Fall Arts Preview
As summer winds to a close, culture in the county starts to heat up.As summer winds to a close, culture in the county starts to heat up.
Cultural events this year love experimenting with mixing styles.
Photo courtesy ACA Galleries, New York
American People Series #18: The Flag Is Bleeding by Faith Ringgold, on view at the Neuberger
American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold’s Paintings of the 1960s
September 11 to December 19 Neuberger Museum of Art
The Neuberger pairs two exhibitions that haven’t been seen together since they first debuted in the late ’60s/early ’70s. The shows feature the work of Faith Ringgold, a painter, quilter, children’s book writer and illustrator, and activist. The first series, American People, deals with “the paradoxes of integration felt by many black Americans,” she’s said. The second half of the show, Black Light, explores the symbolic meanings of colors, especially the color black.
The Enslaved Africans’ Rain Garden
September 16 to October 15 Arts Exchange
Did you know that the first enslaved Africans were freed by law 76 years before the Emancipation Proclamation? Sculptor Vinnie Bagwell, best known in these parts for her sculpture of Ella Fitzgerald on display at the Yonkers Metro-North Railroad Station, pays tribute to this achievement through a series of drawings, models, and life-sized sculptures. If you don’t catch the exhibition at the Arts Exchange, you’ll be able to spot these pieces permanently around the City of Yonkers.
After the Fall
September 19 to July 2011 Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art
It’s great that we live in an area so rich with culture, but did you ever get the feeling that the art you see is getting a little too New Yorky? Avoid being one of those New York snobs with this show, which features artists from six Eastern and Central European countries (Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Romania, and Solvenia). The 18 artists featured in the exhibition were born under Communist rule, but worked after Communism—so you bet the art they create will be different from what comes out of those City studios.
Paintbox Leaves: Autumnal Inspiration from Cole to Wyeth
Photo courtesy of Marlborough Galleries
Clive Smith's natural and artificial markings #8 was inspired by autumn.
September 25 to January 16 Hudson River Museum
Autumn is one of the best times of year in Westchester—and for reasons other than the increasing amounts of arts events. The gorgeous leaves offer endless artistic inspiration. This exhibition at the Hudson River Museum collects 60 works inspired by fall, including works representative of the Hudson River School through the urban realism of today. Makes you think twice when you look out your windows.
>>> Also Consider: A.R.T.S. (Artists Ready to Sell) lives up to its name when the gallery hosts a month-long sale of works by 20 participating artists (September 1 to October 1). The Pelham Art Center finds inspiration all around with The Things Themselves: Contemporary Still Life (September 10 to October 30). Big names line the walls at Madelyn Jordon Fine Art when it opens Print Focus: Modern and Contemporary Masters, featuring works by Milton Avery and Sol Lewitt (September 24 to October 31). Things get a little jazzy at the Rye Arts Center with Jazz: Iconic Portraits and Contemporary Images (October 17 to December 4). The Canfin Gallery puts favorite artists back-to-back with exhibitions of paintings by Jean Triolet (October 16 to October 31) and Rick Garcia (November 6 to November 21).
Elvis Presley and the Best of Sun Records
September 7 Avon Theatre Film Center
Sometimes, it’s good to be a pack rat—as Bill Shelley of Shelley Archives knows too well. The Archives has saved more than 10,000 hours worth of footage of rare concerts, TV shows, promos, interviews, and home movies. Now you get to reap the benefits. Shelley himself will host a screening of never-before-seen footage of Elvis Presley, which ranges from the 1950s to the 1970s. In addition to the King, Shelley will also show footage from Presley’s Sun Records label-mates, including Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Metropolis once was lost, but now is found.
September 17 Jacob Burns Film Center
The film world was shocked when the director’s cut of Fritz Lang’s 1927 sci-fi masterpiece surfaced at a museum in Argentina. Originally, the film was deemed too long by Paramount Pictures overlords, who cut it by a half-hour—and it was believed that the full-length version was lost forever. Now, you can see the classic, fully restored to its original (longer) glory. Not only will you get to revel in Lang’s genius, but you can also take in a music performance—the Alloy Orchestra will be on-hand to perform a live accompaniment.
Greenwich Classic Film Series: The Great Dictator
November 1 and 2 Bow Tie Movie Theater
Few know that Charlie Chaplin wasn’t only a silent film star—he did “talkies” as well. The Greenwich Classic Film Series hosts a screening of Chaplin’s first all-talking film, followed by a discussion with Larchmont native Ben Model, a silent film accompanist and producer of “The Silent Clowns” film series at the Lincoln Center. (This time, though, Chaplin provides his own music.)
>>> Also Consider: Talk Cinema returns with more opportunities to see independent films before the hype machine gets to them (September 23). Check out films from the other side of the world when Purchase College’s Jewish Studies Film Festival brings films of Jewish interest from Israel (September 27 to October 11). When you’re sitting in the theater, it’s easy to forget about the great outdoors—unless you’re watching one of the films selected for the Jacob Burns Film Center’s “Focus on Nature” series (October). The films will be molto bene with the Westchester Italian Film Festival returns to the Picture House in Pelham (October).
Music [CLASSICAL & OPERA]
Stephen Schwartz: not so wicked after all.
The Composer’s Hour: Stephen Schwartz
September 19 Copland House at Merestead
Copland House at Merestead continues its mission of making sure we’re the first to hear some of the most exciting projects out there. (That’s a mission we can get behind.) This time, decorated-up-the-wazoo composer Stephen Schwartz, who did the music for Godspell and Wicked, gives a sneak peek at his forthcoming opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, with its star soprano Lauren Flanigan.
Photo by Michael O'Neill
Yo-Yo Ma teams up with a Brooklyn-based ensemble.
Yo-Yo Ma and the Knights
September 26, Caramoor
Young and old, established and up-and-coming, this concert has a little something for everyone. The performance, part of the Caramoor Fall Festival, teams the venerated cellist with the Knights, a young chamber orchestra fresh from the Brooklyn arts scene. Those with kids might want to check out the 1 pm family performance, just a few hours before the regular show in the gorgeous Venetian Theater.
Itzhak Perlman returns for another year with the Westchester Philharmonic.
Itzhak Perlman: Conductor and Violin
October 9 and 10 The Performing Arts Center
In the three years since he’s taken the baton for the Westchester Philharmonic, we’ve gotten used to seeing violin great Itzhak Perlman leading the orchestra. But there’s still magic every time he lifts his violin. Perlman will conduct and play at these two performances, with a program that features works by Beethoven, Berlioz, and Tchaikovsky.
October 31, Bedford Presbyterian Church
We all know it’s not the blood or guts on screen that makes a movie scary—it’s the creepy music. Baroque ensemble REBEL gets into the Halloween mood with a performance of music and poetry with “nocturnal themes.” In addition to works by Vivaldi, Purcell, Biber, Rameau, and Mozart, the program includes a reading of poetry by Nimet Habachy, host of WQXR’s Overnight Music.
>>> Also Consider: Break out your opera glasses—the Taconic Opera will perform a fully staged version of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, backed by a full orchestra, at the Yorktown Stage (October 15,16, and 17). Celebrate David Amram’s 80th (!) birthday with chamber ensemble Music From Copland House, which will play his music (October 24). Baritone Tyler Duncan gives a recital performance for the Chaminade Music Club of Yonkers and loves it—he’s appearing as winner of the “Joy in Singing’s 2010 Debut Artist Award Winner" (November 16).
Music [JAZZ, FOLK, ROCK, AND POP]
September 24 Tarrytown Music Hall
When you are low and life is making you lonely you can always go—to Tarrytown. There, “Downtown” singer Petula Clark will perform her British Invasion hits. Sing along to classics like “This Is My Song,” “I Know a Place,” and “My Love.”
Nick Lowe performs songs from a career that spans more than three decades.
Nick Lowe and His Band
October 16 Tarrytown Music Hall
Admit it: you hear the song “Cruel to Be Kind”—or maybe you just think about it—and it stays in your head the rest of the day. Nick Lowe is the musician behind that and, as producer, other catchy hits recorded by Elvis Costello and The Pretenders. If hearing his tunes in person sounds better to you than singing them to yourself, check out his show at the Tarrytown Music Hall, where he will perform with a full band for the first time since 1998.
Jetrho Tull’s Ian Anderson
October 19, Paramount Center for the Arts
In the history of rock ‘n’ roll, only one man has been able to make the flute sound tough. More than 40 years after Jethro Tull released its first record, frontman Ian Anderson is still touring and recording his own instrumental music—and rocking out on the flute.
November 4 Ridgefield Playhouse
Be honest: you vote for American Idol. If you voted for Katharine McPhee, who didn’t win but came in second to Taylor Hicks in the fifth season, you can see the fruits of your frantic dialing on stage. McPhee will perform songs from her most recent album, January’s Unbroken.
>>> Also Consider: Anything goes when Broadway star Patti LuPone performs at Caramoor’s Fall Festival (September 25). If you long for the good old—really old—days, see jazz musician Pat Metheny perform his Orchestrion tour, which matches music of the late-19th and early-20th centuries with the technology of today, at the Paramount Center for the Arts (October 6). Put down the Beatles Rock Band and get a taste of the Fab Four in person when the Irvington Town Hall Theater hosts Beatlemania Again (October 10). George Winston tickles the ivories at the Emelin Theatre (October 23).
Dance Theatre of Harlem
October 2, Museum of Arts and Culture
All summer, New Rochelle’s Museum of Arts and Culture has hosted an exhibition titled “Harlem? Harlem! Dance Theatre of Harlem 1969-2010,” about the groundbreaking dance troupe. What better way to close the exhibit than with a living example of the group’s work? The Dance Theatre of Harlem performs its acclaimed routines to coincide with New Rochelle’s ArtsFest.
Photo by Carol Pratt
The Balanchine Couple, directed by a one-time Balanchine muse.
The Suzanne Farrell Ballet: The Balanchine Couple
November 7, The Performing Arts Center
Everyone loves George Balanchine’s gorgeous ballet choreography—and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet only gives you the good parts. For the program titled The Balanchine Couple, the company will perform nine of the master’s pas de deux. They’ll all be introduced by Farrell, who, being a one-time Balanchine muse, knows a thing or two about the material.
Photo by Basil Childers
Rioult's Views of the Fleeting World is inspired by Japanese woodcut prints.
November 20, Emelin Theatre
The Best of Westchester-winning dance series returns for its second year at the Emelin Theatre (and it doesn’t embarrass us for giving it the award). The dance series starts with a performance by Rioult, whose choreographer, Pascal Rioult, was called as “one of the most adept and courageous choreographers in mainstream modern dance today” by Backstage magazine. The program includes Rioult’s pieces City, Wien, and Views of the Fleeting World.
Incoming Tide Fringe Arts Festival
September 22 to 26 Wildcliff Manor
Yes, Westchester has a fringe! More fringe than you can handle, actually. Incoming Tide Entertainment has rounded up a group of actors, musicians, dancers, and comedians to perform a multi-day festival of arts. Performances take place under a tent on the historic property, overlooking the Long Island Sound. The festival begins and ends with celebratory receptions.
Jekyll and Hyde
September 30 to November 28, Westchester Broadway Theatre
Robert Cuccioli, Broadway’s original Dr. Jekyll (and Mr. Hyde, of course), directs the split-personality musical for the Westchester Broadway Theatre. Cuccioli is no stranger to the Westchester Broadway Theatre, repeatedly starring in its version of Kopit and Yeston’s Phantom, so he knows his way around his ghoulish characters.
He Who Findeth a Good Wife, Findeth a Good Thing
October 22 to October 23, Tarrytown Music Hall
Are you trying to findeth a good play? You might want to check out this “modern day romantic gospel musical drama,” written by Westchester playwright Paul Bratcher. American Idol finalist Vonzell Solomon and multi-platinum, R&B artist Montell Jordan (of “This Is How We Do It” fame) star in the production.
>>> Also Consider: The Westchester Sandbox Theatre takes to the high seas with its Busby Berkeley-musical-style parody, Dames at Sea (September 17 to October 3). Double the plays for less than half the price: M&M productions offers free performances of two plays—The Lady with All The Answers (about Ann Landers) and Neil Simon’s Jake’s Women—at local libraries across the county (September 12 to November 21). Help the historic Manor Club in Pelham restore its roof by watching a series of excerpts from plays—and one indie film—by playwright Rosemary Foley at an evening titled Comedies to Raise the Roof By (September 25). See future stage stars on the rise when Purchase College’s Purchase Repertory Theatre performs Three Sisters by Anton Chekov (October 15 to October 23).
Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix
September 11, Ridgefield Playhouse
And you thought you were talented because you taught your dog to fetch? Johnny Peers, a Ringling Brothers Clown College graduate, has got his brood of a dozen dogs riding skateboards, climbing ladders, and doing conga lines. Your kids will never look at your lazy yellow lab the same way again.
Photo Roberto Falck
Harvest Fest brings hungry revelers to Stone Barns
Harvest Fest 2010
October 2, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
When harvest time rolls around, there’s only one place we want to be: Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. Lucky for us, the Center is letting everyone celebrate the harvest with it (and its delicious goodies). Little ones will love the down-on-the-farm activities, like hayrides and farm games. But we know you’re in it for the food, so get ready to sample treats from the Berkshire pig roast, watch the judges pick a winner in the pie bake-off, and then take home some treats from the farmer’s market.
Black Violin: Classical Music Meets Hip-Hop
October 28, Paramount Center for the Arts
If your kids have sworn that classical music will never defile their iPods, they need to see this performance. Two classically trained musicians team up with a DJ to take some of the stuffiness out of classical music. After seeing them perform, your kids probably won’t complain the next time you tell them to practice their instruments.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
November 21, Westport Country Playhouse
Sure, you can rent the (mediocre) films, but the best way to see C.S. Lewis’s vision of Narnia come alive is in person. Bring your kids to this show, presented as part of the Westport Country Playhouse’s “Family Festivities” series, and who knows? They might go home and actually read the book.
>>> Also Consider: If you can’t wait for Stone Barns’s Harvest Fest, find out about Northern Westchester’s rural roots at the annual Yorktown Grange Fair (September 9 to 12). Bring out your budding bookworms to meet their heroes when dozens of local children’s book authors, illustrators, and even characters converge on Washington Irving’s Sunnyside for Children’s Book Day (September 19). There are lots of fun family activities taking place all over the Queen City during New Rochelle’s Arts Fest, but your kids might be most entertained by rides on the free trolley (October 2 to October 3). Pumpkins have never looked so good as when they are transformed into bumblebees, UFOs, and dinosaurs in at the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor (October 2 to November 7).
In Their Own Words
Photo by Andrew Scrivani
Frank Bruni: will write for food.
September 14, Chutney Masala
We love Spoken Interludes events because they don’t make us choose between going out to dinner, heading out for a cocktail party, or going to an author reading. (We must admit that, in those cases, author readings don’t usually win out.) This reading salon gives us all three at the same time, with a delicious Indian buffet from Chutney Masala, a chance to mingle with writers and readers, and quick readings from different authors. For this go-round, the program includes readings by New York Times writer Frank Bruni (Born Round: A Story of Family, Food and a Ferocious Appetite), Westchester native Sloane Crosley (How Did You Get This Number), and Nancy Mauro (New World Monkeys).
Meet the Writers: James King
October 5 Manhattanville College
Author James King gives hope to all you procrastinators out there. He’d been a freelance writer and corporate flack for more than 30 years, all the time wishing he could write a novel. In 2006, he finally pulled the trigger and decided to get a master’s degree in writing from Manhattanville and worked on his Great American Novel. It sold, was published, and King won the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Hear him discuss his life and career at Manhattanville’s—free!—“Meet the Writers” series.
John Lithgow’s Stories By Heart
October 14, Paramount Center for the Arts
You know John Lithgow as that crazy character actor, most recently as one creepy dude on Dexter. But acting chops like that don’t just come from thin air. In his one-man theatrical memoir, Lithgow explores how storytelling has been influential in his life and career by recalling memories of his grandmother and father.
Readings from The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay
November 21, Hudson Valley Writers’ Center
It’s always unfortunate when an artist finds success posthumously—but a lot of great artists have. Actress and writer Beverly Jensen is no exception, and her award-winning novel of interconnected stories, The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay, was only published this year (seven years after her death from pancreatic cancer). As part of its reading series, the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center will host readings of excerpts from the book, so you can see why her friends and family pushed so hard to have the manuscript published.
Margaret Wozniak's ceramics are available at Crafts at Lyndhurst.
Fall Crafts at Lyndhurst
September 10 to 12 Lyndhurst
At this twice-yearly craft show, the setting rivals the work in beauty. It’s worth a visit just to stroll the grounds of the Gothic Revival mansion. But, once you’re there, if you want to do a little shopping, that’s good, too. More than 300 crafts people flock to this location to show off their metal jewelry, wearable fiber art, and works in glass, wood, leather, metal, and clay.
Open-air shopping at the Armonk Outdoor Art Show
Armonk Outdoor Art Show
September 25 and 26, North Castle Community Park
After running an art show for 49 years, you learn a thing or two. The organizers of the Armonk Outdoor Art Show obviously have, since their show has been ranked among the top fine art and design shows in the New York Metropolitan area by Sunshine Artist magazine. All the better for the artists displaying their oil paintings, photography, digital art, prints, sculptures, watercolor, ceramics, and wood. And you can shop without guilt, because proceeds benefit the North Castle Public Library and its Whippoorwill Hall Theater.
Crafts on Stage
October 30 and 31 The Performing Arts Center
The Performing Arts Center is known for bringing the best in the arts world to its stage—it only makes sense that once a year it brings the best in crafts to its stage, too. More than 100 juried artists, many of them local, showcase their jewelry, ceramics, fiber art, baskets, fine art, and more, and proceeds benefit the Center.
Westchester Craft Show
The Westchester Craft
October 15 to 17 Westchester County Center
Crafts America—a Greens Farms, Connecticut-based company—is known for putting on tony, prestigious craft shows. In addition to the Westchester County Center, the company organizes shows in Washington and West Palm Beach. So when you’re browsing the furniture, clothing, leather goods, and decorative accessories here, you know they came from the finest artisans around the country—not too shabby. For more on the artists, visit craftsamerica shows.com.
The Box Office
Where to Score the Hot Tickets
Armonk Outdoor Art Show
(914) 428-4220 artswestchester.com
Avon Theatre Film Center
(914) 232-5035; caramoor.org
Chaminade Music Club of Yonkers
Clay Art Center
Copland House at Merestead
(914) 698-0098; emelin.org
Greenwich Classic Film Series
Groove Performing Arts
Historic Hudson Valley
(Van Cortlandt Manor/Washington Irving’s Sunnyside)
Hudson River Museum
(914) 963-4550; hrm.org
Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art
(914) 788-0100; hvcca.org
Hudson Valley Writers’ Center
Incoming Tide Entertainment
Irvington Town Hall Theater
Jacob Burns Film Center
M&M Productions Acting Company
(914) 962-3431; mmpaci.com
Madelyn Jordon Fine Art
(914) 323-5239; mville.edu
The Manor Club
Museum of Arts & Culture
(914) 576-6518; dbmac.org
Neuberger Museum of Art
(914) 251-6100; neuberger.org
New Rochelle Council on the Arts
Paramount Center for the Arts
Pelham Art Center
The Performing Arts Center
(914) 251-6200; artscenter.org
The Picture House Regional Film Center
Rye Arts Center
Stamford Center for the Arts
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
Tarrytown Music Hall
Westchester Broadway Theatre
Westchester Chamber Symphony
(914) 654-4926; westchester chamberorchestra.org
Westchester County Center
Westchester Sandbox Theatre
(914) 630-0804; westchester sandboxtheatre.com
Westport Country Playhouse
Yorktown Grange Fair
Aging assassins, clueless couples, weary wizards, and lots and lots of 3D find their way to the box office this season.
Photo by Giles Keyte
George Clooney is The American—and certainly not an ugly one.
Is it just us, or does George Clooney look suave and debonair even when his characters are in the midst of mid-life crises? It takes real acting skill to make that look so good—especially when, as in the case with The American, his character is an assassin awaiting his final job. It doesn’t hurt that the film, directed by Anton Corbijn, was shot on location in Italy, which doesn’t look too shabby itself.
Photo Courtesy of Barry Wetcher
Michael Douglas cashes out for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
It’s been more than two decades since we first met Gordon Gekko. Does he still believe that greed is good? Oliver Stone and Michael Douglas both return, picking up the story after Gekko is released from his stint in prison—just in time for 2008’s financial meltdown. Too soon?
Photo by Keith Hamshere © 2010 Mediapro & Gravier Productions, Inc., Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Anthony Hopkins channels Woody Allen for You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
Woody Allen is back—though, sadly, not back in New York. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is the director’s fourth film shot in London—he’s probably hoping to maintain some of that Match Point mojo. The film is about two unhappy couples and the ways in which they try, against the odds, to find happiness, and the cast includes Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Frieda Pinto, and Naomi Watts.
>>> Also Consider: Just in time for back-to-school season, there’s Waiting for Superman (September 24), a depressing documentary about the state of the nation’s school systems. Speaking of school, everybody’s favorite assigned Hawthorne novel, The Scarlet Letter, has been updated, modernized, and adapted into teen comedy Easy A (September 17). Also on the documentary front, Catfish (September 17) was one of the breakout docs at Sundance—though we’ve been assured it has nothing to do with fish, and it’s better if you don’t know what it’s actually about. Also trading in secrets, Never Let Me Go (September 15)—starring Brit powerhouses Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan—is about a woman who reunites with her boarding school friends to uncover crazy, sci-fi secrets about their past.
The Social Network
The Social Network gives a status update for Facebook's founder.
If it wasn’t already possible for Facebook to waste even more of your time, now you can watch a movie about its founding, too. Aaron Sorkin—a Scarsdale High School grad—adapted the book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal for Fight Club’s David Fincher to direct, so if you dig the film remember to “like” them both.
Between the remastered box sets of the Beatles’ albums and Beatles Rock Band, 2010 is seeing a resurgence of Beatlemania. But how much do you know about the group before they became the Fab Four? Slated for release to coincide with his 70th birthday, Nowhere Boy traces John Lennon’s early years and troubled adolescence, growing up in the care of his aunt, through the formation of his first group, the Quarrymen, which eventually morphed into the Beatles.
What is it with these aging assassins? Like George Clooney’s The American, Red is about a team of ex-CIA agents—played by Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freman, and John Malkevich—who’ve retired from the Agency. Only this crew isn’t content to just play shuffleboard.
>>> Also Consider: It’s Halloween time, so pick your scary menace: the vampires in Let Me In (October 1), the demons in Paranormal Activity 2 (October 22), or the monsters in, well, Monsters (October 29). Or, there’s the most frightening concept of all: Jackass 3D (October 15). Those looking to actually sleep at night can take comfort in the next Clint Eastwood-directed movie, Hereafter (October 22), about the ways three unrelated people deal with loss and death.
Copyright Dreamworks Animation
You didn’t think you’d make it through the holiday season without taking in a few 3D flicks, did you? First up is MegaMind, an animated film about the rivalry between an evil super-villain (MegaMind, played by Will Ferrell) and his good-guy nemesis (Metro Man, played by Brad Pitt)—or is that the other way around?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part I
The second big 3D feature of the holiday season is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—coming out just in time for you to have already forgotten everything that happened in the book. (Something about Horcruxes?) The final book in the series has been split into two films, so be prepared to hang on until next July to really, really find closure on the series.
Love and Other Drugs
Well, here’s something you certainly can’t say you’ve seen before: this film is about a salesman who pushes male-enhancement drugs. (It’s based on Jamie Reidy’s novel Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman.) Of course, a woman—played by the always impressive Anne Hathaway—gets involved, and it just gets more complicated from there.
>>> Also Consider: If last year’s The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 wasn’t adrenaline-filled enough for you, director Tony Scott and Denzel Washington return for Unstoppable (November 12), another rail-related drama—this time about a runaway, chemical-filled freight train. For a different kind of high-energy thrill, there’s Burlesque (November 24), a musical about a neo-burlesque club that includes Christina Aguilera, Cher, and Kristen Bell in its cast. Or, if you need something a little less wild, Disney tries to tame the savage locks of Tangled (November 24), a 3D animated movie based on the story of Rapunzel.
Westchester native David O. Russell (I Heart Huckabees) directs this film, about the rise of boxer “Irish” Micky Ward (played by Huckabeess’ Mark Wahlberg). Christian Bale takes time off from fighting crime in Gotham City to play Dickie Eklund, Ward’s formerly down-and-out trainer.
Think of how far video games, digital universes, and neon-colored laser technology have advanced since 1982, when Disney’s first Tron film was released. Now think of what they could do with a Tron sequel, which takes place in the present day and can make use of all those techie advances for geeky goodness. Of course, this one will also be done in 3D—how can you appreciate real-life representations of video games without it? Power up that lightcycle.
Following the success of their other country-and-western-tinged film, No Country for Old Men, the Coen brothers are back to remake the old John Wayne classic. Jeff Bridges leaves the Technicolor world of Tron to step into Wayne’s boots.
>>> Also Consider: Lilliputians may be funny in and of themselves, but they get even funnier when comedian Jack Black visits for an updated version of Gulliver’s Travels (December 22). On a more serious note, Sophia Coppola’s Somewhere (December 22) tells the story of a hard-partying actor (Stephen Dorff, for those who remember the ’90s), who has a not-quite-midlife crisis when he gets a visit from his 11-year-old daughter. And, since it’s always fun to end a year on a down note, there’s Blue Valentine (December 31), about a longtime couple (played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams) at an impasse in their relationship, which garnered a few raves at Sundance.
This season’s authors will have us laughing, thinking, and—most importantly—eating.
My Sweet Mexico: Recipes for Authentic Pastries, Breads, Candies, Beverages, and Frozen Treats
By Fany Gerson
September 14 (Ten Speed Press)
Warning: Don’t read when hungry. Pastry Chef Fany Gerson creates a food-based travelogue of Mexico, incorporating memories, histories, and, of course, recipes of her native country. But it’s the photos of jamoncillo de leche (milk fudge), calabaza en tacha (candied pumpkin), and gorditas de piloncillo (sweet fried masa cakes) that’ll have you reaching for your flour and your baking pans.
The Food Matters Cookbook: Lose Weight and Heal the Planet with More Than 500 Recipes
By Mark Bittman
September 21 (Simon & Schuster Adult)
You’ve read The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Fast Food Nation. You watch Top Chef and America’s Test Kitchen. Ready to put it all together? Mark Bittman, the author of How to Cook Everything, gives you the road map. This giant compendium offers 500 recipes that are not only good for your health but good for the planet, too. Eating without feeling guilty? What’s that like?
Fall of Giants
By Ken Follett
September 28 (Penguin Group USA Incorporated)
Ken Follett shook up his fans when he switched from writing popular thrillers to sweeping, well-researched historical fiction. Fall of Giants continues in this new vein, and he turns his eyes towards the 20th century. The novel follows five related families through all those exciting early-1900s struggles: world wars, women’s suffrage—all that good stuff. A trilogy is planned that will follow the same families through the rest of the century.
By Sara Gruen
September 7 (Spiegel & Grau)
Author Sara Gruen manages to combine sign-language-proficient bonobos, a green-haired vegan, a retired porn star, reality television, and a socially awkward ape scientist in one book—and she makes it work. Isabel, the scientist, gets injured in a bomb blast that frees her apes, which, oddly enough, become reality TV stars. Somehow, it doesn’t get any more normal from there.
Our Kind of Traitor: A Novel
By John le Carré
October 12 (Penguin Group USA Incorporated)
The author of The Constant Gardner returns with another tale of a troubled couple involved in a plot that’s bigger than they can understand. The action takes place in Antigua, where an innocent couple gets roped into a Russian gangster’s plan to defect. The author himself was a member of the British Foreign Service, so he knows his way around a globe-trotting thriller.
By Anita Shreve
November 30 (Little, Brown, and Company)
You might not classify this one as “love at first sight.” In this novel, from the author of The Pilot’s Wife, an inexperienced paramedic falls in love with a woman he pulled from a car crash. Later, she leaves him to raise their daughter—then suddenly returns to their lives. It makes you wonder who is the one that’s actually doing the rescuing (or if it was worth it).
By Sigrid Nunez
September 16 (Riverhead Books)
Who doesn’t love novels about recent-future dystopias? Nunez’s book takes place after a flu pandemic has destroyed much of the social fabric of the United States. A boy finds shelter in Salvation City, where an evangelical pastor and his wife are trying to rebuild life in their utopian image—only the boy isn’t so sure he’s so comfortable with it. This one’s for fans of The Road and other books that make you feel paranoid about the breakdown of society (if that’s your thing).
By Nicholas Sparks
September 14 (Grand Central Publishing)
You know what you’re getting when you read a Nicholas Sparks book. The author of The Notebook and A Walk to Remember has cornered the market on romantic weepies. This time, he tells the story of a girl reluctant to put down roots and start new relationships because of (of course) a dark secret in her past—until (of course again) she meets someone who changes her mind.
New network series this fall go from the crime rings of Hawaii, to the drama-filled bedrooms of oil-rich Texas, to the oh-so-wacky call centers of India.
Photo by Justin Lubin/NBC
The Event: For those who miss Lost.
9 pm, NBC
Fans of serialized, don’t-know-what’s-going-on dramas like Flash Forward may just have a new show to replace the slot Lost used to fill on their DVRs. Sean Walker (played by Jason Ritter, the late John Ritter’s son) tries to figure out what happened to his missing girlfriend, and discovers a super-secret conspiracy that—guess what?—goes all the way to the top.
9 pm, FOX
It’s about time we had another big, melodramatic, oil-fueled primetime soap on TV, right? (Dynasty fans, rejoice!) Lone Star trades Colorado for Texas, where one man has successfully been leading a double-life, with an oil-rich wife and wealthy in-laws in Houston, and a sweet, unsuspecting girlfriend 400 miles away in the West Texas town of Midland.
10 pm, NBC
The show Chase delivers on its title promise, presenting a host of chases as it follows U.S. Marshals tracking down wanted fugitives. And the show comes from a man with much experiences in chases: Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of adrenaline-soaked movies like Con Air, The Rock, Bad Boys, Gone in Sixty Seconds, and even The Amazing Race.
10 pm, CBS
Yes, it’s back. This reboot of the classic TV series looks a little bit tougher than its 1970s counterpart—more guns, more quips, more fights and chases. But, really, we’d watch it just for the theme song.
No Ordinary Family
8 pm, ABC
It was only a matter of time before the super-powered family—think The Incredibles—made its way from comics to TV. In this series, the Powells were a typical, too-busy family until a freak plane crash gave them each a different extraordinary ability. Now—what do they do with it?
9 pm, FOX
From the creator of My Name Is Earl, this show focuses on a similarly eccentric family. The plot centers around 23-year-old Jimmy, who is forced to raise a newborn daughter after his one-night-stand gives birth in prison. And can you guess the name of the daughter?
©2010 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX
Running Wilde: The next best thing to Arrested Development.
9:30 pm, FOX
TV addicts still mourning the death of Arrested Development might be soothed by the new outing from its creator, Mitch Hurwitz. The series is about a loony, out-of-touch, spoiled adult (more oil tycoons), who tries to woo his liberal, humanitarian childhood love—the one woman his money has no effect on. Will Arnett—Gob to Arrested Development fans—plays the scoundrel-in-question in another one of his trademark self-centered jerk roles.
10 pm, ABC
So many cop shows take place on the mean streets of New York City—but Detroit’s streets are even meaner. This drama follows a homicide unit in the Motor City—the city with the highest murder rate in the country.
Photo by Chris Haston/NBC
Undercovers: TV's Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
8 pm, NBC
This series is about your average, run-of-the-mill married caterers—who recently retired from the CIA and got pulled back into the Agency on the trail of a Russian arms dealer. The show is a creation of J.J. Abrams, so fans of Lost, Alias, and quick banter might want to take note.
Better With You
8:30 pm, ABC
This show is about three couples—parents married for 35 years, a couple who has been slowly and steadily dating for nine years, and a couple who impulsively decided to get married and have a baby after seven weeks—all within the same family. Naturally, each couple feels they have the correct approach to love and romance—if such a thing exists.
9 pm, the CW
How many times have you seen Bring It On? If your answer is embarrassingly high, check out this coming-of-age drama. In it, a young pre-law student loses her college scholarship, and learns the only way to stay in school is if she joins her school’s legendary cheerleading team. Get ready to spread those spirit fingers.
10 pm, CBS
What would a fall TV season look like without some sort of a new legal drama? This time, two attorneys are out representing in Las Vegas—which, of course, makes their personal lives, well, complicated. To star in the show, they found two actors who seem at home sleazing it up: Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell.
Law & Order: Los Angeles
10 pm, NBC
This branch of the Law & Order franchise is actually a replacement for the original, New York-based series, which ended its long, long run last year. Since we estimate that it put fully half of all our local actors out of work, we demand a boycott.
The Whole Truth
10 pm, ABC
Instead of law and order, this show is about law and law: it presents both sides of a case, shifting your allegiance between the prosecution and the defense. You be the judge (but you have to bring your own gavel).
8 pm, ABC
Ah, finally a show that’s willing to tackle the crushing disappointment people feel a few years after their college graduations, once they realize how tough it is out there in the “real world.” In the drama, a documentary crew followed Austin’s Greenbelt High School Class of 2000, and then returns to check on them 10 years later (after they all failed to launch venture capital-backed Internet start-ups, one assumes).
$#*! My Dad Says
8:30 pm, CBS
Bizarrely enough, this sitcom evolved from a popular Twitter feed (so, of course, the main character, Henry, is an unpaid blogger). Henry finds he can no longer afford rent, and moves back home with his “politically incorrect” father—and dads just say the darndest things. This show gets bonus points, though, for casting William Shatner in the Archie Bunkeresque role.
Photo by Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW, courtesy of The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved
Nikita: For those nostalgic for the 1990s.
9 pm, the CW
Nikita, a remake of the late-’90s action series on USA, has everything you could want in a television show: wrongful accusations, government cover-ups, betrayal, and a vow of revenge. It’s good stuff.
Consider this East-Meets-Midwest: This show follows a manager of a novelties company who is suddenly shipped off to India to run the company’s outsourced call center—and teach the employees a thing or two about the good ol’ U.S. of A. The show comes courtesy of Ken Kwapis, an executive producer on The Office, so he knows his way around a workplace comedy.
8 pm, ABC
Taking a page from the Dan Aykroyd playbook, this reality show follows filthy-rich individuals who give up the high life and attempt to live undiscovered in one of the country’s most impoverished areas. Can the wealthy live off welfare wages?
8 pm, NBC
Think of it as Extreme Makeover: School Edition. This reality show looks at communities who are looking to revive their schools—and instill a little school pride in their students.
Body of Proof
9 pm, ABC
In a world of shows about brilliant-but-eccentric men—House, The Mentalist, Lie to Me—we finally have a woman we can add to the team of offbeat heroes. Body of Proof is about a neurosurgeon-turned-medical-examiner, obsessed with figuring out her cases’ causes of death. The lovely Dana Delaney stars as Dr. Megan Hunt. (Think that name has a double meaning?)
10 pm, CBS
Tom Selleck is back on TV, and, if anything, his mustache is even longer! He plays the patriarch in a family of New York City cops, which includes his two sons (and a daughter who’s a D.A.). Of course, because it takes place in New York, the police life isn’t always so easy, and Jamie—the youngest, and a rookie—is soon recruited onto a secret investigation that Pop might not approve of.
10 pm, NBC
This is a new twist—sure, it’s a legal show, but the main character, played by Jimmy Smits, is a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. That is, until he has a crisis of faith and quits the bench to go back to practicing law and stand up for the “little guy,” making it more like every other legal drama on television right now.
Mike and Molly
9:30 pm, CBS
From the creator of CBS hits Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, this show is about a couple who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. (I guess the title “Big Love” was already taken.) They forge their relationship in Chicago, in the face of a constant assault from thinner friends and coworkers who always seem to be eating chocolate in front of them.