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12.2 °F
December 11, 2016
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The hills are alive

Rich Kiamco warmed up the crowd and kept 'em laughing during sets at the Nutshell during the laugh tour.

Water was a theme that surfaced repeatedly during the performance, reinforcing the knowledge that it is the source of life on Earth and necessary for human existence. The group expressed the need to care for, protect and preserve our natural resources through traditional drumming and ceremonial call and response, involving the audience and infusing the large hall with joy, exuberance and a palpable energy that had many on their feet as the kids joined the troupe on stage.

I counted 27 performances scheduled in and around our area that are still to come, so the opportunity to experience this incredible show awaits those interested. For a listing visit or email

Due to inclement weather (it’s over, right?), the Manhattan School of Music had to reschedule last week and appeared (also at Bethel Woods) on Monday, performing a kid-friendly 45-minute version of Mozart’s’ “The Magic Flute,” replete with glorious singing, beautiful costumes, a wonderfully played score and a basic primer on the history of the opera.

Gordon Ostrowski directed the afternoon, speaking directly with the busloads of students, and informed beautifully as he explained the various terms and traditions associated with the art form. The kids were as mesmerized as the adults, and the entire company answered questions after the show, as hand after hand shot into the air, making it crystal clear that the audience had enjoyed every minute of this finely tuned program.

Events like this, made possible with corporate sponsorship, are an invaluable, enriching experience that the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts continues to foster and for that, we give thanks.

Passover is looming (it starts on the 18th), to say nothing of Easter, so I had better start giving thanks at home and honor my ancestors, inspired by Kofi & Co. Spring has definitely sprung and I am reminded that “I go to the hills when my heart is lonely. I know I will hear what I’ve heard before. My heart will be blessed with the sound of music and I’ll sing [and laugh] once more.”.