Westchester Fall Theater Events: Denis O’Hare: An Iliad and Les Misérables in White Plains

PLUS: Kiss Me, Kate in Elmsford and Ragtime in Irvington



Denis O’Hare: An Iliad; photo by Joan MarcusDenis O’Hare: An Iliad
September 29
The Performing Arts Center, Purchase
(914) 251-6200; artscenter.org
If you were one of the lucky few to catch Into the Woods when it was in Central Park last summer, you’ll recognize Denis O’Hare as the Baker. Otherwise, the veteran stage actor—he won a Tony for his role in Take Me Out in 2003—has been “that guy” in a ton of TV shows and movies, from Garden State to The Good Wife. He’ll need that versatility when he comes to the Performing Arts Center, where he’ll take on not just one role, but a whole bevy of them—namely, everyone in the The Iliad. The one-man show, co-written and directed by Lisa Peterson, has O’Hare playing all the characters from Athena to Achilles in an attempt to figure out if anything’s really changed since the Trojan War. 

Les Misérables
December 13 – December 31
White Plains Performing Arts Center, White Plains
(914) 328-1600; wppac.com
Sure, this production is more of a winter event than a fall one, but, for something as universally beloved as Les Misérables, we can make an exception. The White Plains Performing Arts Center brings the first professional production of the musical to Westchester in mid to late December. If Anne Hathaway has caused a resurgence of “I Dreamed a Dream” in your household, they’ll help you get your Fantine fix. 

Ragtime
November 2 – November 10
Irvington Town Hall Theater, Irvington
(914) 591-6602; irvingtontheater.com
Ragtime boasts some larger-than-life characters—though many of them were real people. Just try to find another musical where Harry Houdini, Booker T. Washington, Emma Goldman, Henry Ford, and Evelyn Nesbit all get to sing. See them up on stage when the Clock Players Adult Troupe brings the musical—which was nominated for a whopping 12 Tony Awards when it debuted on Broadway in 1998—to the Irvington Town Hall Theatre. 

Kiss Me, Kate
September 12 – November 3
Westchester Broadway Theatre, Elmsford
(914) 592-2222; broadwaytheatre.com
Cole Porter never goes out of season. The Westchester Broadway Theatre presents Porter’s twist on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, about an ex-husband-and-wife team trying to mount a production of the Bard’s play. While this past summer might give extra oomph to the song “Too Darned Hot,” we bet it’ll be “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” that sticks in your head for days afterward.

Also Consider: The Westport Country Playhouse honors Phylicia Rashad at a fundraising gala with performances by surprise Broadway stars (September 16) // The Penguin Rep tells a modern-day spy story with the New York premiere of The Farm (September 27 – October 20) // Those not recovered from The Great Gatsby this summer can get another fix of Fitzgerald with the Small Town Theatre Company’s The Last Flapper at the Woodward Hall Theatre in Armonk (October 4 – 5) // Farce fans can check out the madcap adventures of a bunch of broke actors in Room Service at the Westport Country Playhouse (October 8 – 27) // Spend An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe at Boscobel, and you’ll sleep nevermore (October 20, 27) // Actor John Lithgow brings his one-man theatrical memoir, Stories By Heart, to the Quick Center at Fairfield University (November 15) // Members of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival move from Shakespeare to Dickens with performances of A Christmas Carol around the County and beyond, including stops at the Katonah Museum of Art, the Hudson River Museum, West Point, and Boscobel (November 30 – December 16).


Quoted: E.L. Doctorow on New Rochelle

In 1902, Father built a house at the crest of Broadview Avenue hill in New Rochelle, New York. It was a three-story brown shingle with dormers, bay windows, and a screened porch. Striped awnings shaded the windows. The family took possession of this stout manse on a sunny day in June and it seemed for some years thereafter that all their days would be warm and fair.” 

The opening of E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime paints an idyllic scene of Westchester’s Sound Shore communities. Today, Broadview Avenue—bordered by Huguenot Park on one side and Lyncroft Road on the other—is still a quiet residential street in New Rochelle. Unfortunately, you can no longer hear the bell of the streetcars on North Avenue, as Doctorow later describes. 

» For more from the 2013 Fall Arts Preview, click here