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December 09, 2016
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Linked in and on the run...

Crystal Tweed, left, as Ruth, seeks advice from family matriarch Lena, played by DeLois “Cookie” House in SCDW’s production of “A Raisin in the Sun.”

Later that same day I flew to yet another destination I’ve been dying to check out: the Rolling River Café, ( in Parksville, NY. Proprietors Kim and Rob Rayevsky were as charming as the inviting setting they have created, and certainly know how to throw a party. Local comic Rich Kiamco ( was the entertainment headliner, and it was cool to see him perform an entire (very amusing) set, since he often is introducing others to the stage, as he continues to bring comedy to the Catskills with his group (www.the

The opening act was a fresh young guy named David Wiswell ( who handled the hecklers (yes, hecklers) with hilarious retorts and delivered a solid, rip-roaring set, rife with cultural references and held his own, despite the rowdy (uninvited) audience participation. I stayed to the (not so) bitter end, since I was having too much fun. The menu was also inviting, so a return visit is definitely in my future!

It would be a stretch to describe playwright Lorraine Hansberrys’ intensely gripping drama, “A Raisin in the Sun” as “fun” but the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop ( has opened its 2011 season with this production and I attended on Mother’s Day. Director G. Oliver King shared his connection to the play with the audience before the show commenced, and I was immediately struck by his passion for the work, the gorgeous set, created by Rachel Keebler, and impressed by the production, overall.

DeLois “Cookie” House, as “Mama” Lena Younger, set the tone with a thoughtful, layered interpretation of the character, and her performance not only (IMHO) enhanced the other actors’ performances with her well-honed skill, but carried the show by her mere presence.

Joining House with some fine acting were Crystal Tweed, John Nealis, Ebony Isaac, Oliver King and a great comic turn by Cynthia Toliver, as the nosy neighbor, Mrs. Johnson. Rounding out the cast, 13-year-old Frank Degroat shows great promise, alongside cast mates Bruno D. Roberts, Francis Young-Henderson and Paul Puerschner.