This year, ditch the crooners and jazz up your Valentine’s Day with the spirit of New Orleans. Head to the Ridgefield Playhouse on February 14 to celebrate with Aaron Neville and the Neville Brothers, along with Dr. John and the Lower 911. Rather than slow-dancing with your sweetheart, you’ll be doing the “Mardi Gras Mambo.” Tickets include hors d’oeuvres, chocolates, a free glass of Champagne…and some Mardi Gras beads for good measure.
Between all the chocolate and Champagne of Valentine’s Day and the booze, beignets, and beads of Mardi Gras, it’s easy to forget that President’s Day is in the mix this month, too. (You remember: It’s the only holiday of the three for which you might actually get a day off of work.) The Performing Arts Center and master choreographer Bill T. Jones can help you commemorate the occasion through cutting-edge dance. Jones is creating a new work inspired by the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Fondly Do We Hope…Fervently Do We Pray has been described as the most ambitious project in the dance company’s 25-year history. Check it out at the Performing Arts Center on February 12—Lincoln’s actual birthday.
You may have spotted writer/performer Martin Moran as Sir Robin in Spamalot or as Ernst Ludwig in Cabaret—are you dying to see his new solo show? Instead of waiting for its Off-Broadway debut, catch a sneak preview at the Emelin Theatre on February 25. Appearing as part of the Insights & Revelations series, Moran will perform his new work, Rehearsing Consciousness, about a Broadway dancer with a midlife crisis who meets a survivor of torture. As usual, after the performance Moran and director Seth Barrish will stick around for a Q&A and reception.
Think of it as joining a book group—with the entire County. The annual “Big Read” invites everyone in Westchester to tuck into Tim O’Brien’s acclaimed Vietnam War tale, The Things They Carried, then participate in a number of book-related events throughout the County this month and next. For example, The Big Read kicks off on February 6 with a marathon read-aloud session—with the goal of reading
the entire book out loud—at libraries and other locations in Westchester Professional actors get into it, too, on February 21 at ArtsWestchester’s Arts Exchange. There, the American Place Theatre will present a verbatim stage adaptation of The Things They Carried with actor Billy Lyons. For more information and events, visit ArtsWestchester’s website at artswestchester.org.
C.J. Chenier rocks the Bayou for Mardi Gras.
Forget the one-day Mardi Gras. At the Bayou in Mount Vernon, it’s practically Carnival, with boisterous goings-on taking place throughout the month. On February 9, Fat Tuesday comes a week early with a Mardi Gras party, featuring Buckwheat Zydeco, who will perform songs from his first studio album in eight years. Then, on February 11, the restaurant celebrates its own 20th anniversary with a birthday bash and a full lineup of musicians, including Popa Chubby, Geoff Hartwell, Chops, Tom Dowd, and more. (Bonus: No cover charge!) Finally, if you’re not too partied out by the time the actual Mardi Gras rolls around, you can celebrate with the zydeco music of CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band. Seatings are at 6, 8, and 10 pm on February 16, and come with a four-course dinner—so be sure to leave room for the traditional king cake.
|A Serious Man
DVD Release Date: February 9, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Everyone thought that the bob-haired, coin-flipping terror Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men was the apex of weird, but, with their next film, the Coen Brothers managed to become even more bizarre. A Serious Man, about a down-on-his-luck college professor, manages to include dybbuks, rambling rabbis, weird science, and more to try and work out the meaning of life—or at least the meaning of life as the Coens see it.
|The Wolf Man: Special Edition, Universal Legacy Series
DVD Release Date: February 2, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
How will Benicio Del Toro stack up to Lon Chaney Jr.? Before The Wolfman comes out on February 12, check out the 1941 original—then you can judge for yourself which film is better at capturing the art of lycanthropy. (Yes, we will take any and every opportunity to use the word “lycanthropy.”)
DVD Release Date: February 2, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
If you loved Shaun of the Dead, you’ll be pleased to learn that the genre of “zombie comedy” is still going strong. Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson play unlikely buddies struggling to survive the post-zombie apocalypse and hunting for one of the world’s few remaining Twinkies. Their banter keeps the movie light—but there’s plenty of zombie gore for those fans of the juicier elements of the genre.
Clint Eastwood: 35 Films 35 Years at Warner Bros.