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The first Kennett Winterfest, a beer tasting, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 12:30 to 4 p.m. You had better bundle up as it will be held outdoors in a tent on South Broad Street between State and Cypress streets in uptown Kennett Square. There will be unlimited tastings from at least 25 unique craft breweries and warm food from Talula’s Table plus great music. Tickets are $65, with Designated Driver tickets $15. Go to www.kennettbrewfest.com for tickets.
If you haven’t seen the gorgeous Yuletide at Winterthur, you better hurry as it closes Jan. 7 and will not reopen until March 1 with a new exhibit. The gardens and grounds will be open to members. Just show your membership card at the main gate. Rest rooms are available at the Picnic House, wherever that is. This is one of the advantages of being a member.
Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library recently announced that they have located a sterling silver snuff box in the shape of a heart with a bird engraved on the lid. It had been on display for 60 years with other colonial New York silver items and was only discovered to be missing during an ongoing inventory collection. The box was made in the mid-1700s by silversmith Barent Ten Eyck, who served in the New York militia in the eighth regiment during the American Revolution. The snuff box was a gift to Winterthur by Henry Francis du Pont who was related to the Ten Eyck family through his mother.
Investigations by the Delaware State Police and the Winterthur staff will continue to try and discover how it had been moved from its previous location. When I think of all the items I misplace, I am impressed by the housekeeping of the Winterthur organization. Wouldn’t it be “loverly” if I could call the state police every time I misplace something!
The Brandywine Lions Club, as they have done for decades, welcomed Santa to the Meadow in Chadds Ford last Saturday. Santa, who bore a striking resemblance to Chairman Joe Westmoreland, was welcomed by the Lions, Boy Scout Troop 31, arrived by a Concordville Fire Truck with sirens at full tilt.
In the Meadow about 50 children and parents waited, listening to music by Dave Goaci and his son Issac while being served hot chocolate by 16 Boy Scouts. There has been some bad weather for Santa’s arrival in the past, but this was about the meanest with bitter cold and a billowing wind. The group, recreating a tableau that has been done so many times through the years, met around the Christmas Tree decorated by the Brandywine Conservancy.
One of my more memorable Christmas gifts was a brightly painted tin rooster 24 inches tall, sent by my son in Michigan. In an earlier column I had mentioned the difficulty he was having with a weasel or ermine that was feeding off his flock. My rooster had a card saying it was from all the members of his family and then there was the number nine, with a slash through it, then an eight with a slash, a seven with a slash and the card said -- after all the children’s names and the slashed numbers, the number five without a slash and the word “chickens“. (Apparently chickens are having a bad time surviving in Michigan. Doesn’t anyone know how to get rid of a weasel?)
Dressed very casually, I was sitting in my rather aged car in the parking lot of a drug store when two young boys wearing elf hats knocked on my window and handed me a card that said “Hope it brightens your day, and that you will continue to spread the holiday cheer!” (Their father was nearby where he could see and hear.) Inside was a $20 bill. I thanked them and wished them a “Merry Christmas.”
After getting over the shock that perhaps I had been mistaken for a bag lady who lived in her car, I realized that this was a gift that I should pass on, which I did, to someone who seemed to need both the greeting and the money. It did give me the greatest pleasure though, to see how well the little boys were being raised.
There is a confusing title on a new work by composer in residence Dr. Van Stiefel at West Chester University. With a grant from the American Composer Forum, he has written a work called “Wyeth Songs” that will be performed by the Kennett Symphony Children’s Chorus on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at Asplundh Hall, West Chester University. The new work, called “Wyeth Songs,” features poetry from David Livewell’s book “Woven Light: Poems and Photographs of Artist Andrew Wyeth’s Pennsylvania.” I am having trouble seeing the connection between Wyeth and photographs of Pennsylvania strong enough to use someone’s name. However, no matter what it is called, it should be performed with dash and elan by the Children’s Chorus at this free concert.
The Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio on 3 will present “Around the World in 80 Days,” Jan. 15 through Feb. 3. Set in 1872 in London, Phileas Fogg sets out to prove that with modern transportation, it is now possible to travel around the world in 80 days. He sets out to have daring adventures and narrow escapes. Performed in the intimate Studio Theatre that seats 80, this production ill then go on a National Tour. Call 215-574-3550.
This seamy underworld of hoodlums, beggars and prostitutes has the cynical question, “Who is the bigger criminal, the man who robs a bank or the man who founds a bank?” This classic “Opera For Beggars” has book and lyrics by Bertolt Brecht and music by Kurt Weill with murderer and mastermind Mack the Knife as the center of the action. This gem will be at the PTTP at the University of Delaware Jan. 17 through Feb. 2 Thursdays through Sundays. For tickets call 302-831-2204.
The Walnut Street Theatre continues its 204th season with an all new production of Oscar Wilde’s dramatic masterpiece “An Ideal Husband.” This classic comedy begins previews on Jan. 15 and opens on Jan. 23 to run through March 3.
This witty story of romance, insider trading and scandal, has Sir Robert, a highly respected politician with a spotless reputation. Then an old acquaintance threatens to expose a sordid chapter from his past. The one person who comes to his aid is his womanizing, party-loving best friend who is the only one scheming and dishonest enough to know how to help him. For tickets call 215-574-3550.
This play is based on the incredible true story of Frank Abagnale Jr., a world class con artist who passed himself off as a doctor, a lawyer and a jet pilot, all before the age of 21.Pursued by straight arrow FBI agent Carl Hanratty, this is a real cat-and-mouse chase with a jazzy score. The play will be at the Academy of Music, Broad & Locust, Philadelphia, on Jan. 15 through 20. For tickets call 215-893-1999.
The award winning play “The Mountaintop” takes place in Memphis the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King. An exhausted Dr. King retires to his hotel where a mysterious stranger arrives with some surprising news. The play will be presented at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad Street, Jan. 6 to Feb. 10. For tickets call 215-735-7356.
The Bristol Riverside Theatre, 120 Radcliffe St., Bristol, will welcome the Omaha Theatre Co., Jan. 12 and 13 as they perform “How I Became a Pirate” for their Children’s Series. This story of young Jeremy Jacob who helps pirates dig will have performances on Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. For tickets call 215-785-0100.
The Lantern Theatre Co. will begin previews of the Tony Award winning satire “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” on Jan. 10 with the opening Jan. 16 with a run through Feb. 19. This dark comedy pits the spinster Maureen Folan against her diabolically helpless mother Mag, showing the constant competition between mothers and daughters. Philadelphia author Susan Morse will offer a humorous comparison between this pair and the mother/daughter relationship in her newest novel, “The Habit,” on Sunday, Jan. 27 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The box office number is 215-829-0395 with the performances at the St. Stephen’s Theatre, 10th & Ludlow streets, Philadelphia.
Jon Herington Band –Herington is the veteran touring and recording guitarist for Steely Dan. Noted for the compelling and funny lyrics of his songs, the tree musicians give dynamite performances. Friday, Jan. 4, at 8 p.m. Tickets $20 in advance, $18 at the door.
Mary Fahl –She has a killer guitar, an unforgettable voice and original songs that deal with important ideas. Saturday, Jan. 5, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $28 at the door.
Open Mic – Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m., two-beverage cover.
Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.