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What does Captain Obvious say when he answers his Cap-Signal? “I’m Captain Obvious.” And unless you’re Oblivious to the subtle signals we’ve sent out these past months, you’ve probably pinned to the effect that The Obvious represent one of our absolute favorite new(ish) bands on the here in the region Where Music Glibs. The PostPopPunk combo fronted by the obviously amazing Surojanie “Angie” Sugrim (cartooned above) works hard for their no-money; brandishing band-battle scars and writhing around on some of the frankly filthiest floors and sidewalks in the club industry. This Wednesday night Angie and the guys are poised to get painfully obvious once more, and we’ve got that PLUS a passel of picks for the week ahead, right here in this selfsame space…
Its famous ghosts notwithstanding, our home base at Asbury Park’s historic Stephen Crane House is known for being as public a “private” residence as the city has ever seen — and while we didn’t exactly move here for the peace and privacy, we do prefer to keep tabs on whatever noisy polter-guests are currently raising a ruckus at any given moment. So when we heard a multitude of voices coming from downstairs last Monday night, we grabbed our circa-1900 “indoor baseball bat,” crept through the darkened theater and parted the curtain to the reception room at the back of that rambling old cottage. The surprise that awaited us lies, as you might expect, right around the bend of a paperless page…
MONDAY! Ayckbourn’s SISTERLY FEELINGS in Holmdel. The Crane House was the scene for a table-talk rehearsal (of course nobody tells The Old Cryptkeeper slash Asbury Park Press theater critic anything), but when the 1979 comedy Sisterly Feelings by Sir Alan Ayckbourn (above) is given a rare local airing as a script-in-hand reading, it’ll be hosted by Holmdel Theatre Company as part of the troupe’s Monthly Play Reading Series.
Asbury’s own resident Ayckbourn authority (he founded the 4A’s, or Alan Ayckbourn Aficionados of America) Michael T. Mooney — whose pre-show presentations illuminated the recent Two River Theater Company production of Sir Alan’s My Wonderful Day — directs an 11-player cast that includes Kelly Maizenowski, Candy Predham, Charles Deitz, Volney Stefflre and Geoff Shields in this dry and witty portrait of domestic dysfunction within the family of a couple of sisters named Abigail and Dorcas — as played out in the weddings, picnics and camping excursions that play out inside a single park over the years.
This being the frequently experimental Ayckbourn, there’s an impishly innovative edge to this narrative, to wit: “Sisterly Feelings is comprised of four scenes, the first and last of which are the same. There are two different versions of the middle two scenes, the first choice of scene is decided by the flip of a coin at the end of the first scene. The second alternate scene is decided by the actors themselves during the performance.” Refreshments are served (and a discussion follows) with the free reading, presented at the charmingly rustic Duncan Smith Theater (adjacent to Holmdel High School on Crawfords Corner Road). Call (212)868-4444 or visit http://www.holmdeltheatrecompany.org for more info. Duncan Smith Theater, Crawfords Corner-Everett Rd. (at Holmdel High School), Holmdel • 7pm/ FREE
TUESDAY! Michael Burritt at the Marimba in Asbury. The Leigh Howard Stevens Summer Marimba Festival continues apace in Asbury Park, with the namesake “Moog of the Mallets” (inventor of a game-changing grip; composer of some truly innovative new music; bringer of the big beautiful music machine into the mainstream of serious study) presenting a series of must-see recitals at several of the city’s many landmark places of worship.Tonight, Michael Burritt plays with mallets aforethought in a 7pm event at Trinity Episcopal Church on Asbury Avenue — scene also of a Friday night all-in-the-family feature starring Tom Burritt. The series concludes on Monday, June 18, when Leigh Howard Stevens returns to Holy Spirit to show all these young upstarts how it’s done. A donation of at least $7 to $10 per person is accepted for the benefit of the host churches at each event. For more info, email email@example.com. Trinity Episcopal Church, 503 Asbury Ave., Asbury Park • 7pm/ $7-10 suggested donation
WEDNESDAY! The Obvious at Asbury Lanes. Last March, the greater Asbury punkpop combo known as The Obvious notched a career milestone — and put the lie to its own name — when the quartet landed the delightfully offbeat gig of backing original Sugar Hill Gang old-schooler Wonder Mike in a “live and guitarrified” version of “Give Me Back My Name” during the Garden State Film Festival. Fronted by Surojanie “Angie” Sugrim — a genuine keeper of the flame when it comes to getting bloody, bruised and ishkabibbled in the name of rock showmanship — the 2012 edition of the band (Angie, co-founder Daniel Astorri, Mike Smith and new drummer Rob Blake) has a new EP to peddle (Maybe She’s Bored With It, produced by Bouncing Souls guitarist Pete “The Pete” Steinkopf) and an all new stage upon which to writhe, flop and flail at the Fourth Avenue funnarama men call Asbury Lanes. The “under new ownership but same groovy management” retro rec room turned alterna-arts odditorium (whose further recent renovations include a pin-shaped picket fence, an annex “Gutter Bar” and a restoration of the iconic sign) further features Don’t Upset the Bear, Jay Monday and Old Wounds in this humpday hootenanny. Asbury Lanes, 209 Fourth Ave., Asbury Park • 8pm/ $8
THURSDAY and FRIDAY! Previews of AMERICAN STARE at NJ Rep. The Upper Wet Side’s only playhouse dedicated entirely to new and challenging works for the stage hosts the world premiere of a new “dark comedy” by Florida native Tony Glazer — a ensemble piece that “follows the working-class residents of a Sunshine State trailer community — including a young widow and a disabled man who’s been accused of being a child predator — as they’re forced to confront the suit-and-tie specter of corporate interests, and the intrusion of outside agendas into their insular (and slightly off-center) way of life.” Frequent NJ Rep collaborator Evan Bergman directs a large young cast of Rep newcomers in four discounted preview performances of the show that’s set to debut this weekend — and we’ll have more on the new production right here on the upperWETside. Opens Saturday, June 16 and continues through July 22 (regular performances $40). New Jersey Repertory Company, 179 Broadway (at Liberty St.), Long Branch • 2pm and 8pm/ $35
THURSDAY and FRIDAY! Intimate Evenings in Red Bank. With the Rechnitz auditorium at Red Bank’s Two River Theater largely lying fallow in the summertime space between mainstage seasons, the Bridge Avenue arts center is set to host a series of “Intimate Evening with…” concert events in June, July and August — beginning this week with Broadway diva Linda Eder warbling a tribute to several of her favorite Songbirds (June 14), and supercharged singer-songwriter Matthew Sweet offering a 20th Anniversary salute to his breakthrough album Girlfriend (June 15). These first two offerings are produced by MusicWorks Entertainment, the new concert promotion and production company co-founded by Rusty Young, whose previous employer the Count Basie Theatre Foundation (the Monmouth Street theater’s “fundraising and friendraising” arm) will also be producing several of the upcoming shows. Watch for our interviews with Ms. Eder and Mr. Sweet right here on the upperWETside — and take it here for tix. Two River Theater, Bridge Ave. at Edmund Wilson Plaza, Red Bank • 7:30pm/ $79
SATURDAY! Sexy Steampunk Sketchy at The Press Room. Steampunk! We’re not quite sure we’ve got a handle on it, but our current living/ working arrangement — as an aging suburban punk rocker at large in the historic circa-1878 house once occupied by the 19th century author Stephen Crane — would appear to behoove our looking into this tightly corseted speculative subgenre further. And what better place to start than this special themed event brought to you by the folks at the local Dr. Sketchy franchise; their first at downtown Asbury’s breakout rockbar The Press Room, and an event that promises models both female and male in an alternate-universe spin on Victorian era fashions here in this legendary seaside resort. Bring your own art supplies — and be on the lookout for The Observation Wheel, our Asbury-set, Steampunk sci-fi detective novel starring a cynical but swashbuckling young Stevie Crane. The Press Room, 610 Bangs Ave., Asbury Park • 2-11pm/ $15
SATURDAY! Puscifer at the Paramount. Details are scarce — they tend to keep as tight a grip on the before-show buzz as they do with concert-photo creds — but based purely upon past performance this “multifacted, multimedia, multi-artist, and multi-personality” side project of Tool AND Circle of Friends member (and sometime actor, and vintner, and restaurateur) Maynard James Keenan boasts at least as many wigs, get-ups, get-rich-quick scams and snide observations as Roger from American Dad. Hell, there’s even a decent chance of a celeb cameo by Milla Jovovich! The Paramount proscenium is an apt setting for this theatrical enterprise; a stop on the Conditions of My Parole Tour with tickets gettable here. Paramount Theatre, Ocean and Fifth Aves., Asbury Park • 8pm / $29.50 – $55
SUNDAY! Peter Asher at McLoone’s Supper Club. If Peter Asher had done nothing beyond being an associate of The Beatles — as a member of Peter & Gordon, who scored major hits with such Lennon-McCartney tunes as “A World Without Love” and “Nobody I Know,” or even as the brother of McCartney girlfriend Jane Asher — he’d surely have enough anecdotes to make a living on the convention speaking circuit. As it is, when Asher takes the stage of Tim McLoone’s Supper Club on the night of Sunday, June 17, the burning question will be how — as in how does one of the most influential figures in the music industry (discoverer of James Taylor; shaper of the 70s California sound; co-owner of LA’s Roxy and superstar producer with three Grammys and more than 50 precious-metal albums) squeeze some fifty years of memories into a succinct session of stories and song? The latest in the “Masters of Music” series, produced by Sammy Boyd and hosted by McLoone, the 8pm program finds the guest incorporating elements of his touring show “Peter Asher: A Musical Memoir of the 60s and Beyond” — an intimate presentation that includes “singing and stuff; storytelling, multimedia, and conversation on the fly.” Keep an eye out on the upperWETside for our interview with the man who, it’s said, was the real inspiration for Austin Powers. Tim McLoone’s Supper Club, 1200 Ocean Ave. (at Fifth Ave.), Asbury Park • 8pm/ $15 – $40 (show only)