Volume 6, Issue 28

 donation of $2,500 from the proceeds of the Millbrook Horse Trials was presented to the Pine Plains Community Food Locker (PPCFL) by Louise Meryman, president of the MHT. The money will provide more than a month’s worth of supplies to support families in need of food or other help. 

PPCFL volunteers visit as many as 40 local families every month to provide assistance. While PPCFL is now preparing Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets, there are many people who need help throughout the year. The organization spends about $15,000 each year for food. 

In presenting the donation to Patricia Nannetti, head of PPCFL, Louise Meryman said “Although the Millbrook Horse Trials is now a nationally recognized event of the highest caliber, our roots have always been local. We strongly believe in supporting our community, and I hope in the future we will be able to increase our donation to the Pine Plains Community Food Locker. Food and shelter are the most basic of human necessities, and we want to do everything we can to make sure no one in our community is hungry or going without heat in the winter months.” 

It was a cold and gray day in Rhinebeck and there were only about 60 attendees at this afternoon’s SHUFFLEconcert at The Church of the Messiah. This is a new concept in this area and the Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society is to be congratulated on taking a chance by offering this program. For those who missed the concert: I am sorry for you. An energized and excited audience was anxious to meet and talk with the ensemble after the program. 

On Friday night at The Richard B. Fisher Center at Bard College the star of the evening was not a soloist, not an orchestra, not even a conductor. It was a violin – the famous “Red Violin”. This instrument was the subject of a film made in 1998 by François Girard. I remember the film and found the story of the violin, which was built in 1720 by Antonio Stradiviri in his workshop in Cremona, Italy, fascinating. The details of most of the violin’s life are still being argued over by historians (nothing new there!) although it is accepted that there are connections with the Mendelssohn family. The violinist who performed tonight was Elizabeth Pitcairn whose history with the violin goes back to 1990 when her grandfather anonymously bought it at an auction at Christie’s in London. Ms. Pitcairn was aged 16 at the time but has been playing the violin ever since and is very willing to recount the story of such a fabled instrument. 

Chekhov gave up on the theater and retired to the country in the late 1880s. He was disgusted with the banality of popular culture. He used the untranslatable Russian word “Poshlost” to describe the phenomenon of crass and vulgar taste that pervaded the Russian bourgeoisie (and, for that matter, the French, after whom Russians patterned themselves), who preferred drawing-room farces to psychologically insightful drama.

After Chekhov turned his back on the theater, he turned out his three best plays: The Cherry Orchard, Uncle Vanya and The Seagull. 

The Axial Theater Company, directed by Howard Meyer and working out of St. John's Episcopal Church in Pleasantville, has mounted a production of The Seagull. 

“For so long I have been going on about new forms, it’s all about writing without any form at all … just freely and from the soul!” exclaims Konstantin Treplev, the troubled playwright who melodramatically attempts suicide after his mother, a famous actress, rejects his efforts as being obscure and inaccessible. 

NorthEast-Millerton Library: Thanksgiving stories, songs and a special craft: make a Thanksgiving centerpiece for your table. 75 Main Street, Millerton. (518) 789-3340.          
Millbrook Free Library: Job-ready session with a Dutchess One-Stop representative, coordinated by Meghan Heady-Amara. Free workshop on job-search skills from writing a resume to improving your interviewing. 2 p.m.–5 p.m. Appointments, library front desk. 3 Friendly Lane at Franklin Avenue, Millbrook. (845) 554-3541.
Vassar College: Faculty and Guest recital: Both sets of Brahms’s Liebesleider Waltzes. Rachel Rosales, soprano; Teresa Buchholz, mezzo-soprano; Rufus Müller, tenor; Robert Osborne, bass-baritone; Todd Crow and Blair McMillan, pianists.Mary Anna Fox Martel Recital Hall, Skinner Hall of Music. 3 p.m. (845) 437-7294; music.vassar.edu/concerts.    
Moviehouse, Millerton: Bolshoi Ballet Live from Moscow, in HD: Ballet No. 2: The Pharaoh’s Daughter. French choreographer Pierre Lacotte was commissioned in 2000 by the Bolshoi Theatre to resurrect Marius Petipa’s mighty Egyptian fresco. $20. 12:55 p.m. 48 Main Street. (518) 789-0022.
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center: Metropolitan Opera Live in HD: Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia (“The Barber of Seville), with Isabel Leonard, Lawrence Brownlee, and Christopher Maltman as the endlessly resourceful barber. Michele Mariotti conducts. $25; students under 13, $18. 1 p.m. Pre-opera lecture by Scott Eyerly, 11 a.m., $10.
La Puerta Azul: Live music with the Apollo Quartet. 12 p.m.–2 p.m. 2510 U.S. Route 44, Salt Point. (845) 677-2985; www.lapuertaazul.com.
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