Authors Posts by Heidi Sutton

Heidi Sutton

Heidi Sutton
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Photo by Darren St. George

Preservation Long Island will host an open house at the Sherwood-Jayne Farm, 55 Old Post Road, Setauket on Saturday, May 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Actor David Burt will portray William Jayne II aka Big Bill the Tory and lead a tour of the home which dates back to1730. Tours will be held throughout the day. Admission is $5 adults, $3 children and seniors. For more information, call 631-692-4664.

‘Remember those who served before.

Remember those who are no more. 

Remembers those who serve today.

Remember them all on Memorial Day.’

— Emily Toma

*All events take place on May 27.

Commack

Organized by the VFW Elwood-Commack Post 9263, a Memorial Day parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the Home Depot parking lot at the intersection of Larkfield Road and Jericho Turnpike and head east on Jericho Turnpike to junction at Veterans Highway to Cannon Park for a ceremony. Call 631-368-9463.

East Northport

Organized by the Father Judge Council Knights of Columbus, the East Northport Memorial Day Parade will kick off at noon at Clay Pitts and Larkfield roads and proceed to John Walsh Memorial Park adjacent to Northport-East Northport Library. Call 631-262-1891.

Photo by Rita J. Egan 2018

East Setauket 

The Veterans of Foreign Wars East Setauket Post 3054 will hold its annual Three Village Memorial Day Parade in East Setauket at 11 a.m. Parade starts at the corner of Main Street and Route 25A with an opening ceremony at the Village Green across from the library and a closing ceremony at Memorial Park along Route 25A. Call 631-751-5541 for more info.

Farmingdale

Farmingdale Village will host a Memorial Day parade at 10 a.m. with kick off at Thomas Powell Blvd. and Bethpage Road, proceeds south on Main Street, ending at Village Hall. A ceremony will follow. Call 516-249-0093.

Greenlawn 

Organized by the Greenlawn Fire Department, a Memorial Day parade will kick off at 9 a.m. on East Maple Road, south on Broadway to Greenlawn Memorial Park, at the corner of Pulaski Road and Broadway. Call 631-261-9106.

Huntington

The Town of Huntington will host a Memorial Day Wreath Ceremony at 9 a.m. Wreaths will be placed at Veterans Plaza on the front lawn of Huntington Town Hall at 100 Main Street. Call 631-351-3000.

A Memorial Day parade organized by Nathan Hale VFW Post 1469 and American Legion Post 360 will commence at 11 a.m. at West Neck Road and Gerard Street and head east on Main Street to Stewart Avenue. Call 631-421-0535.

Kings Park

Organized by the Donald C. Munro American Legion Post 944, the Kings Park 93rd annual Memorial Day parade will kick off at 9 a.m. at the R.J.O. Intermediate School at Old Dock Road and Church Street and proceed to Veterans Plaza for a flag ceremony. Call 631-269-4140.

Northport

Organized by the Northport American Legion Post 694, the parade will begin at 10 a.m. at Laurel Avenue School and proceed to the Northport Village Park. Call 631-261-4424.

Ronkonkoma

Organized by Wm. Merritt Hallock American Legion Post 155, Wm. Francis Taylor Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9486 and Donald F. Pugliese American Veterans Post 48, a Memorial Day Parade will kick off at 10 a.m. at the corner of Hawkins Avenue and Church Street. A ceremony will commence immediately following parade at Raynor Park in Lake Ronkonkoma. Call 631-963-2796.

Port Jefferson

American Legion Wilson Ritch Post 432 invites the community to a Memorial Day Remembrance Observance at Veterans Memorial Park in Port Jefferson at 9 a.m. Call 631-473-9774.

Smithtown 

Holy Mother Mary Knights of Columbus will host a Memorial Day Parade at noon. Kickoff is at the corner of Main Street and Singer Lane, continuing west on Main Street to Town Hall for a special ceremony. Call 631-360-7620.

St. James 

A Memorial Day Parade organized by Sgt. John W. Cooke VFW Post 395 will be held at 10 a.m. The parade steps off at the corner of Lake Avenue and Woodlawn Avenue and proceeds to St. James Elementary School for a ceremony. Call 631-862-7965.

Stony Brook

VFW Post 3054 and American Legion Irving Hart Post 1766 will sponsor a Memorial Day Parade at 9 a.m. at the Stony Brook Village Center, 121 Main St. and proceeds east on Main Street to Veterans Memorial Park, followed by a ceremony. Call 631-941-9671.

Sound Beach

The Sound Beach Civic Association will hold Memorial Day services at the Sound Beach Veterans Memorial on New York Avenue across from the post office at noon. All are welcome. For more information call 631-744-6952.

By Heidi Sutton

From now through June 22, children and adults alike are invited to follow the yellow brick road on Main Street in Port Jefferson (yes, there is an actual yellow road painted on the sidewalk) through the double doors of Theatre Three to see a wondrous stage version of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz.”

First published in 1900 as a children’s book titled “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” the classic story has given rise to many sequels, spin-offs and adaptations including radio shows, musicals and the iconic 1939 MGM film starring a 16-year-old Judy Garland.  

When Dorothy Gale from Kansas is swept away by a tornado, she is dropped in the Land of Oz and must make her way to the Emerald City to ask the Wizard to help her and her dog Toto get home. Along the way she befriends alternate versions of her family and neighbors including The Scarecrow, The Tinman and Cowardly Lion who protect her from the Wicked Witch of the West who wants Dorothy’s magic ruby slippers.

Theatre Three’s stage version, adapted by John Kane with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, follows the original MGM screenplay, leaving in additional verses to the songs, secondary script and musical numbers like “The Jitterbug” that didn’t make the final cut in the film. We learn the backstory about The Tinman (a bit macabre) and The Cowardly Lion (think “The Lion King”) and why the Winkies always chant “Oh wee-Oh, we-ohhhhh um.” The result is a fresh take on a beloved favorite.

Presenting a mainstage production of “The Wizard of Oz” with numerous sets, song and dance numbers and costume changes is not an easy feat, but Director Jeffrey Sanzel has assembled a talented cast of over 30 actors who pull it off with ease.

Ashley Ferraro is perfectly cast as Dorothy and her rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is enchanting. Dorothy’s faithful pet Toto is played by the adorable Miss Mia Donatuti who elicits many “Oh my’s” from the audience every time her four paws hit the stage or she peaks out of the basket.

So nice to see Jim Sluder back on Theatre Three’s stage, this time as Dorothy’s favorite, The Scarecrow, who is convinced he has no brain. Eric J. Hughes plays The Tinman who has plenty of heart but tends to rust a lot and Andrew Lenahan is the perfect Cowardly Lion and gives us a glorious performance of “If I Only Had the Nerve.” 

Linda May is outstanding as Almira Gulch/ Wicked Witch of the West. Close your eyes and you’ll swear Margaret Hamilton is on stage. May’s rendition of the famous line “I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!” followed by that shrill cackle will send chills down your spine. 

Special mention should be made of The Munchkins, who, with their high little giggles, are a sweet addition to the story. Their big number, “Munchinkland,” complete with The Lollipop Kids and The Lullaby League, brings the house down.

The sets, designed by Randall Parsons, are impressive as well. Large painted panels slide back and forth, revealing the different scenes while posters depicting the cover and pages from the storybook adorn the edges of the stage. Taking a cue from the 1939 film, Uncle Henry and Auntie Em’s Kansas farm uses muted colors of browns and greens and then, in true Technicolor fashion, Dorothy and Toto arrive in Munchkinland where every color in the rainbow is utilized. 

In a stroke of genius, Sanzel uses flower umbrellas as props which, when opened, are the perfect hiding spot for Munchkins and make for a beautiful field of poppies. And wait until you see the special effects!

Accompanied by a powerhouse orchestra led by conductor Jeffrey Hoffman, the show’s big musical numbers are wonderfully choreographed by Jean P. Sorbera. Costumes by Chakira Doherty are a work of art.

In the end, the adventures of Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man and The Cowardly Lion reinforce the power of friendship and that there really is no place like home.

In his director’s notes, Sanzel writes, “In our mind’s eye, we see this unusual quartet, arms linked, traveling down an unknown road. And herein lies the heart: The emphasis is in the journey. Growth comes from the venture and the efforts we make not just for ourselves but for those who walk the road with us.”

Dedicated to the faithful and young at heart, L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz” closes out Theatre Three’s 2018-19 season as a vibrantly colorful rainbow. Don’t miss this wonderful family show.

Magic wands are sold before the show and during intermission and photos with Dorothy, Toto, The Tinman, The Cowardly Lion and The Scarecrow are available after the show. Donations are being accepted for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Also, take a chance at a raffle to win Almira Gulch’s bicycle. 

Theatre Three, located at 412 Main St., Port Jefferson will present “The Wizard of Oz” on the Mainstage through June 22 with a special evening start time of 7 p.m., Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 3 pm. Running time is 2 hours 10 minutes with a 15-minute intermission. Tickets are $35 adults, $28 seniors and students, $20 children ages 5 to 12. For more information or to order, please call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

All photos by Brian Hoerger, Theatre Three Productions Inc.

On Saturday, May 18 the Long Island Museum invited members of its LIMarts collaborative arts group to participate in a plein air painting and sketching opportunity on the grounds and inside galleries.

Plein air painting is about leaving the four walls of the studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape. It’s a technique that was made popular by French Impressionists (think Monet’s Garden at Givernay) in the 19th century.

Visitors to the museum enjoyed seeing the artists at work, taking inspiration from the museum’s beautiful gardens and world-class exhibitions. The day concluded with a reception where the artists had an opportunity to sell their work. 

Shoreham-Wading River, Hauppauge and Northport-East Northport schools take home honors

More than 440 science projects from 100 Suffolk County elementary schools filled the rooms of Brookhaven National Laboratory on May 4 for the research center’s 2019 Elementary School Science Fair. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and coordinated by the lab’s Office of Educational Programs, the projects were judged by Brookhaven scientists, engineers and technical staff, as well as teachers from local elementary schools. One student from each grade was selected as a finalist.

Connor Nugent, a kindergartner from Miller Avenue School in the Shoreham-Wading River school district, won first place for his project titled “Spaghetti Strength,” while first-grader Audrey Leo of Lincoln Avenue Elementary School in the Sayville school district beat out the competition with her project, “Knot Again.”

 Zachary Lister, a second-grader from Miller Avenue School, Shoreham-Wading River school district, wowed the judges and captured first place with “Slippery Sock Science,” while third-grader Matthew Pokorny of Norwood Avenue Elementary School in Northport-East Northport school district grabbed first in his grade for “Rock and Barrier Waves.”

Liam Dwyer, a fourth-grader from Norwood Avenue Elementary School in the Northport-East Northport school district garnered first for “Rip Rap Paddywhack,” and fifth-grader Pranav Vijayababu, from Bretton Woods Elementary School in the Hauppauge School District won for his project titled “Race to the Future Hydrogen Fuel Cell.”

James Bulger, a sixth-grader from Robert Moses Middle School in the North Babylon School District rounded out the top six with “Nano-Remediators: Using Nanotechnology to Remediate Oil Spills.” 

In addition to the first-place winners, selected students received honorable mention for projects that ranged from “Rubber Chicken Olympics” to “Voice Recordable Smoke Detectors.” 

Ella Henry, a fifth-grader from J.A. Edgar Intermediate School in the Rocky Point school district, said she did her project on acid rain because she loves plants and cares about the environment. “My project took me 14 days to do. I didn’t win today, but I had fun and I loved caring for the plants,” she said. “Science is my favorite subject and I hope to be a zookeeper when I grow up.”  

Ella’s brother, John, a kindergartner who attends Frank J. Carasiti Elementary School in the Rocky Point school district, also had a project in the lab’s science fair. “I used LEGOs to learn that earthquakes can knock over towers,” he said.

Lucas Renna, a fifth-grader from East Moriches Elementary School, was excited that he got to attend the lab’s science fair. “My project was about creating bioplastic spoons to help reduce waste pollution in our environment. I really care about the animals in the ocean, so I want to find a way to help reduce trash. I hope I can be a veterinarian when I grow up.”

While students and parents were waiting for the award ceremony to start, the lab held a science expo with hands-on science activities. 

“There is some ‘down’ time while the projects are being judged and we are waiting for the awards ceremony to start,” explained David Manning, director of the lab’s Stakeholder Relations Office.

“We thought this was a good opportunity to share the excitement of some of the science being done here … and encourage these young students to think about a career in science, technology, engineering, or math,” he said, adding, “We were happy that many of the students and their families participated in the expo. It was a great day at the lab.”

For more information, please visit www.science.energy.gov.

Plein Air Art Event
Saturday, May 18, 2019
10am – 6pm
Museum Grounds & Carriage Museum
 Inspired by historic structures, beautiful gardens and a world renowned carriage collection, LIMarts members will have the opportunity to capture the museum’s beauty in a plein air art event.
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 This creative day welcomes visitors to the museum from 10am-6pm to observe and meet the artists as well as purchase artwork at a reception outside the LIM Studio from 5pm-6pm.
Light refreshments will be served.
Regular museum admission is required:
$10/ adults; $7/seniors; $5/students 6-17 and college students with I.D. Children under six are free.
Rain date is Sunday, May 19 from noon to 5 p.m. with the reception from 5pm to 6 p.m.
For more information contact Alexandria D’Auria
at (631)-751-0066 x285 or adauria@longislandmuseum.org

'I pity the fool who doesn't adopt me!'

MEET MR. T!

This week’s featured shelter pet is a wonderful kitty named Mr. T, a 2-year-old orange tabby domestic short-haired cat who loves people! He will follow you around the house and is just the friendliest little guy. Mr. T can be a bit of a bully with other cats though, so it’s best that he be the only cat in the home.

Mr. T comes neutered, microchipped and is up to date on all his vaccines.

Kent Animal Shelter is located at 2259 River Road in Calverton. The adoption center is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on Mr. T and other adoptable pets at Kent, call 631-727-5731 or visit www.kentanimalshelter.com.

Stock photo

Mark your calendar: May 21 is election day! And according to New York State law, so is the second Tuesday in July for most Suffolk County fire departments. The third Tuesday in March is also election day for many village trustees and propositions. Election day for state and local primaries, well that’s June 25 this year. When do you vote on library budget? Each local library has a different day for its election. So, why then do we call the first Tuesday in November election day as if there’s only one day when citizens vote?

Election days can be tough to track. It’s like the nutty old Abbott and Costello skit “Who’s on first, what’s on second, and I don’t know is on third.” Yet elections are no laughing matter.

Collectively, all of these elections amount to increased spending, which overtime adds up. It’s not easy getting it straight — not only these dates, but also all the spending.

In recent years, large and seemingly extravagant multi-million-dollar public projects have been both approved and declined by popular vote with lower voter turnout throughout our circulation area. The $14.9 million bond for the new Setauket Firehouse was approved on its third try with just 580 people voting out of a population of several thousand in the fire district. Last year, a bond presented by the Mount Sinai School District was voted down with a 664-428 tally against the project. Mount Sinai has a population of over 12,000.

If one or two days each year were designated election day, it would be easier to hold elected officials accountable by enabling taxpayers to see a broad overview of taxation on one ballot.

At TBR News Media, we would support consolidating elections into one or two universal election days each year. Make it a national holiday, so people are more keenly aware of their obligation. Maybe turn Columbus Day, a federal holiday, into election day? With one or two annual election days, citizens could more easily track spending and stay abreast of community affairs.

But until this happens, as we said, mark your calendars. All elections are important: They determine where our money will go and how much of it.

On May 21, Long Islanders will vote on board of education members and school district budgets, which account for a significant majority of our local tax bills. It’s a crucial vote that typically gains support from parents with children in school, while retirees or people with more limited income, who may have different priorities, make a point to show up at the polls to say no.

That’s the system we have now, so be sure to exercise your right to vote May 21.

‘This is the story

Of a love that flourished

In a time of hate

Of lovers no tyranny can separate

Love set into motion on the Nile’s shore

Destiny ignited by an act of war’

           — excerpt from Aida’s‘Every Story is a Love Story

By Heidi Sutton

The sands of ancient Egypt have blown into Northport as the Engeman Theater presents the timeless love story “Aida” through June 23. With music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls and David Henry Hwang, the musical is based on Giuseppe Verdi’s 19th-century opera of the same name.

The Egyptian pharaoh (Julius Chase) wishes to expand his reign beyond the Nile and orders Egyptian captain Radames to make war with neighboring Nubia. In his travels, Radames captures a dark and beautiful Nubian princess, Aida, and presents her as a gift to his fiancé of nine years, Princess Amneris. Over time he finds himself falling in love with Aida and begins to question the course his life should take.

When a plot orchestrated by Radames’ father Zoser (Enrique Acevedo) to poison the Pharaoh is brought to light and Radames and Aida’s forbidden love is discovered, Princess Amneris is tasked with deciding their fate. Without giving away the ending, let’s just say that breaking ancient Egyptian laws never ended well.

Costumes by Kurt Alger are gorgeous, from Princess Amneris’ many gowns and headpieces to the Pharaoh’s royal garbs. The set, designed by Michael Bottari and Ronald Case, is adorned with hieroglyphics, palm trees, an occasional stream and a rotating platform that is utilized in many ways including as a ship, a throne and a prison cell. 

Kayla Cyphers is perfectly cast as Aida, a enslaved princess stolen from her father, Amonsaro (Gavin Gregory) and trying to stay strong for her people. “Nubia will never die! Whether we are enslaved or whether we are far from our native soil, Nubia lives in our hearts. And therefore, it lives.” Regal and strong-willed, she commands the stage in every scene. 

We see the most change in Radames, expertly played by Ken Allen Neely, from a selfish cold-hearted man to a hopeless romantic who just wants to run away with his Nubian princess. 

Jenna Rubaii is divine as the materialistic Princess Amneris, “first in beauty, wisdom … and accessories,” and draws the most laughs — “Are you trying to get me drunk, Radames? You know it’s not necessary,” and special mention should be made of Chaz Alexander Coffin who plays Mereb, a Nubian slave. From his first appearance on stage Coffin quickly becomes an audience favorite. 

The musical numbers are the heart of the show, from the highly charged dance numbers, “Another Pyramid” and “Dance of the Robe,”  to the fun fashion show “Strongest Suit” and the romantic duets “Written in the Stars” and “Elaborate Lives.” 

Director and choreographer Paul Stancato has such a wondrous and mysterious time period to work with and he takes full advantage of it, creating an exciting and colorful show  with a first-rate cast of actors-singers-dancers and live band to produce a wonderful evening of live theater.

The John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport will present “Aida” through June 23. Running time is 2.5 hours with one intermission. Tickets range from $73 to $78 with free valet parking. For more information, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.

All photos by Michael DeCristofaro/ John W. Engeman Theater

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