Friday, August 28, 2015

REVIEW: Depot Theater's Savin' Up For Saturday Night is a HOOT and a HALF!

Join the fun at the Depot Theatre's Savin' Up For Saturday Night
What: Book by Jeff Goode and songs by Richard Levinson, Savin’ Up for Saturday Night is a country croonin’, toe-tapping musical comedy that takes place in a one honky-tonk town where love comes and goes with the strands of a song and all before last call.
Where: Depot Theatre, 6705 Main Street, Westport, New York 12993, 518-962-4449
Ticket price: $29/adult, $27/senior/student, group discounts are available.
When: Westport NY: August 28, 29, 31, Sept 4, 5 at 8 pm and August 30, September 3, 6 at 5 pm. 
A Hootenanny at the Hotel: A special showing on August 29 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Westport Hotel and Tavern. Admission: $50 with live entertainment from Jeneen Terrara (last seen in The Bikinis) and the cast of Savin’ Up for Saturday Night with hors d-oeuvres and a cash bar. Celebrating 37 years of professional theatre in the Adirondacks.

Savin' Up For Saturday Night by Jeff Goode and Richard Levinson
Director: Kathryn Markey
Lucinda: Katy Blake
Eldridge: Jonathan Hadley
Doc: Ben Loving
Patsy: Maggie Politi
Roddy/Music Director: Joe Schermann
Nub, the drummer: Craig Johnson
Stage Manager: Kati Long
Scenic Design: Hadmar Designs
Lighting Design: Margaret Swick
Costume Design: Deborah Hobson
Sound Design: Jim Carroll


(WESTPORT)  Saturday night is every night at the Depot Theatre with a toe-tapping musical that has acast of characters bringing down the house at the “Bar and Fill.” Director Kathryn Markey pulls together a top rate cast that draws the audience into the makeshift bar set in a one honky-tonk town and had us dancing in our seats. It’s no surprise that Depot Theatre has a cast that can belt out songs that will send shivers up your back.

Ben Loving as Doc and Katy Blake as Lucinda
Snappy quips are exchanged between the sympathetic barkeep Doc (Ben Loving) his unrequited love and boss’s ex Lucinda (Katy Blake) the owner and lead singer Eldridge (Jonathan Hadley) and Patsy the waitress turned backup singer (Maggie Politi).

Costume Designer Deborah Hobson has brought country to Westport with cowboy boots, fringe and cowboy hats that nicely blend with the downhome feel of Hadmar Designs’ set of red bar stools, wood paneling, checkered tablecloths and wooden barrels. Having the house band of Roddy (Joe Schermann) and Nub (Craig Johnson) provide pitch-perfect backup while being on stage is a great addition to the camaraderie of the cast. 

Lucinda is a down-on-her-luck divorced mother whose only outlet is to sing and dance at the local Bar and Fill. There are just a few issues to overcome like the only bar is owned by her ex-husband Eldridge Jr.  He holds a restraining order and the pair have a “thunder and lighting” relationship. It’s all sizzle and burn when Lucinda finds out a waitress named Patsy has her eye on her former position as singer for the honky-tonk’s house band as well as becoming Eldridge’s main squeeze.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Clare Paulson as Thomasina Coverly
and Miles River Willow as Septimus Hodge
in Arcadia
Forget this world and all its troubles and if possible its multitudinous Charlatans—every thing in short but the Enchantress of Numbers.”
 ~Charles Babbage, 1833

What: Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard, is a conundrum set in two time periods where the past and future collide when scholars at an old English estate try to prove theories by piecing together the past. 
Where: Pendragon Theatre, 15 Brandy Brook Ave, Saranac Lake, 518-891-1854, 
Advanced tickets price: $30/adult, $25/senior, $15/student with ID, $20/matinee
At Door ticket price: $35/adult/senior, $25/student, $20/matinee
When: Saranac Lake: August 26,27 28 at 8 pm

Tyler Nye as Valentine Coverly and
Shamus Hunter McCarty
as Bernard Nightingale in Arcadia
(Saranac Lake) There are only three chances left to see Pendragon Theatre’s performance of Arcadia and it shouldn’t be missed. This high-energy comic drama by playwright Tom Stoppard mixes truth with consequence through two parallel stories told generations apart. 

Directed by Kimberley Bouchard, Arcadia is so smoothly acted that the audience feels like they are dropped into an English garden to eavesdrop on the trials and tribulations of English scholars and aristocracy. Bouchard’s faith in her cast allows them to keep the momentum burning and never break stride throughout.

The quick-witted, complex piece had us huddled together at times pondering a line or situation to laughing in our seats. Arcardia is neither complete mystery, though there are mysterious elements; nor a love story, though there is love to ponder.

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard at Pendragon Theatre until August 28
Set in 1809, 1812 and 2009, brings to the forefront the effort of researching the past when books, letters and journals are the only means of collecting proof.  Even though today information is an Internet search away; there are always questions and missing information. Though the process is so different, the search for truth and the thrill of discovery is the same. Also the consequence for jumping to conclusions is a lesson well learned. 

The play opens in 1809 with Thomasina Coverly (Clare Paulson) asking her tutor Septimus Hodge (Miles River Willow) what is “carnal knowledge.” My twelve-year-old whispered the same question in my ear. After a few giggles from her, I thought it best to leave the necessary wit to the production and save the questions for intermission. 

Paulson as Thomasina is ideal as the precocious Regency era teen that places her equally witty tutor Hodge on the spot for his tryst with a neighbor’s wife. The depth to Thomasina and her quest for knowledge is laid out in her questions. Thomasina reaches young adulthood through the production and Paulson easily maintains a youthful exuberance to balance the budding genius.   “When you stir your rice pudding, Septimus, the spoonful of jam spreads itself round making red trails like the picture of a meteor…” seeking the answer to why one can’t unstir something back to its original form. 

With glimpses into the Chaos theory, science and mathematics, there is nothing predictable about this Arcadia. Each decision and outcome is altered, as Thomasina learns, by free will. Her primer sets everything in motion, but to what end?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Lake Placid (NY) Inside Activity: Climbing the Walls at The Climbery

By Diane Chase (Adirondack Family Time)

We are always looking for Lake Placid inside activities that do not revolve around watching television. My children have complete understanding of how the TV remote works so my husband and I feel they do not require additional experience. Since my kids are climbing up the walls, really the door frames, we felt it is the perfect time to try the High Peaks Cyclery indoor climbing room. Appropriately named “The Climbery,” High Peaks Cyclery has cordoned off an upstairs room, near the yoga studio, dedicated to the practice and perfection of rock climbing. 
We are all novices, unless we can count my daughter’s habit of hanging from the molding. We are told her particular parlor trick will come in handy but will not be the same experience. We sign a waiver and decide to rent shoes along with the 2 hours fee in hopes that the tight fitting climbing shoes will help us grip the rock handles. 
The room is heavily padded but we are still required to only climb up to our individual heights. I am fine with that. I am actually okay just climbing to my daughter’s height. My youngest takes off and manages to climb each wall without touching the floor. The colored tape along the walls indicates various routes. Now it becomes a competition between siblings.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Drive or Hike up Lake George (NY) Prospect Mountain

The view of Lake George from Prospect Mountain
Driving to and past Lake George on Route I-87 I’ve often wondered where the footbridge crossing over the Northway leads. There are always signs or flags hanging over or people waving as we pass underneath. After being able to spend a day in Lake George, we discover the footbridge is one start to Prospect Mountain.

We’ve been told the 1.5-mile trail is steep and can be difficult. We are only wearing sneakers but decide it is worth the attempt if to only cross the footbridge. I am terrified. My children skip across as if huge trucks were not speeding beneath their feet. They gesture to the drivers to beep their horns. They finally look back, realize I am not following and come back to retrieve me. 

The path is relatively steep and follows the old Incline Railway that had been used for guests to reach the once thriving Prospect Mountain Inn. The Inn was destroyed by fire, twice. Now all that remains are pictures, a partial fireplace and the cable gears. 

A footbridge crosses over I-87, the Northway
The hiking trail follows the railway lines. No remnants remain as any usable metals were removed and repurposed during World War I. The trench that remains is rocky and wet. The slightest rain can cause a washout so we end up skirting the gully for higher ground. We cross the toll road twice before reaching the summit. 

Hiking in the fall can be tricky. Fallen leaves can hide ice making for a slippery path. Be cautious. Everyone should be familiar with his/her own comfort level. I had read reports that this trail is not suitable for children of all ages. My seven and ten year olds had no difficulties. Their only complaint was that we didn’t bring hot dogs to grill at the summit. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Lake Placid (NY) Fun Center Boots and Birdies: Ropes Course, EuroBungy, Mining and Mini-Golf

Boots and Birdies Lake Placid mining sluice
Though my kids enjoy our outdoor hiking adventures, they like to spend just as much time exploring all the various activities in our area. Recently a friend asked if I knew of any ropes courses around. We’ve been to a large ropes course in Bolton Landing and a few private courses attached to summer camps, but we hadn’t tried the Ropes Adventure Challenge Course at Lake Placid, New York's Boots and Birdies.

Booties and Birdies is not just a cowboy themed, 18-hole mini-golf course, but a facility with a variety of activities that can entertain a wide range of ages and abilities. When we park in their lot my daughter gives the Eurobungy a look of longing and is torn between the ropes course and the trampoline bungy.

18-hole mini golf course at Boots and Birdies, Lake Placid
Though there are options to save some money with a bungy/ropes course package or multiple tokens, it’s just the ropes course for my little monkey.  I’ve just gone grocery shopping so the milk isn’t going to keep through 18 holes of golf or even a bag of rough for gemstone mining at the nearby sluice.  

To participate on the Adventure Ropes Course a person has to be at least six-years-old, 44” tall and under 200 lbs. My daughter fits within all the requirements.

The Village Pillory at Boots and Birdies
Lake Placid (NY)
After receiving her token, she takes a moment for a photo op at the pillory because who can resist a photo of a child in the stockade. (I’m thinking Christmas card because photos of mountains can be over rated.)