Compiled by Janice Llanes Fabry
A Night at the Opera
The Woman’s Club of Rye is sponsoring a short evening of opera arias December 12 at 7 at the Rye High School Performing Arts Center. Want to learn a bit about opera, but can’t imagine spending three or four hours at a performance in Manhattan, not to mention the cost? The Woman’s Club has organized a performance by the NY Opera Exchange that will entertain and educate you in just two hours. From 6 to 7 there is an informal Mocktail Meet and Greet with the stars of the Opera Exchange, followed by an hour-long presentation of opera arias and duets including Puccini’s “La Bohème,” Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Sivigilia,” Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” and Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci.”
Pre-sale tickets can be purchased online at womansclubofrye.org. Show only: $40, Show plus Meet & Greet: $50. You can also mail a check to Elaine Petrillo, 11 Harbor Lane, Rye, NY 10580. Tickets at the door are $45 and $55. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.
Bah, Humbug Nevermore
Wainwright House has a Dickens of a weekend planned that would put even Mr. Scrooge, Mr. Sykes, and Miss Havisham in the holiday spirit. An “Old Curiosity Shop” Holiday Marketplace runs from 12-8:30 today and all weekend long. Children’s performances and events, including paper cut and silhouette artists, as well as puppeteers, are scheduled tonight.
On Saturday, look for free arts and crafts for children, souvenir photos, live piano, dancers, and caroling. Local author Alan Beechey will be on hand to sign copies of his latest book. The festivities on Sunday include a magic show, more music and caroling.
As part of these special events, on Sunday between 12 and 3, volunteers may come to help make beds and toys for furry friends in need. The Paws on Pillow program donates these handmade essentials for dogs and cats to the animal shelters of Westchester.
Santa Will See You at the Christmas Fair
If you’re looking for a true winter wonderland, head to The Resurrection School Christmas Fair on Saturday from 10-5. Santa is arriving on the Polar Express! Visitors, young and old, will also be delighted to find fabulous gifts, Christmas and home decor, jewelry, apparel, delicious treats, and family activities. Buy wreaths and garlands, and take a chance on a raffle.
For complete details, visit www.resurrectionschool.com.
lead the workshop. The afternoon will also include a reading of the story that made gingerbread houses come alive.
Registration is by email only to childrensservices@ryelibrary .org, beginning December 13. Include the program title, date, child’s name, grade, and telephone number.
The Rye Free Reading Room is kicking off the holiday season on Saturday at 2 when talented, young violinist Akiko Kobayashi performs an eclectic program of works by Mozart, Strauss and De Falla. She plays both solo and chamber music and has performed recitals in Germany, as well as at several New York City area concert halls.
Kobayashi, a Master of Music in Classical Violin from the Manhattan School of Music and Yale graduate, has appeared with the West Islip Symphony Orchestra, Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Suginami Kokaido Chamber Orchestra and InterHarmony Festival Orchestra. Her teachers include Victor Aitay, Sidney Harth and Felix Galimir.
The Square House, All Aglow for the Season
Step back in time and experience a colonial Christmas at the Square House Museum on Saturday from 7-9. Holiday guests will be aglow at the sight of the historic landmark by candlelight and decorated for the season. Costumed docents will guide visitors through the tavern room, the kitchen and second floor rooms by candlelight (battery operated for safety).
Walk in the footsteps of John Adams and George Washington and imagine them sitting at a table discussing events of the day with residents as Widow Haviland, the tavern keeper, prepares a fine meal for her guests.
Visitors will enjoy mulled cider and holiday cookies. Admission is free.
The Jewish Community Center of Harrison is holding its holiday sale on Sunday from 10-3. They’ll offer a great selection of merchandise, including designer children’s clothing, women’s apparel, fine art, jewelry, scarves, gloves, leather goods, fitness wear, stationery, meringue cookies, Judaica, and accessories.
Don’t forget your shopping list!
Jingle All the Way
Join Rye Recreation for a jolly, holly Holiday Sing-A-Long Sunday at 4. A magical holiday show with the Hand to Mouth players will put all guests in the spirit. No matter if it’s frosty and nippy, a spectacular bonfire in the middle of the park will light up the site and warm everyone’s hearts.
It’s also a great opportunity to get into the spirit and spread holiday cheer to children in need. Bring an unwrapped book or toy for underprivileged kids in Westchester County. Rye Recreation and the Rye Police Association are working together to support the United States Marine Corp Reserve’s Toys for Tots program.
The Beginnings of Thoroughly Modern Manhattan
Architectural historian Barry Lewis will present “New York in the Greek Revival Era: 1830-1850” at Wainwright House on Sunday from 3-5. He will discuss the beginning of the modern era in New York and take listeners back in time to the city’s transformation from pre-modern town to great industrial metropolis.
When industrialization hit the city during the 1830s, it completely changed the landscape. Wall Street was re-built for corporate headquarters, suburbia was born, tenement slums arrived, and the modern notion of high-end shopping began when A.T. Stewart opened America’s first department store.
Lewis is best known for his decade-long television series of video walks on WNET Channel Thirteen, including the Emmy Award nominated “42nd Street, Broadway, and Harlem”.
The program is free, but pre-registration is required. Call 967-6080.
For a Great Cause
The Jay Heritage Center is hosting “Hearth & Earth,” a champagne reception and luncheon at American Yacht Club December 18 from 11:30-2. Two of the country’s most talented designers, interior designer Alexa Hampton and landscape architect Thomas L. Woltz will be on hand for interesting conversations and book signings.
Hampton is a perennial Architectural Digest icon and JHC board member. Woltz is a principal at Nelson Byrd Woltz, recently named WSJ Magazine’s design innovator. Proceeds will benefit Jay Center’s educational programs in American History, Architecture, Social Justice and Environmental Stewardship.
Tickets start at $150/person. For advance tickets, call 698-9275 or visit www.jaycenter.org.
Arts & Entertainment
“Separate Journeys”, an exhibit of photographs and paintings by Walter and Marilyn Rabetz, is on display at the Rye Free Reading Room through December 29. Walter Rabetz is a well-known fine art photographer whose work appears in numerous museums and books. Marilyn Rabetz is a nationally known colored pencil artist, writer on art, and teacher at the Rye Arts Center. The couple co-founded QTR Productions: Fine Arts, Books, Design.
Saddling Up One More Time
John Wayne fans are in for a treat as the Rye Historical Society’s Square House Museum presents “True Grit” on December 14 at 2:30. This last installment of their western series features the Duke’s only Academy Award-winning performance as U.S. Marshall Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn. With a supporting cast that includes Robert Duvall, Glen Campbell, Dennis Hopper, and Kim Darby, viewers will fall in love with the 1969 western all over again.
Admission is $5. Seating is limited, so call 967-7588 to register.
Talks and Workshops
Head to Rye Nature Center on December 23 to learn how to force bulbs for winter bloom. From 10-2, participants will decorate wreaths with evergreens and dried seed heads from the Friends of Rye Nature Center’s own garden. Also, help make natural bird feeders to help our feathered friends through the cold days ahead.
Thursday Afternoon Book Group
The Rye Free Reading Room’s Thursday Afternoon Book Group is reading “This Is How You Lose Her” by Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz. The meeting is set for December 11 at 1:15. Copies of the books are available at the Circulation Desk, and everyone is welcome to join the discussions.
Upending Alzheimer’s and Dementia
The Rye Free Reading Room presents “Sharp Again Naturally: Preventing and Reversing Alzheimer’s and Dementia”, a program that focuses on natural approaches, December 9 at 6:30. Watch filmed interviews of patients and doctors from around the country and learn how they reversed diagnoses of Alzheimer’s and dementia with strategies anyone can adopt.
The program, presented by Sharp Again Naturally, includes a Q&A.
Ellen Weininger of Grassroots Environmental Education will give a talk on how to become involved locally to help keep our air, water, and soil clean and safe. The discussion, sponsored by Holistic Moms, will be held at the Rye Free Reading Room December 11 at 7:30. Weininger will address avoiding unnecessary chemical exposures, as well as hydraulic fracturing and wireless radiation. She will also talk about school environmental programs and “The Baby Safe Project”.
Grassroots Environmental Education fosters positive and lasting change in environmental health through science and advocacy, presenting new issues, reform, solutions, and action steps.
Love Is All Around
Learn from each other at Wainwright House’s affinity groups every Tuesday from 7-8:30. All are welcome to join the leaderless group to explore A Course in Miracles, a spiritual self-study. For shared reading purposes, it is recommended that members bring the book of the same name, published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.
The cost is $5 per meeting and the program open to Wainwright House members only. For information, email acimgroup@ yahoo.com.
Seniors, Flex That Spirit
Join SPRYE for Mind/Body/ Spirit at Wainwright House December 10 from 3-4:30. Rye YMCA fitness instructor Michael Iachetta, himself a senior, will demonstrate a series of gentle chair exercises, incorporating elements of Tai Chi, Yoga, and Pilates, designed to help seniors maintain flexibility and balance.
The program is free.
Join Wainwright House on December 21 from 5:30-7:30 for its Winter Solstice celebration and forge connections to nature. The evening consists of a fire ceremony and drumming with Susan Wright, teacher of Shamanic practices.
The winter solstice is one of the greatest events on the calendar cycle. No matter our spiritual beliefs, or what part of the world we live in, everyone shares the turning of the sun. Solstice rituals honor ancestors and belief system, and offer prayer and gratitude.
For Slightly Bigger Elves
Calling all teens to create handmade holiday cards and winter-themed decorations at the Rye Free Reading Room December 12 from 3:30-5. Devon Pentz, Museum Educator at The Square House, will lead the fun after-school craft workshop. Register in person or call 231-3172.
SAT OR ACT?
Tomorrow’s Genius will present an informational workshop on the key differences between the SAT and ACT college entrance exams at the Rye Free Reading Room December 13 from 11-1. While students receive free exam prep with highly skilled instructors, their parents will learn about the tests, recent changes, and how to determine which test is best suited to their child’s learning style.
A leader in differentiated learning, Tomorrow’s Genius will also focus on developing the right study methods and on tips for achieving the highest scores. Refreshments will be provided. Register early by contacting Viola at 201-887-3835 or emailing her at email@example.com.
Fit to a T
Fashion writer and stylist Maureen Amaturo leads teens in creating Do-It-Yourself Fashion at the Rye Free Reading Room December 13 from 3-4:30. Learn how to turn something old into something new by creating a trendy accessory out of an old T-shirt.
Participants should bring a T-shirt (or two) — that they won’t mind cutting — in any color, size, print, or in any condition. Make something amazing to wear or give as a holiday gift. As a bonus, make a mini version that will fit an American Girl doll or a small pet. Register in person or call 231-3172.
Home, Sweet Home
Ages 4 and up are invited to make a gingerbread house that even Hansel and Gretel would be tempted to eat at the Rye Free Reading Room December 20 from 2-3:30. Rockland artist B. Smith will lead the workshop. The afternoon will also include a reading of the story that made gingerbread houses come alive.
Registration is by email only to firstname.lastname@example.org, beginning December 13. Include the program title, date, child’s name, grade, and telephone number.
All middle schoolers can get out of the cold at the Rye YMCA December 13 from 7-10. The theme is summer, complete with a luau pool party, karaoke, make-our-own-smoothie, pizza, basketball, and plenty of fun in the Game Room.
Movin’ and Groovin’
Musician Graham Clarke continues to entertain youngsters at Musical Tuesdays at the Rye library. At the next program, December 16 at 1, you can look forward to even more fun with his guitar friends Delores, Cinnamon, and Bluebell. For more information, visit www.grahamclarke. com.
Trying Them on for Size
On December 22, animal-loving kids will want to flock to the Rye Nature Center, where they’ll use rulers, scales, balances, and more to measure the lengths and weights of a few critters from the Friends of Rye Nature Center animal collection from 10-2. They will draw outlines of their shapes to compare tails, feet and faces, and will try an experiment investigating how suction cup feet work, too.
They’ll Be Flying!
Gadgets Science Fun Club for children in grades 3-5 takes place at the Rye Free Reading Room on the third Friday of the month from 3:30-4:30. The program on December 19 will feature S.T.E.M. activities about flight and the chance to engage in hands-on, inquiry-based experiments.
To sign up, email childrensservices @ryelibrary.org beginning one week before the program date. Include the program title, date, child’s name, grade, and telephone number.