count Basie Theatre, the Two River Theater, Bow Tie Cinema and Red Bank Middle School —  the festival will host attendees from around the world, but will maintain the grit and hard-working attitude that both New Jerseyans and Independent filmmakers have shared for decades.

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RED BANK: ART, ABANDONED AND SEDUCTIVE

Ellen Martin’s ‘Abandoned’ series of photographs (above) are on display beginning Thursday at the Oyster Point.

From painted portraits of nature’s splendor to photographic captures of commercial ruins and other scenes of gorgeous desolation, the galleries  of the Greater Red Bank Green offer up an eyeful in the days and nights to come with an art walk that begins Thursday evening with a new installation on the walls and walkways of the Oyster Point Hotel.

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RED BANK: FOOD FEST TO PACK PARKING LOT

More than 20 local food purveyors will be present  when the 2017 edition of the Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest commandeers the White Street municipal parking lot this Sunday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

While the recent cancellation of Riverfest has left a hole in Red Bank’s yearly segue into summer, fans of strolling smorgasbords and top-down tunes needn’t wait too long to get their festival fix — as this Sunday, the White Street municipal parking lot will be the scene for the 2017 edition of the Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest.

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RED BANK: ‘BEAUTY’ ON THE BASIE STAGE

The interlude between the end of April and beginning of May signals the traditional rising up of a real Red Bank institution — Phoenix Productions, the borough-based theatrical company that for more than two decades has presented its musical entertainments on the boards of one of the region’s most legendary stages: the Count Basie Theatre.

This Saturday sees the curtain go up on the first of the 2017 offerings from the Phoenix fun factory — and, it as they did with last year’s season-opening production of The Little Mermaid, the troupe will be delving into the Disney Broadway playbook for a fresh and family-friendly staging of the romantic fantasy perennial, Beauty and the Beast.

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RED BANK: A RE-THINK PIECE AT BORO HALL

Amy Goldsmith of Clean Water Action.

Press release from Clean Water Action

On the evening of Tuesday, May 9, the nonprofit organization Clean Water Action will host a public-welcome presentation on its award-winning ReThink Disposable initiative, during the meeting of the Red Bank Environmental Commission.

Amy Goldsmith, NJ Director of National Clean Water Action and a Red Bank resident, will make the presentation at the commission’s 7 p.m. meeting inside Borough Hall.

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RED BANK: CURTAIN UP FOR BASIE KIDS

Press release from Count Basie Theatre

Each year, the historic Count Basie Theatre welcomes thousands of students to experience live art — and for many, it’s their first or only opportunity to do so. From classical music with modern twists, to the diversity of Asian and African artistry or historical plays like I Have a Dream, the Basie allows students to dream forward through the experience of culture and artistic expression.

Last week, the theatre announced its participation in the OceanFirst Charity Challenge, a crowdsourcing fundraiser which will assist the Basie in raising money for its “Curtains Up For Kids” educational performance program for schools.

Individuals are encouraged to visit thebasie.org and click the “Curtains Up For Kids” icon, which will take them to a page where donations can be taken, and individuals and schools can spin off their own fundraisers to assist the cause.

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RED BANK: PADILLA ‘WOMEN’ ON THE WING

The cast of ‘The Women of Padilla’ share a cathartic moment in the Tony Meneses play that concludes its world premiere engagement this week at Two River Theater. (photo by T. Charles Erickson)

Beginning with a 1 p.m. performance Wednesday, seven opportunities remain for the general public to catch The Women of Padilla, the latest in an ever-growing portfolio of plays that have made their world premiere on the Red Bank stage of Two River Theater.

Written by Tony Meneses (whose previously produced project here was Guadalupe in the Guest Room), the drama is an ensemble piece that reflects an ongoing commitment by the theater company to develop and promote new works by Latino creators. It’s also a succinct and slightly surreal piece with an underlying universal quality — a glimpse at the home front in a time of seemingly eternal war, as well as the ways in which we find family, build community, and latch onto gossamer wings of hope whenever something important goes missing from our lives.

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RED BANK: A SENSES-FRIENDLY SUMMER CAMP

As part of its 2017 Summer Theater Camp, Red Bank’s Two River Theater will offer its first classes for students with autism ages 10-17, plus a special “sensory-friendly” performance of the play ‘The Way Back Home’ on June 10.

Press release from Two River Theater Company

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, has announced two new initiatives designed to support young people on the autism spectrum, and welcome them to the theater.

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RED BANK: CYMCA HOSTS HEALTHY KIDS

Press release from The Community YMCA

This coming Saturday, April 29, marks the the annual appearance of Healthy Kids Day, a free community event, hosted by The Community YMCA, to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active now and all summer long hosting.

Between the hours of noon to 3 p.m., the Y’s Family Health and Wellness Center (166 Maple Avenue in Red Bank) will be the scene for a fun afternoon in which families will enjoy face painting, Kids Hip/Hop and Zumba, a Teddy Bear Clinic led by Hackensack Meridian Medical Health and Riverview Medical Center’s ER staff, race relay and free throw contests, Giant Jenga, a gift card raffle to local businesses, and more.

Healthy snacks from Wegmans and giveaways will be available. Families interested in a healthy start to summer can sign up for a special priced three-month membership.

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RED BANK: MAKING ALL LOCAL ART STOPS

The new Ani Art Academy America on Broad Street is among the scheduled “art stops” for a Tuesday evening Gallery Gallivant, departing from the Monmouth Street headquarters of Monmouth Arts.

It’s being called a “Gallery Gallivant” — the latest in a series of Red Bank art walks hosted by the folks at borough-based Monmouth Arts, and a stimulating little constitutional for anyone who’s itching for something to do on a normally sleepy Tuesday in town.

One of a slate of offerings designed to give arts aficionados a strolling/rolling perspective on what’s happening in and around the “MoCo” (Monmouth County) Arts Corridor — that scintillating strip of station stops along the Matawan-to-Manasquan stretch of the North Jersey Coast Line — the two-hour guided tour sets sail tomorrow evening, April 25, from the organization’s storefront headquarters at 105 Monmouth Street (the western corner of the Count Basie Theatre building).

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FAIR HAVEN: SELDIN STORMS BACK AT 70

Shore music legend Stormin’ Norman Seldin returns to the scene of a legendary months-long stand when he observes his 70th birthday Saturday night in Fair Haven.

With all due props to Count Basie, he’s the “other” Kid from Red Bank, even if he’s long since earned a senior discount at IHOP.

To aficionados of the Shore music scene, Stormin’ Norman Seldin is still the same ginger-haired, piano-pounding prodigy (at age 13, the youngest person to become a member of the American Federation of Musicians) who’d staked out a career as a singer, bandleader, promoter and record label owner by his teens — and who, through his old combo the Joyful Noyze, introduced audiences to a bigger-than-life talent by the name of Clarence Clemons.

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RED BANK: MAYOR’S BALL SET FOR MAY 5

 Mayor Pasquale Menna is pictured at right, greeting Count Basie Theatre CEO Adam Philipson during the 2016 edition of the Mayor’s Charity Ball. The third annual event is scheduled for the evening of May 5 at the Oyster Point.

Press release from Red Bank Mayor’s Ball Committee

For the third year, Mayor Pasquale Menna will be hosting the annual Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball, scheduled for Friday, May 5 at The Oyster Point Hotel.

The event, which will be emceed by former Mayor Edward J. McKenna Jr., will honor businesses, public agencies and individuals that include the Reverend Terrence Porter of Pilgrim Baptist Church (Humanitarian Award), Super Foodtown (Industry Award), the Red Bank Police Department (Historical Legacy Award), and Roger Mumford (Urban Development Award).

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RED BANK: RIVERFEST UNPLUGGED, AGAIN

The event, which often drew tens of thousands of visitors to Marine Park, was revived in 2011 after a 10-year absence. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Scratch another big outdoor event from the calendar: this year’s Red Bank Riverfest is off.

The cancellation followed a dispute over money, with the borough claiming it had been shorted last year, and an event organizer saying the town had “nickeled and dimed” the food-and-music festival until it was no longer viable.

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RED BANK: SECOND-STORY CONFESSIONS AT 99

The upstairs “Studio 99” rehearsal facility at the Count Basie Theatre is the venue for the Dunbar Repertory production of BUTTERFLY CONFESSIONS, going up this Friday for the first show of a two-weekend stand.

Seasoned explorers of Red Bank’s cultural scene know that the second story often plays host to a whole other story — for proof, take it upstairs to any of the art opening events at Salon Concrete or McKay Imaging — or dig if you will such special events as tomorrow night’s Red Bank Blooms fashion show upside Teak.

When it’s not bumper-to-bumper busy booking some of the biggest names in show business on its storied stage, the Count Basie Theatre can be found hosting activities that can extend from the street-level Carlton Lounge and back-scenes patio, to the “Studio 99” rehearsal rooms on the landmark building’s second floor. It’s there that one of the area’s best-kept-secret theatrical companies has found a home for many of its projects — and there that Dunbar Repertory Company will present the play Butterfly Confessions for a two-weekend engagement that begins this Friday, April 21.

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RED BANK: FAMOUS AUTHOR COOKS UP LUNCH

Press release from the Northern Monmouth County Branch of AAUW

On May 11, the Northern Monmouth County Branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) will hold its Fourth Annual Scholarship Luncheon at the Molly Pitcher Inn.

Members of the community are invited to join in an afternoon filled with fun, good food and the opportunity to hear from the New York Times bestselling author, Mary Kay Andrews. The Georgia-based creator of numerous popular mysteries and other novels set in beach and coastal communities, Ms. Andrews will share stories about how she came to be an author, and how she decided to write her latest book, The Beach House Cookbook.

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RED BANK: MHA PRESENTS ANNUAL DINNER

Press release from Mental Health Association of Monmouth County 

Each May, the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County (MHAMC) hosts an annual dinner to celebrate Mental Health Month, and honor individuals who have made a significant and lasting impact in the lives of Monmouth County residents.

On the evening of Wednesday, May 10, the MHAMC celebrates 67 years of providing a prevention focused support network for all in need of mental health services, when the yearly event returns to The Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank from 6 to 9 p.m. Included are hors d’oeuvres, dinner, dessert, cash bar and a robust chance raffle during cocktail hour.

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RED BANK: BASIE TO ABSORB CONSERVATORY

Vladislav Kovalsky, below, plans to fold the Monmouth Conservatory of Music, which he’s headed since 1998, into the Count Basie Theatre.

In a move that further cements its place at the heart of the Greater Red Bank Green’s cultural life, the Count Basie Theatre plans to merge the borough-based Monmouth Conservatory of Music into its existing suite of musical training and performance programs.

In a statement released Wednesday, the theater’s board of directors detailed a plan to assume operations of the 53-year-old MCM as a component of the Basie’s slate of specialized instruction programs in jazz, classic rock and Broadway-style performing arts.

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RED BANK: A BIG EVENT FOR BIG BROS/SISTERS

Press release from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties

For generations in Monmouth and Middlesex counties, the area chapter of the nationwide nonprofit Big Brothers/ Big Sisters has offered children in our community access to One-to-One Mentoring Programs that have made a tremendous difference in the lives of our young people. And, each spring for much of the past two decades, the BBBSMMC has engineered a very tasteful way for supporters to get involved with these acclaimed programs.

Going up for its 18th edition on Thursday, May 4, the  annual Food and Wine Tasting Event offers an opportunity to “tantalize your taste buds with a selection of wine and cocktails…indulge in hors’ doeuvres, raw bar, pasta, specialty stations and dessert,” and “try your luck at silent and chance auctions.”

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RED BANK: SPRING SPRINTS AHEAD TO SUMMER

Summer-like temperatures in the low 80s rolled into the Greater Red Bank Green Tuesday, triggering a widely shared urged to pop outdoors.

Wednesday’s forecast, according to the Weather Channel: a 60-percent chance of rain in the morning, followed by cloudy skies and highs in the mid-70s. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: ANOTHER FAIR DAY IN STORE

Abundant sunshine and temperatures in the mid-60s made set the mood for an enjoyable Red Bank Street Fair Sunday. Monday’s weather forecast: partly sunny, with highs in the mid-70s.

Click “read more” to see additional fair photos. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: ALL’S FAIR AT SPRING EVENT

The spring edition of the Red Bank Street Fair returns this Sunday, when the downtown is transformed into a merry midway for the benefit of the PBA Local 39. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

[CORRECTION: The original version of this post reported that the spring Street Fair benefits the volunteer fire department, when in fact it’s for the Police Benevolent Association. The fire department fair is held in the fall. redbankgreen regrets the error.]

It’s a strolling/rolling smorgasbord of eat-on-the-go “fair fare,” a merry midway of rides, games and activities for the kiddies, and a bustling bazaar of retailers, crafters and service merchants. Even if the majority of vendors aren’t local, proceeds go to the worthiest of hyper-local causes: the charitable works of Red Bank Police Benevolent Association Local 39.

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