No need to leave the cozy confines of our county to find world-class entertainment. 

Here are 116 of the best offerings coming this season to Westchester. 

Eat your heart out, Manhattan.


Fall Arts Preview: Here, not in Manhattan.

No need to leave the cozy confines of our county to find world-class entertainment. 

Here are 116 of the best offerings coming this season to Westchester. 

Eat your heart out, Manhattan.


Fall Arts Preview: Here, not in Manhattan.


No need to leave the cozy confines of our county to find world-class entertainment. 

Here are 116 of the best offerings coming this season to Westchester. 

Eat your heart out, Manhattan.


By Nancy Claus Giles




Big Art, Big Space

Okay, so Beacon¡¯s not in Westchester. But it¡¯s not in Manhattan
either. And we think Dia:Beacon is intriguing enough to brave crossing a bridge to our northern neighbor.  It just might change your views on the concept of art.

When The New York Times was photographing the andy Warhol installation shortly after Dia:Beacon opened this past spring, a drop cloth was noticed, draped in the center of the floor. A discussion among the staff ensued. Was it part of the exhibit, or left by a careless painter? Ah, the challenges of modern art, and Dia:Beacon certainly tests the limits of just what can be considered art.  Indeed, in this newly renovated packing factory, there are several exhibits that could just as well be considered unfinished space. For example, Joseph Beuys¡¯ Arena consists of an oilcan and piles of blocks; Richard Serra piled what appears to be remnants of shredded carpeting pads in a corner, and called it a day. As they say, art is in the eye of the beholder.

But wondrous things abound in this huge and airy space (with 240,000 square feet of exhibition space, Dia:Beacon is nearly twice the size of the Tate Modern in London and more than four times that of the Whitney in New York). There are fun, fluorescent lighting sculptures by Dan Flavin, a creepy giant spider perched atop a metal cage by Louise Bourgeois, a recreation of the lost continent of Atlantis in shattered glass by Robert Smithson, a 78-piece installation of Andy Warhol¡¯s Shadows, monumental steel plate sculptures by Richard Serra that one can get lost in, Michael Heizer¡¯s ¡°negative space¡± sculptures with massive shapes constructed of weathering steel embedded 20 feet deep in concrete (giving a whole new meaning to the term ¡°permanent exhibit¡±).

 Insider¡¯s tip: to properly appreciate these last structures (pictured above), you really need to get up close and personal, which you cannot do from behind the safety barriers. But if you make arrangements beforehand, small groups can enter the exhibit before the museum opens. Not for acrophobics!


Our Top Picks

«± Facing Reality: The Seavest Collection of Contemporary Realism

at the Neuberger Museum of Art. September 14 through February
15, 2004.

¡°In the arts, Realism is the accurate, detailed, unembellished depiction of a particular moment in contemporary life or nature,¡± says Dede Young, curator of Modern
and Contemporary Art at the Neuberger. This exhibit, works from the private collection of Westchester resident Richard D. Segal,  features some of the leading masters of postwar American Realism¡ªDon Eddy, Curt Hoppe, Alice Neel, James Rosenquist, among others. It doesn¡¯t get any more real.



«± My Ethiopia: Recent Paintings by Wosene Worke Kosrof

at the Neuberger Museum of Art.  September 7 through December 28.

This is the first museum exhibit in the U.S. devoted to the work of Wosene Worke Kosrof, a leading Ethiopian contemporary artist. Wosene, the name he goes by, combines calligraphic forms of Amharic (his native language) along with religious icons and scenes of everyday life in Ethiopia into visually dense paintings. ¡°The symbols bring my culture to me and at the same time, I recreate my culture in new ways,¡± Wosene says.


«± Imaging the River

at the Hudson River Museum

October 4 through May 23.

The Hudson River School of painters had a decidedly romantic view of the region. Using maps, paintings and drawings from the museum¡¯s collection, this exhibit contrasts the 19th-century vision with those of contemporary artists, showing the good, the bad and the ugly images of the river.


«± Reflections

at the JCC on the Hudson and JCC of Mid-Westchester October 26 through January 7, 2004.

Four groups worked to put this exhibit together; it promises to be quite good. Reflections, a collaboration between the UJA-Federation of New York, a community center Ginot Ha¡¯ir in Jerusalem, the JCC on the Hudson and the JCC of Mid-Westchester,  consists of artworks (from a wide array of residents of Westchester and Jerusalem), accompanied by the artist¡¯s life story. The show opened in Jerusalem last June and comes to the JCC Mid-Westchester on October 26; to the JCC on the Hudson on December 4.



The Madonna of Folk

You don¡¯t have to be a child of the ¡®60s to love Joan Baez. Known as much for her support of humanitarian causes as for her music, she was an early proponent of peace during the Vietnam War (and jailed for her views), marched with Martin Luther King Jr. for civil rights, and hobnobbed (and then some) with Bob Dylan. Her songs are nearly synonymous with the peace movement¡ªwhat self-respecting rally would be complete without Kumbaya?

And she¡¯s still going strong with her activism and her music. She was the first major artist to perform in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War and regularly sings at benefits for Amnesty International, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and other human-rights organizations, all the while touring and recording. (Her first album in six years, Dark Chords on a Big Guitar, comes out this month.) Next month, the Grammy nominee makes her debut at the Paramount. Dig out the love beads and rally ¡®round.


Our Top Picks:

«± Jazz Great Chuck Mangione

at the Tarrytown Music Hall, October 11

He¡¯s back! After a self-imposed sabbatical from commercial music, Chuck Mangione has returned with a new album, The Feeling¡¯s Back. Catch tracks of his straight-up and Brazilian jazz tunes at the Paramount.


«± Chuck Berry

at the Performing Arts Center, October 17

American music pioneer Chuck Berry brought guitar playing to a whole new level and was the first musician to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. A copper recording of his rock anthem ¡°Johnny B. Goode¡± was sent with the space shuttle Voyager in 1977 to reach out to the universe with the best of our culture. If his music is good enough for aliens, it¡¯s ¡°goode¡± enough for a whole new generation and their aging parents.


«± Spyro Gyra

at the Paramount, October 18

Over the past 20 years, Spyro Gyra has consistently been one of the most commercially successful pop-jazz groups. Although originally a studio group, the band became a full-time venture in 1979 and has been touring ever since. Here¡¯s your chance to see them live.


«± Lucy Kaplansky and

Richard Shindell

at the Paramount, November 1

Now here is an unusual career path.  From folk singer to clinical psychologist, back to singer again.  Singer/songwriter Lucy Kaplansky teams up with Richard Shindell for an evening of musically rich, emotionally intelligent lyrics sung in pure compelling voices.


«± Legendary Barbara Cook

 at the Paramount, November 29

Tony-, Grammy- and Drama Desk-Award winner Barbara Cook stars in this original musical revue, which has previously graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and Boston¡¯s Symphony Hall.



A Geek God

there aren¡¯t too many guys who know the difference
between ecru and eggshell. And most are proud of that (it¡¯s a guy thing). Not Paul Stroili. Yet Stroili readily admits, ¡°the world is a cruel place when you¡¯re a straight guy with good taste and a great eye for color.¡± His play Paul Stroili¡¯s Straight Up with a Twist (a huge hit on the West Coast) is a comic take on his life as a straight guy who doesn¡¯t know the first thing about power tools, but can perfectly fold a fitted-sheet.

Stroili plays eight characters of his unconventional and ethnically diverse family, switching genders, ages, accents and attitudes. All eight characters struggle to understand Paul, the ¡°Renaissance Geek,¡± who has been known to warn friends not to call his house during Monday Night Football (that¡¯s when he vacuums). We¡¯d like a Geek God in our house!

Our Top Picks:

«± Swing!

at the Westchester Broadway Theatre September 18 through November 15

Fats Waller defined ¡°swing¡± as ¡°two-thirds rhythm and one-third soul.¡±  Swing! celebrates the diversity of dance  to the beat of some of the most exhilarating songs of the prewar era, transcending race, gender and culture.


«± Soccer Moms

at the Fleetwood Stage September 18 through October 5

Tony Award-winner Judith Ivey directs this new comedy by Kathleen Clark about an annual mother-and-son game with a twist. The game¡¯s outcome starts to matter, and three mothers find their perspectives on life, each other and their sons dramatically altered.


«± Estelle Parsons presents Betrayal

at the Performing Arts Center, October 4

Three can definitely be a crowd. Harold Pinter¡¯s Betrayal is a classic dramatic scenario of a love triangle and extramarital affair. Estelle Parsons (of Bonnie and Clyde fame but probably best known as the lunatic mother on ¡°Roseanne¡±) presents a version developed by the venerable Actor¡¯s Studio, starring Lisa Eichorn and Kevin Stapleton.

«± World Premiere of Baltimore Star

by the Hudson Stage Company, October 17

Hudson Stage Company, in its fourth year of producing original, provocative theatre, is set to stage the premiere
performance of Baltimore Star by David Wiener. The play, a haunting portrait of a family of Jewish ¨¦migr¨¦s trying to assimilate into post-WWII America, is moving, with unexpected glimpses of humor.Performances are scheduled in the Julie Harris Theatre, located at the ClearView School in Briarcliff Manor. (914) 271-2811.


«± Radio Play

at the Performing Arts Center, October 31

When Orson Welles¡¯s War of the Worlds radio play first aired 65 years ago, it created mass hysteria among listeners who believed that the fictional broadcast was an actual newscast about Martians invading the Earth. To understand the historic ballyhoo, go see Radio Play, an adaptation of that 1938 broadcast performed by the celebrated contemporary theater troupe the Siti Company.


«± Spalding Gray: Morning, Noon & Night

at the Emelin, November 7 through 9

He had a bad car accident a while back, but now writer, actor
and performer Spalding Gray¡¯s on the road again. For the past 20 years, he has toured the U.S., Europe and Australia with his funny, poignant and insightful series of monologues. Whereas he once told tales about Cambodia, his latest covers some of the events in a day in his life with his family in a small town in Eastern Long Island. No matter the subject, Gray brings humor and depth to most any subject.


«± The Second City

at the Performing Arts Center

November 15

This is where comics Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Robert Klein, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Martin Short, John Candy, Bill Murray and Chris Farley got their start. See why this classic improv group is still one of the best.




Pot Luck

How¡¯s this for a novel concept? go out for a movie
without knowing in advance which one you¡¯ll see. Harlan Jacobson¡¯s popular Talk Cinema Series returns with the first screenings on September 30 and October 21. The series features sneak previews of new and notable independent and foreign films, followed by audience discussions with the film artists. 

Host Jacobson, a regular contributor to Film Comment, USA Today and CNNas well as a film critic for WFUV, thinks the uncertainty is part of the fun¡ªit gives participants an opportunity, he points out, to ¡°see a film the way the critics do, festival style, without preconceived notions.¡± Jacobson, a Croton-on-Hudson resident, chooses the films from festivals at Cannes, Sundance and Toronto, among others to find the best of new cinema.  In recent years, his audiences have previewed such wide-ranging films as Gosford Park, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, About Schmidt and Antwone Fisher.  Filmmakers who have appeared include Richard Eyre (Iris), Stanley Tucci (Joe Gould¡¯s Secret), John Turturro (Illuminata), John Sayles (Sunshine State) and Paul Schrader (Auto Focus).


Our Top Picks:

Best of the Jacob Burns Center

«± Clint Eastwood Retrospective, October 3 to 16

When he wasn¡¯t sporting a cowboy hat, the former mayor of Carmel, CA, known worldwide as Clint Eastwood, donned a director¡¯s hat. To better appreciate his dual film roles, revisit six of his most notable films (he¡¯s acted or directed in scores of them) including Unforgiven, Play Misty for Me and The Outlaw Josey Wales. Go ahead¡ªmake your day.


«± New Series: Women Filmmakers, opens October 20

There are few opportunities to view work by women filmmakers; this new series addresses that inequity. Each month a new film by a female filmmaker will be shown, starting with What I Want My Words To Do To You, produced and co-directed by Judith Katz, about the writing program by Eve Ensler (the woman behind the hit play Vagina Monologues) initiated at the Bedford Hills Correctional Institute.


«± All Things Dark and Scary

October 24 to 31

Who better than Stephen King to curate a weeklong series of horror films?  His picks include Cujo (do we see a bit of favoritism here?), The Changeling, Night of the Living Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Last Man on Earth and The Snake Pit.



Community College

Friday Night Films at Westchester Community College includes six recent foreign films hosted by Professor Bill Costanzo, including The Fast Runner on September 5, a 2002 Canadian release about the Inuit people of the Arctic Circle; Innocence on September 12, a 2001 Australian film on mature love; No Man¡¯s Land on September 19, a dark comedy from Bosnia; Yana¡¯s Friends on October 3, a romantic comedy set in Tel Aviv; Behind the Sun on October 10, a Brazilian film about families caught in a relentless feud; and Mostly Martha on October 24, a German film about a workaholic food fanatic.



The Doyenne of Dance

The Doyenne

Of Dance


martha graham, the venerated grand dame of modern dance, taught music stars like Madonna and actors like Kirk Douglas to use their bodies as expressive instruments.

This season come see her dance company express itself with the gravity-defying leaps, and with the emotion for which the Martha Graham Dance Company is known (she taught both her male and female dancers to ¡°dance from the vagina¡±). It¡¯s a long-absent opportunity to see the group in action again after legal difficulties with Martha Graham¡¯s estate closed the troupe down for four years. Thankfully, the courts ruled in their (and therefore our) favor and they are kicking off their first ¡°legal¡± tour of the century at Purchase College. Catch it!.


Our Top Picks:

«± Ailey II Dance Troupe

at Westchester Community College, October 17

You can never quite look at umbrellas in the same way after you¡¯ve see the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater perform its signature spirit-lifting, foot-stomping dance, Revelations. Nor for that matter can you listen to Otis Redding¡¯s tearful ¡°Try a Little Tenderness¡± without envisioning Judith Jamison beautifully contort to the music¡ªif, that is, you were lucky enough to have caught Jamison when she still danced for the company she heads today. This world-famous dance company¡¯s junior troupe, Ailey II Dance Troupe, will kick up its heels at WCC next month, and the troupe will not only jump, sashay and leap but conduct two master classes and give a lecture and a demonstration the next day in the College¡¯s Physical Education building.  The classes and lecture are free and open to the public¡ªsuch a deal!


«± Taylor 2 Dance Company

at the Paramount, October 25

The Chicago Sun Times declared, ¡°Modern dance doesn¡¯t come any better than this.¡±  This second ensemble from the venerated Paul Taylor Dance Company is coming to town to prove the Sun Times right.


«± Savion Glover and his Quartet

at the Tarrytown Music Hall, November 1

Savion Glover and his Quartet with TiDii ¡°bring in da funk¡± to the Tarrytown Music Hall for two shows. If you haven¡¯t yet seen Glover tap dance, you¡¯re in for a treat. If you have, you know what a treat it is.



Sleepy Hollow(een) Central

The Headless Horseman Rides Again!

Washington Irving's famous tale, The Legend of sleepy hollow, immortalized
the Hudson River towns of Westchester as the mysterious region where the Headless Horseman rides¡ªa place The Washington Post considers ¡°to be the most celebrated locale in American folklore.¡± Where better to celebrate Halloween than in this haunted hollow? For the past decade, ¡°Legend Weekend¡± at Washington Irving¡¯s Sunnyside and Philipsburg Manor has been a sellout affair. In fact, this event is so popular that it has been nominated as one of the top 100 events in the country by the American Bus Association, a major tourism organization.

At Washington Irving¡¯s former home, Sunnyside, spooky tales will be told on woodland walks through the romantic landscape; there will be games for children, 19th-century magic shows and retelling of Irish ghost stories. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is the weekend¡¯s focus, with shadow puppet shows, video presentations and readings of favorite Washington Irving stories. October 25 and 26.

Philipsburg Manor celebrates the important role that legends have played through history with traditional folklore of the Hudson Valley. Storytellers will recount diverse Native American and European legends. Visitors can also learn about fall harvest activities at the historic mill and farm. October 25 and 26.

At night, the Manor will be transformed into a haunted landscape, lit by candle lanterns. The Headless Horseman will gallop through the Manor on his black steed while other chilling inhabitants of Sleepy Hollow¡ªghouls, witches, pirates, ghostly apparitions and characters out of Hudson Valley folklore¡ªwill be brought to life, for a few nights at least. ¡°It¡¯s really a hoot,¡± says David Archer of Historic Hudson Valley. ¡°The Headless Horseman really gets into his role.  It¡¯s just terrific fun for the whole family.¡±


Our Top Picks:

¡°Kids Time¡± events at

The Performing Arts Center


«± The Daredevil Opera Company¡¯s zany ¡°Cirkus Inferno,¡± Ocober 12

Inspired by silent film, animation, vaudeville, circus and mythology, the show is physical comedy at its most explosive. It¡¯s a hilarious slapstick adventure on a circus set featuring original, live cartoon sound design, blazing pyrotechnics, music and outrageous sight gags. Geared to children ages nine and up.


«± Tom Chapin & Friends, October 26

This concert promises to delight the youngest fans (ages 4 and up) and their families. Accompanied by his collaborators Michael Mark and Jon Cobert, Chapin has created a body of songs that are quickly becoming children's classics. His songs and concert video, ¡°This Pretty Planet: Tom Chapin Live in Concert,¡± have been recognized with multiple awards and his most recent recording, ¡°Great Big Fun for the Very Little One,¡± received the 2002 Parents' Choice Gold Award. 

«± Capacitor, November 23.

The marvels of science and technology are explored in an exciting, visual performance by Capacitor artists¡ªmasters of rigging systems and large-scale props designed to stretch the limits of physical poetry. From the movement of the human diaphragm to the story of evolution, from the behavior of electricity to genetics, from the birth of the moon to the cycles of digestion¡ªCapacitor focuses on the body and soul as they interact with new technology.


«± The Shaolin Warriors November 9

These Chinese monks, masters of Kung Fu, combine the grace of ballet and the magic of circus to demonstrate their sacred and deadly art with
stunning movement and spectacular imagery. 


Kids Fare at the Emelin
«± Corduroy, October 4

Theatreworks USA brings to life the story of the teddy bear in green overalls named Corduroy who is just waiting
for a friend. A delightful jazz-inspired musical treat.

«± The Gruffalo, October 18

Fresh from sell-out performances at the Royal National Theatre, Tall Stories Theatre Company comes to the U.S. with this big scary monster of a show about a mouse who can scare hungry animals away with tall stories of the terrifying Gruffalo. See what happens when he comes face to face with the very creature he imagined!


«± Carnival of the Animals, November 1

The Robert Rogers Puppet Company brings this Saint-Saens suite to life with a varied cast of string, hand and rod puppets. Carnival of the Animals features 14 lyrical pieces, each describing a different species of animal.


«± Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, November 28 and 29

The Gingerbread Players and Jack, one of the oldest professional theater companies in the United States performing exclusively for children, present the timeless classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

(See page 150 for information on major performing arts venues.) 




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