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Bruce the Blog

January 15, 2020

Like a famous, old candy bar commercial sang, “Sometimes you feel like a nut… sometimes you don’t.” For the times you do, though, a stage farce is the ticket to let yourself go, as you go along in totally suspended disbelief with the hellzapoppin hijinks on stage. After all, who says grown-ups ...

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“Fairy tales can come true, they can happen to you, if you’re…” yold at heart?  Wait a sec. Isn’t that song lyric—written by Carolyn Leigh, made famous by Frank Sinatra—supposed to be “young at heart”? True, but as a lover of words, I was smitten when I came across this odd little coinage of ...

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[Job candidate enters room, begins to sit…] HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER (HR): Remain standing, please, and tell me something I may not have heard before about this company. JOB CANDIDATE (JC): Can I use my phone? HR: This isn’t Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. There’s no lifeline call. Thank you for ...

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Attached to the law of supply and demand is the corollary law of surplus and shortages.  One of the most memorable — and bizarre — examples is the Cabbage Patch Kids craze of 1983 that caused near-riots in department stores as parents almost literally fought each other tooth-and-nail to get ...

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“Youth league umpire walks off the field after parents continuously berate him” That was the headline of a recent story in USA Today. In an accompanying video of the incident, the umpire says to the temper-tantrum parents, “If you want to have a game here, quiet down.” One parent ...

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Every so often in this space, I like to fill it with random things going on near and far and in between. You might even find some of it interesting, or already know what I’m just finding out. Either way, maybe there are nuggests here that’ll help with your next cocktail party conversation (does ...

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“An American in Paris,” on stage at Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford (N.Y.) through Nov. 24, has the kind of purebred pedigree that would make a French poodle proud. (Ticket info: 914-592-2222; BroadwayTheatre.com). This show’s resplendent roots reach back nearly a century to a ...

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“A Doll’s House,” by immortal dramatist Henrik Ibsen, sent shock waves through strait-laced, late-19th Century European society by having an oppressed mother of two leave her family as the curtain came down, leaving audiences of the time in disbelief.  “A Doll’s House Part 2” (ADH2) by Lucas ...

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When the indomitable comedian Betty White (now 97) hosted Saturday Night Live nine years ago, she acknowledged the power of social media in thrusting her onto the iconic show.  “I have so many people to thank for being here,” she began her monologue, “but I really have to thank Facebook. When I ...

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Northern Westchester commuters traveling Metro North Railroad’s Hudson River line will recognize the name Philipse Manor as one of the stations along the route, nested in the town of Sleepy Hollow. For a passerby, what else is there to know? Well, there’s this… In the latter half of the 18th ...

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What does a writer do when an elegy to the mother he lost at a tender age 60 years ago touches so many who read it that their effusive and compassionate responses warm his heart?  He expresses his gratitude at the next available opportunity. Like now. Gratitude to those who took the time to ...

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Mr. Parker Penguin Rep Theatre. Stony Point, N.Y. Through Oct. 6. PenguinRep.org Talk about creating a palpable sense of place through the artistry of stagecraft. As soon as I took my seat and saw the set for Michael McKeever’s play, Mr. Parker, I immediately assumed the funky little apartment, ...

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What does a little boy who has lost his mother do?  He grows up.  He grows up wondering what kind of person he might have become had his mother survived beyond his elementary school years.  He grows up not remembering exactly what he called her—mom? mommy?  He grows up not remembering ...

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A very strong case can be made that anti-Semitism is not simply about prejudice towards a particular ethnic group—those of Jewish extraction.  A very strong case can be made that anti-Semitism is in fact emblematic of what quickly can turn into the hatred of peoples of all stripes. If hatred of ...

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Every so often, I crack Whys. I have a thing about cerain things, including, but not limited to… motorists behaving boorishly, language misuse, and a creeping disregard for simple civility. Now, you might say I’m the one who’s boorish for bringing up petty grievances. You might say I should get ...

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On Aug. 15, 1969, I finished the Friday shift at my summer job at Times Square Stores (TSS) in Hempstead, Long Island, picked up a couple of friends in my dad’s Plymouth, and off we went to the Catskills for (as the publicity poster proclaimed) “An Aquarian Exposition in White Lake, N.Y.,” better ...

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Folks not familiar with northern Westchester who hear the name Goldens Bridge easily could mistake it for merely a water crossing rather than the colorful name of a two-and-a-half square mile hamlet in the town of Lewisboro. What likely is not known even to longtime residents of Northern ...

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No sooner had I taken issue recently (in this space) with people of my generation (and older) who condescend to younger generations than I ran into yet another of those “big baby” Boomers. This refugee from the ’50s and ’60s was fairly oozing syrupy nostalgia about how idyllic and noble our ...

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Have you noticed that there’s a whole cottage industry of folks out there whose job they think it is to tell the rest of us how to do our job—or how to get through our day. If you haven’t noticed it, as I have, then you must be too busy actually getting work done without their help. What were you ...

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Author’s Note: The new historical book profiled here is the subject of a Peekskill Museum program at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 14, at 124 Union Ave., Peekskill. Speakers include past Peekskill historian John Curran, Robin Goldsand, Charles Newman, and Ted Ruback. Admission is free. Books will be ...

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I wince when I hear Boomers spout this or that stereotype about Millennials. I do the same when I hear Millennials return the favor in the other direction. I am the ghostwriter on a book being released Aug. 6 titled “Fisch Tales: The Making of a Millennial Baby Boomer,” by Bob Fisch, MBB ...

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Ethics is a funny word. Not ha-ha funny. Unknowable funny. One person’s abiding sense of ethics is another’s shortcut to a quick buck, perhaps, or to gaining an advantage at someone else’s expense. Let’s consider the “shortcut-to-a-quick-buck” ethics question. If you found a lost wallet, would ...

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If you’re a music fan who is near Elmsford anytime soon, and you see a conga line snaking its way through the streets, you might want to join it. They’ll be on their way to Westchester Broadway Theatre, where “On Your Feet” is bringing audiences to their feet with the inspirational story of Emilio ...

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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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