MH November 2014

Lois Dickson's Backstage, the painting to your left, is residing at The Painting Center, 547 W. 27th St. (betweem 10th & 11th), NYC.

See it--and more of her work--there until November 22.

"On the other side of a half wall, Lois Dickson's abstractions evoked a melding of space and figure one might associate with better examples of allegorical symbolism. Her ability to match a remarkable inventiveness with subtle paint handling is particularly evident in Backstage, a canvas that, frankly, deserved the sort of space Larry Gagosian recently squandered in his uptown digs on the sophomoric maneuvers of Richard Prince. It is a canvas of rare erudition and presence. It alone is worth the trip to this fifth floor roost, high above the gallery district's hinterlands."

Peter Malone

Backstage by LOIS DICKSON 2014


By Judy Staber
Novermber 12, 2014
Ghent, NY
Opening Friday November 28th (the day after Thanksgiving), and running through December 14th, is the fifteenth Ghent Playhouse production of The PantoLoons. This year it's "Ali Baba and the Four Tea Thieves," a heretofore untold version of the Two thousand and One Nights' story of Ali Baba. The number of PantoLoons in the company necessitated this adaptation, thus Four Tea Thieves instead of Forty. Tea becomes the prize commodity instead of oil, leaving plenty of room for commentary on today's mores.

Once again Judy Staber, aided by Tom Detwiler's sly wit, has dreamed up the storyline, and the the Loons have added all the lyrics, bells and whistles that make this event so much sought after each holiday season. Detwiler directs; Paul Leyden musically directs; Joanne Maurer designs the colorful costumes; and the cast of twelve cross-dresses and cavorts on the Playhouse stage.

Sally McCarthy (she played Aladdin in 2003) once again dons those harem pants as Ali Baba. Cathy Lee Visscher is her bossy brother, Louie Baba, and Paul Murphy is Louie's Irish wife Baba O'Rhum. Together they run a tea shop, "The Tea and Crumpet" in the mythical town of Feng Shui in the equally mythical country of Ollie-N-Stan. Working in the tea shop are Nelly Rustick as the sexy waitress Chai Chai and Monk Schane-Lydon as the voluptuous pastry chef Baba Ganoush. As important citizens of Feng Shui, Matthew Coviello is the Wazir, and Judy Staber is the town's tea merchant, Lapsang Souchong. Putting a cramp in everyone's style are the Four Tea Thieves led by Tom Detwiler as Ma Sencha, with Johnna Murray as Pekoe, Sam Reilly as Oolong, and Joanne Maurer as Jeedarling. Keeping everything straight is Paul Leyden as Scheherazade at the keyboard. The remarkable Bill Camp provides the necessary magic with settings and lighting.

Performances for the three weekends are Friday and Saturday evenings at eight and Sunday afternoons at two. Tickets are $20, $17 for Friends of the Ghent Playhouse, and $10 for children under 12 years. The Ghent Playhouse is located at 6 Town Hall Place, across from the Fire House, just off Route 66 in Columbia County, New York. For reservations call 1-800-838-3006, and for directions and further information go to GhentPlayhouse.org.


Lois Dickson, 2014

See the collection live at

362 1/2 Warren Street
Hudson, NY
June 2014
See more images at

BKO Chamber Music Does the French-Russian Connection

Notes from Uel Wade February 4, 2014

Turn-of-the century composers from Romance and Slavonic nations strained to cast off the influence of Germany, whose composers' progress seemed to parallel Germany's rise as a world power. Paris became the center of a rebellion against the weight and complexity of the German musical tradition.

Of course, sympathy between France and Russia existed well before the 20th century. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 had sounded the alarm. The two countries secretly ratified a military pact in 1892. French was frequently spoken by the Russian upper classes.

By the beginning of the century, French music frequently traveled to Russia and Russian music to Paris. Teutonism was the common enemy. Music was a war carried on by other means.

On Sunday, March 16 at 3 pm, BKO members Robert Reed and I (Uel Wade, pianist and Artistic Director) will play...

Claude Debussy (Sonata for Cello and Piano,1915)
He prized the French values of clarity, elegance, and grace.
Nadia Boulanger (Three Pieces)
She promoted these values both as a composer and as the
teacher of young American composers (Copland, at al.)
Leos Janáček (Pohádka, A Russian Tale)
The oldest of these innovators, he had the strongest relationship
with Russia of all Czech composers.
Sergei Prokofiev (Sonata for Cello and Piano in C major, op.119)
After living and composing in Paris for a while, he returned to
Russian vowing to give free reign to his melodic gifts.


BKO Salon flyer 3-14

St. James Church, Chatham, NY, November 3,2013


Meet poet Irene Mitchell at the Chatham [NY] Bookstore November 17, 5pm--7pm.

See review on READING WHAT? page

Dance duo,Thank You and Good Night, at PS21

MH August 3, 2013
Last night at PS21 in Chatham, NY, two sparkling, expressive women moved, stood still, and danced all over its huge stage. The audience was breathless awaiting the next event--a shifted foot, a leap, an embrace, an arm goaded into position.

Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass open with a rousing, funny vaudeville. "Yeah, we can do all that show-biz stuff," they seem to say. "In our sequined dresses, we can use it and love it and spoof it, all at the same time."

They use lots of crisp unison, facing front, dance-class style. Sometimes there are funny faces inviting us into a delicious conspiracy. (They do Lucy and Carol Burnett, sans dialogue, all body.)
[Use arrows to cont.]

The choreography does not especially struggle for novel body design. Instead, concepts, shaping of sequences, dynamics, and attitudes create the freshness. Movement vocabularies range from straightforward, almost old-fashioned, generous Broadway to minimalist stuff, and life-imitating adagios.

One particular adagio is performed on top of a small table. It tells the story of a confined but "elevated" relationship, evolving always. As one person tests its very edges, the other supports; one backs away--doubting; one becomes weak or needy and requires carrying; conflict arises; one climbs down and suffers excruciatiingly from the separation. (I think it's called friendship, marriage, sisterhood, etc.) It could have been a soap opera, except for its simple, mute story-telling.

On the way home I realized that sexuality had been missing for the evening--unless you tended to layer some lesbianism on to some things. I tended not to. (What a relief to know that female bodies can dance all manner of important and frivolous matters with no need for salacious grinding hips or the silly prudery of traditional ballet.)

The music is American-songbook, recorded in excellent arrangements (sometimes played too loud). The dancers are seldom bound by its rhythms or dynamics, forcing us to sort and examine the movement/music counterpoint for literal or genre meanings. I didn't find any, but the sorting was fun. (To one ballad, the two of them face the world aggressively at the edge of the stage--boxing at us, throwing wicked punches, and taking a few on the chin.)

Looking around the audience, I guessed that it was mostly paper. (Lots of local theater people.) If that was so, perhaps we should grieve. "We are narrow country-bumpkins around here," a nearby person opined. I hope not.

Movement, like breathing, is basic. Babes flail, wiggle, locomote, and demand to walk. In our prime, some of us make art out of it. In old age, we mourn, feeling it depart toward our non-being.

Meanwhile, PS21 brings us some prime. What a treasure.


Wendolyn Rue
  April, 2012

Page International Screenwriting Competition:   ROBERT RUE WINS THE GOLD IN   DRAMA


For his screenplay Knowing Jack,
Robert Rue of NY, NY has nabbed the top prize in The Page's most competitive catagory: DRAMA.

The Page awards include $$, but more important is the exposure of a script to agents and producers in film and television. (Rue is already represented by ICM.)

[Note: Rue is son of MH. This site does not usually wax personal, but sometimes ya just gotta crow.]

The year 2012 is something of a banner year for Rue who has an even more important arrival than "The Page": his son, Alex, the heldentenor.

Alex- Heldentenor

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