Beat Beethoven 5K Run a smashing success

Courtesy photo Columnist Caryl Huffaker stands with the Beethoven character at the 5K run over the weekend.

The members of the committee that planned and ran the Beat Beethoven 5K Run and Walk at the Radley Run Country Club last week in the hottest day in 25 years were ecstatic. There were 236 runners and walkers who showed up in the dreadful heat, which is an extraordinary success for a first time event. Held in the rolling hills of Radley Run, it was not an easy course, but there was plenty of emergency help along the route just in case. The only problem was one child with an upset stomach from eating something he shouldn’t.

All kinds of people were there. One lady celebrated her 50th birthday by running with all her family. At her request she was given the number “50.” I saw many people I knew, Board members Sandy Yeatman and Shirley Pritchard were giving it their all,while symphony President Paul Merluzzi and board member Martha Diffy were among many volunteers. Speaking of volunteers, the tiny committee of Kathy Knox, Adam Knox, Lucy McClung Karen Hulick, Cathy Williams and Monica Buffington were there. Beethoven was there in wig and colorful costume.

Thanks go to Board member Kathy Knox, who volunteered her son, Andy, to be Beethoven (He is a runner). He did a marvelous job, even letting some of the runners, let’s say many, beat him to the finish line.

The idea was to finish the run in 32 minutes before the music of Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” finished. Although the music was played quite loudly it was having a problem as it kept stopping, which gave the runners a little extra time. But as Merluzzi said, “They must have been having a good time as apparently so many finished to the 6th, and some to the 7th.”

It went as smoothly as silk satin. The run committee and everyone associated with the event gave high praise to the Radly Run Country Club Manager Joe Mendez and his staff that did everything possible to make it the delightful event it was.

Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra performed two concerts at Longwood Gardens last week. The first was classical music that I could not attend, the second was more along the lines of pop. Longwood Gardens had built a covered stage in the meadow for the orchestra and placed chairs nearby.

While this is a gorgeous view, it is a difficult hike for those who are elderly or handicapped. Thankfully, Longwood had several tiny carts running back and forth to take those who couldn’t walk up the hill without difficulty. The pops concert had a fairly good crowd but there were many, many unsold seats.

As this was one of the hottest nights of the year, I wondered if they would hold the concert, particularly as Winterthur had canceled their musical for that evening. The guest conductor was Sarah Hicks, who is the principal conductor of pops for the Minnesota Orchestra and conducted the Josh Groben Show at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angelas Philharmonic this summer on the Fourth of July.

I like most types of music except rock, but I do prefer classical music. Having just spent a week at Tanglewood, the summer home of the legendary Boston Symphony, the selection of pops music seemed a little thin. Hicks kept the music moving with metronome precision, but she was obviously anxious to get out of there. She immediately announced that she was cutting out intermission, and two of the more interesting pieces because of the threatening storm. It never rained but the orchestra did not have a rain date.

The highlight of the evening was the guest soloist Janet Brugger with a moving, sensitive performance of “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess. She has perfect pitch and a clear voice that can exult with joy or caress a phrase like the touch of a butterfly. I hope we hear her again.

Gershwin

Is there any composer more beloved than Gershwin? The Kennett Symphony will offer an all Gershwin program at Longwood Gardens on Saturday, Aug. 10, with a rain date of Aug. 11. There will be a little bit of everything from jazz to “An American in Paris.”

This will be the final performance by Maestra Mary Woodmansee Green as Director of the Kennett Symphony. Those who have loved her gift for conducting and her little comments that help one better appreciate the music will sorely miss her.

What an upbeat program this music will be as her farewell. Tickets are $35/$40,students $5 and include all day admission to the gardens. For tickets call 610-444-6363.

Hedgerow

The Hedgerow Theatre, the first repertory theatre in America, has hit the jackpot with their current play, “Run For Your Wife.” It is one of the funniest plays I have ever seen. I guarantee you will laugh and guffaw all during a marvelously spirit lifting evening.

The story is of a taxi cab driver in England who has two wives. After he is injured he groggily gives the two addresses of his wives to the hospital and the chaos begins. The farce by Ray Cooney was the first of 37 he wrote, all of which became hits.

This one ran for nine years in London’s West End. Hedgerow presents a Ray Cooney farce every summer. This was the first one they gave 12 years ago, and are presenting again. It a very funny play, made hysterically funny by the talented actors on stage. Zoran Kovcic ,as the bumbling detective, can hit your funny bone by raising an eyebrow, while Andrew Phillips as Stanley Gardner, his half crazed friend, who tries to help but makes things worse, is brilliant.

Equally brilliant is Joel Guerrero as the bigamist cab driver who keeps getting caught in his own lies.

Unbelievable support is given by the two wives played by Amy Frear as the hysterical Mary and Alexis Newbauer as the fiery Barbara.

The 90 year old Hedgerow Theatre is in an historic Grist Mill in Rose Valley on the edge of Media. To get to it go to Media, turn right at the Dunkin’ Donuts and go about two miles. After you have passed the stop sign and the blinking light, look for it on your left on a downhill curve. If you haven’t discovered this theatrical gem, do so. They present the best and most unusual theatre around with experienced professional actors.

The show runs through Aug. 18 with matinees on Wednesdays and Sundays and evening performances on Thursdays, Fridays an Sundays. Tickets range between $10 (students) and $32, depending on how old you are and which performance. For tickets call 610-565-4211.

Craftsmen

It seems a little strange but the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen will celebrate its seventh Anniversary on July 27 and 28 at the Chase center in Wilmington with the Brandywine Valley’s largest fine craft fair. Held on the Riverfront in Wilmington the fair features the work of more than 190 independent craftsmen. There are beautiful articles ranging from hand made furniture to felted alpaca wool to polymer clay tiles, as well as clothing, jewelry, sculpture and wood turning. The show is open Saturday, July 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, July 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The entrance fee is $8 with children under 12 free.

Art show

There is a unique art show planned by the Newark Arts Alliance for Aug. 13 through 24. No art work will be for sale, and anyone who owns a work of art he likes may enter it for the show. Participants should bring a brief statement (200 words or less)as to the reason they choose their piece. Work does not have to be original, as this is an opportunity for art lovers and collectors who are not necessarily artists to participate in an exhibition, although artists are welcome to submit their own creations.

Work should be submitted from Friday, Aug. 9 to Sunday, Aug. 11. Only one work can be submitted per participant and submission is free. Hanging work should have a tight hanging wire across the back as central hanging devices (rings and saw tooth hangers) do not work at the Alliance.

There will be a reception that is free and open to the public on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. Exhibitors should take their art home that night.

The Newark Arts Alliance is in the Market East Plaza at 276 East Main Street, Suite 102, Newark, Del. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m.to 3 p.m. with extended hours to 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

Robo

In the last few weeks I have been deviled by robo-sales pitches for a gismo you hang around your neck that can call for help in a medical emergency. No exaggeration, I have had at least 15 phone calls. They have a slick opening:He has a medical device that has been ordered for me he wants to deliver and it doesn’t cost anything. As near as I can figure out it is something similar to the one that became famous with the phrase, “Help me! I’ve fallen and I can’t get Up” This one uses scare tactics and insists it is on its way to my house.

In chatting with friends I discovered all of us above a certain age are being besieged by these phone calls. One friend who lives at Jenner’s Pond said that as near as she can tell, everyone at Jenner’s Pond has received these phone calls.

This month’s issue of the AARP magazine has an article on this scam. Apparently if you “Press 1” as they tell you that you will be connected with a live telemarketer who will endeavor to get your credit card number or bank information, which is what they really want. The article says some of them say your doctor ordered the device. Some threaten with a law suit if you don’t pay for it. Some legitimate firms offering these items have a $100 installation fee plus a charge of $1 to $2 a day rental and monitoring fee. About the best thing you can do is just hang up as it is really a recording.

Poker

Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave. Philadelphia, is featuring “The Poker Game and its Circle” by Larry Day. The people in the painting are Day’s circle of friends who were also artists. They are Armand Mednick, David Pease, Sidney Goodman, Dennis Leon and Jimmy Lueders.

These artists met each month on the first Sunday for decades to play poker. As each developed his own style of painting, each influenced the other in a sort of cross pollination. The show has about 40 paintings by the men in this group and other friends including Charles Kaprelian, Mitzi Meinicoff, Leonard Lehrer, Ruth Fine, Eileen Goodman and Doris Staffel. The exhibition will hang through October 26

Haas

If you have attended the People’s Light & Theatre in the last many years you probably have seen Leonard C. Haas on stage. Haas was honored by the theatre recently as they named the Main Stage the Leonard C. Hass Stage. They also held a barbeque in his honor. As Haas has been a mainstay at the theatre, helping in the fund raising, the set shop and toured the elementary schools, his help has been invaluable. It is so heart warming to hear of someone being told he is appreciated.

Baby-sitting

Penn State and 4-H are offering a one-day camp on baby-sitting on Aug. 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 4p.m. Held at the Chester County Extension office, 601 Westtown Road, West Chester, the course teaches teens and tweens the skills needed for baby sitting younger children. Participants should bring lunch: snacks will be provided. ( Please inform of food allergies prior to class. The cost is $10. Get registration form from http://extension.psu.edu/4-h/counties/chester or call 610-696-3500.

Myrick

Swing Kings will be performing with their big band on July 25. This full size dance band from West Chester will feature music from the 30s, 40s and 50s, so if you have even one gray hair you should show up at the Myrick Conservation center to listen. Do bring a chair or blanket to sit on.

Rob Dickenson Band will return on Aug 1 with country, Bluegrass music as well as some of Rob’s original songs. The gates open at 6 p.m. with the show at 7:30 p.m. The BVA Myrick Conservation Center is on Route 842,six miles west of West Chester and three miles east of Unionville.

Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.