RUMSON: ACTOR HELPS MAKE A BOOK ‘SCENE’

SiobhanFallonHoganSiobhan Fallon Hogan makes a Saturday morning appearance at Oceanic Library, keyed to a new children’s book collaboration with fellow Rumson resident Lori Oakes.

suzy-the-sceneLast we caught up with her in the pixelated pages of redbankgreen, the busy screen actor and Rumson resident Siobhan Fallon Hogan brought us up to date on a pair of exciting new projects — the M. Night Shyamalan-produced sci-fi TV series Wayward Pines (the third season of which begins filming in spring 2017), and her second self-penned solo stage show, a multi-character tour de farce entitled Acting Out.

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RUMSON: ADULT BOOKS PROMPT R-FH DEBATE

siobhan fallon hogan 101315With emergency lights on because of a power outage, parent Siobhan Fallon Hogan urged parental choice in the books read by teens. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

[UPDATE: See a statement from playwright Ariel Dorfman about this controversy appended to the bottom of this article.]

HOT-TOPIC_03It was a dimly lit and slightly damp night as about 150 members of the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School community politely debated a stormy issue Tuesday: the place of two works of fiction in the curriculum.

Taking turns at a non-working microphone in an auditorium lit by emergency lights because of a power outage, a number of parents challenged the inclusion of two books on reading lists for juniors and seniors because of their adult themes and coarse language.

Led by former Saturday Night Live cast member Siobhan Fallon Hogan, the objectors insisted they were not out to ban or censor the books, but instead to call for a policy that would allow parents to choose substitute reading material they consider “age appropriate” for their children.

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MIDDLETOWN: CELTIC CULTURE MARCHES ON

DublinCityThe Dublin City Ramblers (above) take the stage, and bagpipers Aidan and Michael Hannigan (below) stroll the grounds, as the Middletown Arts Center plays host to its first-ever Savor the Arts Ireland Festival this weekend. 

Irish MAC“Is there any holiday that lasts as long as St. Patrick’s Day does around here?” the Shore-based folksinger George Wirth queried recently.

While we debate the merits of that observation, it can’t be disputed that, two weeks after the Rumson St. Patrick’s Parade here on the Greater Red Bank Green (plus several days after the actual day of St. Patrick), the ongoing march has delivered us right to Spring’s doorstep, courtesy of a first-ever Gaelic culture celebration in Middletown.

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RUMSON SCREEN STAR’S CHARACTER THERAPY

SiobhanFallonHoganMovie-TV actress (and Rumson mom) Siobhan Fallon Hogan returns to the stage of Two River Theater this Saturday with her sold-out solo show, ‘Acting Out.’

Hers is a face you’ve likely encountered in and around her home on the Greater Red Bank Green, where she’s apt to be sighted at one of the schools her kids attend — as well as many of the staple sites of local community life.

A quick safari through the channel guide can match that face with a whole streaming smorgasbord of well-known movies and TV shows, from Seinfeld (she was Elaine’s roommate Tina), Men in Black (she was the alien farmer’s wife) and Forrest Gump (she played Dorothy the school bus driver), to Danish director Lars Von Trier’s arthouse oddity Dogville, and under-appreciated items like New in Town with Renee Zellweger. Not to forget a stint as a cast member on Saturday Night Live.

Expect to see a bit more of her. Beginning this May, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, a Rumson resident of 10 years, will be a regular presence on Wayward Pines, the Fox TV “event thriller” limited series (starring Matt Dillon, Terrence Howard and an ensemble supporting cast) from producer M. Night Shyamalan. Before that, though, Fallon Hogan returns to the stage of Red Bank’s Two River Theater — where several years back she debuted an original one-woman show entitled The Salty Sea PTA — with an all new showcase for her multi-tasking character skills.

Written by its star and entitled Acting Out!, the all-new comic solo quickly sold out its two scheduled performances on Saturday, with an encore presentation now added for Thursday, March 12. The Drama Desk at redbankgreen managed to catch up with the beyond-busy actor, mom and playwright, prior to a brief but well-deserved beach vaykay — and between a weathery year of shooting in Canada, and a run of rehearsals here on the icy banks of the Navesink.

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RUMSON PARENTS TEE UP PRIEST OVER FIRING

Tearful students gather around dismissed teacher Bernadette Davis, above. Father Michael Manning taunted sign-waving protesters, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Long-simmering tensions at Rumson’s Holy Cross parish boiled over into public Thursday as dozens of parents and children rallied to denounce the dismissal of a beloved teacher and to label their pastor an unchecked “tyrant.”

“He’s cold, he’s heartless,” Locust resident Pat Gross, a 30-year parishoner, said of Father Michael Manning, who has led the church for six years. “He thinks he’s a dictator. He doesn’t like to be challenged or confronted.”

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