Not Just Skating By
Photo by Manish Gosalia
Now is the best time to get into the elbow-throwing madness that is roller derby. From September 24 to September 26, the Westchester County Center will be home to the “Derby in the ’Burbs” regional tournament (derbyintheburbs.com), featuring the top 10 teams in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. Cheer on as your normally polite neighbors are transformed into toughs with names like “Domestic Violet.” Just try not to stare when you see the players in the carpool lane the next day.
Windup Clown Toy photo by Paul Mutino
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Circus: Art and Science Under the Big Top, at the Bruce Museum from September 24 to January 9, offers a three-ringed approach to cutting through the flimflam and thoughtfully examining the spectacle of circuses. One section of the exhibition takes an interactive look at the science behind circus performers, like sword-swallowers and human cannonballs. The second leg shows how the circus inspired other fine artists, such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Marc Chagall, and Diane Arbus. There also will be space dedicated to circus memorabilia, with posters, toys, and costumes. Bring your own peanuts.
Many things have been said about former Katonah resident John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, but one thing often goes unmentioned: the man sure knew how to throw a party. At least his friends do. The Friends of John Jay Homestead are sponsoring a weekend-long celebration on September 18 and 19. Festivities kick off with the annual Barn Dance, which features a barbecue dinner and a make-your-own sundae bar with a backdrop of live music by local bands. (Also on tap for the evening’s entertainment? Swimming pig races!) The next day, the homestead will host its yearly Country Fair, with a petting zoo, pony rides, sheep and duck herding, and a visit from the Bedford 1779 Regiment Encampment. Don’t forget to indulge in another of Jay’s favorites (we assume): homemade apple pie from the pie-baking contest.
This March marked the 65th anniversary of Anne Frank’s death—but her story lives on. The Westport Country Playhouse will be presenting the stage adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank—written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett and adapted by Wendy Kesselman—from September 28 to October 16. The Playhouse itself also is honoring an important milestone: The Diary of Anne Frank is being performed as part of the theater’s 80th anniversary season.
Home on the Grange
As cosmopolitan as we’d like to think we are, we also want to make sure that we stay true to our agrarian roots. The best reminder of the county’s farming heritage? The Yorktown Grange Fair, which this year takes place September 9 to 12. The theme of the fair is “Locally Grown,” so stop in to see, buy, or taste veggies, livestock, and poultry raised close to home. (Stick around for an end-of-fair produce and vegetable auction that’ll put your farmers’ market to shame.) You can join in on the fun with pie-eating, watermelon-eating, or nail-driving contests—but it’s Ümami Café owner Peter Pratt who gets the best job of judging the bake-off. Also keep an eye on the weekend’s schedule for horse shows, musical performances, and even circus acts—which aren’t indigenous to our local farms, but we’ll take them anyway.
What to add to your Netflix queue this month
Iron Man 2
DVD Release Date: September 28, Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment
Iron Man 2 does what every self-respecting comic-book sequel should do: it doubles the number of people who get to wear the cool super-powered suit. There are more mechanized men and more mayhem in this film than in the first—while still allowing for Robert Downey, Jr., to brandish his trademark dry humor through the mask. Mickey Rourke plays bad-guy Ivan Vanko, a body-builder-sized villain who—guess what?—also invents an Iron Man suit.
The Secret of Kells
DVD Release Date: October 5, New Video Group
When the 2010 Oscar nominees for Best Animated Feature were announced, the contenders were Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, Pixar’s Up, Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox—and The Secret of Kells. To call it a surprise is an understatement. But that doesn’t mean it was undeserved. See how this little, traditionally animated movie—about a boy who lived in Ireland during the harsh eighth century, when Vikings were a threat—charmed over the Oscar judges with its warmth and beauty and earned a spot with the animation titans.
Glee: The Complete First Season
DVD Release Date: September 14, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
It’s no secret that this show has won over a following of “Gleeks.” If you’re one of the converts, revisit your favorite hits of McKinley High’s scrappy glee club—from Ike and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary,” to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Got a voice? Belt out the numbers with the DVD’s “Glee Karaoke” features. There’s even a dance lesson included if you want to bust out the glee club’s dance moves. Don’t stop believing, indeed.
Modern Family: The Complete First Season
DVD Release Date: September 21, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
The other breakout hit of last year’s television season involves no glitzy musical numbers—well, for the most part. Modern Family uses a deadpan, mockumentary style—reminiscent of The Office—to follow one extended family through their hectic suburban lives. (Westchester parents should be able to relate.) Critics were so taken with the series that almost all of the leads in the show were nominated for Emmy awards (including Eric Stonestreet, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sofia Vergara, and Julie Bowen, if you’re counting).