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December 04, 2016
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A mixed bag

Live music was on the bill at the Silk Mill in Hawley, PA ( and (as it turns out) I was thrilled to be exposed to newcomer Nicky Egan, who, accompanied by phenomenal blues guitarist Kyle LaLone, blew the roof off the Boiler Room with her bluesy, sexy, heartfelt renditions of (mostly) original songs that reminded me of Janis Joplin mixed with Joe Cocker and a smidge of Bette Midler, while remaining truly unique and original. Egan ( is only 23 years old, but her stylized vocals and superb (IMHO) songwriting skills combine to create a world-weary groove that elicited an enthusiastic response from the crowd and excited me in a way that I’ve not felt in a long while. The evening was hosted by Harmony Presents’ Jill Carletti, who was rightfully effusive over Egan, declaring that she is a “legend in the making,” and I heartily concur. Honestly, I was wowed. There is something thrilling about being in on the ground floor of a performer’s career and I relish the opportunity to hear Egan again. Meanwhile, her music is available (pay what you can) online and she has just released new material (and a music video shot in the Catskills) that is destined to become classic Nicky Egan.

Adding an evening of theatre was next on my list, so the dog and I hightailed it over to Highland Lake, NY ( to soak in the Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble’s production of “Same River,” which the program describes as “an improvised, inter-disciplinary performance based on interviews with local residents.” The written material goes on to say that “the improvisations are structured so that certain characters and points are hit each performance; however, blocking, choreography and music changes from show to show.” While that much was clear, I felt that the piece was uneven and that the unstructured aspect created muddy waters that left me wanting more cohesion. Confused, I turned to the program repeatedly, which informed me that “the piece seeks to draw connections, to give voice to multiple viewpoints [on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking] and that we are all downstream, that the earth’s water supply is all the same river.” Okay.