Count Basie Theatre Expansion Begins

September 24, 2017
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Photos by Lynne Ward |

RED BANK – The Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank broke ground on a $23 million expansion Wednesday, Sept 20 that will eventually double its size.

The plan to propel the Basie into one of the region’s largest centers for performing arts was announced in October 2015. Since then, $15 million has been raised for the project.

News on a $2 million gift from the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation was unveiled during the groundbreaking that will help fund a new arts and education building, with a second performance venue, in their name. The building will also sport the Rock and Rohl Rooftop Lounge, named after campaign donors Mark and Denise Rohl, which will provide a stylish gathering space for concertgoers, private parties and other events.

Leading donors, chair members, and others were the first to pitch shovels at the groundbreaking.

The expansion will add modern, barrier-free amenities and improvements including new production technologies, a revamped backstage area, and an outdoor performing arts plaza.

One of the leading advocates for the Count Basie Theatre, Jordan Gilbert, performed at the groundbreaking.

“It’s very gratifying to have arrived at this day,” said Adam Philipson, president and CEO, Count Basie Theatre. “This is a day that the entire staff and board have relentlessly been working towards. What was once our dream is now fast becoming our reality.”

This article was first published in the Sept. 21-28, 2017 print edition of the Two River Times.

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