ROSE’S VIEW – CHERRY GROVE

ROSE’S VIEW – CHERRY GROVE

By Robert Levine

 “A New Star Is Born” in Cherry Grove: Ginger Snap who has performed and worked hard in this town for the past five years, had her name over the title in “Ginger Snap’s Journey Through Broadway” at the Community House. She is a brilliant performer who lip syncs to many, and I mean many, Broadway show production numbers with her fantastic comedic timing and facial expressions. Ginger’s costume changes were many, and brilliant. The show was funny, poignant, and entertaining: Mary Poppins, Annie, Wicked, Wizard of Oz, Hair, The Sound of Music, Cats, and Phantom of The Opera were all part of the repertoire.

Her supporting performers were brilliantly cast. Brad Bradley, a Broadway performer, stopped the show with his two songs. Panzi as Glinda. The cast of many lesbian nuns included Bobby Green, Doreen Rallo, Linda Dickerman, Barbara Hirsch, Sue Panzer, Joanne Tavis, and Troy Files (Beach DeBree). Donna Piranha as Miss Hannigan. Ceejay Rosen as the narrator made her Cherry Grove Stage debut reading Ginger’s memoirs. Angela Smith and Logan Hardcore also made an appearance. George McGarvey did an exceptional job staging the show and designing sets for this large production. The audience loved it. The overall message of this exceptional show was that it doesn’t matter who you and where you came from. You can become part of a community that loves you unconditionally. Congratulations to Ginger Snap.

CG Celebrity Sightings in 2016: Elvis Duran, George Brescia, Wanda Sykes, Alan Cumming, Bruce Vilanch, Karen Mason, Faith Prince, John Waters, Ricki Lake, Andrew Rannells, Andy Cohen, Bob Shutter, and Ann Hampton Callaway.

Fidel threw a birthday party for his partner, Jean Pierre Lemarie (aka Candy Bunny) and baked the biggest, buttercream frosted layer cake you ever saw, in a shape unmentionable for this family newspaper. I can only say it tasted as good as it looked. Ken Woodhouse, Mike Turcci, Barbara and Marilyn, Andrew Szpila, Richard Reilly with Jim, Jay Robinson, Michael and I were among the guests.

Richie Mastascusa also celebrated his birthday with his partner, Wes Pope. Richie and Wes are show biz dancers. They hosted Vincent Ortega and some other cast members of “The Rocky Horror Show” cast, which is now appearing at the Gateway Theatre in Bellport. Richie has become a professor at Pace University. Twice a week he instructs body awareness and core strength healing for dancers.

Welcome back to the Grove Gay Nathan, Julie Paradise and their house guest Greg Hartnet, from Santa Fe. Gay and Julie have been traveling this past month, and made a stop to visit with Mel Rock and Don Robb, who are also back in the Grove. Also welcome back from their annual Maine vacation Joan Van Ness and Lorraine Michels.

Strut Your Mutt: The 11th Annual Animal PAWS benefit was held poolside at the Ice Palace. Valerie Perez once again organized this event. Logan Hardcore was the MC. Best In Show award was given to Chico, who belongs to Ken Woodhouse and Mike Turcci. Lynn Lewis and her parrot Mauie won best couple. Most popular was Chookie, a bird owned by Laurie. Other great mutts were Butterball, Little Edie, Carla and Mr. Burberry. The judges were Meryl Facterman, Evelyn Danko, Sofina Terzo, Martha Lorenzo, Shannon Liquori, and her Junior Assistant Judge Samantha. Billy Misa, Anthony Filancia, and Michael Moran sold 50/50 Raffle tickets.

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The Cherry Grove Honors was held last Saturday at Heaven N Earth. It was a wonderful gathering of Cherry Grove royalty to honor Sam Green, Chris Lacovara, Ceejay Rosen, Peg Ryan, Jack Roullo, Richard Cooley and posthumously Maggie McCorkle. Each honoree spoke, including Audrey Hartmann who reminisced about Maggie. The food was elegant and the evening was just perfect.

Upcoming Events:

  • The Arts Project presents “House of Whacks” at the Community House with an all star Cherry Grove cast, on Saturday, Sept. 3, at 8 and 10 p.m.
  • The Cherry Grove Garden Club will have their annual Bake Sale, on Sept. 4, at 11 a.m. at the Community House. Baked goods or donations are gratefully accepted. The money raised will be spent to beautify the gardens at the Community House.
  • Performance artist Kevin Aviance spent one week in the Grove. He will be doing his autobiographical cabaret act “The Lost Sessions” with songs, stories and film clips, at Pangea, 178 2nd Ave. at 11th Street, NYC, on Sept. 7, at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; and Oct. 2, at 4:30 and 9:30 p.m.
  • Due to deadline pressures at Fire Island News, I requested that I see a dress rehearsal of “Next” and was very impressed. Joe Anania is a splendid director, and I was quite taken by the stars Tommy “Tush” DeMastri and Sherri Rase. The two-character play was written by Terrance McNally, and presented on Broadway in 1969, staring James Coco and Elaine Shore, and directed by Elaine May. The Arts Project will produce this excellent production on Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Community House with one performance only, at 7:30 p.m. It’s a must see – don’t miss it.

Enjoy your fall and winter. See you next season.

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