This month's highlights.
It's not easy being green—Idina Menzel can tell you that. Until recently, the singer could be found nightly on Broadway as the green-faced Elphaba in Wicked, a role she originated and one that earned her a Tony Award. (The singer was also the first Maureen in Rent.) Menzel has finally stepped out of the caked-on makeup and stepped into a daring new role: singer/songwriter. I Stand, Menzel's debut album, features a collection of pop songs, most of which were co-written by Menzel. See her take the stage—this time as herself—at the Tarrytown Music Hall on March 22.
Works in Progress
Great artists make it look easy. American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein’s comic-strip style of art makes it seem like he could have banged out a painting in a couple of hours. In reality, Lichtenstein spent a great deal of time sketching, re-sketching, drawing, and making collages before he ever attempted a final painting. “I collage these paintings over and over again,” he once said, “so I’m really working with it in the same way you would with an expressionist work, but I don’t want traces of all that activity going on.” Unfortunately for Lichtenstein but lucky for us, some of those traces survived, and the Katonah Museum of Art is able to mount an exhibition titled Lichtenstein: In Process. There, his sketches and drawings will be displayed alongside his collages—and, in one case, the final painting—so you can see how his work developed. (We are grateful that no one can see the drafts of our articles—they’re less pretty.) In Process will be on view from March 29 to June 28.
Who will be the county’s next Ang Lee? If you attend the Westchester County Film Festival March 28 at the Picture House in Pelham, you just may find out. For its 10th anniversary, the festival’s organizers decided to focus entirely on filmmakers from local high schools. The students will screen their 10-minute short films, which will be judged by a panel of professional filmmakers, and the winner will be awarded with a $1,000 cash prize. “The talent here is extraordinary,” says Iris Stevens, the director of the Westchester Film Office. “The students are very creative. Last year, the screening was standing-room-only, and everybody stayed for everybody else’s films.”
Forget Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and Britney Spears. If you want real girl-group star-power, look no further than Lesley Gore. The voice behind the Quincy Jones-produced “It’s My Party” and its sequel, “Judy’s Turn to Cry,” is still out on the road and partying like it’s 1963. Her show at the Emelin Theatre on March 7 may feel like some sort of homecoming; while Gore is a Jersey native, she did study at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville. In 2005, Gore released her most recent album, Ever Since—her first outing in 30 years, called “as mature and wistful as her early records were brash and bright,” by the New York Times—but the singer has no qualms about pulling out crowd pleasers like “You Don’t Own Me” at her shows. Just don’t make her cry.
Bring in The ’Funk
Few singers are able to maintain their vocal chops over decades, but Art Garfunkel is one of the major exceptions. Even though it’s been 39 years since he, as part of Simon & Garfunkel, recorded “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” his soaring tenor is as crystal-clear as ever. Recently, he’s looked to the past for inspiration—not just to old Simon & Garfunkel tunes, but all the way back to the Gershwins, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Lerner & Lowe. His most recent album, 2007’s Some Enchanted Evening, pairs his inimitable voice with some of the most recognizable songs of all time, including “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Life Is But a Dream,” and “What I’ll Do.” For your own enchanted evening, see Garfunkel perform at the Paramount Center for the Arts on March 20.