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July 22, 2014
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Planning ahead; Lazy, hazy and crazy!

Dharma the Wonder Dog loves paddling around the beautiful lakes that dot the landscape here in the Catskills
TRR photos by Jonathan Fox


Ahhh. The good old summertime is almost here and (IMHO) none too soon. Personally, I love all of the seasons we in the Upper Delaware Valley have to celebrate, and each has its own merits, but with Memorial Day upon us, all thoughts lead to summer.

As for lazy, the region offers so many opportunities to bask. Lakes, ponds, rivers and streams beckon as the sun warms our favorite watering holes. The weather has been gorgeous and I made my first trip to Crystal Lake (www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/61459.html) last week with the wonder dog in tow. Pristine, with the surrounding forest in full bloom, the 38 acre lake is within walking distance and serves as a backdrop for great fishing, hiking and (wait for it) berry picking still to come. While Dharma checked out the fat tadpoles lazily sprouting legs, I snapped photos and made plans to check out some of the other glorious lakes that dot the landscape. If you have a favorite spot, send your pics to photos@riverreporter.com and we’ll share them on Facebook in the coming months.

With another birthday right around the corner, (May 25—feel free to send cash) I’m a little hazy on where I went last year, but I know that I’ll be returning to some of my favorite summer haunts. I spoke with producer Norman Duttweiler of the Forestburgh Playhouse (www.fbplayhouse.org) a few days ago and started making plans for the theatre’s upcoming season. Although I’m convinced that I served as Duttweiler’s inspiration for the 2013 roster of shows, he says it just ain’t so. All I know is that I had star turns in “South Pacific,” “Grease” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” back in the day, and now all of those shows are slated for the FBP; but Norman insists that it’s “merely coincidence.” Hmm. As if to appease me, Duttweiler asked Dharma to make a cameo appearance in Monty Python’s “Spamalot” during its run (July 16 to 28) and suggested I might as well be on stage, too. Mark your calendars, plan ahead, and leave the rotten fruit at home.

In addition to the FBP, there are theaters all around gearing up for summer. I’m planning trips to Hawley, PA (www.ritzplayhouse.com), and South Fallsburg, NY (www.scdw.net), and no summer is complete without seeing Paul Austin (www.libertyfreetheatre.org) and his company of players. In addition, I’ll be in Highland Lake, NY (www.nacl.org) and Narrowsburg (www.delawarevalleyopera.org) as summer progresses, taking my seat as the curtains rise, pen in hand, prepared to offer my opinion (humble or otherwise) on the musicals, comedies, operas and dramas that are about to unfold.

Crazy doesn’t even begin to describe the dizzying array of concerts on the horizon. 2013 marks the debut of a new music festival (www.parksvilleusa.com) and I’m excited to check out the scene, which includes jazz, klezmer and string quartets. Just outside Livingston Manor, NY, one of my favorite music festivals (www.shandelee.org) is rehearsing and the grounds, “nestled on 75 acres of tranquil natural beauty in the Catskill Mountains,” are as “breathtaking” as the website claims, making the place a destination where one will experience “an exhilarating musical environment.” This year, Shandelee is partnering with Bethel Woods (www.bethelwoodscenter.org) to present classical virtuosos in the Event Gallery during the coming months. In addition to the classics, the Pavilion at Bethel Woods will be hosting a wide variety of stars this season and I’m looking forward to both acts I have never seen, and returning favorites like Kid Rock, Tim McGraw and The Dave Matthews Band.

Over in Honesdale, PA, Jill Padua and Mike Jung (www.facebook.com/RiverFolkConcerts) are busy already, presenting entertaining shows for a wide variety of tastes, ensuring “something for everyone” as only they can do (www.riverfolkconcerts.vpweb.com), so be sure to make time for their concert series that plays throughout the year. “Showcasing local and regional performances” in Hawley, the Silk Mill (www.silkmillharmony.com) is humming and is seriously on my radar this summer. Scores of music venues, (both large and small) abound, and The River Reporter leaves no stone unturned as we dig up the details and dish the dirt on what is happening all around. To receive updates weekly, go to www.riverreporter.com and subscribe to “Where and When.”

If you have something to share, send your notices to events@riverreporter.com and we’ll do our best to include them all. Whether you are feeling lazy, hazy or (like me) just plain crazy, summertime is almost here, so let’s dust off the life vests and dive right in, ‘cause the livin’ is easy and the weather is fine.