Turn to local theaters for innovative performances


    Theaters across Monmouth and Ocean counties are rolling out events whether outdoor or virtual to provide entertainment to local communities any way that they can. From outdoor and drive-in concerts to virtual stage tours, classes and Facebook live performances, there are plenty of events to enjoy throughout the rest of the summer as well as ways to help give back to your local theater.


    Algonquin Arts Theatre, 60 Abe Voorhees Dr., Manasquan recently announced the launch of their upcoming Local Summer Series, which will kick off after Labor Day to mark the return of local summer with a month-long celebration that will connect audiences to the artists that perform at the shore. 

    According to a press release from the Algonquin, much like a 24-hour telethon, this 24-day marathon event will raise funding to help Algonquin weather this pandemic-induced intermission while connecting our audience. 

    Algonquin Arts Theatre

    As part of this multifaceted event, the theatre will bring performances back to the community by hosting a three show “dockside” concert series in its parking lot as well as 24 days of video performances and stories delivered via email and social media, a 50-50 raffle, merchandise and other ways to support the Algonquin.

    The “dockside” series will be using the theatre’s loading dock for the stage and the parking lot will transform into a socially distant seating area. On Sept. 2 enjoy the Local Summer Launch Party with local band Spare Parts. Concert goers can enjoy the sounds of Chris Pinella on Sept. 9 followed by the conclusion of the series on September 16 with a halfway to St. Patrick’s Day celebration with a performance by The Snakes. 

    Each concert is free to attend and starts at 7 p.m. Social distancing and masks are required at these concerts and those in attendance are asked to bring their own chair. Squares will be marked on the parking surface to help concertgoers sit separately and space will be first come, first served.

    The Algonquin will also be delivering daily videos to offer 24 performances and 24 stories. Along with the daily video performance there will be a video short story from someone impacted by the Algonquin featured on their website, social media and via email. There will also be a Local Summer Club Membership, Matching Funds Drive and 50/50 Cash Raffle. For more information on these Algonquin  events and fundraisers, visit algonquinarts.org. 


    The Axelrod Performing Arts Center, 100 Grant Ave., Deal Park presents the Anne & Sheldon Vogel Virtual Concert Series co-produced by Remember Jones and Andrew Deprisco  streaming live on Facebook, which continues on Thursday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. featuring an evening with the music of Joey Contreras. The performance will feature singer-songwriter Joey Contreras with Brian Russell Carey, Mia Gerachis, Carl Culley and Stevi Incremona. A portion of proceeds will benefit Encircle. The performance will be streamed live on Facebook on The Axelrod Performing Arts Center and Remember Jones. 

    The Axelrod Performing Arts Center and Russian Standard Vodka present Cocktail Hour with Remember Jones on Thursday, Aug. 27 streaming live at 7 p.m. Join Remember Jones featuring Quincy Mumford, Michael Ghegan Music and David Alastre for an intimate musical performance full of fan favorites and covers. Donations raised will partially benefit Mary’s Place by the Sea, a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women who are receiving treatment for cancer.

    The theater would also like to lead you on a “Backstage Tour” to get a behind-the-scenes look at what’s happening at the Axelrod. Check the backstage tours page on Axelrod’s website regularly for inside information on new shows and programs, behind the scenes interviews plus other exciting updates. 

    For more information on all the theater happenings, visit axelrodartscenter.com. 


    The Basie presents Drive-In Live at Monmouth Park, 175 Oceanport Ave., Oceanport with concerts to benefit the Count Basie Center for the Arts, 99 Monmouth St., Red Bank with a portion of proceeds to the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund and the Hackensack Meridian Health Covid-19 Response Fund. 

    Enjoy a performance by Andrew McMahon on Tuesday, Aug. 25 followed by Yacht Rock Revue on Wednesday, Aug. 26 and The Front Bottoms on Thursday, Aug. 27. For each concert gates will open at 5 p.m. and the show will start at 7 p.m. Tickets will be one per car and there will be a four person maximum per vehicle. Vehicles will be spaced approximately nine feet apart and windows may remain open at this distance. Patrons must remain inside their vehicle cabins. 

    Concertgoers will be able to hear the show via stage audio and FM radio with additional details available on the day of the show. For more information and to purchase tickets in advance, visit thebasie.org.

    Exit 82 Theatre


    Exit 82 Theatre, 73 Main St., 2nd Floor, Toms River is offering Virtual Vocal Coaching and all CAPA Academy classes have transitioned into a virtual learning environment. Join Aziza Callahan in four private, 45 minute virtual sessions where students will focus on their musical theater goals. 

    Students will work to expand their range, develop audition repertoire and discuss the finer points of acting while singing and bringing style to audition materials. Aziza will work directly with each student and parent to determine the best day and time for the individual lessons. For more information on virtual classes and vocal coaching and to register, visit exit82theatre.com/capa-academy.

    Spring Lake Theatre


    Spring Lake Community House and Theatre, 300 Madison Ave., Spring Lake presents Concert for Our Cause, an outdoor concert to benefit the Spring Lake Theatre Recovery Fund on Friday, Sept. 4 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Those in attendance can enjoy a selection of beloved Broadway songs sung by actors from The Spring Lake Theatre Company. 

    Limited tickets are available for a $100 per person donation and can be purchased online or by calling 732-449-4530 Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Social distancing guidelines will be observed and refreshments will be provided. 

    For more information and to purchase tickets, visit springlaketheatre.com/reservtions. 


    ShowRoom Cinemas, 707 Cookman Ave., Asbury Park and 110 Main St., Bradley Beach is offering virtual cinema screenings. According to its website, while they can’t offer you a physical escape to the movies and the community experience of watching a movie the way it was meant to be seen, they will continue to bring you indie film standouts virtually.

    These virtual cinema screenings are ticketed screenings of films unavailable on any other Video On Demand [VOD] platform that viewers can enjoy from the privacy of their own home. The website also shares that by renting one of their Virtual Cinema titles, you are demonstrating your support for ShowRoom Cinemas now and when they reopen. These rentals are a lifeline for ShowRoom Cinemas to keep programming films even when their doors are closed. 

    Virtual Cinema titles currently offered include: “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind;” “Creem America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine;” “Jazz On A Summer’s Day;” “The Fight;” “Rebuilding Paradise;” “Helmut Newton: The Bad and The Beautiful;” “Amulet;” “John Lewis: Good Trouble;” “Ursula Von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own;” “2040;” “The Grey Fox;” “The Painter and the Thief;” “Lucky Grandma” and “Capital in the 21st Century.” 

    For more information, visit showroomcinemas.com. 



    The Strand Center for the Arts, 400 Clifton Ave., Lakewood presents Streams at the Strand offering live stream concerts through its website. Upcoming live stream performances include Bell Bottom Blues on Thursday, Aug. 27 at 8 p.m.; The Billy Walton Band on Thursday, Sept. 3 t 8 p.m.; The Matt O’Ree Band on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m.; Alive! 75 on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. and Chris Ruggiero on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. 

    For more information on these live stream concerts and more, visit strand.org. 



    Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank features Two River Rising, an online benefit reading series, which will benefit Two River Theater as well as partner non-profits. According to the website, readings selected for the series reflect the past, present and future of the theater’s diverse range of programming including reimagined classics and world premieres by the industry’s most adventurous theater artists.

    Online benefit event tickets are $25 per play reading or $65 for the series of three upcoming readings and include access to live post-reading Q&As with the artists involved, hosted on Zoom. Online ticket sales will close four hours prior to event time. Tickets can be purchased from 3PM to 7PM on the day of the event by calling the box office at 732-345-1400. 

    Two River Theater

    Upcoming readings include Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England on Wednesday, Sept. 16 and Romeo and Juliet on Wednesday, Sept. 30. All donations made to Two River Theater in support of the series will be matched by a generous donor in order to benefit five organizations with a pressing need due to the impact of systemic racism and COVID-19. 

    For more information and to purchase tickets, visit tworivertheater.org.