December Highlights

This Month's Highlights PLUS: Home Theater and Broadway Box Office



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Still So Unusual

Cyndi Lauper always manages to have some sort of surprise up her sleeve. Did you ever think she’d have an album at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Blues Chart or come in sixth in a competition about business acumen? She accomplished both this year with her stint on The Celebrity Apprentice and the release of her most recent album, Memphis Blues. To hear some of her new bluesy sound, head to the Tarrytown Music Hall on December 15.

Jazz It Up

Saxophones can really swing, but nothing can get you into a jazzy mood faster than the sound of a cool trumpet. On December 4, the Westchester Jazz Orchestra has your fix. The group will present a program titled “WJO Trumpet Masters: Music of Miles, Pops, and Dizzy.” There, the orchestra will pay tribute to the best jazz trumpeters of all time: Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Dorham, and Woody Shaw. Get into the groove at the Irvington Town Hall Theater.

New Attitude

You may have noticed some new names in charge of the White Plains Performing Arts Center recently. “We were looking for a home for our show, Wallenberg, and we saw that the White Plains Performing Arts Center was a possibility,” says Felicia Needleman, the theater’s new literary manager. “We learned that its past artistic team had stepped down, and they didn’t have a vision or direction for their new mainstage season.” After several meetings, Needleman stepped in with Laurence Holzman, the new executive director, and Annette Jolles, the new artistic director, and the mission of the theater became clear: to produce and develop new works by emerging artists.

You can find a revival anywhere. Broadway adapts only already-established hot properties (movies, TV shows, and music from popular artists). To really find something new, you have to dig. Now, you can find those cutting-edge and up-and-coming shows in White Plains. “Other theaters are not taking chances on new works, so there’s very little chance to see them,” says Needleman.

Wanna take a chance on something new and different? Check out the WPPAC’s new show, That Time of the Year, which runs December 2 to 19. It’s a musical revue that’s unique in that it covers Christmas, Hanukkah, and other holidays equally. “It’s great for interfaith families—or it doesn’t matter what you are,” she says. The rest of the season will be filled out with other stage shows, a free reading series of works-in-progress, and conversations with theater luminaries. For more information, visit wppac.com.

Felicia Needleman, WPPAC’s literary manager, with Laurence Holzman, executive director.

Free For All

File this under “Give us an inch, we’ll take a mile.” Last year, ArtsWestchester treated us to a day of free art, concerts, and events at its annual Free Arts Day. This year, we get an entire weekend. From December 3 to 5, you can enjoy admission to county museums, visits to historical sites, kids’ movies at the Jacob Burns Film Center, cultural celebrations at the Pelham Arts Center, and other artsy outings—without slipping your credit card out of your wallet. At ArtsWestchester building itself, you can see a futuristic performance from Kurt Coble and his P.A.M. Band, which is notable for Coble’s unusual backing musicians: robotic instruments. To see a complete schedule of free events, visit artswestchester.org.

The Gold Standard

Fans of comedian Judy Gold’s Off-Broadway show, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, should be pleased to hear that she’s got another show in the works. Judy’s Show! My Life as a Sitcom played in the Williamstown Theatre Festival and in Washington, DC, to positive reviews. While she’s looking for a home for the show in New York, you can catch Gold doing her equally sharp stand-up material at the Emelin Theatre on December 17. Get tickets quickly—Gold sold out the Emelin when she appeared there in May.

Judy Gold

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