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8 Performing Arts Centers That are Launching Their New Seasons

Performing Arts Center at Purchase College

The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College (PAC) has launched a full season of music, dance and family programming. PAC’s strong classical offerings include several performances from both Westchester Philharmonic and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In addition, the American String Quartet will perform a work inspired by author Salman Rushdie’s novel The Enchantress of Florence, from which the author himself will read excerpts on October 13. Lea DeLaria (Orange is the New Black) will combine her frank humor with her impressive vocal jazz range on October 20. An orchestral ensemble joins Portland Cello Project in homage to rock band Radiohead on March 23. An array of dance programming from PAC ranges from contemporary works by NW Dance Project (11/2) to newly choreographed ballets from Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (3/16). Meanwhile, world music brings traditional Mexican music (Aida Cuevas, 11/4) and Cuban flair (Tiempo Libre, 4/7) to the stage. Holiday favorites and whimsical all-ages experiences round out the season.

Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts opens its indoor fall and spring season amidst the Renaissance furniture and 16th-century paintings of the Center’s historic Music Room. The more-than-15 performances in the intimate space range from cabaret and chamber music to jazz and American roots. Continuing its collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center, Caramoor presents jazz vocalist and saxophonist Camille Thurman with the Darrell Green Trio (10/20) and Edmar Castañeda Quartet (5/11). In November, multi-instrumentalist and fiddler Bruce Molsky will return as part of his trio, Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, which includes banjo and bluegrass guitar (11/17). Later that month, The English Concert offers an all-Baroque concert, featuring the music of Handel, Vivaldi and more (11/30). The holiday spirit takes over when Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble New York Polyphony performs songs that span seven centuries of Christmas music (12/15). In April, Haitian-American cellist and vocalist Leyla McCalla blends creole, Cajun, Haitian music with American jazz and folk (4/13).

Clocktower Players

The 2018-19 season for Clocktower Players offers a solid mix of the poignant and the playful. This month, the resident theater company at Irvington Town Hall Theater presents a production of The Laramie Project. This play, which runs from October 12-21, tells the story of Matthew Shepard, a homosexual teenager who died in 1998 after he was brutally attacked and left to die. The play’s mature subject matter opens a dialogue about homophobia and acceptance. A percentage of the profits from this production will be donated to The Matthew Shepard Foundation. Springtime brings family-friendly fun to the stage with the classic musical Annie from March 9-17. The Tony Award-winning score includes audience favorites like Tomorrow and A Hard-Knock Life. The theater also offers a youth educational program that introduces children to the stage. Four different youth troupes, for children aged four through 12, will present their own productions, including The Wizard of Oz and Les Miserables.

Schoolhouse Theater

For its 33rd season, Schoolhouse Theatre offers four plays of note, including the likes of Cole Porter, a Christmas carol sing-along and a premiere about Henri Matisse. On October 5-14, jazz singer Stevie Holland stars in a one-woman show as Linda Porter, the wife of legendary composer and songwriter Cole Porter. Live musicians will accompany Love Linda: the Life of Mrs. Cole Porter, which is directed by Tony Award-winner Richard Maltby Jr. It runs through October 14 before heading to Off-Broadway. In December, a collection of yuletide songs will encourage audience participation and carol singing. Come spring, Schoolhouse will premiere The Color of Light, a new play by Jesse Kornbluth, which tells the story of Henri Matisse and a nurse named Monique Bourgeois, who played a central role in the creation of the artist’s Chapelle du Rosaire (The Chapel of the Rosary).

Westchester Philharmonic

Westchester Philharmonic has announced a four-show season complete with special guests, tap dancing and an all-Beethoven event, all taking place at Performing Arts Center at Purchase College. On October 21, an all-orchestral opening event led by conductor Jaime Laredo, will include Ravel’s Pavane pour une infant défunte; one of Haydn’s final three symphonies, Drumroll; and Brahms’ first symphony, which took him 22 years to compose. Next, the Philharmonic’s popular Winter Pops! performance will take place on December 16, with special guest trio Time for Three, which performs songs that range from Bach to Beatles. Rachel Worby will conduct this event, as well as a February 10 event with special guest tap dancer Savion Glover. The event will include fireworks and a kid-friendly “instrument petting zoo” at which children can try their hand at a collection of instruments. The season closes with an all-Beethoven finale, featuring violinist Pamela Frank and the Philharmonic, led by Maestro Laredo. At this event, the season will close with the full-bodied Symphony No. 5.

Downtown Music at Grace

Through May, Downtown Music will provide a schedule of internationally-touring musicians. Many of these shows are part of the organization’s “Noonday Getaway” series, which provides a musical respite on Wednesday afternoons. For instance, pianist Youlan Ji joins members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra on October 3 to play a concerto of Beethoven from a rare 19th-century transcription of the original score. Meanwhile, guitarist John Lehmann-Haupt presents classical interpretations of music from Bach to Stevie Wonder on March 20. The season continues with highlights that include works from South America (Duo Lontano, 3/27) and songs of change, praise and protest (Gilda Lyons and Daron Hagen 5/22). Members from REBEL Ensemble for Baroque Music will perform twice during the season (11/7 and 12/12), as will Angelica, a chamber choir that will uphold its seasonal tradition of performing medieval and renaissance yuletide selections (12/19) before returning in the spring for a concert that features works written by women from the 13th to the 21st century (5/29).

Emelin Theatre

Emelin Theatre brings an array of cultural events to its stage this season, including music, comedy and events for the whole family. Country rock band Poco offers hits like Crazy Love and Heart of the Night to Mamaroneck audiences on October 12. The Theatre also kicks off its newest series, “Made in Westchester,” with New Rochelle native Kaya Nicole and Samba Soul, who will perform bossa nova, samba classics and original tunes on November 1. The following night, singer-songwriter Josh Ritter plays an acoustic solo show. Westchester comedian Joe Matarese, who has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and had his own Comedy Central Presents special, will bring laughter to the stage on November 10. The season continues with Nutcracker Dream with Ballet des Amériques (12/16, 22), Leading Ladies of Broadway (1/26), a performance by The Westchester Chordsmen (1/31), a staging of beloved children’s illustrator Eric Carle’s stories (3/16) and more.

Tarrytown Music Hall

Tarrytown Music Hall presents a lineup of family-friendly classics, beloved comedians and sing-along tribute bands this fall. The Music Hall’s dance-company-in-residence, Ballet des Ameriques (BDA), performs a new series on select Wednesdays called “Westchester Wednesday Dance,” which offers an evening of BDA’s original works. A free day of family fun on October 7 engages children with dance performances, arts and crafts, and more. High-profile musicians, like Don McLean (11/7) and The Wallflowers (11/19), as well as comedians like Vic DiBitetto (10/13) and Maria Bamford (12/7), will take over the Tarrytown stage throughout the season. Tribute bands play songs to sing along to, including Neil Young tunes by Broken Arrow (10/12), Pink Floyd’s The Wall as performed by The Machine on 11/30 and Moondance’s interpretations of songs by Van Morrison (12/28). A roster of holiday events for the family include A Motown Christmas Spectacular (12/8), The Nutcracker (12/9) and A Celtic Christmas with Cherish the Ladies (12/22).

A version of this article first appeared in the October issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.

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