One would think that I’d know better by now. Once Memorial Day hits, and the summer visitors begin their annual migration to the Upper Delaware valley, the always active world of arts and entertainment here in the Catskills amps up big time... and I hit the ground running. This past week, I found myself busily trying to do it all, with limited success. Thankfully, my community support is firmly in place, and a few kind souls assisted me in my efforts to cover the endless array of events spanning two states and four counties, over the river and through the woods.
With so much on my plate, I hesitate to give short shrift to anyone, so this season I’ll be trying something new. Now that The River Reporter (TRR) has an active online presence (www.riverreporteronline.com ), I will be posting reviews of concerts and shows to our web site and have the opportunity to produce larger photo albums of the events to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/theriverreporter ) as well. If you haven’t had an opportunity to visit our internet sources, this would be an ideal time to check out these great pages for daily updates.
Okay then, back to busy. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche must have seen me coming when he declared that “a man who is very busy seldom changes his opinions.” As my dance card filled up during the past week, I struggled with making choices (as usual) and looked to Theodore Roosevelt for guidance. “When you are asked if you can do a job” he wrote, “Tell ‘em ‘certainly I can!’ then get busy and find out how to do it.” Breathing deeply, I ran to the Forestburgh Playhouse (www.FBplayhouse.org ) to catch opening night of “Guys and Dolls.” Frank Loessers’ musical fable is legendary and with memorable songs like “I’ll Know,” “Bushel and a Peck,” and the show-stopping “Sit down, you’re rockin’ the boat,” I’m grateful to have the online space to give the production my full attention.
The next day, I checked the batteries on my camera and zoomed off to another opening night at Bethel Woods (www.bethelwoodscenter.org ) to experience country crossover sensation Lady Antebellum, which performed to a sold-out crowd. Again, my review is online, but suffice it to say that opening acts Thompson Square and Darius Rucker built the momentum to fever pitch before the headliners hit the stage with their signature three-part harmony. As it turns out, I had photo issues that night, but got them straightened out by the time I got to the Liberty Museum (www.libertymuseum.com ), which is currently hosting a new exhibit of glorious (IMHO) works produced by the artists collective Catskill Artists Gallery (CAG), (www.catskillartistsgallery.com ).
In another example of technological growth, CAG is now available on the internet as a “gallery without walls,” so this exhibit (running through July 8) is a great opportunity to experience the artwork “old school” style, up close and personal. Nada Clyne, Robert Friedman, Cate Gundlah, Margaret Helthaler, Kathy Jeffers, Tom Keleman, Buff McAllister and Hank Schneider outdid themselves presenting a vast array of jewelry, paintings, sculpture and photography and honestly, I left the museum thoroughly impressed. Although my scheduling conflicts prevented me from making it to the newest exhibit at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance in Narrowsburg, NY (DVAA, www.artsallinancesite.org ) on Friday, rest assured that I will be stopping in during the coming week to peruse Daria Dorosh’s “Chairs 1982 - 2010,” which promises to be stimulating.
Unable to make it to Domesticities (www.thecuttinggarden.org ), I called cub reporter Lucy Jan-Turan, who graciously agreed to swing by Youngsville and report back on proprietor Ann Hart’s second annual garden party benefiting the DVAA. My absence (I took home a prize last year) apparently opened the doors for new competitors and Ramona Jan, Sienna Klaber, Morgan Hamilton and Lucy herself (you’re welcome!) took home the top honors, parading the lush garden in their summer finery.
While my assistant was busy photographing the hat parade, I was back at Bethel Woods, thrilled to have the opportunity to represent The River Reporter and photograph musical icon Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band. (In a moment, I’ll get busy mounting the photos online.) Attending a swell after-party was a bonus, with superb entertainment by Albi Beluli. Good food and great friends capped a terrific evening while still basking in the glow that is Ringo.
A matinee of “The Fantasticks” at the Rivoli (www.scdw.net ) occupied my afternoon on Sunday (read all about it on the web), before I headed back to Bethel to chat on-air with radio pals Paul Ciliberto, Michelle Semerano and Mike Sakell (www.thunder102.com ) prior to sitting for a moment to experience the 50th anniversary tour of the incomparable Beach Boys live on stage. Suffice it to say that “Good Vibrations” were in abundance, and I’ll go into detail on the TRR web site, after a brief pause to catch my breath. Busy? You bet, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!