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From Jay Leno To Jacob Burns, Westchester’s Best May Events

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May 2

Here’s Jay

He may have handed over his stewardship of The Tonight Show to fellow comedian Jimmy Fallon last year, but Jay Leno is still as entertaining as ever. The New Rochelle-born comedian is returning to his roots with a stand-up performance at The Palace Theatre’s annual Spotlight Soirée fundraiser to benefit its Arts Education program. Classic cars and motorcycles will be on display outside the Stamford, Connecticut, venue and at the pre-show cocktail reception, paying tribute to Leno’s passion for classic cars. If you don’t have a philanthropic budget, don’t worry—less expensive tickets to the performance only can be purchased online or at the Palace Theatre’s box office.

May 2

While two-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone has performed in many iconic Broadway roles—the titular character in Evita and Rose in the 2008 revival of Gypsy—it’s rare to see the big-voiced singer out of character. The Lady with the Torch, at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, is LuPone stripped down to her roots, singing passionate love songs in a cabaret-inspired show that’s more intimate but still 100-percent Patti.  

May 1-3

Arts & Crafts

Do you know where your furniture, art, or jewelry comes from? Do you actually know who makes it? The semi-annual Crafts at Lyndhurst festival showcases unique items of furniture, jewelry, clothing, art—and the artisans and craftspeople who made them. The fair includes demonstrations and performances, snacks and kid-approved activities like face painting and stilt walkers, and live music on Saturday and Sunday. A ticket to the fair also earns visitor-discounted admission into the Gothic Revival Lyndhurst mansion.

May 5

Lost & Found

Ethiopian-born novelist Dinaw Mengestu is often called a writer of immigrant fiction—work that explores difficulties of leaving one’s home and moving somewhere new. The poetic genius of his writing is that it’s really about loss—losing oneself and having to find a way to build a new identity from scratch. This universal concept is evident in his latest novel, All Our Names. Set in the 1970s, the novel tells the story of Isaac, an African-born student who immigrates to the United States after the fall of colonialism in Africa; and Helen, a Midwesterner and social worker who works on Isaacs’s case. Despite their different nationalities and circumstances, both experience their own versions of loss and disillusionment. All Our Names will be featured in a reading at Spoken Interludes in Hastings-on-Hudson.

May 1-6

Newsworthy

The Jacob Burns Film Center is showing a series of documentary-style films called Greenhouse: Emerging Documentary Voices from the Middle East and North Africa. The series opens up new, often unheard perspectives on well-known topics like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the aftermath of the Iranian revolution, and the Taliban, with post-film discussions and interviews from many of the filmmakers. 

May 9

Pitch it to Me

With the final season of Glee finished in March and the release of Pitch Perfect 2 on the horizon, a cappella is in the spotlight. Even if you’re not already obsessed, the White Plains Performing Arts Center will be hosting Blackout: NYC A Cappella, and the group is definitely worth a listen. Blackout, founded in 2012, is making its debut in Westchester after performing at Manhattan venues like the Highline Ballroom and for the Super Bowl Selection Committee. While they don’t offer any of Elizabeth Banks’ hilarious a cappella puns, Blackout’s covers of hit songs and original mash-ups are still aca-mazing.

May 15, 23-24 29

Slumber Party

Camping overnight in the woods with a pack of howling wolves may not sound like your typical sleepover. But who wants typical when you can have a pizza party with the majestic creatures at the Wolf Conservation Center’s popular annual nocturnal adventure, Sleeping With Wolves. Enjoy an evening fireside snack, a movie, and, in the morning, a light breakfast, all while getting to know these amazing, beautiful, and often misunderstood animals. Nighty-night! 

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