The Southern Dutchess News - Printers & Publishers
84 East Main Street, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
office (845) 297-3723

Beacon Free Press
Beacon Free Press This Week...

The Beacon Free Press has been Beacon’s primary center of news and entertainment coverage for over 25 years. Coverage includes local city and school news and features, Dutchess County Legislature, county legal notices, obituaries, plus coverage of arts and entertainment, hospitals and health, education, libraries and local businesses and organizations.

ADVERTISERS: Work together and save money
Click here for the Promotion Flyer

07/23/14 Highlights of this week's edition...

Many show love for Pete & Toshi

By Goldee Greene, Staff Writer/Arts & Entertainment

(Continued from cover) Two local concerts took place over the weekend. On Friday evening, nearly a thousand fans, family members and friends filled the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie to enjoy the music of bluesman Guy Davis, Paul Winter, Happy Traum, Fred Hellerman of the Weavers, Emma’s Revolution, David Amram, Tom Chapin and Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary). More performers included Sharlene Stout, Jeff Haynes, Lorre Wyatt, Rick Nestor, the Owens Brothers and many more.

Speakers included Tinya Seeger, who thanked the Bardavon for donating the space, as well as several members of the Seeger family.

Longtime friend George Wein, founder of both the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals, gave a moving tribute to the friendship he and his late wife, Joyce, had with the Seegers. State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk read a proclamation co-sponsored by State Sen. Terry Gibson.

Robert Meeropol, son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, paid homage. Beaconite Andra Sramek, who grew up on South Avenue, recalled the days of waving to Pete and Toshi as they “rode by in their red car.” The concert ran from 7 p.m. till 1 a.m, with an intermission.

The finale featured Roland Moussa, Princess Wow and friends who sang his inspired tune, “Now is the Time.”

“This is one of the last tunes co-written by Pete,” Moussa said.

Saturday’s Circle of Song at the Beacon Sloop Club had a more relaxed mood, but spirits soared as high. Anyone who wished to could approach the mike. Performers included David Amram, who jumped up to accompany other musicians. Also adding to the fun was Rocky Rizzo, Emma’s Revolution, David and Jacob Bernz, Lydia Davis and Freddy Martin, who sang his anthem, “Peace Will Prevail”.

“Pete and I started writing this song a long time ago, but he changed the ending to make it less bleak,” said Martin. “It was completed the night he passed away. That day I received his final version with a note: ‘You keep on working on it!’ I was so happy until I found out later that he was gone. But that was Pete, 94-year-old Pete, dedicated to the very end.”

Read the full story in this week’s print edition.

Illusionist excites children at Howland

Gary Cronsier, II, an illusionist, leads the audience in performing an illusion with napkins. - Photo by Kristine Coulter

By Kristine Coulter

Illusionist Gary Croniser, II, put on a show for children and adults recently at the Howland Public Library. Known as Illusionist G2C, Croniser draws the audience in by asking for volunteers.

“When I was 5 years old I saw illusionist David Copperfield on televison,” said Croniser, who lives in Poughkeepsie.

He began studying illusions when he was 8 years old. Cronsier has been performing since 1994. After entertaining family and friends for years, he had his first professional show at the age of 13.

Croniser said he wants children to learn that with science one can do some pretty cool things.

“What I do is I try to bring STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) into it,” he explained.

Croniser says he generally performs 10-12 illusions in an hour show.

“There’s one that I open the show with that deals with a deck of cards and a balloon,” said Croniser. That gets a lot of reaction from audience members.

Croniser places the full deck of cards in the balloon and then finds the card that an assistant has written his or her name on.

The assistant, during this show’s performance for that illusion, was Desire Hobbs-McCall, 8.

“It was fun,” said Desire. She said she enjoyed all of the illusions.

Her mother Charisma Kins, said, “I thought it was a wonderful life experience for her.”

The Beacon reisdent added that she really enjoyed the show.

Croniser has performed in Tennessee, California, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania.

“The longest I’ve ever rehearsed for an illusion or designing one was two years. The shortest was an hour,” said Croniser.

As each person entered the room, they received two napkins each.

“Why do we need napkins?” asked one child.

During the show, Croniser used the napkins to show how one of the illusions was done. This way the children could practice at home and have an illusion to show.

Croniser showed a card with different numbers of dots. Then as he was explaining the illusion, the card became full of black dots.

“I did bring the Great Rope of Beacon,” Croniser told the audience.

He then had two children come up to hold each end of the rope.

He pulled the rope “through” his body.
Then he had help from another assistant.

“Do you like Coke or Pepsi?” he asked him.

“I don’t know,” the kid responded.

Croniser took the Pepsi cans away.

He asked the boy to shake up both soda cans. Croniser then took the fizz from the soda can he was holding and ‘moved’ it into the one behind then that sat on a table. The first can did not explode with soda. The can behind them, when they opened it, did.

Beacon resident Michelle Fehilly was with her children. Fionn, 5, and Saoirse, 3, both were assistants during one of the illusions.

“It’s good. They’re having a great time,” said Fehilly.

She said they attend library events and “thought this was pretty cool.”

Ginny McConnell, from Beacon, was with her granddaughter Janessa Bell, 5.

“I think it’s great,” said McConnell.

Tonya Lloyd-Harrison watched her son Akil Lloyd, 9, help with an illusion.

“We came last year and I made sure we came back this year,” stated Lloyd-Harrison.

She said she enjoyed watching Akil assist during the show.

“It’s good and he (Croniser) interacts with the children,” said Lloyd-Harrison.

Elizabeth Gido, 10, was with her aunt Judy Theise, from Beacon.

“It’s good so far; I’m having fun,” said Theise.

Wappingers Falls resident Nancy Millan attended the show with her children, Michael, 10 and Natalia, 7.
“That was wonderful. My son is into illusions,” said Millan.

Michael, who helped with an illusion, described being an assistant as “cool.”

“It was really interesting. When he got the thumbs out of the thumb cuffs, I have no words,” Michael said. “I enjoyed it.”

For more information on Croniser, visit his website at

Also in the July 23-29, 2014 issue:

  • World-renowned performers to help The Beacon celebrate 80 years

CAP Award-winning drummer Ian Froman will perform wirg guitarist Chris Crocco Aug. 2 at The Beacon Theatre. - Courtesy photo


Contact Information

News, letters to the editor and calendar items:  EMAIL

Arts & Entertainment:

Call 845-297-3723