Having never thought of myself as Pollyanna or Candide, for me to say that this year was the best of all my sixteen Ranger summers means that there was a fantastic combination of activity, personality, talent and moment.
July 4 1976, as we all know, had special significance for Americans and we would have been remiss had we not celebrated our Bicentennial even though we had been at camp for only one day. Thanks to girls bunks six, seven, and nine, Tina Schecter, Linda Cohen, and Jill Holtzman for their fine choral singing of "Freedom", "G-d Bless America", "This is a Great Country", and several other songs. And to Fran Itzkowitz, Steve Pelta, Franny Borden and Bob Stranger for their readings from the stirring words of Susan B. Anthony, Abraham Lincoln, Patrick Henry, Martin Luther King and J.F. Kennedy. The audience participating in singing later was an inspired and unexpected addition.
After praising America the week before, our first show took place in London. Oliver was an absolute joy for me to direct and the delight to view. Vivid in my memory was Matt Charles as Oliver singing "Who will buy?" And "Where is love?", Jerrold Fruchtman as Dodger singing and dancing to "Consider Yourself" with a fantastic cockney accent and twinkle toes; Matty Barkoff carefully "Reviewing the Situation" (Amen) and Robyn Rubinstein's haunting "As Long as he needs me". Other notable cast members were Tina Schecter (Bet) Matt Finkelstein (Bumble). Karen Gardner (Corney), Mike Yudin (Bill Sykes) Betsy Traiger, Barry Birnbaum, Mark Lipton, and Wayne Firsty.
From London we went to Never Never land with Peter Pan. Stacy Silverman was unbelievably fine as Peter, especially in "I gotta crow" and Never Never land. Kevin Geiger as Capt. Hook was a delicious villain. Wendy (Rachel Schwartz) John (Josh Gatoff) and Michael (Drew Schnitt) provided a moving "Tender Shepherd" with mother (Allison Green) and father (Scott Mohl). Others in the cast were Mathew Benjamin, Dina Polansky, Jackie Brodsky, David Lazoff, Heather Borden, and Zack Berman.
The night before visiting day, we moved to Oklahoma. This American classic was beautifully performed, by Michael Cohen, Dana Levy, Larry Schott, Andrea Leighton, Todd Schnitt, Rena Bitter, Adam Geiger, Marcy Dunn, Gerald Cohen, Barry Glassman, and Barry Hirsch and the Bombers and the Deb-teens. Remember, Laurey and Curley's kiss, Will Parker's "Everything's up to date in Kansas City", Ado Annie's "I can't say no" and a rousing fight between the farmers and the cowboys.
The South Pacific during World War II was the setting of the Senior show. Jodi Gregory and Wayne Olan as Nellie and Emile were wonderful, as were Gavin Christie, Naomi Kramer, Brad Shumel, as Cable, Robert