Thursday, July 31, 2008

Life is like a box of chocolates.....

Sometimes the nights with no plans end up being the most entertaining. After a relatively uneventful carriage ride from the Castle Bedelia to the Summer Palace, I pulled into the parking lot at Moe's Tavern ready for a burger and some of their delicious sweet potato fries. Josh, the owner, was at Fenway Park at the Red Sox game but Yuki, his wife, was holding court in the tavern. Unfortunately the kitchen had closed so there was no food to be gotten there. After a small glass of Glenlivet, the Countess continued on to the Summer Palace.

But at the Palace, the servants had not turned on the air conditioning and the rooms were very hot. Then the worst thing of internet access! Even late at night and even if you are a countess, if you call the cable company, you have to wait. "Your call is important to us, please hold." "Repeat" "Repeat" etc. When I finally did speak to a real person, he couldn't resolve the problem over the phone and a service call was put through for the following day. Modem replaced and I am back in business.

By now it is 11 pm and The Countess knows that Prince Troy has a good supply of Glenlivet over at Rumpy's Tavern. There weren't too many people in the bar but the ones that were there were ready to party. However there was one patron that definitely did not belong....the farting dog. After I chased it around trying to take its picture, the owner took him home exclaiming that her dog was being blamed for someone else's farts!! This is the best picture I could get but one look at that belly and you know that dog has some fearsome gas built up!

Then I tried to take a picture of Ricky but he wouldn't turn around because he didn't want to be in the blog with a farting dog. Baroness Ricky is such a princess sometimes!!! And yet, even his back is perfection. Ricky Fromeyer cannot take a bad picture even when his back is turned!

Tory is kind of peeking behind Ricky in that picture but she wanted a picture that showed off her Greek profile....

Now Princess got into the act and she wanted a picture. Her profile is a little different than Tory's.....

Next Michael Allen Lowe came in with his aviator goggles...or gas mask goggles...we weren't sure which. He wanted a picture with those on.....

Steve didn't want a picture but that never stopped the Countess....

Ricky was sorry he turned his back so he gave the Countess a nice kiss....

There you have it. A night where nothing happens...twice! Hmmmm, seems I've heard that review before.

Countess Bedelia 7/31/2008 03:37:00 PM | 0 comments |

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

One small step for mankind....

The Boston Globe reports on the House vote to end the residence requirement for gay marriage in Massachusetts.

"In a major victory for advocates of same-sex marriage rights, the House voted by a wide margin yesterday to repeal a 95-year-old law that prevents gay and lesbian couples from most other states from marrying here, setting the stage for Massachusetts to join just one other state, California, in allowing same-sex couples to marry regardless of residence."

"On a roll call, the House voted 118 to 35 to pass the repeal bill. The legislation will probably be sent to Governor Deval Patrick this week. The repeal will take effect 90 days after Patrick signs the measure."

Countess Bedelia 7/30/2008 08:28:00 AM | 2 comments |

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Countess ponders getting old...

The Countess has been having a great time for the past five years since I semi-retired. After working hard for over 40 years to earn every penny I own, I am now enjoying those pennies on the things that make me, theater, travel, friends, and political causes. I happened to see this story about George Carlin's last comedy album and had to share this section that he wrote about getting old.

"Carlin gets last laugh at death" is the headline for this CNN story today.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

"Not so this time, with Carlin waxing on -- with four-letter words in abundance -- about the advantages of getting older.
"It's a great time of life, you get to take advantage of people and you're not responsible for anything," he says on the album. He adds that he discovered a popular pastime could be had gathering family members around and pretending to have Alzheimer's."

The L.A. Times has a great online picture/commentary of 9 important "Collision of Comedy and Politics". George Carlin being arrested for saying the "Seven Words you can never say on Television" is the first picture.

George is right! Getting old can be a lot of fun! It is all in how you look at it. Life is short and most of us have to spend a lot of it just earning a living to survive. I'm fortunate to have made it past that point and I'm going to enjoy this journey to the end. One of my friends said that I would probably drop dead at 90 on a dance floor in a gay bar......please God, make him right!
Countess Bedelia 7/29/2008 10:31:00 AM | 0 comments |

When will this criminal be impeached?

Democrats John M. Spratt Jr., front, and Kent Conrad have been critical of the Bush administration’s budget policies.

"White House Predicts $482 Billion Deficit" That's the title of this article in today's New York Times.

"Representative John M. Spratt Jr., Democrat of South Carolina and chairman of the House Budget Committee, said the new deficit figures confirmed “the dismal legacy of the Bush administration.”
“Under its policies,” Mr. Spratt said, “the largest surpluses in history have been converted into the largest deficits in history.”"
My favorite icon says it all....
Countess Bedelia 7/29/2008 05:49:00 AM | 0 comments |

Monday, July 28, 2008

Janis Ian - Society's Child

The Countess went over to the Bookloft, one of those wonderful independent bookstores that small towns have. They were having a book signing with Janis Ian. I could not believe that Janis Ian is now 57 years old.....(Gawd! I am ancient!!!) It seems like yesterday that she was a 15 year old sensation with her song "Society's Child". At that young age she was heckled at concerts with the epitaph "Nigger Lover" because of this song.


Her very personal book tells wonderful stories about Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and lots of legends that she was friends with. She has been touted as the "Lesbian Legend" and told how her mother reacted when she first brought a girlfriend home. Janis told her mother, "You said Jewish and 'in love'; you didn't specify gender."

Janis gave a delightful talk about her book and moved me to tears when she read a passage about her mother's death.

Denise, this picture is for you (xxxooo)
Countess Bedelia 7/28/2008 12:18:00 PM | 2 comments |

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pageant Play cast finale party

The Countess is just getting in from the finale party for the Pageant Play cast. I am feeling bittersweet because I am going to miss these guys so much. Every once in awhile you connect with people and when I met Daiva, she touched one of those chords inside yourself that tell you this will be a special person in your life. Daiva was feeling very sad tonight and I could not do anything to make it better. A chapter is ending and a new one will begin.

I am just putting up two pictures because Jenn asked me to. I apologize, dear readers, if you don't know who I am talking about but this post is for me and Daiva, Jenn, and Matt and their friend Philip.

I love you guys and I will see you in NYC in the fall. Peace out.

Countess Bedelia 7/27/2008 02:18:00 AM | 0 comments |

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Sun Shines!

After several days of rain, thunderstorms, and high humidity, the sun finally shone on Thursday afternoon....just in time for a little dinner party I was having. Perfect weather....low 70's and dry air! The deck at the Summer Palace looked very inviting....

The pots of flowers are blooming nicely....

and it is very pleasant to sit at the patio table and have a nice glass of Glenlivet on the rocks....

Actually Matuschka stopped by before we went to the theater the next night and she had a martini. Here we are at Michael Allen Lowe's gallery opening in NYC in June. I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of her last night. She is always so beautiful!

Last night was opening night for "A Man for all Seasons" at Berkshire Theatre Festival. Although the play is 3 hours long, this production was so well directed that I was surprised when intermission came. It didn't seem like any time had passed at all. I don't think I have ever seen a production of this play before and it surprised me that there was so much humor in it. Wonderful acting by the whole cast leaves it hard to single anyone out but David Chandler as Cromwell, Eric Hill as Thomas More, and Walter Hudson as everyone else...LOL (he has a variety of roles which he handles brilliantly) were all outstanding. There is a good review here.

Diane Prusha, Eric Hill, Tara Franklin and Gareth Saxe (BTF website photo)

Eric Hill and Tara Franklin (BTF website photo)

After not getting back to the Summer Palace until the wee hours of the morning, The Countess overslept a little. I looked at the clock and saw 10:15!!! I was supposed to be up in Pittsfield at 11 am to see the final performance of BTF! Plays production of "Hercules" at the Berkshire Children's Museum. You can imagine the mad dash I made to throw myself together and get there. But it was so worth it. Gray Simons writes and directs these productions that are for children and acted by the BTF acting apprentices. Hercules was delightful. Bravo to Gray and all the cast!

Hercules cast (BTF website photo)

Tonight is the final performance of Pageant Play at BTF's Unicorn Theatre. The Countess has gotten very fond of this cast but we will keep in touch and I will see them in NYC in the fall.

Mark Setlock, Daiva Deupree, Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas (BTF website photo)

Tonight is their finale party.....but that is a story for tomorrow!
Countess Bedelia 7/26/2008 07:29:00 PM | 0 comments |

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Othello at Shakespeare & Co.

John Douglas Thompson as Othello (Shakespeare & Co. photo)

The Countess went to a preview performance of Othello at Shakespeare & Co. the other night. It was an incredible experience. John Douglas Thompson IS Othello! A wonderful cast, including Michael Hammond as Iago and LeRoy McClain as Cassio, bring this tale of love, jealousy, and betrayal to life.

My friend, Chuck, had tears in his eyes when the play was over. You KNOW that the company reached out and touched the audience. The woman sitting next to me said when it was over, "They really deserved this applause." So go and see it for yourself.

Since it wouldn't be a Countess Blog without my picture, here I am with John Douglas Thompson and LeRoy McClain at the Shakespeare & Co. Gala earlier this summer....

Shakespeare & Co. is one of the many reasons I love the Berkshires in the summer season.
Countess Bedelia 7/24/2008 10:10:00 AM | 0 comments |

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dear Diary....

What has The Countess been up to lately? It has been over a week since I wrote in my diary! How did the time go by so fast? Every time I say that I am going to start slowing down, it seems that I step on the gas and speed up!

Early in the week that famous rock star, Bennett Harrington, stopped by and took The Countess out to dinner. I love my Bennett! It was good to see him and catch up a bit. I'll always be his oldest groupie. Here is Bennett checking out Tony Lee Thomas' Myspace page at Command Central....

Then it was time for the Supermodel Birthday Party. Rumpy's Tavern was attacked by the Pink Balloon Fairy who literally covered every inch of ceiling with pink balloons and dangling streamers. When I arrived, Stew and Erin were standing outside and they were totally traumatized by the whole phenomenon. We gathered our courage and braved the onslaught of pinkitis.

But the pink balloons were nothing compared to the birthday gift.....

Santa is waving inside a circle of light in the top half of this clock and then in the bottom half is a scenic view of Niagara Falls. The Countess was speechless and in awe of this thing. Who would create such a thing to begin with? Where would you buy such a thing? It must have been on a table on Canal Street....that's all I could think of.

Here is Supermodel Shaina with Prince Troy behind the bar...

Stew, Erin, and Justina were taking it all in....

And, once again, can Ricky Fromeyer take a bad picture?

The Book Club Play was ending on Saturday night at the Main Stage at Berkshire Theatre Festival. The cast became quite fond of the beautiful Berkshires and didn't want to leave. It seemed every night was a party along with the Pageant Play cast....a fun-loving group...just my kind of people.

Here is Bhavesh Patel and C.J. Wilson belting out a rendition of "Staying Alive"..

While Keira, Jenn, and Daiva cheered them on....

In between parties, I managed to get a little culture. Berkshire Theatre Festival is having a Friday afternoon lecture series this year and they had a play reading of "Morning, Noon, and Night", a new play by Chris Newbound. Very nicely acted by Kate Maguire, Jerry Krasser, and James Barry. After the reading, there was a Q&A with the playwright and lots of interesting ideas were bounced around.

Over at the Chester Theatre Company, I took in a production of "Almost, Maine". One of my new friends, Jim Beaudin, is one of the four actors in the play. I thoroughly enjoyed this production and was impressed by the company itself. It is located in a very small town in the middle of nowhere but has a wonderfully professional and thriving theatre company. It was almost standing room only at the performance I attended.

Manon Halliburton and Jim Beaudin
(Chester Theatre Company press photo)
Then it was "Dumb Joke Night at Rumpy's Tavern". You know how you get silly and start telling bad jokes. It seemed that everyone had at least one and the contest was on to see who could win the title! Here are a couple I will share with you and then you will understand completely just how bad these jokes were:
Q: Where can you find a dog with no legs?
A: Right where you left him!
Q: What time does a Chinese go to the dentist?
A: Tooth-thirty
You be the judge!
Then Jesse did some of his magic cards tricks. The famous actor, Jason Asprey, acted as his assistant...
Over at Moe's Tavern in Lee, The Countess met Josh, the owner. He opened Moe's last October and it has become a very popular place in the area. He offers over 200 varieties of beer.
There are all kinds of cute signs and oddities on the walls. Can you spot the bottle of Glenlivet on the shelf?
WOW! This has been a long post. What are you doing still reading this? Go out and have some fun yourself!
Countess Bedelia 7/22/2008 02:38:00 AM | 1 comments |

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Stephanie triumphs as Rumpy's Chanteuse!!

Last Saturday the crowd at Rumpy's Tavern was treated to a special performance. Stephanie packed the house for her solo show. She played the guitar and sang a variety of songs in her beautiful voice.

Nick, a friend from college was in town for her show...

Sir Stew, First Knight of the Berkshires, came to see his friend play...

Rolfe struck a 'Thinker' pose. Rolfe will be playing the Tavern on Friday, July 25th, so get on over there to see him. He is also a great entertainer.

There was a little excitement when the fire alarm went off and we all had to leave the building. Good thing it wasn't raining. And good thing I didn't lose any Glenlivet!

I met Stephanie last spring and we have had some fun times. Stephanie is one of those wonderful people who is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She will be moving on to new adventures soon and The Countess and all her friends wish her much success and happiness.

Countess Bedelia 7/16/2008 10:16:00 PM | 1 comments |

The times they are a-changing.....

A few years back when I first got involved with MassEquality, the idea that gay marriage would not only be legal but would become a non-issue was a dream. This dream is slowly, but surely, coming true.

Another giant step for mankind....

The Boston Globe today:

"The state Senate voted swiftly and unanimously yesterday to strike down a 95-year-old law that blocks gay and lesbian couples from most other states from being married in Massachusetts, drawing condemnation from Catholic Church leaders but delivering a victory for advocates who have fought for the repeal and who say that same-sex marriage has become an accepted part of the state's culture."

The New York Times today:

"On Tuesday, the State Senate voted to repeal a 1913 law that prevents Massachusetts from marrying out-of-state couples if their marriages would not be legal in their home states. The repeal, which passed with no objections on a voice vote, is expected to pass the House later this week."
The vote in the House later this week is expected to pass with no objection.
New York is almost there, I hope. Support the Empire State Pride Agenda. They are working hard to get these rights for New Yorkers also.
My dear friend, Thomas Barker, Special Events Coordinator for Equality Florida, could use your help too. Our LGBT friends in Florida have a much harder time than we do here in Massachusetts. We need to keep fighting so that everyone in the U.S.A. enjoy the same rights, no matter what state you live in.
Countess Bedelia 7/16/2008 11:16:00 AM | 2 comments |

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Book Club Play, a new play by Karen Zacarias

Cherise Boothe, Anne Louise Zachry, C.J. Wilson, Tom Story, and Bhavesh Patel (photo from The Berkshire Theatre Festival website)

The laughs started coming almost immediately. The curtain rose and we started laughing, sometimes so hard that tears came to my eyes. Along with the laughter were sporadic rounds of applause scattered throughout the performance. If laughter is the best medicine, then The Book Club Play should be prescribed in regular doses.

Keira Naughton as Ana (photo from The Berkshire Theatre Festival website)

The stellar cast didn't miss a note, the direction was tight, the writing crisp. The introduction of a different character between scenes, all of them brilliantly portrayed by Sarah Marshall, brought down the house each time.

Sarah Marshall in one of her zany impersonations (photo from The Berkshire Theatre Festival website)

This is only the second production of this new play. It looks like a winner! Get over to the theater and enjoy yourself!


On Opening Nights at BTF there is always a party. The theme was Beauty and the Geek (I think) but somehow the Star Wars characters made an appearance.....

The Countess with my 'date' for the play, the very handsome Matt, who is an acting apprentice this summer...

Steve Horton, taking a well deserved break from his Stage Manager duties, as a Boy Scout...

Tory came as that Beauty know the one.....who like doesn't know geography and wants us to help education in 'the Iraq" by getting maps....

Andrew and Travis gave The Countess a hug....

Daiva Deupree and Jenn Harris, who are playing beauty queen mothers in Pageant Play, came as their beautiful selves...

Jaime and Liz with their Doppelgangers....they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery....

And Ryan just loves to dance once he hangs up his House Manager hat....

Stephen DeRosa, who is in rehearsals for the Unicorn Theater production of Waiting for Godot, joined in the fun....

Justina and Tom came in after their shift at Firefly and Gray got into the act with us....

The Countess might have had a wee drop of Glenlivet at the party but you know that I shared!
Countess Bedelia 7/13/2008 07:33:00 PM | 2 comments |