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The Best Arts and Events You Need to Check out This Fall

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While it may seem that the pandemic has leveled much of Westchester’s cultural landscape, the reality is that a brave, new era of the arts has just begun.

Whether it’s unique virtual events, open-air art exhibitions, innovative live-streamed performances, or socially distanced comedy, Westchester boasts a wealth of ways to experience arts and culture this fall, both in-person and while ensconced in your living room.

– Art –

Ongoing Through Late Fall

A Short Story

Pelham Art Center, Pelham
www.pelhamartcenter.org
Stroll through the sun-splashed courtyard of the Pelham Art Center to view an alfresco installation by New York-based artist Don Porcaro. Titled A Short Story, the installation touches on Porcaro’s conceptions of archaeology, man-made objects, and the human form, with a grouping of colorful abstract sculptures from his series Childhood’s End and Nomad. It all amounts to one excellent way to experience some lighthearted, whimsical art in an open-air environment.

Ongoing Through Dec 31

Connections

Clay Art Center, Port Chester
www.clayartcenter.org
This virtual exhibition held by the Clay Art Center features a selection of works documenting ceramic artists’ varied experiences during the pandemic. Clay asked artists nationwide to record this tumultuous time through digital postcards that deal with such subjects as anxiety, human touch, and illness. The first half of the two-part exhibition has already launched on Clay’s website, with postcards consisting of drawings, mixed-media, or clay accompanied by messages from the artists.

When the center fully reopens (at a yet-to-be-determined date), the exhibition’s second half will feature 50 postcards from the virtual gallery, gathered together for an in-person show in which artists translate their virtual works into ceramic postcards to be displayed alongside their written messages.

Utagawa Kunisada (Japanese, 1786 – 1865), Standing Courtesan, 1828, ink on paper, 14 7/8 x 10 1/8 inches, Gift, Mr. and Mrs. Jenckes through Mrs. Wendell Jay, 1956.70.1. Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania. Photo Courtesy of The Bruce Museum

Sept 1 — Nov 1

Floating Beauty: Women in the Art of Ukiyo-e

The Bruce Museum, Greenwich
www.brucemuseum.org
Delve into the sumptuous art of Japan’s Edo period and explore the varied and complex depictions of women during this time through Floating Beauty: Women in the Art of Ukiyo-e. Comprising more than 50 woodblock prints created in the ukiyo-e style, or “beautiful women” genre, the exhibition explores a host of female characters, from courtesans and geisha to wives and mothers, in kabuki theater, poetry, and literature. The exhibit features work by renowned masters, including Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige, and Kitagawa Utamaro.

Sept 4 — Summer 2021

Watershed Moment

Lyndhurst, Tarrytown
www.lyndhurst.org
An immersive installation by artist and preservationist Jorge Otero-Pailos is set to open in Lyndhurst’s natatorium, a stabilized ruin located on the incredibly scenic estate. Watershed Moment utilizes floating sheets of transparent latex cast from the ruin itself to reference concepts of water, light, and the passage of time.

“As the public questions monuments and looks at how they interact with our current values, this installation opens the opportunity for contemplation and dialogue about who we are and how we think,” said Lyndhurst director Howard Zar in a statement. The installation will remain on view through much of 2021, providing ample time for art lovers to experience both Otero-Pailos’ fascinating piece and Lyndhurst’s bucolic grounds.

– Comedy –

Oct 23

JB Smoove

Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, Peekskill
www.paramounthudsonvalley.com
A familiar face to anyone who has binged HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, JB Smoove remains a top-tier comic with his numerous TV appearances and stage shows. Smoove recently penned his own book, The Book of Leon: Philosophy of a Fool, and has appeared on such shows as Fresh off the Boat and Everybody Hates Chris. Now, local audiences can see for themselves why Smoove remains a name after decades onstage.

Nov 6

Jim Breuer

Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, Peekskill
www.paramounthudsonvalley.com
With his most recent standup recording, Live From Portland, reaching  No. 1 on the iTunes comedy charts and no fewer than four Comedy Central specials under his belt, Jim Breuer is a funnyman worth crowing about. A Saturday Night Live alum and costar of the cult-classic film Half Baked, Breuer continues to hone his comedy chops with his unique brand of quirky humor both onstage and off.

– Drama –

Nov 7

The Spouse Whisperer

White Plains Performing Arts Center, White Plains
www.wppac.com
Laugh along at the intricacies of marriage during lauded comedian Mark Cordes’ acclaimed one-man show, The Spouse Whisperer, onstage this fall at the White Plains Performing Arts Center. The long-running comedic stage show follows a relationship all the way from first blush to last kiss, making sure to focus firmly on comedy along the way.

Courtesy of The Palace Theatre

Nov 13

Menopause the Musical

The Palace Theatre, Stamford
www.palacestamford.org
Those who can relate to four women hilariously discussing the ins and outs of hot flashes, memory loss, night sweats, and other changes that come with aging will likely find a lot to love in this merry musical onstage at Stamford’s Palace Theatre. Menopause the Musical follows four very different women having a sudden heart-to-heart at a lingerie sale. Set to classic hits from the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, the musical parody has already entertained more than 15 million comedy lovers worldwide and will likely add a few to that list right here in Westchester.

– Film –

Sept 14

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Cross County Shopping Center, Yonkers
www.crosscountycenter.com
It may feel like you’ve taken a time machine back to the 1950s during this drive-in movie at Yonkers’ Cross County Shopping Center. Catch Spielberg’s 1977 Academy Award-winning masterwork, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, in which Richard Dreyfuss as Roy Neary makes contact with a cadre of musically inclined extraterrestrials. Audience members are split up in cars to enjoy this big-screen event, which is an ideal way to catch a flick alfresco while maintaining physical distance.

– Family –

Oct 17

Imagination Movers

Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, Peekskill
www.paramounthudsonvalley.com
This high-energy alt-rock group hailing from The Big Easy is perfect for the entire family, with a fun, interactive show aimed specifically at preschoolers. Having appeared on The View, Good Morning America, and NPR, this four-man act has already entertained more than a million audience members from Dubai to Europe. Those with kids ages 1 and up are invited to see why the Imagination Movers make for a super-fun day whether you’re a child or a child at heart.


Chris Soria stands beside his colorful, abstract mural, The Flux of Being. Photo by Dean Bender/Thompson & Bender

Bridging Cultures

The Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is now home to eye-popping public artwork by eight emerging NY artists.

Looking to safely experience some high art while sneaking in a touch of exercise? Try dropping by the new, 3.6-mile bike-and-pedestrian path along the Cuomo Bridge, where eight works by area artists who made it through a statewide competition will be publicly displayed.

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong and her dynamic steel sculpture, Current. Photo by Dean Bender/Thompson & Bender

Visitors can spy Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong’s impressive sculptural installation Current, which consists of 12 illuminated steel arches situated at the bridge’s entrance; Wendy Klemperer’s Leaping Sturgeon, an incredible 14-foot fish crafted from rebar and steel that references the history of the region; Chris Soria’s inventive, abstract mural The Flux of Being; and any of several other imaginative pieces.

Christopher Flick presents his evocative bike rack, Converging Vistas. Photo by Dean Bender/Thompson & Bender

“The impressive works of art installed at each terminus of the bridge’s shared-use path transform this twin crossing into a compelling destination for travelers to engage with the arts,” said ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam in a statement. ArtsWestchester served as administrator for the public art projects. “With museums [mostly] closed throughout the region, this is an opportunity for art-starved New Yorkers to enjoy new public art outdoors during the current pandemic,” she adds.

Fitzhugh Karol’s sculpture Approach utilizes pieces of the old Tappan Zee bridge. Photo by Dean Bender/Thompson & Bender


– Music –

Classical & Jazz

Sept 8 — 11

2020 Virtual JazzFest

ArtsWestchester, White Plains
www.artswestchester.org/programs/jazz-fest-2
JazzFest White Plains is hitting the web this year and will combine with ArtsWestchester’s annual ArtsBash into one momentous, four-day, online event. Celebrating its ninth year, JazzFest will present a roster of acclaimed regional performers, such as Pablo Mayor, Connie Han, Amir ElSaffar, Isabella Mendez, and the Flavio Lira Duo. Participants can enjoy a series of unique, live performances, animated discussions, and fascinating educational programs held on Zoom and live-streamed on Facebook. Additional events include an ArtsBash Virtual Mixology Party, as well as programs celebrating both jazz icons and rising stars carrying the genre in bold, new directions.

Oct 1

Miró Quartet

Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Katonah
www.caramoor.org
The award-winning, internationally touring Miro Quartet is making its way to Katonah this fall. One of the most celebrated string quartets in the country, this foursome has taken home first prize in both the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Naumberg Chamber Music Competition, and has been touring for more than a quarter of a century. A great opportunity for local music fans to enjoy world-class classical right here in Westchester.

Nov 20

Laura Osnes & Santino Fontana

Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Katonah
www.caramoor.org
Caramoor will hold its anticipated Cabaret in the Music Room Benefit Concert with Broadway stars Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana. A Tony Award-winning actor, Fontana is known his role in Broadway’s Tootsie and for voicing a character in the popular Disney film Frozen, while Osnes, a Tony nominee herself, has turned heads with roles in Grease, South Pacific, and Bonnie & Clyde. During this rare evening cabaret, the duo will take the stage for a night of lighthearted song.

Courtesy of The Hudson River Musuem

Rock, Pop, and R&B

Sept 19

Kaira & Friends

The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers
www.hrm.org
A talented band will accompany Yonkers-based musician Kaira for an evening of soul and R&B during this waterfront concert at The Hudson River Museum. Groove along with some physically distanced dancing at this evening event with a limited capacity of 50 guests and a maximum of four people per reservation. Kaira’s performance is inspired by the evolution of music in African American culture and will feature members of several Hudson Valley choral organizations, such as Mount Vernon Gospel Knights and Kingdom Christian Cultural Center.

Oct 9

The Sensational Soul Crushers

Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, Peekskill
www.paramounthudsonvalley.com
Catch hits by Motown legends like The Jackson Five, Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, and many others performed by an accomplished 11-piece band during this toe-tapping night of song. Described as a sonic mix of The Temptations, Kool & the Gang, and Chicago, The Sensational Soul Crushers have already counted Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons as audience members and will likely rack up quite a few more fans in the county.

Nov 14

The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, Peekskill
www.paramounthudsonvalley.com
Touring for more than three decades, The Fabulous Thunderbirds have made a name for themselves with their easygoing, quintessentially American sound. Fusing a wealth of styles, including R&B and blues, the band features vocalist Kim Wilson, whom Muddy Waters called his favorite harmonica player and singer, along with a fleet of other talented performers.