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March Highlights

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Woman’s Day

Chamber music, poetry—it’s all the same thing, really. Sure, there are obvious differences, but that doesn’t mean that one of the world’s leading composers and one of the most renowned poets of her generation can’t become seamless collaborators. That’s what happened with A Woman’s Life, which was written by composer Richard Danielpour with words by Maya Angelou. Eight of Angelou’s poems were set to music by Danielpour to create a “song cycle” about significant experiences a woman has throughout her life. The pair wrote A Woman’s Life expressly for soprano Angela Brown, who will perform it for Copland House at Merestead on March 27.

 

Hello, Newman

Randy Newman has been writing music professionally since the early 1960s, making a name for himself by showcasing his sense of satire. (Some Westchester Magazine editors, smaller in stature, still hold a grudge against him for “Short People.”) But it’s his extensive work scoring and writing songs for films that’s given his own music a fuller sound. Of his most recent solo album, 2008’s Harps and Angels, the Village Voice wrote, “Underneath orchestral arrangements more celluloid than Top 40 is pure parlor-room technique: an old man, his beat-up piano, and songs committed to heart, not paper.” You can see that “old man” tap out songs on his beat-up piano when Randy Newman comes to the Tarrytown Music Hall on March 4.

 

Dance Magic

When the play Dancing at Lughnasa debuted in 1991, it inspired the New York Times to write, “This play does exactly what theater was born to do, carrying both its characters and its audience aloft on those waves of distant music and ecstatic release that, in defiance of all language and logic, let us dance and dream just before night must fall.” The Times wasn’t the only admirer, either; the play was nominated for eight Tony Awards, and won three (including one for Best Play). Not too shabby, eh? If you want to see playwright Brian Friel’s masterpiece, about the five unmarried Mundy sisters living in Ireland in 1936, head to the Schoolhouse Theater. There, performances of Dancing at Lughnasa will take place from March 10 to April 3.

Petered Out

If you’ve been to Broadway in the past five decades, chances are you probably have seen Bernadette Peters belting it out from the stage. And, if you haven’t, you should. The Performing Arts Center at Purchase Collage provides the perfect opportunity when it hosts an evening with Peters on March 5. There, she’ll be singing Broadway favorites, including songs from Stephen Sondheim’s shows—fitting, seeing as she most recently starred in the revival of his A Little Night Music.

 

Makes Cents

It’s understandable that artists have been hit hard by the downturn in the economy. After all, even in the best of times, many of them are known as “starving.” Some resourceful artists, however, have found a way to use the current financial climate as a source of inspiration. ArtsWestchester has gathered more than 20 of these artists for its newest exhibition, The Bank and Trust Show, which will be on view from March 18 to June 4. There, you can find Chance City, Jean Shin’s house-of-cards-style metropolis made from thousands of used scratch-off lottery tickets, and photographer Michael Vahrenwald’s pictures of White Plains’ current and former bank buildings, one of which dates back to the 1920s. Best of all: You can enjoy this art without making your own wallet any lighter, since admission to the gallery is free.

Tom Otterness’s Last Penny on view at the Bank and Trust Show.

Continue reading for our Home Theater section

 

Home Theater

Catch up on the TV you may have missed with these new DVD boxed sets.
Mad Men: Season Four
DVD Release Date: March 29, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Sure, everyone loves Mad Men—but not everyone appreciates it as much as we do. After all, we’re the home team rooting for Don Draper. So it’s natural to want to watch and re-watch this most recent season to keep an eye out for local references. When the Draper-Francis clan discusses moving from Ossining to Rye, we know better than most the decision they’re mulling over. (We think young Bobby Draper nailed it: The move puts them closer to Playland.)
Treme: The Complete First Season
DVD Release Date: March 29, HBO Home Entertainment
Series creator David Simon used the skills he honed as a journalist to tell the story of Baltimore’s drug trade in the critically acclaimed show, The Wire. Last year, he turned his sights from the Charm City to the Big Easy. Treme takes place in a post-Katrina New Orleans, and Simon tells the story of the city’s reconstruction through its remaining residents: a trombonist, a professor, a radio DJ, a restaurant owner, and so on. In addition to commentary tracks, the DVDs also feature a Treme: Beyond Bourbon Street documentary as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the music in the series—because you can’t do anything New Orleans-related without stuffing it full of good music.
The Walking Dead: Season One
DVD Release Date: March 8, Anchor Bay Entertainment
How can you tell The Walking Dead is good? It was nominated for the Golden Globe for “Best Television Series, Drama” despite the fact that only six episodes have aired. But those six hours are packed with bone-crunching, undead-fighting goodness—the pilot rivals some of the greatest zombie movies out there. Oh, did we mention that it’s a pretty good human drama, too?


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