Friday, December 30, 2016

Calendar Listings: The Big Broadcast 12th Edition

DATELINE: January 2, 2017


The Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College

The 12th Edition

Saturday, March 4, 2017
2PM and 7PM
Chapin Auditorium
Mount Holyoke College
Route 116
South Hadley, MA 01075

The Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College's 12th annual presentation of a live 1940’s radio broadcast created and directed by Mark Gionfriddo (onstage as “Matt Morgan”) with WWLP-22News meteorologist Brian Lapis as emcee “Fred Kelley". Under Gionfriddo’s direction, the Mount Holyoke Big Band, Vocal Jazz, and Chamber Jazz Ensembles perform well-known tunes from the swing era, including music by the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw, among others.

Sponsors (to date) include Mount Holyoke College, WWLP-22News & The CW Springfield, The Republican powering MassLive and El Pueblo Latino and Loomis Communities.

Tickets are general admission. $20.00 premium front and center seating. $15.00 regular seating. $10.00 seniors and students. Tickets are available at the UMASS Fine Arts Center Box Office in Amherst; at the Odyssey Bookshop, Village Commons, South Hadley; and at the door (subject to availability).  For phone orders: 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMASS. Online ticket purchases will be available through the UMass Fine Arts Center.

For information on The Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College:


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Westfield News Group Arts Beat 12/29/16

The Westfield News Group Arts Beat 12/29/16. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Sunset Baby, Comedy of Errors light up Hartford theatres this month.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Westfield News Group Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time at The Bushnell

My Westfield News Group review of "The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night Time" at The Bushnell. Stunning physical production of a tale about an autistic teen's road to independence.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

Media Release: Gionfriddo Reading/Booksigning in Westfield, MA on January 21


Blue Umbrella Book presents a reading and book signing of Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night, a new historical non-fiction book by Jeannie and Mark Gionfriddo, on Saturday, January 21 at 1pm at Blue Umbrella, 2 Main Street, in downtown Westfield, MA. 

When Jeannie Gionfriddo and her late husband, Roy, purchased their family home in Holyoke, MA in 1964, there was one seller’s condition: the tenant, Hart Lester Allen, in the adjoining apartment, had to have the right to live there as long as she wanted. As the Gionfriddo’s got to know Mrs. Allen, she shared her personal history.

Allen was the widow of Massachusetts Bank Commissioner, Joseph C. Allen, who investigated and brought to justice the notorious criminal Charles Ponzi, whose “Ponzi Scheme” robbed many people of their life savings. Jeannie Gionfriddo, a columnist at the Holyoke Sun, began to chronicle Allen’s story. Her son, Mark, assisted with the research. But after a draft or two, they put the book aside. When Bernie Madoff’s financial crimes made headlines, the Gionfriddo’s revised Good Night, Dear Hart Good Night, which is part backstory of a bank commissioner taking on a powerful criminal, and part love story of the woman who supported him along the way, set in Massachusetts cities and towns, including Springfield.

Mother and son, Jeannie Gionfriddo and Mark Gionfriddo, still live in the Holyoke house where Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night takes place; she in the main house, and he in the apartment, where Hart Lester Allen once resided. Jeannie Gionfriddo has authored cookbooks and wrote the Holyoke Sun’s food columns. Mark Gionfriddo is a member of the music faculty at Mount Holyoke College, creator of The Big Broadcast, a recreation of a 1940s radio show with the Jazz Ensembles at Mount Holyoke College, and a musical director at Berkshire Theatre Group, where he conducted Beauty and The Beast last summer, and was vocal coach of the 11th annual production of A Christmas Carol.

For details on Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night, visit the book’s website at,, or visit the Facebook page at

Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night
by Jeannie Gionfriddo and Mark Gionfriddo

Epigraph Books
Hardcover: 978-1-944037-34-5
Paperback: 978-1-944037-33-8.

Blue Umbrella Books is Westfield’s new independent locally owned bookstore featuring new titles, used books, and special orders. Blue Umbrella is committed to programs which highlight local authors. For information: 413-579-5383 or


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Review: Hartford Stage's "A Christmas Carol"

"A Christmas Carol" returns to Hartford Stage and marks the end o Bill Raymand's long-run as Scrooge. My Westfield News Group review.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Westfield News Group Review: Christmas on The Rocks

My Westfield News Group review for Theaterworks' "Christmas On The Rocks', ninety minutes of hilarity with a heart.