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.

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 7.35.53 AM


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.

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 7.45.07 AM

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

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 7.47.50 AM


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.


Kickin’ It with the Rockettes


Dancehampton troupe photos courtesy Dancehampton. 

On Saturday, more than a dozen Dancehampton company dancers headed in to the city to catch the Rockettes’ “Christmas Spectacular” at Radio City Music Hall.


After the show, all 14 young dancers got treated to a serious advanced class, which included choreography from the “Spectacular,” taught by a pair of the famous high kickers. Included was a jazz routine, kick routine, a tap number and beats from the classic “Wooden Soldiers” routine.

According to Dancehampton Director Kelly Hren, following the two-hour class the talented Dancehampton troupe members also participated in a mock audition where they performed in groups of four and were given feedback from the Rockettes. What a holiday highlight!


Three Fun Things for Thursday


The “Younger” cast includes Miriam Shor, Hilary Duff, Moly Bernard, Sutton Foster, Nico Tortorella, Debi Mazar and Peter Hermann. 

I’ll admit it, I’m obsessed with the TV show “Younger” on TV Land. Have you seen it? I guarantee that you’ll absolutely adore it if you watch. The premise is that Sutton Foster (love her!)  plays Liza, a 40-year-old woman can’t find a job in publishing, so she tells a little white lie and passes for a 26-year-old. Boom, she gets work but has to keep her real truths a secret, which gets pretty complicated pretty fast.
Anyway, last night’s season three finale, “Get Real,” heavily featured the Hamptons. Liza and the gang, including age-appropriate crush, Charles, played by Peter Hermann (who has a house out here with wife, Mariska Hargitay), head out to the Hamptons for a book fair, romance and lots of aerial shots of the coastline. East End places seen in the episode: the Stephen Talkhouse, inside and out, and what looks to be the Amagansett Square and oceanside in Montauk. Talked about: The Surf Lodge and the East Hampton Library. Cool.
Here’s a little taste of the show.
88b94b9c-da48-4343-8ce7-330baee53109Want to talk about cookies with a pro? Then head to Rogers Mansion in Southampton today, Thursday, December 15, for a Cookie Exchange with Kathleen King, former owner of Tate’s Bake Shop, who will talk about the delicious dessert treats. There’s a bit of prep involved though. You need to RSVP for the 4 p.m. event, and bake up and bring 2 to 3 dozen festively decorated cookies made from scratch for swapping (no mixes). Also, bring copies of your recipes, a tray to display your cookies and a container to take them home. Refreshments will be served and space is limited.
And lastly, want a cute read or a great holiday present for the kids from an East End local? Then pick up a copy of “The Christmas Odd Box” by Anna Jurinich. The story and charming illustrations are all done by the North Fork author, painter and art instructor. Better yet, the children’s book that she spent 14 years imagining comes from her own real-life experience and feelings about accepting and embracing our differences. It’s a read that is sure to engage and entertain, as well as provoke some thoughtful discussions.

Photos: Polar Bear Plunge 2016


Mother Nature couldn’t have gotten it any more perfect for the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Southampton this morning. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and the water was about 10 degrees warmer than the air. All in all, a pretty wonderful day to take a dip. And it was all for a wonderful cause — raising money for Human Resources of the Hamptons. Missed it? Then I hope you enjoy these fun photos I had the pleasure of taking this morning. Please check back later for official stats and money raised.

Polar Bear Plunge & Other Hot Picks


From a Polar Bear Plunge of yore. Dawn Watson photos. 

Brrrrrrr. It’s that time of year again so strip down to your skivvies (of the bathing suit variety please) and head to Coopers Beach in Southampton tomorrow morning for the annual Polar Bear Plunge. The 13th annual festivities start with registration at 9:30 a.m. and the cannon fire will tell us that it’ll be time to take the Plunge at 10 a.m. sharp. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Human Resources of the Hamptons.



Also happening this weekend, the Hampton Ballet Theatre School‘s production of “Nutcraker” at Guild Hall in East Hampton. The popular holiday-themed ballet will stage on Friday, December 9, at 7 p.m., Saturday, December 10, at 1 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 11, at 2 p.m.

On the stage in Quogue, the Hampton Theatre Company presents “Joy to the World,” an evening of holiday readings to celebrate the wonders of the season, tonight, Friday, December 9, starting at 7 p.m.



Beautiful scenes of wintertime will be on display over at the Southampton Cultural Center, with an opening reception planned for the East End Arts Invitational Art Exhibition “Island Winters” on Friday, December 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. The show features the work of five regional award-winning photographic artists: Paul Dempsey,  Michael McLaughlin, James Sabiston,  Steven Schreiber and James Slezak.


LTV in Wainscott is throwing a shindig tonight, Friday, December 9, in celebration of its 32nd year. Want to go? RSVP right now to  info@ltveh.org. And bring a non-perishable food item with you as admission, which will be donated to a local food pantry.

The Maureen’s Haven Ugly Sweater Party and Winter Fundraiser will be held at the Greenport Brewery on Friday, December 9, from 7 to 10 p.m. Have a beer, enjoy some cheer, and help raise money for this worthy nonprofit organization whose mission is to fight homelessness on Long Island.



The Southampton Historical Museum is hosting its annual Hearthside Cheer Holiday at the Rogers Mansion on Saturday, December 10, at 5:30 p.m. This year’s big shebang will be a Festive Fifties Party, inspired by the decade, not the age. Dress in 1950s attire to amp up the neato fun.



Another popular regular returns to the stage, after being away for too long, to the delight of its fans all over the East End. This weekend  The East End Special Players bring an original production, “Trouble in Jamaica,” to Bay Street in Sag Harbor on Saturday, December 10, at 5 p.m.

On Saturday, December 10, the Southampton Arts Center will host  “An Evening of Cabaret with Valerie diLorenzo” starting at 7 p.m. The multi-award-winning NYC cabaret artist, accompanied by Steven Silverstein, will present an evening of songs, stories, and laughter as she muses on her journey through the Great American songbook and the history behind some of our best loved songs. Composers featured in the concert will include Stephen Sondheim, Kander & Ebb, Joni Mitchell, Irving Berlin, and Elvis Presley, to name a few.

yawp-high-school-2015Also, it’s that time of year again for YAWP. The  Young Artists and Writers Project High School Playwrights Festival will be held on Saturday, December 10, at 7 p.m. at the Avram Theater at Stony Brook Southampton. This year’s program will include six short plays written and performed by local, NYC and international high school students, including those from YAWP playwriting classes at Pierson High School and Eastport South Manor,  the YAWP Summer Workshops at Stony Brook Southampton, and the recent YAWP Scriptwriting Retreat, which included students from Pierson, the Harlem Educational Activities Fund  in New York City and Robert College of Istanbul, Turkey.

Lastly, here are two more  — a Gift Making event for kids at the Montauk Library and a Holiday Trunk Show featuring a few of our friends. Cheers!





History Gets Its Due (and $$) in Southampton


Photo by Emma Ballou

Congrats to the Southampton Historical Museum, which is the beneficiary of a big money grant, courtesy The Gardiner Foundation. The amount is $50,500 of matching grant dollars, to be used for the restoration of the Red Creek Schoolhouse located on the grounds of the Rogers Mansion Museum Complex in the Village of Southampton.

On Tuesday, the Historical Museum shared that Katherine Curran, executive director of the Gardiner Foundation, gave the check to Tom Edmonds, executive director of the Southampton Historical Museum. Witnesses included Bob Beck, president of the Southampton Historical Museum and Stephen Funsch, village administrator for the Village of Southampton.


Stephen Funsch, Tom Edmonds, Katherine Curran and Bob Beck. Photo courtesy Bob Beck

Here’s a bit of history, and a timeline, in case you’re interested:

The schoolhouse was originally constructed in the 1830s to house 40 schoolchildren in the historic village of Red Creek located on the Peconic Bay near the border of Hampton Bays and Flanders. Shipbuilding was the main industry in Red Creek. Between the 1820s and 1870s, Red Creek was an industrious, self-sustaining community with a blacksmith, shoemaker, farmers, carpenters, boatmen, fishermen, baymen, sailors, a general store, a church, and an oil factory. As the whaling industry declined in late 19th century the community of Red Creek disappeared. The schoolhouse is all that remains of Red Creek. It was purchased by the Southampton Historical Museum in 1953 and moved to the Rogers Mansion Museum Complex on Meeting House Lane in the Village of Southampton.

1738 Red Creek laid out by Town proprietors as part of Canoe Place Division.

1795  Jesse & John Terry move to Red Creek and begin buying property

1825 Red Creek develops a city grid layout around existing homes

1830s Terry family develops a thriving shipbuilding business, Red Creek Schoolhouse built

1869 Railroad service begins in Hampton Bays and Red Creek begins its decline

1926 William Hubbard buys the schoolhouse for $100 to store boats

1953 William Hubbard sells the schoolhouse for $400 to the Southampton Historical Museum and the building is moved to its current location in the Village of Southampton.

Today, the schoolhouse is become a popular attraction for Southampton classroom visits to learn education and work activities of Southampton children from nearly 200 years ago.The restoration will preserve this historic building and ensure that it is appreciated by people of all ages. The Southampton Historical Museum was able to match the $50,500 through the sale of the White House on Main Street in Southampton, which was a 2012 bequest.  The Rogers Mansion Museum Complex is one of four properties of the Southampton Historical Museum. Located at 17 Meeting House Lane in the Village of Southampton, it is open March through December, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11 am to 4 pm.

The Best Dance Show That You’re Missing

I am pleased as punch that I got first-row tickets to this past Saturday’s DanceFusion performance at the Southampton Cultural Center. Wow! I’ve been to a couple of these shows now and I’e been blown away every time. Seriously, we’ve got superpro-level dancing being staged for us right here in the Hamptons and hardly anyone seems to know. I’m telling you now, it’s here and it’s amazing. If you like Dancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, any of those other dance-related television shows, or if you’re of the mind to head into the city to catch a performance, then do yourself a favor and check out DanceFusion right here on the East End.

On Saturday, we were treated to the artistic endeavors of FJK Dance, a New York-based pro troupe. The dancers performed two programs–Take Two, which was inspired by ballroom elegance and glamour and adding in plenty of drama and mystery and featured music by Dave Brubeck, John Klemmer and Benny Goodman, and Dum Talk, which included a percussive combination of Middle Eastern drum and Latin salsa and featured music by Mario Kirlis and Johnny Arraj. It was cool and I’m glad I got to go. Unfortunately that was the last program of the year  but I do hope that you make sure to check out the series when the 2017 DanceFusion season begins. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

*Pardon the video quality. I shot it on my iPhone. Thank you Laura Devinney for all your incredible efforts with launching and supporting this program, and for the great seats!