Arts & Entertainment

By Ernestine Franco

Find your new best friend at the 5th annual Sound Beach Civic Association Pet Adopt-A-Thon on Saturday, Sept. 24 in the Hartlin Inn parking lot, 30 New York Ave., Sound Beach (across from the Post Office) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Eleven animal rescue groups from Suffolk County will be on hand to show off their lovable, adoptable pets including The Adoption Center, Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, Compassionate Action, Volunteers for Animal Welfare, Grateful Greyhounds, Happy Tails Dog Rescue, Last Chance Animal Rescue, Long Island Bulldog Rescue, New York State Retriever Rescue, Sav-A-Pet and the Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter. Adoption fees will vary by group.

Saving one animal will not change the world, but for that one animal the world will change forever.

Created and run mostly by volunteers, many of these groups take unwanted, abandoned, abused or stray animals into their homes and care for them — training them, playing with them, handling medical issues and solving behavioral problems — until a suitable permanent home can be found.

“Last year twelve ‘furever’ friends found new, loving homes at this event,” Bea Ruberto, president of the Civic Association, said, “and we’re looking to do even better this year. We hope a lot of people will stop by to meet their new best friend.”

The New York State Retriever Rescue will be bringing Alice and Trixie whose owner recently died. Happy-go-lucky dogs who love other dogs but have never been around cats, they just need someone to love them again. The group will also be bringing Buck Hope, a 9-year-old lab who is described as being kind of goofy and loves to swim, and Elsa, a 10-year-old very sweet lab mix who is a big mush of a girl and loves both dogs and cats.

Happy Tails Dog Rescue will be showcasing Georgie and Porgie, two yorkie mixes, and Nana, a 3-month-old female plott hound/lab mix in hopes that they will find loving homes.

Last Chance Animal Rescue, which has participated in this event every year, is bringing Dutchess, a 3-year-old female pibble who is crate trained, house trained and loves dogs (no cats please). They will also be offering Madilynn, a tortoise shell cat, who has been with the group for six months. Her first birthday has come and gone and no forever family has picked her. She is great with other cats and dogs and people of all ages and loves to play and snuggle. What more could you ask for?

Nadia, a young gray and white shorthaired cat, will also be there, courtesy of Last Chance, and would love to find her home soon. She’s kid tested, cat tested and dog tested and ready to start a new life.

Sav-A-Pet will be featuring three cats this year — a pure white beauty named Valke, an 11-year-old diabetic female who just needs some tender loving care, and Miracle and Angel, two pastel calico kittens who had a rough start in life.

The Adopt-A-Thon will also offer information on responsible pet care, face painting for the kids, live music by Gina Mingoia and Sal Martone along with a raffle auction and 50/50 with all the proceeds going to the participating animal welfare groups.

Raffle prizes include a one-year subscription to Times Beacon Record Newspapers, brass candlesticks, Christmas baskets, Dr. Who memorabilia, electric wine opener with a bottle of wine, fall harvest baskets, granite and marble cutting boards, handbag with scarves and gloves, handmade blanket and pillow, hand-painted wine glass, home and kitchen baskets, Italian cheese-making kit with a bottle of wine, Lenox bowl, pet gift basket, Sky Zone passes, spa baskets, a framed silver record signed by Christina Aguilera, Clint Black, EVE 6, and Tyrese, Theatre Three tickets and much more.

Echo Pharmacy will provide some free give-aways, and Miller Place Animal Hospital will be offering a free exam for any newly adopted pet. So, whether you want to help the great work the animal welfare groups do or are looking to adopt your new best friend, stop by for a great family-friendly event.

Above, one of the many scarecrows that greeted visitors at the Stony Brook Village Center last year. File photo by Giselle Barkley
A sparkly (and flexible) witch greets visitors to the Stony Brook Village Center in a previous year. File photo
A sparkly (and flexible) witch greets visitors to the Stony Brook Village Center in a previous year. File photo

One of the North Shore’s most popular holiday events is now underway at the Stony Brook Village Center, the Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s annual Scarecrow Competition. This will be the 26th year the spooky, silly and scary six-foot creations will adorn the pathways of picturesque Stony Brook Village Center for visitors to enjoy and vote in their favorite! Voting ballots will be available in all Village Center shops and eateries or at the WMHO office.

Categories are Professional, Adult/Family and Children’s. Registration deadline will be Sept. 30 and there is an entry fee of $15. Winners will receive cash prizes awarded at WMHO’s Annual Halloween Festival, beginning at 2 p.m. on Oct. 31. Suffolk Center for Speech is the main event sponsor for the festival and competition. For full information on this and other Stony Brook Village events, call 631-751-2244 or visit www.stonybrookvillage.com

From left, Vanessa Molinelli, Jennifer Dzvonar, Joan Nickeson, Donna Boeckel and Lisa Molinelli from the North Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce. Photo from Jen Dzvonar

By Rebecca Anzel

Community members young and old will enjoy good old-fashioned family fun at the North Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce’s first ever Family Fun Day on Saturday, Sept. 17 at Buttercup’s Dairy, 285 Boyle Road in Terryville (at the corner of Old Town Road). From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., attendees of the free event will enjoy live music, a petting zoo, an apple pie baking contest, a chili cook-off, a scarecrow contest, selfie stations and more. Admission is free and there is no rain date.

An opportunity for community members to learn more about their local businesses, Family Fun Day will feature representatives from Old Town Blooms, Cumsewogue Historical Society, Stony Brook University, Bass Electric, Great Clips, People’s United Bank, Masone Natural Healing, Home Performance Technologies, R & B Electrical (Solar), Kiddie Academy, Port Jeff Bowl, Comsewogue Public Library, TFCU, Renewal by Anderson, Little Flower Children’s Services, Gutter Helmet, Coach Realtors, Everlasting Memories in Time, Kitchen Magic, PJS/Terryville Civic, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Habitat for Humanity and Brian Yonks Chiropractic.

“It’s really an exciting event that’s going to bring local businesses and the community together,” chamber board of directors President Jennifer Dzvonar said. “Local businesses are the backbone of the community. Why not bring the community to meet them?”

Dzvonar said she is most excited for the scarecrow contest, where families are encouraged to work together to create a unique scarecrow at home and bring it to the event to be displayed. The top submissions will receive ribbons.

To further celebrate the importance of family, the event committee asked children ages 10 and under to write essays about what family fun means to them to enter into the Little Miss and Mister of Terryville contest. The winners will receive a crown, sash and flowers the day of the event. And the apple pie baking contest, Dzvonar said, will allow members of the community to bond over the delicious fall-time dessert. “The woman next door might make the best apple pie, but you’d never know it! These contests are a fun way to get to know your neighbors better.”

Planning for the event has been underway since last November, and committee member Craig den Hartog said everyone involved is “excited to just get it started.” He is going to be on hand to help set up tents and direct traffic. A volunteer with Old Town Blooms, den Hartog will also be sharing information about the community beautification project, which has planted over 20,000 daffodils in the area over the last seven years. “The fact that our event benefits the community is the most important part,” den Hartog said.

Family Fun Day was inspired in part by similar events in surrounding towns. Rich Smith, whose family owns Buttercup Dairy, said he thought Terryville should have an event to celebrate the town, like St. James does, and members of the Chamber of Commerce agreed. den Hartog and Dzvonar both said the dairy was the perfect spot to host the event. Buttercup Dairy is the main focal point for those who live in the area and is Terryville’s longest operating business. “This event is a good way to give back to the community,” Smith said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the families that will turn out for the old-fashioned fun [the committee] is planning.”

According to Dzvonar, organizing Family Fun Day was a group effort. It was “every facet of the community who pulled together and worked together to create such a great event,” she said, adding that the North Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce is hoping to make the event an annual affair hosted in each of its seven towns. “This year, we’re concentrating on Terryville. Next year, we might be in Mount Sinai, Wading River or we might be in Terryville again,” she said.

For more information, call 631-821-1313 or visit www.northbrookhavenchamber.org.

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The Hercules figurehead from the USS Ohio in Stony Brook. Photo by Heidi Sutton

By Ernestine Franco

The heroes of Greek and Roman legends are long gone, but they are still an echo in our collective mythic memories.

Hercules was the Roman name of the greatest hero of Greek mythology — Heracles. Like most authentic heroes, Hercules had a god as one of his parents, being the son of the supreme deity Zeus and the mortal Alcmene. Zeus’ queen Hera was jealous of Hercules and was determined to make trouble for him by making him lose his mind. In a confused and angry state, he killed his own wife and children.

The story goes that when he awoke from his “temporary insanity,” Hercules was shocked and upset by what he’d done. He prayed to the god Apollo, also a son of Zeus. As part of his punishment, Hercules had to perform 12 labors including slaying the Nemean lion — feats so difficult that they seemed impossible. Fortunately, Hercules had the help of some sympathetic deities. By the end of these labors, Hercules was, without a doubt, Greece’s greatest hero.hercules-1 His struggles made him the perfect embodiment of an idea the Greeks called pathos, the experience of virtuous struggle and suffering that would lead to fame and, in Hercules’ case, immortality.

There have been many reincarnations of Hercules. To name just a few: Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot; the 1997 animated Disney movie “Hercules”; the TV show “Hercules,” which ran from 1995 to 1999; and a 1970 B film “Hercules in New York.” There is even an adjective, herculean, that embodies all the positive aspects of this hero.

But before all these, there was the 19th-century figurehead Hercules of the USS Ohio. Built between 1817 and 1820, she was the first ship built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The Ohio served in the Mediterranean, sailed the Pacific and landed troops on the shores of Vera Cruz during the war with Mexico in 1847. By 1884 the Ohio was decommissioned, sold for scrap and moored in Greenport. She broke free of her mooring during a storm and sunk a short distance off shore. Resting in a mere 20 feet of water, part of the ship was above sea level. The exposed parts of the Ohio were burned and the rest abandoned. Luckily this piece of folk art was stripped off the ship before her end.

The figurehead of Hercules, wrapped in the skin of the Nemean lion, was carved out of a single piece of cedar at a cost $1,500. At one point it was sold for a mere $10 at an auction. It was again sold for $15 by the then owner of the Canoe Place Inn in Hampton Bays where it remained for decades. Eventually the figurehead was acquired by Ward Melville in 1954 who deeded it to The Ward Melville Heritage Organization for preservation.

As if this isn’t already an amazing enough piece of history, the pavilion also has a whaleboat used on Charles Hall’s final arctic expedition. The Hercules Pavilion is located along Main Street in Stony Brook Village, across from the Village Green, near the anchor of the USS Ohio.

For more information, call 631-751-2244 or visit www.wmho.org.

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Unfortunately, dogs don’t consult the ‘Field Guide to North American Mushrooms’ before choosing which to eat and which to leave alone.

By Matthew Kearns, DVM

After a hot, dry August, we’re starting to get some late summer/early fall rain, and the rain brings the mushrooms. Some wild mushrooms are edible (and quite tasty); however, some can be downright toxic. Both classes of wild mushrooms grow right in our backyards and flourish at this time of year.

Names like toadstool, death cap and destroying angel make me want to make sure I don’t eat the wrong type. Unfortunately, dogs don’t consult the “Field Guide to North American Mushrooms” before choosing which to eat and which to leave alone.

The most common toxic genera of mushrooms are Amanita, Galerina and Lepiota. These genera carry a specific toxin called cyclopeptides. Cyclopeptides interfere with the nucleic acids RNA and DNA transcriptase, and these compounds are integral for cell replication. Therefore, cyclopeptides affect organ systems that have a large cell turnover (the GI system, liver and a portion of the kidneys). Other toxic mushrooms can affect the central nervous system, but they are not as common in this part of the country.

Above, the destroying angel mushroom is toxic to dogs.
Above, the destroying angel mushroom is toxic to dogs.

The initial symptoms usually start within 6 to 12 hours of exposure and affect the gastrointestinal tract, causing serious vomiting and diarrhea. The diarrhea many times becomes bloody, but dehydration secondary to vomiting and diarrhea is a bigger concern than blood in the stool. If untreated, the dehydration alone can lead to shock and organ dysfunction.

If the patient recovers from the initial GI signs, they can still develop liver and kidney dysfunction. If the exposure is small (this depends not only on the amount of mushrooms eaten but also the size/weight of the dog), the patient can make a complete recovery over a period of weeks to months. However, if the exposure is large, this can lead to complete liver or kidney failure.

Initial treatment involves hospitalization for decontamination and supportive care. In severe cases it is recommended to lavage (or pump) the stomach in conjunction with activated charcoal (to prevent further absorption) and IV fluids.

When I still worked emergency full time and we had a known or suspect mushroom toxicity, as long as we were able to control the vomiting, administer activated charcoal and support with IV fluids, the patients were discharged without any long-term damage.

How do we prevent mushroom exposure? Mushrooms are fungi and grow better under certain conditions. Some mushrooms require low amounts of light, but many do not. All mushrooms need a lot of moisture and decaying plant material. Therefore, making sure there is adequate drainage and removing any leaves, branches and other debris on a regular basis can reduce the amount of mushrooms grown.

Also, reduce watering (if you water regularly) to portions of your lawn prone to mushrooms. If you see mushrooms, remove them immediately at the base to prevent the aeration of spores. Then use a sharp shovel in an “up and away” fashion to remove the soil. If you can’t do that, use a garden rake or hoe to aerate that area and provide better drainage.

If you know that your dog has eaten mushrooms, bring him or her to your veterinarian immediately and follow their instructions. If your vet recommends hospitalization, IV fluids, inducing emesis (vomiting) and activated charcoal, then follow their instructions. Although it may be a little more expensive, it is better to be more aggressive early than to play catchup later. Also, treat your yard. Remember, “An ounce of prevention …”

Dr. Kearns practices veterinary medicine from his Port Jefferson office.

By Michael Tessler

Covered in ash, crawling through rubble, debris and fire — we found hope. Watching as brave heroes marched into towers set aflame — we found courage. Seeing an American flag rise above a hellish landscape of melted steel, blood and death — we found unity.

Our nation, at least for a moment, stood as one. Though shattered, our hearts pounded together in perfect rhythm. We knew that we would overcome the horrors seared into our memory that dreadful September day. Americans, by nature, do that — overcome. We rebuild, we remember and we defend our great American experiment. For more than two centuries we’ve fought for that noble concept, despite all odds and adversities. No enemy foreign or domestic has ever been able to change that simple and profound truth.

Thomas Butler from Kings Park, right, made the ultimate sacrifice while saving others on 9/11. Photo from Michael Tessler
Thomas Butler from Kings Park, right, made the ultimate sacrifice while saving others on 9/11. Photo from Michael Tessler

My memory of that day is the clearest of my entire childhood. For so many years I’ve loved heroes I’ve never met. Mourned at the reading of names: the mothers, fathers, daughters and sons. They often come to mind, especially their families, whose loss remains profound and ever present.

Fifteen years later we’ve strayed far from that national singularity, that special comfort knowing that even in the chaos, we have one another. Today it feels that we are torn so far apart that I can barely recognize the America I love.

In this time of darkness, I’m reminded of wisdom bestowed upon us by the greatest generation, in a time not so dissimilar from our own: “… the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Perhaps our nation is still reeling in forgotten grief. Or maybe we’ve lost our national innocence and have given into the cynicism. Perhaps a decade of violence with no end has rendered us apathetic to the world at large, but I refuse to believe that is true or permanent. There will never be a clear path forward, but it must be clear that there is a path forward.

We do not have to agree with one another to show civility, we do not have to hate to protect ourselves, and we must not allow fear to dictate our lives. Those who perished represented nearly every facet of the American people. Their religions, race, sexual orientation, gender, hopes, dreams and aspirations in no way diminished the gaping hole we felt from their loss. They were people, they were our American kin, and we must ensure that “never forget” is not just a Hallmark slogan but an eternal call to action.

We are Americans. We will crawl through ash, rubble, debris and fire to give one another hope. We will march up towers aflame to give one another courage. We will raise an American flag above a landscape however hellish to let the world know that we are the UNITED States of America and that “a government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

In loving memory of Thomas M. Butler, the hero I never knew.

Michael Tessler is the Special Projects Manager for TBR News Media.

Abby Wambach greets fans at the Book Revue on Sept. 12. Photo by Rebecca Anzel

By Rebecca Anzel

Abby Wambach signs copies of her books at the Book Revue on Monday night. Photo by Rebecca Anzel
Abby Wambach signs copies of her books at the Book Revue on Monday night. Photo by Rebecca Anzel

Paying it forward:

Soccer star Abby Wambach, who played forward on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, visited the Book Revue in Huntington on Monday night to meet fans and sign copies of her new books, “Forward: A Memoir” and “Forward: My Story Young Readers’ Edition.”

The 36-year-old is a two-time Olympic gold medalist who, with 184 career goals, holds the world record for international goals for both male and female athletes. She retired from the sport on Oct. 27, 2015, the day President Barack Obama honored her team for winning the FIFA World Cup that year. About 500 people lined up to meet the player Obama called “an inspiration” with a “not-so-quiet dominance.”

Many in attendance were young female soccer players who came wearing their team jerseys and asked Wambach for a high five.

'Children in the Park' by Sylvia Kirk

Above, ‘Children in the Park’ by Sylvia Kirk

By Kevin Redding

A classical piano recital  by Alexandria Le will be held in conjunction with the art exhibit. Photo from Ed Mikell
A classical piano recital by Alexandria Le will be held in conjunction with the art exhibit. Photo from Ed Mikell

For the opening of its seventh season as the premiere classical music series on Long Island, Le Petit Salon de Musique will do something a little different and more ambitious than any of its previous events. On Sunday, Oct. 16 at 2 p.m., not only will there be a grand presentation of a variety of classical compositions — performed by Carnegie Hall chamber pianist Alexandria Le — but also a gallery of local art that will serve as visual representation of the concert’s main piece: Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s stunning “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

The famous 10-movement suite was written in 1874 in response to the death of artist Viktor Hartmann, one of Mussorgsky’s dearest friends, and intended to be “evocative of a walk through an art exhibit.” Beginning with an artist reception on Sunday, Sept. 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. and continuing through Oct. 31, the community will be able to take that walk at Pictures at an Exhibition: Revisited at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Stony Brook.

Coordinators of the event, from left, Sylvia Kirk and Linda and Ed Mikell. Photo by Kevin Redding
Coordinators of the event, from left, Sylvia Kirk and Linda and Ed Mikell. Photo by Kevin Redding

Ed and Linda Mikell, the Commack residents behind the concert series, sought to honor the whole theme of the piece and with the help of exhibit curator Sylvia Kirk, 16 local artists working in different forms of media were chosen to visually represent and accompany the music. Linda, who is a former voice major and music teacher, had been a fan of this specific suite for a while when she discovered that Le would be performing it. “It’s one of my favorite pieces,” she said, “and I just kept thinking ‘wouldn’t it be fabulous if we could enlist some local photographers and artists for this?’ and I immediately thought of Sylvia, who kind of curates our little gallery here when we have a show. She knew so many photographers and we have a bunch of artists in the Fellowship so we met three times at my house, played the music, explained what the composer envisioned, and then people just went off and came back with their art.”

Kirk, whose own work will be included in the exhibition, rounded up a wide variety of artistic talent from the area, opening it up to anybody that did anything in any medium. Gallery visitors will see a quilt piece, a pastel piece, paintings, and a large focus on photography — which has lent itself especially well to the concepts within each movement.

“There are 16 artists and 23 pieces [overall], so some artists have two pieces,” said Kirk. “There’s three or four photo montages, two of them did digital art — they do all kinds of things digitally with their photographs — and many of us just took straight photos.” According to Kirk, some of the artists have decided to donate their work to be sold. As is the case for the musicians, their proceeds will be split with the fellowship.

'The Old Castle' by Jerry Levy.
‘The Old Castle’ by Jerry Levy.

Some of the 10 movements include the dark and melancholy sounds of “The Gnome” and “The Old Castle,” more lighthearted scherzos like “The Ballet of Unhatched Chicks in their Shells,” and the triumphant “The Great Gate at Kiev.”

The Artists:

Linda Anderson, Bruce S.G. Barrett, Doris Diamond, Julie Doczi, Susan Dooley, Jan Golden, Faye Graber, Merrill Heit, Kathee Kelson, Sylvia Kirk, Lily Klima, Jerry Levy, Eric Lohse,  Frances McGuire, Keelin Murphy and Len Sciacchitano

“Each movement has a picture associated with it,” said Ed. “I said to my wife that we should have a description or an explanation of what it is that the artists have addressed when they put their pieces together, a description of the events and what’s being interpreted.”

The Mikells, who launched the concert series in 2010 with Le as its first performer, want to continue giving those in attendance — performers and audiences alike — a great experience. “Everybody who comes out over the years have wonderful things to say,” said Ed. “They don’t really know or care what’s playing. They just know it’s going to be quality stuff.”

“People travel all the way into the city to hear this quality of music,” added Linda, “but it’s right here. You can walk right in the door, sit, and be 10 feet from the performers.”

Le Petit Salon de Musique, 380 Nicolls Road, East Setauket will welcome Alexandria Le in concert on Oct. 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 adults ($15 online), $15 seniors ($10 online) and $5 for students. For more information, call 751-0297 or visit www.lepetitsalon.org.

The Sisters of Delta Nu in Theatre Three's production of 'Legally Blonde: The Musical' at Theatre Three. Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions, Inc.

By Rebecca Anzel

Brittany Lacey stars in ‘Legally Blonde: The Musical’ at Theatre Three from Sept. 17 to Oct. 29. Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions, Inc.
Brittany Lacey stars in ‘Legally Blonde: The Musical’ at Theatre Three from Sept. 17 to Oct. 29. Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions, Inc.

Theatre Three in Port Jefferson is gearing up for its next Mainstage production, “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” which will open on Saturday, Sept. 17. The role of Elle Woods will be played by 28-year-old Brittany Lacey, best known to Theatre Three regulars as Mimi in “Rent” and as Belle in “A Christmas Carol” when she was a company member there from 2010 to 2012. I had the opportunity to sit down with Brittany before rehearsals last Friday night to ask her about her latest role.

Why did you decide to audition for the role of Elle Woods?

This is a dream role of mine and having the chance to perform it here at Theatre Three makes it even more special. It’s like I’m coming home and now I’m doing something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m a huge fan of Reese Witherspoon. I love her! I think she’s very funny and talented. Of course, I don’t know her personally, but she seems like such a good person — like Hollywood hasn’t gotten to her.

What is your favorite scene in the show?

I just discovered it the other day. My favorite scene is “What You Want.” The song has three parts to it and all are great! Our choreographer, Whitney Stone, came up with this amazing dance and it’s just a lot of fun. It’s like one big party on stage. A lot of the cast is involved in the number. I like when you’re on stage with everyone else because you’re able to share everyone else’s energy and I think it makes it a more memorable experience.

What is your favorite song in the show?

“Take It Like A Man.” That has become my favorite one. I don’t know what it is about it — I love singing it. I play it opposite Brett Chizever (in the role of Emmett Forrest). It’s a real joy. Brett is great. How many weeks does the cast rehearse before production? Four or five weeks … I’m not exactly sure. Because most people work during the day, we rehearse from 7:15 at night to 10:30 and then on weekends, we’ll have five-hour rehearsals. It’s a lot of repetition and practice. And, after I go home, it’s all I listen to. I drive my boyfriend crazy making him run lines with me!

What is it like working with the director, Jeffrey Sanzel?

I love working with Jeff. He’s a strict director, but in a good way. Jeff cares about everyone on that stage and what they’re doing. He really works with you to make sure you’re comfortable. It’s all about putting out a great product and everyone feeling proud of their performance. What is it like working with your castmates? I only knew a handful of them going in, and everyone is so nice. This cast is very supportive. I haven’t had that in a while so it’s really, really nice.

Who is playing the role of the UPS guy? Is he cute?

He’s so much younger than me — am I allowed to answer that? But no, the ladies will be quite happy with who they’re watching up there. Kyle Breitenbach is doing a great job with the role. He’s very funny.

Brittany Lacey with the only four-legged member of the show, Taxi. Photo courtesy of Theatre Three
Brittany Lacey with the only four-legged member of the show, Taxi. Photo courtesy of Theatre Three

I noticed the show will have a real dog in the role of Bruiser Woods. What is she like?

Her name is Taxi, like a taxi cab. She’s a chihuahua. Caitlin Nofi (who plays Vivienne in the show) has a friend who was kind enough to lend us Taxi, and she’s a star! She came in with a pink and purple bow around her neck and owned that stage. And she’s so good! She’s calm.

Have you ever performed on stage with an animal before?

I don’t think so! I’ve played a lot of animals, but no I don’t think I’ve ever had one on stage. It definitely makes me nervous because you just want the animal to feel okay up there. You don’t want to scare it. It’s fun though! It’s different, because at the end of the day, you’ll see what she wants to do. If she wants to prance around the stage, she’s going to prance and we’re going to let her.

What is it like being a part of a production at Theatre Three?

It’s a great experience. I feel like this theater tries to make it feel like a home for their actors and that you’re a part of their family. You don’t always get that in other places. Everyone works really hard because they just put their whole heart into it, and that is another reason I love to come back here. Jeff [Sanzel] is the leading force of that. The heart he has for theater, for this theater in general, is ginormous. It’s great because then that falls onto the rest of us and it makes you want to put even more effort into the show.

Why should people come see the show?

Because we really want you to! No, no, I think we’re putting a lot of hard work into it. We’re just getting into tech week, but I believe we’re putting out a really good production and I hope it’s fun for them. We promise to entertain you! We all love what we’re doing, so I think that always translates to the audience. If we’re having fun, hopefully that means they’re having fun watching it.

Do you have a favorite spot in Port Jefferson that you like to go to?

As soon as rehearsal’s over, I go down to Ralph’s. I love my ices and ice cream! It’s like my after rehearsal treat. What are your plans after this? I don’t have any definitive plans yet, but I’m sure it will involve auditioning. A lot of this job, of being an actor, is putting yourself out there and hoping that casting directors like what you have to offer.

Anything else you would like to add?

I’m having fun, I’m loving this experience and I can’t wait to open this show!

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson will present “Legally Blonde: The Musical” from Sept. 17 to Oct. 29. Tickets range from $20 to $35. For more information, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

A steady stream of people enjoy the Gallery North Outdoor Art Show & Music Festival. Photo by Lloyd Newman

For more than half a century the Gallery North Outdoor Art Show & Music Festival has been drawing crowds to North Country Road in Setauket. Last weekend was no exception, with a steady stream of visitors on both days.

John Deng received the top honor in the Photography category and also the award for Best in Show.

Local artists Robin Clonts, Flo Kemp, Dawn Mohrmann and Mary Jane Van Zeijts won ribbons as awards or honorable mention in their respective categories.

Flo and Karen Kemp show their ribbons. Photo by Jeff Foster
Flo and Karen Kemp show their ribbons. Photo by Jeff Foster

Local craftsperson Dana Neger took the top award in the Jewelry Design category.

The more than 100 exhibitors this year included a broader variety of techniques and arts and crafts and painters, according to Gallery North Executive Director Judith Levy.

All in all, Levy said she was pleased with how the weekend went, despite a few glitches. “When we arrived before 6 a.m. on Saturday, strong winds and rain had upturned some of the booths. There was water everywhere,” she said. “But thanks to Keith Sanford (of Three Village Lawn & Garden) all was put right again.”

In addition to the art, there were live musical performances as well, with chairs available to relax while listening.

A 9/11 tribute and flag raising on Sunday at 1 p.m. was a joint venture with the Three Village Historical Society located across the street. President John Yantz offered remarks, Roberta Fabbiano sang “God Bless America,” local politicians spoke, and as the crowd sang the national anthem, the flag rose into a clear blue sky on the historical society flagpole. “It was really very moving. I’m glad we did it,” Levy said.

Lots of children visited the gallery’s community art center to create monoprints, and  adults decorated wall tiles for the gallery’s ongoing Make Your Mark fundraiser. Visit the Gallery North website at www.gallerynorth.org for more information about this project.