‘Fiddler on the Roof’, By Brewster Academy, In Wolfeboro, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 — Absolutely Brilliant.
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
Friday, February 19, 2016.
Click pictures to ENLARGE.
Attribution WILL be enforced.
I (and I am sure there are others who feel the same about this as I) will not use ‘Brilliant’ when it comes to ‘Fiddler on the Roof‘ unless it was hard earned and eminently deserved. The Brewster performance, with ‘kids’ in all the leading parts, definitely met this criteria and others to boot. It was a wonderful, uplifting, spirited performance with nary a flaw in sight. I will confess to being somewhat of a ‘Fiddler’ aficionado. It is probably my all time favorite musical. I have seen it on Broadway, on the big screen and have the DVD (which we as a family have watched a number of times). Yes, I was a tad leery about going. I was worried that a school production might not do it justice. I should not have worried. They aced it. The ‘kids’ did a marvelous job and I was very impressed and delighted. I was so proud for their parents. What an achievement.
Isaac Weiss-Meyer, who played Tevye with aplomb, is going to go far. That kind of talent and commitment can never be kept contained. I gather he intends to study drama in College. I am sure he will be starring in Hollywood within the decade. Mark my word.
Though we know a few kids that attend Brewster none of them (alas and alack) were in this excellent production. But we did know the Director, Music Director & Choreographer, Guinevere Hilton, Andy Campbell and John Ling respectively. Andy, of course is the Music Director of Clearlakes Chorale (in which Devanee has been a member for 4 years (or more)), Guinevere is Andy’s wife and we know John from ‘Northeastern Ballet‘ (from Teischan’s time with them). So knowing these three pivotal figures was neat. I captured the cast (from Brewster’s Website) and saved it for posterity (as a part of this blog). So if you want to see who was in this great play click here for a small, clean and safe PDF (or click the image).
A year ago, Feb. 20, 2015, we went to see Brewster’s production of ‘Grease‘. That was very good and we recognized some kids from last year. I think “Fiddler” was even superior because in my (biased) opinion it is much of a sophisticated and faceted musical, ‘Grease’, to me is like a plain ice cream cone kiddie size, while “Fiddler” is a full-blown ice-cream sundae with all-the-works and lots of sprinkles.
I took a lot of pictures using my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. I am not going to try and publish them all here. Let me do it in batches as I have doing with the Philadelphia New Year’s Day 2016 ‘Mummers Parade‘.
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We Would Be Beyond Delighted If The BBC Picked Comely Sue Perkins As Replacement For Boorish Clarkson.
by Anura Guruge
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I would go even further.
Use the entire cast from
“The Great British Bake Off”.
They would be great.
Paul Hollywood (and what a GREAT name)
can provide ALL the male interest needed
while Mary Berry will add even MORE class to the show.
Click image to access original coverage.
I only know Sue Perkins from the 2014 “Bake Off“. I like her. Reminds me of, just in terms of looks, Rachel Maddow — and I am a huge fan of hers too. Sue Perkins to me is the antithesis of the bloody Clarkson. She is pleasant, self-deprecating, personable and witty. Clarkson was but an ignorant yob. Sue, with her glasses and teeth, reminds me of the British girl next door. Clarkson reminds me of the goons you see in MSNBC’s ‘Lockup‘ series. Sue will bring much needed CLASS to the show.
They really should have the ENTIRE cast of “Bake Off”. It would create a CROSSOVER sensation. They will be great and the BBC will have TWO winners. Synergy at its best.
Sue (kind of like Rachel) is no slouch. Cambridge educated. Does doltish Clarkson even have an ‘A’-level?
What I said on March 26, 2015, when talking about the
firing of the crotchety Clarkson.
by Anura Guruge
>> Grossed out by Gross
>> — Sep. 26, 2014.
>> Who broke Jill Biden’s wrist — Jan. 28, 2014.
I never condone violence but I can understand how this could happen given that Gross’ popularity even BEFORE he started to get so much wrong about today’s markets.
First Jill Biden, then Robert Gates and now Gross. Of the three, Gross, by far, is the least surprising.
by Anura Guruge
This was at 10 am, today, i.e., Sunday, March 9, 2014
That is a long time to be in a neck brace.
So what is the real story.
I know he loves the money and publicity
but appearing on TV in that brace,
early in the morning (his time),
is not doing him any favors.
He looks ‘chumpish’.
Who Broke The Lovely Dr. Jill Biden’s Arm, Actually Wrist? First Robert Gates. Now Mrs. Biden? A D.C. Feud?
by Anura Guruge
What is going on?
Is this D.C. tit-for-tat?
(and I feel awkward even using that term in front of Mrs. Biden)?
So, lets get the timeline in order.
First Robert Gates, unjustly, badmouths Vice President,
Mr. Nice Guy, Joe Biden.
Next thing we see Robert Gates in a neck brace.
He claims he slipped and fell. OK.
Now, two weeks later we see the lovely,
in every sense of the word, Dr. Jill Biden wearing a cast.
Broken wrist. She too slipped and fell? Wow. Coincidence?
Can’t blame Joe on this or can we?
I don’t know.
I don’t have the right D.C. contacts.
Yes, we got to meet her and even chat with her
in October 2012.
Read about it in this post.
There are more pictures too.
Dartmouth ‘Hop’ Christmas Revels 2013: It Was A Subdued Hoedown Of Sorts, Short On The Expected Yule Revelry.
.by Anura Guruge
1. Christmas Revels 2013 at Dartmouth — Aug. 7, 2013.
2. Christmas Revels 2012 at Dartmouth — Dec. 17, 2012.
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Of course, more or less by definition it was good. The HOP (definitely) and Revels North not known for putting on duds — though this show, in my opinion, flirted, dangerously, at times, with that appellation for this supposed Appalachian romp.
It was a good production though this was the most minimalistic Revels set I have ever seen (I think). As far as I can see the only props they had were a few sorry benches. The pseudo psychedelic projected backdrop was neither here nor there and I am at a loss as to what it had to do with Appalachia, the Revels, Yule or even the time of day.
The ameteur cast, with all those wonderful kids, was as ever amazing. Their commitment, dedication and talent is awe inspiring. Over the last two years I have come to appreciate what they achieve each Christmas even more since I have been taking Devanee (our 13 year old) for ‘Clearlakes Chorale‘ practices/rehearsals on a weekly basis. Clearlakes and Revels North both do their Christmas show roughly at the same time (this year on the same weekend) and moreover start their practices/rehearsals at the same time, i.e., early September. What is takes to pull off Revels is a few orders of magnitude more complex than what it takes to do a Chorale performance — and I get to see the effort that goes into pulling Clearlakes off (partly because I invariably end up lending a hand). So, I have nothing but unstinted admiration and praise for the Revels North ameteur cast. Bravo.
The Sword Dance was one of the best in recent years — though given that we were in the front row, center, as usual, I did spot some fumbling.
The Morris Dance was good. The prolonged ‘Lord Of The Dance‘, in which I partook, as I always do, was uplifting as it is meant to be.
The Brass, ‘Heritage Bass‘, was outstanding — and that I noticed them more and actually paid attention to them, at the expense of paying much notice to what little was happening on the stage, kind of tells its own story.
What I am now going to say does border on the sacrilegious and I worry that the gods of Revels will strike me down — though I also get a sneaking feeling that they may be with me on this.
Deanna’s take at intermission is a good place to start. After I came back from going and congratulating the ‘Heritage Bass’ (and getting a wonderful, hands-on tutorial on the Tuba), I asked her, knowing to an extent what I will hear (given that I do know my wife of 11 years quite well) what she thought. She started by saying: ‘I am worried to even say anything because YOU will get mad …’! And that is the crux of the problem. Deanna and the kids know that I am a sucker for Revels and that as such ‘Revels can do no wrong in my book’. Well, that is usually the case and I still continue to be a sucker for Revels. Now, more than ever, given that I feel that I have yet to enjoy a PROPER Revels in 2013, I most likely will have to get tickets and go to the Mother-ship performance by Revels Cambridge.
Deanna and the kids did not like it at all. I knew, 20 minutes in, that that would be the case. They, all seasoned Revelers, like a traditional, very European Revels.
Let me throw a few words and phrases as to what WE felt about Revels North Christmas Revels 2013 before I also explore some thoughts as to what happened.
Lacked the Revels spark.
Unthematic and choppy with the Yule elements appearing to be add ons.
Pete Sutherland is probably an AMAZING musician but he is not a Revels player.
Suzannah Park is IMPRESSIVE (and striking) but I am not sure whether she carried this show.
I fully understand that producers have to experiment, try new things and stretch the envelope.
I also gather that this was supposed to be a tribute etc. That is all very good. But, don’t deprive ME of Revels.
So, I appreciate, that this is very personal. Yes, of course, people loved it. I heard them say it. But, we also got the impression that there were a lot of people with ‘free’ or discounted tickets at our performance.
We had a late lunch at the Dartmouth (over-priced) cafeteria in the HOP prior to the 5pm performance. There was a visually impaired gentleman who was holding court, in a very loud voice, also having something to eat at the same time — surrounded by a bunch of groveling admirers. You couldn’t but hear him talk … Appears that he was a ‘big shot’ from Revels in New York. He had some interesting things to say about the different shows. He talked about the ‘Irish Revels on a ship‘ from last year, for example. (And that was one heck of a show at Dartmouth.) He had an interesting theory that this Appalachian show proved. He was saying that people just prefer European themed Revels — the more ‘Germanic’ the better. He probably has that right.
I have harped on enough.
Bottom line, this was too ‘cultural’ NOT enough Revels.
I paid ($110 I think) expecting to be Reveled not to get an academic, discourse on Appalachian musical heritage.
Will I go to Revels North next year? Most likely.
I could be wrong but I kind of feel bad for the ameteur cast. I get a feeling that they knew that this was not Revels — and it is NOT their fault. They have to do what the management decides.
But maybe I am going to switch allegiance. Rather than Revels North being the Primary Revels and Cambridge the ‘stand-by’, we might, especially now that the kids are older and can weather the trip to Boston better, do Cambridge as the primary and Dartmouth if we feel we need a second dose for the year.