Authors Posts by Heidi Sutton

Heidi Sutton

Heidi Sutton
414 POSTS 0 COMMENTS

Slaid Cleaves. Photo by Karen Cleaves

The Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook will welcome Austin-based Slaid Cleaves in concert this Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.

Cleaves’ self-penned biography simply says: “Grew up in Maine. Lives in Texas. Writes songs. Makes Records. Travels around. Tries to be good.” A busy tour schedule, fueled by an engaging stage personality, have won Cleaves a devoted fan base which includes novelist Stephen King, who wrote the liner notes to Cleaves’ album, Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away.

Slaid gained national attention with his 1997 recording, No Angel Knows, produced by the legendary Gurf Morlix. Cleaves’ follow up album, Broke Down, brought him national airplay with the title song (a co-write with Rod Picott) and “One Good Year,” a Cleaves/Steve Brooks co-write. Six albums later, Slaid Cleaves continues to write powerful songs as evidenced by his brand new album, Ghost On The Car Radio. (www.slaidcleaves.com)

This is Slaid’s only area appearance on his current U.S. tour. He’ll be accompanied by mandolin and fiddle player, Chojo Jacques.

Advance sale tickets: $25 at www.sundaystreet.org through Friday, October 20th. Tickets at the door on the day of the show are $30 (cash only). For more information, call 631-751-0066.

 

Alex Bertolini and Michael Locissano star in SPAC’s Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast JR’.
A tale as old as time opens at the Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts

By Heidi Sutton

The French fairy tale, “Beauty and the Beast,” was written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740 and then revised and popularized by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1756. Translated into many different languages over the years, it has become a tale as old as time. Most children, however, are familiar with the Disney film versions — the 1991 award-winning animated musical and the live-action musical starring Emma Watson released earlier this year.

Now the beloved fairy tale comes to life on the grand stage of the Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts as Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast JR” and does not disappoint.

Gaston (Zak Ketcham) and his admirers

Expecting a shortened version of the story to appease the young children in the audience, many who came dressed as Belle, imagine my surprise and certainly others in the theater when the curtain goes up last Saturday afternoon and for the next 2 hours and 20 minutes, the audience is transported to a small provincial town in France in what feels like a full-blown Broadway production with an amazing set, incredible costumes, wonderful singing, stupendous dancing and terrific acting — all followed by a well-deserved standing ovation.

If that isn’t enough, you’ll get to experience all the wonderful songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman again including “Belle,” “Gaston,” “Be Our Guest,” “The Mob Song,” and everyone’s favorite, “Beauty and the Beast” sung by Mrs. Potts.

The classic story of love and sacrifice, a girl by the name of Belle searches to find her place among the townspeople in her village, all while dodging the advances of a self-loving brute named Gaston. When her father is taken prisoner by a monstrous beast in an enchanted castle, Belle chooses to take his place. The Beast is really a young selfish prince who is cursed to live forever as a hideous creature unless he can learn to love and in return find someone who will love him before all the petals on an enchanted rose wither. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his staff will be doomed for all eternity. Will Belle be the one to break the spell?

Jordan Hue skillfully directs a cast of 33 talented teens, who all seem to be having the time of their life. Alex Bertolini is perfectly cast as the beautiful Belle. With her sweet voice and mannerisms, she instantly steals the audience’s hearts. Michael Locissano gives a magnificent performance as the Beast, switching effortlessly from losing his temper to a sad and broken man. Zak Ketcham takes the juicy role of the arrogant Gaston, pompadour and all, and runs with it; and Kyle Westgate-Addessi, as Gaston’s dim-witted sidekick, Lefou, is equally impressive.

Lumiere (Luke Ferrari) and Babette (Brooke Miranda)

Although the entire supporting cast is superb, special mention should be made of the castle staff (humans who have been magically transformed into household objects under the curse) — the enchanted candelabra Lumiere (Luke Ferrari), Cogsworth the talking clock (Logan O’Leary), Mrs. Potts the teapot (Aubrey Alvino), Babette the feather duster (Brooke Miranda) and Mme. De La Grand Bouche the wardrobe (Nikki Sponaugle). And last, but certainly not least, the sweet and adorable teacup Chip (played by Raquel Sciacca during last Saturday’s performance).

Costumes by Ronald Green III are rich and colorful and look as if they stepped straight out of the Disney film, especially during “Be Our Guest,” where the stage is consumed with dancing flatware, napkins, plates and a floor rug. The Beast’s costume has both the royal appearance of a prince and the ragged edges of a cursed monster, and Belle’s dinner gown in signature yellow is breathtaking. However, without giving too much away, it is the castle staff costumes that take it over the top. M.E. Jung’s choreography, highlighted during the musical numbers “Gaston” and “Be Our Guest,” pulls it all together brilliantly.

Light-up roses may be purchased before the show and children can meet Belle and the Prince in the lobby after the show for photos. Costumes are encouraged and booster seats are available.

The main cast of Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast JR’

The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. Main St., Smithtown will present Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast JR” through Oct. 29. All seats are $15. To order, call 631-724-3700 or visit www.smithtownpac.org.

All photos by Courtney Braun

Kenyer Natural Bakery will return to the event this year.

Save the date! The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Dan’s Papers, will host its 10th annual The Taste @ Port Jefferson at the Village Center, 101-A E. Broadway, Port Jefferson overlooking the Harborfront Park and harbor on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m.

In celebrating this landmark anniversary, the chamber has reached out to the greater Port Jefferson restaurant community and will highlight over 30 restaurants and purveyors offering top-quality food tastings and desserts as well as samples of premium liquors, wines and beers. The event, for ages 21 and over, has been changed to a night venue, which creates new energy and features musical entertainment by the rock band New Life Crisis. In addition to the usual indoor setting, the event will spill outside under a 50- by 100-foot tent.

Try some delicious crepes from Crazy Crepe Café.

Participating food purveyors will include Amazing Olive, Bagel Express-Setauket, Bliss, Chick-fil-A at Port Jefferson, Crazy Crepe Café–Mount Sinai, Crazy Fish Bar & Gill, Curry Club, Danfords Wave Seafood Kitchen, Don Quijote, Dos Mexi Cuban Cantina, Kenyer Natural Bakery, Flying Pig Café, Land & Sea Seafood & Restaurant, Messina Market & Catering, Penntora Lao-Thai Catering, Port Jeff Lobster House, Slurp Ramen, Spiros Restaurant & Lounge, St. Charles Hospital, The Meadow Club and Tuscany of Miller Place.

Dessert samplings from A Cake in Time, East Main & Main, Kilwins of Port Jefferson and LaBonne Boulangerie Bakery will be offered along with beverage tastings from Starbucks, Port Jeff Brewing Company and Manhattan Beer.

Presenting sponsor this year will be New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, and chamber partner St. Charles Hospital will be highlighted as a silver sponsor. Other sponsors include BNB Bank, Farrell Storage and O’Brien Group, LLC, and the media sponsor is Dan’s Papers.

Tickets, which may be purchased online at www.tasteatportjeff.com, are $65 per person for general admission starting at 7 p.m. and $95 for VIP guests at 6 p.m., which includes early access by one hour, a special VIP lounge with tables and chairs, premium pours and desserts, VIP gift bag and special entertainment. For further details, call 631-473-1414.

Photos by Nicole Geddes

AS YOU WISH Cary Elwes and Robin Wright star in ‘The Princess Bride’

Inconceivable! Thirty years have passed since the tale of Princess Buttercup and her true love Westley became a movie classic. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Rob Reiner’s film adaptation of William Goldman’s “The Princess Bride” will return to over 700 select cinemas nationwide on Sunday, Oct. 15 and Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m., as part of the TCM Big Screen Classics series from Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies.

André the Giant and Robin Wright in a scene from ‘The Princess Bride.’

When the beautiful maiden Buttercup (Robin Wright) hears that her true love Westley (Cary Elwes) is dead, she reluctantly agrees to marry the loathsome Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). After Westley returns to rescue Buttercup, the two begin an epic adventure filled with giants, fire swamps and rodents of unusual size. Featuring an all-star cast, including Mandy Patinkin, Carol Kane, André the Giant and Billy Crystal, the film proves that true love will conquer all. The screening will include a special introduction by TCM Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz and Reiner, who will discuss “The Princess Bride” and its legacy.

Participating movie theaters in our neck of the woods include AMC Loews Stony Brook 17, 2196 Nesconset Highway, Stony Brook; Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas, 1001 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale; and Island 16 Cinema de Lux, 185 Morris Ave., Holtsville. To purchase your ticket in advance, please visit www.fathomevents.com.

Above, the cast of ‘A Kooky, Spooky Halloween’ at Theatre Three.

By Heidi Sutton

There’s something kooky going on at Theatre Three in Port Jefferson. As a matter of fact, there’s something spooky going on there as well. In perfect timing with the upcoming holiday, the Children’s Theatre presents a brand new musical treat, “A Kooky Spooky Halloween,” through Oct. 28.

Written by Jeffrey Sanzel and Steve McCoy, the adorable show emphasizes the importance of telling the truth and helping others. Skillfully directed by Sanzel, the talented cast of eight adults embraces the brilliant script and, with plenty of audience interaction, presents a wonderful afternoon of live theater.

The cast sings ‘It’s Ma Who Makes the Toast’

Ghost Abner Perkins (Dylan Robert Poulos) has just graduated from Haunted High School and awarded a medallion of invisibility. His first assignment is to be the spooksperson on Halloween for Ma Aberdeen’s Boarding House, “the most haunted house in Harrison County, USA,” which is also known for serving the best toast. There’s only one problem — Abner is afraid of the dark. “It’s like a vampire who’s afraid of necks!” quips his friend Lavinda (Jessica Contino), a good natured witch, before presenting him with a night-light to wear on his hat. Lavinda promises to help Abner with his haunting duties for the first few days.

When they arrive at the boarding house, they come upon Ma Aberdeen (Ginger Dalton), the finest toast maker in the land, and her boarders, Kit Garret (Meg Bush) and the Petersons — Paul the periodontist (Steven Uihlein), his wife Penelope (Nina Moran) and their son Pip (Eric J. Hughes), whose alliterations using words that start with the letter P are perfectly prodigious!

As the sun sets, Abner plays silly tricks on the unsuspecting group, making them stuff Halloween goodie bags in double time, exercise, sing, dance and get stuck to each other. Things are going hauntingly well until fellow graduate Dora Pike (Elizabeth Ladd) shows up. A ghost with a grudge (she was hoping to be assigned to Ma Aberdeen’s boarding house), Dora steals Abner’s night-light and medallion out of revenge and makes her way to Black Ridge Gulch, the deepest, darkest gorge in the entire world (where it’s really, really dark).

Dylan Robert Poulos and Jessica Contino star as Abner and Lavinda in the show.

Now visible, Abner convinces the boarders, who are still stuck to each other, to accompany him and Lavinda on a quest to retrieve his property. Will Abner be able to overcome his fear of the dark? Will the two ghosts be able to reach a compromise?

From the first number, “A-Haunting We Will Go” by the entire company, to the downright creepy “It Will All Fade to Black” by Dora, and the catchy “It’s Ma Who Makes the Toast,” the original songs by Steve McCoy are the heart of the show. Utilizing the set from the current Mainstage production, “The Bridges of Madison County,” the show features excellent choreography by Nicole Bianco. Ditto the costumes by Teresa Matteson.

“A Kooky Spooky Halloween” is the perfect show to get into the spirit of Halloween and a wonderful way to spend a fall afternoon. But be forewarned — for some strange reason, you’ll exit the theater having a craving for toast! Meet the cast in the lobby for photos on your way out.

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson will present “A Kooky Spooky Halloween” on Oct. 14, 21 and 28 at 11 a.m. and Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. with a sensory-sensitive performance on Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. Running time is 1 hour and 15 minutes with one intermission, and Halloween costumes are encouraged.

Children’s Theatre will continue with everyone’s holiday favorite, “Barnaby Saves Christmas,” from Nov. 24 to Dec. 30 and “Rapunzel — The Untold Story” from Jan. 20 to Feb. 24. All seats are $10. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

All photos by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions, Inc.

Frank Serpico

As part of the Fall 2017 Port Jefferson Documentary Series, Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson will present a screening of the documentary, “Frank Serpico,” on Monday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.

Director Antonino D’Ambrosio with Frank Serpico

As an NYPD officer in the hippie era, Frank Serpico blew the whistle on the corruption and payoffs running rampant in the department. He was shot in the face during a drug arrest that was rumored to be a setup and most famously became the subject of Sidney Lumet’s classic film SERPICO.

Forty-plus years later, Serpico talks about his Southern Italian roots, his time as an undercover officer, and his post-NYPD life. Adding their own recollections are his fellow officers, childhood friends, his West Side neighbors, and his admirers such as writer Luc Sante and actor John Turturro. With unprecedented access to his subject, Antonino D’Ambrosio creates a memorable, powerful portrait of an always-committed public servant who still walks the walk in his very own unique way.

Followed by a Q&A with director Antonino D’Ambrosio. Tickets are $7 at the door. For further details, please call 473-5220 or visit www.portjeffdocumentaryseries.com.

 

Daisy. Photo courtesy of Kent Animal Shelter

MEET DAISY! Just look at those brown eyes! How could you look away? This is Daisy, a four-month-old mix who just arrived at Kent Animal Shelter from South Carolina. This little doll comes spayed, microchipped and up to date on all her vaccines. Won’t you stop by and say hello? Kent Animal Shelter is located at 2259 River Road in Calverton. For more information on Daisy and other adoptable pets at Kent, please call 631-727-5731 or visit www.kentanimalshelter.com.

Photo by Ellen Williams

By Heidi Sutton

The slipper fits! Photo by Jessie Eppelheimer

For many, Disney’s “Cinderella” will always have a special place in their hearts. Released in 1950, it was Walt’s 12th animated feature film and rumored to be his favorite.

Now, under the direction of Matt Kunkel, the timeless, “rags to riches” fairy tale takes on new life in “Cinderella KIDS” at the Engeman Theater in Northport through Oct. 29. Performed by a cast of nine teens, each one more talented than the next, the show features the original story and wonderful songs, much to the delight of the little princesses in the audience, with a comedic twist.

Now, 67 years later Cinderella (Kira Williams) is still at the mercy of her stepmother (Ava Dell’aquila) and stepsisters Anastasia (Katherine Gallo) and Drizella (Lexie Spelman), who seem to take much pleasure in making her miserable. When a messenger from the castle drops by and announces that all unmarried girls are invited to the Royal Ball, the stepmother tells Cinderella she can go if she finishes her chores. Her mouse friends, Gus and Jaq (Melissa Aliotta and Samantha Foti), make her a beautiful gown from items the stepsisters have discarded. When the stepsisters see how beautiful Cinderella looks, they throw a tantrum and destroy the gown.

The three meanies, Drizella, the stepmother and Anastasia. Photo by Ellen Williams

When all seems hopeless, Cinderella’s fairy godmother (Maeve Barth-Dwyer) appears and with a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, concocts a beautiful blue gown, glass slippers and a fancy coach and sends the young girl off to the ball. There she meets the handsome prince (Theron Viljoen), they fall in love and dance the night away, that is, until the stroke of midnight. Will Cinderella’s dreams come true? Will she marry her Prince? Will her stepmother and stepsisters finally get their comeuppance?

From the very beginning, the narrator (Danny Feldman) makes it is clear that the audience will be a part of the story. When Cinderella is given a four-foot-long list of chores, the stepsisters ask the audience what else they should make her do. “Bake a muffin!” yells one child. “Scrub the toilet!” offers another. Tough crowd.

When the fairy godmother tries to help Cinderella get to the ball, she asks the children, “What can we use for a coach?” “A pumpkin!” is the immediate response. When Cinderella disappears at the stroke of midnight, the prince and his herald frantically run through the theater searching for her with the help of the children who eventually find the glass slipper. Later on, Cinderella walks through the aisles singing “So This Is Love,” as the young theatergoers sit mesmerized. The interactive concept is genius and works to a T. Even the youngest guests won’t have time to grow restless and that is the greatest wish of all.

So this is love. Photo by Ellen Williams

The beautiful costumes by Jess Costagliola and the delightful choreography by Emma Gassett complete the experience. Disney’s “Cinderella” may be timeless but Disney’s “Cinderella KIDS” is a real fall treat and the perfect show to introduce young children to live theater. I guarantee they’ll love you for it.

Stay after for a meet and greet and autographs with the cast in the lobby. An autograph page is conveniently located toward the back of the program. Running time is one hour with one 15-minute intermission. Booster seats are available and costumes are encouraged. The theater also hosts birthday parties (Happy Birthday, Chloe!).

The John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport will present Disney’s “Cinderella KIDS” through Oct. 29. All seats are $15. To order, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.

MEET OLAF! This handsome boy is Olaf, a two-year-old medium-haired orange tabby who is currently waiting for his furever home at Kent Animal Shelter. Olaf loves to snuggle and is super mushy. He comes neutered, microchipped and up to date on all his vaccines. Won’t you stop by and say hello? Kent Animal Shelter is located at 2259 River Road in Calverton. For more information on Olaf and other adoptable pets at Kent, please call 631-727-5731 or visit www.kentanimalshelter.com.

by -
0 122
From left, Councilwoman Susan Berland, Grant Shaffer, Alan Cumming, Jud Newborn and CAC board member Jacqueline Strayerd at the reception. Photo by Jessica & Andrew Attard, FlashBack Photography

On Sept. 18, the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington hosted a sold-out event with actor Alan Cumming and his partner and literary collaborator Grant Shaffer to celebrate the publication of their recent children’s book, “The Adventures of Honey & Leon.”

Guests were treated to a cake decorated with the cover of the book. Photo by Jud Newborn

The event kicked off with a rare screening of “The Anniversary Party,” written, directed, produced and starring Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh. A Q&A session followed with Jud Newborn, Cinema Arts Centre’s special events curator where Cumming and Shaffer discussed their book, which is based on their own dogs and their adventures while their parents are away on vacation, and concluded with a book signing.

Through an anonymous donation from a Cinema Arts benefactor, being made in honor of Cumming and Shaffer, copies of the book will be donated to area elementary schools and libraries. “We are delighted that this book will be enjoyed by local children and their families,” said Dylan Skolnick, co-director of the Cinema Arts Centre. “The book supports the values and openness, acceptance and the importance of family that are fundamental to the Cinema Arts and it’s over 10,000 members,” he said.

“I would like to thank the anonymous donor and the Cinema Arts Centre for making available to our local schools and libraries copies of this beautifully illustrated and wonderfully written book,” added Councilwoman Susan Berland (D). “‘The Adventures of Honey & Leon’ highlights the love and devotion pets have for their families and that families come in all shapes and sizes. We all have to leave our pets home periodically and now we know how they are planning to follow us when we are gone. Bravo!,” she said.

Social

4,793FansLike
5Subscribers+1
982FollowersFollow
19SubscribersSubscribe