A dark cave. In the middle, a caldron boiling. Thunder. Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble That Bill Shakespeare certainly had a way with words! The Liverpool Is The Place Committee apparently has a soft spot for The Bard. The committee, which brings you two dozen free concerts every summer at Johnson Park, is trying something new this year. At 7 p.m. on Fathers’ Day, Sunday, June 16, LITP has engaged Syracuse’s Redhouse Arts Center to present a one-hour adapted version of Shakespeare’s tragedy, “Macbeth,” at Johnson Park. The performance is designed for all ages, and admission is free. Considered one of Shakespeare’s darkest tragedies, “Macbeth” was originally staged circa 1607 in London. Set in Scotland, the action boils over with blood and betrayal as Lord Macbeth kills his king to fulfill his own lust for power. Wracked with guilt, Lady Macbeth leads her lord down a maelstrom of madness and death.
Year in and year out, the community fills the grounds behind Sacred Heart Church on Route 11 for the Cicero Community Festival. “We usually average about 7,000 people,” said Steve Becker, one of the event’s organizers. “I think that speaks for itself. It’s become a tradition year in and year out to come to the festival. The cruise night is popular. People like seeing the classic cars. People love Ruby Shooz. We have hundreds of people come to the parade, participating as well as watching.” The festival, which celebrates its 21st year when it kicks off Friday, June 7, is offered by the Greater Cicero Chamber of Commerce every year to support area businesses. Drivers Village co-sponsors the event.
At least a dozen Syracuse Area Music Award-winners will perform this summer as part of the annual Liverpool Is The Place concert series. All concerts are free and take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday evenings at Johnson Park, at the corner of Oswego and Vine streets, in Liverpool’s central business district.
Hot on the heels of a Gold-Rated performance at the recent Oneida Jazz Festival, the Liverpool High School Jazz Ensemble has a busy week coming up. At 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, the student musicians present their 16th annual Jumpin’ Jazz Jam featuring the Manhattan-based DIVA Jazz Orchestra, at the high-school auditorium at 4338 Wetzel Road. Then, at 7 p.m. Monday, June 3, they make their annual appearance to kick off the Liverpool Is The Place summer concert series at Johnson Park.
Looking for a fun family-friendly activity this weekend? Look no further than the North Syracuse Family Festival, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. May 25, in Lonergan Park. The eighth annual festival is a North Syracuse mainstay, offering a variety of activities for all ages. The event also features a variety of free events, including demonstrations from the police and fire departments, live music, caricature drawings, a kids’ playland, face painting, balloon animals, child ID program, children’s art corner, a Civil War demonstration, small horse rides (new this year) and the ever-popular Teddy Bear Parade for kids ages 2 through 6. “We are a big family party with a so much going on that you need the whole time to take it all in,” said Family Festival Committee member Pat Fergerson. “It is a place to have family-friendly fun.”
More than most civic groups, the Masons really respect and honor history. This weekend, the local lodge will celebrate some annals of its own. And as usual, the Masons will do it in style. The Liverpool-Syracuse Lodge No. 501 of Free & Accepted Masons will mark its 150th anniversary at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11, by erecting a four-foot-tall obelisk monument in front of its building at 608 Oswego St., across from Johnson Park in the village. New York State Grand Master James Sullivan is expected to attend.
Up-and-comers in the Central New York music scene will compete for prizes as well as the coveted title of “Best Band” this weekend, and they’ll support a good cause at the same time. Stand Against Suicide will host its inaugural Battle of the Bands on Saturday, April 20, at the SRC Arena at Onondaga Community College. Doors open at 11 a.m. and bands begin competing at noon. Tickets are $7 for students and $12 for adults. Eighteen bands will compete for a chance at the title as well as prizes.
The North Syracuse Family Festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25, in Lonergan Park, 524 South Main St. (behind Stickley furniture), North Syracuse with free entertainment for young and old.
Tom McLaughlin calls himself a “bench jeweler,” a man who makes his living working with jewelry in all ways, repairs to jewelry crafting to jewelry design since 1985. He has been co-owner of Lennon’s Jewelers since 1988 when, along with Sheila Hovey, he opened the original store in Great Northern Mall in Clay. Twelve years ago Lennon’s Jewelers moved to Market Fair North, just across the road from Great Northern Mall. Designing jewelry is not just about finding and making beauty in object form, it is about crafting meaningful and beautiful symbols that demarcate key points in our lives. The jeweler is in part a historian.
It was just over a year ago when Jenifer Herman, proprietor of Red Door Artisans decided to tear down the original farmhouse (childhood home of both her mom and grandmother) in order to build what was to become a new home for local artists and artisans to showcase and sell their creations. Sitting in the center of a parcel of land that holds the current homes of Herman and her siblings, the old farmhouse needed too much work to make for a suitable contemporary home, but it was an ideal spot to grow her family homestead into a small family business. When the property was being readied for demolition, Herman went through and found objects that would be of later use — old doorknobs, bric-a-brac and, the one most important piece, her grandmother’s original red door, which she had thrown into her garage waiting for the time when she would need it.
Art and cultural activities aren’t just fun and personally enriching. Studies show participation in the arts has health benefits and promotes the physical, mental and emotional well-being of older adults. The town of Clay is hosting a four-week creative arts program that requires no experience, just a willingness to play. This French-themed creative journey will take participants on a different artistic adventure each week and will end with a lovely art show showcasing everyone’s works.
Former Liverpool High School band director Jim Spadafore will be honored as Music Educator of the Year this week at the Syracuse Area Music Awards show. Spadafore, who lives on Second Street in the village, will receive his special Sammy at the 2013 Sammys Hall of Fame Induction dinner, at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7, Upstairs at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 246 W. Willow St. at the corner of North Franklin Street, in downtown Syracuse.
Marybeth Sorendo is an artist who weaves her personal ethic into her work. Six years ago, Sorendo lived in Eastwood. As is the case for many who are moved to create, her art was not a full-time endeavor. She studied painting as a graduate student and later worked in ceramics and mixed media, but she had, as we say, a day job. She also has a partner in her life — her beloved flat coat retriever, Mojo. It occurred to her as she and Mojo engaged in their daily constitutionals, that there was so much beauty discarded by folks. On garbage day the streets of Eastwood were lined with what would become Sorendo’s new medium.
For the past 30 years, Debbie Florentino-Dlugolecki has worked as a senior court reporter, in Syracuse covering both Onondaga County Court and Supreme Court. Her job, each and every day, requires her to record every word uttered verbatim at court proceedings, every last word, every utterance. She listens, records phonetically, archives and, she says, she learns. Often the ideas that emerge during the course of a trial strike her as new, something to think about, something to ponder or to study a bit later. But, in the course of her work life, as she puts it, she “has no voice.” She is solely the recorder of information.
Six musicians, including a clarinetist who played for the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra (SSO), are poised to be among the first Syracuse-area residents certified as music practitioners through the national Music for Healing and Transition Program, now offered at Upstate University Hospital. As a final step to full certification, the six will embark on a 45-hour internship program, beginning in January, to providing