Body and Soul
|The human body: you cart yours around with you every day, and it’s simultaneously a miraculous marvel and an inefficient machine. Playwright Anna Deveare Smith has thought about it a lot lately. She’s interviewed everyone from professional athletes to palliative-care experts about health and the human body, and then stitched the results of these conversations into a one-woman show, Let Me Down Easy, which you can see at the Performing Arts Center in Purchase on November 13.|
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|We love listening to local authors read—but we love hearing local stories even more, even if they’re fiction. At the “Meet the Writers” series at Manhattanville College on November 2, we get to do both. The featured author is Kathleen Hill, a professor in the MFA program at Bronxville’s Sarah Lawrence College. Her most recent novel, October’s Who Occupies This House?, is about a person who tries to re-create the history of the previous four generations of her family—all of whom lived in the same house in Pelham. (And you thought that you were a Westchester long-timer just because your kids attended K through 12 all in the same school system.)|
Maybe you know of the folky rock band Barenaked Ladies from its omnipresence on college radio in the early ‘90s, from the airplay domination of its biggest hit, “One Week,” in 1998—or from hearing the band’s theme to The Big Bang Theory every week. In any case, by now you know that there are no ladies in the band—just goofy Canadians. Even so, the lads are still fun to catch live, having always been known for mixing comedy with melody. You can see them perform at the Tarrytown Music Hall on November 15, as part of a tour in support of the band’s most recent album, All in Good Time.
We’re sure it’s common among Westchester’s commuting crowd to hear rat-racers lament to each other, “Man, I commute so much, I practically live in Grand Central.” Mamaroneck’s Lee Stringer actually did—when he was homeless and crack-addicted—sleeping in one of the station’s crawlspaces. Even living on the street, Stringer took to writing, and his experiences became the book Grand Central Winter. Now, the Godlight Theatre Company is adapting his story into a play—and we get to see it first. The Emelin Theatre hosts a performance of the work in development on November 11.
You may think you already know everything there is to know about arena-rock band Kansas (namely: “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry On Wayward Son”). But, more than 30 years after the release of its debut album, the band is still stretching its muscles. Last year, for example, the band decided to go on tour and play its most popular material—with a 50-piece symphonic orchestra. Those efforts became the CD/DVD There’s Know Place Like Home. Four out of five of Kansas’s members have even started working on some new material under new band moniker Native Window. To see what else is new with the band, check out its performance at the Paramount Center for the Arts on November 5. Sadly, this time, they’re leaving the orchestra at home.
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What to add to your queue this month
The Kids Are All Right
DVD Release Date: November 9, Focus Features
This movie came out in the summer, yet magically didn’t contain a single explosion, robot, alien invasion, dream-within-a-dream, or any other trademark of a summer blockbuster. Instead, it’s a simple, well-told story about a family and the changes it experiences when one of the children tracks down the sperm donor her mothers used when they conceived her and her brother. In this case, well-realized characters trump all special effects.
Toy Story 3
DVD Release Date: November 2, Disney*Pixar Home Entertainment
Buzz, Woody, and the gang never seem to run out of adventures, do they? This time, when Andy, their faithful owner, heads off to college, the toys have to adapt to a second life in a local daycare center. The DVD contains another patented Pixar short film and a NASA-co-produced feature about Buzz’s adventures in space—but you might want to keep your kids away from the behind-the-scenes feature about the new Toy Story theme park at Hong Kong Disneyland, lest they demand a trip.
DVD Release Date: November 2, HBO Home Video
Critics hailed this 10-part HBO miniseries as “universally excellent” (Los Angeles Times) and a “bloody masterpiece” (TV Guide). There’s no doubt it would be a hit with the history buff in your family. In addition to the series, about the Marines stationed in the Pacific during World War II, the DVD set also comes with gobs of features to get at the true story behind the events: interviews with the real marines the characters were based on, historical influences, and prologues that set the scene for each episode.
The Goonies 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
DVD Release Date: November 2, Warner Home Video
Goonies never say die—and their movie never does, either. Even though you can probably catch this movie on its endless weekend-cable rotation, true Goonies fans won’t be able to pass up the 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition. (Yes, the Goonies are 25 now.) The set comes with a board game, a 1985-style souvenir magazine, and updates on what the cast is doing now. (Hint: One of them became a Hobbit.)