By now, you’re aware of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial, celebrating the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s great sail. But what was the river like during each of the other centennials? For its exhibition, titled Dutch New York: The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture, the Hudson River Museum takes a look at the Dutch influence in America in 1609, 1709, 1809, 1909, and 2009. The museum has pulled together paintings, prints, photos, decorative arts, maps, and other objects spanning New York’s history starting from when Hudson originally voyaged, through Washington Irving’s writings, to turn-of-the-century riverside celebrations, and ending with a look at the river today.
We’re in the middle of the summer blockbuster season, and with all the amped-up, hype-filled popcorn flicks crowding the multiplex, it’s hard to have an intelligent discussion about cinema (unless you count debating the relative merits between the robots in Terminator and the robots in Transformers intelligent). Your salvation lies in the Pelham Picture House’s new Reel Insider series, which launches on June 2. There, serious cinephiles can meet for a reception, watch a preview of an art-house film with Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers, and participate in a Q&A with critics and filmmakers. The inaugural movie will be Moon—which stars Sam Rockwell as a lone lunar employee whose mental health begins to deteriorate from the solitude—and director Duncan Jones will join Travers for a post-film discussion.
Like longer days, lush gardens, and the ubiquitous ice-cream truck, the Caramoor International Music Festival is one of the pleasures we look forward to every summer. This year is no exception, and the festival starts off strong with a performance by Metropolitan Opera star Susan Graham on June 27. The mezzo-soprano will perform knockout arias by Mozart, accompanied by Caramoor’s resident Orchestra of St. Luke’s, which will close the evening by tackling the famed Beethoven’s Fifth. The rest of the festival is no slouch, either: look for concerts with Béla Fleck, Paquito D’Rivera, Alisa Weilerstein, and more, including a first-ever pops concert and fireworks display on July 4.
What’s the use of a Latin jazz performance if you can’t get up and dance to it? ArtsWestchester understands. That’s why, for its Mambo Dance Party on June 13, it’ll teach you how to do the mambo with some live dance instruction. Music is provided by veteran pianist Gilberto “Pulpo” Colon, Jr. When he gets his ensemble going, you won’t be able to stay still if you try.
It’s always been hard to classify the kinda poppy, kinda country, slightly twangy sound of Old 97’s—but people like it that way. The band has “drawn on country rock, folk rock and the British Invasion in ever-shifting proportions,” the New York Times writes of the group’s most recent album, Blame It On Gravity. You can hear these shape-shifting tunes when the Old 97’s visit the Tarrytown Music Hall on June 26.
The musical revue I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, which debuted Off-Broadway in 1996, went on to become the second-longest-running Off-Broadway show in history (behind The Fantasticks). The show is today being run in more than 250 cities worldwide. Next stop: Elmsford. Catch it at the Westchester Broadway Theatre on June 18, where it’ll stay until August 2. Ask the box office about “economic stimulus” deals on tickets.
Continue Reading for our Home Theater and Quadricentennial 2009 sections.
DVD Release Date: June 2, Paramount Home Entertainment
If you ever wanted to feel bad about living out in the ‘burbs, this film, about a married couple living in Connecticut in the 1950s, pulls no punches. Directed by American Beauty’s Sam Mendes and based on the novel by Richard Yates—himself a resident of Scarborough, where there’s an actual Revolutionary Road—the movie magnifies all the problems with that repressed, claustrophobic mid-century lifestyle. It also stars Titanic duo Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in lead roles that are much, much less romantic than their first on-screen pairing.
Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music Director’s Cut
DVD Release Date: June 9, Warner Home Video
Gear up for Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock by brushing up on the original. The re-release of the award-winning documentary—the one that made split-screens cool—comes packed with never-before-seen extras sure to excite wannabe festival attendees. The four-hour director’s cut includes previously unaired performances by The Who, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and more. If that isn’t enough ’60s nostalgia for you, there are also interviews with Michael Lang, Eddie Kramer, Martin Scorsese, and others, along with a 60+ page reprint of a Life magazine commemorative issue. Groovy.
DVD Release Date: June 2, Warner Home Video
If you’re in the mood for a gamble, you can take your chances with this film, which was unfortunately never released in theaters. But, with three of our favorite comediennes—Amy Poehler, Parker Posey, and Rachel Dratch—we’re sure it’ll deliver some laughs. The trio plays a group of geeky friends who decide, even though they’re in their 30s, to go on spring break with all the college co-eds. Expect awkward embarrassment humor similar to The 40-Year-Old Virgin—only more girly.
Continue reading for the Quadricentennial 2009 section.
There’s never been a better time to get out to the River, and June’s Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial events provide the perfect inspiration.
Begin at the Striped Bass in Tarrytown on June 6, where, in honor of River Day, the flotilla recreating Hudson’s voyage up the river will dock. There, you can see a replica of the Half Moon, the Clearwater, and other impressive boats.
The following day, Lyndhurst hosts its Hudson River Fest: A Search for the Past, Present and Future. The all-day event features lectures from historians, folklorists, re-enactors, ecologists, authors, and more. County Executive Andy Spano will be on-hand to dedicate the River Walk trail.
Are you in the mood for a little music? The Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival—which has celebrated the mighty Hudson for 40 years—brings Susan Tedeschi, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, Alejandro Escovedo, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, A.C. Newman, and others right to the river’s banks for a day of performances and other eco-friendly activities in Croton Point Park on June 20 and 21. Down-county dwellers can listen to Hudson River Harmonies as part of the alfresco entertainment at Untermyer Park on June 27.
Art lovers are equally lucky, as two new exhibitions open this month. The first, Dutch New York: The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture, traces 400 years of Dutch influence in our area through art, and you can see it at the Hudson River Museum starting June 13. In addition, the Jay Heritage Center in Rye explores the Jay family’s nautical history with Legacy of Sailing: Owners of The Jay Estate & Yachting in New York 1843-1966, opening on June 1.
Sleepy Hollow keeps the celebration running all month, with the Sleepy Hollow Arts Festival on June 6 (don’t miss the readings from the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center), Lighthouse Tours on June 14 and 28, and, for the muscle-bound, the Sleepy Hollow Triathlon on June 28. All of these events begin in Kingsland Point Park. Ossining has its own Ossining Village Fair on June 13 throughout the village’s downtown area.
Finally, if you want to head over the bridge to the other bank of the river, you can check out the Cold Spring Antiques Show at Mayor’s Park on June 14, or see a staged reading of Maxwell Anderson’s eco-conscious play, High Tor, at Riverspace Arts on June 7.