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Hollywood humorist Dylan Brody returning to Franklin County

  • Hollywood humorist Dylan Brody is performing a benefit show for Silverthorne Theater Company on Nov. 9 at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO


Staff Report
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Dylan Brody has come a long way since he graduated from Northfield Mount Hermon School in 1982, touring the West Coast as a popular storyteller and humorist.

On Nov. 9, Brody returns to the Pioneer Valley for a special benefit show for Silverthorne Theater Company called, “The Greatest Show Ever: Hilarious Stories and Poignant Meditations on the World We Share.” The show, which Brody describes as the long-awaited follow-up to his 2009 hit show, “More Arts/Less Martial,” will start at 8 p.m. at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield.

According to Silverthorne’s Managing Director Lucinda Kidder, the theater company wanted to hold a fundraiser to put itself on sound financial footing for the 2019 performance season.

“We really want to go into the next season very solid,” she said. “We don’t have a big enough house to be able to pay for everything with our ticket sales.”

The nonprofit organization also receives grant funding. However, Kidder emphasized the need to pay numerous bills, such as royalties for its shows, salaries for actors with the Actors’ Equity Association labor union, insurance costs and rental fees for its space at Hawks & Reed.

Regardless, Kidder said it was actually Brody who reached out to Silverthorne with the idea of doing a benefit show.

“Dylan contacted us last spring and said ‘I want to do a fundraiser for you guys,” she recalled. “I don’t think I would have ever thought about something like this, but I jumped at the chance, of course. ... This is a whole difference genre from what we normally do.”

Kidder explained that Brody studied theater at NMH with Silverthorne Co-Founder David Rowland, and was familiar with the theater company through Rowland.

“He has a real affinity for the Pioneer Valley and really enjoys it back here,” she said, noting that Brody has family in Boston.

Given his local connections, Brody also became NMH’s first-ever artist in residence, and is a member of Silverthorne’s honorary advisory board.

With fans that include comedic legends such as Robin Williams, Roseanne Barr, Richard Lewis and Carl Reiner, Brody has earned a reputation as one of America’s fastest rising storytellers. Jay Leno has used Brody’s work in his monologues on NBC’s “The Tonight Show.”

In addition to being an in-demand performer, Brody has earned a reputation as an author, with recent publications that include “Last Laughs,” “The Modern Depression Guidebook” and “A Tale of A Hero and the Song of her Sword.” Brody will be signing copies of his book at the fundraiser, and a selection of his comedy CDs and DVDs will be available, too.

Kidder described Brody as having “a very nice manner for standup comedy and storytelling.”

“He isn’t the edgy, in-your-face type of comic,” she said. He has wonderful stories and the way he tells them is just really appealing.”

Keeping in the spirit of dressing up following Halloween, Kidder said guests are invited to wear black-tie attire. To “bring a little glamour to Greenfield,” there will be a red carpet leading up to Hawks & Reed, paparazzi to take photos and special lights, “just like a Hollywood opening.”

“But we’re not going to turn anybody away if they come in their jeans!” Kidder clarified.

Those who purchased their tickets prior to Oct. 20 became eligible to win a free limousine ride to and from the event donated by the West County Limo Service, which was awarded to a party of five, Kidder said. An intimate lunch with Brody at Thai Blue Ginger is also being offered at $20 per person.

Donations from West County Limo Service and the Centennial House Bed & Breakfast in Northfield (which will provide housing for Brody), as well as from sponsors, is allowing Silverthorne to keep the event’s expenses low and thus raise as much money as possible. Kidder said the theater company is aiming to make $5,000 or $6,000 in gross proceeds.  Premium table seating is $50 per person. General admission theater seating is $35 per person. Tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.com or by calling 413-768-7514.