Oscar Brand was a folksinger and, more significantly, a popularizer of folk music on radio and recordings. He was one of the original organizers of the Newport Folk Festival. We had a couple of his record collections when I was growing up and they definitely contributed to forming my taste.
The Wild Party: I went to Baltimore on Saturday to see Iron Crow Theatre’s production of Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party, which a friend’s daughter had a part in. It’s an interesting show, based on a narrative poem by Joseph Moncure March. The same season Lippa’s adaptation played off-Broadway, Michael John LaChiusa had his version playing on Broadway and I’d be very interesting in seeing that version. Anyway, the story is very dark, with the abusive relationship between Queenie (ably played by Allison Bradbury) and Burrs (played by Justin Michael Mazzella, the only Equity member of the cast). I also want to add kudos to Valerie Holt as Madelaine True, who gets the comic relief in the song, "An Old-Fashioned Love Story." My major quibble is that Lippa’s music doesn’t completely fit the jazz age setting, but much of it is enjoyable despite that. All in all, it was well worth seeing.
JGSGW Meeting: Sunday was a Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington meeting. This month’s theme was "Ask the Experts." Unfortunately, the limited time meant that there wasn’t a huge amount of depth to the Q&A. So I can’t say that I learned anything much new. But the schmoozing is always worthwhile.
Another Genealogy Note: The New York City Marriage Index, recently made available due to the fine work of Reclaim the Records, has filled in a couple of odds and ends for me. There are actual certificates to obtain and some information still missing, but progress is progress, however slow.