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August 25, 2016
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In My Humble Opinion

Have I stayed too long at the fair?

Spoiler alert! This one’s a little maudlin. While I did attend an actual fair last week, (www.delawarecountyfair.com), the one referred to in the header of this column is a metaphor. The sentiment was brought on by (of all things) the production of “Rock of Ages” (www.fbplayhouse.org) that I caught last Thursday in Forestburgh—their “swan song” musical of the summer season. Before I get down to brass tacks (I mean weepy, morose, end-of-summer blues), let’s address my day at the real fair, which to be fair, was… fair.  Read more

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Actually, it was 47 years ago, and it happened on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, NY. But life on this planet was so different back then, it might as well have been in another galaxy altogether. Woodstock. Dozens of books, hundreds of articles, movies, albums… the list goes on. Although I like reminiscing as much as the next person, I’m constantly striving to be “in the present” while simultaneously keeping an eye on the future, so I was determined to not let this past weekend cloud my judgment and focus solely on that little music festival that changed the world.  Read more

A little night music

There was plenty of that to go around throughout the Upper Delaware River region last week, and prolific composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim wrote a Broadway musical of that name back in 1977, which, as it turns out, was inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film (who knew?) “Smiles of a Summer Night.” Ten years later, Sondheim wrote “Into The Woods,” based on the works of the Brothers Grimm. Once again, Sondheim wrote both music and lyrics, with a script written by James Lapine, and once again, The Forestburgh Playhouse (www.fbplayhouse.org) has mounted a beautiful show, now playing.  Read more

Keep on truckin’…

I want to, I really do, but it’s a ‘97 pickup, and I’m not sure how much longer I can keep on truckin’ along. Up until very recently, the vehicle has been very good to me, but as of late, there has been a steady increase in breakdowns and repairs. Ach. Compounding the issue is what to do next, since running out to buy a new car is not exactly on my to-do list, hard times being what they are.  Read more

Courage trumps cowardice

Fun and games aside, I have had a ridiculously busy week. While Mom was fond of saying, “You can rest when you’re dead,” I don’t think she believed that I should actually stop and drop while working, so I see a day off in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, I was out and about with the Wonder Dog in tow every single day since the last issue of The River Reporter hit the stands and (go ahead, call me a crybaby) I’m tired.  Read more

Nice work if you can get it…

“The man who only lives for making money, lives a life that isn’t necessarily sunny,” wrote Ira Gershwin back in the day. “Likewise the man who works for fame—there’s no guarantee that time won’t erase his name” (www.songlyrics.com). The ditty, written in the 1930s, goes on to explain that only a girl can right all things wrong and make a man complete, so I generally skip over that part, replace “girl” with “dog” and keep singing.  Read more

Three plays and a concert (Sung to the tune of ‘Three Coins in a Fountain’)

Okay, fine… I won’t sing, but I can tell you that there was plenty of fine singing going on at Bethel Woods the other night. I did indeed, have three plays and a concert on my schedule, so before heading out to the Pavilion on Saturday, (www.bethelwoods.org) I drove in the opposite direction (www.fbplayhouse.org) on Thursday and caught a performance of “The Addams Family” in Forestburgh. The entire clan was creepy, kooky, mysterious and ooky in the best of all possible ways. To read my full review of the show, visit www.riverreporter.com/artsandleisure.  Read more

Busman’s holiday

Seven years ago this week, I walked into the office at The River Reporter in Narrowsburg, NY, having been invited to share my humble opinion on all things Arts and Leisure for the summer months. Little did I know that 365 (counting today’s page) columns later, I would still be traversing the Upper Delaware River region in search of same. But here I am—happily typing away while doing the math. On average, I write about 800 words a week, (not counting the feature articles,) which when added up, comes to almost 275,000 words (oh, my!) over the years.  Read more

Mixed reviews

Benjamin Franklin once said that “honesty is the best policy,” and like so many other pithy comments of his, the expression is still around. My poor mother tried to instill this concept in my young head, and although I had my mouth washed out with soap a couple of times, I still tried to lie my way out of trouble on occasion. It rarely worked. As I matured (don’t go there!) I found that both Franklin and my mother were right, of course—and as I embraced honesty, the idea of becoming a critic appealed.  Read more

In the good old summertime

June is officially bustin’ out all over. The hills are alive and the Upper Delaware River region is thrumming with activity. In the last few days, the Wonder Dog and I have been to the theatre, a concert under the stars, attended a block party and watched some belly dancers shaking their groove thing. We’ve seen a lot of friends and neighbors out and about, so I know you all are keeping an eye on our “Where and When” section in The River Reporter (see page 26), which is a great way to stay informed about everything going on in your neck of the woods.  Read more

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