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January's Best Reasons To Leave The House

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January 15, 16

How often do you get the chance to see an Ancient Roman slave break out into song while wooing an obstinate woman and earning his freedom? If your answer is “never,” you may want to buy a ticket to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, a true musical masterpiece presented by the local theater company Little Radical Theatrics. Known as one of the most sidesplitting productions in the annals of Broadway, this musical written by Steven Sondheim details the trials and tribulations of Pseudolus, who hopes to earn his freedom by wooing a beautiful courtesan for his hapless master, Hero. Hysterical mishaps and mistaken identities ensure in this production infused with new life by director Michael J. Mirra.  

 

January 16

Although Bob Marley is no longer with us, his uplifting music still inspires countless individuals to this day. This includes children, who can now experience the timeless songs of this reggae legend during Three Little Birds, a new children’s musical based on a book by Marley’s daughter Cedella. Onstage at the Ridgefield Playhouse, the reggae-influenced show features colorful costumes, nods to Jamaican culture, and a heaping helping of songs by the musical maestro himself, including such hits as “Jammin’,” “Is This Love,” and, of course, “Three Little Birds.” Telling the story of a young man overcoming his fear of the outdoors, Three Little Birds offers joyous music and an uplifting message for both children and children at heart.

 

January 22

In the 1960s, The 5th Dimension topped the charts with an eclectic, genre-spanning blend of pop, soul, jazz, and other styles that came to be known collectively as “Champagne Soul.” The quintet garnered seven Grammy Awards and sold more than 25 million albums during their illustrious run. For the past several years, the group, now fronted by original member Florence LaRue,  has been touring as The 5th Dimension Featuring Florence LaRue, and they still thrill audiences with their many hits, like “Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In,” “Up, Up, and Away,” and  “Wedding Bell Blues.” In their performance at the Tarrytown Music Hall, the group will likely sing these and many other much-loved tunes.

 

January 21-23

Those who assume raunchy card games, Chekhov plays, and strong drinks have nothing in common should head over to Molly Spillane’s in Mamaroneck for Three Day Hangover’s Drunkle Vanya. Hosted by the Emelin Theatre, this special event combines the popular game Cards Against Humanity with the celebrated drama Uncle Vanya to hilarious effect. Audience participation is heartily encouraged at this three-day production set in a bar adjacent to the Emelin Theatre, where guests 21 and over are invited to sling back a few drinks, play various games, dance, engage in practical jokes, and even do a little acting. Suffice it to say, laughs will not be in short supply at this wholly unique dramatic experience.

 

January 30

There are legendary cult films, and then there are counterculture movies so wildly popular that they define an entire genre. Enter Sam Raimi’s earth-shattering Evil Dead flicks, which introduced the world to the riotous wisecracks of Bruce Campbell amid a maelstrom of dangerous demons, hungry zombies, and possessed teens. Equal parts comedy and horror, The Evil Dead movies are still unmatched in sheer hilarity and hallucinatory visuals. On January 30, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Yonkers will screen the first two of Raimi’s seminal films back-to-back during their Evil Dead Double Feature. Be prepared for a journey replete with gruesome gore, snarky jokes, and a cabin-full of hilarious horror. 

 

January 31

Heralded as one of the greatest dancers in American history, Judith Jamison knows a thing or two about what makes a memorable performance. As an icon who danced with the Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe from 1965 to 1980, Jamison will regale audience members with stories from her past, detailing her setbacks and triumphs, in this talk at Fairfield University’s Quick Center for the Arts. Jamison was chosen by Ailey himself to succeed him as artistic director of his eponymous dance company, and she is the recipient of an Emmy, as well as an American Choreography Award. Jamison will discuss how exactly she danced her way to such prodigious heights and just what she learned along the way.

 

January 16-April 4

Few art forms are capable of bridging the gaps between craft, high art, and history. Rarely does a medium communicate all the heartbreak and hope of a populace while demonstrating a culture’s creative nuances and utilitarian values. With its combination of image and textile, quilting manages to do just that. The Bruce Museum’s stirring show, And Still We Rise: Race, Culture, and Visual Conversations, examines four centuries of African-American history through the lens of this underappreciated medium. Developed by artists from the International Women of Color Quilter’s Network, this poignant exhibition reveals the struggles and hopes of a deeply marginalized people, with riveting works by over 50 artists.

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