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Another Openin’, Another Show

The Port Chester Council for the Arts, in cooperation with the Port Chester Recreation Department, presents two musicals this month. Wear your blue suede shows to “All Shook Up”, set in 1955 in a Midwest town, and in rides a guitar-playing roustabout. The Elvis Presley music and the book by Joe DiPeitro, based on “Twelfth Night”, will have you on your feet. The show dates are July 21 and 22.

The following weekend, on July 28 and 29, journey to the African savannah for Disney’s “The Lion King Jr.” Join Simba, Rafiki, and an unforgettable cast of characters in this inspiring coming-of-age tale.

Both productions will be performed at 7:30 at School of the Holy Child, 2225 Westchester Avenue, Rye. Advance tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and children under 12. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tickets are also available at the door for $18 and $15, respectively.

Another View Into Thoreau’s World

This month marks the bicentennial of Henry David Thoreau’s birth, and a month-long display at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich offers insight into this celebrated American thinker, naturalist, and champion of social justice, who inspired Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many more. In addition to items from its own collection, the exhibit includes pieces loaned by a local Thoreau enthusiast.

With pix TK

Transformative

As part of its 60th anniversary celebration, Clay Art Center is resurrecting one of its most memorable exhibits, “Transformations 6x6”, which featured six-inch tiles now in the Center’s shop.

Over 180 artists are participating in “Redux: Transformations 6x6”, some 750 ceramic tiles transformed from three dimensions into two will fill the gallery walls. Executive Director Leigh Taylor Mickelson notes that many of the artists were in the first exhibit. I am excited to see how they will reimagine their work as a 6x6-inch tile nine years later.”

The opening reception is Saturday, July 22 from 6-8. Clay Art Center is located at 40 Beech Street in Port Chester.

The Sands of Summer

Tops on the calendar of fun for Westchester County residents is the Sand Castle Contest, August 5 from 11-4 at Glen Island Park in New Rochelle. Registration and rules can be found on parks.westchestergov.com. The rain date is August 6.

By Georgetta L. Morque

I hadn’t been to Miami in years and had never visited trendy South Beach. Given the wicked weather here, a trip there seemed long overdue.

South Beach, known as SoBe and sometimes called the American Riviera, is the neighborhood in Miami between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. A long boardwalk, which attracts a steady stream of walkers, runners and meanderers, showcases gorgeous beaches with aquamarine waters and chic hotels with balconies offering ocean views. These high rises and renovated historic and art deco treasures feature large-free form pools surrounded by inviting lounge areas plus open-air bars and restaurants that transform into a happening scene by sundown and beyond. Inside are stunning Hollywood set-worthy lobbies ideal for people watching.

A cosmopolitan city, Miami is filled with international residents and visitors, who aside from the beach, enjoy arts, culture, shopping, fine dining, and night life. We explored by Uber and headed downtown to the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), which features international modern and contemporary art in a 200,000 square-foot-facility designed by award-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron. A large veranda welcomes visitors to view Biscayne Bay while rocking on hammock-like swings designed by Konstantin Grcic, and entitled, “Netscape.” We enjoyed the sculpture garden and kinetic artist Julio Le Parc’s amazing large-scale interactive installations exploring light, movement and perceptions.

Our next stop was the not-to-be-missed Wynwood Walls, an entire block of giant outdoor murals by international street artists plus indoor studios and galleries. The Wynwood Arts District, north of downtown, is somewhat reminiscent of Manhattan’s SoHo but with a tropical feel with its small restaurants and bars offering innovative cuisine and fresh local seafood and unique boutiques tucked along the side streets.

We also explored the Art Deco District and popped in the Wolfsonian Museum to view some of its vast collection of American and European decorative and fine arts from the 1850s to the 1950s. There’s never time to do everything, but that’s a reason to return. An excursion to the Everglades and the famous Cuban Sandwich is on the list for the next visit, perhaps during the renowned art show, Art Basel.

Photos:

Miami’s long stretch of beach is a welcome oasis from the cold at home

One of many creative murals of the Wynwood Walls

 

By Paul Hicks

The summer before senior year in college, I worked the night shift with a classmate at a cannery across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco. Sleeping through the cool foggy mornings, we devoted our afternoons to discovering the charms of the city and environs that Herb Caen, a noted local reporter, called “Baghdad by the Bay.”

Spending a week in the Bay area recently, my wife and I were delighted to find that accolades such as these still hold true:

<The Bay Area is so beautiful, I hesitate to preach about heaven while I’m here.”>  Billy Graham

<You wouldn’t think such a place as San Francisco could exist. The wonderful sunlight here, the hills, the great bridges, the Pacific at your shoes. Beautiful Chinatown. Every race in the world. The sardine fleets sailing out. The little cable-cars whizzing down The City hills... And all the people are open and friendly.”> Dylan Thomas

<San Francisco is one of the great cultural plateaus of the world — one of the really urbane communities in the United States — one of the truly cosmopolitan places and for many, many years, it always has had a warm welcome for human beings from all over the world.”> Duke Ellington

We stayed in Sausalito, just over the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, at The Inn Above Tide, a small hotel with a panoramic view from our balcony of the San Francisco skyline and all around the bay. Located next to the ferry dock and marina, we could watch the flow of maritime traffic, including sailors, rowers, and paddle boarders, as well as many birds and an occasional seal.

 

Elephant Seals soaking up the sun

 

One of many highlights of our weeklong stay was a visit to the Point Reyes National Seashore, which is located less than an hour’s drive north of San Francisco. Within the park’s 100 square miles are vast stretches of undeveloped shoreline, wetlands, forests, and grasslands, but it is also one of the few national parks to allow long-established ranching families to lease grazing land from the government.

Guided by Daniel Dietrich (Point Reyes Safaris), a naturalist and wildlife photographer, we watched and listened to a multitude of noisy elephant seals sprawled upon a beach, waiting for the pups to grow strong enough to resume their semiannual migration northward and back. Among other memorable sightings were a herd of native Tule elk and a badger, plus many of the birds that make Point Reyes a birding hotspot.

Among our favorite places in the Bay area is Muir Woods National Monument, one of the last stands of old-growth redwood forest on Earth. In 1905, the forest property was given to the federal government in order to save it from logging and named in honor of John Muir, a pioneering naturalist. Because of its popularity as a tourist attraction, we got there just as it opened and were able to enjoy the tranquility of the forest following the easy trail along Redwood Creek.

One other outdoor adventure took us on a drive through miles of Napa County vineyards to the city of Napa. Passing up numerous wine-tasting offerings along the way, we enjoyed a delicious lunch and local wine at an excellent restaurant called Angele, one of a number that are located along the Napa River in the heart of the city. 

Our badger

There were three very good restaurants in Sausalito within easy walking distance of our hotel, but our favorite was one in Chinatown, despite its name (R and B Lounge). It was only a 20-minute drive from our hotel with little commuter traffic and very good directions from the GPS in our rental car.

We had equally good luck the two other times we drove into the city. One was to see a fascinating exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, exploring the influence of Henri Matisse on Richard Diebenkorn, who lived and worked for many years in the Bay area. It featured 40 Matisse paintings and drawings and 60 by Richard Diebenkorn. As explained by one reviewer: “Because Diebenkorn painted in both abstract and representational styles and wasn’t involved in the New York art scene, he is not as well-known as other American painters of his generation.

A return visit to the Bay area is back on our wish list. In the meantime, we have joined the company of its many admirers, including:

Rudyard Kipling: <San Francisco has only one drawback – ’tis hard to leave.”>

O. Henry: <“East is East, and West is San Francisco.”>

Paul Kantner: <San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality.”>  

Photos courtesy of Daniel Dietrich Photography

The Point Reyes coastline

 

Compiled by Robin Jovanovich With pix of Claude Lelouch, Juliette Binoche, Copyright 2016 courtesy of Alliance Française of Greenwich and Focus on French Cinema

MARCH 27

Vive le Cinéma

Be ready to be captivated all over again, Claude Lelouch is the honorary guest at the 13th annual Focus on French Cinema. Among the exciting lineup of films is the premiere of the 50th anniversary restoration of <“Un Homme et Une Femme”> (“A Man and a Woman”).

The exciting lineup of the best and latest French films includes <“Telle Mere, Telle Fille”> (“Baby Bumps”), starring Juliette Binoche; Lucien Jean-Baptiste’s hit comedy, <“Il a Déjà Tes Yeux> (“He Even Has Your Eyes”); and a special tribute to the Cinema of Québec.

 

The festival runs through April 2, with screenings at the Bow Tie Cinema in Greenwich. For tickets and a complete schedule, visit www.focusonfrenchcinema.org.

MARCH 30

Medicare for Beginners

If you are turning 65 or just plain confused about Medicare options, head to the Greenwich Library for a seminar on the subject from 6:30-8:30. The first half of the discussion will cover Medicare Supplement Plans vs. Advantage Plans. The second half will cover the many laws and programs that may be relevant to your situation. 

Presenter Lou Pelletier is a popular speaker on retirement and estate planning. He specializes in income planning for retirees with an emphasis on the transition from the asset accumulation and appreciation stage to the capital distribution stage of financial planning.

Needs a beautiful cherry blossom

APRIL 1

Cherry Blossom Time

The Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival returns to the Pelham Art Center from 2-4. Artist Shoko Iwata of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana will lead a floral design workshop, and participants will be able to take home their arrangements. A traditional Taiko drumming performance, featuring Taikoza and East Winds from New York City, will be held in the main gallery from 2-2:45.

In keeping with the spirit of the day, visitors can contribute to a community “wish tree” by writing messages of hope, which the Center will then mail to a central repository of wishes from around the world, becoming part of a project organized by Yoko Ono.

With pix of Christopher Spitzmiller

APRIL 1-2

Time-Honored Sign of Spring

The 32nd annual Bedford Spring Antiques Show will be held at the Harvey School in Katonah. The Show is open to the public on Saturday from 10-5, and Sunday, from 11-5. Admission at the door is $15. The show continues to attract both first-time buyers and seasoned collectors with an eclectic mix of furniture, fine art and prints, estate jewelry, silver, china, crystal, and decorative accessories presented by well-established dealers from across the East coast.

This year’s Honorary Design Chair is Christopher Spitzmiller, best known to design enthusiasts for his beautiful hand-thrown ceramic lamps, often featured in publications such as Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Elle Décor, Departures, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He has had the honor of making lamps for the current Oval Office, the past two White House Administrations, as well as Blair House and other distinguished American homes.

On Saturday from 3 to 5, Mr. Spitzmiller will give a keynote lecture entitled “In and Out of the Studio.” He will discuss his artistic process as well as collaborations with designers and his passion for and inspiration he draws from his farm and garden in the Hudson Valley. There will be champagne, Q&A, and ample time to mingle.

The Bedford Spring Antiques Show is sponsored by St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Bedford. For additional information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

With pix of Cara Collins

APRIL 2

Music at the Mansion

The Friends of Crawford Park will present an “Afternoon of Opera and American Classics” in their Music at the Mansion series. Join soprano Savannah Bisset, mezzo-soprano Cara Collins, and pianist Christopher Cooley for a delightful afternoon starting at 3. The program highlights will include selections from Bizet, Gounod, Mozart, Offenbach, Puccini, Saint-Säens, and Verdi. The program of America Classics will include selections from Rodgers & Hammerstein, Sondheim, and Weill.

Advance tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students. At the door, which opens at 2, tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students. Crawford Park is located at 122 North Ridge Street in Rye Brook. Parking is free and plentiful.

Music at the Mansion is typically held on Saturday evenings with a selection of rock, folk, and jazz performers.  Three years ago, The Friends decided to add performances of opera with American Standards, not knowing how well it would be received. They have experienced nearly sold-out performances since, delighting audiences of all ages.

For tickets and more information, visit www.musicatthemansion.org

Need an image of Jim Henson

APRIL 5

The Muppets Family

The time that Jim and Jane Henson, best known as creators of the Muppets, lived in Greenwich, was a formative period for them, personally and professionally. Through paintings, objects, puppets, photographs, and film, the upcoming exhibit at the Greenwich Historical Society, “Jim and Jane Henson: Creative Work, Creative Play,” focuses on the Henson’s family life and their contributions to the development of “Sesame Street” and the Mead School.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, free for members. The exhibit runs through October 8. For more information, visit www.greenwichhistory.org or call 203-869-6899.

Need pix of trio

APRIL 9

Musical Triumvirate

The Westchester Philharmonic welcomes the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio at the Purchase College Performing Arts Center at 3. Since making their debut at the White House for President Carter’s Inauguration in 1977, the trio has set the standard for performance of the piano trio literature.

To honor their monumental 40-year collaboration, the orchestra will present a trio of works by monumental composers: Mozart’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Bach’s Brandenburg No. 5, and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.

Come at 2 for a pre-concert discussion with the artists. For tickets, which start at $40, visit westchesterphil.org.

 

Compiled by Robin Jovanovich

APRIL 29

Wagging the Trails

Westchester Parks Foundation is holding its 2nd Annual Mutts on the Mountain Race at Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill from 8-12.

Bring your pup to what promises to be the largest dog gathering in the area this year.

Sign up for the 5K Trail race — 3.1 miles of steep climbs and rock scrambles. Check in at 8, the race begins at 9:15.

For those looking for an easier romp, the Lazy Dog 1M Fun Run is just the ticket. You’ll be able to explore a portion of Blee Mountain’s extensive trail system and take in views of the lake. Check in at 8, the race begins at 9:30.

The fee is $50 for each human-canine entry in the 5K, and $25 in the 1M Fun Run. All teams will receive dry-fit T-shirts and “Mutts” bandanas. Proceeds will go to support the Foundation’s mission to engage the public to advocate for investment in the preservation, conservation, use, and enjoyment of the 18,000 acres of parks, trails, and open space within the County Parks system.

To register, call 231-4600 or visit thewpf.org/event/mutts2017.

With photo

Rita Wilson and Chukwudi Iwuji in “Hedda Gabler”

APRIL 30

National Theatre Live

Experience the best of British theater, recorded live and rebroadcast in digital HD on the big screen of the Purchase Performing Arts Center’s PepsiCo Theatre. Ruth Wilson (“Luther”, “The Affair,” “Jane Eyre”) stars in Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler,” directed by Ivo van Hove, at 8.

On May 6, watch a new twist on Shakespeare’s classic comedy of mistaken identity, “Twelfth Night,” also at 8.

For tickets, call 251-6200.

(could use an image)

APRIL 30

Let’s Dance

Ballroom Extravaganza: Dancing in New York returns to the Emelin Theatre at 7. Many of the routines will feature paired professionals and talented students from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio, much like the partnerships on “Dancing With the Stars.” The Broadway-style spectacular offers two acts of specially choreographed Ballroom and Latin numbers, dynamic ensembles, and dazzling costumes.

For tickets, call 698-3045 or visit emelin.org.

MAY 6

Small Can Be Beautiful

The Mamaroneck Artists Guild is hosting its 13th Annual Small Works Exhibition from May 3-24. An opening reception is set for May 6 from 3 to 5.

Charles Ray, accomplished oil painter and director of the Silvermine School of Art, has selected paintings, sculpture, drawings, and mixed media. All of the works in this juried exhibition demonstrate remarkable skill, as they are 15 inches or smaller.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 12-5. Call 834-1117 for more information.

MAY 6

Gardener’s Delight

The Garden Education Center of Greenwich is holding its 56th annual May Gardeners Market from 9-2, rain or shine, in the Montgomery Pinetum. Over 20 dealers will be on hand with a wide variety of plants, horticulturally- inspired accessories, and organic food products.

Many of the dealers have been exhibiting year after year. Perennial favorite Bruce McCue specializes in wildflowers and native plants; Moorefield Farm with herbs and interesting succulents; Gazy Brothers Farm with fabulous hanging baskets; and Birdhouse Broker with handmade bird houses.

The fundraiser supports the Center’s educational and senior outreach programs. No on-site parking. A shuttle will be available at Cos Cob School. For further information, call 203-869-9242 or visit www.gecgreenwich.org.