Culture, Etc.

This month’s highlights



Earle Bird

Steve Earle is nothing if not busy. This year alone, he’s managed to be an actor, writer, and musician. He’s been featured in the HBO series Treme and The Wire. His debut novel came out in May, less than a month after the release of his heartbreaking album (both were titled I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive). Yet he still has time to stop by the Tarrytown Music Hall on August 11. There, he’ll be joined by his band, the Dukes (and Duchesses), featuring country singer Allison Moorer (sister of Shelby Lynne), for an electric set.

 

Trolling for Monster Movies

We’ve got some mangy pests in Westchester. There are mice. There are deer. There’s the occasional misplaced raccoon (or, just over the border in Greenwich, mountain lion). But at least we have it better than Norway, which was dealing with an infestation of its own: trolls. On August 19, the Jacob Burns Film Center gives the Norwegian faux-found-footage film Trollhunter the perfect not-quite-midnight-movie treatment as part of its “Fridays After Dark” series (the screening begins at 10 pm). The film “injects inventiveness, folkloric idiosyncrasy and deadpan humor into the overexploited faux-documentary trend,” the Hollywood Reporter writes. “A generous dollop of Jurassic Park inspiration doesn’t hurt either.” Fans of creature features and mock-docs take note.

Don’t Write It Off

We rely on the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center to teach us the nuances of great writing. But, sometimes, the best stories aren’t formally written down as novels or memoirs. The Writers’ Center reminds us of this at its benefit event, Fables, Parables, & Songs: The Humor and Wisdom of the Jewish People. There, you can find performances by Arthur Strimling, a storyteller; Lisa Segal, a cantor; and klezmer musicians. The event takes place on August 28 at the Center’s Sleepy Hollow location, and admission is just $15. You’ll be sure to come home with some good stories. 

One of the Boyz

Just when you think the musical landscape has rid itself of boy bands, the New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys team up for a blockbuster summer tour. Looks like the world still needs Altar Boyz, the Off-Broadway musical that pokes fun at both boy bands and contemporary Christian music. (Sample lyric: “Girl, you make me wanna wait.”) And while the NKOTB have Danny, Donny, Joe, John, and Jordan, the Altar Boyz have Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan, and Abraham. Hear their songs about “La Vida Eternal” when the show—which ran for more than 2,000 performances Off-Broadway—comes to the Westchester Broadway Theatre on August 4. For more on the show, see an interview with director Carlos Encinias in “Broadway Box Office” on page 166.

Cabaret Queen

Who says there’s nothing to do
in August? Cabaret fans, this month might just be your favorite. Copland House at Merestead has two back-to-back cabaret performances planned for August 20 and 21. For the first, KT Sullivan does her Colored Lights, with music from Sondheim, Berlin, Coward, and others. Come back the next day for Quiet Please, when Darius De Haas and Steven Blier perform songs by Gershwin, Arlen, Porter, and more.

Guster Luster

Photo by Floto+Warner Studio

 

It’s August, and, to paraphrase Gershwin, the livin’ should be easy—and the music should be, too. Guster understands, and the band’s most recent album, the aptly named Easy Wonderful, provides just the kind of poppy, no-fuss music that’s best for those days when it’s too hot to think. It inspired Entertainment Weekly to write, “There’s something happily uncomplicated—and at times proudly uncool—about this band’s sixth album.” Hear for yourself when Guster plays an outdoor concert at the Ives Concert Park in Danbury, Connecticut, on August 3.