This weekend, July 19 and 20, will be the annual Sidewalk Sale by the Kennett merchants in uptown Kennett Square. On Saturday the hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, July 20 it is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and there will be free parking in the garage during the sale.
The borough is now beginning a “Third Thursday” event, the first to be July 17. State Street will be closed from Broad to Center streets from 6 to 10 p.m. so people can eat in the streets outdoors, shop and be entertained by strolling entertainers and live music. There will be another one Aug. 21.
The Beat Beethoven 5K walk/Run at Radley Run Country Club to benefit the Kennett Symphony of Chester County is this Thursday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m. Led by Beethoven, runners try to finish the distance in the 32 minutes it takes to perform Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. This run on the beautiful grounds of the club is for all ages and abilities of runners and walkers. Registration for the race opens at 6:30 p.m. Pre-registration is $30, which can be done at www.runccrs.com or www.active.com or at the race. This was a lot of fun last year although it was bloody hot. It should be cooler this year.
If you want to laugh the evening away don’t miss “The 39 Steps” at the Hedgerow Theatre in Malvern that runs through Aug. 17. This farce, murder mystery is so brilliantly written and performed it is hard not to stop laughing. As Executive Director Penelope Reed explained. “Farce is all about characters finding themselves in highly improbable situations, usually in trouble, having to behave as if it’s all quite possible, and “The 39 Steps” fills the bill.” The story revolves around a man accused of murdering a counter-espionage agent, who then has to prove his innocence while hiding from the police and finding a nest of spies. All the dozens of parts are played by a quartet of seasoned actors with a gift for comedy.
The box office is 610-565-4211 for tickets to this charming theatre in an old mill. They recently put in a charming garden, a new entrance and pointed the stone walls so the scattering of old dust is now missing. Call a friend who has been down in the dumps and cheer him up with this marvelous mood lifter.
This brilliant play “Bach at Leipzig” by Itamar Moses at People’s Light & Theatre, 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, is just as funny as “The 39 Steps” but the humor is a little more cerebral. But don’t be afraid of it because Bach is in it. It really doesn’t matter whether your taste runs to the classics or Lady Gaga: you will laugh at this competition for the job of organist in Leipzig. The prestigious organist at St. Thomas’s Church has just died in the middle of playing a frenzied fugue leaving empty the most prestigious musical post in Germany. The six musical cutthroats for the post know that no lie, no dirty trick, attempted murder, back stabbing or blackmail is too dirty to use to defeat the other five musicians, while also debating religion, politics and philosophy. It becomes somewhat confusing as three of the six are named Johan and three are named Georg, and one has been doped by the others and is so befuddled he gets the others confused as to what is being debated.
It all takes place outside a church, and every time the main doors are opened peals of organ music come blasting out. This hilarious romp is set in Leipzig in 1722. For tickets call 610-644-3500. It would be a shame to miss it. The theatre holds the discussion “Scoop on Sundays, about History, Context and Gossip” at 5:30 p.m. before the 7 p.m. performance. There is also a prix fixe dinner and show package for $70 at the theater’s Farmhouse Bistro. This spectacular romp runs from Wednesday, July 9 through Sunday, Aug. 10.
Yo Yo Ma
Last week when I was in Lenox, Massachusetts, home of the Boston Symphony in the summer, I attended the old Methodist Church, and Yo Yo Ma was in the pew behind me. When the service was over we shook hands and wish one another “Peace.” We didn’t have a conversation. What would I have called him? Yo Yo? Mr. Ma? Or perhaps a solid “Hey, Yo!” a la a Philadelphia Silvestre Stallone. Somehow I just couldn’t think of anything intelligent to say to him, except maybe “Wow!”
Grammy winners the legendary Pat Metheny Unity Group and Bruce Hornsby Campfire Tour 2014 will be on the outdoor stage at Longwood Gardens on Aug. 7 at 7:30 p.m. They will perform together and individually during the concert. Tickets are $59 - $79 for reserved seating. $54 to $74 for members. For tickets call 215-693-1999.
Penn State Extension will hold an all-day conference management of pastures for optimum grazing on Thursday, Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The conference held at the Penn National Race Course in Grantville, will have Dr. Marvin Hall of Penn State and Andrew Frankenfield of Penn State Extension will be guest speakers. There will also be time to speak with company representatives and exhibitors who are showcasing the latest in grazing technology and livestock health products. The cost is $45 which includes lunch. To register call 717-264-8074 or go to Suzette,Truax@pa.usda.gov.
I usually spend the Fourth of July sitting outdoors somewhere watching sky rockets reach for the clouds. This year I was in Lenox, Massachusetts, and it poured rain all day. Lenox just might be the small town with the most cultural attractions in its area. There is the Boston Symphony, about seven legitimate theaters, the Shakespeare Theatre, six outstanding art galleries, a renowned dance theatre etc. etc. Thus I was surprised to see an ad in the local paper for a Fourth of July concert, “clothing optional.” I was quite surprised. However, there was a cold rain outside, so we didn’t go. We didn’t want to catch colds.
The concerts at BVA at the Myrick Conservation Center on Route 842, six miles west of West Chester have the gates open at 6 p.m. and the concerts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Do bring a lawn chair or a blanket, and possibly a picnic.
July 17 – Mainliner Barbershop Chorus. This Bryn Mawr Mainliners chorus is one of the top American Barbershop groups. They were formed in 1963, but have gotten some newer members since.
July 24 – Mark Unruh. (Bluegrass, Blues and Swing) Specializes in guitar, mandolin and five-string banjo.
The concerts begin at 7:00 p.m., rain or shine on Wednesdays in Anson b. Nixon Park
July 16 – “In the Round” Three talented musicians. Supper available from State Street Pizza and Grill
July 23 –The Sin City Band celebrate their 40th Anniversary of timeless music. Supper available from the Country Butcher.
The 2014 Shady Grove Music Fest in the Grove behind the Gild Hall in Arden, Delaware, will be held this Saturday, July 19. The gates open at 11 a.m. with the music beginning at noon. The bands performing will be Stallions, The Lawsuits, Kind of Creatures, Scantron, Flance, Apex Watson, St. James and the Apostles and Brixton Saint. Tickets for $15 may be purchased in advance at the Gild Hall or at Jupiter Records in Arden or at the gate for $20. Children under 12 are free. For your own comfort it is suggested that you bring a lawn chair or blanket. Dogs and food and beverages from outside are not welcome
The DuPont Theatre has announced their lineup of shows for the 2014-2015 Series. This will be their 102nd year of presenting Broadway entertainment, which has earned them the reputation as the oldest continually operating legitimate theatre in the nation. Their shows this year will be these:
Sister Act” when a witness to a crime is hidden by the police in a convent, October 14-19;
“Cirque Dream Holiday” -Thirty artists dressed as Christmas tree ornaments come to life and perform amazing physical feats, December 9-14;
“Peter and the Starcatcher”- Winner of five Tony awards , this swashbuckling prequel to Peter Pan tells how he became The Boy Who Never Grew Up, February 17-22;
“Camelot”- The story of King Arthur and his unfaithful wife Queen Guinevere and Lancelot with marvelous music like “If Ever I Should Leave You,” April 14-19;
“Guys and Dolls,” the block buster musical on Damon Runyon’s story about the longest running crap game in New York with a bevy of memorable characters. May 12 -17. Subscriptions begin at $155. Call the box office at 302-656-4401.
The New Candlelight Theatre in Arden, Delaware, is bringing the memorable music of the late Patsy Cline to the stage with a six piece band. Patsy, who died tragically in a plane crash when she was only 30, left a large collection of popular and loved songs for someone so young. These include “Crazy,” “Sweet Dreams” and “Walking at Midnight.” This true story tells of the friendship between Patsy and one of her fans until her death. The show runs Fridays through Sundays through Aug. 24
Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.