Hamptons Hot Picks for the Weekend


“Montauk Top” by Dawn Watson.

It’s Friday. And that means it’s Hot Picks time.

Topping my personal list for the weekend is the opening of “Natural Abstractions + Landscape Loves” at the Montauk Library tonight, Friday, March 24, from 6 to 8 p.m., since it’s my show and all.  Please come if you can make it. Check out some of my newest work here. 

Portrait of Michael Holman by Rob Northway_shot in livingroom

Also tonight, which I’m sad to have to miss, is “Confessions of a Subculturalist,” written and performed by Michael Holman, at the Southampton Arts Center at 7 p.m.  Get tickets here. Tomorrow night at the SAC, it’s a “Live” show with Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage Trio, presented with The Jam Session, starting at 7 p.m. Click here for music tickets. 

And since we’re on the subject of theater and the performing arts, be sure to get your tickets for “Imagination,” now staging in Quogue courtesy the Hampton Theatre Company. It looks like a really good romantic thriller. Can’t wait to see it.

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Want some art by the late, great Don Saco? Saturday is the perfect day to pick up work from this true gentleman who was also  a commanding artist. Stop by 117 Cobb Isle Road in Water Mill starting at noon for an arts estate sale of his work.


And don’t let the title fool you (it nearly slipped past me, I’ll admit it), there’s what I’m sure will be a great reading of “May 39th” with the talented Chloe Dirksen and J. Stephen Brantley at the Malia Mills pop-up gallery in East Hampton on Saturday night too. Cool.

May 39 big1


Also on Saturday afternoon,  the Watermill Center will host an opening reception for William Stewart’s “Works on Paper” from 2 to 4 p.m.

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Then on  Saturday night, there’s a fundraiser at the Southampton Publick House for our friends at Our Fabulous Variety Show.

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And Saturday also marks the grand reopening of RJD Gallery, formerly of Sag Harbor and now on Main Street in Bridgehampton. The big to-do, which will feature lots of great art, plus cocktails, music and mingling,  starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. Especially now, I’ so glad to see art, and that comes with it, rising from the ashes. Literally in this case.







Also on Saturday, the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is hosting  award-winning songwriter and local favorite Gene Casey, who will give a concert at 8 p.m. in celebration of his newest album.



On Sunday at 6 p.m.,  Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor continuing 25 Years of Cinema with the Hamptons International Film Festival by screening one of my very favorite true-crime movies ever–“Heavenly Creatures.” Among other things, including budding lesbian love and matricide, it’s a film that marks the very first time I ever saw Kate Winslet on film. She is EXTRAORDINARY in this movie. If you haven’t seen it, make sure you catch it on Sunday or sometime soon.

It’s also the last Sunday Salon time of chanting, ayurvedic food and meditation with Kate Rabinowitz and Rameshwar Das in Bridgehampton. Here are the details for that:



And lastly, don’t forget that next week is East End Restaurant Week. Yum!  Click here to see the list of participating restaurants.


Summer Reading List


Since tomorrow is the fall equinox, I’m technically not out of time for this summer reading list, though I am not very timely as it relates to practicality. Apologies. It’s been a busy season.

Even though the autumn is upon us, there’s still plenty of time to head to the beach with your favorite book. Just pack a layer or two in case it gets slightly chilly. Since Labor Day, I’ve been doing my best to catch up on my stack of summer reading. I’ve managed to not just plow through a bunch of books by local authors/novels with East End connections but also to discover a few really, really great reads.

Here’s what’s been on my bedside table of late, in reading order. Thanks and apologies to the authors and press people who have been kept waiting.

“Living with Lexington” by Kristina Lindhe. I browsed through this beautiful coffee table book by one of our favorite frequent visitors from Sweden who also spends tons of time in East Hampton (yes, there are, surprisingly, a few of them) when I got it earlier in the summer. But then I revisited it the second I could, actually diving in the night of what was supposed to be our big tropical storm Hermine, right after my duties were completed at Grand Prix Day at the Hampton Classic. This book is gorgeous. And Kristina Lindhe, the Founder/CEO/Creative Director of The Lexington Company, is an absolute doll. The book is a perfect blend of her simply elegant style. Love it! So glad I own it.

“The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club” by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin. Hand-delivered to me by Bonnie Grice, our friend-in-common–who absolutely raved about this book–it became immediately clear to me that Ms. Bruce-Benjamin did her homework about the Hurricane of 1938, the history of the East End and the people who inhabited it at that time. The novel, a slow-burn thriller of sorts with a dash of Edith Wharton thrown in, really transported me and I enjoyed it immensely. Can’t wait to read what Ms. Bruce-Benjamin writes next.

“Bright, Precious Days” by Jay McInerney. Oh boy oh boy was I ever thrilled to dive in to this one. Having read and loved his two previous stories about the lives of Russell and Corrinne Calloway (as well as most of his other work in books and magazines too) I was champing at the bit to learn every little facet of these fascinating character’s lives. This third installment most definitely did not disappoint. Jay, please write more. And then more. And then more. Bravo!

“Learning From LongHouse” by Jack Lenor Larsen. Those who know me know how much I love LongHouse. I will treasure this book always. It’s a wonderful picture story interwoven with the genius of Jack Larsen, who is, in my opinion, the most significant textile designer gracing this planet today and a heck of a personal inspiration.

“Seinfeldia” by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong. I’ve always been a huge fan of the show, and still watch it when I can. What I like about this book is that it tells the story from inside, with lots and lots of great stories from the writers. It’s less a fan’s book about the actors, though there are plenty of interesting details there too, than it is a story about the people behind the scenes. Definitely not a book about nothing. I ripped through this book on the plane headed to a wine country trip to California and thoroughly enjoyed every page. I also read “The Inseparables” by Stuart Nadler and “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins on that trip and highly recommend both, though neither has a Hamptons connection that I know of, besides being on the shelves at our local libraries and bookstores.

I’ve still got a handful to read, including “Rembrandt’s Shadow” by Janet Lee Berg. That one’s on the top of my list, especially since Janet was the host of my old writing group years ago and I adore her. Plus, the based-on-a-true-story novel about stolen artwork and the Nazis looks to be absolutely riveting. After that, I’m diving in to “Shrink: The Autobiography of a Psychotherapist” by Dr. Martin Obler, with Jed Golden, and “Without a Head” of th “Dying To Be Beautiful” series by M. Glenda Rosen. Cheers to cracking open a good book or two.



Hamptons Hot Picks: May 20, 21 & 22


Joss Lake, courtesy Watermill Center.

The Watermill Center‘s got a big weekend of events planned. On Friday, May 20 at 6 p.m., New York-based novelist Joss Lake will present their process to the public in an open rehearsal. Lake’s work attempts to expand the art form by de/re-stabilizing gender, time, and the boundaries between the self and the other. At 7:30 p.m. German musician and composer Hans-Jörn Brandenburg will present his work pian-O-pera during an open rehearsal. The weekend will continue Saturday, May 21 at 1 p.m. with a guided tour of The Watermill Center’s building, grounds, gardens and art collection. Following the tour, at 3:30 p.m. dance artist Netta Yerushalmy will present her dance experiments. Then on Sunday, May 22, it’s the second installment of our the International Brunch Series, starting at noon with cocktails and a private tour of current resident artist Armando Mariño’s Sweet Dreams. Prepared by Watermill’s Chef-in-Residence Eva Schmidt, the menu is inspired by the local food culture of Long Island’s East End. Space is limited and reservations are required.  Following brunch at 3 p.m., Cuban visual artist Armando Mariño will present Sweet Dreams during an open showing.
“Beach Light: Paintings by Eileen Dawn Skretch” will open with a reception on Friday, May 20, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Sayre Barn at the Southampton Historical Museum. The exhibit will hang through October 23.
Pianist Yoonie Han will perform at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill’s Salon Series performance on Friday, May 20, at 6 p.m.The multi-award winning pianist will play works by Bach, Liszt, Saint-Saens, Chopin, and others in a program that spans nearly 300 years of Western music. On Saturday, May 21, the museum will offer Tideland Sessions–illustrated talks, an artist performance, a paper boat building workshop, and lunchtime conversations that unite artists, writers, scientists, historians, and the community in dialogues about environmental stewardship–from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in conjunction with the super cool Radical Seafaring exhibit.
Guild Hall in East Hampton is hosting Roz Dimon for a Digital Art: A New Dimension in Storytelling  Demonstration on Saturday, May 21, at 3 p.m. The artist will demonstrate the creative process behind her multi-layered digital drawings and paintings, deepening our understanding and appreciation of digital art. One of these pieces, Pale Male: A Pilgrimage, is in the permanent collection of the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
Jiayin Shen, Pianofest Distinguished Artist, will play a concert with works by Chen, Bach-Busoni, Schumann, Chopin and Liszt at the Southampton Cultural Center on Saturday, May 21, at 7 p.m.
Stride pianist Judy Carmichael hits the Bay Street stage in Sag Harbor with Grammy winner Billy Stritch on Saturday, May 21, at 8 p.m. The talented pair will be performing together for the first time. Read more about it in this week’s Sag Harbor Express.
As part of the Tom Twomey series, the East Hampton Library will host a live music “Harps, Harmonicas and Heavy Breathers: A History of the People’s Instrument” event with Kim Field and Randy Weinstein on Saturday, May 21, from 5 to 6 p.m.
The White Room Gallery  in Bridgehampton is hosting performances by Chartwell Dutiro on Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21.

Madoff and OJ — Two Notorious Stories with East End Ties


Richard Dreyfuss and Blythe Danner hit the beach in “Madoff.”

Those of you who like (possibly) good TV about bad stuff going down are in for double the guilty pleasure this week. “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” series premiers tomorrow night, Tuesday, February 2, on FX and “Madoff” will air on two consecutive nights, Wednesday and Thursday, February 3 and 4, on ABC.

Though “Madoff” is clearly strongly connected to the Hamptons, both of these notorious stories actually have considerable East End ties.

The four-hour “Madoff” series has been reported to be based on the 2009 book “The Madoff Chronicles: Inside the Secret World of Bernie and Ruth,” by Brian Ross. The series stars Richard Dreyfuss as Montauk-based Bernie Madoff and Blythe Danner (who lives right here and whom we’ve seen on at Guild Hall in East Hampton a bunch of times in various shows and such) as his wife, Ruth. Look also for Lewis Black and Peter Scolari–I’ve interviewed both of them. Cool.

“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” is a limited series that takes you inside the O.J. Simpson trial with a riveting look at the legal teams battling to convict or acquit the football legend of double homicide. Based on the book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin, it explores the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution overconfidence, defense shrewdness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.

It’s from Executive Producers Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski and Brad Falchuk (Gwyneth’s new guy), and stars John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr., Sarah Paulson (who plays Marcia Clark and was last seen on the Bay Street stage), David Schwimmer, Courtney B. Vance, Sterling Brown, Nathan Lane  who owns a house in East Hampton Village and who looks awesome as F. Lee Bailey), Kenneth Choi, Christian Clemenson and Bruce Greenwood.



Women Will Rock at Bay Street


Mama Lee in action. 

Have you gotten your tickets yet for the East End Ladies of Rock concert tomorrow night, Friday, January 15, at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor? If you want to catch Mama Lee, Dawnette, Lilly-Anne Merat and Jewlee, then you better do it now before it’s too late.


Jewlee gets down. 

Tickets are $20 and available online at www.baystreet.org or by calling the Bay Street Theater Box Office at 631-725-9500, open Tuesday through Saturday 11 am to 5 pm.

Want more? Here’s an audio sample by Lilly-Anne Merat:

Hamptons Hot Picks

The cast of It's A Wonderful Life

The cast of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” now staging at the Southampton Cultural Center. Photo by Dane Dupuis.

I’ve got some good stuff to share for this weekend. And since there’s no time like the present, let’s jump right in!

* Center Stage at Southampton Cultural Center presents Joe Landry’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a live radio play, opening tonight, Friday, November 20,  at 7 p.m. The show stages again on Saturday, November 21, at 2, 5 and 7 p.m.; Sunday, November 22, at 2 and 5 p.m.; and again next weekend. Michael Disher directs this 70-minute presentation,  which is perfect family fare for this holiday season. The show stars: Daniel Becker, Rich Gardini, Colette Gilbert, Kristin Guldi, Barbara Jo Howard, Joan Lyons, Bill Kitzerow, Chris McCLain, Deborah Marshall, Robert Nelson, Tramar Pettaway, Amie Sponza, Kristin Whiting, Scout Whiting, Scott Wilson and Edna Winston. Tickets are $ 20 general admission and $10 for students under 21 with ID. Three-course dinner/theater packages from The Plaza Cafe–what a great ways to do up a show– are also available on Fridays for a mere $59, which includes dinner, tax,  gratuity and ticket to the show.

Preston Truman Boyd and Joe Pallister in “Of Mice and Men,” now staging at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. Photo by Jerry Lamonica.

* And Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor is also still staging its terrific Literature Live! production of “Of Mice and Men” through the end of the month. Based on John Steinbeck’s book of the same name, the play is directed by Joe Minutillo and stars: Preston Truman Boyd, Joe Pallister, Terry Brockbank , Josh Gladstone, Jon Kovach , J. Stephen Brantley, Georgia Warner, Sawyer Spielberg, Chauncy Thomas, and furry friends Roscoe, Charlie and Daisy (read more here). It’s a must-see show.

* Speaking of must-sees, on Sunday, Guild Hall in East Hampton will host a gallery talk between artist Cornelia Foss and Museum Director/Chief Curator Christina Strassfield at noon. The work is good and the venue is always a favorite. Even if you can’t make the talk, make sure to stop by and check it out while the exhibit hangs through January 3, 2016. Read more in this piece I wrote for the Sag Harbor Express.


Author Daniel Simone will talk about the infamous Henry Hill and his heist at the East Hampton Library on Sunday.

* Another super cool thing to do on Sunday — Author Daniel Simone will discuss his book, “The Lufthansa Heist,” which will be followed by a screening of the film “Goodfellas” at the East Hampton Library from noon to 4 p.m. Get the inside story as told by mob man Henry Hill himself, who organized the crime  and then worked on the book with Simone up until his death in 2012. I met this guy when I worked on a documentary film many, many moons ago and let me tell you, he was an absolute trip! But wait, there’s more!  East Hampton resident Ed McDonald, former US Attorney in charge of the 1978 Lufthansa robbery (which was the biggest unrecovered cash haul in history) will also be there to field questions from the audience.

Hot Picks: Most Active Weekend Summer of 2015

Looking at the spate of events to attend this weekend, tonight and tomorrow might just prove to be the biggest bangs of the entire summer. Here’s my list of the hottest events. More to come on Sunday. In the meantime, stay cool and stay safe.


The Voxare String Quartet will perform at LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton tonight. Greg Kessler photo.

* LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton will host the Voxare Quartet for “Strings al Fresco: an Evening of Remembrance of Ingeborg ten Haeff” tonight, Friday, August 7, beginning at 6 p.m. www.longhouse.org

Guild Hall's annual summer benefit is tonight. Roy LIchtenstein's "Water Lilies with Japanese Bridge."

Guild Hall’s annual summer benefit is tonight. Roy LIchtenstein’s “Water Lilies with Japanese Bridge.”

* Guild Hall’s annual Summer Benefit is tonight. The event, honoring artist Roy Lichtenstein and with a special preview exhibition of “”Between Sea and Sky,” will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. at a private East Hampton estate. www.guildhall.org

* The New York Center for Children’s annual Sunflower Party in Southampton, hosted by Henry Buhl, is tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. www.newyorkcenterforchildren.org

* The Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum will host an opening reception for “East End Artists: Then & Now” from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, August 7. The show, which features works by Linda Alpern, Peter Beard, Miriam Dougenis, Robert Gwathmey, Tracy Harris, Jimmy Ernst, Anna Jurinich, Roy Lichtenstein, Louise Peabody, and more, will hang through August 23. www.sagharborwhalingmuseum.org

BOOK HAMPTON_August_7_2015-2

* BookHampton in East Hampton will host a book signing and reception for Sandra Nunnerley on Friday, August 7, from 8 to 9 p.m. www.bookhampton.com

Be Our Guest - Meadowcroft - credit Carol Garone2

The WHB PAC summer benefit will be held at Meadowcroft on Quiogue. Photo by Carol Garone.

* The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center’s sixth annual Be Our Guest Gala will be held at a private estate on Quiogue on Friday, August 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. www.whbpac.org

Copyright Lenny Stucker

A scene from “Grey Gardens,” now staging at Bay Street in Sag Harbor. Image copyright Lenny Stucker.

* Reminder: “Grey Gardens,” starring Betty Buckley and Rachel York, is now staging at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. Buy your tickets now as the show is selling out FAST, with good reason. Here’s my preview from the Sag Harbor Express. http://sagharboronline.com/heights-of-glamor-depths-of-depravity-in-grey-gardens/ Look for my review in the next issue. www.baystreet.org


Authors Night will be held on Saturday to benefit the East Hampton Library.

Authors Night will be held on Saturday to benefit the East Hampton Library.

* The East Hampton Library’s annual Authors Night benefit, featuring approximately 100 of the most notable and interesting writers today, will be held on Saturday, August 8, starting at 5 p.m. Dinners at a number of private homes will be held after the book signing event. www.authorsnight.org.

* The Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons will celebrate another year of rehabilitating and successfully releasing animals back into the wild across Long Island with its annual GET WILD Summer Gala. The event will be hosted by the Marder family at the Silas Marder Gallery in Bridgehampton on Saturday, August 8,and will honor artists April Gornik, Eric Fischl, Amy Sullivan and Real Estate Broker Susan Penzner. www.wildliferescuecenter.org

Boz Scaggs plays the PAC in Westhampton Beach on Saturday. Danny Clinch photo.

Boz Scaggs plays the PAC in Westhampton Beach on Saturday. Danny Clinch photo.

* Grammy Award-winner and gritty southern soul rocker Boz Scaggs performs at Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on Saturday, August 8, at 8p.m.  www.whbpac.org.

"Right On: The Lennon Years" will open at Mulford Farm in East Hampton on Saturday night.

“Right On! The Lennon Years” by photographer Susan Wood will open at Mulford Farm in East Hampton on Saturday night.

An opening reception for “Right On! The Lennon Years Photographs by Susan Wood 1968 – 1978” will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at Mulford Farm Museum in East Hampton. The show will hang through October 18. www.easthamptonhistory.org

* Eric Firestone Gallery in East Hampton will hold an opening reception for “All Killer No Filler” from 6 to 9 p.m. The group show features work by: Shoplifter, Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, Derrick Adams, Rosson Crow, Sylvie Fleury, Rico Gatson, Michelle Grabner, Carlos Rolón, Dzin, Miriam Schapiro, Tony Tasset, Nari Ward and Wendy White. www.ericfirestonegallery.com