Pittsfield Rainbow Seniors wowed by stories from Bill Finn, dancing with Vic Ziter

Bill Finn at the piano. Photo by Alex Reczkowski.
Bill Finn at the piano. Photo by Alex Reczkowski.

The July Pittsfield gathering of Rainbow Seniors on July 2 at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield was truly a personal “show and tell” event that will be long remembered.

Show – Vic Ziter

The “show” part was led by member Vic Ziter who is a professional ballroom instructor as he introduced a whole bunch of Rainbow Seniors and guests to the simple basics of classic steps. Dancing with each of them, and then with each other, the dance was such fun it went into overtime. I participated for the first part, and then had the pleasure to watch my friends take to the floor, becoming ever more confident as they practiced.

Tell – William Finn

Bill Finn opened the meeting with his own show and tell. Tony winner, Pulitzer Prize nominee and creator of the Broadway shows Falsettos and the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Bill Finn is both a Pittsfield resident during the warmer half of the year, and the producing director of the Musical Theatre Lab at Barrington Stage Company.  During the winter he teaches at NYU. This fall his musical, Falsettos, is being revived by the Lincoln Center Theatre.

Finn spoke off-the-record, sharing much of his life on, off and backstage starting with Williams College and leading to the Great White Way. It seemed everyone in attendance had a question to hurl at him, and he swung right back with witty answers and an honesty that was – at times – breathtaking. To top off his act he pulled the cover off the Berkshire Athenaeum’s well-tuned piano and gave us a rendition of his latest ditty, a song written for his rabbi and synagogue in New York City.

A good time was had by all.


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