Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Reviews on Comedy and Tragedy on the Mountain

What readers are saying about Comedy and Tragedy on the Mountain, my new book on the history of summer theatre on Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Massachusetts...

From George Murphy, western Massachusetts radio and television personality, who was also an apprentice at the playhouse on Mt. Tom when he was a teenager in the 1960s:

This is the true history of a building on a plot of land in Holyoke that was the entertainment center to hundreds of thousands of people over a plethora of summers.

You have somehow managed to tell the story of that theater with information and people that have been thought to have vanished from history, but this book...this AMAZING book has changed all of that.

You have told me stories and events that I was never aware of. You brought the shadows back to life. This book you worked so hard on is the story of where it came from, how it survived up to the time that magnificent old structure was destroyed....removed...and almost deleted, but then Jacqueline Lynch came along and resurrected the history of this magnificent edifice so that once again all who read those pages can experience the days of wonder that happened in and around the Casino in the Park.

I thank you so very much for including me in this amazing book  as a sense of pride came over me after reading it, as I was a small part of the later years of the Grand Old Theater.

 J.L., you have hit a home run with this one...take it from someone who was in the midst of it all, albeit for a short time.


The book is currently available in paperback from the printer, CreateSpace here, and from Amazon in paperback and eBook.  You can also contact me by email or my website to obtain a paperback copy, or order through my Etsy shop: Lynch Twins Publishing.

Have a look here for Don Grigware's interview with me at Broadway World.com.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Comedy and Tragedy on the Mountain - 70 Years of Summer Theatre - Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Mass.

This is to announce the publication of my latest book:

Comedy and Tragedy on the Mountain:
70 years of Summer Theatre on Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Massachusetts

It is non-fiction, about a once vibrant summer theatre playhouse in the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts, how it reflected its eras and its location - in an amusement park, on a mountain, on the edge of a New England factory town.  It was unique, and its story is fascinating.

I'll be giving a talk on the book at the Holyoke (Massachusetts) Public Library, Monday, January 23rd at 6 p.m.  Springfield Republican columnist Barbara Bernard, who wrote the foreword for the book and was interviewed for the project, will introduce the event and will take part in the discussion.

The book covers the history of live theatre on Mt. Tom from 1895 to 1965.  For some seventy years live theatre created magic on the mountain above the city, from vaudeville, operetta, WPA-sponsored shows in the Great Depression, and its heyday from 1941 to 1962 with a resident repertory company called The Valley Players.  In the early 1960s, two new incarnations: The Casino-in-the-Park, and finally, the Mt. Tom Playhouse with touring packaged shows featuring well-known stars from television and movies.  Many stars of stage and screen, and many newcomers who would one day become stars, performed over several decades on Mt. Tom.  Through interviews, newspaper reviews, and nearly 250 photographs, relive their performances, and go backstage for personal experiences that were both comic and tragic, and enjoy again the excitement of opening night.

The book is currently available in paperback from the printer, CreateSpace here, and from Amazon in paperback and eBook.  You can also contact me by email or my website to obtain a paperback copy. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Reading from Whitewash in the Berkshires - Springfield, Massachusetts

I'll be reading from one of my Double V Mysteries this coming Sunday at the Springfield City Library, Springfield, Massachusetts as part of the Literary Spotlight: Creative Writings by Local Authors event. From 1 to 3 p.m., come down to the main branch at 220 State Street. Here's more:

Literary Spotlight: Creative Readings by Local Writers
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Enjoy the readings of local writers in this showcase of active area writers. Featured writers include poets, novelists, and children's book writers, all of whom will offer a sample from their creative writing.

Participating readers are Jane Schneeloch, Springfield poet; Don Fisher, Chicopee poet; Price Van Ray, South Hadley poet and novelist; Jacqueline Lynch, Chicopee novelist; Peter Cianciolo, Springfield author of A Father's Love; Maria Kamoulakou-Marangoudakis, Springfield author of Sky Cloud City; Patrick Shanahan, Holyoke author of The Bird Song, and Betsy Sheehan, East Longmeadow author of Grace O'Malley, the Queen of the Sea. Refreshments compliments of the Friends of the Library, with a free attendance raffle for all who attend.

Matthew Vasquez Jaquith
413.263.6828 ext 221
LOCATION: Central Library Community Room

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Washington's message on the Touro Synagogue

George Washington visited the oldest synagogue in this nation (founded in the 1600s) at Newport, Rhode Island.  His remarks on the Touro Synagogue are a reflection of, and support for, the new Bill of Rights.

“...every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

He wrote this in August 1790.
"For happily the Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support."
He meant it.  We should mean it, too. 

Happy Hanukkah and blessings to all our countrymen of all faiths.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

In the Spotlight 25th Anniversary - Springfield, Massachusetts

Congratulations to founder Shera Cohen and In the Spotlight, Inc., a non-profit agency and website showcasing performing arts reviews and previews, which began as Bravo newspaper, a monthly arts periodical, now celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Press coverage of theatre events is as necessary to the arts as the audience, and without which the performing arts would not have the benefit of thoughtful public discourse, a record of our culture, and a way to connect with the public for support.  In these days of dwindling numbers of newspapers and magazines, and the number of media outlets that provide theatre coverage, In the Spotlight is an important part of the theatre world in western New England.  May In the Spotlight and its staff continue to bring us news of the performing arts for many more years to come.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Road to Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Massachusetts

We're on the road to a new adventure, for the next several weeks at least.  This is an old illustrated postcard of Route 5 running north along the Connecticut River in Holyoke, Massachusetts.  We're on the road to Mt. Tom.

The mountain hosted on its wooded slopes an interesting variety of inhabitants over the decades: a Civilian Conservation Corps camp, a ski area, an amusement park, a series of summit houses...and a summer playhouse.

This theater and its various players from vaudeville, to operetta, to recent Broadway hits in drama and comedy, is the subject of my latest book: Comedy and Tragedy on the Mountain - 70 Years of Summer Theatre on Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Massachusetts.

The book will be released in the coming weeks. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Front page news - in Westfield, Massachusetts

A close-up of two of my books on the shelf at Blue Umbrella Books in Westfield, Massachusetts, along with a notice about my upcoming visit to the bookstore on Saturday, December 3rd.

On November 16th, the local daily paper, The Westfield News, featured an article on my upcoming meet-and-greet at the store by Lori Szepelak.  That it made the front page of the paper was an special kick for me, for, as I mentioned in the interview, I used to write a weekly column for this newspaper over thirty years ago when I was a senior at Westfield State College (now Westfield State University).

I'm looking forward to meeting readers and shoppers at Blue Umbrella Books, where all my books will be available for sale and signing.  Blue Umbrella Books is located at 2 Main Street, Westfield, right in the center of town on the common.