in my humble opinion

Nice to see ya!

By JONATHAN CHARLES FOX
Posted 6/9/21

It’s been quite a year for all of us. I think it’s fair to say that we’ve learned some things along the way: about our health, about our relationships with others and about …

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in my humble opinion

Nice to see ya!

Posted

It’s been quite a year for all of us. I think it’s fair to say that we’ve learned some things along the way: about our health, about our relationships with others and about ourselves. I know I have, and a few personal revelations were, um (did I just say “um?”), unexpected.

On the bright side, I discovered I’m more of a homebody than I previously thought, undoubtedly because, until recently, I haven’t spent much time there. Even though stairs have become a bit of an issue over the last year or three, I love my home-sweet-home and the property it sits on, which is really fortunate, because I’ve been roaming my little piece of paradise for over a year, venturing beyond only when necessary. Surprisingly, I found the isolation to be freeing and that (wait for it) it would appear I’m not much of a “people-person” after all. Surprised? Me too.

That said, freshly vaccinated and feelin’ fine, I made my way to the Forestburgh Playhouse last weekend for the season premiere of “Forestburgh Under the Stars” (see page 14) and was finally able to take photos of the performers and (wait for it) unmasked audience members. Of course, the playhouse has once again ensured that COVID-safe protocols are firmly in place, and oh-what-a-feeling to be able to breathe.

I even showered and shaved (you’re welcome) in anticipation of others seeing my ugly mug, but it was the smiling faces all around that caused me to do the same—even though most were grinning at Dharma the Wonder Dog, who was thrilled to be out and about.

Last weekend’s lineup, singers Morgan James and Alysha Umphress, was fantastic. The sold-out crowds were still socially distanced but less apprehensive, with the overall atmosphere less tense than last year. I schmoozed a little before each show and snapped some photos, happy (sorta) to be out and drinking it all in.

Feeling somewhat gregarious, I chatted with friends I hadn’t seen in ages and quickly got back in the groove. I ran into old friends and made a few new ones, courtesy of my charming dog. I’d seen and heard of Morgan James (and equally talented musician-husband Doug Wamble) before, and she’s got a voice that can make grown men cry, so I knew what to expect and was not disappointed. The audience went wild and so did I as Morgan once again knocked it out of the park.

Comforted that my people skills were still in place, I returned to the playhouse the very next evening to catch Alysha Umphress, someone I was hitherto unaware of, unlike most of the world. Unbeknownst to me, Umphress has been taking Broadway by storm, racking up some impressive credits and bringing down the house wherever she appears. Umphress delivers powerhouse vocals, paired with tremendous comic timing and a joi de vivre that’s palpable.

Both performers have star power and killer smiles, so being able to show them my pearly whites in appreciation felt pretty darn good.

Now that I know how great it is to stay home, it’s likely you’ll see less of me (you’re welcome!) in the coming months, but when you do, smile for the camera and I will undoubtedly smile back. Truth be told, It’s nice to see ya!

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