Basie Center to reopen main theater for socially distanced, cabaret-style shows

Count Basie Center reopen

This is what the Count Basie Center for the Arts’ main theater will look like for pop-up shows.

The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank — which is currently presenting shows in its new space, The Vogel — will reopen its main room, the Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, for socially distanced shows, beginning with former Trans-Siberian Orchestra member Chris Pinnella’s “Christmas at the Basie” concert, Dec. 19.

A platform will be be in placed over the theater’s seats to create a cabaret-like atmosphere, with tables. Like shows at The Vogel, these ones will be limited to audiences of 150.

One benefit of the reopening is that it will allow the Basie Center to present two shows simultaneously. The second of Glen Burtnik’s two Socially Distanced Xmas shows will take place at 8 p.m. on Dec. 19, while Pinnella will start at 7:30 p.m.

“When Governor Murphy announced in October that performance venues could reopen, we immediately started to think of the safest, most economical way to present performances in our historic theater,” said Basie president and CEO Adam Philipson, in a press release. “The ‘Pop-Up Stage’ configuration is a cool and unique set-up we’ve used at galas, but more importantly, it allows us to achieve the distancing measures we’ve found to be key in the success of presenting shows next door at The Vogel.

“The Count Basie Center for the Arts has lost in excess of $8 million since the onset of the pandemic. Producing these performances, as well as holding safe and socially distant onsite classes and films at Basie Center Cinemas, is crucial to our survival.”

Tickets for Pinnella will go on sale Dec. 9 at 10 a.m., and the pre-sale has already begun. Visit


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