Westchester County Arts and Culture Events for November 2011



Photo by Michael Schwartz

By the Pound

Paula Poundstone was the first woman ever to receive the CableACE for best standup comedy special. She was also the first woman to perform at the White House Correspondents’ dinner. But no matter how groundbreaking her appearances have been, with audiences full of celebrities and dignitaries, Poundstone’s at her best when she’s riffing with a bunch of normal, everyday folks. Which is exactly what’ll happen when she heads to the Paramount Center for the Arts on November 19. There, you can witness first-hand how her ability to improv with an audience has become the stuff of comedy legend.

Baez at 70

If you caught PBS’s American Masters October 2009 documentary, Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound, you already know the contributions that the folk singer and activist has made to the world over the past 50-plus years. (David Crosby, Bob Dylan, Roger McGuinn, and Jesse Jackson were among those who weighed in on her life and career.) The cool thing is she’s still at it, collaborating with musicians like Steve Earle for new music, as she did for 2008’s Day After Tomorrow. And she’s still touring, too, having appeared at 2009’s Newport Folk Festival to mark its 50th anniversary. This time around, she’ll be touring with a stripped-down setup, accompanied only by multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell. She’ll play at Stamford Center for the Arts’s Palace Theater in Stamford, Connecticut, on November 15.

Thank God

It was a Broadway hit starring Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini, and Marcia Gay Harden. It will be a movie starring Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, and John C. Reilly. In between, you can see God of Carnage right here. The Hudson Stage Company presents Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play from November 5 to November 19 at the Woodward Hall Theater at Pace University in Briarcliff Manor. For those who want an extra look behind the curtain, a Q&A with the cast will follow the performance on November 13.

Peace Out

Photo by Jeff Weiner

Daniel Wolfe

War and Peace: It’s not just that giant book you didn’t read in college. War’s impact on culture has inspired writers since way before the time of Tolstoy and will continue to do so for years to come, hence the sixth annual Poets and Writers on War and Peace reading at the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center on November 11. The two featured speakers are Daniel Wolfe, author of Cold Ground’s Been My Bed: A Korean War Memoir, and Richard Levine, a Vietnam veteran and author of A Language Full of Wars and Songs. They’ll be joined by community poets and writers selected by a panel of judges. “In Flanders Fields” is wonderful, but it’d be nice to honor Veterans Day by listening to a different poem for a change.

Grand Piano

The Westchester Chamber Symphony brings a bit of Stalinist Russia to the county when it opens its season with Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 35.” Throughout his life, Shostakovich had to figure out how to negotiate his own artistic vision while steering clear of the censorship and retribution of Stalin’s oppressive government. With none of those tyrannical forces here, pianist Adam Kent—who also specializes in Spanish music—can feel free to take to the keys as a soloist with no worries. Gustav Mahler’s “Adagietto” and Leoš Janáček’s “Idylla” round out the evening’s program.

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