Shining the Spotlight on Our Guest Performers and Lecturers at The Nathaniel Witherell
According to Mary Bruce, Witherell’s therapeutic recreation director, “In a typical month residents can choose from over 100 programs and events that have been put together after an extensive assessment of residents’ individual capabilities and interests.”
Among our very talented guest performers is Patty Carver, a singer, actress, and musical writer who has performed in New York, Los Angeles, and London, and has been seen across the country in regional, stock, and dinner theater. She visited the Witherell at the beginning of June to present a one-woman musical production entitled, Mary Martin: A Broadway Legend. Among the songs Ms. Carver sang were”I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair” from Mary Martin’s role as Nellie Forbush in South Pacific, and “Edelweiss” from her role as Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Ms. Carver has also presented shows with Johnny Mercer, Doris Day, and Cole Porter themes for Witherell residents.
That said, nothing gets folks clapping their hands and tapping their feet more than the music of the Bob Button Orchestra. This popular 14-piece ensemble presents a program of Big Band classics, originally recorded by Swing Era legends like Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. Button and Bows, a talented group of female singers, occasionally joins the band during these lively performances. Mark your calendars for Saturdays, June 6 and 20, at 10 am, when the Bob Button Orchestra will be back at Witherell.
We are also very fortunate to have monthly programs presented by local historian Art Gottlieb, formerly a curator of naval history and the Technical Director of Exhibits at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City. Mr. Gottlieb presents monthly lectures to Witherell residents on topics that range from Amelia Earhart to the history of Presidents’ Day, Times Square, and the Merritt Parkway. This month, he will give a special presentation using National Archives color slides from the 1930s and 1940s, on June 30, at 2 pm.
Lucky for us, too, that we have two very talented piano players, Bonnie Leidner and Jay Louden, who entertain our residents every month. Both pianists are very popular here, raising spirits with sing-along music that ranges from pop and rock to jazz and folk. “It’s very interactive,” says Ms. Leidner. “We love to engage the residents and bring them into the program mix.” It’s a double billing on June 16, with Ms. Leidner performing at 2 pm, followed by Mr. Louden at 3:15 pm. (Ms. Leidner also comes twice a week to entertain residents on Witherell’s third floor Camelot unit for those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia-related illnesses.)
Not only is WGCH radio personality Darby Cartun on the board of the Friends of Nathaniel Witherell, she also brings joy to our residents with her twice-monthly “Reflections on Art” program, featuring art history topics that provoke interactive discussion, and, as she says, “provide nutrition for the brain.” This month she is here on Tuesdays, June 9 and 23, at 3 pm, to discuss the Dutch Baroque period, and look at such artists as Vermeer, Rembrandt, and de Hooch. Earlier this year, she discussed Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art.
Sounds like fun? You bet! Performances and lectures are listed on Witherell’s calendar of events, which is included in the monthly printed newsletter and also posted on the homepage of Witherell’s website at nathanielwitherell.org. Please make sure to check out all the wonderful offerings at The Nathaniel Witherell! Join us!