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George Christy Talks About Gary Murphy, Sicily, The Wallis, Bitter Almonds and more

The Wallis’ Gary Murhphy (at right) with Jason La Padura met Maria Grammatico whose pastericcia in the Sicilian town of Erice is world famous, having been acclaimed in Mary Simetti’s memoir Bitter Almonds. Only a few of Gary’s photos from his album are displayed here.

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The Wallis thrums these nights with the pulsating chords of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s powerful romantic harmonies.  

Mr. Hershey Felder is on stage, metamorphosed as the Russian composer, narrating his historic life,  with a Russian accent that easily rivals the dialect diva Meryl Streep’s talent for perfecting the accents of the characters she portrays.

A full house greeted Hershey on opening night, whose performance is directed by Trevor Hay, with Joel Zwick  (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) as consulting producer. 

Loyal admirers recall Hershey’s concerts as George Gershwin, Mozart, Irving Berlin, Franz Liszt, and others.  

Hershey’s a genius talent, acclaimed by the international culturati. 

A 50-year-old Montrealer wed to the former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell.

In the enthusiastic crowd:  Lois and Jerry Magnin, Eunice David,  Lynn and Les Bider, Luanne Wells, Jacqueline and Clarence Avant, Dottie and Marvin Chanin,    Sukey Garacetti, Carol Goldsmith, Marc Selwyn. 

Also Judy Henning and Dick Rosenzweig, Judy and Bernard Briskin, Vicki Reynolds and Murray Pepper,   Marcy Gross, Elaine and Ronald Stein,  May and Richard Ziman, Julie Lorraine and Clive Segil, Julie and Bruce Goldsmith, Regina and Gregory Weingarten.

Overseeing the evening were The Wallis’ marketing manager Joel Hile, and public relations consultant Gary Murphy, who informs the performances are extended until August 13.

“A trip worthy at least once in a lifetime,” recollected Gary of his Easter week visit to the Italian island of Sicily, centered in the Mediterranean Sea.

“Whether one is religious or not, the spectacles of pageants and processions are unforgettable.     

“Sicily is a very special place, having been inhabited for centuries by the Greeks who built magnificent temples and amphitheaters. Today the myriad influences of its cuisine are inspired by the Greeks, the Moors, the Arabs and others.

“My traveling companions included Ellen Porter, Rosalie Woodside and Jason La Padura.  We happily discovered Maria Grammatico’s Pastericcia’s that had us yearning for more of her Scilian specialties.

“The marzipan is exceptional, having been made famous by Mary Simetti’s travel memoir, Bitter Almonds.

“We discovered Maria in the mountain top town of Erice, founded by Aphrodites, which has played a prominent place in the stories of Hercules.

“Sicily is an island we found unique and exotic and we’d love to visit again.”

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