My View: Extra Special “Local Talent” Linda Lavin plays Helsinki Hudson

My View: Extra Special “Local Talent” Linda Lavin plays Helsinki Hudson

On Monday Linda Lavin performed her show titled “My Second Farewell Concert” in New York City at the legendary Birdland. Last night she said a great sophisticated musical hello with her exciting Cabaret Act to the Hudson Valley at Helsinki Hudson.   Linda’s new show, as always is advertised “With” Billy Stritch and “extra special guest” Aaron Weinstein.  “With”, is the accurate word for Mr. Stritch because he does not just accompany a performer.  When Billy plays (or sings) for you he is totally supportive with his his harmonic creativity and provides one of the best pianistic underpinnings in show business.  “Extra Special Guest” is an example of truth in advertising when you’re talking about Aaron Weinstein.  His violin artistry and jazz arrangements had the Helsinki audience cheering, and his instrumental duets with Linda produced many “extra special” moments.  “And Now Ya Know”  (a phrase Linda’s mother always used.)

Helsinki Tea Company and Club Helsinki was founded in 1995 as the brain child of Deborah McDowell, who was looking to bring her love of community, tea, good food and music to the Berkshires, harkening back to her family of artists and the years her grandfather spent managing the Hotel Helsinki in Finland. Two years later, Columbia County native Marc Schafler, whose family operated Camp Natchez on the edge of the Borscht belt, joined her and Club Helsinki was born.

(For another article by Stephen & complete photo coverage of this show go to

Aaron Weinstein, Tom Hubbard, Billy Stritch, Linda Lavin, Steve Bakunas, Ron Afif

Billy Stritch & Linda Lavin

Lynn Ahrens & LInda Lavin

Eda Sorokoff & Billy Stritch

Lynn Ahrens, Lee Tannen, Stephen Sorokoff

Helsinki Hudson

(For complete photos of this show go to


Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on, and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is thrilled to be the cabaret/ music and co-theatre editor. email:

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