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JANUARY 6

Talented Triumvirate

Kenise Barnes Fine Art in Larchmont opens its 2018 season with “Revivify — Susan English, Catherine Latson, Janna Watson”. The public is invited to a reception from 6:30-8. This three-person exhibition will be on view in Gallery II through February 17.

Boundless curiosity and close observation are manifest in the work of Catherine Latson. Her “Specimen Series” is inspired by sea anemones and the motion of the water-bound world.

Susan English creates evocative surfaces by pouring layers of tinted polymer on wood panel.

A young artist who has quickly made an impression on the contemporary art scene, Janna Watson’s abstract compositions possess an elegant and powerful vitality.

With pix of

Saxophonist Donny McCaslin

JANUARY 7

On the Beat

Greenwich Library’s Peterson Concert Series hosts saxophonist Donny McCaslin and keyboard player Jason Linder at 3:30 in the Cole Auditorium.

Donny McCaslin and Jason Lindner comprise half of the Donny McCaslin Quartet, the ensemble that backed David Bowie on the pop icon’s final album, “Blackstar”, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart in 2016. 

Together, they bring their well-honed jazz sensibilities to bear on free-form explorations that evolve in ways that reflect the players’ telepathic interaction and the musical logic peculiar to the spontaneous composition in which they are involved.

McCaslin is one of the most highly acclaimed saxophonists on the scene today and has received several Grammy nominations. Pianist Linder, a recording artist in his own right, has been characterized by Ben Ratliff in The New York Times as “robust, kinetic, and mature with muscular, beat-centric arrangements.”  

The Peterson Concert Series is open to all at no charge through the support of the Greenwich Library Board of Trustees and generous donors. Doors open at 3. For more information, call 203-622-7917.

JANUARY 12

Play It Again

The Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck once again presents its annual Oscar Contender Series, giving movie lovers an opportunity to see some of the best films of 2017 just before the 90th Academy Awards. The theatre is equipped with stadium seating and state-of-the-art digital projection.

This year’s picks include Best Picture hopeful, “The Big Sick”, the rom-com summer box office hit and film festival darling starring Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Ray Romano, and Holly Hunter; and “Dunkirk”, Christopher Nolan’s World War II film which scored big with critics and at the box office, and is a potential nominee across several Oscar categories.

The films will be shown Friday nights at 8. For a complete schedule and to buy tickets, visit emelin.org.

Pix of

Andy Pitz

Adam Oliensis

JANUARY 20

Comedy Tonight!

Music at the Mansion is changing its name — for one night only — to Comedy at the Mansion, when Adam Oliensis and his LoHud Comedy tour take over the Crawford Mansion in Rye Brook.

The laughs begin at 8. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Go to www.musicatthemansion.org. Proceeds will go toward beautification of 36-acre Crawford Park.

Andy Pitz is the evening’s headliner. He’s been doing standup for 20 years. He zeroes in on the everyday things he’s obsessed with — his marriage, fatherhood, technology, and social networking.

Host Adam Oliensis, Rockland’s King of Comedy, explores the lessons in humility he’s learning from his wife and especially from his children, along with the adjustments forced on him by genuine adulthood.

This is the last program at Crawford Mansion for the next year. Starting February 1, it will be closed for renovation. The Music at the Mansion concert series will resume in 2019.

Catherine Latson, <Specimen 5>, 2017, hand-dyed cotton thread, cotton, wire

Photo by Catherine Latson

Compiled by Robin Jovanovich

OCTOBER 21

A COLLAGIAL GROUP

The Art Society of Old Greenwich will sponsor a Collage Workshop from 10:30 to 12:30 at the Old Greenwich Civic Center. Award-winning artists Carol Nipomnich Dixon, Mary Fike Dowling, and Kathryn Shorts will present samples of their art before leading attendees in creating their own.

Bring found papers, photographs, and fabrics from home. The event is free and open to the public.

Joseph Fama, <Rye Shore Afternoon>

OCTOBER 22

FOR LOVERS OF LANDSCAPES

Fresh from the Rye Arts Center’s En Plein Air Exhibit, a one-man show of Joseph Fama’s landscape paintings opens with a reception from 2-4 at Les Beaux Arts Gallery, located in the Round Hill Community Church in Greenwich.

OCTOBER 26

RANT, WHITE & BLUE

Lewis Black, one of the most prolific and popular performers working today, brings his cutting-edge comedy to The Palace Theatre in Stamford at 8. More enraged optimist than mean-spirited curmudgeon, his live performances provide a cathartic release of anger and disillusionment for his audience.

He came to national prominence with his appearances on “The Daily Show” in 1996. Those appearances led to comedy specials on HBO, Comedy Central, Showtime, and Epix. In 2001, he won Best Male Stand-Up at the American Comedy Awards. Black has released eight comedy albums, including the 2007 GRAMMY award-winning Carnegie Hall performance, and is the author of three bestselling books.

Tickets are $45-$75. Visit palacestamford.org or call 203-325-4466.

Natalie Weiss stars as Molly

OCTOBER 27-29

A GHOSTLY ROMANCE

Get ready to fall in love all over again. Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg made “Ghost” one of the biggest hit films of all time. Now the Oscar-winning film comes alive on stage in the smart, suspenseful, and romantic “Ghost the Musical.” It’s a great date night choice and at the White Plains Performing Arts Center all weekend long.

With a fresh pop/rock score by Grammy winners Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard (Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know”), the musical follows Sam and Molly, a young couple whose connection takes a shocking turn after Sam’s untimely death. Trapped between two worlds, Sam refuses to leave Molly when he learns she is in grave danger. Desperate to communicate with her, he turns to a storefront psychic, Oda Mae Brown, who helps him protect Molly and avenge his death.

For a complete schedule and to buy tickets, go to wppac.com or call 328-1600.

NOVEMBER 1

WATCHFUL WEDNESDAYS

The Bruce Museum in Greenwich highlights the Post-Impressionists in a new film series from 10:30-11:30. Learn about the work, artistic techniques, and lives of Paul Gaugin (Nov. 1), Vincent van Gogh (Nov. 8), and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Nov. 15).

Admission is free for members, $10 for non-members. Registration is required. Visit brucemuseum.org or call 203-869-0376.

NOVEMBER 4

Pure Country Rock

Experience the country-rock music band that brought such classics as “Amie” and “Let Me Love You Tonight” live at the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck at 8. Whether Pure Prairie League is “Pickin’ To Beat the Devil,” or taking you riding down a “Two Lane Highway,” expect a sure-fire good time.

The American band’s longevity is a testament of the timelessness of the music. Its rich history goes back to 1969 in the Southern Ohio area where a group of young musicians who initially played cover tunes at local bars, went on to create memorable classics.

Tickets start at $30. Visit emelin.org.

 

 

DECEMBER 2

A Great Estate Sale

You’ll find something for nearly everyone on your list at the Junior League of Westchester-on-Hudson’s Holiday Boutique at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown today and tomorrow from 10-4 and Sunday from 10-3.

Daily admission is $10, free for children 16 and under. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Open Door Family Medical Center and Nyack Hospital.

With pix

DECEMBER 3

Till the Cows Come Home to Type!

The Friends of Greenwich Library present a musical for young audiences, “Click, Clack, Moo”, based on the Caldecott Honor book by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin at 3.

When Farmer Brown’s granddaughter comes for a visit, he declares the farm a “tech-free zone”, and puts her laptop in the chilly barn. The shivering cows use her computer to type messages requesting blankets.

The cows go on strike and are joined by the chickens. Will Farmer Brown give in to their demands? Will Jenny get her computer back?

Find out in this “moo-ving” new musical about negotiation and compromise staged by Theatreworks USA. The production is geared for grades K-4.

Doors open at 2:30. Admission is free. Register in advance at www.greenwichlibrary.org.

DECEMBER 8

New Take on a Dickens Classic

The whole family will enjoy a modern and abridged production of “A Christmas Carol” at Muscoot Farm from 5-8. Scrooge still has to change his greedy ways and discover the good things in life. In the process, audiences are taken in and out of different character’s homes.

Dress warmly, as the performance will be held indoors and outdoors. Registration is required as seating is limited. The show will also go on Dec. 9, 15 and 16, same time. Muscoot, an early 20th-century interpretative farm, is located in Katonah. Call 864-7282 for tickets.

DECEMBER 8

Haydn for the Holidays

The Village Singers of Westchester will present their annual Holiday Concert at the Crawford Park Mansion in Rye Brook at 8. The highlight of the program is Franz Joseph Haydn’s Petite Organ Mass.

Tickets are $15, $10 for students. Refreshments will be served. Call 937-5212.

DECEMBER 13

Bach in Bedford

The Bedford Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Anthony Newman, will perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos at St. Matthew’s Church at 8. Mr. Newman, a renowned Bach expert and keyboard phenomenon, has performed the Concerti 21 times throughout his musical career.

Tickets are $40, which includes refreshments during the intermission. Visit www.bedfordchamberconcerts.org or call 522-5150. St. Matthew’s is located at 382 Cantitoe Street (Route 22) in Bedford.

DECEMBER 26

It’s in the Bag

Join in an Emelin holiday tradition and enjoy the latest fun-filled production from The Paper Bag Players, “That’s Quite Absurd”, at 11 or 1:30. The show will also be performed Dec. 27, same times.

This talented and creative troupe packs their shows with stories, songs, freewheeling dances, audience participation, and paper bag costumes and scenery. Perfect for ages 4 and up.

For tickets, go to emelin.org or call 698-0098.

 

Out of Here — Activities Outside Rye

 

OCTOBER 7-8

Bringing the Arts Outdoors

The Bruce Museum hosts its 36th Annual Outdoor Arts Festival from 10-5 this weekend. More than 85 new and returning artists from across the country will showcase their work.

“What makes this juried show so special is the caliber of the exhibitors,” says Festival organizer Sue Brown Gordon. “They choose the Bruce Museum because of its ‘originals only’ policy.”

Admission of $10 includes admission to the Museum, whose current exhibits include “Toulouse-Lautrec Portraits from the Herakleidon Museum.”

For a preview of the Festival, visit brucemuseum.org.

October 7

Studies in Black

The Harrison Council for the Arts presents “Pre-Columbian Mexican Pottery” sumi ink paintings by Jim Maciel at the Harrison Public Library on view until October 28 

The black ink works in the show were inspired by a visit to the Anthropological Museum in Mexico City. “Sumi ink is used in calligraphy. I work from photos I take in my travels,” explained Maciel. “I do a detailed drawing first then paint from light to dark. My influence is Chiura Obata, who created remarkable paintings of the Yosemite Valley.”

Call 835-0324 or visit harrisonpl.org for library hours.

OCTOBER 13

The Neighborhood Tiger

Daniel Tiger purrs his way to The Palace Theatre in Stamford with an all-new show at 4. The musical is based on the No. 1 PBS KIDS TV series.

During an adventure in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Daniel learns what it takes to be king.

The show is a mix of roaring fun and valuable lessons of kindness, helping others, and being a friend.

Tickets start at $25. Call the box office at 203-325-4466 or visit palacestamford.org.

OCTOBER 14

TRAINMAN

Rick Abramson, aka the Railroad Man, a 44-year veteran of the Connecticut railways, returns to Greenwich Library at 2 to discuss the streamlined trains of the 1930s and their designers.

Like any business, railroad management wanted to increase business and revenue by providing clean, modern passenger cars. They employed professional designers to achieve this goal. Abramson’s talk will cover the evolution of streamlining trains from as early as the 1860s to its high point in the 1930s. There will also be models on display of some of the locomotives.

Abramson has been fascinated with train since age 6, both real and model. His dream of working for the railroad came true in February of 1968 when he was as hired by the New Haven Railroad, holding a variety of positions over the years — freight agent, station supervisor, locomotive engineer, train dispatcher, and superintendent. He recently retired as Superintendent of Operations for the Housatonic Railroad in Canaan, Conn.
Rick is an avid model railroad hobbyist. His models are known for their detail and accuracy.

The presentation is open to all at no charge and will be held in the Library Meeting Room. Registration is strongly recommended. Register using the Library’s online calendar or contact Carl White, Local History Librarian, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 203-622-7948.

Winter scene by Pat Wagner

Michele Sobel, <Modern Mother>

Christine Teter, <Ripple> watercolor

Rock art by Laurie McAllister

 

OCTOBER 15

SUPERZIP SHOW

The Port Chester Council for the Arts presents the seventh annual ART10573, a fine art exhibition and sale featuring the work of local professional visual artists. The show takes place at Crawford Park Mansion on N. Ridge Street in Rye Brook, from 11-5. Admission is free and open to the public.

The participating artists will present work in a variety of mediums, including watercolor, acrylic, pen and ink, colored pen, colored pencil, oil, figurative art, mixed media, cartooning, photography, pebbles and driftwood, fabric, fiber landscapes, gold leaf, and Swarovski crystal.

Among the artists are Port Chester residents Ileana Hernandez Carafas, April Dessereau, Laurie MacAllister, Gregory Maggi, Grace Mora, Christine Morgan Teter, Patrice Pelissier and Paul M. Rively Jr.; Rye Brook residents Joyce Askanasi, Michele Sobel, and Pat Wagner; and Yonkers resident Steven Rossi.

A selection of work by student artists from local high schools will also be on view. Donna Cribari will provide musical accompaniment throughout the day.

An hourly raffle will feature small pieces donated by each artist, with proceeds benefiting the Council’s Summer ArtsCamp scholarship fund.

The Port Chester Council for the Arts, founded in 1981, is committed to providing high-quality, innovative programs that build and encourage cooperation and community. For more information about ART10573, call the PCCFA office at 939-3183 or visit www.portchestercfa.org.

 

AT THE MOVIES

By Noah Gittell

There are certain unalienable truths about Tom Cruise. His smile always works. He always gets the girl. He doesn’t die (except in “Collateral” when he played the villain). These qualities made Cruise the most infallible movie star of the last 35 years, but nothing lasts forever, especially in Hollywood. In his latest, Doug Liman’s “American Made,” he inhabits the same type of hero he has perfected in the past – the cocksure American winner - but for the first time there are chinks in his shiny armor. His smile is now a salesman’s smile, and it hides a deeper fear. His girl threatens to leave him constantly, and for the first time, we sense the possibility that he might not make it out alive. In a few scenes, he is actually missing a tooth, which turns that movie star grin into a comedic prop.

His character in “American Made” plays like a subversion of role that launched his movie star career: Maverick in “Top Gun.” Here, Cruise is Barry Seal, a commercial airline pilot with the skill to be much more. First in his class at the Naval Academy, he now supplements his modest income for his wife (Sarah Wright) and child by smuggling Cuban cigars in from Canada. The CIA, represented only by the smarmy, mysterious Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson) use the cigars for leverage to get him engaged in more serious flying. It’s 1979, and they want him to take surveillance photos of the Communist rebels in Latin America. It’s a dangerous job, but Seal is so bored he would have done it for free.

Structurally, the story is framed by a series of videos made by Seal in a cheap motel room, putting his story down on tape in case something happens to him. It’s a well-worn technique, but it allows Cruise to speak directly to the audience, using his charisma to anchor the film’s wildly scattered plot. When he looks out at us from beneath his still-brown bangs, it remains unthinkable to look away. “It gets crazy from here,” he says at one point, and it does indeed, but we’re willing to follow him into any situation.

After winning praise for his photos of the rebels, the CIA asks him to start smuggling – first cash, then guns, then eventually the Contras themselves. His charisma, which includes a spotty Southern accent, serves him well as he befriends Pablo Escobar, who is so charmed that he starts paying him to smuggle his product back into the U.S. Soon, Seal is running missions for every side, and making money faster than he and his family can spend it.

It’s a thrilling real-life story (although highly fictionalized), even if the telling is a little too familiar. With its fast pace, electric photography, and classic rock songs on the soundtrack, director Doug Liman is working from the playbook created by Martin Scorsese in “Goodfellas.” There are also hints of “Blow” and “American Hustle.” It’s the classic rise and fall of an American outlaw — an irresistible story — but these films increasingly favor style over substance, relying on energetic editing and evocative rock songs to make up for a lack of characterization or a predictable script.

For “American Made,” it works but just barely. The formulaic script by Gary Spinelli never conjures any real drama, but Liman keeps the pedal to the floor, moving so quickly through Seal’s real-life adventures that there is no time to stop and ask what it all means. Like one of Seal’s planes, it flies through the air at record speeds, and while it’s hard to keep track of the cargo, we’re there mostly just for the thrill.

Only Cruise – the star, the performer, and the actor – brings any real significance to “American Made.” If the character is a revision of the unbeatable, exceptional Cruise persona, it could be a harbinger of a next phase in his career that is long overdue. If not, Barry Seal represents only the type of character he should be playing, those who know that American exceptionalism is just a dream and every winning streak must come to an end.

My Rating: See it in the Theater

 

Compiled by Robin Jovanovich

NOVEMBER 17

Handmade for the Holidays

Pelham Art Center opens its annual Craft Marketplace with a reception from 6:30-8. You’ll find a dynamic collection of high-quality and affordable ceramics, jewelry, and silver works from local and national artists. All ages are invited to take part in a free workshop on wire jewelry.

The exhibition and sale run through December 30. For more information, visit www.pelhamartcenter.org.


NOVEMBER 18

Clay for the Holidays

The opening reception for the Clay Art Center Annual Holiday Sale and Studio Tour will be held from 6-8. Featured are hundreds of pieces of fine, functional pottery and ceramic sculpture by locally and nationally recognized artists. Meet the artists and enjoy food and drinks. The sale runs through December 22, Monday through Saturday from 10-5.

On December 2 and 9, drop the kids (ages 6-15) at an Ornament Making Clay Class at 1:30 or 3:30 and shop for gifts for yourself or others. The fee is $20 per child. For more information, visit www.clayartcenter.org.

NOVEMBER 24

Hilarious Hijinks

To kick off the holiday season, The White Plains Performing Arts Center presents “Junie B. in Jingle Bells Batman Smells” at 11 and 2. Take a rest from Christmas shopping and enjoy a fun-filled show about everyone’s favorite first grader.

Junie B. Jones is super-excited about the upcoming Holiday Sing-Along and Secret Santa gift exchange at her school. Too bad tattletale May keeps ruining all of her fun, until Junie B. draws May's name for Secret Santa.

Created for young audiences and performed by adults, “Junie B. in Jingle Bells Batman Smells” is based on the best-selling book series by Barbara Park.

Tickets start at $16. Call 328-1600 or visit wppac.com.

DECEMBER 3

Sacred Shopping

The region’s finest vendors will offer exquisite gifts at the Sacred Heart Greenwich Holiday Boutique from 12-4 at the school’s athletic center at 1177 King Street. Children can shop at Santa’s Workshop, guided by Sacred Heart student volunteers, for reduced-priced gifts for the whole family.

To learn more, go to www.cshgreenwich.org/comehomeforchristmas.

 

DECEMBER 2

A Music Man

Acclaimed pianist Christopher O’Riley, the host of NPR’s “From the Top,” will perform a wide-ranging repertoire from classical sonatas to his own arrangements of songs by bands such as Radiohead and The Smiths, at the Emelin Theatre at 8.

Now in his 17th year on-air, O’Riley introduces the next generation of classical music stars to almost a million listeners each week, broadcast by 250 stations across the United States.

Join the Emelin for a glass of wine as well as a discussion with the artist after the concert. Tickets start at $32. Go to emelin.org.

 

 

Out of Here — Activities Outside of Rye

Compiled by Robin Jovanovich

SEPTEMBER 9-10

Go Native

Head to Rosedale Nurseries in Hawthorne this weekend, from 9-5:30, to stock up on native plants, and, while you’re there, learn more about them at free talks. The talks include: Hot Plants for Butterflies, Native Plants for Shady Areas, Trees That Attract Wildlife, and Plants and Best Practices for the Fall Native Garden.

A percentage of sales will go to The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College. Members receive a 10% discount at Rosedale. Not a member? Stop by the Native Plant Center information table and join for same-day rewards.

With pix

Romare Bearden, <River Mist,> 1962, mixed media

Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, NY

SEPTEMBER 10

The Other Romare Bearden

Largely unknown abstract works by Romare Bearden are the focus of an exhibit that opens today at the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase. The 20th-century artist is best known for his uniquely textured collages evoking the history, culture, richness and tension of the African-American experience, which are found in every major museum collection in the country.

The Neuberger show reveals a startling body of work he produced throughout the 1950s and early 1960s comprised of exquisite, fully-abstract watercolors, oil paintings, and mixed media collages. Most of that work is largely unknown; that is about to change. 

“Romare Bearden: Abstraction” runs through December 22. The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12-5.

SEPTEMBER 16

Food for Thought

Manhattanville College in Purchase is hosting a Food Justice Festival, complete with workshops, panel discussions, and garden demonstrations, from 9-5. Be inspired by chef/writer/advocate Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, learn how to create an edible garden, and hear experts on food policy and action.

For more information, call 323-5239 or visit community.mville.edu/mfa.

SEPTEMBER 16

Art with Heart

Yolanda Sánchez, <A Verdant Heart>, 2017, oil on canvas

A solo show of new paintings by Cuban-born artist Yolanda Sánchez opens at Kenise Barnes Fine Art in Larchmont, with a reception from 6:30-8. “A Verdant Heart” features seven new large-scale paintings from the artist’s Miami studio.

“Sánchez continues the legacy of painters such as Franz Kline, Brice Marden, and Cy Twombly,” notes director Kenise Barnes. “The expert cadence of her brushstroke communicates unheard rhythms and the harmonies of opposing forces.”

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10-5:30. For information, visit KBFA.com.

SEPTEMBER 17

Puttin’ on the Dog

Pets, and the people who love them, won’t want to miss the 30th annual Adopt a Dog festival at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich from 10-4:30. In addition to fun canine competitions, families will be able to find the perfect pup to adopt, as well as enjoy exciting demonstrations, lots of food truck delights, and activities to keep the kids busy.

SEPTEMBER 21

Library Lion

Greenwich Library is pleased to announce the return of Dr. Mark Schenker with a new Playwrights Lecture Series, which begins tonight from 7-8 in the Library Meeting Room. In his first lecture, he will give patrons insight into one of Shakespeare’s early plays, “The Comedy of Errors.” In this tale of two sets of twins accidently separated at birth, mistaken identity, puns, and word plays rule.

The series continues with a discussion of “Much Ado About Nothing” October 19, and Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” November 16.

A dean at Yale College, Schenker has lectured on literature and film for over 25 years and has led book discussion series in more than 100 venues in Connecticut, including public libraries, museums, and cultural centers. In 2001, he received the Wilbur Cross Award from the Connecticut Humanities Council.

The series is open to all at no charge. Register using the Library’s online calendar at www.greenwichlibrary.org.

With pix

Jonathan Spector, Surf Photographer

SEPTEMBER 23-24

The Artful Weekend

The 56th annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show will be held from 10-5, rain or shine. Rated one of the top 50 fine art and craft fairs in the country, the show continues its long tradition of showcasing fresh and diverse art. The works of over 189 artists from 29 states, Israel, and Canada, will be featured.

In addition, there will be fun under a big-top tent for the kids: interactive programs courtesy of The Harvey School, creative exploration inspired by the Neuberger Museum’s permanent collection, and more.

Admission is $12, $10 for seniors, free for children. For more information, visit www.rmonkoutdoorartshow.org.

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