Authors Posts by Heidi Sutton

Heidi Sutton

Heidi Sutton

Eric Hughes and Sari Feldman star in 'Barnaby Saves Christmas'. Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions Inc.

By Heidi Sutton

In 2003 Douglas Quattrock and Jeffrey Sanzel sat down and wrote an adorable holiday story for children about a little elf and a tiny reindeer who show us that “Christmas lies within our hearts.” Celebrating its 13th anniversary this year, Theatre Three’s production of “Barnaby Saves Christmas” has become a beloved tradition in Port Jefferson and one that is looked forward to each December.

The cast of ‘Barnaby Saves Christmas’. Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions Inc.
The cast of ‘Barnaby Saves Christmas’. Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions Inc.

Under the direction of Sanzel, nine adult actors whisk the audience away to the North Pole and into the home of Santa and Mrs. Claus. It’s the night before Christmas and Santa, his elves and reindeer are on their way to deliver presents to all the children. When the littlest elf Barnaby realizes that Santa has left behind a little stuffed bear, he convinces the tiniest reindeer Franklynne to find Santa and “save Christmas.” Along the way they bump into an evil villain named S. B. Dombulbury who, with his partner in crime Irmagarde, is trying to ruin Christmas for everyone, and meet a Jewish family and learn all about the Festival of Lights.

Newcomer Eric Hughes tackles the role of Barnaby with boundless energy and a couple of back flips too! Accompanied on piano by Quattrock, who also wrote all of the music and lyrics, Hughes’ solo, “Still With a Ribbon on Top” is terrific as is his performance in “My Big Shot” in the second act. Sari Feldman, who also choreographs the numbers, returns as Franklynne, the little reindeer who is afraid of flying, specifically the landing part. The scene where Barnaby helps Franklynne perfect her landing skills, “I’m Gonna Fly Now,” is the highlight of the show.

Jason Furnari, who originated the role of Barnaby 13 years ago, and Phyllis March play the roles of Santa and Mrs. Claus this year and also double as the Jewish aunt Sarah and nephew Andrew, who seems to have very selective hearing. Furnari’s solo ”Within Our Hearts” is heartfelt and March’s rendition of “Miracles” is beautiful.

From left,  Dylan Robert Poulos, Dana Bush, Steven Uihlein and Jessica Contino in a scene from ‘Barnaby Saves Christmas’. Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions, Inc.
From left, Dylan Robert Poulos, Dana Bush, Steven Uihlein and Jessica Contino in a scene from ‘Barnaby Saves Christmas’. Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions, Inc.

Emily Gates plays Sam the head elf who is trying to stay on schedule and keep track of elves Crystal (Jessica Contino) and Blizzard (Dylan Robert Poulos). Their interactions are the funniest moments in the show.

Steven Uihlein plays S.B. (Spoiled Brat) Dombulbury, the antagonist in the show. “I’m just misunderstood,” he laments as he and Irmagarde (Dana Bush) stuff the chimneys with coal so he can steal all the presents. When his plan is uncovered, the cast chases him through the audience, much to the delight of the children. Will Barnaby and Franklynne stop S.B. Dombulbury from “stealing Christmas”? Will they learn the true meaning of Christmas?

If you haven’t already done so, make “Barnaby Saves Christmas” a holiday tradition with your family. You’ll be glad you did. Souvenir elves and reindeer will be available for purchase during intermission. Stay after the show for a photo with Santa Claus on stage if you wish — the $5 fee goes to support the theater’s scholarship fund — and meet the rest of the cast in the lobby.

Theatre Three, located at 412 Main Street in Port Jefferson, will present “Barnaby Saves Christmas” on Dec. 10, 17, 28, 29 and 30 with a special Christmas Eve performance on Dec. 24. All performances begin at 11 a.m. Running time is 1½ hours. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Up next is a production of “The Three Little Pigs” from Jan. 21 to Feb. 25 and “Raggedy Ann & Andy” from March 4 to 25. All seats are $10. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit

handler-levesque-sit-and-standOn Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m., Le Petit Salon de Musique, 380 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook will welcome the exotic classical guitar and mandolin duo of Judy Handler and Mark Levesque in concert.

The husband and wife team are known worldwide for their sophisticated sound that blends classical, Brazilian, Latin, jazz, gypsy and folk music in unique, expressive arrangements. Included in the program will be music from the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East as well as a few holiday favorites.

Tickets at the door are $20 adults ($15 online), $15 seniors ($10 online) and $5 students. For more information, visit

Calling all Beatles fans! Beatles tribute band, The Liverpool Shuffle, will return to the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Planetarium, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The band, which has performed five previous concerts at the Vanderbilt, will be accompanied by a montage on the planetarium dome of 1960s photos and news clips, psychedelic imagery, and other pop-cultural moments. Tickets for adults are $20 online, $25 at the door; tickets for children ages 5 to 15 are $15 online and at the door, under age 5 free. For more information, visit or call 631-854-5579.

Photo courtesy of Harbor Country Day School Students drop off food collected during the school’s annual drive. Photo courtesy of Harbor Country Day School

On Nov. 21, students from St. James’ Harbor Country Day School delivered nearly 1,000 pounds of nonperishable food items to the Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry. The food was collected through the school’s annual food drive.

“Harbor Country Day is pleased to continue our annual tradition of collecting food for the Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry,” said John Cissel, Head of School at Harbor Country Day. “Our Upper School students, who lead this school-wide effort, take great pride in the role they play in helping people throughout our surrounding communities. As we continue our focus on character development throughout all grades here at Harbor, the Upper School students are setting a remarkable example for their fellow students to follow.”

“We are grateful for the support Harbor Country Day School has given us for the past 15-plus years. We always look forward to seeing the children’s smiling faces as they take time out of their busy school day to visit us,” said Pat Westlake, Director of the Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry. “As a integral member of our community for nearly 60 years, Harbor is a perfect representation of the many wonderful ways we all rally together and lift each other up in times of need.”

by -
0 904
Several thousand visitors came out to enjoy the festive, lighted displays and have their photos taken with Santa at last year’s Holiday Spectacular. Photo from Town of Brookhaven

Town of Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Daniel P. Losquadro recently announced the return of the annual Brookhaven Town Holiday Spectacular, an indoor, walk-through holiday light show benefiting the animals at the Holtsville Ecology Site.

Last year, several thousand people walked through the winter wonderland of lighted, festive displays, before stopping to take their photos with Santa in his workshop. Admission to this event is $5 per person; children 3 and under are free. There are additional fees for raffles and photos with Santa. All proceeds benefit the Brookhaven Wildlife Center, Inc. and go directly to the feed and care of the more than 100 animals residing at the Ecology Site.

“This is a fun-filled, affordable entertainment option for families who want to come and enjoy the spirit of the holidays,” Superintendent Losquadro said. “I want to thank my staff at the Ecology Site for working so diligently to transform the greenhouses and make this event so memorable. Over the years, walking through the Holiday Spectacular has become a wonderful holiday tradition for many families.”

The show will run Dec. 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18; hours on Fridays and Saturdays are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Holtsville Ecology Site is located at 249 Buckley Road in Holtsville. For more information, call 631-758-9664.

by -
0 677

The Girls Scouts of Suffolk County and County Executive Steve Bellone (D) will present a Holiday drive-thru Light Show at Smith Point County Park, County Road 46, Shirley through Dec. 23. Now in its 13th year with a new location, the light show is better than ever with more lights, more displays and more festive family fun! Hours through Dec. 17 are Monday to Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. Hours from Dec. 18 to 23 are 5 to 11 p.m. $20 per car. Credit card only at the gate. For more information, call 631-543-6622 or visit

Photo by Kristen Cuomo

The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook was recently awarded the 2016 SmartCEO Magazine’s Corporate Culture Award. The Corporate Culture Awards program honors companies that foster a creative, collaborative workplace culture to enhance performance and sustain a competitive advantage.

The Long Island Museum was one of 38 companies honored at the first Long Island Corporate Culture Awards ceremonies at Chateau Briand in Carle Place.

According to SmartCEO, “Smart leaders understand that culture is a company’s greatest asset, driving performance and growth. What’s more, a successful culture is actively and intentionally cultivated and developed.”

“The most significant aspects of our corporate culture are teamwork and timing,” said Long Island Museum Executive Director Neil Watson. “With a very lean staff, we work cohesively to deliver compelling exhibitions and engaging programs for diversified audiences. We’re constantly changing and people’s experience are changing when they’re here. The success of our corporate culture comes when we engage new and existing audiences in new ways,” he said.

Above, LIM staff members gather in the Carriage Museum’s Core Gallery to celebrate. Clockwise from left, Neil Watson, Executive Director; Jonathan Olly, Assistant Curator; Alexandria D’Auria, Development Associate; Andrea Abrahamsen, Curatorial Assistant; Joshua Ruff, Director of Collections and Interpretation; Lisa Unander, Director of Education; Emma Backfish, Public Programs Coordinator; Julie Diamond, Director of Communications; Louise Anderson, Executive Assistant; and Regina Miano, Special Events Manager.

Joan Harris’ woodland-inspired wreath won Best in Show last year. Photo from SHS

It’s back! The Smithtown Historical Society, located at 239 Middle Country Road, Smithtown is holding a Heritage Country Christmas Community Wreath Contest through Nov. 28 at 5 p.m. Wreath must be from 12 to 24 inches in diameter; materials can be artist’s choice. Drop off is at the Roseneath Cottage. Entry fee is the donation of your wreath to the Historical Society. Cash prizes for Best in Show and Honorable Mentions will be awarded on Dec. 3; public voting is between 3 to 6 p.m. with the announcement of the winners at 6:45 p.m. Open to all. For more information, call 631-265-6768.

The turkey may seem like the star on Nov. 24, but everybody knows it’s all about the sweet stuff. Go all out with these delicious recipes for Classic Pumpkin Pie and Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream Pie, a scrumptious and satisfying way to end your Thanksgiving feast.

Classic Pumpkin Pie

pumpkin-pie-1YIELD: Serves 8 to 10


Pie crust

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 stick vegetable shortening

3 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water


1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 F. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. With a pastry blender or fork, cut in shortening until mixture resembles course crumbs. Sprinkle in 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water, a tablespoon at a time. Mix lightly with a fork after each addition, until dough is just moist enough to hold together. Shape dough into a ball. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out onto a lightly floured surface in the shape of a circle until dough is less than 1/4-inch thick. Roll the dough around the rolling pin, lift up, and unroll over a 9-inch pie plate. Using your fingers, gently pat the dough into place. Trim any excess dough with a paring knife or kitchen shears, leaving a 1-inch overhang; then fold dough under to reinforce the edge. Whisk the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake for 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish with whipped cream. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream Pie

5c1bc0c7091c7a189b28e6018abfea30YIELD: Serves 10.



9 graham crackers

1 cup finely chopped almonds

1/4 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons butter, melted


1 container (1.5 quarts) Dreyer’s or Edy’s Grand Coffee Ice Cream, softened

1/2 cup Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, chopped, divided

1/2 cup Nestlé La Lechera Dulce de Leche

1 tub (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

DIRECTIONS: To make the crust: Heat oven to 325 F. In food processor, add graham crackers and pulse until crackers resemble fine crumbs. Add crumbs to bowl along with chopped almonds, sugar and butter; stir to combine. Press into bottom and up sides of 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Bake 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool completely. To make filling: Spread ice cream into cooled pie crust, smoothing out over bottom. Sprinkle with half of the chopped morsels. Heat dulce de leche in microwave-safe bowl on high for a few seconds to soften; stir. Pour over chocolate morsels, spreading evenly. Spoon whipped topping over dulce de leche, covering entire surface of pie. Sprinkle with remaining morsels and almonds. Freeze 30 minutes.

Remove pie from freezer and cover with foil. Place back in freezer for at least 4 hours, or until pie has set. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving.