Read all about it: my week of totally diverse, completely unrelated events, happenings and stops I’ve made while traversing the Upper Delaware River region! No two alike! None are connected! …
Read all about it: my week of totally diverse, completely unrelated events, happenings and stops I’ve made while traversing the Upper Delaware River region! No two alike! None are connected! There’s no through-line whatsoever!
That’s right—for the very first time—no dumb theme to keep you all on the edge of your seats, wondering what twists and turns this column will take today. Just the facts, Jack. Let’s do this!
As many of you faithful readers know, I’ve been doing this for a while. It’s not that I’m bored, for there’s always something to see, do and hear in the Catskills, but for some reason, the past week has been different. Maybe it’s the lack of canine companionship. Could it be a lag in motivation? Perhaps it’s ennui. Is it possible that I’ve run out of clever repartee? “Doubtful,” said one of the many voices in my head. “You’re freakin’ hilarious, bro. It’s definitely not that,” said another.
“Chalk it up to variety, then,” I responded to the disembodied voices, “and get on with it. The clock is ticking.”
With the unofficial launch of all things summer, the neighborhood is thrumming with activity, and all one needs to do is glance at our comprehensive calendar section to know that the hills are alive. In the past week alone, I had a fundraiser, a play, a festival and a night on the town to wrangle into one page and did my best to connect the dots—but sometimes, it’s like trying to “put a square peg into a round hole” as Barbara Fox was fond of saying.
That said, last week’s headlines look something like this:
“Thunder 102 Radio sets fundraising record!”
Once again, the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids radiothon—this year marked the 12th—helped kick childhood cancer’s butt by raising a staggering $123,753.
I’ve had the honor of participating in this amazing event since its inception. While I’m a very tiny cog in a vast wheel of moving parts, it’s a good reminder of what an entire community can accomplish if we all set our sights on the same goal.
Congratulations to all involved, including on-air personality Paul Ciliberto, who was recognized for his contributions to the cause by the fine folks at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I’m fairly certain Bold Gold Media General Manager Dawn Ciorciari would agree that it does, indeed, “take a village.”
“Last clown on Earth escapes nuthouse!” screamed another attention-grabbing headline as I made my way to the Rivoli Theater in South Fallsburg, NY last Friday to catch a new production, titled “Fool: The wanderings of the last clown on Earth.”
To be honest, I had no plans to go, having learned that writer/director/star Ellie J’s one-person story featured mime antics and no dialog, but DH Canvas publisher Barry Plaxen implored me to check it out. “It's one of the great theatrical experiences of my life,” Barry enthused in an email.
I explained to Barry that neither mimes nor clowns are at the top of my must-see list, and that the run would be over by the time this riveting column goes to press. He countered with “The theatre-loving public should know about it. Ellie’s [production displays] serious acting and even a unique message. I just feel she should get recognition for her work.”
DH Canvas, the Delaware Hudson Free Local Entertainment Guide, is wonderful, and Plaxen knows entertainment, so I went.
According to Barry, his experience was akin to seeing the “original 1957 production of West Side Story,” which might have been a bit flowery, but I’m glad I went.
He’s right in recognizing that playwright/director/star Ellie J has talent—that much is clear—but that’s a lot of hats to wear (IMHO) and I was a bit muddy on the message. Is the clown-posse-of-one insane? Is it funny? Is it sad? Is it a cautionary tale?
I left the theatre befuddled and confused, but thinking “Yes” to all three, and thanks to Barry, I will be keeping my eye on this performer.
Shadfest: Festival of the Founding Fish makes triumphant return!
I made my way, sans dog, to the opening salvo of the second annual celebration of shad, (a herring-like fish that spends much of its life in the sea, typically entering rivers to spawn) for the festival’s “main event” at the Barryville Farmer’s Market last Saturday.
It included live music, and a flotilla (regatta?) of revelers making their way down (up?) the Delaware. In addition, there were vendors, shoppers, lots of kids, plenty of pooches to pet and shad, shad, shad.
It also featured Nordic Preserves’ celebrity chef Annika Sundvik, who hosted a tasting booth at both the market and Narrowsburg’s Fort Delaware, where the party continued into the night.
How’s that for a run-on sentence?
For a guide to additional festivities through this weekend, visit riverreporter.com/stories/2023-shadfest-official-guide,97181 .
Streisand lives! Garland returns from the grave. News at 11.
How’s that for an attention-grabbing headline? In a tribute to old-timey female impersonators, New York City-based entertainers Summer Orlando (as Judy Garland) and Barbra Joan Streetsand (as Babs) made a pit stop at the Forestburgh Playhouse Tavern last Saturday while touring the East Coast with their cabaret offering, aptly titled “The Judy and Barbra Show.”
Featuring film clips and a pastiche of songs made famous by two of the world’s most enduring performers, the divas (both living and dead) made an impression (see what I did there?) which hit some high notes, occasionally stumbling on the (long and winding) yellow brick road to Beverly Hills.
I’m a fan of both Garland and Streisand, and while the show was entertaining, I found it a bit disjointed and laced with some bathroom humor that could have been left (IMHO) at the door.
Regardless, both “ladies” can sing, the place was packed, and it was great to see folks filling the tavern and having a ball. I mean really, what do I know?
I’m such a huge fan of the playhouse and all that it has to offer, it doesn’t matter that I was less than enthralled with the too-darn-long salute to Babs and Co. There’s plenty of variety coming our way under the tent, in the tavern and on the main stage this summer—and variety (I’ve heard) is the spice of life.
For a complete schedule, go to www.fbplayhouse.org.
Ask the Google. Q: What the heck is “ennui?”
A: “ A feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of excitement.
Next up: “pastiche.”
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