Montauk Community Notes, April 24


Prospero: “The solemn temples, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,

And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff

As dreams are made on; and our little life

Is rounded with a sleep.”

–”The Tempest,” Act 4, scene 1

I’m writing this column on Easter weekend between holiday-related activities and food preparation. When you read this, Easter will be a memory and you’ll have moved on to other things.I love receiving your emails at Picture me, Monday morning at my desk at The Southampton Press. That’s when many readers email me, although it’s a tad late for the column. Please email me by Friday or Saturday, or better yet, a week ahead. Adding your listing at the last minute means I can’t do your project justice and the column ends up patched together like a crazy quilt.

I studied creative writing at Binghamton University—which causes any journalist or editor of this paper to shudder. Facts are fine, but one can’t thrive on facts alone. A world without literature and creativity would be incomprehensibly dull—at least that’s what I think.

At the Montauk Library I attended a reading of “The Tempest” on the evening of Saturday, April 12. With numerous Easter and other last minute requests on the docket here last week, I ran out of space to describe this extraordinary event. As introduction, library programs director Carolyn Balducci said she’d never tempt fate by holding a reading of “The Tempest” in August or September, not in Montauk!

Shakepeare’s plays are easier to understand when seen live upon a stage, or in this case, read live for an appreciative audience. I think back to the overview of a Shakespeare college course I attended. It was overloaded with historical plays about unfamiliar English kings and I’m amazed by how many plays we read in one semester. We must have zipped through one play per week. The best thing I took away was a thick volume of Shakespeare’s complete works, which I have to this day.

I learned or re-learned at the recent Montauk Library reading that “The Tempest” is thought by many scholars to have been Shakespeare’s last play. Director Josh Grobin, taking the role of Prospero, in the final scene broke his staff, (a simple tree branch), over his knee. This seemed to represent Shakespeare formally relinquishing the role of playwright.

“The Tempest” calls for only one female role, Miranda. Director Grobin had cast three additional women who read male roles. In Shakespearean times it was common to have men playing women, not the reverse. Kate Mueth as Caliban; Chloe Dirksen as Ariel and Lydia Franco Hodges as Stephano were all excellent! Ms. Hodges had her hair bound up in a turban. As drunken Stephano became increasingly agitated by the turn of events his turban started to unwind. Comic results may or may not have been planned. The vitality of the ladies playing men truly brought “The Tempest” alive.

Briefly, in events for this week, Army Corps and NYSDEC will unveil their downtown Montauk beach proposal today, Wednesday, April 23, at 1 p.m. during a special informational meeting in the large meeting room at Town Hall in East Hampton. Steve Couch, chief of the Army Corps’ coastal section of the New York District, and Susan McCormick, chief of the DEC’s Coastal Erosion Management Section and Bureau of Flood Protection and Dam Safety, will be among the presenters. The public will be able to pose questions to the Army. U.S. Representative Tim Bishop, State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman have been invited to attend.

Montauk’s sixth annual Concert for the Concerts at Bavarian Bierhouse, Zum Schneider, is this Sunday, April, 27 from 3 to 7 p.m. A donation of $10 per person can be paid at the door and kids accompanied by an adult are admitted for free. Raffles and prize drawings will be available along with a free raffle for kids.

This year’s concert features Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks, Sound Source and The Blue Collar Band, all featured in the upcoming summer concerts both on the Green on Monday nights and at Gosman’s Dockside Stage on some Sunday nights.

A light menu that includes kid-friendly choices will be featured. You’ll also find the selection of brews for which Zum Schneider is famous. For more information, call the Montauk Chamber of Commerce at 668-2428 or visit the chamber’s Facebook page.

The annual Montauk Library budget vote takes place this Saturday, April 26, from 2 to 8 p.m. Two Trustees, Linda Barnds and Joan Lycke, are running for five year terms.

Ms. Korpi, head of children’s programs at the library sends word that puppet show prep and rehearsals are going well. She can still use more actors! Sixth- to eighth-graders can join in for community service or just for fun at the next meeting, this Saturday, April 26. Family Time is from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. From 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. join in for puppet show prep and rehearsal and set decorating with all ages invited. Join in for crafts, games, and family fun or give acting a try! No memorization is required. The event is free of charge. Visitors are welcome.

Also this Saturday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the library, Mel Mendelssohn brings “Celebrating Shakespeare,” a world premiere performance of exquisite songs for voice and lute. Joining him will be Rebekah White, Jere Jacobs, James Kerr and Dee Laveglia. As you may recall, I’ve recently discovered a love of madrigals. Hope to see you there!

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