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December 11, 2016
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All work and no play?

Sullivan County 2014 pageant winners Samantha Shaver-Ruff, left, Lorna Dewitt, Ariana Kaminski and Amanda Rampe were on hand at the 24th annual kite festival strolling the grounds and posing for pics with their fans.
TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

I perceived a pattern emerging as Dharma and I headed to South Fallsburg, NY ( and the world premiere of local playwright Bill Duncan’s “HolyHolyHoly” at the Rivoli, which is playing through this weekend, featuring Albee Bockman, Darren Fouse, John F. Higgins, Mike Gastwirth, DeLois “Cookie” House, Leif Johansen, Carol Montana and Ellen Pavloff. The play tackles a lot of issues (religion, civil rights, child molestation, birth/death to name but a few), and an informal discussion with the cast and crew following the show revealed that Duncan “fell into directing the show” as well as writing it, which may have gotten in his way. There are some really good moments in the play, and some outstanding performances as well, but I left the theatre a bit confused and befuddled, unsure of the message that Duncan wanted to convey. The show follows the lives of three disparate men involved in various aspects of the clergy, all of whom have issues. The women in their spheres play an important role in the direction their lives take and the storyline is sometimes tough to follow as the time period fluctuates from the past to the future, but never the present. Higgins is outstanding, with solid performances by House, Gastwirth and Montana, but I found the show as a whole to be overwritten and under-directed, in need of some editing and a keener eye for detail. Still, it’s interesting, but I’m not sure that the playwright ever made a decision of what direction he wanted the story to take. Both comedic and dramatic, the story wobbles a bit, but has merit, to be sure. The poster claims that “It’s not what you think,” and although it is a worthy play, it could use a little work.