Monday, October 19, 2009, 03:53 PM - Posted by AdministratorI'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
A lovely night,
A lovely night,
A finer night you know you'll never see.
Two perfect sentiments for Thursday, October 15th, the night of the Emelinís annual benefit! As the raindrops of the seasonís first nor'easter fell, nearly 300 friends gathered for an evening full of music, flowers, wonderful food, and lots of fun. Some highlights? We honored Rita Houston, whose gracious acceptance speech for the 2009 Bravo Award for Excellence in Service to the Arts, reminded us that the arts reach out and touch people in all different ways at all different times of our lives, and that we are always enriched for it. President Mark Ettenger offered a moving remembrance of Seth Kaplan, the Emelin's co-president who passed away in August. Debbie Chapin's lively and hysterical stint as our auctioneer raised record amounts of money to assist in technological improvements to the theater. Frank Soriano and the House of Flowers dazzled all of us with spectacular decorations, full of roses and lilies and candles. And there was much, much more! Thank you to everyone for making the night such a great party and such a rousing success for the theater. We can't wait for next year!
Here are a few photos...stay tuned for more! (Photos by Ric Kallaher)
Performer Todd Londagin with Honoree Rita Houston
Emelin Board of Trustees President Mark Ettenger
Monday, October 12, 2009, 06:03 PM - Posted by AdministratorAs expected, the Wailers show was a blast! They put on an incredible show that had the crowd dancing in the aisles (literally)!
For your enjoyment, we have prepared a little video/photo montage of their performance, featuring the Wailers incredible live version of Redemption Song.
Here are a few photos from the post-show meet & greet at Molly Spillane's:
Check out more photos!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009, 10:20 AM - Posted by AdministratorWelcome to our first episode of our video blog, Inside the Emelin! In this episode, Production Manager Justin Stronk teaches how to hang a stage light from the Emelin catwalks. Hope you aren't afraid of heights (unlike our not-so-fearless cameraman/Marketing & Creative Director, Adrien)!
Friday, September 25, 2009, 08:59 AM - Posted by Administrator
I'm Arnie Fleischer, and I book the bluegrass concert series at the Emelin. It's truly a labor of love for me, because I've been an old-time and bluegrass musician myself for over 45 years. I started playing the 5-string banjo while in college and was a member of an active NYC-based band for five years in the late 1970s. I love the fact that my favorite music is available at the Emelin, just up the road from New Rochelle, where I live. And obviously I'm not alone in thinking that, because the bluegrass audience is one of the Emelin's mainstays, the most enthusiastic and loyal audience any theater could wish for.
I couldn't be more excited about the state of bluegrass at the Emelin.
With its 28th season about to start in just a few weeks, the Emelin's bluegrass concert series is one of the longest-running bluegrass events in the country. The series was started by then-Mamaroneck resident J. Jay Mautner and the NYC-based bluegrass promoter Doug Tuchman in the early 1980s. After Doug's untimely death, I was honored when the Emelin asked me if I would be interested in booking the series. The upcoming season is the fourth that I have booked, and, as with its predecessors, I've tried to put together a series that includes traditional and contemporary bluegrass, familiar artists and newcomers, and at least one of the women artists who have become more and more prominent in bluegrass in recent years.
But that's not the only reason I'm excited. By the time you read this I'll be in Nashville for my annual trip to the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) Business Conference, Awards Show and Fan Fest. Not only will I get to reunite with bluegrass friends from literally all over the world, I'll get to play more banjos than I can count and to help out at the booth of Paul and David Hopkins, the folks who made my primary banjo. And I'll be up late every night checking out showcasing bands for possible bookings at the Emelin ... and maybe, just maybe, slipping in a little jamming on the side.
Hope to see you all in October. Remember, bluegrass rules!
Monday, September 21, 2009, 04:54 PM - Posted by Administrator
You know what makes the Emelin staff unique? Bionicles. Yep. Lego toys that shoot things are the talismans (talismen?) of nearly every staff member, providing good karma, various bad jokes, and a DMZ on every desk.
Mine came from my daughter, who gave it to me last December: a gift, she wrote, ďfrom the new job fairy.Ē Itís orange and gray, and somewhere along the line, it acquired a just-made-to-scale fast food milkshake. Charles, the Company Manager and Box Office Emperor, got his from Justin, the Production Tsar. I donít know where Justinís came from, or where Susan, Administrative Wizard, got hers. Bridget Bettke, Bookkeeper to the Stars, brought hers from home, of mysterious origins. And weíre all secretly plotting how to get one into Adrienís office (he wrote the last blog, so Iíll let you read that), since he seems to think that his statuette of Stewie from ďFamily GuyĒ serves the same purpose and we donít want to tell him how misguided that is. So anyhow, my Bionicle is useful to bend and shape and re-position as Iím thinking about what acts to book, or how weíre going to make technology upgrades to the theater, or whether our customer service statistics indicate that weíre reaching our goals.
It also makes me realize, this unnamed Bionicle from space, that Iíve been with the Emelin community now for nearly a yearís time. When I arrived last December, the Emelin was already mid-season, a full slate of shows booked by my predecessors that would see us through the end of May. Now, weíre ready to launch into a new season, and because I was the one who booked it (although lots of peopleís ideas are in it!), it feels like my first season. Iíve been booking performance series for a really long time (my daughter wasnít even around to give me a Bionicle for the first one), but thereís really nothing more exciting than getting a fresh new start Ė and thatís just what this feels like.
Iím excited about everything in the upcoming season, as you might expect, but if I had to pick one thing (and Adrien says I do), then I would definitely pick the dance series. Anybody out there remember being a little girl in a tutu and sequins and dreaming of being a ballerina? Well, long before I wanted to be a Bionicle, I had my teeny heart, and my two left feet, absolutely set on the path to dancing glory. Long after that dream died an entirely natural and painless death, I still find myself drawn to the wonders of dance. This season, there are three dance shows in the series, although, if you look hard, youíll find that Iíve snuck a fourth one in under a different name. Here they are:
Fraulein Maria: This is a masterpiece. Itís fun, itís funny, and itís sublime. Doug Elkins and Friends have created the perfect paean to ďThe Sound of Music,Ē not to mention a tribute to and a parody of some of modern danceís contemporary masters. I took my daughter to see this at Joeís Pub last year, and by the time we left, we had both laughed so hard that our stomachs hurt. We looked at each other wide-eyed and said, at exactly the same time, ďthat was FANTASTIC.Ē If Hannah is willing to come to the Emelin to see a show that sheís already seen, you know itís got to be good.
Misnomer: Chris Elam, graduate of Mamaroneck High School and choreographer wunderkind, is a dancer and choreographer who knows how to reach audiences from all walks of life. When I saw his piece set to Greg Brownís music, I cried; itís a beautiful meditation on fatherhood and the passage of time and the things we keep and the things we love and the things that get blown away in the wind. And then, much to my surprise, when I saw him freeze his dancers in the next number, and then bark at them Ė ďEvolve!Ē Ė it was sheer comic genius. Itís accessible in that you donít necessarily need to know anything about modern dance, but it never talks down to anyone.
Soul Street: Now this one? Hmmm. Take some talented young dancers, give them bodies made of rubber and fantastic hip-hop and breakdancing moves, and thenÖ then set it to Vivaldi or Frank Sinatra! This show is for families, especially. The kids will gasp and ohhh and ahhh, and the parents wonít have to cover their ears when the music gets to the chorus. Itís charming, itís clever, and the music is sublime.
Iím not going to tell you what the fourth one is, because Iíve carefully hidden it in another series Ė so thatís a different conversation anyway. In the meantime, does anyone know if Lego ever sponsors the performing arts?
Executive Director, Emelin Theatre