Arts & Entertainment

Kids will have fun learning about the Long Island Sound this Sunday. Photo from Whaling Museum

Environmental conservation is an important, daily issue across the country. Long Island is no exception.

On Sunday, April 17, The Whaling Museum & Education Center in Cold Spring Harbor will try to do its part in spreading knowledge and awareness about humanity’s impact on the Long Island Sound. The museum is hosting SOUNDoff, a brand new event that will feature activities for marine enthusiasts of all ages including science experiments, water monitoring, art exhibits and a touch tank featuring oysters, sea stars, horseshoe crabs and hermit crabs.

Nomi Dayan, the executive director of the Whaling Museum, said that the goal of the event is to be fun and interactive for kids, while also being informative.

“SOUNDoff is [being held] basically [because] we want visitors to understand how to protect the waters around us,” Dayan said in a phone interview. “These are our neighbors that inhabit the waters.”

A press release from the museum highlighted the importance of appreciation and preservation for the large body of water that neighbors the North Shore.

“The Long Island Sound is an amazing natural resource providing economic and recreational benefits to millions of people while also providing habitat for more than 1,200 invertebrates, 170 species of fish and dozens of species of migratory birds,” the release said.

Representatives from the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Seatuck Environmental Association and The Waterfront Center will all be on hand at the event to host workshops, conduct experiments and educate visitors about the importance of keeping that water clean. They will lead mock water sample tests with kids, give a presentation on marine debris and another on storm water management presentation to name a few of the various activities in store for attendees.

“There are a lot of pressures and threats against the Sound today, so it’s really up to us to keep it clean,” Dayan said. “It is a growing problem every year, especially on Long Island. Whatever we put in the water really will come back to haunt us.”

Dayan mentioned the types of fertilizers used on lawns, avoiding facial moisturizers containing micro beads and picking up after pets as some of the every day adjustments that Long Islanders can make to improve the overall health of the Sound.

According to the release, the event was partially funded by a grant from Long Island Sound Futures Fund, which pools funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“This event is poised to have an impact through the rest of the summer months as Long Islanders get ready to hit the beaches, spend time on boats and fertilize their lawns,” Dayan said in the release about the lasting impact she hopes the event will have on those who attend.

Admission to the event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., is free. The Whaling Museum is located at 301 Main Street in Cold Spring Harbor. For more information, call 631-367-3418.

Jenna Kavaler and Brett Chizever share a light-hearted moment in ‘Beau Jest.’ Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions Inc.

By Michael Tessler

Ever leave a theater feeling lighter than air? Theatre Three’s production of “Beau Jest” left me with this happy sensation I haven’t yet been able to shake.

Mary Powers masterfully directs an all-star cast in a perfectly paced stage comedy. Originally written by James Sherman, this show can best be described as a love child between “Fiddler on the Roof” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”  And let me tell you, it makes for a beautiful combination.

Sarah Goldman, the show’s protagonist (and arguably antagonist) is the kind of girl my grandmother would have loved for me to date. Pretty, smart, successful, and most importantly … Jewish. Like so many children she’s torn between pleasing her parents while being true to herself. Played by the hard-not-to-love Jenna Kavaler, you can’t help but sympathize with this love-struck young woman whose biggest fear is hurting the ones she loves most.

From left, Bob Kaplan, Scott Joseph Butler, Ginger Dalton, Brett Chizever and Jenna Kavaler in a scene from ‘Beau Jest.’ Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions Inc.
From left, Bob Kaplan, Scott Joseph Butler, Ginger Dalton, Brett Chizever and Jenna Kavaler in a scene from ‘Beau Jest.’ Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions Inc.

Sarah is romantically involved with a man opposite of the “nice Jewish boy” stereotype. Chris Kringle is a marketing executive and Sarah’s secret boyfriend whom she hides from her overly traditional and protective family. Played with immense talent by Steven Uihlein, Chris just can’t seem to catch a break. As if being named after the North Pole’s most popular resident wasn’t bad enough, he finds himself in love with someone who cannot love him back — openly that is. 

To make matters worse, Sarah finds herself hounded by her parents to the point where she invents a fake boyfriend. What started as a tiny lie quickly snowballs into an impossible to contain catastrophe. Her pretend boyfriend isn’t just Jewish, but he’s also a doctor, and a surgeon at that! Desperate to maintain the facade, Sarah hires Bob, a struggling actor turned male escort who is given the impossible task of pretending to be Sarah’s Jewish surgeon boyfriend. Brett Chizever is brilliant in his portrayal of Bob. Chizever can best be described as a master of comedic timing and expressions. He’ll have you in stitches before the show’s end.

Sarah’s mother, Miriam Goldman, is played to perfection by the hysterical and enormously talented Ginger Dalton, who was for me the highlight of the show. To say she is dramatic would be an understatement and a disservice to the beautifully accurate portrayal of an overly concerned Jewish mother. Who knew a person could sigh with such fervor? Dalton offers a magnificent performance and is complimented perfectly by her equally talented partner Bob Kaplan who portrays her husband Abe, a Tevye-like patriarch stuck in the wrong century but nonetheless endearing.

From left, Bob Kaplan, Ginger Dalton and Brett Chizever in a scene from ‘Beau Jest.’ Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions Inc.
From left, Bob Kaplan, Ginger Dalton and Brett Chizever in a scene from ‘Beau Jest.’ Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions Inc.

Last, but certainly not least, is Sarah’s brother Joel, a divorced psychiatrist played by Scott Joseph Butler whose dry humor blends perfectly with this already well-rounded show. Butler’s subtle comedy is so effective and peaks in the second act during one particularly hysterical tirade.

“Beau Jest” succeeds beautifully as it establishes itself as a living sitcom, complete with a live studio audience, some great inside jokes, and a cast you can’t help but fall in love with. Each knock on the door welcomes a new whirlwind of comedy, drama and beautifully scripted madness; the perfect way to spend an evening with someone you love.

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson, will present “Beau Jest” through May 7. Tickets range from $15 to $30. For more information, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

From left, Franklyn P. Butler, Phyllis March, Brian Gill, Robbie Torres, Katie Ferretti, Edward Breese and Jess Ader-Ferretti star in ‘Cabaret.’ Photo by Samantha Cuomo

By Melissa Arnold

The Smithtown Performing Arts Center took its audience on an emotional roller coaster ride Saturday night during its gripping opening performance of “Cabaret.”

Ronald R. Green III serves as both director and costume designer for the show, which is set in early 1930s Germany, just prior to World War II. Written by Joe Masteroff, “Cabaret” is based on a play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Frank Ebb. It is among the most enduring musicals on Broadway, with its first show in November 1966 leading to multiple revivals here and abroad.

“Cabaret” follows wandering novelist Cliff Bradshaw as he travels to Berlin in search of his next great idea. And boy, does he find it! He is quickly drawn into the raunchy, circus-like Kit Kat Klub and becomes entangled with its regulars, particularly the seductive performer Sally Bowles.

Sally Bowles is a woman who knows how to get what she wants, and she quickly wriggles her way into Cliff’s life,  first by moving in with him and then by slowly winning his heart. And they’re not the only ones falling in love. Cliff’s landlady, Fräulein Schneider, is charmed by the perfect gentleman, widower Herr Schultz.

Unfortunately, what begins as a shockingly funny love story grows dark as Adolf Hitler and the Nazis gain momentum in Germany. The characters eventually find themselves torn apart by politics, and the show’s ending is so gut-wrenching that you can almost feel the air leave the theater.

Sally and Cliff are played by Katie Ferretti and Brian Gill, who are both newcomers to the SCPA stage. Ferretti’s portrayal of Sally is full of moxie, and Gill’s effort is totally believable as Cliff falls helplessly in love.

The audience is directly addressed throughout the show by a flamboyant and hypnotizing emcee played by Robbie Torres. If “Cabaret” is a circus, then Torres is its wild ringleader. As crude as his character can be, he’ll capture your heart and hold on long after the show ends. Be warned, the emcee quickly transitions between several languages, and his thick accent may be hard to understand for some.

Worth particular mention in the talented supporting cast are Fräulein Schneider and Herr Schultz, who are portrayed with great tenderness by Phyllis March and Edward Breese. The duets featuring the couple, “Married” and “It Couldn’t Please Me More,” are the sweetest of them all.

Choreographer Danielle Coutieri ensured that the many dance numbers in “Cabaret” were full of all the shock value and sex appeal audiences would expect from a questionable nightclub. The kick-line at the beginning of the second act was particularly fun to watch.

The orchestra is located on the set’s upper level for this show, where they are regularly visible to the audience and even become a part of the story as the Kit Kat Klub’s house band. Led by music director Melissa Coyle, the music is more than just a sound track — they are a driving force for the club and show as a whole. They play powerfully, at times almost overwhelmingly so.

While this is not a show for children, adults are bound to be thoroughly entertained and delighted by “Cabaret.” Just be prepared to leave the theater in stunned silence. This classic will strike you in the heart.

Smithtown Performing Arts Center, 2 East Main St., Smithtown, will present “Cabaret” through May 22. Show includes strong language, intense sexuality and brief violence, alcohol and drug use. Running time is approximately 2.5 hours with one 15-minute intermission.

The season continues with “Hairspray the Broadway Musical” from July 9 to Aug. 28, “Rent” from Sept. 10 to Oct. 2 and “Urinetown the Musical” from Oct. 15 to Nov. 6. All tickets are $35 and may be purchased by calling 631-724-3700 or visiting www.smithtownpac.org.

‘Half Light on the Dock,’ acrylic, by John Mansueto

By Rita J. Egan

Adorned with stunning landscapes, Long Island is home to countless artists who capture the area’s charm in their own beautiful, creative ways. To celebrate the splendor of our area and the immense talent of landscape artists, the Smithtown Township Arts Council will be hosting an invitational exhibit, Loving the Landscape We Call Home, at the Mills Pond Gallery opening April 9.

‘Pond without Duck,’ oil, by Shain Bard
‘Pond without Duck,’ oil, by Shain Bard

On display at the exhibit will be landscape paintings of eight artists that live on Long Island, according to gallery director Allison Cruz. She said in the past the gallery’s exhibits, both invitational and juried, have included artists from all over the nation but she said occasionally she likes to concentrate on local artists.

The director said it’s difficult narrowing down which artists to feature in such an art show, especially when each has his or her own individual style. “There are many, many, many Long Island artists who all paint their local landscapes. There are hundreds to choose from and one is better than the next,” she said.

Cruz said the artwork includes oil paints, watercolors, pastels, acrylics and more and features various recognizable landscapes found on the island including winter, beach and forest scenes.

The gallery director said that in addition to an assortment of styles, mediums and scenery at the exhibit, each artist will have at least five pieces of artwork on display. “They’ll be able to show a real difference even within their own work,” she said.

‘West Meadow Wonderings,’ acrylic on canvas, by Patty Yantz
‘West Meadow Wonderings,’ acrylic on canvas, by Patty Yantz

One of the featured artists will be Stony Brook resident Franco Jona who said he was surprised and honored when he was notified that his work was going to be included in the exhibit. The former professor, who taught physics to engineering students at Stony Brook University for more than four decades, has been painting for several years capturing the scenic sights around his home.

“I was always attracted to the natural scenes in the vicinity, around Stony Brook and Setauket and so on,” the artist said. Jona hopes that visitors to the exhibit will enjoy how he sees the local landscapes that he creates with realism in watercolors and oil pastels. “I like to represent nature the way I see it,” he said. 

‘A Light Winter Blanket,’ watercolor, by Katherine Hiscox
‘A Light Winter Blanket,’ watercolor, by Katherine Hiscox

John Mansueto, who lives in Islip Hamlet, is also pleased his work will be on display at the gallery. Originally an illustrator who also worked for the Fire Island Tide Newspaper, the now full-time artist paints landscapes in acrylics and, in the past, also created work in watercolors, a medium he plans to return to in the future.

“Usually the subject speaks to me,” he said, explaining that he can tell whether a landscape would be better recreated in watercolors or acrylics. His paintings include various scenes from the South Shore, North Shore, as well as eastern Long Island.

Mansueto said he appreciates when art lovers not only enjoy his paintings but also recognize the spots he has painted. He added exhibits like the one at the Mills Pond Gallery also provide him a chance to learn about other artists.

‘Memories,’ oil, by Burton A. Woods
‘Memories,’ oil, by Burton A. Woods

“You see what techniques they are using and how they’re doing it, which is probably going to be different from the way I do it. You dissect it,” he said.

The exhibit will also include works from artists Shain Bard (Huntington Station), Katherine Hiscox (Commack), Rob Roehrig (East Setauket), Mary Webb (E. Northport), Burton A. Woods (Mount Sinai) and Patty Yantz (Setauket).

Cruz said, with a good cross section of Long Island landscapes, she thinks visitors will gain a new perspective of the area as well as artistically capturing its beauty. “I think when they see this show all together they are going to get an appreciation that there are many different ways to see the creative parts of where you live and many different types of ways to paint it,” she said.

The Smithtown Township Arts Council will present the Loving the Landscape We Call Home exhibit, funded in part by the Town of Smithtown, at the Mills Pond House Gallery, 660 Route 25A, St. James, from April 9 to May 4. Art lovers can meet the exhibiting artists at a reception held at the gallery on Saturday, April 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. The gallery is open Wednesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from noon to 4 p.m. Admission to the exhibit is free. For more information, please call 631-862-6575 or visit www. stacarts.org.

Residents peruse the selection of classic cars and trucks at a previous year’s event. Photo from John Forlenza

The St. Patrick School Car Show, now in its 11th year, is scheduled for Sunday, April 17, with a rain date on April 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of St. Patrick Church and School in Smithtown.

It will include a huge variety of cars, trucks and motorcycles as well as a large section of movie replica cars and monster trucks. Admission is $5 for adults, children free. Show car admission is $15 and motorcycles $5.

The impressive list of attendees for this year’s show includes a wide range of replica cars such as the Long Island Ghostbuster’s Supernatural TV Show Replica Car, Herbie the Love Bug, Smokey and the Bandit, Kitty Knight Rider and the Sheriff Buford T. Justice Car.

The car show will also feature the 9/11 American Patriot Tribute Car, the Suffolk Sheriff’s Department with drunk buggies and the BAT DWI Mobile Unit, a 1958 Plymouth Tribute to Christine, the 1956 Chevy Crankenstein, the 1957 Dragon Wagon, Sal’s Monster Truck and Primetime Trucking’s show truck: Blueprint.

In keeping with its tradition of being a day of “fun for the whole family,” the show will offer activities for children and young people from Jump Around Entertainment. A variety of vendors will offer shopping opportunities for the shoppers in the family. DJ Night Train will provide music, “blowing the dust off your most fondest memories.”

Raffles, giveaways and food will be available and, as the show takes place on the grounds of a church, a special blessing will be offered for all vehicles present.

St. Patrick Church is located at 280 E. Main St. in Smithtown. For more information or if anyone would like to display a car or reserve vendor space, call John Forlenza at 631-588-2696.

Guitarist Steve Salerno will make a special guest appearance at the concert. Photo from Peter Winkler

By Ellen Barcel

Guitarist Steve Salerno will make a special guest appearance at the concert. Photo from Peter Winkler
Guitarist Steve Salerno will make a special guest appearance at the concert. Photo from Peter Winkler

Le Petit Salon de Musique will present a concert titled Silken Rags with husband and wife duo, pianist Peter Winkler and violinist Dorothea Cook, on Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. Ed Mikell, of the salon, noted that Winkler, a Setauket resident, is “a well-known and respected music professor,” who recently retired from Stony Brook University.

Although Setauket residents now, both Winkler and his wife come from the West Coast. “I grew up in California,” he noted having attended UC Berkley for undergraduate work, Princeton for graduate school and Harvard as a postgraduate. “Then I came to Stony Brook and have been here ever since,” having joined the faculty in 1971.

“I taught at Stony Brook for 42 years. I was there when the music department was just getting going. Now it’s turned into a world class music department.”

Winkler and Cook met while teaching at a music camp, continuing a long-distance romance before marrying in the 1980s. “Dorothea was a native of Seattle, when there was a big bloom in music. Her father taught in high school. One of his students was Quincy Jones . . . she grew up around these famous musicians.” Winkler and Cook’s musical collaboration began in 1987 and continues to this day.

In demand as a professional violinist, Cook continues to teach violin — she maintains a private violin studio and conducts classes in Dalcroze Eurhythmics at Stony Brook.

Winkler is not only a performer but a music composer, having written a symphony in 1979. It was performed that year at the university and “just this past year the Stony Brook Symphony performed it again. I feel so lucky. I wrote for faculty and students … it’s a lovely situation for a composer to be in.” Winkler also wrote an opera, “Fox Fables,” which was also performed at Stony Brook. The piece was the 2011 Contemporary Americana Festival competition winner.

Peter Winkler and Dorothea Cook. Photo by Susan Dooley
Peter Winkler and Dorothea Cook. Photo by Susan Dooley

Winkler and Cook perform together as Silken Rags. Where does the name come from? “I was always interested in ragtime,” Winkler noted. “I was classically trained and in the ‘70s [when there was a resurgence in ragtime, especially with the film “The Sting”] started composing my own ragtime. We wanted a name that combined the earthiness of ragtime with the elegance of classical or salon music.”

Winkler added, “This might be the last time we do a whole concert by ourselves,” noting the amount of work needed to put together such a performance.  “We have performed at SBU a few times and (Cook) is active as a performer with the Stony Brook Baroque Ensemble. We’re members of the church [the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship] so we have also played for services there,” as well as special events such as the 1890s Fair.

The concert on Sunday will include “for the most part,” said Winkler, “my own compositions plus a few jazz standards.” How does Winkler describe his style? “Classical chamber music,” but, he added, “heavily influenced by folk and popular music. One reviewer called it ‘genre bending’ compositions.” Winker said, “Most of my music is inspired by my wife. In the jazz pieces [we perform] she does some improvisation, but the compositions are mostly mine.”

Another reviewer noted, “the music, for violin and piano, features the pair in rhythmically complex, harmonically rich music with influences extending from gospel and Caribbean to samba and tango — all performed here with remarkable flair and dash” (Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times).

Special guest performer at the upcoming concert will be guitarist Steve Salerno. “Steve is an amazingly versatile performer. He’s active in New York City and here [on Long Island] … He’s a world class performer, one of the top jazz performers, an extraordinary human being,” said Winkler adding, “I met him when he was a graduate student at Stony Brook University … a fine jazz guitarist, [he plays] classical, bluegrass, avant-garde — you name it and Steve will play it.”

Le Petit Salon de Musique, now in its sixth season bringing classical music to the community, is located at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 380 Nicolls Road, E. Setauket. The creator of Le Petit, Mikell, noted that “I enjoy bringing quality classical music to the area. People don’t have to travel to New York City.”

Tickets for Sunday’s performance are available at www.lepetitsalon.org for $15, online (adults). Adult tickets at the door are $20. Seniors 65 and over are $10 online and $15 at the door; students $5. In addition, Winkler and Cook will have copies of their album, “Silken Rags,” at the performance for purchase.

Buzz Aldrin signs a copy of "No Dream Is Too High" at the Book Revue on April 5. Photo by Victoria Espinoza
Buzz-Aldrin-Book-Revue_02w
Buzz Aldrin signs a copy of “No Dream Is Too High” at the Book Revue on April 5. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

Buzz Aldrin, the second man to step on the Moon during NASA’s Apollo 11 mission in 1969, visited the Book Revue in Huntington on Tuesday evening to sign copies of his new bestseller, “No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons from a Man Who Walked on the Moon.”

A large crowd gathered in the aisles of the bookstore on New York Avenue to get a glimpse of Aldrin, now 86, as well as his John Hancock.

Buzz Aldrin signs a copy of "No Dream Is Too High" at the Book Revue on April 5. Photo by Elana Glowatz
Buzz Aldrin signs a copy of “No Dream Is Too High” at the Book Revue on April 5. Photo by Elana Glowatz

Aldrin rose to prominence for his role in the first lunar landing, stepping out from the lunar module Eagle onto the Moon’s surface right after Commander Neil Armstrong, as command module pilot Michael Collins stayed behind in the spacecraft Columbia in orbit around the Moon. But Aldrin has more recently been noted for his statements and advocacy for reaching Mars, including authoring books on the subject.

In addition to signing copies of “No Dream Is Too High,” Aldrin signed copies of his children’s books.

From left, Ariel (Mackenzie Germain), Scuttle (Rachel Kowalsky) and Flounder (Amanda Swickle) admire a dinglehopper (a.k.a. a fork) in a scene from ‘The Little Mermaid Jr.’ Photo by Keith Kowalsky

By Rita J. Egan

The only thing better than hearing a beloved children’s story is having it performed by children themselves. This weekend the John W. Engeman Theater presented its first “by kids, for kids” production, Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.,” to an excited young audience.

Ariel (Mackenzie Germain) is put under a spell by Ursula (Maeve Barth-Dwyer) in a scene from ‘The LIttle Mermaid Jr.’ Photo by Keith Kowalsky
Ariel (Mackenzie Germain) is put under a spell by Ursula (Maeve Barth-Dwyer) in a scene from ‘The LIttle Mermaid Jr.’ Photo by Keith Kowalsky

The musical’s run in Northport will feature two separate casts, with a combined total of 37 children between the ages of 7 and 17, playing alternate performance dates of the production that was adapted from the Broadway musical written by Doug Wright.

First introduced in the Hans Christian Andersen classic fairy tale, “The Little Mermaid,” Ariel is the youngest of King Triton’s seven daughters. Living under the sea, she dreams of one day shedding her fins so she can walk and dance on land just as humans do. With the help of an evil sea witch, Ursula, her fantasies come true much to the dismay of her chaperone Sebastian, the crab. Soon Ariel finds herself meeting a handsome prince as she embarks on an onshore adventure with Sebastian as well as her colorful friends, a fish named Flounder and a seagull called Scuttle.

At this past Sunday’s performance, the young cast performed as if they were seasoned actors. Mackenzie Germaine was a sweet and lovely Ariel, who sang the mermaid’s signature song “Part of Your World” beautifully. As for her Prince Eric, Ben Hefter was endearing as well as charming.

Ariel (Mackenzie Germain) sings ‘Part of Your World’ in a scene from ‘The Little Mermaid Jr.’ Photo by Elise Johnson Linde Autz
Ariel (Mackenzie Germain) sings ‘Part of Your World’ in a scene from ‘The Little Mermaid Jr.’ Photo by Elise Johnson Linde Autz

Maeve Barth-Dwyer was poised and devilishly delightful as Ursula. She performed “Poor Unfortunate Souls” as if she was standing on a Broadway stage. In addition, Lizzie Dolce and Mia Goldstein, Ursula’s slippery spies Flotsam and Jetsam, flawlessly sang back-up on the show-stopping number.

Despite being a teenager, Matthew Fama portrayed King Triton with just the right amount of authority and tenderness needed for the parental role. Justin Autz (Sebastian), Rachel Kowalsky (Scuttle) and Chris Pappas (Chef Louis) added the right amount of humor.

Kowalsky had fun with the eccentric character and shined on “Human Stuff,” while the comedic abilities of Autz and Pappas were front and center during the number “Les Poissons,” which got huge laughs from the audience.

Amanda Swickle as Flounder was adorable, and when she joined Ariel’s sisters during the song “She’s in Love,” she skillfully showed off her excellent singing abilities.

Ella Benjamin, Eve Ascione, Katie Garthe, Keeley O’Malley, Katie Dolce and Alexandra Spelman shone as Ariel’s sisters and harmonized beautifully during their numbers, “Daughters of Triton” and “She’s in Love.” 

Keith Gryski (Grimsby), Natalie Ryan (Carlotta) and James Tully (Pilot) rounded out the ensemble on Sunday, and just like their fellow castmates, have the potential for a bright future in acting.

Ariel (Mackenzie Germain) and Prince Eric (Ben Hefter) share a dance in ‘The Little Mermaid Jr.’ Photo by Keith Kowalsky
Ariel (Mackenzie Germain) and Prince Eric (Ben Hefter) share a dance in ‘The Little Mermaid Jr.’ Photo by Keith Kowalsky

Musical director Ariana Valdes did an excellent job with the score, which features lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater and music by Alan Menken. As for the iconic numbers, “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl,” the whole ensemble did a fabulous job.

Director Alyson Clancy has skillfully directed a talented young cast that delivers a show that is professional and at the same time light and fun for the whole family.

The John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport, will present Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” until May 8. Tickets are $15 for all ages. For more information, visit www.engemantheater.com or call 631-261-2900.

Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich answers questions from the audience at the Paramount in Huntington. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

The race for commander-in-chief made a pit stop in Huntington on Monday with Republican presidential candidate John Kasich (R-Ohio) stumping at The Paramount.

Kasich, the governor of Ohio, spoke face-to-face with New York voters ahead of the April 19 primary with hopes of gaining momentum against his Republican counterparts in the race. He received some of his loudest cheers from the audience after delivering a line about his approach toward what has been a contentious campaign cycle battling the likes of Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich greets the crowd at the Paramount in Huntington. Photo by Victoria Espinoza
Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich greets the crowd at the Paramount in Huntington. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

“I may have been ignored for six months in my campaign because I spent my time taking the high road to the highest office, not the low road,” Kasich said.

Trump, a businessman, is currently leading in national polls as he has been for several months, but Kasich has been picking up speed as the Republican primaries make their way to the east coast. Real Clear Politics said Kasich has more than doubled his poll numbers from March 1 to April 1 going from 9 percent to almost 21 percent.

Audience members in the Huntington theater asked Kasich questions, many about whether or not he can actually take off the gloves and take on Trump, who has become known for his outlandish rhetoric and heated campaign rallies.

Kasich said while of course he could do it, he doesn’t necessarily want to.

“I don’t want to live in the negative lane,” he said. “I’ve got two 16-year-old twin daughters and a heck of a lot of people… in the state of Ohio who at this point are pretty proud of what I’ve done. I’ll fight, but I’m more interested in giving you the visual. I’d rather do it in a more positive, upbeat way, giving people hope.”

The governor tried to convince voters that he would be able to defeat both his Republican challengers, and eventually the future Democratic nominee by securing votes from both sides of the aisle.

“These things can’t get done with just one party,” he said. “If I’m president, we’ll have a conservative agenda, but we are not going to tell our friends in the other party to go away, to drop dead or demean them. We are going to invite them in. Before we’re Republicans or Democrats, we are Americans.”

In terms of specific policies, Kasich made several promises for his first 100 days in office, if he were to be elected.

“We will have a system that puts a freeze on all federal regulations except for health and safety, so we stop crushing small business,” he said. “I can tell you that we’re going to have lower taxes on businesses so they’ll invest in America and not in Europe, we’re going to have a simplified tax system with lower taxes for individuals and we’re going to have path to a balanced budget.”

He also addressed how he would handle immigration, an important subject to Suffolk County residents.

According to the Long Island Index, the number of white residents has declined in the past 10 years, as Hispanic and Asian populations have continued to grow. According to the United State Census, in 2014, foreign-born persons made up nearly 15 percent of the total population.

Kasich said he would implement a guest worker program that would help the 11.5 million illegal immigrants who have not committed a crime find a path to legalization.

“We’re not going to hunt you down,” he said.

Kasich said that Suffolk County is a diverse area with residents on all ends of the political spectrum, and he acknowledged he could represent more than just one party.

“I happen to be a Republican but the Republican Party is my vehicle, not my master,” Kasich said.

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Director Daniel A. Miller, pictured here with the ‘film ladies’ from the Greater Port Jefferson-Northern Brookhaven Arts Council,’ from left, Honey Katz Phyllis Ross, Barbara Sverd, Lyn Boland and Wendy Feinberg, delves into the effects of climate change in his latest documentary. Photo by Heidi Sutton

The intimate setting of the Gillespie Room at The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook served as a perfect venue for the screening of the award-winning documentary, “The Anthropologist,” last Monday evening.

The film explores the impact of climate change in different parts of the world. The event, attended by over 80 community members, was the third movie in the Port Jefferson Documentary Spring 2016 series. Director Daniel A. Miller made a special guest appearance and held a Q-and-A at the end of the night

Catch the next film in the series, “Waiting,” on April 4 at The Long Island Museum at 7 p.m.

To learn more about this season’s films or to purchase tickets in advance, call 631-473-5220.

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