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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Upcoming talk on Mt. Tom Theatre book - West Springfield, Massachusetts

Just a note that I will be speaking on my book Comedy and Tragedy on the Mountain - 70 Years of Summer Theatre on Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Massachusetts on Wednesday, June 7th at 6 p.m. at the West Springfield Public Library, 200 Park Street, West Springfield, Mass.

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. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Student Prince - Springfield, Massachusetts Restaurant

JT Lynch photo

The Student Prince, a nostalgic and fanciful name for a German restaurant in Springfield, Massachusetts, has been a landmark in that city since 1935.  Though you may not find the characters from the Sigmund Romberg operetta  roaming about the premises, you will, at lease this month, find the Fort Street Carolers performing selections from The Sound of Music.  Surely, that is gemΓΌtlich enough for any fan of this cozy and inviting restaurant.  If that weren't enough, it is reckoned to have one of the largest collection of beer steins in the U.S.

JT Lynch photo

Ruprecht Scherff came from Germany to work here in 1949, and took ownership in 1961, and the Scherff family continued ownership until 2014.  When they announced the closing, several Springfield businessmen became involved to save the beloved restaurant, and so it remains today on Fort Street where it has stood since the Great Depression. 

Fort Street, incidentally, is so named because it was the site of Springfield founder William Pynchon's stockade fort, which withstood the attack of King Phillip's Pocumtuck warriors when they burned the young settlement of Springfield in 1675, 39 years after the settlement had begun. 

JT Lynch photo

There are stained glass windows in The Student Prince that picture Springfield historical landmarks, such as the Campanile, and Deacon Samuel Chapin, one of Springfield's founders.

JT Lynch photo

Through thick and thin, Fort Street lends its tradition of resilience and charm to Springfield.

JT Lynch photo

Have a look here at The Student Prince website.

Also, thank you to organizer Erica Walch, and all the intrepid walkers who followed me around Springfield this past Saturday on my walking tour of Springfield's theater history sponsored by the Springfield Museums and the Armoury-Quadrangle Civic Association.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Walking Tour - Theaters - Springfield, Massachusetts

This is the Bijou Theater on Worthington Street, Springfield, Massachusetts.  It's not there anymore, but that won't stop us...

This Saturday, May 13th, I'll be conducting a walking tour of Springfield's entertainment history by visiting a number of sites of theaters (and former theaters).  Sponsored by the Second Saturday Walking Tours for the Springfield Museums and Armory-Quadrangle Civic Association, this tour is titled:

"Stage, Screen, and Radio: A Walk through Springfield's Entertainment History"

We meet at the Visitors Center at the Springfield Library and Museums on Edwards Street in Springfield at 10:30 a.m.  The walk will be about a mile and a half, and the route downtown will probably take somewhere between an hour or hour and a half to complete.  The event is free for Museum and Armoury-Quadrangle Civic Association members; $5 nonmembers.

I hope you can put on your sneakers and join us!

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