Sunday, August 31, 2014
GA GA FOR HARMONY PRESENTS
This post has absolutely nothing to do with taxes of any kind – which is why I am posting it on a Sunday. I had written it for another venue, but decided against pursuing it, and felt the piece shouldn’t go to waste.
I hadn’t been to the intimate Boiler Room, on “G” level of the Hawley Silk Mill here in northeast Pennsylvania, for a concert from Harmony Presents since the winter. But the title of the rare Friday night concert on August 15th grabbed me – “Ga Ga for Gershwin”.
Harmony Presents showcases live performances ranging from Americana, Funk, Rock, Comedy, Classics, Theater and more in the Boiler Room on a weekly basis. Seating is general admission, but if you buy a ticket in advance, either online or at the AMSkier Insurance Agency in “downtown” Hawley, you are guaranteed a seat.
On my first encounter with Harmony Presents in late September of 2013 I was surprised at just how small the room was. I had been expecting a more traditional theatre venue. What I found reminded me of the coffee houses of the 60s and 70s in Greenwich Village and elsewhere. I actually helped to run such a coffee house in a church building in Jersey City NJ in the early 1970s.
“Ga Ga for Gershwin” featured two unique talents, Beach Lake resident Dorothy Stone, a cross continental critically acclaimed soprano, and Ori Dagan, "Canada's Next Top Crooner", accompanied by Toronto-based jazz pianist Patrick Hewan in a tribute to the Great American Songbook's composers & lyricists.
In addition to Gershwin the duo also presented selections from Irving Berlin, Hoagie Carmichael, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, and Rodgers and Hart.
Dorothy and Ori are online at Facebook and Twitter (@Diva_Crooner) as “Diva Meets Crooner”.
The room sits about 60. This was the first show I had been to that appeared to be sold out, and I was glad I had purchased my ticket online. There is an outdoor balcony area that overlooks the Ledges Hotel back deck and the waterfall. Harmony Presents does not have a liquor license, but Cocoon Coffee House, located on the Silk Mill “campus”, sells wine, beer, snacks and coffee in the lobby area before the show and during intermission.
Guests who purchase advance tickets online may use their ticket for 20% off after-show drinks at the Glass Wine Bar & Bistro at Ledges Hotel between 9:30 and 10:00 PM on the day of the show.
Harmony Presents is run by Managing Director Jill Carletti, who is also Director of Social Media at AMSkier. Before coming to Harmony Presents she was a freelance artist, designer, musician and teacher locally and abroad. Jill does a great job of booking the talent and serving as greeter and Master of Ceremonies, as well as occasionally working the sound board. We are “Twitter buddies”.
Harmony has a full schedule of Saturday night concerts, from 7:30 – 9:30, through the end of November. There is also stand-up comedy on the occasional Friday, and Jill has promised magic acts are coming.
I am looking forward to a theatrical reading of Bill Donnelly's new comedy "Silverstein" at the Boiler Room on Friday evening September 19th. Hope to see you there.