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5th Anniversary of Catskills Cabaradio this Saturday
By Tom Rinaldo
12/9/11 - 1:30 am
12/9/11 - 1:30 am
Elly Wininger and Dorothy Greenberg during an installment of "Your Mother Should Know," Catskill Cabaradio's live advice Q&A with the world's wisest mother. Photo via the Cabaradio website.
Four times a year, we are lucky enough to have a Cabaradio weekend here in the Catskills, and one will be coming around again this Saturday evening in Pine Hill. Cabaradio is a volunteer run special project of the Pine Hill Community Center; a live-with-audience, free broadcast event that is tongue-in-cheek described on Cabaradio’s web page as “A Prairie Home Companion meets David Letterman meets Hee Haw extravaganza not to be missed."
Which is really a pretty good starting point for a description of Cabaradio, actually; the core ingredient that each Cabaradio production is built around always boils down to “fun." That’s "fun" as in "fun for all ages, bring Grandma and the kids"-type fun. And like most wholesome fun, it all starts out with a lot of great food, specially prepared by -- well, actually, it’s prepared by you.
Cabaradio begins with a potluck dinner starting at 6:00pm, one hour before the live radio broadcast airs, and the eating is always good. Your neighbors from around the Catskills make sure of that. Then the six or so dedicated core volunteers who produce Cabaradio (sometimes with a little help from friends) make sure of everything else. Drawing upon the multi-faceted talents of people from the entire Catskills region, they create a diverse live variety show featuring acts of and for all ages, often highly informative and always highly entertaining. Cabaradio gets broadcast live, both over the internet and on WIOX 91.3FM.
The Saturday, December 10, Cabaradio is shaping up to be another good one. The bill tomorrow night includes storyteller Jack Maguire, who delighted the crowd the last time he appeared on Cabaradio with a story exploring the subject of "why do dogs sniff each other’s butts?"
There will be poetry by Michael Platsky, who of late has hosted a poetry open mic in Woodstock, and magic on the radio performed by Artie Martello. Local music is always a staple of Cabaradio, starting with the house band, The Pine Hill Playboys. Not only do they perform a catchy song or two each show, but they also ace those nifty musical interludes between guests that we’ve all come to expect while watching late night TV variety shows. And if you happen to know your Catskills well enough, you just might win a prize during Catskill Trivia with Jack Mansberg.
This Saturday’s musical guests include Laurie Macintosh, aka Story Laurie, who in addition to being a great professional storyteller is also fine musician with a brand new CD out, and young guitar phenom Connor Kennedy. Connor, who is 17, has been raising musical eyebrows throughout the Mid Hudson/Catskills region and far beyond with his incredible mastery of his instrument. Not many guitar players Connor’s age are winning serious praise from the likes of Garth Hudson and Larry Campbell, or Jay Collins of the Allman Brothers Band.
The above just covers most of the entertainment presenters this Saturday evening (I’m saving the best for last). In the midst of great performers, Cabaradio host Elly Wininger also always interviews fascinating people from the Catskills region who are involved in a wide array of projects of regional and/or national importance. (In fact, I first became acquainted with The Watershed Post while watching Elly interview Julia Reischel and Lissa Harris on Cabaradio last December.) There have been twenty previous Cabaradio broadcasts so far, dating back to December of 2006, and all of them are archived online.
For the 5th anniversary Cabaradio show this Saturday evening, Elly Wininger will be talking with Joyce St. George and Frank Canavan of Project Hope, who, she reports, “have been really active helping flood victims." When I spoke with Elly in preparation for this dispatch, she also pointed out to me that December 10 is Human Rights Day, and she assured me that “we will be making note of that and doing something appropriate.”
Rounding out the Cabaradio interview segments this week will be time spent with Jessica Vecchione of Vecc Videography, an upstate New York business that, among other things, produced a multi-award-winning documentary focusing on the Mexican-American community that first began moving to Fleischmanns in the Catskills in 1986 and now makes up 30 percent of Fleischmanns' population.
In previewing the line-up for this Saturday's 5th Anniversary edition of Cabaradio, I saved the segment “Your Mother Should Know” for last because, quite frankly, more often than not it ends up stealing the show. “Your Mother” is actually Elly Wininger’s own mother, Dorothy Greenberg, who Elly has been kind enough to share with all of us. Dorothy is a stylish, gray-haired (as befitting her age) woman of good taste and, from time to time, deftly understated wicked humor. Members of the audience are asked to submit written questions seeking “Mother's advice” to Dorothy, who will not hesitate to tell you what she thinks in charming, but typically blunt, language.
When Cabaradio began five years ago, it was under the stewardship of James Krueger, who until recently was the executive director of the Pine Hill Community Center. According to Elly Wininger, it was pretty much his brainchild originally, and this Saturday will mark only the second episode aired since his departure.
“James is still a little conspicuous by his absence,” Wininger said. “But the current executive director, Ann Epner, is totally on board about Cabaradio, and along with the crew of volunteers she has made sure that it continues. We are very gratified by that.”
If you would like to attend Cabaradio in person, the next show is this Saturday, December 10, at the Pine Hill Community Center, located at 287 Main Street in Pine Hill. Potluck dinner starts at 6:00 pm and the broadcast portion of the evening begins promptly at 7:00pm and lasts for an hour. All are welcome to attend and admission is free. Child care is offered during the show from 7pm onwards at a cost of $5 per child. If you can’t be present for Cabaradio, you can still always catch it live over the internet at catskillradio.org, or the air by tuning into the broadcast on WIOX 91.3 FM, which is also online on wioxradio.org.
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