GIVING THE GIFT: Entertainment

Being in NYC’s backyard, we in Westchester are doubly-blessed. Close to the big blow-out events, closer to that same range of talent, in a more intimate setting, with a lot less hassle.

Be it comedy, drama, music or dance-the gift of entertainment is unexpected, both open-ended and specific, and always the right size. PLUS-because outdoor activities are limited in the winter, theater schedules are usually the fullest, so lots to choose from.

Gift certificates can be purchased in any amount at the box offices, or online; check with theaters for any subscription offers they may have. Wrap a great idea creatively, to surprise that special someone, how about tucking it inside a big box of Good and Plenty, or Jujubes?

Here are a few good local places to start your search…with Christmas 8 days away, don’t delay!

The Emlin Theater in Mamaroneck is in it’s 39th year of providing quality entertainmentof all varieties. One third of their programs are children/family-friendlyl their Family Subscription discounts 20% for 5 or more of the many, many upcoming kids shows.

Jacob Burns Film Center  Located in the heart of Pleasantville, I have written about this gem before. Very thoughtfully chosen mix of films, but of special note are their festivals-a chosen topic or star is featured in various works over say two weeks. Also-‘An Evening With’ series, where actors/directors view a film with the audience and then Q&A.

Paramount Center for the Arts  Debuting in June of 1930, the Paramount has been fully, beautifully and lovingly restored this past decade-just walking in and sitting down is a pleasure.

Great selection of music, theater, dance, and courtesy of Franzoso Contracting, Free Movie Nights, and looking into the future, I have 2 words: Englebert Humperdink. (4/27/11, REALLY).

 Tarrytown Music Hall  Opened in 1885, this is another historic treasure. Work to historically renovate and green update is on-going, and the craftsmanship is something to behold.

They typically draw 80,000 visitors annually, almost half of them children. Over the years we have seen Dave Brubeck, Dave Bromberg, several classic movies. They are ringing in the New Year big-time with Greg Allman, and have a heck of a schedule in the months to come.

Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase  If I had to define a difference, PAC shows are uncommonly good.

Ballet, opera, chamber music and symphonies, make up the bulk of their programming, often hosting artists from around the world. But  I also saw the late comedian George Carlin there 2002. And Pilobolus is coming!!