What to Do This Season

Let us entertain you: our insider's guide to the very best in music, dance, art, movies, TV, books, and more


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 Arts Preview

 

As the weather cools down, the arts scene heats up around the county. Here’s our guide to dancing, singing, laughing,

gasping, and ooh-ahhing your way through this fall’s cultural offerings. 

By Laura Joseph Mogil

 

 

Innovative.  Cutting Edge.  Groundbreaking. Westchester’s fall arts calendar is chock full of exciting art exhibitions, plays, dance performances, musical events, and book readings that will make you open your eyes, perk up your ears, and sit on the edge of your seat. There’s no need to tax your EZ Pass when you can experience some of the best au courant visual and performing arts right here in Westchester— or sample classic fare if that is more to your liking. Read on to find out about  what’s hot, hip, and happening in Westchester this fall.

 

art

 

Shattering Glass: 

New Perspectives

Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah

November 11, 2007 - February 24, 2008

 

 

Forget the glass slipper:

Karen LaMonte’s sculpture, Dress Impression with Train, is a whole glass gown.

 

Don’t expect to find traditional glass bowls or vases at the Katonah Museum’s Shattering Glass exhibit. As the title implies, this exhibition was designed to shatter visitors’ expectations of glass: what it is, how it looks, how it functions, and any perceived limitations of scale, texture, and malleability.

“We’re pretty much knocking things off the pedestal,” says museum director Neil Watson (a former chief curator at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington), who is co-curating the exhibition with Ellen Keiter, the museum’s curator of contemporary art and exhibitions. Watson says the goal of Shattering Glass is to “show people what artists are currently doing with the material.” And that’s exactly what it does, shedding light on the astonishing range of artwork being created in the medium, including stained glass, found glass, and glass that’s been cast, cut, sandblasted, etched, slumped, and blown, as well as works in crystal, neon, mosaic, and fiber optics.

Among the eye-catching, site-specific artwork is Sharon Louden’s 12-foot-high installation made of black, white, and clear tubes of “flamework” glass. The tubes, which have been heated, bent, and twisted, look like giant squiggles; they dart in and out of the walls and ceiling. Another must-see is Dante Marioni’s eight-foot-long wall piece made of more than 100 clear, hand-blown glass vessels with black outlines, which look like line drawings that seem to, says Watson, “dance across the wall.” Beth Lipman’s table-top still life, composed of plates, glasses, silverware, food, and fabrics created entirely out of glass, is another show-stopper, as are the two translucent and ethereal, cast glass figurative sculptures featuring empty dresses with the ghost of a figure within by Karen LaMonte.

 

OUR PICKS:

 

In Continuum: Current Work

by Past Members

Clay Art Center, Port Chester

September 5 - 29 (opening reception is September 8 from  6 to 8 pm)

 

 

It’s a blast from the past at the Clay Art Center, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary by mounting an exhibition in its Choy Gallery that highlights the work of 28 past members. Giving testament to the wide range of artwork that has been fabricated at this small but highly venerated Center over the years, In Continuum includes functional pottery, wall works, and decorative vessels as well as figurative and abstract sculptures. 

 

Size Matters: XXL
Recent Large-Scale Paintings

Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art Peekskill;

September 16, 2007 - Spring 2008

The bigger the better in this exhibition that showcases works in which size plays a major role. The second in a two-part series that looks at issues of scale in contemporary painting, the show features monumental works by some of today’s most influential artists. Don’t miss Richard Jackson’s “performative painting” featuring a living room set splattered in paint, or Jonathan Meese’s 20-foot-wide by 12-foot-high mixed-media work with photos collaged onto the canvas.

­­

Twist & Shout: The New Needle Arts

Pelham Art Center, Pelham

September 21 - November 2

 

 

A far cry from Grandma’s stitching sampler, this show gives a refreshing perspective on the five time-honored needle art techniques: embroidery, needlepoint, cross stitch, knitting, and crocheting. Among the 14 contemporary fiber artists to produce provocative, concept-driven art are Paté Conaway, whose 15-foot mittens are the product of four-foot knitting needles and upholstery, and Donna Rosenthal, whose crocheted steel-wire miniature clothing conveys gender-related messages.

 

Tzedakah: The Path to Righteousness

Westchester Arts Council’s Arts Exchange

White Plains

September 24 - October 27

The more than 40 tzedakah (charity) boxes on exhibit here not only are visually stunning but also explore the significance of charity in all religions and cultures. From the collections of five local lenders, the breathtaking boxes range in time period from the early 19th century to the present and are created from a variety of products, including silver, brass, and wood. 

 

Hearing Space

The Studio: An Alternative Space for Contemporary Art, Armonk

September 29 - November 11

You’ll not only have to open your eyes, you’ll also have to listen very closely at this exhibition by sonic artist and philosopher Bruce Odland, who takes the sounds of the environment to create music. Expect to hear Westchester like you’ve never heard it before, from a harp played by a snow-and-ice storm to a one-string fiddle bowed by the flooding Croton River. Enhancing the exhibition are DVD visuals on monitors as well as displays of the unusual instruments and recording devices that the artist constructed to gather the sounds.

 

ALSO CONSIDER…

 

The Rye Arts Center holds its 7th Annual Painters on Location from September 9 to 15. Approximately 45 professional artists, who’ve been invited to paint around the Sound Shore area, will exhibit and auction off their work to benefit the center.

 

 

At The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, James Prosek’s new works depict beautifully rendered birds hovering in abstract environments in the exhibition, Life & Death: A Visual Taxonomy, running from September 16, 2007 to June 8, 2008. The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers hosts Pattern and Decoration: An Ideal Vision in Contemporary Art, 1975-1985, from October 27, 2007 to January 27, 2008, which features the art of 11 painters, sculptors, and printmakers who were influenced by the visual pleasure and beauty of women’s work. 

 

 

 

 Looking for a charming watercolor, beautifully crafted ceramic vase, or handsome hand-blown glass bowl? You’re in luck because Westchester is hosting three major arts and crafts shows this fall. It all begins with the 23rd annual Fall Crafts at Lyndhurst, running from September 14 to 16 in Tarrytown. You’ll find contemporary works by more than 300 artists and craftspeople from across the country, including one-of-a-kind and limited edition jewelry, fashion and accessories, furniture, and home décor pieces as well as functional and sculptural work in ceramics, glass, and metal—not to mention an outstanding array of painting and photography. Next on the circuit is the Armonk Outdoor Art Show, now in its 46th year, featuring arts and crafts from 190 juried artists from 35 states. Taking place on September 29 and 30 in the North Castle Community Park, this year this top-ranked, juried show includes 40 new exhibitors and showcases everything from watercolors, oils, photography, and sculpture to fine crafts such as jewelry, leather, and raku. Last but not least is the 14th annual Westchester Craft Show, which returns to the Westchester County Center in White Plains on October 19 to 21. This prestigious show and sale is highlighted by expertly crafted glass, porcelain, wood, precious metals, wearable art, and furniture. “Part of the enjoyment of attending the show is being able to see a full range of each artist’s work, while having the opportunity to become acquainted with those artists whose work you admire and collect,” says Elizabeth Kubie, head of Crafts America, the organizer of the show.

 

 

 

WHAT’S HOT

 

Richard III

The Insights & Revelations Performance Series

Rosenthal JCC of Northern Westchester, Pleasantville

September 29

 

 

Want to feel like a real theater insider? Then pay a visit to the Rosenthal JCC, home to Insights & Revelations, which recently won this magazine’s “Best of Westchester” award for best new per-formance series.

Producer Anna Becker says this fall, theatergoers can get a “behind-the-scenes look at bringing Shakespeare from the page to the stage” when the Classic Stage Company holds an open rehearsal of the Bard’s Richard III before bringing it Off Broadway later in the year.

This is a great chance to see major Shakespearean actors up close, including Obie Award winner Michael Cumpsty (see Datebook, page 219), who’ll be tackling the leading role of Richard III, Western literature’s grandest villain. Talking about Cumpsty, the Wall Street Journal asks rhetorically, “Is there a better Shakespearean actor in America?”

 

 

According to Becker, the audience will get a chance to see “the creative process in motion,” as director Brian Kulick has the cast repeat scenes and try them in different ways during the rehearsal. He’ll also speak openly with the audience about what he’s trying to accomplish and discuss different acting approaches and directorial interpretations. Really, what better way is there to get the inside theater scoop?

1984

 

The Actors’ Gang

The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, Purchase

October 5 and 6

The mission of The Actors’ Gang, founded in 1981 in Los Angeles by a group of renegade theatre artists, is to create bold, original works for the stage and daring reinterpretations of the classics. Under the direction of Academy Award winner Tim Robbins, the Gang is mounting a brand new adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

 

Evermore…Murder and Mystery

by Edgar Allan Poe

The Rye Arts Center, Rye; October 21

Prepare for Halloween with an afternoon of scary tales, featuring a haunting performance of three of Edgar Allan Poe’s works by actor/director Tony Tsendas. Other featured guests include Jeff Jerome, curator of Baltimore’s Poe House and Museum; music legend and two-time Edgar Award winner Rupert Homes; and CBS-TV and radio journalist Anthony Mason, who will share secrets, discuss mysteries, and answer questions about America’s most chilling author.

 

NBC’s Last Comic Standing Live Tour

Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown; October 24

What could be funnier than watching NBC’s smash hit Last Comic Standing? The answer is seeing the comedians live on stage when the official “NBC’s Last Comic Standing Live Tour” comes to Tarrytown. Don’t miss this opportunity to laugh out loud at the hilarious stand-up routines of five finalists from the popular series, including the comic America selected as the funniest new comedian in the world.

 

Hong Kong

Blueberry Pond Theatre Ensemble,

Cedar Lake Park in Ossining; November 2 - December 2

Directed by Southern playwright Lloyd Pace, Hong Kong was developed inside Blueberry Pond’s theatre labs as part of the center’s efforts to bring cutting-edge performances to Westchester. (FYI: Blueberry Pond received this magazine’s “Best of Westchester” Award in 2005 for “Best Venue for Original Theater” in the county.) The play traces what happens when a love triangle and a major business deal intersect inside the city of Hong Kong. So, sit back in your comfy leather club chair inside the Shine House’s intimate 49-seat theater and enjoy!

 

Reading: Peter Cole and Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, Sleepy Hollow; November 18

Co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Understanding, this heavy-hitting program promises to be “an event that provokes thought and discussion through the power of the written and spoken word,” says Jerri Lynn Fields, executive director of the Writers’ Center. Sharing the mike are Israeli poet and translator Peter Cole and Muslim poet and translator Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

 

ALSO CONSIDER…

 

 

MASKED AND ANONYMOUS: Robert Cuccioli and Glory
Crampton in Phantom, to be performed this
season at the Westchester Broadway Theatre.

 

Come enjoy some theater classics: Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford presents Phantom from October 4 to November 25 and December 27 to January 27, 2008. The Sound of Music is at the Irvington Town Hall Theater on November 3 to 4 and 9 to 11, and the White Plains Performing Arts Center puts on Man of La Mancha from November 29 to December 16.

 

DANCE

 

 

OUR PICKS:

 

Mark Morris Dance Group

The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, Purchase September 28

Calling all lovers of modern dance: Mark Morris, who’s considered one of the greatest choreographers of our time, is bringing his dance company to Purchase this fall. Formed in 1980, the Mark Morris Dance Group gave its first performance in New York City and then was invited to become the national dance company of Belgium in 1988. Thankfully, the troupe returned to the United States in 1991 and has been delighting dance lovers ever since.

 

 

Taylor 2 Dance Concert

Westchester Community College’s Academic Arts Theatre

Valhalla; October 20  

 Paul Taylor has been called a genius, a legend, and a cultural icon, and you’ll be able to see why when Taylor 2 comes to town.  Formed in 1993, Taylor 2 is a company of six dancers who bring many of the choreographer’s modern masterworks to smaller venues around the globe. The athleticism, humor, and range of emotions found in Taylor’s work are sure to draw you in and make you a big fan, if you aren’t already.

 

Steffi Nossen School of Dance presents An Afternoon of Dance:  A Choreography Showcase

Purchase College Dance Theater Laboratory, Purchase

December 1

Grab the opportunity to see the work of Westchester’s emerging choreographers in this dance showcase that features a broad spectrum of styles from contemporary and modern to jazz. Among the highlights is the premiere of a newly commissioned work by Sidra Bell, a White Plains resident and Purchase College MFA graduate whose works have been seen at the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival in Lee, Massachusetts; The Yard in Martha’s Vineyard; and various New York City venues. As an added bonus, the performances will be followed by a Q & A session with the choreographers and dancers. 

 

WHAT’S HOT

 

Beijing LDTX

The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, Purchase

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