Summer entertainment to include music and more

M ark Twain, Birds of Prey, and So Do Ku are just a few of the entertaining programs coming to Whitehall time summer.

The Arts and Recreation Commission has announced their summer program for 2011 and its set to include one-person theatrical productions, live music, Youth Theater, informative lectures and engaging activities.

In lieu of fully-staged productions, the Bridge Theater plans to present a varied series of events as part of their 2011 Cabaret Series.

Productions are held at 7:30 p.m. every Saturday beginning on July 9 and ending August 27.

The series opens on July 9 as Kathleen Thomas returns to reprise her role as Mary Brown, the wife of famed abolitionist John Brown.

During this production, Thomas will perform a first person dramatic monologue about Brown’s wife.

On July 16, The Jonathan Newell Band will perform a variety of songs from the 60’s and 70’s.

This seven member band has become a mainstay in the region, playing at summer concert series throughout the area.

The following week, July 23, Kathleen Recchia will appear as the “Belle of Amherst.” In this one-woman William Luce play, Recchia will play Emily Dickinson and explores her encounters with the significant people in her life.

Rounding out July, the Courtly Music Unlimited troupe of Warrensburg will perform a musical theater adaptation of “Gulliver’s Travels.”

Using selective readings and music from Georg Telemann, the troupe will retell the famed Jonathan Swift satire.

Opening the month of August, Paul Stillman will portray Teddy Roosevelt in a production based on his time as president.

The following week, on Aug. 13, Glens Falls native Neil Akins will portray Mark Twain, a role he has played for more than 35 years.

New for this season is “Roses in December,” set to be staged on Aug. 20.

Victor Cahn and Sara Fittizzi star in this love story with a surprising twist.

The cabaret series comes to a close on Aug. 27 as Thomas returns for the second time this season to perform in “Trojan Woman,” which tells the story of Oenone, the wife of Paris, the Greek man who became enthralled with Helen of Troy triggering the Trojan War.

The Saturday night Cabaret series is not the only event the ARCW will host this summer. For the first time, the organization will host a Tuesday night Lecture Series covering a range of topics.

Admission is free and lectures will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday evenings July 5 through Aug. 16 at the Cookes Island Art Center.

The first lecture is entitled “Introduction to Su Do Ku” and will be led by John Hale who will teach the fine points of the popular puzzle game.

Other lectures include “Trails of Whitehall” on July 12; “History of Cartoons” on July 19; “Raptors-Birds of Prey” on July 26; “Whitehall Scouting” on Aug. 2; “Walleye with Champlain” Aug. 9; and “Doing What Comes Naturally” on Aug. 16.

Beside these events, there are also a number of free programs at Cooke’s Island throughout the summer including Tai Chi from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays, June through Sept., and So Do Ku Encounters from 10 a.m. to noon every Wednesday July 6 through Aug. 24.

Kids can also get involved. A free Youth Theater program will be offered July 14 through Aug. 18 for kids 7 to 15 years old.  During this program, kids will meet with children’s novelist Ann Duncan on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon as they learn about Whitehall history and prepare to perform the Martin Kelly play “Whither Whitehall” at 1 and 7 p.m. on Aug. 26 at Whitehall High School.

The deadline to register for this program is June 27.

For more information on the Youth Theater program or any other event, call 499-2435 or 499-0687.

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