Entertainment 2003: Is theater your thing?
Or maybe you prefer to listen to cool jazz al fresco, stroll through a sculpture garden or whoop it up with the kids on an old-fashioned roller coaster. It¡¯s all here and more, in
our wide-ranging guide to the arts and entertainment in Westchester.
Let the fun begin.
Entertainment 2003: Is theater your thing?
Or maybe you prefer to listen to cool jazz al fresco, stroll through a sculpture garden or whoop it up with the kids on an old-fashioned roller coaster. It¡¯s all here and more, in our wide-ranging guide to the arts and entertainment in Westchester.
Let the fun begin.
By Nancy Claus Giles with Angela Casolaro
From the classics to the cutting edge, from live theater to opera to dance, there¡¯s a venue for every taste and every budget.
¬É The John & Maxime Bendheim Performing Arts Center
999 Wilmot Road, Scarsdale
A little bit of everything in one convenient location: silent films, comedy shows, plays, music and movies, many with Jewish themes, all at the JCC of Mid-Westchester.
¬É Caramoor Center for Music & the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road, Katonah
This is one of the premier music venues in the region to enjoy the world¡¯s finest classical, jazz and popular music artists, whether you are picnicking on the lawns (there are two outdoor theaters: the Venetian Theater and Spanish Courtyard) or in the exquisitely furnished Music Room. Twenty rooms of Caramoor¡¯s Mediterranean-style palazzo¡ªfilled with a vast collection of fine and decorative arts¡ªare open to the public. Go hear the Tokyo String Quartet, see a top-notch jazz artist in action, delight in the current exhibition Dynasties of Jade: Stones from the Caramoor Collection, enjoy Darjeeling tea with scones and clotted cream at an afternoon tea, or simply stroll through one or more of the nine gardens¡ª
¬É The Emelin Theatre
153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck
(914) 698-0098/(914) 698-3045
You gotta love a place that offers so many choices for the whole family. Into film? Come here for classics like Bye Bye Birdie and Funny Girl or contemporary hits like Roger Dodger and Rabbit-Proof Fence. Theater productions range from the critically acclaimed drama National Anthem to wacky capers by the Paper Bag Players (musical versions of The Frog Prince and Snow White are showing this month). And this is where you can see Lucy Kaplansky, Shawn Colvin or Chicago City Limits. The sky¡¯s the limit!
¬É Fleetwood Stage
44 Wildcliff Drive
New Rochelle; (914) 654-8533
Ever wonder what motivated an actor or director in a play? Fleetwood Stage gives you a chance to find out. All performances include a Q&A session with the cast after the final curtain.
¬É Herbert Mark Newman Theatre
600 Bear Ridge Road, Pleasantville
(914) 741-0333, ext. 688
Catch the classics here like Tennessee Williams¡¯s The Glass Menagerie or Neil Simon¡¯s Brighton Beach Memoirs, along with more unusual fare like Pressure Points: Memoirs of a Mad Masseuse by Westchester playwright Staci Swedeen.
¬É Jacob Burns
364 Manville Road, Pleasantville
The renovation of this Spanish mission-style landmark into the Jacob Burns Film Center has transformed Pleasantville from a sleepy little ¡¯burb into a destination with a lively nightlife, good restaurants and lots of celebrity sightings. Critics sniffed that Westchester wouldn¡¯t support such highbrow fare. We¡¯re glad to prove them wrong. The center is kind of like Alice Tully Hall and the Angelika rolled into one (but smaller of course), showing an eclectic array of independent, foreign and documentary films and retrospectives of works by classic and modern filmmakers. The Burns has also hosted a slew of events, bringing in famous film directors, producers and actors including Robert Duvall, Salma Hayek, Rob Marshall and Harvey Weinstein to chat with audiences after the films. How cool is that?
¬É Paramount Center
for the Arts
1008 Brown Street, Peekskill
Remember how theaters used to look? With the red velvet seats and curtains and the sparkly marquee? Okay, so maybe she¡¯s past her prime in the glamour department, but the Paramount still has style. What¡¯s more, it¡¯s the place to hear some pretty darn good music, like
blues legend James Cotton, Tony- and Grammy-winning jazz artist Dee Dee Bridgewater, and tenor Michael Amante. They show movies too, from the French film noir masterpiece Le Cercle Rouge to the British comedy Bend It Like Beckham. The Paramount is a perfect way to cap off a day of exploring the new galleries and eateries that are popping up all over this burgeoning artiste community.
¬É the performing
735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase
Considered by many to be a ¡°mini Lincoln Center,¡± the rep is well deserved; here you¡¯ll hear Midori on violin, Daniel Barenboim on piano and all sorts of jazz, soul, rock and roll and cabaret music. And of course this is the place to see the Westchester Philharmonic perform. This gem of an orchestra sends our spirits soaring! Maestro Paul Lustig Dunkel conducts and features acclaimed musicians such as pianist H¨¦l¨¨ne Grimaud and violinist Elmar Oliveira.
But the orchestra isn¡¯t so highbrow
as to turn off kids. Twice a year ¡°Philharmaniacs¡± family concerts are created to appeal to children; one Halloween, the orchestra members came in costume!
Also at PAC are choral masterworks and theater masterpieces including Othello and The Agamemnon starring Olympia Dukakis. Even the kids will find events to enjoy here, from singer Tom Chapin to the excitement of the Russian-American Kids Circus.
¬É Schoolhouse Theater
3 Owens Road, Croton Falls
This is a theater that is not afraid to take chances, and we¡¯re so grateful. Come for inventive revivals of lesser known plays in this intimate space. During intermission, be sure to check out the gift shop and galleries (we are particularly fond of the ¡°junk art¡± collage by Leo Burmester hanging in the hall).
¬É Tarrytown Music Hall
13 Main Street, Tarrytown
It seems fitting for a National Landmark building that blends Queen Anne, Victorian and Art Deco architectural elements to be just as comfortable mixing up its music styles. It is one of the homes of the Jazz Forum Arts Series and also offers folk, blues and classical music performances as well as children¡¯s and musical theater. Notable artists and groups that have performed here include Joan Baez, Tony Bennett, Dave Brubeck, David Benwa, Judy Collins and Dizzy Gillespie. Last year, $120,000 was spent to replace stage curtains and bringing the art deco marquee back to its original glory.
¬É The Fort Hill Players
228 Fisher Avenue, White Plains
White Plains has its own community theater, the Fort Hill Players. Its recent productions have been You Can¡¯t Take It With You and Our Town.
¬É Westchester Broadway Theatre
1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford
(914) 592-2222, (914) 592-2225
Get dinner along with a play (and hold the commute). Such a deal. This is the longest running, year-round Equity theater in New York State¡ªfor a reason.
¬É Yorktown Stage
1974 Commerce Street
What a jewel in the northern reaches of the county! Last year, the Yorktown Stage wowed audiences with 27 main stage productions and concerts, ranging from Broadway productions to opera. Joseph and His Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grease and The King and I played to packed houses; the Taconic Opera thrilled audiences with dazzling productions of Carmen, The Magic Flute and Rigoletto.‑Summer theatre workshops introduce more than 400 children each year to the thrills and enjoyment of live theatre.
Ah, to be a kid again. Long, lazy days exploring the woods, riding the Tilt-a-Whirl till the park closes, perfecting that miniature golf game. Take a day off to take your children (and your inner child) out to play.
¬É Franklin D. Roosevelt
2957 Crompond Road
Go fish. What better way to while away a hot summer day? There are large-mouthed bass, sunfish and chain pickerel just waiting for you in Mohansic Lake in FDR State Park. And in season, you can catch your fish and eat it, too. Boat rentals
¬É Greenburgh Nature Center
99 Dromore Road, Scarsdale
Take a break from running errands and show your kids the flip side of the county¡¯s most commercial strip. Hidden on a side road off Central Park Avenue is a tranquil little oasis¡ªa 33-acre woodland preserve. No fast food, shops or stoplights to distract you here¡ªjust trails, ponds, orchards and gardens.
¬É Muscoot Farm Park
Route 100, Somers
Don¡¯t be surprised if your kids call it the ¡°top of the world.¡± When you hike up the hill to the gazebo at the top, it does seem as though you can see forever¡ªand you can imagine how life was, way back when gentlemen farmers once lived and worked this farm. There¡¯s lots to explore besides the trails: a dairy barn, milk house, ice house and blacksmith shop. Check out the baby chicks in the incubation shed, watch pigs wallow, goats frolic, horses and cows graze. (Be aware, though, that this is not a zoo; petting is not allowed.)
On weekends, there are often special exhibits, hayrides, seasonal demonstrations, festivals and family activities. Afterwards, treat the kids to pizza at the decidedly rustic Muscoot Inn (at the intersection of Routes 35 and 100) or ice cream at King Kone. (Bonus: if the kids haven¡¯t worked off enough steam at Muscoot, they sure will climbing on the castle, boat and other whimsical play structures next door.)
¬É New Roc City
33 LeCount Place, New Rochelle
Okay, so maybe your kids think a day in the country constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Or perhaps you all could do with a break from sunscreen and insect repellent. Might we suggest New Roc City? It¡¯s got the only Tower Space Shot ride in the northeast along with a video arcade chock full of games and virtual reality and laser tag. Not convinced? How about glow-in-the-dark bowling, ice skating or a six-story screen IMAX theater? Come in and chill out.
¬É Trailside Nature Museum Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
Routes 35 and 121, Cross River
Hike it, or not. Bike it, or not. Camp it, or not. But don¡¯t miss the Trailside Museum and its creepy skeletons and owl pellet displays, bird viewing station and taxidermy exhibit of some former residents of the reservation¡ªincluding a black bear! Behind the museum, find a reproduction of an Algonquin wigwam, a fenced-in wildflower garden and the Sugar House, where maple sap is boiled into syrup in early spring and nature programs are offered year round. Feeling more athletic? There are a variety of hiking trails spread over 4,700 acres of meadows, streams and woodlands (you can even find where the legendary Leatherman once camped).
galleries & grand houses
Contemporary art, priceless antiques and a smattering of science and history.
¬É Castle Gallery
The College of New Rochelle
29 Castle Place, New Rochelle
Open from September through June, the Castle Gallery presents four exhibits a year¡ªfree and open to the public¡ªon diverse topics ranging from African-American inventors and achievers to an exploration of the element of ¡°play¡± within the context of contemporary art. The 60-room castle, built as a summer home by wealthy New York hotelier Simeon Leland, is worth visiting in and of itself.
¬É The Hudson River Museum
511 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers
The largest and oldest museum
in the county, the Hudson River
Museum is a unique combo of art
(permanent and traveling exhibits), history (Glenview Mansion¡ªwhere six turn-of-the-century rooms are open for viewing) and science (the Andrus Planetarium). Riverama, an interactive teaching gallery about the Hudson River, is the newest addition.
¬É Jasper Cropsey Home
49 Washington Avenue
Imagine life in the Hudson Valley before the highways, developments and malls took over. That is the Hudson Valley immortalized by 19th-century landscape artist Jasper Francis Cropsey. His home, Ever Rest, is as he left it, complete with original sketches and studies and period furniture. Open to the public all year except December, January and August.
¬É John Jay Homestead
400 Jay Street (Route 22), Katonah
Did you know a ¡°ha ha¡± is a fence to keep sheep off the lawn? You will learn such historical tidbits at the 64-acre homestead of America¡¯s first chief justice and his descendants. Stroll through the gardens. The main house is furnished in the Federal style, with the rooms containing furnishings, paintings and artifacts from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
¬É Katonah Museum
Route 22 at Jay Street, Katonah
It may be small, but Katonah Museum packs a punch with unusual and provocative exhibits, alternating between local artists and displays of pieces curated from other collections. Knowing that some art might be less than accessible to children, an adjoining learning center offers related crafts and workshops where children can learn about the exhibits in a hands-on, kid-friendly way. And we love the annual free jazz concerts each summer in the sculpture garden.
Pocantico Hills; (914) 631-9491
The rich really are different. How different? Visit Kykuit, the old Rockefeller estate and see up close and personal how they lived. And how they lived! First off, they never had to wait for tee times¡ªa nine-hole reversible private course surrounds this estate overlooking the Hudson River. And while the six-story Beaux Arts mansion is impressive, what really takes your breath away is the art¡ªboth in and outside. Imagine living with original Picassos, Calders, Noguchis and more. Then imagine that kids and dogs also lived with the aforementioned Picassos, Calders and Noguchis. First time visitors simply must do the house and garden tour; then come back to take in more of this marvelous manse.
635 South Broadway, Tarrytown
Another castle. Well, one is tempted to be blas¨¦ with so many in the area, but we are not that jaded. Besides, where else can one see so many Tiffany-style lighting fixtures? Once owned by Jay Gould, the railroad magnate and Wall Street tycoon, the Gothic manse boasts a four-story tower, turrets and dozens of Tiffany-style windows that overlook the Hudson River (talk about gilding the lily). And twice a year, Lyndhurst is the site of the best crafts show in the region.
¬É Neuberger Museum
735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase
Georgia O¡¯Keeffe. Jackson Pollock. Edward Hopper. Willem de Kooning. Romare Bearden. These are just a few of the artists whose works are on permanent view at the Neuberger, the county¡¯s premier venue for 20th- century modern, African and contemporary art (and the eighth largest university museum in the country!). In all, the museum houses more than 6,000 paintings, sculpture, prints, photographs and works on paper, in addition to ancient artifacts, African art, Constructivist art and the works of Dada and other Surrealist painters. There are 12 to 16 temporary exhibitions each year, artists lectures, poetry readings, concerts, films and festivals as well, all on the 500-acre campus of Purchase College.
¬É Ossining Urban Cultural Park Museum
95 Broadway, Ossining
Have you ever wanted to get closer to Sing Sing Prison than your Hudson-docked motorboat allows? Most likely no, but the kids might enjoy being ¡°sent up the river¡± to see replicas of prison cells and¡ªyikes!¡ªthe old electric chair where the Rosenbergs met their end in 1953. The Old Croton Aqueduct is also on exhibit, with replicas of one of the earliest modern aqueducts in the U.S., but our bets are on the chair.
¬É Philipsburg Manor
Route 9, Sleepy Hollow
A living history museum interpreting colonial life in the 18th century, the manor was originally a milling and trading complex owned by the Philipses, a wealthy Dutch merchant family, and operated by enslaved Africans.
¬É Somers Museum
of the Early
Routes 100 and 202, Somers
Even if your kids have never threatened to run off and join the circus, it¡¯s fun to see where and how it all started. The current exhibit traces the evolution of the circus through advertisements, posters and handbills. There¡¯s also a collection of world-class circus memorabilia, local Somers artifacts and a circus library. Considered one of the finest collections of its kind in the country, the Museum is open on Thursdays and the second and fourth Sundays of the month.
West Sunnyside Lane, Tarrytown
This romantic, riverfront home was designed by Washington Irving, author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. Every Thursday in May and September, visitors can enjoy a country tea after a guided tour of the house and gardens; candlelight tours are offered during the winter holidays. The house is a blend of historical and architectural styles, representing Irving¡¯s many interests. The interior is furnished with original objects belonging to Irving and his family, including an oak desk given to Irving by publisher G.P. Putnam.
¬É The Union Church
of Pocantico Hills
Route 448, Pocantico Hills
Want a religious experience? Make a pilgrimage to the Union Church to pay homage to the stained glass windows¡ªnine Chagalls and one Matisse. They are simply heavenly. ‑
Van Cortlandt Manor
South Riverside Avenue
Croton-on-Hudson; (914) 631-8200
The post-Revolutionary War era comes to life with demonstrations of open-hearth cooking, blacksmithing and brickmaking at this 18th-century manor, tavern and farmhouse. Each Saturday this month, families can experience authentic 18th-century dining in the gardens and be served by waiters in period clothing. Traditional refreshments, live music, dancing and games round out the evening. Reservations necessary¡ªand they go fast.
¬É The Yorktown Museum
1974 Commerce Street
Visit an 18th-century home and an early Mohegan Indian settlement. Discover the Old Put Railroad and see how local farms operated. Check out the traditional toys and dolls, patchwork quilts and the tiny waists of long-ago dresses and undergarments. You can even hunt down your ancestors in the research center. In addition to five permanent exhibit rooms, several changing exhibits are presented during the year in the main hall.‑Coming up is America¡¯s First Civil War¡ªThe Revolution 1775-1783.
outdoor exhibits & sculpture