Saturday, May 8, 2010

Just A Typical Sunday in Asbury Park

A Typical Sunday Afternoon In a Most Un-Typical Town

Sometimes there are so many things to do and places to check out in Asbury Park that you could easily exhaust yourself. But it’s always worth it.

Last Sunday, for example, within three hours I caught an original play and a presentation by a Pulitzer prize winning author.
Playwright Michael Mooney produced a reading of his three mini-plays, “The Adventures of Wendy and Michael”, at the Crane House, the former home of author Stephen Crane, on Fourth Avenue.

Michael’s satirical trilogy followed the misadventures of Wendy and Michael, “two darling British children who encounter a royalty-free, ever-practical nanny and a burglar in green tights, who may or may not be the legendary Peter Pan.” Mooney has a nice ironic voice similar to David Sedaris. His cast included Julianne DiPietro-Renshaw as Wendy, Eric Rolland as Michael, Valerie Hufford DeLeon as Peter Pan, and Cody Dalton as Mary Moppins.

Michael’s play triggered lots of belly laughs and applause. Then it was time to hussle from Fourth over to Cookman Avenue, in the downtown, to catch the presentation at The Showroom, Asbury Park’s tiny treasure of an independent film theater. Within fifteen minutes, you’re a captive of Pulitzer winning novelist Junot Diaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Woa and documentary filmmaker Freddy Vargas, whose film “Hispaniola” about the inhuman treatment of Haitian immigrants at the hands of Dominican officials brought the room to tears in under 12 minutes. (Interviewing Diaz is Kim Powers, author and senior researcher for ABC News.)

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