Posts Tagged ‘Performing Arts’

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Benny Rolfe: ‘World’s Greatest’ Trumpeter

4A  BARolfeHatIn 1918, pioneer of silent films Benny Rolfe left Metro Pictures (later MGM) and formed his own Rolfe Productions, quickly scoring a coup by signing Harry Houdini to a film contract. The hugely popular escape artist was featured by Benny in The Master Mystery, a “super-serial” produced in fifteen parts. After viewing the first installment, Billboard reported: “This enthralling picture will be followed eagerly from week to week and will draw like a house afire. Has unlimited advertising possibilities. Grab it quick.”

The business appeared to be flourishing, but cash flow was becoming a problem. Rolfe’s extravagant productions were expensive, and the battle against other companies to secure actors resulted in costly bids for their services. Benny was losing money, forcing the reduction of an ambitious schedule that had led to the completion of more than fifty films. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas in Essex, Where Santa Arrives By Ferry

TaylorHaskins_newThere are many ways to spend the holidays, or those few frantic weeks just before, that truly ring in the year with quaint Adirondack charm. Schroon Lake’s Olde Tyme Christmas, Lake Placid’s Holiday Stroll and Christmas in Essex are just three celebrations that are prepared to make everyone’s countdown to Christmas just a little more merry.

Though Friday nights do hold a few scheduled happenings, the main events take place over the weekend for most locations. According to Christmas in Essex Co-Organizer Kenneth Hughes, this year’s festival on December 13th is a mixture of traditional activities and new events.

“Christmas in Essex has been happening for at least 20 years so we have the traditional activities people look forward to, like the Reindeer Run and Pancake Breakfast, but we added some things that are brand new. This is the first year that I’ve been an organizer,” says Hughes. “My other Co-Organizer is Susie Smith.” » Continue Reading.



Monday, December 8, 2014

Benny Rolfe of Brasher Falls: Pioneer of Silent Films

3A RolfeHdlineJolsonIn early 1910, Benny Rolfe‘s latest vaudeville release, The Rolfonians, received high praise from the New York Dramatic Mirror. “B. A Rolfe has given vaudeville several entertaining productions, but his latest, which be has named after himself, and in which he appears, is the best he has yet turned out. The Rolfonians is novel if nothing else, while it is decidedly refined and of a truly high-class order.… Mr. Rolfe is to be sincerely congratulated. The Rolfonians is … so admirably staged, and so entirely harmonious from a musical viewpoint, that it will undoubtedly become one of vaudeville’s most sought for acts.” » Continue Reading.



Monday, December 1, 2014

Vaudeville Star Benny Rolfe of Brasher Falls

2A BARolfeBandHatIn April 1900, the 24-piece Brasher Falls Military Band was organized, with Benny Rolfe as leader. He also served as manager of the Rolfe family business. Life was looking pretty good for the Boy Trumpet Wonder of Brasher Falls.

Within a month, he received an offer of $30 a week ($860 in 2014) to lead the famous military band of Lowville, about 100 miles southwest of Brasher Falls. For the time being, Benny remained in his hometown, performing locally, playing solos in appearances with area town and city bands, and perfecting the laundry business.

But in early January 1901, it was announced that Benny had purchased the Lowville Steam Laundry, and would soon become the leader of Lowville’s popular band. What’s more, his father, mother, and Nellie Morse were all accompanying him and would be welcome additions to the band. After moving some laundry equipment to Lowville, Benny sold the Brasher Falls business and completed the move in April, becoming the most famous bandleader in Lewis County at the grand old age of 21. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Benny Rolfe: Boy Trumpet Wonder of Brasher Falls

1A BARolfe01The community of Brasher Falls, located on the St. Regis River in northern St. Lawrence County, can be described as “in the middle of nowhere,” defined here as about halfway between Potsdam and Hogansburg. No insult intended. Remoteness, after all, is a desirable attribute for many North Country folks, and at just a couple miles north of Route 11, it’s not really the boondocks. It’s a small community, and in 1880 had a population of about 240, making it all the more remarkable that a nationally famous musician and a true pioneer of vaudeville, movies, and radio is a Brasher Falls native.

Benjamin Albert Rolfe was born on October 24, 1879, to Albert Benjamin and Emma (Ballard) Rolfe. Both of his parents were interested in the performing arts, taking part in local theater productions. Both were also musically inclined, providing entertainment regionally as Rolfe’s Full Orchestra, and introducing their young son to the joys of playing musical instruments. » Continue Reading.



Monday, November 24, 2014

Depot Theatre Celebrates Season, Looks to Future

depot_theaterThe Board of Trustees of the Depot Theatre is calling the organization’s 36th season “an unquestionable success”, noting that the Theatre ended the fiscal year in the black for the first time in four years. Organizers cite higher attendance and contributions from donors and volunteers.

“It might come as a surprise to some that ticket sales cover only a small portion of the expense involved in running a professional theatre,”  board treasurer John Klipper said in a statement issued to the press. “Earned revenue must be augmented with contributed revenue. We’re excited that our revenue goals were not only met, but surpassed!” » Continue Reading.



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Amy Godine On Black History in the Adirondacks

TMDA LogoBlack history in the Adirondacks has an anecdotal quality, maybe because the numbers of black Adirondackers have been so few. Here’s a story of a black homesteader who was good friends with John Brown. There’s a barn that may have sheltered fugitives on the Underground Railroad.  Outside Warrensburg is a place in the woods where a black hermit lived. And so on.

The temptation – and I should know; I’ve been a lead offender – is to make a sort of nosegay out of these scattered stories, pack them all into a story by its lonesome, a chunky little sidebar, and let this stand for the black experience.

It makes a good read, and it’s efficient. And it’s wrong. It reinforces the idea that the black experience in this region was something isolated, inessential. It ghettoizes black Adirondack history, and this wasn’t how it was. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, September 27, 2014

ADK Shakespeare Company Presenting Autumn Season

ADK flagThe Adirondack Shakespeare Company (ADK Shakes) is gearing up for its second Autumn Season. 2014 saw ADK Shakes bring the Park a total of five full productions by William Shakespeare as well as an original play for children penned by the Company’s Executive Director, Patrick Siler. Two more productions are about to get underway: Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew.

“What’s special about this fall is that we are beginning a year-long celebration of our Fifth Anniversary Season,” says Siler. “Macbeth is one of the titles that we produced in our very first summer in Schroon Lake, and we are very excited to revisit each one of those show’s over the next year.” In addition to Macbeth, next summer the group will also perform two other titles from their inaugural season: Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bluegrass Jam Features Sam Bush, Del McCoury

bluegrass-01-01The first-ever Lake Placid Bluegrass Jam will be held on Saturday, October 25th, in the 1932 Rink at the Olympic Center, and discounted pre-sale tickets are available now.

Co-headliners are Grammy winners Sam Bush and The Del McCoury Band. Sam Bush, a bluegrass mandolin player, is considered an originator of the Newgrass style. He has taken home Grammys for Album of the Year, Best Country Performance by a Duo and Best Pop Instrumental Performance. The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has named Sam Bush Mandolin Player of the Year four times in 1990, 1991, 1992, and 2007. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mudd Club Meets Bird Land At Lake George Jazz Weekend

Jazz RecordRaymond Scott, the electronic music pioneer, composer of film scores and classic cartoon music as well as jazz suites for big bands, and whose music will be performed at this year’s Lake George Jazz Weekend, is said to have been one of most lasting influences upon downtown, avant-garde rock composer John Zorn.

As it happens, some of the musicians who have played and recorded with Zorn and his shifting collective of jazz, rock and classical performers will also be at this year’s festival, which will be held September 13 and 14 in Shepard Park.

They include trumpeter Steve Bernstein, who has put together a combo called SexMob to play the music of Nino Rota, the composer who scored Fellini’s most famous films, and drummer Billy Martin, who replaced Anton Fier as the percussionist in the legendary Lounge Lizards. » Continue Reading.



Friday, August 29, 2014

HoboFest And Farm2Fork: Fresh Food, Fresh Music in SL

HoboFestThe term hobo means different things to different people conjuring up images of the Depression, freight jumping, and an independent spirit. For my family it brings up my grandfather’s stories as an orphaned runaway immigrant living on the streets of Brooklyn. His stories were colorful and glossed over a hard street life. After spending a brief time on the rails, he lied about his age to join the military where he would recall the first time he ate a meal until he was full. Years later he was able help others and always fed anyone that passed by or knocked on the door.

With Farm2Fork and the HoboFest, Labor Day weekend in Saranac Lake brings together three elements that my grandfather would love: fresh food, music and railroads. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ermina Pincombe: When Music (Like Food) Was Local

Ermina PincombeI’ve learned so much about the history and culture of my state (NY) and local communities in which I reside (Buffalo NY and Piercefield NY in the Adirondack Mountains) through the traditional music of these places.

Similarly, my interest in local and state history has informed my understanding and appreciation of the music of our forebears. Before mass media came into the home, you got your music as you got your food – from someplace local, mostly. The newspaper, perhaps. Travelling shows, yes. But also from people in your community. Family members, neighbors, coworkers. What did they sing about? And what can those long-forgotten songs tell us about a community? » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Free Lake George Music Festival A Big Hit

LGMF pictureFor the fourth year the Lake George Music Festival is providing guests and residents live concerts, workshops and outreach events throughout the Lake George community this August 14-21.

According to Lake George Music Festival President Alexander Lombard there will be a variety of events over the August 14-21 festival. This year Lombard has brought in over 70 young professional musicians to participate in the open rehearsals, chamber concerts and workshops around Lake George. In addition there are new activities such as a formal collaboration at The Sembrich in Bolton Landing on August 16 and a late (9-11 pm) casual show at the Lake George Boathouse Restaurant on the 18th. » Continue Reading.



Friday, August 8, 2014

RondeauFest Scheduled For August 16th

Sons of Octomom 4The Town of Long Lake has announced the line up for the 3rd Annual RondeauFest Summer Music Event. The roster of acts include Alex Smith and the Mountain Sound, Terry Chaiken, Fade to Blues, Dogtown Cadillac and the Sons of Octomom. These regional Adirondack musicians will showcase a variety of music from rock, blues, country, mountain surf and folk. The event will be held August 16th from 4 to 10 pm at the Mt. Sabattis Pavilion in Long Lake.

Jennifer Raymond, formerly of Decadence, is the lead singer and band leader of Dogtown Cadillac. Jennifer calls Schroon Lake her hometown and country music her first love. Dogtown Cadillac features Tim Howe, Dickie Ogden and Archie Anderson from the South Glens Falls, and Albany area. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Depot Theatre’s Shakespeare-in-the-Park Program

shakespeare in the park as you like itDepot Theatre’s Shakespeare-in-the-Park is celebrating its 12th season appropriately with William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

This rollicking and poignant comedy involves mistaken identity, unrequited love, a humorous rivalry between generations, capped off with a perfect comic ending consisting of many marriages that leaves you with a longing for the good ole days.

“Our approach to Shakespeare is playful, physical and accurate to his intent and meaning,” says Co-Director Scott Gibbs. “This shortened version of Twelfth Night will feature both traditional and modern music performed by our actors, who are a diverse group of local high school and college students as well as theatre professionals.” » Continue Reading.



Thursday, July 31, 2014

Unique Adirondack Theatre Opportunities

ADKCenterArts_ShakespeareThe mountains, nature and waterways are just part of what makes our time in the Adirondacks so unique. The other part is the artists, musicians and performers that make the Adirondacks their home while sharing their creativity with the rest of us. Though the numerous Adirondack professional and regional theaters are offering a variety of entertainment, it’s the unique opportunities that these theaters have on the docket that I’d like to highlight.

Pendragon Theatre and the Lake Placid Sinfonietta are presenting “A Soldier’s Tale” on August 3 at 2 pm on the Pendragon stage and a 7 pm showing at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. In additional to their amazing main stage offerings and concerts, this special event brings two professional entities together for a rare production. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cabaret Singer To Perform ‘The Sagamore Songbook’

Andrea Marcovicci photo by Daniel Reichert (2)Noted cabaret vocalist Andrea Marcovicci will be visiting Great Camp Sagamore to perform a special program celebrating the noted American Songbook composers who stayed at Sagamore Lodge:   Richard Rogers, Jerome Kern and Hoagy Carmichael.

Marcovicci’s performance will be part of the camp’s 2014 benefit for historic preservation. Proceeds from the benefit help with the ongoing restoration of the Sagamore’s 27 National Historic Landmark structures.   The benefit will be on Saturday, August 2nd and will include cocktails and a silent auction at the camp’s play house, followed by Andrea Marcovvici’s performance and a catered sit down dinner and live auction. The evening will be capped with cigars, port, and a camp fire. » Continue Reading.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Sandra Hildreth: Our History In Art And Music

redTo understand how America was made, one need only go back and look at what people created, their responses to the events and environments they lived in. There are currently two unique opportunities available that will take you back to other times in very different ways. Both are based on things that occurred around 60 years ago – one building on centuries of songs and the other forging a path into the world of contemporary art, ironically, going on at almost the same time.

A one time opportunity to learn about our past through the arts is a performance tonight, (July 14) of “RED”, a Pendragon Theatre production that is making a one day tour to VIEW, in Old Forge. “RED”, a Tony award winning play by John Logan, is a two-person performance that brings you into the 1950’s world of Abstract Expressionism in New York City. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Mysterious End of Robert Perkins, Opera Star

03A 1917AdPerkinsThe emergency passport request of Robert and Margaret Perkins was granted, and a long, difficult journey began on the heels of what had been a very trying time. Besides the recent separation, their last year in Darmstadt had been spent in poverty-like conditions. Germany’s inflation rate had skyrocketed, driving up the price of everyday items. Robert and Margaret were forced to live on meager supplies and with little heat during the cold winter. They witnessed a food riot. All about them, men, even partially disabled, were conscripted into the military. Women were forced to fill the manual labor jobs normally held by men. And everywhere, soldiers marched off to war, spouting hatred for England and America, and confident of victory.

They had also seen the plight of French war prisoners held in a camp near Darmstadt. Likewise, while traveling through France, they encountered prison camps where Germans were held. At Paris, they met the first 150 American soldiers to land in France after the war declaration. As shiploads of fighting men arrived, the frightened couple found passage home on the Rochambeau. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lake Placid Blues and Heritage Festival This Weekend

LPBluesFestJune 20-22, 2014 will mark the beginning of a new music experience as Lake Placid plays host to the inaugural Lake Placid Blues and Heritage Festival presented by Miller Lite.

During this first-time event, the village will sway and rock to the sounds of 20+ notable blues bands from throughout the northeastern U.S. Spread out at nearly 10 different venues.

The festival will celebrate exceptional music and the rich heritage of the Lake Placid area and include local and regional bands. Some of the local entertainment groups include Spring Street, Lucid, The Harbingers, the Back Porch Society, Sven Curth and friends, Big Slyde and Fade to Blues. Regional and national acts include The Roxy Perry Blues Band, George Boone, Rhett Tyler and Early Warning, George Kilby Jr. with special guest Barbecue Bob, Murali Coryell, Jerry Dugger, and many more. » Continue Reading.



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