You might think that, once summer is in full swing, our best venues go into a reverse-hibernation, to awaken again only when the weather gets cold and the fall cultural season ramps up. Not so. Westchester is bustling year-round—summer being no exception—and you can still find great music, movies, art, and theater all the way through the dog days. Here, your best bets.
Tomorrow Never Knows: Deconstructing The Beatles’ Revolver
The Picture House, Pelham
(914) 738-7337; thepicturehouse.org
Instead of looking here, there, and everywhere for a thorough decoding of one of The Beatles’ most acclaimed albums, you simply need to ask Scott Freiman. The composer, producer, and self-professed Beatles expert uses audio tracks, video clips, and heard-through-the-grapevine anecdotes to explain how the Fab Four created Revolver, paying special attention to the innovative production techniques. Freiman will also stick around after his presentation to answer any lingering questions you may have (but we’ll answer the first one for you—no, there is no real Eleanor Rigby).
Matthew Sweet: The Girlfriend Tour
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Pirates of the Hudson: The Siege of Sleepy Hollow
Photo by Tom Nycz
Cape Spin: An American Power Struggle
Avon Theatre Film Center, Stamford, CT
(203) 967-3660; avontheatre.com
You’d think a little wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod wouldn’t cause so much of a kerfuffle—but when one was proposed, adamant forces gathered both for and against it. At stake: the future of American power. Cape Spin gets to the heart of what’s going on with the project, giving an impartial view of both sides of the argument. The Avon Theatre will screen the film as part of its “Documentary Night” series, and a Q&A with directors John Kirby and Robbie Gemmel and producers Libby Handros, Daniel Coffin, and Josh Levin will follow the screening.
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Westchester County Center, White Plains
(914) 995-4050; countycenter.biz
Westchester might be lacking in arenas, but there’s certainly no shortage of arena rock—at least not when Boston performs at the Westchester County Center. The band hasn’t had a new album in a decade, going back to 2002’s Corporate America, but that means that more time will be devoted to the classics, like “Amanda,” “Rock & Roll Band,” and “More Than a Feeling.”
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
August 2 to August 26
Westchester Broadway Theatre, Elmsford
(914) 592-2222; broadwaytheatre.com
Putnam County, for xenophobes, borders us to the north, so you might spot similarities between this musical’s characters and your neighbors. Sure, it might seem like an innocuous subject—middle school students competing in a spelling bee—but you can catch some digs about parenting and over-programming young children. (Not that parents in Westchester would be able to relate.) Music comes courtesy of William Finn, the award-winning songwriter behind Falsettos, who was nominated for a Tony for Spelling Bee’s score.
Béla Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts Katonah
(914) 232-1252; caramoor.org
Banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck has won 14 Grammy Awards—and seemingly never in the same category twice. (He’s won for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, Best Contemporary Jazz Album, Best Country Instrumental Performance, Best Contemporary World Music Album, and so on.) So, what style is he trying these days? He’s definitely back to jazz music—yes, there is such a thing as a jazz banjo—and he’ll perform with the Marcus Roberts Trio as part of the Caramoor International Music Festival.
Lenny Pickett with the Borneo Horns
Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah
(914) 232-9555; katonahmuseum.org
Who is Lenny Pickett? Just the musical director at Saturday Night Live and a former Tower of Power member. Downbeat magazine called the saxophonist’s recording with the Borneo Horns “a brilliantly creative use of acoustic instruments.” Lenny Pickett and the Borneo Horns will perform outdoors in the Katonah Museum of Art’s Sculpture Garden as part of John Scofield’s “Shades of Jazz.” The best part: Before the show, the grounds are open for picnicking among the art.
Extreme Habitats: Living Desert Dry
August 25 to March 3
Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT
(203) 869-0376; brucemuseum.org
When the temperature ratchets up, you might feel like you’re living out in the desert. But we don’t have the cool plant life or crazy animals that the American Southwest has. If you really want to feel like a desert denizen, check out the Bruce Museum’s Extreme Habitats: Living Desert Dry. The exhibition’s centerpiece: a life-size diorama with live cacti and other plant life found in the Sonoran Desert. It won’t give Westchester the dry heat of Arizona, but the rest will be close enough.