May 3 would have been the late Pete Seeger’s 97th birthday, making this time of year an even-better opportunity than most to celebrate the legendary singer/songwriter/musician/folklorist/activist. In his honor, Rosendale-based Bill and Livia Vanaver, who were friends and musical colleagues of Pete’s for more than 40 years, have created a full-length stage production titled Turn, Turn, Turn! Celebrating Pete Seeger in Dance and Music. It will have its premiere on Saturday afternoon, May 7 at the Pete and Toshi Seeger Theater at Beacon High School.
Featuring a full cast of professional dancers and musicians, with original choreography by Livia Vanaver and musical arrangements by Bill Vanaver, the show includes more than 20 of Seeger’s most memorable songs, bought to life through a variety of dance styles. Directed by Lisa Channer, it’s a full-scale theatrical production that tells the story of Seeger’s eventful life and relentless work for peace, justice and the environment. “Audiences of all ages will leave the theater humming Pete’s timeless songs, moved by his enduring message and inspired to make our world a better place,” Livia promises.
The show will run from 3 to 5 p.m. with one intermission, during which the Strawberry Hill Fiddlers will perform while local nonprofits close to Seeger’s heart – including the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, the Calico Ball and Mill Street Loft – will operate information tables in the high school lobby. The concert will be followed at 5:30 p.m. by the Caravan’s annual gala fundraising dinner, to be held at the Towne Crier Café in Beacon with honorary event chair Natalie Merchant in attendance.
Beacon High School is located at 101 Matteawan Road in Beacon. Tickets to the Turn, Turn, Turn! premiere this Saturday are available at the door and cost $30. Tickets to the gala dinner, which include premium seating for the concert, cost $150. To order gala tickets or for more information, call (845) 256-9300 or visit www.vanavercaravan.org or www.facebook.com/the-vanaver-caravan-25976789109.