Friday, August 28, 2009

Parties, Plays, and more Parties....Part Two

Saturday The Countess had a luncheon party in the treehouse. My friends are internet shy and so their picture will not grace The Countess Blog. But the deck was festive and, since the sun started shining again, my flowering plants are blooming beautifully. Delicious food was catered by a local restaurant, good times were discussed, and a glass of Glenlivet might have been shared.

That night was opening night for "Sick" playing at the Berkshire Theatre Festival Unicorn Theatre until September 6. You can get tickets HERE.
Greg Keller, Lisa Emery, and Michel Gill, Berkshire Theatre Festival photo

A small home on the Lower East Side of Manhattan is the only safe haven for the children of the Krebs family. But despite Mrs. Krebs’ attempts to protect her family with scrubbers, masks, and isolation, the delicate balance is brought to the breaking point when her husband’s academic career brings a stranger into their safe house. In its New England Premiere, Sick seeps onto the stage as a terrifying family drama filled with dark comedy, mistrust, and shocking realism.

Sir James, Rock Baron of the Berkshires, was my date for the theater. Tara, you have no worries! Everyone reminded me that he is engaged to you....LOL!

After the theater we went to Moe's Tavern. Janine is posing here with Kyle, Kyles wife, James, and Tara.....

And I got a great picture of James with Sadie, the weekend bartender at Moe's who takes such good care of all of us.

Then we were off to the Paint Shop Party! This party is really for the interns and apprentices but they always ask The Countess to stop by for a visit. There is usually a theme associated with these parties that are related to the play that opened that night. I'm not too sure what the theme was that night but the kids all seemed to be having a fabulous time!

Sunday morning I was up early to attend the 10:30 am performance of "Xingu" at the Mount. I posted previously about taking 15 of the acting apprentices to see the play. Even though I almost never rise before noon, it was worth the effort just to enjoy a wonderful morning filled with theater and great people.

Now it was time for my afternoon nap! At 7:30 pm the Great Birthday Bash for Davo started at the Cork 'N Hearth. My, my....there must have been 200 people there! And entertainment by the Tanglewood Stage Hand Band!!

Here is David receiving his special Countess Card naming him "Sir David, Duke of 'Davo' Shire".

Ron and Pete made room at their table for The Countess. Always a pleasure to see these two gentlemen....

Andrew and Laura posed with the Birthday Boy....

It was a really special night for a special friend. David got a little teary eyed introducing so many old friends, even a girl he went to kindergarten with!

On my way home I stopped into Rumpy's Tavern for a nightcap and who should come in but Tony Lee Thomas. I love hanging out with Tony. You can catch him at The Dream Away Lodge tomorrow night! Troy snapped our picture with a new friend, Mark....

Now it is almost midnight on Sunday night and The Countess needs to rest! What a fabulous weekend filled with Parties, Plays, and more Parties!!!
Countess Bedelia 8/28/2009 05:31:00 PM | 0 comments |

Parties, Plays, and more Parties....Part One

Last Friday a two hour torrential downpour in the afternoon threatened to put a damper on the Benefactor's Circle dinner which is held outside the Berkshire Theatre Festival's Main Stage under the tent. During the afternoon there was a reading of Tim Acito's newest musical, "The Sungatherers: A comic tragedy" in the Main Stage theater during which thunder and lightening crashed around the theater and the power went out a couple of times. The weather didn't hamper our enjoyment of the reading, though, and it was a real treat to hear the wonderful music sung by such a wonderful cast.

Photo from Berkshire Theatre Festival newsletter

Later that evening I went to the dinner where Travis and Alex poured me a Glenlivet to get the evening started.

I saw a lot of old and new friends and got to sit with Hermine and Jan and Marie as well as one of my very favorites, Alexander. Rebecca and Tara also joined our table. The rain did seem to have kept some people at home and it looked like a river had flown through the center of the tent. But the food was delicious, the crowd festive, and The Countess has a great time as usual.

Even later that evening I went over to Michael's for a little karaoke singing. Here I am doing a little back up for Stephanie, a scenic designer at BTF this year....

Cartland was there with his many admirers....

Even Steve came over from Rumpy's to see what all the fuss was about (that's Jason and Keating in the booth with him)....

Frank and Jason sang a couple of songs together.....

and Liz looks so happy and beautiful in this picture.....

And so ends Friday! Now on to Saturday's play and parties!!

Countess Bedelia 8/28/2009 01:11:00 PM | 0 comments |

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bay Windows honors Ted Kennedy

This picture is from Bay Windows, New England's largest GLBT newspaper. There are several essays about Ted Kennedy in this issue. One that means the most to The Countess is written by Marc Solomon , who led MassEquality, and outlines the key role that Ted played in keeping gay marriage legal in Massachusetts.
As a straight woman working the polls and asking for petition signatures back when we were trying to win in the legislature what had already been won in the court, it would have been heart-breaking to lose this fundamental right. In my sheltered world, I had never really experienced homophobia, but facing strangers in the street brought home this horrible truth to me. Thanks to Ted Kennedy, we prevailed. As Marc relates:
"In the end, on that July 14, we won. We won what many thought was an impossible victory, by a vote of 151 - 45, keeping our opponents just below the 25 percent threshold. We shocked our opponents. They were sure they had the votes. Just the kind of come-from-behind, unexpected victory for the little guy that Kennedy relished so much."
Read Marc's article to see just how Ted Kennedy saved the day for gay citizens in Massachusetts.
Countess Bedelia 8/27/2009 11:38:00 AM | 0 comments |

Ted Kennedy on Health Care

I would be remiss if I did not include an homage on this blog to Ted Kennedy who passed away this past Tuesday. A Kennedy has been in politics in Massachusetts for most of my life. I can still see Jack and Jackie on the stage of my high school auditorium while he was running for President way back in 1960.

Ted Kennedy was not a perfect man, none of the Kennedy brothers were...which is one of the reasons I admire them. They were human just like me with human failings but in spite of personal problems and tragedies, they never failed the people. Ted Kennedy has fought for us since he was a young man and deserves our tears.

Bless you, Teddy. Your lion's roar will be missed in the Senate.

Countess Bedelia 8/27/2009 11:24:00 AM | 0 comments |

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Xingu and the Tanglewood Stage Hand Band !!

The Countess is a founding member of the Wharton Salon.....a new theatrical group dedicated to performing Edith Wharton's plays in Edith Wharton's home, The Mount. The woman to whom all the credit goes for making this dream a reality is Catherine Taylor Williams. Catherine and her co-producer Lauryn Franzoni worked tirelessly for months to bring the first production to fruition. Finally on a beautiful summer evening the invited dress rehearsal began. The creme de la creme of Berkshire theatrical society was in attendance. A hush descended over the audience as the play began.....XINGU came alive! A drawing room comedy performed in the drawing room where it was created.

Xingu is a most amusing short story and you can read it HERE. The adaptation by Dennis Krausnik brought the story to life.

The performance was a triumph and it was a homecoming of sorts for many of the actors. Years ago The Mount was home to Shakespeare & Co. and many of the actors and guests had worked and lived there back then. Later in the evening many glasses were raised in toasts to so many artists who have worked and contributed to the wonderful artistic culture that we take for granted in the Berkshires today.

Later in the week I took 15 of the Berkshire Theatre Festival acting apprentices to see a performance of "Xingu". We were privileged to have a talk back after the performance with all the actors and Dennis Krausnik who wrote the adaptation of the play. I'll quote from a card I received from one of the apprentices:


Thank you so much for including the apprentices in Xingu today! It was great to see Edith Wharton's work produced in her home and exciting to see actors have the opportunity to be instantly transported to the world of the play. The talkback was an added bonus!

When you have reached the great old age of The Countess, nothing makes you feel younger than to look at the world through the eyes of youth. The enthusiasm of all of our acting apprentices makes me feel young again and very happy to know them. They are all special, each and every one.

When the play and the festivities were over, The Countess felt so young and rejuvenated that I had to continue the party at Rumpy's Tavern with the Tanglewood Stage Hand Band.
These guys are so talented and have created a great sound...and they are a pick up band working the day job at that nirvana of music, Tanglewood.

The Countess enjoyed their sound so much, I am thinking of booking them for a gig. Just think about it....4 horns, guitars, drums....and vocals! What a sound!! Look at the horn section....

They had The Countess up dancing....

Unfortunately the night was so humid that the air conditioning was dripping on Davo and The Countess. But Prince Troy provided us with an umbrella to keep dry indoors!

What a night! Hope to see you all at next summer's Wharton Salon productions.
Countess Bedelia 8/26/2009 01:04:00 AM | 0 comments |

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dinner with the family

The Countess is fortunate to have a large and loving family. You don't often read about them in this blog because most have asked that I don't post about them. Not everyone wants to maintain an internet presence. I understand that completely. I have had my share of trolls and even a few threatening emails sent my way. At one point my children asked me to stop posting because there seemed to be one person who was stalking me but I enjoy writing this little diary of my adventures and I like having a journal of my crazy life.

That said, there are many kinds of families. The kind you are born into or marry into, and maybe the best kind....the family that you create. When I came to the Berkshires to reside in the Summer Palace a few years ago, I met a person who has become a wonderful friend. Troy and his partner Andrew have embraced me and called me 'family'. So when we made plans to attend the theater one evening and Andrew invited me to dinner at his home, it certainly felt like I was going to a family dinner.

Andrew's mom, Terry, and his sister, Amy, were visiting. Here is Amy creating delicious iceberg lettuce salads for us. I don't know what she made the salad dressing out of but I ate the whole salad, it was so flavorful!

Andrew and Amy cooked up Chicken Marsala and roasted potatoes. We had wine....and a glass of Glenlivet. A wonderful feast! Their son, Dylan, and I were dressed alike in black and silver. Dylan is getting more and more handsome every day.

Troy baked a cherry pie and carved a ghost into the top crust in honor of the play we were going to see, "GHOSTS" at the Berkshire Theatre Festival.

Here is Troy getting ready to serve the dessert.

After the play, I took a family portrait......

Thanks so much Andrew and Troy for a perfect evening.

Countess Bedelia 8/25/2009 01:14:00 PM | 0 comments |

"GHOSTS" a play by Henrik Ibsen

GHOSTS opened on the Main Stage at The Berkshire Theatre Festival on August 15th. It is playing until Saturday, August 29th. Get your tickets HERE.

A woman struggles to keep several terrible family secrets, the implication of which are only worsened by a puritanical Pastor, a lascivious son, and her own guilt-ridden, well hidden past. Full of dark symbols, Ghosts exemplifies Henrik Ibsen’s uncanny ability to overturn Victorian social values by using them as the damning elements in his work. Now, BTF favorites Director Anders Cato and Dramaturg James Leverett present a brand new translation of this classic of the theatre.

After the play on opening night, a party is held under the outside tent. The Countess always enjoys seeing many friends that night. A special one is Saori from Japan. A few years ago I befriended a few lovely ladies from Japan who had made the trip to the Berkshires just to see a play. My nephew lives in Tokyo and is married to a Japanese girl so I thought I would extend a welcoming hand to them. When I saw these beautiful girls standing on the edges of the party I went up and started talking with them. They always apologize for their English but since my Japanese is nonexistent, I give all credit to our communication to them. We have exchanged emails over the years and whenever they return to the Berkshires, they always give me a "gift of Japan" as they say. This year only Saori came to visit and, once again, she gifted me with a special present. Thank you, dear Saori. I hope to see you again next year.

David Adkins plays Pastor Manders in the play. Here he poses with The Countess and Janine. Janine has become a special friend over the past couple of years.

Mia Dillon plays Mrs. Alving. Isn't she beautiful?

Scott Killian did the brilliant sound design for the play. Here he poses with Gray Simons, BTF Artistic Associate who also writes, directs, and oversees the education program.

A few of our summer interns who will soon be leaving us. I can't begin to tell you how hard these kids work all summer. The theater could not exist without them. I know I'll miss them.

Tyler, Rebecca, Lindsey, and Tara

After the theater party, there was an after-after party and this is when The Countess had a little fangirl moment. Mia Dillon's husband, Keir Dullea, was sitting next to me at the table. Keir starred as Dave in "2001, A Space Odyssey" back in 1968 and I had a little crush on him then. He is still a very handsome man, enough to make the old Countess heart flutter a bit! I'll never forget those lines:

Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.

Here is a picture of Keir as Dave and at the BTF party (picture by Charles Giuliano from a review by Larry Murray)

David Adkins was sitting on my other side and he said I didn't squee at least not that he noticed. Another night that didn't end until the wee hours of the morning!
Countess Bedelia 8/25/2009 12:07:00 AM | 0 comments |

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lady Anna's Birthday Bash!

The invitation was delivered by a handsome footman as I was gathering flowers in the Rose Garden....

Hello there Countess!
Just wanted to formally invite you to my Birthday party on Friday the 14th at 11pm at the Village Inn (Rumpy's).
There will be good food and good people and of course a birthday cake! Hope to see you there with some divine jewelry on as well!
Muah xoxoxo,anna

Anna was in the cast of Candide and all her fellow cast mates and her director, Ralph, came out to celebrate. Just for Anna, The Countess wore her original Tiffany design pin with the amethyst center.....

Gifts were presented. Anna received one of the very special Countess Cards which declared she would henceforth be known as "Lady Anna, Princess of the Royal Stage" along with a bracelet befitting a Royal Princess.

Anna posed with the Supermodels.... Missy, Samantha, and Elizabeth....

Suddenly the music changed to "The Stripper" and Jerome danced out to give Anna a lap dance!

But Anna turned the tables on him, stripping him of his belt and giving him a few taps on the butt!!!

The Countess kind of liked Jerome too....

We all ended up dancing the night away and having a blast! A fun night with the cast of Candide celebrating Lady Anna's **th birthday in style!!

Countess Bedelia 8/24/2009 11:15:00 PM | 0 comments |

Monday, August 17, 2009

Katch up Karaoke

Thursdays you can usually find The Countess at Rumpy's Tavern Karaoke Night. Troy and Andrew gifted me with a special glass for my water. It has become quite a conversation piece as people seem to think it is filled with vodka!

Karaoke is so popular with everyone and Thursday nights I am sure to connect with lots of friends like Jesus, Brian, Steve, and Bryce.......

And here is Katie. This beautiful young woman met me two years ago and she came up to tell me that the conversation we had back then changed her philosophy on life. She was so passionate and excited about her plans and her future. One of my favorite little sayings is from the bible, "Entertain strangers, for you never know when you will meet an angel." It seems we both met an angel in each other.....

Of course, the big question is.....Does The Countess sing karaoke? Well, the answer is Yes, very badly! But for some reason the crowd loves it.......haha

Our friend Davo has also been known to sing but he can dance too....

It was so crowded last Thursday that Steve had to order two beers at once!

Cute boys always add to the fun. Matthew, from London, and his boyfriend, Shawn were just adorable.

My friend Jack is going back to England after spending the summer here. He always calls me Gladys and I will miss his sweet face until next summer......

Another sweet face belongs to Eric. As soon as I walked in, he jumped off my favorite corner bar stool and offered it to me. Thank you Eric!

And last but not least, here is Jasmine with one of her best friends, Davo.....

This weekend was once again filled with parties, parties, theater, and parties! Next up, the Royal birthday party for Lady Anna, Princess of the Royal Stage!

Countess Bedelia 8/17/2009 10:58:00 AM | 1 comments |