Monday, June 30, 2008

Tanglewood season starts; Shakespeare & Co. have a Gala; and more...

It's Brianne's birthday this week and she wanted to see Garrison Keiler do his Prairie Home Companion show live at Tanglewood. Brianne works at Michael's of Stockbridge. We met last summer and formed a friendship. So on Saturday we went off to Tanglewood together to celebrate her birthday a couple of days early.

Here we are all dressed up and ready for the show! We had great seats about 10 rows from the stage in the Shed. (Thank you, Davo!!!)

When we got out of the car, I heard "Hey, Countess!" and there were Stephanie, Andrew, and Tim from the Berkshire Theatre Festival. They carried a picnic to enjoy on the lawn.

When Garrison Keillor started the show, he walked off the stage and out of the Shed to the lawn. He couldn't stop exclaiming about all the food, wine, and other beverages everyone had. I'm sorry to say that all my pictures of the performers came out too blurry to print but here is one of the set.

And here is a picture of Garrison Keillor from the Prairie Home Companion website...

The show was very entertaining. Most people have listened to the Prairie Home Companion broadcasts at one time or another; or seen the movie with Meryl Street and Lily Tomlin. You can listen to some of the music and hear Donald Hall, Poet Laureate of the United States, read some of his poetry on their web site.

After the show we stopped in at Firefly in Lenox for a drink. Justina was tending bar that night.

Then it was off to the Shakespeare & Co. Gala just in time for dessert. The Countess met up with John Douglas Thompson who was in the production of Antony and Cleopatra I had seen in New York City a few months ago. He played Enobarbus and was fantastic in that role. He will soon be seen as Othello at Shakespeare & Co. Be sure you get tickets. He will be amazing as Othello!!

John Douglas Thompson, The Countess, LeRoy McClain

LeRoy McClain will also be performing in Othello. I met LeRoy last year and he told me he would be the "next Broadway star". I believe him. You should too!!!

Next stop for last call was.......Rumpy's Tavern, of course. We descended on Prince Troy with half the Shakespeare & Co. gala following! It was a full house...

Matthew and Arthur were there but I'm not too sure what Michael Allen Lowe is doing?!?

Steve is waving to the crowd, I think!

But Brianne and The Countess were still looking fine!

Countess Bedelia 6/30/2008 06:36:00 PM | 0 comments |

Sunday, June 29, 2008

From Crankenstein to War Pigs, Friday night was an adventure....

The Countess is a big fan of heavy metal bands and I was delighted to find a great band out here in the Berkshires, Crankenstein. I had only heard them on their MySpace page though; so when my friend Chin at Flavours said they would be playing Friday night, I made sure to get over to see them. You can hear them on their MySpace page here.

Dawn Simmons is married to the lead singer and also has a band of her own, Pariah. We became internet friends and finally met up in person.

She is in the process of getting a new tattoo. It looks pretty spectacular.

Later in the evening it was off to Michael's of Stockbridge to meet up with some of my Berkshire Theatre Festival friends.

Finn Wittrock who is playing in Candida and his lovely girlfriend Sara was there...

Liz raised her glass in a toast....

The Countess adores Rolfe but who is that being funny behind him???

Ryan just being silly....

Jeremiah Wiggins, Bhavesh Patel, and Tommy Schrider belted out a rendition of Black Sabbath's War Pigs to the delight of the crowd. If you want to hear how it really sounds by Black Sabbath, you can check out their 1970 performance live in Paris on YouTube here.

Of course The Countess had to get into the act!

Andy, the photographer at Michaels, caught me being silly.

Another fun night in the Berkshires!!!
Countess Bedelia 6/29/2008 12:26:00 PM | 1 comments |

Saturday, June 28, 2008

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program......

There will be a slight delay in posting Act Three of the Fabulous Berkshire Theatre Festival's 80th Birthday Party Chronicles. The Countess is currently in residence at the Summer Palace and left all the incriminating Paint Shop Party photos back at the Castle Bedelia. But have no fear, those pictures are safely stored in the vault and will definitely be posted next week.

Thursday night is Rumpy's night for The Countess. You never know who you will meet there and my circle of acquaintances significantly expanded when I met up with the New York political action group, Think Blue.

Think Blue was founded by the beautiful Emily Sussman as a means for young voters to get involved in the election process. So if you are a New York City resident, look up Think Blue and make your vote count.

Emily and The Countess

Michael was their photographer for the evening. He is actually a wedding photographer. Check him out at

Darling Adam was there with his friends.....

Pat, Nancy, Trisha, and Adam

The fabulous costume designer Arthur Oliver made an appearance.....

that is Prince Troy peeking out behind him!
The Queen of the Bar got a hug from Adam...
Just a few of the Party Girls.....
and we all ended up dancing the night away and having lots of fun!!
Countess Bedelia 6/28/2008 11:03:00 AM | 2 comments |

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Berkshire Theatre Festival 80th Birthday Celebration - Act Two

As we drove into the Main Stage parking at BTF, we flashed our VIP Birthday Parking Sticker and were ushered into the lower parking area. The cocktail reception was going on and one of the first people I ran into was Sir Stew, First Knight of the Berkshires (otherwise known as the Director of Audience Services!)...

Stew told me that Rolfe was playing his guitar under the tent and I had to say hello to him. You might remember Rolfe from a previous post when he performed at Open Mike night at Rumpy's Tavern a couple of Sundays ago. He has been booked for a few nights at Rumpy's, so make sure that you get over there to see him. Isn't he a cutie?

Liz, the Associate Producer for BTF, showed off her new hairdo, which was created by none other than Baron Ricky!

Here is Liz showing off her beautiful dress. I thought it came out the Sex and the City wardrobe closet...

Andrew wanted a picture with The Countess. He told me that he was dressing up for the Paint Shop Party later but wouldn't reveal his costume. I'd have to go to the party to see him. (I think he is angling to be Knighted!)

Soon, Ryan Chittaphong, the House Manager, was ringing the bell to usher us into the theater for the opening night performance of Candida. Before the performance everyone was given a glass of champagne to toast the 80th birthday of the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Kate Maguire was given a check from the Massachusetts Cultural Council in the amount of $160,000 to assist BTF in its goal to improve the facilities and grounds. A few speeches were given and then it was on with the show!

Jayne Atkinson as Candida, BTF press photo

Finn Wittrock and David Schramm, BTF press photo

Michel Gill, David Schramm, Samantha Soule, BTF press photo

Candida was written by George Bernard Shaw in 1894, and as with all enduring art, the themes of love, fidelity, and the imagination of the artist are as relevent today as they were then. Wonderful performance from the whole cast. Finn Wittrock and David Schramm especially impressed me. Make sure you get your tickets for this one!

After the performance came the after party with birthday cake....and then the after-after party in the Paint Shop....but that is Act Three!

Countess Bedelia 6/25/2008 09:44:00 PM | 0 comments |

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Berkshire Theatre Festival 80th Birthday Celebration - Act One

For The Countess the whole thing started with a walk around town on Friday morning with the Principessa. I usually stop in at the Berkshire Classic Leather and Silver Shoppe to see my friend Mark, who owns the place.
Mark goes to Mexico a few times a year to pick up silver jewelry and usually finds a little something he just knows that The Countess will love. As I walked into his shop, he exclaimed, "Countess, I was just going to call you and here you are! Look at what I found for you!" And on the counter was the most unique necklace, bracelet, and earrings. I wore the set to the parties for BTF's 80th birthday celebration and got so many compliments about them. But you be the judge as you see them in the pictures.

The Countess is looking fine and giving the royal wave.

The Principessa dresses up pretty good herself!

The evening started for Baby Countess and I at a dinner party hosted by Kate McGuire and Eric Hill. It was held at the Aegean Breeze which serves Greek food. It was quite a nice mix of people, all benefactors of the theater, from all walks of life. The food was delicious, the dinner conversation lively, and it seemed to go all too fast.

We were greeted by our lovely hostess, Kate McGuire. Kate always makes everyone feel right at home, even in the theater. She has created quite a 'family' for BTF.

This lovely lady, Janine, had emailed me a few weeks before the event because she had started reading this blog. She had expressed an interest in meeting me at the theater some day but little did we know that we would be guests at the same party. My new friend, Janine....

Ira Lapidus has been involved with the Williamstown Theatre Festival for many years and is now on the Mass. Cultural Council Board. He was happy to present Kate with a $160,000 grant from the Mass. Cultural Council at the ceremonies later.

Ira Lapidus and The Countess

Before we knew it, the time had come to drive over to the theatre to see the opening night performance of Candida written by George Bernard Shaw, starring Jayne Atkinson, Michel Gill, David Schramm, Samantha Soule, Jeremiah Wiggins, and Finn Wittrock.

But that story is for Act knew that, didn't you?
Countess Bedelia 6/24/2008 08:01:00 PM | 0 comments |

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Mother/Daughter weekend....or how the Principessa conquered the Berkshires!

It all started last Thursday night. The Principessa and I drove out to the Summer Palace. It was about 9 o'clock in the evening when we arrived and before I could blink an eye, the little darling was in her pjs, all ready to settle in for the night. "Is that what you are wearing out tonight?", I asked sweetly. "Oh, are we going out? I thought we were staying in for a relaxing evening." Poor deluded child; she just doesn't have a clue!

And so she put on her Princess shirt and off we went to Rumpy's Tavern. But it was The Countess who really didn't have a clue! The Principessa was quickly dubbed "The Baby Countess" and she proceeded to take over the joint.

She roped Troy in right away.

Then Adam joined in.

Next thing I knew, she was the middle of an Adam-Troy sandwich!

Here we are with Jason Asprey who is one of the principal actors at Shakespeare & Co.

Michael Allen Lowe bowed to her charms.

The Baby Countess was the hit of the evening!

The next day we relaxed a bit on the deck with martinis and Glenivet.

Then it was off to the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield to see the Tony award winning musical "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee". During the performance, one of the characters, Chip, develops a crush on another character's sister, Marigold, who is supposedly sitting in the audience. You guessed it! The Baby Countess was singled out to be Marigold! And she got two pieces of candy for her trouble! A totally fun play and fun evening.

Then it was off to Michael's of Stockbridge. My Berkshire Theatre Festival friends were going there after their current production (The Caretaker) let out that evening. We met up with Travis and Justina....

And made some new friends with some of the BTF alumni who were in for the big 80th birthday celebration weekend. Here is The Countess with Jeremy and Luke...

Susan and Melissa, the most beautiful Friday night bartenders, always take good care of The Countess...
We ended the evening with last call at Rumpy's Tavern with Sir Stew, First Knight of the Berkshires, Lady Erin, and Baron Ricky.

Saturday was the big 80th Birthday Celebration for the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Dinner parties, theater, after parties, and after-after parties were the agenda for the night. Stay tuned for more details!

Countess Bedelia 6/23/2008 02:44:00 PM | 1 comments |