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Curtain calls, concerts and cowgirls

All-female Irish musical ensemble Celtic Woman opened the summer concert season at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.
TRR photos by Jonathan Fox


June 19, 2013

Although summer officially begins this week, June has been bustin’ out all over the Upper Delaware Valley, and I have hit the ground running, with the wonder dog in tow. For me, summertime means many things—among them is the curtain going up at the Forestburgh Playhouse (FBP), which happened last Tuesday with the debut of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.” It’s difficult to not conjure up images of the classic 1968 film, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, or the equally memorable television show with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall in the starring roles, and the stage play is still funny. In this incarnation, veteran actor Kevin Confoy literally stole the show as fussy neurotic Felix Ungar, while the rest of the cast did their darndest to keep up. The audience cheered enthusiastically and I had a good time, but it’s the musicals that the FBP produces each season that excite me most, so I’m really looking forward to what’s yet to be. For a complete listing, visit the website (www.fbplayhouse.org) and make reservations, since the playhouse packs ‘em in.

For the second year in a row, I was tickled to be asked to be a judge in the local leg of the 32nd Annual Texaco Country Showdown, sponsored by Thunder 102 radio and held on the grounds of the beautiful Lazy Pond Bed and Breakfast in Liberty, NY. Billed as “America’s largest country music talent show,” it’s “designed to find the most promising country music talent in the nation and to give these performers a chance to launch their professional music careers” (www.texacoshowdown.com.) Comprised of all-female semifinalists this year, the talent impressed and the setting (www.lazypond.com) was idyllic. Thirteen year-old Mikki Zip took home the crown and will move forward in the competition, but I suspect we’ll hear more from the other finalists, Stephanie Hendricks, A.J. Jansen, Dani-Elle and country duo Pearls and Poison, all of whom displayed style and flair against the backdrop of torrential rain, which abated in time for a barbeque and bonfire that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.