Sunday, July 29, 2007


Since I actually did make some progress this past week on the GD extensions (2 major returns completed and 2 more written up as far as possible and “red-filed”) I decided to reward myself with an overnight to Hawley PA to see the Ritz Company Playhouse production of PLAYING DOCTOR.

I drove up yesterday (Saturday) morning, stopping for breakfast at the Park West Diner on Route 46. I had expected that gas was a bit cheaper in NJ, so I topped off the tank at one of the last gas stations on Route 206 in NJ before crossing the Delaware to Milford, PA (according to a PA trivia filler in a local adzine, “the first silent movie ever made in the US was filmed in Milford, Pike County, in 1912”). I was right - a gallon of regular was between $2.69 and $2.79 in NJ and between $2.85 and $2.99 in PA.

I had not made any motel reservations beforehand – planning to “play it by ear”. There was a NO VACANCY sign at the “Tuck Em Inn” motel, at which I had stayed several years ago, so I decided to try the “Sandy Beach Motel” on Route 6 diagonal from Lake Wallenpaupack. I was lucky that the motel had a cancellation. The room was comfortable and well air-conditioned, with a full complement of cable stations available on the tv, so I decided to reserve here for my annual vacation – this year scheduled for late August (as usual, based on the production playing at the Ritz Company Playhouse).

Before checking in I visited the Route 6 Mall outside of Honesdale for some clothes shopping at K-Mart (I got a great bargain on shirts) and to see what movies were playing at the multiplex. I was just in time to see HAIRSPRAY. I had not seen either the original John Waters movie or the Broadway production (I am listening to the original cast recording of HAIRSPRAY on the Best of Broadway program at WJAS 1320-AM in Pittsburgh through my computer as I write this posting) so it was new to me. Two “thumbs up” – John Travolta was great in drag!

For dinner I returned to “Gresham’s Chop House” across from the Lake for Veal Saltimbucca and a perfectly made Stinger.

The production I had come to see was one of comedies by the prolific team of William Van Zandt (brother of THE SOPRANO’s Steve Van Zandt and current husband of Adrienne Barbeau – Maude’s daughter from the Norman Lear sitcom, Rizzo in the original production of GREASE, and former Mrs. John Carpenter) and Jane Milmore. The team’s comedies are silly (often too silly) farces usually dealing with mistaken identities and attempted deceptions, a la THREE’S COMPANY, and the Ritz players have done several over their 35-year tenure. In this one an aspiring writer tries to convince his parents that he is a successful doctor with the help of his secretary and roommate. It was not exactly classic farce, or even rather good farce, but it had its moments and a few laugh out loud lines. The actors were ok (considering this is amateur regional theatre), with Kurt Reed standing out as hypochondriac Uncle Harold.

This morning I had breakfast at “Muggs Country Kitchen” next to the motel and relaxed while overlooking Lake Wallenpaupack on the observation deck before driving back to Jersey. Back to the GD extensions tomorrow (Monday)!


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