Monday, August 11, 2014
Returning from a visit to the Berkshire Festival in Massachusetts, we happened to choose a new way south and west from Binghamton, NY. Because we actually live on US 220 in Maryland, we chose 220 rather than Interstates. We passed the Eagles Mere sign, turned around and hoped to find the Playhouse. We had the good fortune to stop an elderly woman who turns out to be the local historian. She is most interested in learning and preserving things about AK and the Playhouse. Her family vacationed there when she was young and she married a guy she met there. Her husband's summer vacation job was bellhop at the hotel. One of his responsibilities every Wednesday was to take the hotel guests to the Playhouse!!! He saw all the shows in those years he was a student at Amherst.
They drove us to a field where there is a bronze marker that commemorates AK's Playhouse, long gone. Forest has covered the site. The hotel was also torn down. The stables which were the scene shops evidently remain, but we couldn't see them through the trees. The actors' residence is now a well kept private home. The Sweet Shop is well kept and prospering, and AK's and Lucy's nearby cottage is also well preserved. The whole community looks like an enclave for the wealthy, and the lake was busy with tons of young kids who arrived by bicycle.
Barbie and Bush James were our guides. I have given Barbie information on your blogs and I am sure she will become an avid reader. They told me that they have the silk screen posters of all of the shows. They have been raising money for the local historical society by selling extra posters for $50 dollars each!
In the Berkshires we saw Penny Fuller in A Little Night Music. She was excellent, as was the whole production. We didn't attempt to talk with her.