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Focus less on balancing protein, carbohydrates and fats

By David Dunaeif, M.D.

Dr. David Dunaief

The road to weight loss, or even weight maintenance, is complex. There are many things that influence our eating behavior, including food addictions, boredom, lack of sleep and stress.

Knowing a food’s caloric impact doesn’t always matter, either. Studies assessing the impact of nutrition labeling in restaurants gave us a clear view of this issue: knowing an item’s calories either doesn’t alter behavior or can actually encourage higher calorie purchases (1, 2). The good news is that controlling weight isn’t solely about exercising willpower. Instead, we need to change our diet composition.

In my clinical experience, increasing food quality has a tremendous impact. Focusing on foods that are the most micronutrient dense tends to be the most satisfying, rather than focusing on foods’ macronutrient density, such as protein, carbohydrates and fats. In a week to a few months of emphasizing micronutrients, one of the first things patients notice is a significant reduction in cravings.

Are refined carbohydrates bad for you?

Generally, we know that refined carbohydrates don’t help. Looking deeper, a small, randomized control trial (RCT) showed refined carbohydrates actually may cause food addiction (3). Certain sections of the brain involved in cravings and reward are affected by high-glycemic foods, as shown with MRI scans of trial subjects.

Study participants consumed a 500-calorie shake with either a high-glycemic index or a low-glycemic index. They were unaware of which they were drinking. The ones who drank the high-glycemic shake had higher levels of glucose in their blood initially, followed by a significant decline in glucose levels and increased hunger four hours later. The region of the brain that is related to addiction, the nucleus accumbens, showed a spike in activity with the high-glycemic intake.

According to the authors, this effect may occur regardless of the number of calories consumed. Commonly found high-glycemic foods include items like white flour, sugar and white potatoes. The conclusion: Everyone, but especially those trying to lose weight, should avoid refined carbohydrates.

What’s the right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats?

We tend to focus on macronutrients — protein, carbohydrates, and fats — when we look at diets. Which has the greatest impact on weight loss? In an RCT, when comparing different macronutrient combinations, there was very little difference among study groups, nor was there much success in helping obese patients reduce their weight (4, 5). Only 15 percent of patients achieved a 10 percent reduction in weight after two years.

The four different macronutrient diet combinations involved overall calorie restriction. In addition, each combination had either high protein, high fat; average protein, high fat; high protein, low fat; or low protein, low fat. Carbohydrates ranged from low to moderate (35 percent) in the first group to high (65 percent) in the last group. This was another well-designed study, involving 811 participants with an average BMI of 33 kg/m², which is classified as obese.

Focusing primarily on macronutrient levels and calorie counts did very little to improve results.

What’s the relationship between           micronutrients and weight?

In an epidemiological study looking at National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, results demonstrate that those who are overweight and obese tend to be micronutrient-deficient (6). Micronutrients include carotenoids, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, as well as vitamin B12, folate and vitamins C, E and D.

Unfortunately, taking supplements doesn’t solve the problem; generally, micronutrients from supplements are not the same as those from foods. With a few exceptions, such as vitamin D and potentially B12, most micronutrient levels can be raised without supplementation, by increasing the variety of foods in your diet. Please ask your doctor.

Long-term benefits of reducing              cortisol levels

Cortisol raises blood-levels of glucose and is involved in promoting visceral or intra-abdominal fat. This type of fat can coat internal organs, such as the liver, and result in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Decreasing the level of cortisol metabolite may also result in a lower propensity toward insulin resistance and may decrease the risk of cardiovascular mortality.

The good news is that once people lose weight, it may be easier to continue to keep weight off. In a prospective (forward-looking) study, results show that once obese patients lost weight, the levels of cortisol metabolite excretion decreased significantly (7). This is an encouraging preliminary, yet small, study involving women.

Controlling or losing weight is not solely about calorie-counting. While calorie intake has a role, food’s nutrient density may be more important to your success and may play a significant role in reducing your cravings, ultimately helping you manage your weight.

References:

(1) Am J Pub Health 2013 Sep 1;103(9):1604-1609. (2) Am J Prev Med.2011 Oct;41(4):434–438. (3) Am J Clin Nutr Online 2013;Jun 26. (4) N Engl J Med 2009 Feb 26;360:859. (5) N Engl J Med 2009 Feb 26;360:923. (6) Medscape General Medicine. 2006;8(4):59. (7) Clin Endocrinol.2013;78(5):700-705.

Dr. David Dunaief is a speaker, author and local lifestyle medicine physician focusing on the integration of medicine, nutrition, fitness and stress management. For further information, visit www.medicalcompassmd.com or consult your personal physician.

By Julianne Mosher

This is the train to… a murder? Full of twists and turns, this is one ride you won’t forget.

Theatre Three’s latest production of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express turns the Port Jefferson-based Mainstage into a beautiful, expensive train suitable for travels of only the best of the best. Here, the audience meets eight different passengers who all have a secret with one common denominator. 

When Samuel Ratchett (Angelo DiBiase), a crooked conman, is found dead in his cabin, everyone on the train asks, “Who did it?” That’s when Hercule Poirot (Jeffrey Sanzel), a well-known detective (who can crack any case) steps in — even though this was supposed to be his vacation.

The show, directed by Christine Boehm and adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig, starts off in a hotel in Istanbul where Poirot is reunited with an old friend, Monsieur Bouc (Michael Limone), owner of the lavish train. Bouc offers Poirot a ride to get back home — even though it’s mysteriously fully booked for the off-season. While on the platform, we meet the rest of the cast: Colonel Arbuthnot (David DiMarzo), Mary Debenham (Cassidy Rose O’Brien), Hector McQueen (Steven Uihlein), Princess Dragomiroff (Sheila Sheffield), Helen Hubbard (Linda May), Countess Andrenyi (Michelle LaBozzetta), Michel the Conductor (Zach Johnson), Greta Ohlsson (Samantha Fierro), and the Head Waiter (Richard O’Sullivan). 

With costume and wig design by Ronald Green III, set design by Randall Parsons and projection design from Brian Staton, it’s impressive how the stage turns into several different settings during pre-World War II Europe — a lavish hotel restaurant, three train sleeping cabins in a row, the train bar. With ease, the sets change between scenes, giving the story a movie-like appeal that is on a higher level than Broadway.

And while the sets turn the stage into 1934, a fun effect that adds even more to the stage is a projector screen above the stage that helps tell the story through video and images. We’re introduced early on to Daisy Armstrong (who was loosely based on the Lindbergh baby) — a little girl who’s playing in the yard with her nanny and who is suddenly kidnapped — which, at first, is confusing. Why do we need to know who she is? She’s essential to the story and is that common denominator mentioned before. 

We can’t give too much away, because going in not knowing the plot twists will only make the experience better. Through the two acts, we learn the supposed backstories of all eight passengers on board — and eventually their truths of where each of them was the night Ratchett was brutally murdered. 

But the investigation couldn’t have been complete without Detective Poirot. Sanzel’s interpretation of the famous crime stopper is jaw-dropping and will leave you wanting more stories with him solving another mystery. Along with Sanzel, the entire cast deserves a standing ovation. The accumulated talent of everyone on stage truly tells an intriguing story, but each bringing their own flair and personality as their character. 

Since the show is based in Europe, many accents are heard on stage. It’s impressive that Limone’s Monsieur Bouc and Johnson’s Michel can speak with ease in a thick French accent for the hour-and-a-half-long show. May’s hilarious Helen Hubbard is the comic relief throughout most of the show with her silly persona and thick Minnesotan accent, while Sheffield’s Dragomiroff, LaBozzetta’s Andrenyi, and DiMarzo’s Arbuthnot’s various monologues continues to show the time and effort each actor rehearsed to make this play as realistic as possible.

And while their stories, backgrounds and nationalities are all different, the entire cast as a whole constantly get reactions out of the audience at every turn. Throughout the show, you’ll hear gasps, laughter and even an “I can’t believe it!” when the murderer is finally caught. 

If you want to find out who killed the horrible, nefarious Samuel Ratchett — and learn more about the stories surrounding this vicious crime — you’ll have to head to Theatre Three yourself. You won’t want to miss this so climb aboard and get your ticket to Murder on the Orient Express.

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Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson presents Murder on the Orient Express through May 4. Tickets are $40 adults, $32 seniors and students, $25 children (ages 5 to 12) and Wednesday matinees. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

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An Afternoon with The Lady Blue Saxophone Quartet Experience the sounds of four types of saxophones in concert together at the North Shore Public Library on April 14. Photo courtesy of NSPL
Thursday April 11

Senior Fair

Middle Country Public Library, 575 Middle Country Road, Selden will host a Senior Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Receive Medicare enrollment assistance, and visit with wellness, leisure, volunteer and senior housing organizations, as well as safety, healthcare, legal and caregiver support agencies. Fair is free and open to the public. No registration is required. Questions? Call 631-585-9393.

Art History Lecture

Join the Reboli Center for Art and History, 64 Main St., Stony Brook for a free Art History Lecture with award winning artist and art history aficionado, Kevin McEvoy from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Light snacks will be served. No reservations are required to attend. Seating will be first come, first serve.  631-751-7707

The Timeline of  Food

Diane Schwindt, the resident historic cook at the Ketcham Inn Museum in Center Moriches presents a lively lecture, The Timeline of Food, at the North Shore Public Library, 250 Route 25A, Shoreham at 7 p.m. From caveman to fast food and a lot in between … explore moments in time that changed the course of food history. A display of authentic historic hearth ware will be discussed, concluding with food samples. A fun-filled evening of surprising facts that will leave you hungry for more! Open to all. Please register by calling 631-929-4488.

Stand Up/Sit Down Comedy

Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington continues its Stand Up/Sit Down Comedy Series with comedian Richie Byrne at 8 p.m. Followed by an interview hosted by Steven Taub. Tickets are  $40 per person, $30 members. To order in advance, visit www.cinemaartscentre.org.

Friday April 12

Senior Social Club

The Foundation for Wildlife Sustainability kicks off a new season of the Senior Social Club at Long Island Game Farm, 489 Chapman Blvd., Manorville from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Senior citizens (65 years+) can visit the animals, explore the trails, attend a presentation in Woodland Hall, and enjoy a beverage and snacks with fellow seniors. $10 per person. For reservations, call 631-878-6644.

Friday Food Truck Fest

Three Village Historical Society, 93 North County Road, Setauket hosts a Friday Food Truck Fest tonight, April 19 and 26 from 4 to 7 p.m. Grab a delicious dinner, pull up a picnic table, and hang out with friends and neighbors. The historic house will be open for free tours during the event. 631-751-3730

Game Night in St. James

Celebrate St. James hosts an adult Game Night at the St. James Community Cultural Arts Center, 176 Second St., St. James from 7 to 10 p.m. Enjoy board games, card games and light refreshments. $10 donation. To register, visit www.celebratestjames.org. 631-984-0201

A Night of Opera

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 270 Main St., Northport hosts a concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of Opera Night Long Island at 7:30 p.m. Featuring highlights from grand operas with a reception to follow. $10 donation, students free. For more information, visit www.operanight.org.

Grounds and Sounds Concert

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 380 Nicolls Road, East Setauket hosts Grounds and Sounds Cafe concert featuring Jack’s Waterfall. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., open mic starts at 8 p.m. followed by featured artist. Tickets are $15 at the door or in advance at www.groundsandsounds.org. 631-751-0297.

Saturday April 13

Port Jeff Health & Wellness Fest

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce presents their 15th Annual Health and Wellness Fest at The Meadow Club, 1147 Rte. 112, Port Jefferson Station from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Featuring over 50 health and wellness vendor tables along with a breakfast and lunch food court, health screenings, massages, plenty of giveaways and much more. Free.  631-473-1414

Intro to Wilderness Survival

Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve, 25 Lloyd Harbor Road, Huntington presents an Introduction to Wilderness Survival from 9:45 a.m. to noon. Learn how to find food, start a fire and build a shelter. Adults only. $4 per person. Advance registration required by calling 631-423-1770.

Selden Craft & Gift Fair

Newfield High School, 145 Marshall Drive, Selden hosts the 36th annual Spring Craft & Gift Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to benefit Newfield H.S. Leaders Club. Shop for unique crafts, gifts handmade crafts, gourmet foods and spring fashions from over  90 vendors. Free admission. 631-846-1459

Smithtown Health Fair

St. Catherine of Siena Hospital, 50 Route 25A, Smithtown will host an outdoor Community Health Fair in the parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meet with St. Catherine health care professionals, with free health screenings, children activities and much more. Free. 631-469-0989.

Spectrum of Quilts Exhibit

Smithtown Stitchers present A Spectrum of Quilts exhibit at the Setauket Neighborhood House, 95 Main St., Setauket today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and April 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guild members will display their finest array of quilts along with their Ombre Quilt Display. Admission is $5 cash. www.smithtownstitchers.com

Davis House Grand Opening

Davis Town Meeting House Society invites the community to the grand opening celebration of the Davis House, 263 Middle Country Road, Coram at 11 a.m. Featuring the 3rd NY Regiment of the Brigade of the American Revolution, house tours, history exhibit, Burying Ground walking tours and more. Refreshments will be served. Free. 631-846-1224

All Souls Poetry Reading

The Second Saturdays poetry series returns to All Souls Church in Stony Brook via Zoom from 11 a.m. to noon. The featured poet will be Margarette Wahl. An open-reading will follow the featured poet; all are welcome to read one of their own poems.  For more information, call 631-655-7798.  Participants can access the program through https://www.allsouls-stonybrook.org/

Prohibition Pub Crawl

Northport Historical Society, 215 Main St., Northport invites you to celebrate the Repeal of Prohibition with a Prohibition Pub Crawl at noon. Join Education Coordinator Carol Taylor as she takes you on a tour of Prohibition-era Northport while stopping at several local establishments to enjoy refreshments along the way. Dressing in period appropriate attire is highly encouraged! Ages 21+ only. Cost is $40 per person, $30 members. To register, visit www.northporthistorical.org.

Veterans Food Drive

Miller Place Mount Sinai Historical Society hosts a Veterans Food Drive and appreciation day at the William Miller House, 75 North Country Road, Miller Place from noon to 3 p.m. Drop off canned or paper products and stay to write a letter to a veteran to thank them for their service. www.mpmshistoricalsociety.org.

Meet the Artists Reception

Wet Paints Studio Group of Sayville celebrates 75 years with an art exhibit at the Port Jefferson Village Center, 101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson through May 1. Join them for a “Meet the Artists” reception today from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Most of the art and prints are for sale. For info, call 631-332-7768 or email [email protected].

An Afternoon of Line Dancing

Setauket Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 5 Caroline Ave., Setauket invites the community to an afternoon of Line Dancing featuring Stepping Easy with Ellen from 3 to 5 p.m. $10 donation to support the Setauket American Legion Hall. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 631-941-4271

Cirque FLIP Fabrique heads to SBU

Stony Brook University’s Staller Center, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook presents Blizzard by Cirque FLIP Fabrique on the Main Stage at 8 p.m. The show promises its audiences a crazy and poetic journey through the dead of winter, inviting you to lose yourself in a moment of white wonder. Tickets range from $46 to $65. To order, call 631-632-2787 or visit www.stallercenter.com.

An Evening of Comedy

Join the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame, 97 Main St., Stony Brook for the Long Island Comedy Festival featuring Laura Patton, Matt Burke and Richie Byrne at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 and include admission to the Hall of Fame. To order in advance, visit www.limehof.org.

Sunday April 14

Spectrum of Quilts Exhibit

See April 13 listing.

Barn Sale in Mt. Sinai

Temple Beth Emeth, 52 Mt. Sinai Ave., Mt. Sinai will hold its monthly thrift barn sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Shop for everything from household goods, to small appliances, clothing, jewelry and much more. Free admission. Questions? Call 631-928-4103.

Whaling Museum Walking Tour

Join the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum for picturesque early spring walking tour through St. John’s Memorial Cemetery, 1670 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor at 1 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. Titled  Stories in Stone: Celebrating Women’s History, the tour will focus on Victorian-era rituals and Women’s History this month. Cost is $15 per person, $10 members. Registration is required by visiting www.cshwhalingmuseum.org.

Lady Blue Saxophone Quartet

Join the North Shore Public Library, 250 Route 25A, Shoreham for an afternoon with The Lady Blue Saxophone Quartet at 1:30 p.m. Serious talent, musical training, inventiveness, friendship, and a dash of humor all come together offering a tight, disciplined, beautifully harmonized this musical ensemble. Open to all. To register, call 631-929-4488.

Concert at the Farm

Benner’s Farm, 56 Gnarled Hollow Road, East Setauket hosts a concert on the Good Earth Soundstage featuring Maria Fairchild and Adam Becherer (folk, bluegrass) from 3 to 5 p.m. $15 donation appreciated. Proceeds will go to the artists and to Homestead Arts for this year’s Fiddle and Folk Fest held in early September. Bring seating. For more information, call 631-689-8172.

Ridotto Concert

Huntington Jewish Center, 510 Park Ave., Huntington hosts a Ridotto concert titled Don Juan at 4 p.m. Ridotto Concert: Don Juan featuring cellist Ani Kalayjian, soprano Deborah Lifton, and Vassily Primakov, piano. Margaretha Maimone is narrator. Tickets are $35 adults, $30 seniors, $25 members, $12 students. For reservations, call 631-385-0373, or email [email protected].

Colin Carr Benefit Concert

Colin Carr, Stony Brook Music Department cello faculty and renowned soloist, will be performing a concert to benefit the Colin Carr Scholarship Fund for cello students at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center Recital Hall, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brookat 5 p.m. The concert will feature monumental works for solo cello by Bach, Britten, and Kodály in a not to be missed event.  Admission is free, but donations to the scholarship fund are suggested.  631-632-7313

Monday April 15

TVHS lecture

Three Village Historical Society continues its lecture series at the Setauket Neighborhood House, 95 Main St., Setauket with a presentation titled The Cuban Giants: The First Professional Black Baseball Team at 7 p.m. ​The Cuban Giants got their start in Babylon in the summer of 1885. Town of Babylon Historian Mary Cascone will present on the team’s start and their early years in professional baseball, the myths about their name, and their position in baseball history. Free to the public. Donations appreciated. www.tvhs.org.

Tuesday April 16

NSJC Social Club Event

North Shore Jewish Center Social Club, 385 Old Town Road, Port Jefferson Station invites the community to a special presentation on dementia by Lauren Vlachos, MSNP, CFRE of the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center at Stony Brook at 11 a.m. Ms. Vlachos will discuss the topic of Dementia. Bagels, cream cheese and coffee will be served. $5 per person, $4 members. 631-928-373

Painting on Silk Workshop

Huntington Historical Society hosts a Painting on Silk Workshop at the Conklin Barn, 2 High St., Huntington from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Learn how to transfer your design onto silk and outline a template on fabric, finishing up by painting with special silk dye with textile designer Oksana Danziger. Cost is $55 per person, $50 members. Register at www.huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org.

Wednesday April 17

Miller Place Homemakers Auction

Miller Place High School, 15 Memorial Drive, Miller Place hosts the Miller Place Homemakers annual auction at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) with beautiful raffle baskets, refreshments and a 50/50 raffle. Entrance fee is $5 and a food pantry item and includes a door prize ticket and 25 tickets for the handmade auction baskets. Proceeds benefit community service projects. Questions? Call 631-821-9044.

Thursday April 18

Senior Scams Seminar

Rose Caracappa Senior Center, 739 Route 25A, Mt. Sinai will host a Senior Scams Seminar & Medication Disposal event from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Stay up to date on the newest scams targeting our senior community. This seminar is presented by officers from the Suffolk County Police Departments 6th Precinct who will also be collecting expired or unwanted medications for proper disposal. To register for the seminar, please call 631-451-5312.

Gardening 101

Emma Clark Library, 120 Main St., Setauket presents a special Q&A session, “Let’s Talk Gardening,” in the Vincent O’Leary from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Members of the Three Village Garden Club will share some of their best gardening ideas as well as what can be learned from the unexpected mishaps. Only a few seats left. To register, call 631-941-4080.

Vanderbilt lecture

Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport continues its lecture series in the Reichert Planetarium tonight from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Rachel Miller an accomplished blacksmith and co-owner of Spirit Ironworks in Bayport, will discuss Restoring Historic Ironwork, with a focus on Samuel Yellin. Miller will guide the audience through the history and craftsmanship of Yellin’s works at the Vanderbilt Estate, Mansion, and Museum. Tickets are $10 per person (members free) at www.vanderbiltmuseum.org.

Pine Barrens lecture

Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site, 146 Old Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station presents a lecture titled The Pine Barrens: Who’s Guarding Our Long Island Treasure? from 7 to 8:30 p.m. LI Pine Barrens board member Tom Casey will speak about the importance of the Pine Barrens. WWBA Trustee  Mark Nuccio will read Whitman’s ecopoetry and essays. Singer-Songwriter Linda Sussman performs a musical environmental interlude. Everyone in attendance may enter into a lottery to win one of 15 8″-18″ fir trees that were donated by New York State Parks. Free admission. For more information, visit www.waltwhitman.org.

Film

‘Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty’

The Port Jefferson Documentary Series continues its Spring season with a screening of Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty at John F. Kennedy Middle School, 200 Jayne Blvd., Port Jefferson Station on April 15 at 7 p.m. The documentary chronicles the life and work of one of the most successful conservationists in U.S. history. Followed by a Q&A with local conservationist John Turner. Tickets are $10 at the door or in advance at www.portjeffdocumentaryseries.com.

Theater 

‘Jersey Boys’

John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St. Northport presents Jersey Boys, the story of Franki Valli & The Four Seasons, from March 14 to May 26. They were just 4 guys from Jersey until they sang their very first note–a sound the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage was a different story–a story that has made them a sensation all over again. Winner of the 2006 Tony© Award for “Best Musical,” Jersey Boys features the top ten hits “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” and “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night).” To order tickets, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com. 

‘Murder on the Orient Express’

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson continues its Mainstage season with Murder on the Orient Express, a thrilling mystery about the most infamous case of one of fiction’s most famous detectives, from April 6 to May 4. Murder and mayhem await renowned investigator Hercule Poirot as he boards a train filled with treachery and intrigue. Featuring a shadowy American, a train full of suspects, a notebook’s worth of alibis, and a singular Belgian sleuth whose mustache twitches at murder, all aboard the Orient Express! Tickets are $40 adults, $32 seniors and students, $25 children ages 5 to 12. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com. See review on page B3.

‘Head Over Heels’

The Theatres at Suffolk County Community College present Head Over Heels, a musical by James Magruder and Jeff Whitty at the Shea Theatre, Islip Arts Building, Ammerman campus, 533 College Road, Selden on April 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 7:30 p.m., and April 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. A mash-up of posh and punk, Head Over Heels is an unpredictable, Elizabethan rompabout a royal family that must prevent an oracle’s prophecy of doom. Admission is $15 adults, $10 veterans and students 16 years of age or younger. SCCC students with current ID receive two  free tickets. To order, visit https://sunysuffolk.edu/spotlight or call 631-451-4163.

‘Popcorn Falls’

Smithtown Performing Arts Center, 2 E. Main St., Smithtown presents a production of James Hindman’s Popcorn Falls from May 4 to 26. The sleepy town of Popcorn Falls is forced into bankruptcy when a neighboring town threatens to turn them into a sewage treatment plant. Their only hope — open a theater! Two actors play over twenty roles in a world of farce, love, and desperation, proving once and for all that art can save the world. Tickets are $35 adults $32 seniors, $25 students. To order, visit www.smithtownpac.org

Farmers Markets

Port Jefferson Farmers Market

The Port Jefferson Winter Farmers Market returns to the Port Jefferson Village Center, 101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through April 28. 631-802-2160

Lake Grove Farmers Market

Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove hosts a Winter Farmers Market in the southwestern quadrant of the parking lot (adjacent to Bahama Breeze) on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 516-444-1280

Class Reunions

Centereach High School Class of 1974 will hold its 50th reunion at the Meadow Club, 1147 Route 112, Port Jefferson Station on April 26 from 6 to 10 p.m. For more information, email Jean Ann Renzulli at [email protected].

CALENDAR DEADLINE  is Wednesday at noon, one week before publication. Items may be mailed to: Times Beacon Record News Media, P.O. Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733. Email your information about community events to [email protected]. Calendar listings are for not-for-profit organizations (nonsectarian, nonpartisan events) only, on a space-available basis. Please include a phone number that can be printed.

 

Author Maria Dello with her dog Theodor.

By Melissa Arnold

Author Maria Dello at a recent book signing.

Maria Dello of Westbury has spent the past 20 years teaching others how to improve their lives through good nutrition. She also has a deep love for animals, and over time she began to consider how she might make a difference in their lives, too. As shelters filled again when the pandemic eased, Dello wanted to spread the message that dogs require a lifelong commitment of time, love and care. Her first book for children, Theodor Says: Dogs are People Too!, draws connections between human and animal needs through the adventures of her real-life pup, Theo. This book is an excellent introduction to animal care, especially for early readers.

Did you have pets growing up that made a big impact on you?

I grew up in Westbury, and our street was comprised entirely of our relatives. We all had dogs, and there were also chickens, some rabbits, a lamb, and a pony. I was always a nurturer — the one that would be out feeding a baby chick in the incubator with a little eyedropper of sugar water. I was the youngest of five children, and I always had a German Shepherd who would be my buddy, so my love for them began when I was young. I learned compassion from my grandmother and the other members of my family. They taught me that all of us need to be cared for, and that animals give us such love. 

Tell me about Prince, the dog on the inside cover of your book.

Prince was my previous German Shepherd that I had for almost 13 years. I learned so much from Prince, especially his incredible intelligence and the skill he had for reading body language and understanding what was going on with the people around him. He was a constant source of comfort for my elderly parents, and we were amazed at the depth of his feelings. That was a real “a-ha” moment for me — that he felt many of the same emotions that humans do, and that there are great health benefits to sharing our lives with them. After his passing, I really wasn’t ready to get another dog, so I started working with rescue organizations and doing some schooling toward training dogs.

You ended up becoming a nutritionist. How did you become interested in animal nutrition?

I went to school for science at SUNY Farmingdale, and then went on to study nutrition at the American Health Science University. During that time, I became fascinated by all of the natural ways of treating various conditions. I was constantly learning and going to seminars, and had a lot of exposure to alternative medicine that made a big impact on me. I ended up working with a cardiologist and eventually opening my own nutrition practice. My focus was on human patients, but I always had an interest in doing what I could to support the nutrition of my animals as well.

I would take a variety of online courses about nutrition and dogs. During the pandemic, so many people were getting dogs to keep them company during the lockdown. My patients would occasionally ask me questions about their dogs, from nutrition questions to advice about behavior. 

So when did you first start thinking about writing a children’s book? 

Theodor the German Shepherd poses with Dello’s first children’s book.

As people went back to work [post-pandemic], so many dogs were struggling with their families no longer being home, or just not being given the same degree of care. But they still need walks, food, baths, medicine, companionship. You make a serious commitment when you bring a dog home, and they can’t just live in a crate or in a doggy daycare. Some people don’t understand that puppies like to chew on things, or they might pull on their leash during a walk. That’s not their fault — they need our help to learn manners. 

As rescues and shelters began to fill, I felt the need to educate others about what dogs need. They have so many of the same needs and feelings that we do, which inspired the title of the book: Dogs are People, Too. 

I’ve been writing a nutrition column for more than 15 years, so I have writing experience. I decided that a children’s book would be the best place to start because that’s where learning begins, when we’re young. Look at me — the compassion I developed for animals began when I was small and was exposed to those good habits.

Did you pursue traditional publishing or self-publish?

I started writing in 2022, and it took about two years to complete. I did a lot of work researching publishers, and I appreciated that this publisher, Fulton Books, was like a one-stop shop. They provided everything I needed, including an in-house illustrator. 

Is there a target age in mind for this book?

It’s short and sweet, but when you show this book to a kid, they respond to the bright colors and the activities that Theodor is doing. It’s written in simple language, but it will be a great teaching tool for kids of any age, from 3 to 13.

Are there health benefits to having a dog?

First, it’s important to do your research before you get a dog, and choose the kind of dog that matches your lifestyle. Someone who isn’t very active wouldn’t do well with a German Shepherd. They need a calm lap dog that will keep them company.

Even the simple act of petting a dog has been shown to lower blood pressure, and there was a study done recently that showed people were 33% more likely to survive a heart attack if they had a dog at home. If you walk your dog for 30 minutes in the morning, then a few times later in the day, suddenly you’ve walked an hour together. You get fresh air, you bond with the dog, you meet people around you … it doesn’t just benefit them, but it also improves your health, physically and emotionally.

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Theodor Says: Dogs are People Too! is available now at your favorite online booksellers. Join author Maria Dello for a book reading and book signing at The Next Chapter, 204 New York Ave., Huntington on Tuesday, April 16 at 7 p.m. Keep up with Theodor at www.theosaysdogsarepeopletoo.com, and learn more about Maria Dello at www.dellonutritionals.com.

Pixabay image
Antibiotic use can affect the microbiome

By David Dunaief, M.D.

Dr. David Dunaief

Each of us has a microbiome — trillions of microbes that include bacteria, viruses and single-cell eukaryotes that influence our body’s functions. When “good” and “bad” microbes are in balance, we operate without problems. However, when the balance is tipped, often by environmental factors, such as diet, infectious diseases, and antibiotic use, it makes us more susceptible to diseases and disorders.

While the microbiome is found throughout our bodies, including the skin, the eyes and the gut, we’re going to focus on the gut, where most of our microbiome lives.

Research into the specifics of our microbiome’s role in healthy functioning is still in its infancy. Current research into the microbiome’s effects include its role in obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s, and infectious diseases, such as colitis.

What influences our microbiome?

Lifestyle, such as diet, can impact our microbiome positively or negatively. Microbiome diversity may be significantly different in distinct geographic locations throughout the world, because diet and other environmental factors play such a large role.

When we take drugs, such as antibiotics, we can wipe out our microbial diversity, at least in the short term. This is why many have gastrointestinal upset while taking antibiotics. Antibiotics don’t differentiate between good and bad bacteria when they go to work.

One way to counteract these negative effects is to take a probiotic during and after your course of antibiotics. I recommend Renew Life’s 30-50 billion units once a day, two hours after an antibiotic dose and continuing once a day for 14 days after you have finished your prescription. If you really want to ratchet up the protection, you can take one dose of probiotics two hours after each antibiotic dose.

How does the microbiome affect weight?

Many obese patients continually struggle to lose weight. Obese and overweight patients now outnumber malnourished individuals worldwide (1).

For a long time, the paradigm for weight loss had been to cut calories. However, extreme low-calorie diets were not having a long-term impact. It turns out that our guts may play important roles in obesity and weight loss, determining whether we gain or lose weight.

The results from a study involving human twins and mice are fascinating (2). In each pair of human twins, one was obese and the other was lean. Gut bacteria from obese twins was transplanted into thin mice. The result: the thin mice became obese. However, when the lean human twins’ gut bacteria were transplanted to thin mice, the mice remained thin.

By pairing sets of human twins, one obese and one thin in each set, with mice that were identical to each other and raised in a sterile setting, researchers limited the confounding effects of environment and genetics on weight.

The most intriguing part of the study compared the effects of diet and gut bacteria. When the mice who had received gut transplants from obese twins were provided gut bacteria from thin twins and given fruit- and vegetable-rich, low-fat diet tablets, they lost significant weight. Interestingly, they only lost weight when on a good diet. The authors believe this suggests that an effective diet may alter the microbiome of obese patients, helping them lose weight. These are exciting, but preliminary, results. It is not yet clear which bacteria may be contributing these effects.

Does gut bacteria contribute to the development of rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that can be disabling, with patients typically suffering from significant joint soreness and joint breakdown. What if gut bacteria influenced RA risk? In a study, the gut bacteria in mice that were made susceptible to RA by deletion of certain genes (HLA-DR genes) were compared to those who were more resistant to developing RA (3). Researchers found that the RA-susceptible mice had a predominance of Clostridium bacteria and that those resistant to RA were dominated by bacteria such as bifidobacteria and Porphyromonadaceae species. The significance is that the bacteria in the RA-resistant mice are known for their anti-inflammatory effects.

Although we can’t yet say what the ideal gut bacteria should consist of, we do know a few things that can help you. Diet and other lifestyle considerations, such as eating and sleeping patterns or their disruptions, can affect the composition and diversity of gut bacteria (4). Studies have already demonstrated prebiotic effects of fiber and significant short-term changes to the microbiome when eating fruits, vegetables, and plant fiber. The research is continuing, but we’ve learned a lot already.

References:

(1) “The Evolution of Obesity”; Johns Hopkins University Press; 2009. (2) Science. 2013;341:1241214. (3) PLoS One. 2012;7:e36095. (4) Nutrients. 2019 Dec;11(12):2862.

Dr. David Dunaief is a speaker, author and local lifestyle medicine physician focusing on the integration of medicine, nutrition, fitness and stress management. For further information, visit www.medicalcompassmd.com or consult your personal physician.

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OVERCOME WITH NOSTALGIA Catch a screening of the documentary ‘Flipside,’ a comical attempt to save a New Jersey record store and confront a mid-life crisis, at Theatre Three on April 8. Photo courtesy of PJDS
Thursday April 4

Necklace Workshop

Huntington Historical Society will present a Personalized Necklace Workshop with Jen Salta at the Conklin Barn, 2 High St., Huntington from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Choose from a variety of shaped pendants to customize in your own texture and add a name, initial or some words of affirmation. Students will get to choose from a variety of natural gemstones beads to add to their 18” finished necklace. Fee is $65, $60 members.  Register at www.huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org.

Charlie Parker with Strings Concert

The Jazz Loft, 275 Christian Ave., Stony Brook presents a Charlie Parker with Strings featuring the Jazz Loft Big Band, a 12 piece Jazz Orchestra directed by Jazz Loft Director, Tom Manuel and featuring Chris Donohue and Dayna Sean Stephens tonight and April 6 at 7 p.m. A third concert will be held at SBU’s Staller Center on April 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 adults, $35 seniors, $30 students, $25 children, under age 5 free. To order, visit www.thejazzloft.org.

Friday April 5

Charlie Parker with Strings Concert

See April 4 listing.

Tea with a Spot of History

In partnership with the Three Village Historical Society, the Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook  hosts a Tea with a Spot of History event at 1 p.m. The Smithtown Stitchers will explore the history, the art, the family, and the community of quilting while participants enjoy a mid-afternoon tea party featuring an assortment of delicious scones by Premiere Pastry in Stony Brook. All day admission to the galleries at the Long Island Museum is included following the program. Tickets are $20 per person. To order, visit www.tvhs.org. 

Friday Food Truck Fest

Three Village Historical Society, 93 North County Road, Setauket hosts a Friday Food Truck Fest tonight, April 12, 19 and 26 from 4 to 7 p.m. Grab a delicious dinner, pull up a picnic table, and hang out with friends and neighbors. The historic house will be open for free tours during the event. 631-751-3730

Hoops for Heroes

Hauppague High School, 500 Lincoln Blvd., Hauppauge will host a Hoops for Heroes fundraiser at 6 p.m. Join the Hauppauge School District staff along with Hauppauge Fire Department, Central Islip-Hauppauge Volunteer Ambulance Corps., SCPD and NYPD for a fame of basketball, free throw contest, food, music and fun at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.  631-265-3630

Sound Symphony Orchestra Concert

John F. Kennedy Middle School, 200 Jayne Blvd,, Port Jefferson Station will host a concert by the Sound Symphony Orchestra at 7 p.m. Directed by Maestro Dorothy Savitch, the program will include works by Beethoven, Boulanger and Barber. Admission at the door is $20 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students, children under 12, veterans and active military free. www.soundsymphony.org.

An Evening of Military Bridge

Union United Methodist Church, 1018 Pulaski Rd, East Northport hosts an evening of Military Bridge at 7 p.m. Get a table of 4 together or come by yourself. Tickets are $15 per person. For reservations and additional information, call Carolyn at 631-368 –7911.

Saturday April 6

Charlie Parker with Strings Concert

See April 4 listing.

Rocky Point Historical Society Encampment – just added!

Join the Rocky Point Historical Society for an Encampment at the Hallock Homestead Museum, 172 Hallock Landing Road, Rocky Point from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit with the 3rd NY Regiment, and enjoy guided tours of the Hallock Homestead, gardens and family burying ground. Free entry – $10 suggested donation. 631-744-1776

Whaling Museum Walking Tour

The Whaling Museum, 301 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor hosts a Democracy on Main Street Walking Tour at 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. Explore the lives of Cold Spring Harbor residents during the nineteenth century and discover a local history of women’s rights and opportunities, community gathering, and civic participation. The final stop on the tour is Preservation Long Island’s Exhibition at the Old Methodist Church, where educators will introduce participants to the Voices and Votes exhibition. Visitors are welcome to stay and explore the gallery at the end of the tour. Cost is $25 per person. Advance registration required by visiting www.cshwhalingmuseum.org. Rain date is April 7. 631-367-3418.

St. James Has Talent

Celebrate St. James presents St. James Has Talent at Nesaquake Middle School, 479 Edgewood Ave., St. James at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. The event will feature local St. James talent, Paul Anthony, Lighthouse Theatre, Somehow Sorry, John Zollo, Turtlehead, The Algo-Rhythms, David Weiss, Eric Haft, Stevie GB and much more. Tickets are $30 adults, $20 seniors and children under the age of 18. Proceeds will benefit the St. James Community Cultural Arts Center. To order, visit www.celebratestjames.org or call 631-984-0201. 

Saturdays at Six Concert

All Souls Church, 61 Main Street, Stony Brook continues its Saturdays at Six concert series with The Becker/Lessard Guitar Duo at 6 p.m. The two musicians have played extensively as a both duo and part of the Artesian Guitar Quartet for over ten years, including concerts in Canada, United States and England. Free. 631-655-7798

Celebrating 80s rock

The Smithtown Performing Arts Center, 2 E. Main St., Smithtown presents a night of live music celebrating 80s rock music with Mötley Crüe tribute band Crüecified and Poison tribute band Get Poison’d at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person at www.smithtownpac.org.

Patti Lupone in Concert

Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook presents Patti Lupone: A Life in Notes on the Main Stage at 8 p.m. Stage and screen icon Patti LuPone makes a triumphant return with her latest show, described as a “personal musical memoir.” Tickets range from $72 to $115. To order, call 631-632-2787 or visit www.stallercenter.com.

Sunday April 7

Setauket St. Baldrick’s Event

VFW Post 3054, 8 Jones St., Setauket will host the Three Village  Dad’s annual St. Baldrick’s event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Go bald for a better tomorrow! Featuring food by Chico’s Tex Mex, Vincent’s Pizza, Heavyweight’s Wings and Burgers, music by Mike’s Sounds Alive and haircuts by Rockabilly Barbers. $25 per person. Proceeds will benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. 

Jazz at the Conklin Barn

Join the Huntington Historical Society for a jazz concert featuring the Vince Scudieri Quartet at the Conklin Barn, 2 High St., Huntington from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Free admission but registration required by visiting huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org. 631-427-7045

Damaged Goods in concert

The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame, 97 Main St., Stony Brook  presents a concert by Damaged Goods from 3 to 4 p.m. The event is free with general admission ticket purchase. For more information, call 631-689-5888 or visit www.limusichalloffame.org. 

Colin Carr Concert & Gala

Put on your Sunday best and join the Reboli Center for Art and History, 64 Main St., Stony Brook for a Gala with renowned cellist Colin Carr from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy two performances by Colin Carr followed by a short talk from the musician. Champagne will be served. Dress code will be formal. By ticket only. $45 per person. To order, call visit www.rebolicenter.org. 631-751-7707

Monday April 8

Solar Eclipse Viewing

Sunken Meadow State Park, Sunken Meadow Parkway, Kings Park will host an education table with glasses and information about the solar eclipse viewing from 1 to 4 p.m.  Environmental educators will partner with professors and graduate students from Stony Brook University’s Geosciences and Astronomy and Planetary Sciences departments to educate park patrons during the eclipse event. Free. 631-581-1072

Sound Beach Civic Meeting

Sound Beach Civic Association will hold a meeting at the Sound Beach Firehouse, 152 Sound Beach Blvd., Sound Beach at 7:30 p.m. The guest speaker will be Suzanne Johnson, president of the Rocky Point Historical Society. All are welcome. For more information, call 631-744-6952.

Tuesday April 9

TV Garden Club Meeting

Three Village Garden Club will hold a meeting at the Setauket Neighborhood House, 95 Main St., Setauket starting at 11 a.m. with a general membership meeting, followed by a lunch break at noon (Please bring your own lunch. Beverages are provided) and a program on garden photography at 1 p.m. The presenter will share her nature photographs and discuss her techniques. All are welcome to attend.

NSJC Social Club Event

North Shore Jewish Center Social Club, 385 Old Town Road, Port Jefferson Station invites the community to special performance by the Antiquity Barbershop Quartet in the Social Hall at 11 a.m. Bagels, cream cheese and coffee will be served. $5 per person, $4 members. 631-928-373

Comedy Night at the Engeman

Join the John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport for a night of comedy starting at 8 p.m.. Come have some laughs, enjoy some cocktails, and listen to some very funny comedians! Tickets are $45 per person. To order, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.

Wednesday April 10

Volunteer Fair

Make a difference! Drop by the Northport Public Library, 151 Laurel Ave., Northport for a Volunteer Fair from 10 a.m. to noon. Meet representatives from local organizations that are actively seeking volunteers. Questions? Call 631-261-6930.

Thursday April 11

Senior Fair

Middle Country Public Library, 575 Middle Country Road, Selden will host a Senior Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Receive Medicare enrollment assistance, and visit with wellness, leisure, volunteer and senior housing organizations, as well as safety, healthcare, legal and caregiver support agencies. Fair is free and open to the public. No registration is required. Questions? Call 631-585-9393.

Art History Lecture

Join the Reboli Center for Art and History, 64 Main St., Stony Brook for a free Art History Lecture with award winning artist and art history aficionado, Kevin McEvoy from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Light snacks will be served. No reservations are required to attend. Seating will be first come, first serve.  631-751-7707

The Timeline of  Food

Diane Schwindt, the resident historic cook at the Ketcham Inn Museum in Center Moriches presents a lively lecture, The Timeline of Food, at the North Shore Public Library, 250 Route 25A, Shoreham at 7 p.m. From caveman to fast food and a lot in between … explore moments in time that changed the course of food history. A display of authentic historic hearth ware will be discussed, concluding with food samples. A fun-filled evening of surprising facts that will leave you hungry for more! Open to all. Please register by calling 631-929-4488.

Film

‘The Big Year’

Join Comsewogue Public Library, 170 Terryville Road, Port Jefferson Station for a viewing of The Big Year starring Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson on April 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. Open to all. Call 631-928-1212 or visit www.cplib.org to reserve your seat. 

‘Flipside’

The Port Jefferson Documentary Series continues its Spring season with a screening of Flipside at Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson on April 8 at 7 p.m. When filmmaker Chris Wilcha revisits the record store he worked at as a teenager in New Jersey, he finds the once-thriving bastion of music and weirdness from his youth slowly falling apart and out of touch with the times. Flipside documents his tragicomic attempt to revive the store while revisiting other documentary projects he has abandoned over the years. Followed by a Q&A with Chris Wilcha. Tickets are $10 at the door or in advance at www.portjeffdocumentaryseries.com.

Theater 

‘Jersey Boys’

John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St. Northport presents Jersey Boys, the story of Franki Valli & The Four Seasons, from March 14 to May 26. They were just 4 guys from Jersey until they sang their very first note–a sound the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage was a different story–a story that has made them a sensation all over again. Winner of the 2006 Tony© Award for “Best Musical,” Jersey Boys features the top ten hits “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” and “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night).” To order tickets, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com. 

‘Murder on the Orient Express’

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson continues its Mainstage season with Murder on the Orient Express, a thrilling mystery about the most infamous case of one of fiction’s most famous detectives, from April 6 to May 4. Murder and mayhem await renowned investigator Hercule Poirot as he boards a train filled with treachery and intrigue. Featuring a shadowy American, a train full of suspects, a notebook’s worth of alibis, and a singular Belgian sleuth whose mustache twitches at murder, all aboard the Orient Express! Tickets are $40 adults, $32 seniors and students, $25 children ages 5 to 12. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

‘Head Over Heels’

The Theatres at Suffolk County Community College present Head Over Heels, a musical by James Magruder and Jeff Whitty at the Shea Theatre, Islip Arts Building, Ammerman campus, 533 College Road, Selden on April 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 7:30 p.m., and April 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. A mash-up of posh and punk, Head Over Heels is an unpredictable, Elizabethan rompabout a royal family that must prevent an oracle’s prophecy of doom. Admission is $15 adults, $10 veterans and students 16 years of age or younger. SCCC students with current ID receive two  free tickets. To order, visit https://sunysuffolk.edu/spotlight or call 631-451-4163

CALENDAR DEADLINE  is Wednesday at noon, one week before publication. Items may be mailed to: Times Beacon Record News Media, P.O. Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733. Email your information about community events to [email protected]. Calendar listings are for not-for-profit organizations (nonsectarian, nonpartisan events) only, on a space-available basis. Please include a phone number that can be printed.

 

Anthony Hopkins stars as Sir Nicholas Winton in 'One Life'. Photo courtesy of See-Saw Films

Reviewed by Jeffrey Sanzel

Early in One Life, twenty-nine-year-old London stockbroker Nicholas Winton (Johnny Flynn) visits a makeshift camp in the center of Prague in 1938. Here, the mostly Jewish displaced families from Germany and Austria who fled the Nazi regime live in homeless squalor and starvation. 

Encountering child after child, he produces a half-eaten chocolate bar, which he proceeds to divvy among the starving children. Of course, there is not enough. In this moment, director James Hawes brilliantly shows Winton’s tacit epiphany: he must rescue these young victims. 

Above, Johnny Flynn as the young Nicholas Winton. Photo courtesy of See-Saw Films

Over the next ninety minutes, the brisk, brutal, and beautiful film alternates between young Winton and the seventy-nine-year-old Winton (Anthony Hopkins) struggling with divesting remnants of his mammoth undertaking, symbolized by the briefcase given to him when he committed to helping the refugees’ plight. The briefcase is home to a scrapbook chronicling the entire undertaking.

While the film shifts in time, each section proceeds in a simple, linear fashion. The narrative is clear, with the story focusing on the action played out under the shadow of the encroaching Nazi invasion. Winton takes on the British government, negotiating immigration. Additionally, he finds hundreds of foster families. One Life makes paperwork and red tape a visceral issue of life and death. The scenes in Prague are vivid and harsh and truly haunting, calling to mind equally difficult images of current events. 

Winton becomes an active member of the Prague office of the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia (BCRC), headed by the formidable Doreen Warriner (Romola Garai). Devastating scenes of parents sending their children away and of sibling separation contrast with the cold British offices. 

Winton managed to get eight trains, with six hundred and sixty-nine children, from Czechoslovakia to London. The Nazi invasion of Poland stopped the ninth train, which contained three hundred and fifty children. Their fate, like so many, would be the Nazi death camps.

Anthony Hopkins plays the older Winton.
Photo courtesy of See-Saw Films

One Life is about faith in regular people, a tribute—as Winton declares of their coterie—to “an army of the ordinary.” Quiet but adamantly dogged in his pursuit of humanitarian aid, Winton is joined by his mother, Babi (Helena Bonham Carter). Babi is a Jewish-German immigrant who converted to the Church of England. Both sensitive and a voice of reason, she reminds Winton, “You cannot save them all. You must forgive yourself that.”

The 1988 section of the film shows Winton trying to decide what to do with the final remnants of these historical records. His internal struggle leads to his appearance on the crass but popular television show That’s Life. The recreation of his two appearances highlights the contemporary portion, allowing Winton to reconnect to the lives he saved. (The actual footage of the real Winton is available online and featured in the documentary The Power of Good: Nicholas Winton.)

Lucinda Coxon and Nick Drake thoughtfully crafted a tight, taut screenplay from daughter Barbara Winton’s account of her father, If It’s Not Impossible … The Life of Nicholas Winton. James Hawes’ powerful direction is matched by Zac Nicholson’s stark, desaturated cinematography and perfectly complemented by Lucia Zucchetti’s sharp editing.  

The ensemble cast is uniformly strong. Hopkins, one of the greatest actors of our time, offers nuance, introspection, and pain, presented with subtlety and sensitivity. He is the rare actor that you can watch think. Flynn is his equal as his contemplative, anxious, younger self.

As Babi, the terrific Bonham Carter is a matriarchal force of nature, balancing raw honesty and wry humor. Garai brings depth and pain to the no-nonsense Warriner. As Winton’s wife, Grete, Lena Olin provides a luminous grounding, showing her deep love for the conflicted Winton. Jonathan Pryce is warm and knowing as Martin Blake, the older version of one of the BCRC members. Samuel Finzi’s scene as the Prague Rabbi Hertz presents a poignant meditation on complicated fears in the Czech Jewish community. 

But the performances that resonate above all are the children who play the refugees: they transcend the screen to create a heartbreaking reality.

According to the film, twenty-six thousand Jewish Czechoslovakian children were interred in concentration camps. Fewer than two hundred and fifty survived. Sir Nicholas Winton died at age one hundred and six, a man who never wanted the work to be about him. His legacy is some six thousand descendants because of the rescue mission. One Life is a genuine, gut-wrenching, but ultimately uplifting account of the ability of one person to make a difference.

Rated PG, the film is now playing in local theaters.

Catch a screening of 'Muppets From Space' at the Cinema Arts Centre on March 31.

PROGRAMS

First Steps Into Nature 

Sweetbriar Nature Center, 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown presents First Steps Into Nature: Clever Creatures on March 29 at 9:30 a.m. Children ages 2 to 4 years of age will learn about the wonders of the natural world through hands-on activities, live animals, crafts, and much more. $20 per child. To register, visit www.sweetbriarnc.org.

Eclipse Exploration

The Long Island Explorium, 101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson presents a Solar Eclipse Exploration workshop for grades 2 to 6 on April 1 from 9 a.m. to noon. In this exciting exploration, kids will embark on a journey to discover the science behind solar eclipses and unravel the mysteries of why they occur. $40 per child. To register, visit www.longislandexplorium.org. 631-331-3277

Story & Craft with Nana Carol

The Next Chapter bookstore, 204 New York Ave., Huntington hosts a Story and Craft event with Nana Carol on April 1 at 10:30 a.m. No registration required. Appropriate for ages 0-4 (sometimes older siblings join as well). 631-482-5008

THEATER

Disney’s ‘Descendants’

Smithtown Performing Arts Center, 2 E. Main St., Smithtown presents Disney’s Descendants The Musical  from March 16 to 30. Imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost, the teenaged children of Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar, and Cruella De Vil have never ventured off the island… until now. When the four are sent to attend prep school alongside the children of beloved Disney heroes, they have a difficult choice to make: should they follow in their parents’ wicked footsteps or learn to be good? Tickets are $18 per person. To order, visit www.smithtownpac.org.

‘Alice in Wonderland’

Up next for the John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport is Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland from March 23 to April 28. Alice takes a tumble down an enchanted rabbit hole to an off-kilter world of mock turtles, dancing flora, punctual rabbits, and mad tea parties. Will Alice be able to find her footing in this bizarre place? ill she ever figure out how to get home? All seats are $20. To order, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com. 

‘The Adventures of Peter Rabbit’

Join Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson for a perennial favorite, The Adventures of Peter Rabbit, from April 13  to 27. “Over the hill and through the garden …” That mischievous rabbit Peter just can’t stay out of the McGregors’ garden! With help of his sisters—Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-Tail—and his cousin, Benjamin Bunny, Peter learns the power of sharing and caring. Tickets are $12. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

FILM

‘Hop’ Aboard the Bunny Express

Port Jefferson Station-Terryville Chamber of Commerce invites the community to a screening of Hop in the Chamber Train Car, southeast corner of Route 112 and Nesconset Highway, Port Jefferson Station on March 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. $20 per person includes movie, water, popcorn, and cookie with a visit from the Easter Bunny at the end. To reserve your seat, visit www.pjstchamber.com or call 631-821-1313. 

‘Muppets From Space’

Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington continues its Cinema for Kids! series with a screening of Muppets From Space on March 31 at noon. The Muppets embark on a hilarious extraterrestrial adventure in hopes of finding out about Gonzo’s past, and discover that Gonzo’s family members are aliens from a distant planet. Gonzo then gets a message that his relatives are coming for a visit from outer space! Tickets are $13 adults, $5 children 12 and under. www.cinemaartscentre.org.

The Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Easter Parade and egg hunt on March 31. File photo by Alex Petroski
Thursday March 28

Billy Joel’s New York

Comsewogue Public Library, 170 Terryville Road, Port Jefferson Station invites the community to a presentation titled Billy Joel’s New York  from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Take a multimedia stroll through Long Island and NYC, as you learn about landmarks of The Piano Man’s career with Clive Young. Open to all. Call 631-928-1212 or visit www.cplib.org to register.

Vanderbilt Lecture

Rescheduled from March 7. Suffolk County Vanderbilt Planetarium, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport continues its lecture series with Mapping Historical New York: A Digital Atlas at 7 p.m. Historians Gergely Baics and Rebecca Kobrin will discuss Manhattan’s and Brooklyn’s transformations during the late nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Drawing on 1850, 1880, and 1910 census data, the Digital Atlas shows how migration, residential, and occupational patterns shaped the city. $10 per person. To register, visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org.

Native American Drumming

All Souls Church Parish House, 10 Mill Pond Road, Stony Brook hosts an evening of Native American Drumming Meditation from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Led by elder drummer, Ric Statler, drumming meditation seeks to integrate the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual parts of the human self, creating a state of well-being. Call 631-655-7798 for more information.

Sound Bath Meditation

North Shore Public Library, 250 Route 25A, Shoreham hosts a program titled Sound Bath Meditation at 7 p.m. Join Susan Ferro for this transformative, deep healing Sound Bath session with Tibetan Bowls, Crystal Bowls, Gongs, Chimes and Drums! Sound and music to calm the mind and body. Open to all. To register, call 631-929-4488.

An Evening of Comedy

Join the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington for an evening of Stand Up/Sit Down comedy with Chris Monty at 8 p.m. In his stand-up, Chris channels the style of the 1960’s cool funnyman mixed with a modern chic. After his set he’ll share stories about his comedy career and many acting roles with host Steven Taub. Tickets are $40, $30 members at www.cinemaartscentre.org.

Friday March 29

Fish Fry Friday – just added!

Bethel AME Church, 33 Christian Ave., Setauket hosts a Fish Fry Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. $20 per plated includes choice of fried whiting or catfish or baked whiting, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, string beans and dessert. Dine in or take out. Call 631-751-4140 for more information.

An Evening with Bob Nelson

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson welcomes back Bob Nelson for a night of laughs on the Mainstage starting at 8 p.m. Watching a Bob Nelson live performance is like watching several different types of top comedians all rolled up into one. Characters like the lovable nerd Eppy Epperman, punchy boxer Jiffy Jeff and chicken rancher Wilby Stuckinson are as funny and memorable as any you will see in comedy today. Tickets are $49. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

Friday Night Face Off

Friday Night Face Off, Long Island’s longest running Improv Comedy Show, returns to Theatre Three’s Second Stage, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson tonight at 10:30 p.m. Using audience suggestions, FNFO pits two teams of improvisers against each other in an all-out championship! Recommended for ages 16 and up, due to adult content. Tickets are $15 at the door – cash only. 631-928-9100

Saturday March 30

Easter Festival

Join the Smithtown Historical Society, 239 E. Main St., Smithtown for an Easter Festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Activities include a craft corner, petting zoo, craft and food vendors, scavenger hunt and a visit with the Easter Bunny. Tickets are $7 per person at eventbrite.com or at the gate. Rain date is March 31. Call 631-265-6768 for more information.

Easter Celebration at The Shoppes

The Shoppes at East Wind, 5768 Route 25A, Wading River will host an Easter Celebration at The Shoppes with the Easter Bunny from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ride the Carousel ($), Bounce House  ($), take your own free photo with the Easter Bunny (no appointment needed) and shop for last minute Easter gifts. 631-929-3500

Long Island Comedy Festival

The Long Island Comedy Festival returns to Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson at 8 p.m. Comedian line-up includes David Weiss, Scott Schendlinger, John Ziegler, and Eric Haft with a surprise guest. Tickets are $49. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

Sunday March 31

Port Jefferson Easter Parade

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Easter Parade in the Village of Port Jefferson at noon. Enjoy an old-fashioned “Easter Bonnet” walking parade from Theatre Three to the Port Jefferson Village Center (all are welcome to wear their Easter best and march) followed by an Easter Egg Hunt on Harborfront Park’s Great Lawn at 12:15 p.m. for children ages 2 to 8. Call 473-1414 for more info.

Monday April 1

Movie Trivia Night

Join the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington for a Movie Trivia Night at 8 p.m. Try to answer 50 questions based all around film, actors and actresses, awards, and everything else associated with the world of film. Challenge like-minded film fans in a battle of wits for cash and other prizes. You can form teams, so bring some friends and work together. Feel free to come alone and play solo as well! Hosted by Dan French. Tickets are $11 per person, $7 members at www.cinemaartscentre.org.

James Taylor Tribute Concert

The John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport continues its Special Events series with a James Taylor tribute concert How Sweet It Is! with Steve Leslie tonight and April 2 at 8 p.m. Audiences will be singing along to such classics as “Carolina In My Mind,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Fire and Rain,” and more. Tickets are $45. To order, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.

Tuesday April 2

James Taylor Tribute Concert

See April 1 listing.

MLK Jr. Community Reading

Bethel AME Church, 33 Christian Ave., Setauket will host a live community reading of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1967 speech Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence from 7 to 9 p.m. All are welcome to attend. The event is sponsored by the North Country Peace Group, South Country Peace Group, Pax Christi Long Island, LI Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives, Building Bridges Brookhaven, Multicultural Solidarity Long Island, and Veterans for Peace LI Chapter 138. To volunteer as a reader, email [email protected].

Wednesday April 3

An Afternoon of Art

Spend the afternoon at two of Stony Brook’s most beloved institutions! Visit Stony Brook University’s Zuccaire Gallery to view Poor Housekeeping: MFA Thesis Exhibition 2024, before heading down the road to the Long Island Museum’s Art Museum to see The Power of Two: Artist Couples of Long Island. Educators and artists will be on hand in the galleries along with refreshments to round out the afternoon. A free shuttle will run between the Zuccaire Gallery and the Long Island Museum from noon to 3 p.m. Visitors are also welcome to drive themselves between each location. 631-632-7240

Thursday April 4

Necklace Workshop

Huntington Historical Society will present a Personalized Necklace Workshop with Jen Salta at the Conklin Barn, 2 High St., Huntington from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Choose from a variety of shaped pendants to customize in your own texture and add a name, initial or some words of affirmation. Students will get to choose from a variety of natural gemstones beads to add to their 18” finished necklace. Fee is $65, $60 members.  Register at www.huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org.

Charlie Parker with Strings Concert

The Jazz Loft, 275 Christian Ave., Stony Brook presents a Charlie Parker with Strings featuring the Jazz Loft Big Band, a 12 piece Jazz Orchestra directed by Jazz Loft Director, Tom Manuel and featuring Chris Donohue and Dayna Sean Stephens tonight and April 6 at 7 p.m. A third concert will be held at SBU’s Staller Center on April 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 adults, $35 seniors, $30 students, $25 children, under age 5 free. To order, visit www.thejazzloft.org.

Film

‘Ben-Hur’

Cinema Arts Centre, 412 Park Ave., Huntington will screen Ben-Hur on April 2 at 7:30 p.m. The winner of 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, Ben-Hur stands as one of the greatest Hollywood epics. With an introduction by film historian Philip Harwood. Tickets are $16, $10 members. To purchase in advance, visit www.cinemaartscentre.org.

‘The Big Year’

Join Comsewogue Public Library, 170 Terryville Road, Port Jefferson Station for a viewing of The Big Year starring Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson on April 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. Open to all. Call 631-928-1212 or visit www.cplib.org to reserve your seat. 

Theater 

‘Jersey Boys’

John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St. Northport presents Jersey Boys, the story of Franki Valli & The Four Seasons, from March 14 to May 26. They were just 4 guys from Jersey until they sang their very first note–a sound the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage was a different story–a story that has made them a sensation all over again. Winner of the 2006 Tony© Award for “Best Musical,” Jersey Boys features the top ten hits “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” and “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night).” To order tickets, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com. 

‘Murder on the Orient Express’

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson continues its Mainstage season with Murder on the Orient Express, a thrilling mystery about the most infamous case of one of fiction’s most famous detectives, from April 6 to May 4. Murder and mayhem await renowned investigator Hercule Poirot as he boards a train filled with treachery and intrigue. Featuring a shadowy American, a train full of suspects, a notebook’s worth of alibis, and a singular Belgian sleuth whose mustache twitches at murder, all aboard the Orient Express! Tickets are $40 adults, $32 seniors and students, $25 children ages 5 to 12. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

‘Head Over Heels’

The Theatres at Suffolk County Community College present Head Over Heels, a musical by James Magruder and Jeff Whitty at the Shea Theatre, Islip Arts Building, Ammerman campus, 533 College Road, Selden on April 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 7:30 p.m., and April 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. A mash-up of posh and punk, Head Over Heels is an unpredictable, Elizabethan rompabout a royal family that must prevent an oracle’s prophecy of doom. Admission is $15 adults, $10 veterans and students 16 years of age or younger. SCCC students with current ID receive two  free tickets. To order, visit https://sunysuffolk.edu/spotlight or call 631-451-4163.

Class Reunions

Centereach High School Class of 1974 will hold its 50th reunion at the Meadow Club, 1147 Route 112, Port Jefferson Station on April 26 from 6 to 10 p.m. For more information, email Jean Ann Renzulli at [email protected].

Port Jefferson High School Class of 1964 will hold its 60th reunion at the Meadow Club, 1147 Route 112, Port Jefferson Station on Oct. 17. For more information, email Mike Whelen at [email protected].

Farmers Markets

Huntington Farmers Market

Spirit of Huntington Art Center, 2 Melville Road North, Huntington Station hosts the Long Island Winter Farmers Market every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through March. 631-470-9620

Port Jefferson Farmers Market

The Port Jefferson Winter Farmers Market returns to the Port Jefferson Village Center, 101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through April 28. 631-802-2160

Lake Grove Farmers Market

Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove hosts a Winter Farmers Market in the southwestern quadrant of the parking lot (adjacent to Bahama Breeze) on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 516-444-1280

Children learn about the environment, animals and plants through crafts and stories during the Pee Wee Gardening class offered at the Holtsville Ecology Site & Animal Preserve.

Spring is in full swing at the Holtsville Ecology Site & Animal Preserve, 249 Buckley Road, Holtsville. Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro has announced upcoming dates for both pee-wee and adult gardening classes beginning in April.

“In addition to being a great value, these classes are a fun and educational way to welcome spring,” said Losquadro. “Children will learn about the environment, animals and plants through crafts and stories, while adult participants will learn how to start plants through propagation and create backyard flower arrangements.”

Both classes cost $50 for a five-week session. The adult horticulture classes will be held from 10 a.m. until noon on Thursday, April 11 and 18, and May 2, 9 and 16. Participants in the pee-wee gardening classes, which are for children ages three to five, can choose from two five-week sessions: Tuesday, April 9, 16, 30, and May 7 and 14, or Wednesday, April 10, 17, and May 1, 8 and 15. Pee-wee classes are offered from either 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Registration is available at www.BrookhavenNY.gov/RecOnline. For more information, call 631-451-5330.