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Discombobulated

By JONATHAN CHARLES FOX
Posted 11/14/19

Yep—that’s exactly how I feel, and no, it is not a song from “Mary Poppins.” Since usage of the word itself is most often associated with someone who is disconcerted or …

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Discombobulated

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Yep—that’s exactly how I feel, and no, it is not a song from “Mary Poppins.” Since usage of the word itself is most often associated with someone who is disconcerted or confused, I’m going with it. I have been more than a little bewildered over the past few days, and waking up to a dusting of snow this morning left me mildly annoyed to boot. While I still have plenty of time (you’re welcome!) to whine about winter, I will acknowledge that I love photographing the Upper Delaware River region when it’s blanketed in the white stuff. So I still have that to look forward to, assuming that I make it through the “arctic freeze” that, by all accounts, is headed our way. That said, we country folk don’t put too much stock in the weather forecast, choosing instead to look out the window, so… time will tell.

There was a dusting of snow on my big pink balls this morning. Can winter be far behind? / TRR photo by Jonathan Charles Fox

I was far beyond confused while standing behind the bar at Bernie’s Holiday Restaurant (BHR) in Rock Hill, NY last Thursday. Resorts World Catskills’ Public Relations Manager Talya Regan, The Misner Agency’s Greg Goldstein, VOS FM morning show host Eddie Wilson, Thunder 102’s Paul Ciliberto, Dharma the Wonder Dog and I were all “Celebrity Bartenders,” attempting to create somewhat complicated cocktails for tips, all to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. To be completely honest, I did virtually nothing. I know less than that about alcohol, making drinks or how to properly pour a beer. So, I spent the majority of my shift ensuring that everyone was being served and having a good time while posing for photos with my dog, who makes a mean “Greyhound,” a decent “Bulldog Smash” and even knew how to mix a “Bloodhound Martini.” Go figure. I served soft drinks to the designated drivers, making a mental note that the 9th annual “Country Cares for St. Jude Kids” Radiothon is happening right now on Thunder 102 and 104.5 as you read this. Tune in and make a donation, should you feel the spirit move you.

Confused doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt when crossing the threshold of the new Callicoon Marketplace on Lower Main in (duh) Callicoon. The marketplace opened a while back, but it was just getting around to an official grand-opening celebration, replete with a DJ, dance floor and what I’ve been told (I was avoiding the strobe lights) was utterly fantastic food and cocktails, none of which I served. The place was mobbed, and I snaked my way through the throngs of what appeared to be unfamiliar young “hipsters,” all of whom were excited to be “discovering” the Catskills. Meanwhile, the place itself is quite fantastical, serving as a modern-day mini mall, which only offers cool stuff to its customers—nothing ordinary or commonplace. “We’re a community space in the heart of Callicoon,” their Facebook page explains, “offering everything from food to fibers to furniture.” Little wonder, then, that I felt somewhat discombobulated trying to make sense of the enormous space, which is comprised of Litt Home + Book, Early Bird Cookery and (yarn-based) Wool Worth, as well as “pop-up” stalls for the Callicoon Pantry, antiques, vintage items and Dally Woodworks. It’s always good to see new businesses doing their darndest to stand out and make a difference, even if you can’t get there by taking the “F Train.”

Offering everything from “food to fibers to furniture” the new Callicoon Marketplace comprises many things. Check it out and see for yourself! / TRR photos by Jonahtan Charles Fox

As if I weren’t confused enough, I attended a matinee of John Cameron Mitchell’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” at SUNY Sullivan’s Seelig Theatre last Sunday. Written by Mitchell with music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, the show is something I’m still trying to make sense of days later. A sort of glam-rock hodge-podge that’s part “Rocky Horror,” part Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and part “Cabaret,” “Hedwig” had me discombobulated from the get-go. Since its off-Broadway premiere in 1998, the show has been performed all over the world. Its plot, which revolves around a young German boy named Hansel (Billy Steeves) who, obsessed with philosophy and rock music, is stuck in East Berlin, where he falls in love with an American soldier who agrees to marry Hansel to help him escape Germany. First, however, the beautiful boy is asked to undergo a (botched) sex change in order to pass as a woman—hence the “angry inch.”

I had heard of but never seen either the filmed or staged version of “Hedwig,” but I’m pretty sure that I didn’t get it. Adding to my confusion was director Jessica Lopez-Barkl’s choice to set the show in the Catskills with a few odd references to the glory days of the Borscht Belt resorts of yesteryear, which were brought up in the first few minutes of the show and never referred to again. Since I don’t care for reading what others have to say about productions I’ve yet to see, I waited until I arrived home, dazed and confused, to look it up on www.bustle.com, which had this to say: “While the plot may be a bit of a downer, the show possesses many universal themes like love, gender, identity, reliance, independence and self-respect that make “Hedwig” a surprisingly cathartic show to experience.” You, dear reader, still have a chance to experience “Hedwig” this weekend, so please, go; support local theatre, and then get back to me. What you think is far more interesting than anything I might have to say on the subject, IMHO.

For more information, or to make reservations, contact Jbarkl@sunysullivan.edu.

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