Events

By Melissa Arnold

Entertainer and comedian Bob Nelson has spent more than four decades doing what he loves most — making people laugh by taking them out of their problems and into his world.

“The greatest blessing for me is when people — families — have come up to me at a show and said they’ve been doing my routines together at the dinner table for years, that it’s gotten them through hard times, that it brings back memories of people they’ve lost — there’s no better feeling,” said Nelson in a recent phone interview.

The Massapequa native’s career has taken him from coast to coast, performing with greats including Eddie Murphy, Rosie O’Donnell and Rodney Dangerfield. And while he doesn’t travel as much these days, he’s begun treating Long Islanders to a hilarious, fast-paced monthly show at Theatre Three in Port Jefferson.

 

Bob Nelson as Eppy Epperman

Nelson said he’s thrilled to be returning to his comedic roots for this residency, blending observational sketches with his unique portrayal of multiple characters at once. Characters such as the lovable nerd Eppy Epperman, punchy boxer Jiffy Jeff and chicken rancher Wilby Stuckinson aren’t the most politically correct, but they are one of a kind, memorable and hysterically funny.

“My earliest shows involved using three doors on the stage as well as the two wings to create dialogue between different characters,” Nelson explained. “I’ll say something as one character, exit through one of the doors, and then re-enter and respond as someone different. It’s a very physical show, but I love doing a kind of comedy you don’t see every day.”

The development of Nelson’s career was far from linear. In fact, he landed his first comedy gig on a fluke. In his late teens, one of his job responsibilities was fact-checking advertisements in phone books by making cold calls. Nelson sometimes did impressions on the phone to make his co-workers laugh, and during one such call, he impressed a man who was working on opening a new comedy club.

That club, the White House Inn in Massapequa, became Nelson’s first stage.

“The first night I went, I just got the bug for comedy and kept going back,” he said.

Not long after, Nelson changed his major at Nassau Community College from communications to theater, declaring to his family that he planned to make a life of entertaining.

“My dad wasn’t thrilled about that decision. He said, ‘You’re never going to make anything of yourself,’ and told me to move out,” Nelson recalled. “So that’s what I did. I was 20. In the end, I made it work, and my dad is now my biggest fan. We have a great relationship.”

Nelson did more than just make it work — his career has led him to clubs all over the country, he’s acted on stage and in film, and starred in multiple comedy specials on HBO. His most popular special, “Nelson Schmelson,” can be found on YouTube.

Reflecting on his career, Nelson prides himself on delivering clean comedy routines that are appropriate for all ages.

“When I think of the people that have inspired me — Ernie Kovacs, Danny Kaye, Jerry Lewis — those guys were truly talented, and truly funny. They didn’t need to resort to cursing, dirty jokes or mocking people to make people laugh like so many entertainers do today. That’s just not funny to me,” he said. “I want everyone to be able to come to the show and get away from their troubles for a while.”

Bob Nelson in the role of Jiffy Jeff

Douglas Quattrock, special events coordinator for Theatre Three, remembers first seeing Bob Nelson perform while watching “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” when he was growing up. He immediately memorized every word of the skit. 

“I always thought he was the most fascinating comic I’ve ever seen,” Quattrock said. “You never know what you’re going to get from him. He’s just pure comic genius.”

With the help of Paul Anthony from the Long Island Comedy Festival, the theater was able to contact Nelson about a performance. That show sold out and feedback from the audience was overwhelmingly positive, leading  the theater to invite Nelson for a residency. 

“He’s been so receptive and we’re all thrilled to have him call Theatre Three his new home,” said Quattrock. “You’ll get to see your favorite skits and characters from Bob, but what makes this show special is that he also takes audience requests. He’s hoping to develop new characters during his time here as well, which would be historic for us to be a part of.”

Bob Nelson performs monthly, 90-minute shows at the Ronald F. Peierls Theatre on the second stage of Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson. Tickets are $39. The next two performances are Nov. 15 and Dec. 6. The bar is open for refreshments during the show. For information on upcoming performances and to purchase tickets, visit www.theatrethree.com or call 631-928-9100.

Marcelo Lucero

REMEMBERING MARCELO LUCERO A DECADE AFTER HIS DEATH

Campus, community members to mark anniversary with Nov. 8 vigil at Stony Brook University

 Ten years to the date of the hate crime killing of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero, students, faculty and community members will gather at Stony Brook University for a night of remembrance and reflection.

“Our Town: Ten Years Later,” an educational vigil, will take place on Thursday, Nov. 8, from 7 to 9 p.m., in the university’s Students Activities Center (SAC) auditorium. Marcelo’s brother Joselo Lucero will address the crowd, along with Patchogue-Medford Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Hynes and filmmaker Susan Hagedorn.

Six campus partners are sponsoring the vigil: the Undergraduate Student Government (main sponsor); the Hispanic Languages and Literature Dept.; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Dept.; Center for Civic Justice; Office of Multicultural Affairs; and Campus Residences.

The program will feature the screening of a special one-hour-long edited version of Deputized,Hagedorn’s documentary about the 2008 attack on Lucero by seven teens that intentionally sought Latinos to assault during a night of what they termed “beaner hopping.” A discussion and Q&A session will follow.

Remarks by Dr. Hynes, whose school district includes Patchogue Village, where Marcelo was slain, will begin the evening. The Lucero Award-winning video from the UN Plural+ Youth Video Festival on Migration, Diversity & Social Inclusion will be shown preceding Deputized.

Given the current national climate of division and distrust of immigrants, organizers say this year’s vigil is more important than ever to promote understanding of and respect for cultural differences. However, despite the international attention Marcelo’s fatal stabbing received and resulting calls for improved treatment of immigrants particularly by police, his brother’s story is not “political,” Joselo Lucero stressed.

“This is a human issue,” he said. “This is not about legal or illegal, documented or undocumented. This is about what happened to a human being. That’s what we will be remembering and realizing on November 8th.”

Co-organizer Ian Lesnick, assistant to the president and director of diversity affairs for the Undergraduate Student Government, added that the vigil also provides an opportunity for us “to reflect on ourselves as a society to see how we’ve changed and where we continue to grow.”

Marcelo and a friend were walking near the LIRR tracks in Patchogue when they were attacked by the seven youth. The killing sent shockwaves across Long Island and beyond, generated hundreds of news stories and sparked numerous community dialogues, a play, a novel and a PBS documentary .

The vigil is free of charge and open to the public. Free parking is available in the SAC lot. Upon driving onto the Stony Brook campus, follow signs to the Student Activities Center.

For information, contact 631-258-2016 or ilesnick@stonybrookusc.org.

Princesses, superheroes, ghosts, zombies and more filled Stony Brook Village Center Oct. 31 to take part in a day of trick-or-treating.

Store owners and employees handed out treats to the hundreds of costumed children who were accompanied by parents and four-legged friends — some in disguises themselves. In between trick-or-treating, children had the opportunity to take part in some Halloween-themed games and crafts.

 

Comedy fundraiser

Chris Roach will join the group on Nov. 3.

Long Island Comedy Festival will host a special Stand-Up Comedy fundraiser at Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. to help the beloved theater recover from recent flash flood damage. Comedians from around the country will be flooding the Theatre Three stage including Talia Reese, Jamie Gravy, Maria Walsh, Michael Somerville, host Paul Anthony and, just announced, Chris Roach. Tickets are $39 per person. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

 

  • Comedians from around the country will be FLOODING the Theatre Three stage!
  • The audience will experience a WAVE of Laughter & hilarious fun!
  • RUSH IN to get your tickets to this outrageous night of LIVE Stand-Up Comedy!

 

Open House

The Atelier at Flowerfield, 2 Flowerfield, Suite 15, will hold an Open House on Friday, Nov. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tour the studios, meet the instructors and learn about the Atelier’s mission to foster a community of local artists of all levels and experience. Enjoy art demos by instructors and apprentices, participate in a scholarship raffle and browse the current art exhibition, Charles Yoder: Natural Resources, in Atelier Hall. Refreshments will be served. Free. For more information, call 631-250-9009. 

The Northport Historical Society will present a day of evaluation and intrigue as expert appraiser Lark Mason comes to Northport’s Village Hall, 224 Main St., Northport, on Saturday, Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A celebrity appraiser who has provided appraisals for the PBS traveling antiques show and iGavelAuctions.com, Mason and his team of experts will offer professional appraisals of antique furniture, collectibles, textiles, paintings, silver, jewelry, art and more.

Lark Mason

Last held in 2016, the historical society’s version of the PBS antiques show created quite a stir when a West Hempstead man found a simple pot he had inherited from his great aunt was actually an imperial Chinese brush pot valued at $30,000. As Mason said, “appraising is like trying to unravel a mystery … the thing that’s really joyful about what we do is to find things that have value and that someone is unaware of. … To share that with them sometimes dramatically changes the person’s life.”

A fee of $40 per item will be charged, $30 members, with a maximum of two items allowed per attendee. Along with Mason who will be appraising paintings and American and European works of art, are Lark Mason III who will be appraising Asian art and Niki Tiliakos who will handle jewelry and silver. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Northport Historical Society. Tickets for each item are available on the day of the event or may be reserved at www.northporthistorical.org/events.

In addition to the actual Appraisal Day, a Meet the Appraisers kick-off reception will be held the evening before the event from 6 to 8 p.m. at the society’s museum, 215 Main St. in Northport village. Tickets are $60/$50 for members and include beverages and hors d’oeuvres. To reserve, please call 631-757-9869 or visit the website listed above.

Photo by James Dima

Tribute to Led Zeppelin

Pure Led, a Long Island Led Zeppelin tribute band, will return to the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport to perform on Sunday, Nov. 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the 60-foot domed theater of the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium.

 The playlist, which features work from the early BBC recordings to select hits from the later albums, captures the essences of the band’s best live performance and will include “The Song Remains the Same,” “Stairway to Heaven” and “Whole Lotta Love” as spectacular laser images and space imagery fly overhead in a truly immersive and unforgettable experience.

“We love the music and we love playing the music you love to hear,” said band member Patrick Giovanniello. “We give it our all with a chemistry and force that is comparable to the mighty Led Zeppelin during their early years.”

Tickets are $20 adults online, $25 at the door; $15 children ages 5 to 15; children under 5 are free. For more information, call 631-854-5579 or visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org.

Photo by Heidi Sutton

Back by popular demand, the Resurrection Byzantine Catholic Church, 38 Mayflower Ave., Smithtown will host its annual Slavic Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 3 with two seatings: 4 and 6:30 p.m. accompanied by a performance by the Resurrection Ukrainian Folk Heritage Dancers, a cash bar, raffles and traditional ethnic boutique with handmade Pysanky eggs, crafts, gifts and more. $22 per person includes a Troika platter dinner of cucumber salad, kielbasa,  pirogi, stuffed cabbage, homemade desserts, coffee and tea. For reservations, call Lisa at 631-265-6701. Walk-ins welcome.

The Harbormen Men’s Chorus of Stony Brook presents their “Harmony Through The Decades” Annual Show highlighting the timeless music of the Mills Brothers, Ricky Nelson, John Denver, the Eagles, Billy Joel and many others! Featuring the acoustic trio guest group, “The Strangers.” Come and enjoy the show on Saturday, October 27 at 2:30 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, 380 Nicolls Road, East Setauket. Tickets at the door are $15, $10 for students and seniors. Proceeds help benefit the Good Shepherd Hospice. 631-644-0129. 

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