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December 05, 2016
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Take me to your leader

The cast of SCDW's "You've Got Hate Mail" seemed to enjoy the show as much as the audience

The website says that, “Even as reports [across New York] began to diminish after reaching a peak of two thousand sightings between 1983 and 1987, Ulster County’s Pine Bush was becoming more active with unexplained phenomenon of it’s own.” Talking with residents, visitors and organizers, I found that the town itself had kept a low profile regarding the subject for a period of time, but has jumped on board of late for a variety of reasons, using the town of Roswell, NM (long touted as the nation’s capital of UFO lore) as a model—Roswell celebrates its own checkered history with tours, a museum and yearly celebration, which brings tourism, interest and dollars.

Sparked by a renewed interest in UFOs, the Pine Bush story is (IMHO) interesting, stimulating and controversial—just my cup of tea. Night sky observers continue to make their way to our corner of the world to get a glimpse of the unknown and it’s noteworthy that “sky watching” has been banned in Orange County (as of 1999), subject to fines and/or incarceration (MUFON UFO Journal). Sounds like someone out there takes this matter seriously. Hmm.

For those who find this topic amusing, a visit to the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop’s ( production of “You’ve Got Hate Mail” would seem a good way to wrap up the weekend, and I did just that, catching the show at their winter home—the Sullivan County Museum in Hurleyville ( ). Trying something new, the workshop partnered up with local restaurants and created their own version of “dinner theatre,” offering special deals for patrons. The show, billed as containing “mature content,” certainly had plenty of that, but since I had heard dirty words before, I didn’t let that deter me, and found director Bunny Woloszcak’s efforts to be pretty darn good.

The cast, featuring Albee Bockman, Ellen Pavloff, Lori Schneider-Wendt, Heather Strauss and Mike Washburn, was clearly having a ball, and that energy wafted over the audience, keeping them in stitches for 90 minutes of uninterrupted bawdy fun. Although everyone involved entertained, I found Strauss, Schneider-Wendt and (in particular) Washburn to be really on point and look forward to the workshop bringing the show to another venue before moving on with their 2012 season. “Hate Mail” proved to be a good season “leader” for the local group and the humor is fresh, up to date and rapid-fire.