COMMAND PERFORMANCE: Magician Mike Bent of Belmont made a successful reappearing act at the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday.
It was Bent’s seventh year performing his “AbraKidabra” family show at the event, which drew more than 30,000 people from all 50 states to the South Lawn for live music, games, healthy-cooking demonstrations, storytelling, and Easter egg festivities.
Bent, who landed his first invitation to perform through a magician friend in Washington, D.C., said the event has more than doubled in size since his original appearance, during the second Bush administration. While he lost track of the number of shows he performed during the 12-hour day, he said the excitement emanating from the continual waves of audience members kept his own energy level high. Between shows, he performed close-up magic tricks and posed his rabbit puppet, Puff, for photos with the kids.
“You see adults walk in with big smiles because they can’t believe they’re on the White House lawn, and the kids are so happy, too,” Bent said. “It’s a nice day for everybody.”
While he hasn’t met the Obama family, Bent said, he was recognized by the Secret Service and other staff members who warmly welcomed him back. As a volunteer, he isn’t reimbursed for travel and other expenses, but he said the event will remain on his calendar as long as he is invited to participate.
“It’s an honor,” he said. “I’m very happy doing it, and anytime I’m asked, I’ll be there in a heartbeat.”
BASEBALL CONVERT: After leaving his native England to move to Boston’s
Back Bay in 1979, Paul Shorthose found comfort away from his family and friends in baseball. Subtle similarities between America’s pastime and his beloved cricket were apparent even on his black-and-white television, and it was only a short walk to Fenway Park, where the only common denominator for friendship was unwavering support of the Red Sox.
His enduring love of the game and the Boston Red Sox, and its tradition of supporting local charities was rewarded recently when Shorthose, who now lives in Needham, was named president of the BoSox Club, the team’s official fan club. Steve Hollingsworth of Wellesley and Mike Vining of Dover, N.H., were elected as vice presidents, and Audrey Prihoda of Needham is secretary of the all-volunteer group.
Established in 1967, the booster organization organizes a trip to spring training, hosts monthly luncheons and game-day barbecues at Fenway Park, and awards the Dom DiMaggio Scholarship and BoSox Man of the Year prize. BoSox meetings also feature appearances by active and former players and coaches, as well as television, radio, and newspaper baseball insiders. The members give back through fund-raising efforts for the Red Sox Foundation, the Jimmy Fund, and baseball organizations throughout New England.
Shorthose (above) said he is proud to “carry on the mission of all things baseball” on behalf of his favorite team and fellow fans. He is also encouraged by the number of “scrappy” players with “great attitudes” he saw at spring training, including rookie outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., pitcher Allen Webster, and shortstop Jose Iglesias.
“There’s something magical about baseball,” Shorthose said. “This could be the year they
The next BoSox event is a club luncheon on Friday. For membership information, visit www.bosoxclub.com.
WATERTOWN ROOTS: Author and activist Nancy Kricorian is returning to her hometown of Watertown on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. for a free presentation and book-signing event at St. James Armenian Church, 465 Mt. Auburn St.
Her new novel, “All the Light There Was,” tells the story of an Armenian family living in Nazi-occupied Paris during the 1940s.
Kricorian (below), who now lives in New York, wrote two previous novels about the Armenian experience, “Zabelle” and “Dreams of Bread and Fire.”
An award-winning poet, she is on the national staff of CODEPINK Women for Peace.
IN TRIBUTE TO KOLLWITZ: Newton resident Ralf Yusuf Gawlick, an award-winning composer and assistant music professor at Boston
College, will debut his new song about German graphic artist and sculptor Käthe Kollwitz at 8 p.m. Monday in the Chestnut Hill college’s Gasson Hall.
The piece’s title, “Kollwitz-Konnex . . . im Frieden seiner Hände,” translates to “Kollwitz-Connection . . . in the Peace of His Hands.” Based on Kollwitz’s life, art, and writings, it will be performed by soprano Anne Harley and guitarist Eliot Fisk. Excerpts from Kollwitz’s diary and nine large reprints of her self-portraits will be on display.
Gawlick hopes his composition will bring greater attention to Kollwitz, who advocated for victims of social injustice, war, and inhumanity. She died at age 77 in April 1945.
“She was a remarkable woman and artist, relatively unknown to American audiences,” Gawlick said. “It is my desire, and that of the living Kollwitz heirs, to bring the profound humanism and artistry of her art and writings to Boston College and the wider community.”
Related events at Boston College, all of which are free, include a Kollwitz symposium on Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. in Room 101 of Devlin Hall; another musical program Thursday at 8 p.m. in Gasson Hall‘s Room 100; and art exhibitions in the Burns and Bapst libraries through April 22.
TRAINING ON WHEELS: There are openings for sponsors and volunteer spotters for iCan Shine’s iCan Bike program, which will teach individuals with disabilities to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle during vacation week, April 15-19, at Ottoson Middle School, 63 Acton St. in Arlington.
While there is a waiting list for participants, the program is open to ages 8 and older, including adults who can walk without assistive devices. Volunteers (at least 14 years old) are needed as spotters; they will help with the same camper’s 75-minute sessions all five days. An orientation for volunteers will be held next Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m.
ON STAGE: Four local actors will perform in the Boston Children’s
Theatre production of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” opening Saturday at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St. in Boston.
The musical follows the mishaps of Alexander, played by Sebastian Wood of Brookline. Alexander’s older brother, Nick, is played by Nicholas Cook of Brookline; Audree Hedequist of Wellesley plays his classmate, Audrey; and Marisa Lazar of Brookline plays Alexander’s teacher, Mrs. Dickens.
The show continues through April 20; for tickets, call 617-933-8600 or visit www.bostonchildrenstheatre.org.