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April 20, 2014
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Something old, something new

Charles Wilkin's "Days Are Numbered" exhibit at the Alliance Gallery is colorful & stimulating


Short digital films are presented for an individual (headphone) experience, and they run the gamut from serious to comical and even one with local interest at its heart. I experienced a few of them, while others milled about, and found both gallery installations interesting. Judging by overheard conversations, all of the work was stimulating the crowd, and I am always pleased to hear that there are pieces being purchased at these art shows.

Speaking of “something new,” I was amused and entertained beyond compare by the Forestburgh Theatre Arts Center (FBplayhouse.org) never-seen-before new musical “Idaho!” Billed as “hysterical”—I was nervous, but IMHO, they really got it right. A cleverly crafted, brilliantly conceived homage to Rogers & Hammerstein’s classic “Oklahoma,” this show is so ready for a sparkling marquee in New York City. The book is a riot, the dozens of songs (many of which are a tip o’ the hat to its inspiration) are actually hilarious and I did indeed leave the theatre humming a few.

Comprised of a topnotch cast (several of whom arrive in Forestburgh with Broadway credits), and armed with director Matt Lenz’ firm (dare I say hysterical?) grasp on the material, stars will be born. Austin Miller, Jessica Hershberg, Will Taylor and Alle-Faye Monka were so in the zone, it was difficult to not miss a line here or there, since the laughter and spontaneous applause was deafening at times.

The supreme talents of Susan Mosher and Paul Vogt were equally matched by the amazing vocal prowess of Romelda Teron Benjamin, who tore the place up. Jay Rogers and the “Meany Boys,” played by Dustin Smith and Elliot O’Rourke Peterson, added even more pizzaz as they joined a well rounded, multitalented cast—singing, dancing and (yes, it’s a little blue) entertaining to beat the (great sounding) band.

I understand that it’s only my opinion here, but I was so amused, that I am returning for another go ‘round (the show runs through June 12) with this clever, clever show. Creators Buddy Sheffield and Keith Thompson most certainly deserve a major shout-out, along with the crew that designed, lit, costumed, choreographed and musically directed (you rocked it, Steven Cuevas!)

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Something for everyone, so I declare: go out and do!

jonathan fox

Hey Jonathan! (FYI)

Agatha Christie's original title was "10 Little Niggers". That had to be changed. Human Rights.
The title was changed to "10 Little Indians". That HAD to be changed. Our Native Americans were insulted!
The resulting (copywritten) title is now, "And Then There Were None".