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801 Supper Club at The Mansion Inn: Closing the 2015 Season on a High Note
ROCK CITY FALLS – After a successful premiere, the 801 Supper Club at The Mansion Inn is coming to a close for the season. The last performance of the year is taking place October 8, and features prominent cabaret singer Marissa Mulder.
“Marissa Mulder brings to the stage a different type of performance,” said Jeffrey Wodicka, who co-owns The Mansion Inn with his partner, Neil Castro. “Her music is the music of today, as compared with some of the Broadway giants that graced our stage this summer. Marissa is a wonderful story teller, which creates a bond with her audience. She is an American chanteuse.”
A Syracuse native, Mulder is just 30 years old, but has already won the 2014 MAC Award, and has risen to the top of the NYC cabaret club scene. Her performances consist of brilliant songs, written over the last four decades by celebrated composers such as Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits and Randy Newman. She has two CDs, “Tom…In His Words,” the songs of Tom Waits, and “Illusions.” Both are available on ITunes and Amazon.
The New York Times says, “Ms. Mulder sings as if the songs were torn from inside her and reduces the room to a hushed silence. Far and away the season’s best cabaret show.”
Though this is the last 801 Supper Club performance of 2015, Wodicka’s current plan is to resume the 801 Supper Club in May of 2016 and continue it into October once again. In order to make it more comfortable in the chilly spring and fall months, they will also be adding a permanent heating system in the Carriage House and adjoining rooms, where the 801 Supper Club performances take place.
“The first real season was very successful,” continued Wodicka. “As we expected, it kept building and we kept learning. We experimented with the type of performance that played well in the greater Saratoga area. We held to our differentiation which remained quality and intimate.”
For the 2015 season, the 801 Supper Club has welcomed legendary performers such as Lee Roy Reams, Sharon McNight, Liliane Montevecchi and many more to their stage.
Guests who attend the 801 Supper Club are not only treated to one-of-a-kind cabaret shows, but are also served a delicious three-course dinner prepared by classically trained French Chef, Rick Bieber.
Marissa Mulder is performing on Thursday, October 8 at 8 p.m. A full cash bar is available at 6 p.m., with dinner seating at 7 p.m. Tickets are $55 per person, not including tax and gratuity.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit The MansionSaratoga.com or call 518-885-1607. The Mansion Inn is located at 801 Route 29, in Rock City Falls, just seven miles west of Saratoga Springs.
SCT Takes On School Bullying
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Bullying is one of the most distressing, yet common, issues that today’s children and teens face in schools all over the country, and Saratoga Springs is no exception. The Saratoga Children’s Theater (SCT) however, is doing something to change that in time for October, which is National Bullying Prevention Month. With a cast of bright and energetic child actors, SCT is putting on an anti-bullying tour at local schools using the powerful musical, “The New Kid.”
“The New Kid” takes place in a typical middle school, P.S. 32, and follows the story of Zack, a new student. Zack must navigate the social scene of his new school, which is divided into several cliques, such as “The Gangstas,” “The Brainiacs,” and “The Mod Squad.” Eager to be accepted into one of the “popular crowds,” Zack finds himself giving in to peer pressure, and ends up in situations that he doesn’t feel are right. In the end, lessons are learned that inspire the entire school to change.
The musical features catchy songs, trendy dances and noteworthy themes that show how significant, and detrimental, bullying, teasing and hazing are to kids.
“I like shows that relate to kid’s own lives, and this is an important issue that has been talked about quite a bit in the last ten years. And in the age of social media, it has become an even bigger issue,” said David Girard, SCT’s director of “The New Kid.” “I didn’t have to walk the kids through the process; they got it, how important the issue of bullying is. We’re not doing a kid’s show that is saccharine and just for fun; this is something kids deal with daily. This show hits it head on, in a way that is comedic and palatable.”
Currently, SCT is finishing up rehearsals for “The New Kid” and getting ready for their first school performance at Schuylerville Elementary School on October 9. After that, they’re taking their show to Corinth Middle School and St. Clements Elementary School, with more tours being scheduled.
The cast of “The New Kid” is comprised of students in middle school and high school, each of whom has had their own experiences with bullying. Many members of the cast mention how they wish a program like this came into their school, as well as how great it feels to be able to help students like themselves.
“Some kids might see the play and think ‘Wow, that’s terrible,’ and not wish that on others. Bullies might see it, see themselves in the play’s bullies, and want to change,” said Josh Tracy, an actor in “The New Kid.”
High school junior and cast member Egan Mills said, “Raising awareness about the problem of bullying in schools is so important. I think that play has a bigger effect because it’s coming from kids. Adults putting on the show just wouldn’t be as relatable.”
Mills also noted that after the school performances, students have the opportunity to discuss the play with the actors while they are still in character. This opens up a channel of communication directly with the students, allowing them to share their own perspective and how they perceived the play.
“It’s a wonderful way to build compassion and empathy in children in a world that seems to be working against that,” continued Girard. “With social media and Facebook, little by little we’re building a narcissistic society. The play encourages kids to be empathetic and to sympathize for the kid who is maybe a little socially awkward, doesn’t make friends easily or is incredibly shy. The message is that it’s okay to be nerdy or really smart. It’s okay to think it’s not cool to bully somebody.”
One thing that the show doesn’t hit head on, because it takes place in a school, is the issue of cyberbullying, which has become increasingly problematic and prominent in the last several years. Girard mentioned how he would be interested in doing a show down the road that addresses cyberbullying directly.
“The New Kid” is a timely example of how young adults are making a difference locally. For the young actors, this is their way of giving back to the community and helping their peers overcome the bullying epidemic.
For more information about “The New Kid” and The Saratoga Children’s Theater, visit saratogachildrenstheatre.org. For more information about bullying prevention, visit pacer.org/bullying/.
Black Dimensions in Art Celebrates 40 Years
SARATOGA SPRINGS – In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Black Dimensions in Art, Inc. has teamed with Saratoga Arts to present “Many Rivers,” a showcase of established and emerging artists from the United States, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.
Since 1975, Black Dimensions in Art, Inc. (BDA) has been dedicated to educating the public about artists of the African Diaspora and their unique contributions to the American art scene, to encourage African-American youth in the practice, application, and appreciation of the arts.
“Many Rivers” inspires reflections of mythical, metaphorical or natural rivers that lead to new lands and discoveries. It embraces collective experiences that unite us with one another, and the pathways of life’s triumphs and tribulations.
The opening reception will take place Saturday, October 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Saratoga Arts Center, located at 320 Broadway. Before the reception, at 5:30 p.m., there will be an open discussion with the curators of the exhibit. The event is sponsored by Druthers Brewing Company, which will provide food and craft beer at the reception.
The exhibit will run from October 3 until November 7. For more information, visit saratoga-arts.org.
Art at Work: Exhibit Examines Relationship between Creativity and Business Success
SARATOGA SPRINGS – On September 26, Spring Street Gallery will be opening an art exhibit from 50 individuals whose job title is not that of artist, but rather dispatcher, medical nuclear physicist, human resource generalist, clinical laboratory technologist, registered nurse, teller and receptionist. The exhibit, “Ar+Work: Creativity in the Workplace,” explores how personal artistic expression influences and improves the way we work.
The selected works range from music to painting, photography, poetry, quilting and dance. These art pieces were created by those employed at The Adirondack Trust Company, Saratoga Hospital and the City of Saratoga Springs. Their artistic work may go largely unknown, but the impact of the arts on their work is at the heart of their contribution.
“As a nurse, it's crucial that I am always observing the little things that may be missed by the common eye. I feel that this habit has crossed from my professional life into my personal life and this is why I love photography. I notice the little things that I think are beautiful and like to capture them,” said Anna Fort, nurse at Saratoga Hospital.
The leaders of the participating organizations were also asked how they define creativity and if creative expression helps them and their colleagues in business roles.
“I see our staff in many difficult situations, and for them, I’m not sure there is a definite line between creativity in the workplace and creativity outside the workplace,” said Angelo G. Calbone, President and CEO of Saratoga Hospital. “They often find themselves in circumstances that can’t be predicted, that instead require spontaneous thinking. So our staff, to be really good at what they do, need to be creative in how they think, how they talk, how they approach people and how they respond to unpredictable situations.”
Charles V. Wait, Chairman and CEO of The Adirondack Trust Company also shared how creativity impacts his career and the careers of his employees. “I think we’re going through a very quiet revolution in the workplace. It’s liberating to follow an artistic pursuit, and I think that it’s more and more important in business that we allow people to feel that they are liberated in the pursuit of their careers,” he said. “If you follow examples like Google, who is trying to find new ways to bring pleasure into the workforce so that people are inspired, people work harder and people find meaning in what they do. And that’s the most important thing – to have meaningful work.”
Proceeds from the show will benefit the Saratoga Foundation for Innovative Learning, a non-profit made up of community members, which seeks to foster forward-thinking and creative opportunities in the Saratoga Springs School District. SFIL provides grants and funds projects that enhance student participation, achievement and innovation in their education experience.
The opening reception for “Ar+Work: Creativity in the Workplace,” is Saturday, September 26 from 4 to 7 p.m. The exhibit runs through November 6. After, the artwork and community leader testimonials will be posted on Tumblr.
Spring Street Gallery is located at 110 Spring Street, in Saratoga Springs. Spring Street Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment. The gallery will also be open on October 10 and 24, from 12 to 5 p.m.
100th Anniversary of Delaware North
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Delaware North is celebrating an important milestone this year – 100 years as a successful and growing business and a family-owned company. Locally, Delaware North manages Gideon Putnam and Roosevelt Baths and Spa in Saratoga Spa State Park.
Established in 1915 by Marvin, Charles and Louis Jacobs, Delaware North had modest beginnings as a popcorn and peanut vending business in Buffalo. Over the last century, the business has stayed in the Jacobs’s family and has expanded its hospitality services to four continents, managing casinos, sporting arenas, resorts and other aspects of travel around the globe.
Over a 100-day period, from August 28 to December 7, Delaware North is celebrating their anniversary through special events at their 130 plus locations worldwide. “100 Days around Our World” is an effort that focuses on what makes the company special – the people, places and partnerships.
"The mission of our 100th anniversary is to celebrate by reflecting on our proud past as a family-owned company, and more importantly focusing on our future success and celebrating our partners – including our associates and clients around the world,” said Chuck Moran, president of Delaware North.
On September 17, Delaware North’s “100 Days around Our World” brought the company to Gideon Putnam, for an afternoon of fine food, drinks and live jazz music. There was also a vintage vehicle display, where guests could ride in a 1919 Ford Model-T. Chris Bushee, our wonderful magazine editor here at Saratoga TODAY, even had to opportunity to drive it!
As part of Delaware North’s “100 Days,” the company is also initiating “100 Acts of Giving,” which seeks to make a difference in the lives of associates, customers, clients and communities in which they provide service. Gideon Putnam General Manager, Robert Berrey presented a $1,000 check to Dan Blanchfield, treasurer of the Friends of Saratoga Spa State Park. This donation will go towards promoting and maintaining the many resources Spa State Park offers.
GANSEVOORT — The Friends of Moreau Lake State Park is hosting Nature Fest, a family-friendly day of nature related activities, on Saturday, September 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
Visitors will learn about live birds of prey, meet a talking crow and hear his story, performed by Beth Bidwell. Other events include pumpkin painting, birdhouse building, a scavenger hunt and crafts. There are also many interesting demonstrations for all ages, such as old-fashioned rope making, learning about Native American life and reptile/amphibian rehab with live specimens to touch and learn about. The Park Naturalist, Gary Hill, will be demonstrating the art of fish filleting and frying, with samples to share.
Representatives of local parks and rescue programs will be there, as well as opportunities to participate in conservation programs, like recycling, composting and rain gardens.
The Friends of Moreau Lake will be selling lunch foods and baked goods. There will also be a silent auction, with plenty of great items to bid on. Proceeds from sales will be used by the Friends to support environmental education programs and the Nature Center.
Art in the Park, Part TWO!
SARATOGA SPRINGS — If you missed the first day of Art in the Park this summer, Saturday, September 19 is your last chance to see this popular fine arts event until next year. The second day of this exhibition will feature up to 70 artists from the greater Saratoga and Capital Region.
Artists will display and be on hand to discuss their drawing, painting, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, photography, print-making and work in other media. This event will include Best in Show prizes, local music, great food and a Kidz Art Zone.
Located in Congress Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., this event is free and open to the public.
Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival
GREENWICH — Featuring over 120 vendors from all over New York and New England, The Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival is taking place Saturday and Sunday, September 26 and 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Located at the Washington County Fairgrounds, parking is free and admission is $5. Children 13 years and under get in for free.
The Fiber Festival will include many demonstrations and workshops, including sheep shearing, sheep and duck herding, spinning and weaving, 3D felting, finger knitting and a homemade paper workshop, plus much more. There will also be musical performances, food vendors and a farm museum.
The festival’s raffle benefits a local non-profit organization dedicated to caring for others in need. Vendors donate items to be raffled over the two day event, including yarn, roving, fiber related tools, books, gift bags, and more. Proceeds will go to Lions Club and Camp Abilities, a one week sports and recreation camp for children and teens who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind.
Adirondack Museum Antiques Show and Sale
BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE — Antique specialists from over a dozen states will be displaying and selling their rustic goods from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20, at the Adirondack Museum. The event is included with general museum admission.
The high quality items at the show include antique camp, cottage, patio and Mission furniture, rare books, vintage boats, vintage sporting goods, taxidermy, quilts, vintage leather items, historical fine art, folk art, prints, posters, oriental rugs, Native American jewelry and more.
“Delightful events like this one don’t happen by accident,” said the event’s organizer, Rod Lich. “We’re very selective about which dealers we invite to participate. We want to create an antiques show that serves a wide range of interests, from beginning collectors to serious connoisseurs.”
“You don’t need to be a serious antique buyer to find something unique for your home,” said Christopher English, of Antediluvian Antiques and Curiosities.
For those who can’t wait for the show’s general public hours, there will be an early buying opportunity during a benefit preview, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, September 18. Tickets to this special event cost $100 and support the museum’s programs and exhibitions. The event includes hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, and it provides ticketholders with an exclusive chance to meet the dealers and make purchases before the general public hours. Tickets may be purchased in advance by phone at (518) 352-7311, ext. 119.
Beyond the antiques, there is much to see and do at the museum, including garden tours, children’s activities, and all museum exhibitions.
The museum’s Lake View Café will be open during the event. Shipping services will be available through the on-site staff of the Lake Placid UPS Store.
Pooch Parade in Congress Park: Raising Awareness for Domestic Violence
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The 5th annual Pooch Parade for Domestic Violence Awareness will take place September 26, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., in Congress Park.
The Pooch Parade will feature a short dog parade, led by therapy and working dogs, a blessing of the pets, a dog agility course, “doggie bag” treats for dogs, and “pawdicures” (nail clippings). There will also be a mobile veterinarian giving a demonstration, a vet clinic showing how to prevent Lyme disease and other doggy ailments, as well as holistic cures, such as acupuncture for dogs.
There will also be a shelter set up in Congress Park, where animals can be adopted. Last year, all of the shelter animals at the Pooch Parade found homes.
“The Pooch Parade is a wonderful way to raise awareness that is totally family friendly. Children love to come and see the dogs, from Great Danes to little Pekinese. It’s a lot of fun,” said Maggie Fronk, executive director at Wellspring.
The Pooch Parade is hosted by Wellspring, formerly DVRC, which has been providing services and assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Saratoga County for over 30 years. Wellspring works with survivors of abuse to help them escape violent conditions and restart their lives. According to Wellspring statistics, domestic violence is the primary cause of homelessness in Saratoga Springs, and from 2011 to 2013, accounted for 100% of all homicides in Saratoga County.
Proceeds from the Pooch Parade will go toward Wellspring’s Safe Pet Partnership, which provides loving foster homes for pets whose owners are survivors of domestic abuse. This allows the survivor to enter a shelter or otherwise escape the violent situation and begin to rebuild a healthy life, all while knowing the pet is safe. Survivors even get updates and photos of their pet in the foster home, easing their minds until they can be reunited.
“The Safe Pet Partnership is a network of families and individuals ready to care for animals at a moment’s notice,” said Fronk. “It may be difficult to be in a situation where you and your children are in danger, but you have another family member with fur or fins or feathers that needs help too. This is another way to support what we do and support the victims many do not realize, the pets. There is a huge correlation with animal abuse and domestic violence.”
Often, abusers will use the love of family pets as a means of coercion to keep someone in the abusive relationship. Fearing for their pet’s safety, as well as their own, keeps them trapped in a cycle of violence. The Pooch Parade seeks to raise awareness of the correlation between beloved family pets and domestic abuse and show that there is help out there for victims.
The Pooch Parade is free for people and $5 for each four-footed participant. For more information about the Pooch Parade or Wellspring, visit wellspringcares.org. Wellspring also has a 24-hour hotline for domestic and sexual abuse victims and their families that can be reached by calling 518-584-8188.
Malta League of Arts To Host "Art Attitudes"
MALTA – The Malta League of Arts is hosting its sixth annual “Arts Attitudes Exhibit and Sale” from
September 17 through 20, at the Round Lake Auditorium in historic Round Lake Village. The four-day event highlights a wide range of 40 local and regional artists. The exhibit’s opening night, Thursday, September 17, will feature a wine reception with live music and a live auction. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday the exhibit is free and open to the public. All art work will be for sale to benefit the Malta League of Arts Scholarship Fund.
“Arts Attitudes” will exhibit paintings, photography and sculpture. According to the Malta League of Arts, the response from artists was overwhelming, filling every available space early in the planning process. In addition, the show includes a collection from one featured artist.
This year’s featured artist is Anne Diggory, known for her combination of accurate detail with expressive painting and strong abstract structure. While the majority of her works are inspired by the Adirondacks of New York State, painting locations also include Alaska, Arizona and various seashores, as well as her own city of Saratoga Springs. Diggory’s works have been exhibited at The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, The Blue Mountain Gallery in New York City and The Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. She has also been featured in the Adirondack Explorer, Saratoga Living and the photography issue of Adirondack Life.
Johanna Turano received the Malta League of Arts $500 scholarship at Ballston Spa High School’s Senior Awards Night in May. She was selected by the art department as a senior student who “demonstrates a passion for the visual arts and one who also exemplifies the characteristics of perseverance and commitment as demonstrated by a creative and competitive portfolio.” Johanna has been accepted to the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program at SUNY New Paltz, majoring in graphic design with a possible photography minor.
Thursday’s opening reception features champagne, hors d’oeuvres and live music. A live auction will take place at 7:45 p.m. Up for bid are Proctors theater tickets, gym memberships, a Florida vacation condo, a NYC apartment weekend rental, tickets to Live with Kelly and Michael in NYC and much more. Tickets for Thursday’s opening and fundraising reception are $20 at the door.
Entertainment will be provided by HEARD featuring Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius on keyboards and vocals, Jonathan Greene on woodwinds and Bobby Kendall on bass.
“Arts Attitudes” Schedule
Thursday, September 17: 6 to 8:30 p.m. (Tickets are $20)
Friday, September 18: 3 to 7 p.m. (free admission)
Saturday, September 19: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (free admission)
Sunday, September 20: 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. (free admission)
For more information, visit maltaarts.org. For more information about featured artist Anne Diggory, visit diggory.com
Gaffney’s Hosts McKenney Music Memorial
SARATOGA SPRINGS – On Sunday, September 13, Gaffney’s Restaurant and Bar is hosting a gathering in celebration of the life of Al McKenney, from 1 to 6 p.m. Known as the “Unofficial Mayor of Saratoga Springs,” the much-loved McKenney passed away on August 15. The musical gathering will celebrate McKenney’s involvement in the community and his passion for the local music scene.
Saying that McKenney loved music is a broad understatement. The proud owner of thousands of albums, McKenney’s love and collection of music began growing when he was just a kid. After moving to Saratoga in 1971, he quickly became immersed in the folk music culture of the area. His band “Wildflowers” led him to working with Lena Spencer, the late owner of Caffè Lena. As one of the original board member of Caffè Lena, he helped publicize musical events and helped out wherever he was needed.
“He was a mentor to me. He helped me to better understand the musical world,” said Sarah Craig, the director of Caffè Lena. “He would come in and we would talk for like an hour. It was like sitting in a college class about the history of American music. For me, he brought the music alive.”
On September 13, the celebration will include light hor d’oevres, drink specials and live music from over a dozen artists, many of whom knew McKenney personally and shared his great love of music. Guests are encouraged to wear purple suspenders, which McKenney was known for wearing.
“He was the life of the party, which is how he earned his nickname, ‘Captain Fun,’” said John Baker, the owner of Gaffney’s and a friend of McKenney’s for many years. “Al was certainly a Saratoga character, a genius when it came to music. He was a brilliant guy and a special person.”
Gaffney’s is located at 16 Caroline Street in Saratoga Springs. McKenney’s celebration is free to attend, but donations are greatly appreciated.
Grant Cottage Presents Radio Play
WILTON – On Saturday, September 12, the U.S. Grant Historic Site will re-enact the November, 1948 CBS radio broadcast of “YOU ARE THERE,” in a special “radio theater” performance at the Visitors Center. This particular broadcast depicted the historic events that occurred at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865, where Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the U.S Civil War. There will be two show times on Saturday, a matinee at 3 p.m. and another at 7 p.m.
“YOU ARE THERE” was a radio show that took listeners into the past each week by depicting historical events as though they were current news broadcasts. A small group of actors and musicians will be supported by on-the-scene reports, music selections, period commercials and sound effects in order to bring the broadcast to life.
The play will include person-on-the-street type interviews with Union and Confederate Generals. Portrayals include Generals Grant, Lee, Custer, Sheridan, Longstreet, Wise, Porter and others. 1940’s radio memorabilia from the Old Stone Fort Museum Scribner Collection will be on display, including an authentic on-air sign and microphone.
Portraying Ulysses S. Grant at the event is Larry Clowers, who has been performing as the general and former president for 20 years, with over 6,000 programs. Clowers’ wife, Constance, is known for her portrayal of Julia Grant. Clowers has been featured on “Good Morning America,” “ABC News World Tonight,” and “Save the Wilderness,” a commercial for the Civil War Trust. According to Hady Finch, the program chair at Grant Cottage, Clowers’s physical presence is uncanny to Grant’s and he is his “splitting image.”
Don Vanhart will be playing the role of General Robert E. Lee. The Clowers and Vanhart will be on the porch of Grant Cottage, prior to the 3 p.m. showing, to do a meet and greet, as well as to discuss the events that transpired at the McLean House parlor back in April of 1865.
The 77th NY Regimental Balladeers and Company will be providing music to accompany the radio theater performance. This band from Windham is celebrating their twentieth year and over 400 performances. Their goal is to preserve and celebrate “the songs, tunes, history and spirit of the Antebellum and Civil War period.” This band is based off of the original 77th NY Regimental band that was formed in 1872 and was made up of military personal from Fulton, Essex and Saratoga Counties that fought in the U.S Civil War.
This radio play is produced by John Quinn, who is known for his projects that tell historic stories. Last year, Quinn directed the production of “Sunset at Mt. McGregor,” which depicted the friendship shared between U.S Grant and Mark Twain, and was performed in front of a packed, standing-room-only audience at the cottage.
Tickets to the live radio theater play are $15. For more information, please call 518-584-4353 or visit grantcottage.org.