Bruce the Blog

June 14, 2019

When Lenny comes on stage at the start of the cunning and quirky play, “Companion Piece,” he is nervously trying to knot a necktie while addressing an unseen person in the bedroom from which he just emerged. Her name is Rosemary.  As the play progressed, I began wondering what happened to the ...

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In the 92 years of Academy Awards, there are but three films that have walked away with all five major Oscars. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is among that elite group. The stage version of “Cuckoo’s Nest,” by Dale Wasserman (he also wrote “Man of La Mancha”), is at Ridgefield Theater Barn in ...

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Author’s Note: Mom + Pop Culture are a couple of real characters. They could be you and me. Or our neighbors. Or not. Every so often, I eavesdrop on their conversations. Let’s listen in on what they’re saying right now about social media… POP CULTURE: Well, Mom, I think I’ve just about had it ...

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Watching “Art,” a highly stylized play by Yasmina Reza, is not unlike being courtside at a ferociously fought tennis match. Instead of a ball, the playwright’s sporting object of choice is language; or, rather, the use of language to weaponize points of view, emotions, intellect, and taste—or lack ...

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A compact musical like “Baby” is tailor-made for a local theater company like the Armonk Players. Best described as a cross between a book musical and a revue, “Baby” essentially is a series of sketches that are by turns compassionate and comic, chronicling the adventurous journey expectant ...

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You mean you haven’t heard of Billie Eilish?! What are you, retired? So, I’m in the gym working out with a couple of my buds—my earbuds, that is. Per usual, I revert to the songs of my youth, courtesy of Spotify. You mean you haven’t heard of Spotify? Well, let me tell you, if you enjoy ...

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Real estate developers are reticent types. Publicity hounds they are not. That role seems more suited to the reliable community antagonists who reflexively look askance at developers, as if the concrete notion of physical infrastructure assaults their abstract notion of civic purity. The ...

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The current generation of smartphones is concerned about your becoming too addicted to their many charms, also known as apps. On iPhones, for example, when the Screen Time setting is turned on, you can set voluntary time limits on app usage, and see Weekly Reports that quantify in minutes just ...

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There’s good news for Disney fans, musical theater fans, and just plain family-fun fans, at Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford. It’s “Newsies.” It’s there through May 26. And it’s well worth your pennies. (Well, that’s what newspapers cost in 1899, when this fact-based story takes place.) For ...

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What does a Pulitzer Prize play look like? That’s a good question, and there’s a great answer that’s playing now through April 13 in Armonk’s Whippoorwill Theater. It’s called Proof, by David Auburn, and it’s what the winner of a Pulitzer (as well as several Tony Awards and other top honors) also ...

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Coming off his Oscar nomination as director of “First Reformed,” veteran filmmaker Paul Schrader will discuss his celebrated career April 13 at the Hudson Valley Museum of Contemporary Art (Hudson Valley MOCA) in Peekskill. Sponsored by the Peekskill Film Festival, Schrader’s appearance is one ...

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Spring has sprung, at last, as a weary winter waves goodbye. For my wife, Elyse, daughter, Elissa, and me, it is a gross understatement to say that this time of year—this week specifically—tastes as bittersweet as life gets. Sixteen years ago, on March 20, the first day of spring, which ...

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Netflix popularized bingeing on TV series by making it easy to view entire seasons of episodes back to back, for hours at a time—if that’s your thing. My thing is seeing local live theater—and there is, thankfully, an increasing amount of it in the Hudson Valley. Last weekend, I binged on stage ...

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I was intrigued reading a recent Letter to the Editor from a Northern Westchesterite who had several suggestions for how a local shopping mall could up its game. The letter offered a sampling of stores the mall would be wise, in the reader’s estimation, to attract as tenants. A shoe repair ...

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I’m one of those film lovers who has been watching the Academy Awards telecast since I was high enough to reach the rotary tuner on our black-and-white Philco television. When I was the age Millennials are now, and a Manhattan single, I held Oscar parties in my Second Avenue apartment, with the ...

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No matter what you think of it politically, The Wall is an apt metaphor for America 2019. No, I’m not talking about that Wall. I’m talking about a figurative Wall that we put up collectively, creating a willful lack of empathy in how we view each other and treat each other. We’re perpetuating ...

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Some years ago, in a social setting, a philosophical question was put to me. It came, appropriately enough, from a clergyman. He asked me how I felt about evil. I felt I was put on the spot, and took the easy way out. I quickly replied with what I thought was the somewhat obvious answer: without ...

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The Arsonists Imagine if you had one last reprieve, after a parent’s sudden death, to bid your loved one farewell. That’s what the audience eavesdrops on in the highly stylized play, “The Arsonists,” by award-winning playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger, now at Denizen Theatre in New Paltz ...

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Has social media empowered incivility in our culture, or has it simply stripped bare what always has been there? Is there something about social media that acts like a hormone to ignite our lizard brains? Does it cause us to reflexively put up our verbal dukes in fight mode? It’s very ...

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A couple months ago in this space, I shared a few thoughts about local marketing best practices for outdoor signage. Let’s look at another aspect of how best to promote a product or event at the local level. One of the top books of 2018 is a fascinating composite study of corporate leaders, “The ...

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The president of a house of worship in Connecticut told me that a congregant, well past retirement age, who said he had been a very successful marketing executive, stood up at its annual meeting to comment on the need for a better marketing plan to attract more members. His remarks were not ...

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Welcome to 2019. I just got here myself, too. I know we’re a week in already, but the statute of limitations on treating a new year like the New Year doesn’t lapse until the fat baby sings, or cries. If “va-va-voom” means “interesting, exciting, or sexually appealing” (per dictionary.com), ...

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It’s that time of year when we address our anxieties by adopting New Year’s resolutions, an annual ritual whose infamous record of repeated failure in itself makes us anxious. What’s not to be anxious about? What defective part of my sorry self should I try to resolve (yet again)? Good luck ...

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The holidays are synonymous with family. That’s the general perception. Now it’s statistically backed up by research conducted by Pew Research Center. These questions were put to more than 4,700 people contacted a year ago: “Please take a moment to reflect on your life and what makes it feel ...

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If you want a crash course in Millennial World, I have just the ticket for you. Billed as an alternative comedy, it’s a play titled “Adaptive Radiation,” on stage through Dec. 30 at Denizen Theatre in New Paltz. (Ticket info: Denizentheatre.com/tickets; 845-303.4136). Although this is the ...

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Author’s Note: See a brief video interview with Adam DeSiena of Doc James Cigars on Facebook page Bruce The Blog. When Adam DeSiena graduated Pace University with a degree in psychology 25 years ago, he was uncertain about how to turn his education into a vocation. As he says, “You can’t do much ...

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If you think about it, we really don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the process of aging. What is there to think about? Apart from maintaining common-sense diets and regular exercise, not to mention a nip here and a tuck there, there’s not all that much we can do about aging. We wait for ...

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Halston Media papers on Thursday, Nov. 22. It’s that time of year when it seems every other person we run into voices the obligatory observation made almost in unison as November nears its middle: “It’s already Thanksgiving? How can that ...

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As a marketer, under APAR/PR, and as a private citizen, I come across promotional efforts by local organizations and individuals that cry out for help. Of course, non-profits count on donations and other groups solicit support of all kinds. What I mean in this case, though, is that the marketing ...

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Playwright Howard Meyer packs a lot of meaty food-for-thought into his new play, “Senescence,” which is having its premiere at Axial Theatre in Pleasantville, where it runs through Sunday, Nov. 18. As always in his work, there’s a lot on this writer’s mind, and it’s all there on stage, in the ...

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