Jamestown NY Weekend

SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY

My wife and I went to see Spoon River Anthology on Friday evening, in Jamestown, NY’s Lakeview Cemetary. The play was a professionally produced affair, directed by Brooklyn director Tom Andolora and included eleven local actors, one of whom was our daughter Shannon. Proceeds from the play go to support the Fenton History Center.

The evening began at 8:30 with a tour of Lakeview Cemetary. A volunteer docent from the Fenton took us around in groups of about 15 and provided interesting historical facts about noted Jamestown and Chautauqua County figures. It was extremely interesting to learn details of the lives of Civil War era governor of New York Reuben Fenton, and Jamestown Founder James Prendergast. There are several other notable figure including Lucille Ball and B.F. Goodrich.

After the tour, an audience of roughly 100 took their seats in the designated area. It was dark, but lit by torches and a couple of spotlights. The actors advanced out of the shadows, carrying hand-held lanterns. They each provided several one to two minute monologues from the lives of many of Spoon River’s deceased residents. The narrations revealed tragic or previously hidden aspects of each of their less than ideal lives. It was a very entertaining collection of stories, done in a unique setting.

LUCILLE BALL HOMETOWN WEDDING

After a year long promotion by Media One Radio, a couple from Ohio was successfully married in a Lucille Ball styled wedding. The happy couple were the winners of an extensive contest and were treated to what was basically a free wedding. Various receptions, the gown, hair styles, make-up, flowers, etc., were all provided by local vendors. The wedding took place in the Tropicana Room of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center on Third & Main Streets in Jamestown.

Many of the wedding party and reception amenities were styled in a 1950’s theme. This included a small jazz swing combo, doormen with fez hats, and a 1950 police car escort. I even saw a local caterer serving drinks dressed as a soda jerk.

The whole event was very entertaining and accolades go to Rebecca Rosen from Media One and the entire crew from the Lucy-Desi Museum for making it a success.

Next week begins the 100th Anniversary Celebration of Lucille Ball’s birth in Jamestown. Check out the schedule of comedy events and plan to visit.

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