The Scene: May 2021

The Scene
May 2021
By Jane Harrison

Some very exciting things are blossoming along with the brilliant yellow Forsythia.

SUNY Sullivan Theatre Arts is presenting SPRING AWARENESS at the Seely Theatre on the SUNY Sullivan campus as well as Live Streamed. Unfortunately, I just received the dates and times so the time to catch this will be short as the dates presented are April 23-May 8. This musical, originally written by Frank Wedekind about 1891 German adolescents and their rebellion against the norms, has been updated with the book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik.

Yes, this is out of MY norm of music tastes, BUT I was fortunate enough to catch a preview at CABERNET FRANK’S Saturday April 17. I was only there to pick up food, but I found my leaving delayed by friends I have rarely seen in the last year popping in. And then these young people took the stage. The blend of voices, singing through their masks, was so crisp, clear and strong I actually stopped in mid-sentence to listen. The subject matter too, captured my attention. I highly recommend this production. It will give you a smile, if not a down-right belly laugh. April 30-May 8: SPRING AWARENESS (a musical); Seely Theatre at SUNY Sullivan campus or live stream. 8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. on Sundays. Reserve your tickets at Suggested donation is $10.

Saturday night, April 24, I caught STEPHEN CLAIR’s trio at CABERNET FRANK’S. STEPHEN CLAIR is the guitarist and front man of the trio that make up THE GREAT EFFING BAND. And it truly is. The music is all original but with the hook of the oft-combined sounds of Kinks/Elvis Costello/ 58 Special/Tom Petty/ Dave Matthews creating an updated 20th century Rock and Roll. Each of this trio sings and the expertly blended voices is something I don’t hear too often. As a guitarist, STEPHEN CLAIR plays his guitar as it was meant to be played, no electronic special effects just those unique ‘pizzazz’ moments between the artist and the instrument. A kind of purity, if you will. I look forward to hearing them again and finding out more about this band.

There are a good many band dates being booked for the summer in the venues in and around the County. Right now, it is still pretty much catch-as-catch-can as many still wisely choose to perform outside wherever possible. Much of the live music to be had is “surprise pop-up” when the weather supports a Saturday or Sunday afternoon performance in venues that offer outdoor seating.

So here is what I know about so far:

CABERNET FRANK’S in Parksville has re-opened their Thursday night OPEN MIC, and it is rumored that the Wednesday Karaoke will follow. Seating inside is still wisely limited and weather permitting, the Open Mic is outdoors in their DEER GARDEN. Weekend afternoons, you have a good chance of catching one of the aforementioned pop-up performances.

RAFTERS in Callicoon has also re-opened their Sunday afternoon OPEN MIC which can be switched to Saturday afternoons if rain is predicted. These are always held in their outdoor garden called THE NEST.

HEARTBEAT MUSIC HALL kicked off their season Friday April 30 with FISHER AND KEAN premiering their newest CD “PURE LOCAL HONEY.” This is indoor seating only but it is a very large space and can accommodate quite an audience social distanced.

You have no idea how good it feels to be able to write about music again. But even being fully vaccinated, I will continue to be extremely careful.

Stay strong, stay well, stay masked.
Until next time……