Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Great Time In Red Bank!

I just returned from the Signing Event with Kent Melton and Tony Cipriano at CEL-EBRATION! Gallery this past weekend in Red Bank, NJ. It was an awesome weekend to finally be able to visit the store, see old friends again and meet so many new ones!

Bob & Pam Martin hosted a signing event at their store on Saturday, March 21st that kicked off with a Panel Discussion held at the Count Basie Theatre. I was honored to be part of this panel discussion with two very talented sculptors.

Pam welcomed everyone who attended, introduced the panel and then introduced Kent's wife Martha who spoke about Rose O'Neill, the animator of the Kewpie who is celebrating it's 100th Anniversary this year!

Kent spoke of his recent work on Coraline plus the many films he's worked on over the years and his work for the Walt Disney Classics Collection. He had maquettes of the Cat, Scotty Dog and Coraline from the film. I haven't had the opportunity to see Coraline yet but after speaking with him and Pam about it this weekend, definitely want to check it out.

Tony Cipriano spoke of his work on Mulan, Tarzan and Brother Bear and his work for the Walt Disney Classics Collection. He brought maquettes of Kenai, one of the Moose (not sure if Rutt or Tuke) and Tatana from Brother Bear and Cri-Kee from Mulan. At the close of the Panel Discussion, the group moved from the Count Basie Theater to the store for collectors to meet with the sculptors and have their sculptures and/or certificates signed.

It was great to have our gang together again for another event -- Michelle, Greg, George, Jeff, Carl & John, Ms. V (Virginia) and Lanette. Allen, appreciate you coming in from Long Island, was great catching up again. Was nice to meet Janet (Carl's sister), Robert (Ms. V's husband) , Mindy & Nancy plus so many of Pam's customers who are some of the nicest people I've ever met!

I first met Kent Melton in 1998 at the Rosemont International Collectibles Exposition. This event was held each summer in Rosemont, IL and alternated between the East & West Coast either in the spring or fall. A friendshp has grown since our first meeting and always look forward to seeing Kent at signing events and having the chance to catch up. I had pre-ordered the Ariel with Prince Eric Statue (based on images), so was my first opportunity to see in person .. WOW!

This was the first time I had the opportunity to meet Tony Cipriano. Both a great guy and very talented sculptor. From the Festival of Fools Scene, had only done Quasimodo and Esmerelda, so took this opportunity to finish out the grouping sculpted between Kent (Esmerelda) and Tony (Quasimodo and Clopin) and pick up Clopin. Truly hope to see more of Tony's work in future WDCC releases, as he's a very talented guy!

The evening ended with Michelle, Greg and myself seeing Idina Menzel in concert at the Count Basie Theatre. Many are familiar with Idina from her performances as Maureen in
Rent and Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway and as Nancy in Disney's Enchanted. Idina put on a fantastic show to a packed house singing songs from her latest CD, I Stand plus songs from her previously released CD's and Wicked. I highly recommend if you have a chance to see her perform, to do so as she is not only a fantastic singer but incredible entertainer and performer.

No trip recap would be complete without some recommendations :) If in the Red Bank area, be sure to stay at the Molly Pitcher Inn. The Molly Pitcher Inn offers first-class amenities with the sophistication of an elegant 19th century small luxury hotel and is among the most scenic luxury hotels in Central New Jersey.

For dinner that evening, we ate at the Dublin House Pub Restaurant located adjacent to CEL-EBRATION! Great atmosphere and great food. Highly recommend their burgers and reuben sandwich.

For great entertainment, check out the Count Basie Theatre. A beautiful restoration was done in 2008.

On Saturday, prior to the Panel Discussion, we had lunch at the Broadway Diner. A charming place with incredible food. The food was so good, we had breakfast there on Sunday before heading out. Highly recommend the cranberry and pecan pancakes .. YUM!

I would like to thank Bob, Pam and Nancy for being such awesome hosts and making it possible for collectors to have the opportunity to get together and spend time with the sculptors behind a collection that is very special to many of us.

I look forward to their next event and the opportunity to return to Red Bank!


Matthew said...

Thanks for the report, Don! It's always cool to hear about the great times meeting artists and fans. I really hope that sometime I'll get to join you all!

Jehna (AliceGirl23) said...

Still wish i coulda stayed longer and socialized more. we got hurried out for other engagements. The show at the count basie sounded like it woulda been a good time. Oh well I'll be watching for something at gallery of the lakes or somewhere else around close.

Count Basie Theatre (Numa C. Saisselin, CEO) said...

So happy you enjoyed Idina... we did too! And thank you very much for being part of the panel and for sharing your experience with friends. We appreciate your support! :)

Gregory said...

I can't agree more what a wonderful weekend we had in Red Bank. Kent and Martha....as well as Tony and his wife were all very friendly, down to earth people. And I can't say enough about what wonderful hosts Pam and Bob Martin were. Great embassadors to Red Bank. Finally, the Idina concert was terrific! Much more enjoyable than I had even expected. The Count Bassie Theater has been recently renovated and is a really a gem for the community. The residents of Red Bank are very lucky to have such a great venue close by.

All in all a great week to see old friends, make news ones, talk Disney and just have a good time! Looking forward to the next event.