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Art, Drama, Music and Books
Art, drama, music & books

Bronxville's Middle School Musical, '13,' Big Success: See Photos PDF Print Email

Jun. 11, 2014: In professional fashion, Bronxville Middle School choral and drama instructor Lindsey Blackhurst led 70 middle school students in sold-out performances of the musical 13.

The musical by Jason Robert Brown was held over the weekend of May 31 and June 1 at Sarah Lawrence College's Wright Auditorium.

Among those who helped make 13 a success are choreographer Sarah Jane Johnson and music director/keyboardist Dr. Jonathan Faiman, who teamed up with Ms. Blackhurst to create the production, and SLC professor of theater and stage management Rebecca Sealander, who patiently guided Bronxville's technical crew through all behind-the-scenes aspects of the performances.

SLC's director of administrative services, Debra Finkelstein, assisted the volunteer production team through setup and facilities use; Chad Lawrenz of Sound Associates oversaw sound for the performances; and volunteer drama mamas Cira Marmolejos and Trish Burnell spent countless hours behind the scenes working with Ms. Blackhurst and families.

Also to be acknowledged are merchants throughout Bronxville who kindly displayed posters advertising the production and many other parent volunteers who assisted in this large-scale production.

Congratulations to the cast and crew on a spectacular run.

To see photos, click here:  Bronxville Middle School production of the musical 13.

Pictured here:  Middle School students performing in the musical 13.

Photos by Nancee Adams-Taylor

The Bronxville Pops 2014 Free Concert Series to Begin July 9 at 8:00 PM PDF Print Email

Jun. 11, 2014:  On the "great lawn" in front of The Bronxville School at the corner of Pondfield Road and Midland Avenue, the Bronxville Pops Concert Band will, once again, hold its annual concert series.

The free concerts will be held on July 9, 16, 23, and 30, beginning at 8:00 pm.

Bring a blanket, bring a chair, bring some wine and cheese, and enjoy wonderful music under the stars.

For questions, please call 914 325 1819.

Donations are gratefully accepted. Send to P.O. Box 284, Bronxville, NY 10708 or email: CLOAKING .

Pictured here:  Al Mingrone, director of the Bronxville Pops Concert Band.

Photo by A. Warner

Documentary Film 'Fed Up' Playing in Bronxville on June 12 PDF Print Email

Jun. 11, 2014:  The film Fed Up is playing at the Bronxville Cinemas on Thursday, June 12, at 2:15 pm and 4:30 pm. This is a documentary that claims that most of what we have been told about food and exercise is wrong. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar-winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth) and director Stephanie Soechtig, Fed Up may make you question everything you think you know about what you are eating and change the way you eat.

Click here if you want to take "The Fed Up Challenge"--10 days to be sugar free:

Nearly 70 Bronxville Middle School Students to Put On the Musical '13' PDF Print Email

May 28, 2014:  Bronxville Middle School will present the musical 13, by Jason Robert Brown, on Saturday, May 31, at 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm and Sunday, June 1, at 3:00 pm. The musical will be performed in the Wright Theater at Sarah Lawrence College, 1 Mead Way, and tickets are $10 at the door.

13 is about a kid named Evan who lives in New York City and has the perfect life until his parents get divorced and he is forced to move with his mother to Appleton, Indiana. He feels all is hopeless until he meets a girl named Patrice, who befriends Evan the moment he arrives in Appleton. He then has but one mission: to get all the cool kids in school to come to his bar mitzvah or else spend the rest of his academic career banished to the land of the geeks. 13 is about finding out who you are, finding out what you need, and finding out what's really important. It's about friendship and the turmoil of being thirteen.

Director Lindsey Blackhurst, who has directed several middle school productions and is one of the middle school chorus and drama teachers at Bronxville Middle School, said of 13: "This music is incredibly difficult . . . there are a lot of tricky rhythms and intervals in the score." Natalie Arenzon (10th grade) is assistant director for the second year in a row, having assisted Ms. Blackhurst with last year's production of Guys and Dolls.

While the students have to learn to put themselves into their characters' shoes and learn all the music, they also have to incorporate dance steps and staging--especially challenging this year, as the students won't get to practice in the actual space until the four days of production week.

Sarah Jane Johnson, choreographer and a former college classmate of Blackhurst's, has risen to the challenge. Her amazing talents have helped the middle school students learn not only about the power of words and music, but also about dancing and movement of the body. Alexa Shephard (9th grade) is assistant choreographer.

As a special treat this year, singers and dancers will be accompanied live by professional musicians: Dr. Jonathan Faiman, who is also the rehearsal pianist, will play keyboard; Bill Reeve, drums; and Oren Fader, guitar. Bronxville senior Josh Bothwell will play bass guitar.

In addition to the normal excitement that accompanies a production, there was added stress this year because a stage had to be found, since the school's auditorium is unavailable while it is undergoing renovations. Sarah Lawrence College generously stepped up and donated space. Judith Schwartzstein, director of public affairs at Sarah Lawrence College, said, "As neighbors and friends, Sarah Lawrence College is so pleased to be able to provide the venue for the middle school theater production this year." She emphasized that "strong connections between the school and the college are important to us and the vigor of our Bronxville community."

The Bronxville School and students are grateful for the generosity of Sarah Lawrence and are looking forward to performing in the intimate Wright Theater, with its thrust stage surrounded on three sides by audience.

With a cast of over 50 and student crew of 15, this lively musical in the professional Wright Theater is sure to be a sold-out crowd pleaser for all ages. Don't miss it!

Evan: Griffin Garbarini (Saturday afternoon, Ryan Staunton); Patrice: Claire Kraemer (Saturday afternoon, Sarah Billings); Brett: Max Laval; Malcolm: Jack Moore; Eddie: Tomas Gibbons; Kendra: Alice O'Connell (Saturday afternoon: Norah Foley); Archie: Matthew Pytosh; Lucy: Jamie Brusco (Saturday afternoon: Catie Burnell); Cassie: Nicole Torres; Charlotte: Anna Torres; Molly: Andrea Shephard; Trio of Girls joining in "It Can't Be True": Hana Eddib, Lily Monahan, and Kat Ungvary; Richie: Jimmy Hennessey; Simon: Isak Davydov; Rabbis/Kids: Allison Barker, Rachel Billings, Hana Eddib, Margaux Frohlich, Katie Gordon, Lily Monahan, Kara Regan, Kat Ungvary, and Ariana Velez; Cheerleaders/Kids: Hayley Berry, Libby Bishop, Ella Crawford, Ella Crystal, Eva Dani, Jadyn Horin, Sunday Ladas, Keiko Mitsui, Sofia Ricciarini, Viktoria Schmuck, Holly Ungvary, and Frances Whyte; Kids: Charlie Ambrose, Eve Balseiro, Michelle Coppola, Jackie Coquillette, Isak Davydov, Sofia Fenner, Larkin Flanagan, Arisa Hara, Sam Huss, Graana Khan, Patrick Krall, Gaby Laval, Naoko Mitsui, Anna Normand, Nastja Popkova, Jack Ruhanen, Juliet Stills, and Mia Stills.

Stage manager/props/run crew: Maddie Hanley; tech director/lighting board: Kenny Taylor; sound board operator: Leo Gretzinger; stage manager/calling: Lilly Martin; run crew head: Luke Redman; run crew: Emma Estes, Jacoby Goodson, Ben Hanley, Aiden Hiller, Xavier Layton, and Gabriella Pacitto; follow spot: Roberto Gandara; projector: Alex Swenson; props/costumes: Erin Kaye and Nora Triandis.

Note:  Managing logistics of the production are drama mama Cira Marmolejos and a host of parent volunteers. For information about ticket availability, please email Trish Burnell at CLOAKING .

13 is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.
421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212-541-4684; fax: 212-397-4684

Greenburgh Players with Local Cellist Eugene Briskin to Perform at Bronxville Library Friday, May 30 PDF Print Email

May 28, 2014:  The Greenburgh Chamber Players, which includes Bronxville resident Eugene Briskin on cello, will perform at the Bronxville Public Library on Friday, May 30, at 7:00 pm.

The concert, sponsored by the Friends of the Bronxville Public Library, will be held in the library's Yeager Room. It is free and open to the public, and a reception will follow the performance.

The trio, which in addition to Briskin includes Junah Chung on viola and Ragga Petursdottir on violin, will perform works by Mozart, Beethoven, and Dohnányi.

Russian-born Briskin received his musical training at the Leningrad Conservatory. At the age of fourteen, he was a member of a winning string quartet at the Prague International Competition. The quartet later performed at all the major concert halls in Leningrad as well as on radio and television.

Since moving to New York in 1979, Briskin has continued to perform in the US and Europe. He lives with his family in Bronxville and teaches cello at The Bronxville School.

Briskin has also performed with popular stars including Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, and Sammy Davis Jr. He was a cellist in the Broadway productions of Kiss of the Spider Women and Titanic.

One music critic wrote that "through his personality and playing, cellist Eugene Briskin imbued this performance with life and vitality."

Pictured here:  Cellist Eugene Briskin.

Photo courtesy Friends of the Bronxville Public Library

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