Published in The Coaster, Asbury Park NJ, June 28 2018
SOUNDS on SCREEN: A Bite at the Opera, at the Crane House
She’s honored as an Asbury Angel, same as Clarence Clemons and a gallery of other late great Circuit rockers — but before she died in 2011, Madame Era Tognoli rocked an altogether different house as the founder of Metro Lyric Opera, the company that staged grand opera classics inside Asbury’s Paramount Theatre for an incredible fifty-one seasons. Each summer since her passing, Frank D’Alessandro of the historic Stephen Crane House has hosted a free series of Opera On Film events in her memory — and TONIGHT, June 28, the series returns for a seventh season; this time on Thursday evenings (a necessary move, given the increasing scarcity of parking on beach-season weekends). It’s a “Bite at the Opera” slate that couples a 5 pm screening inside the Crane’s newly air-conditioned Lecture Room theater, with a home-cooked light dinner following the film.
This Thursday’s feature is the 2003 production of Puccini’s Manon Lescault, starring Kiri Te Kanawa and Plácido Domingo. Doors open at 4:30 pm, with the 129 minute film followed by dinner (refreshments will also be served prior to the screening, which will also be preceded by a brief introductory talk). As always at the Crane House, there is no charge for the film or the food; donations are always appreciated on behalf of the Asbury Park Little League or AP Historical Society, and new friends are welcomed, as a true legendary local is paid tribute at one of the city’s “best kept secret” cultural gems. Follow The Stephen Crane House on Facebook for updates on additional Bite at the Opera events, on July 26 and August 23.
SOUNDS: Lisa Sherman’s Broadway & Beyond at Tim McLoone’s
As versatile as her own encyclopedic repertoire, vocalist Lisa Sherman has made herself at home in settings that have ranged from glamour-gowned cabaret and glittering disco revivals, to big-band bop and blue-jeaned blues jams with harpin’ helper Sandy Mack. She’s equally at home in venues as expansive as the Count Basie auditorium, and as exclusive as private-party patios — and on Friday, June 29, the Shore area native takes it topside to the panoramic penthouse of Tim McLoone’s Supper Club, as the headline attraction for the revue Broadway and Beyond. Keynoting at 8:15 pm, it’s a set that finds the singing/dancing veteran of Broadway ensembles joined by Kristin Cochran (plus the assembled talents of Benny Gramm, Frosty Lawson, John Martin, John Micco, and Ralph Notaro, under the musical direction of Bob Himmelberger) in a guided tour of showtune-land that spans the songbook standards of Tin Pan Alley and the hit anthems of the present-day Theater District. All this, plus some of the most memorable themes from the movies…because, why not?
About that movie thing: it’s an occasion to welcome a very special guest to the proceedings, in the person of Academy Award and Golden Globe winning songwriter Franke Previte. The Jersey-guy frontman of 80s hitmakers Franke and the Knockouts (“Sweetheart”) — and the composer/lyricist best known for Dirty Dancing and its blockbuster anthems “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life” and “Hungry Eyes” — joins Ms. Sherman (with whom he’s pictured here) for some potential-dynamite duets that are sure to include at least one of the aforementioned (and besides, when you’re up at Mr. McLoone’s roundhouse roadhouse, nobody but nobody puts Baby in a corner!). Take it to timmcloonessupperclub.com for available seating info and reservations.