It will soon be Dec. 23, and on that day Long Islanders will be waiting for the famous celebrity with a beard to make his appearance. Santa? No. Actually it’s country mega star Kenny Rogers. Keeping a 30-year tradition, the man famous for hits such as “The Gambler,” “Through the Years,” “You Decorated My Life,” and “Lady,” will be performing at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury. Rogers comes to Westbury every year right before Christmas, and it’s his last show of the year.
“It has great memories for me,” said Rogers of the Westbury Theater. “We have kids that started out with us 30 years ago, that are grown and have children. It’s really kind of fun to see some of them when we come in. Westbury has always been so good to us. There are very few cities that we work as many times as we have at Westbury
1. Before he became a famous country singer, Kenny Rogers’ first forays into music found him playing in a rockabilly group called The Scholars and the jazz combo The Bobby Doyle Trio.
2. Once a member of the folk group The New Christy Minstrels, Rogers’ fellow alumni include Kim Carnes, Barry McGuire and Gene Clark of The Byrds.
There’s a scene in the new Ed Burns film The Fitzgerald Family Christmas where Burns’ Gerry Fitzgerald takes baby brother Cyril to see the tenement their estranged father grew up in on Manhattan’s West Side. It’s a scene where members of this fictional South Shore family return to the New York City roots of their forefathers. It’s one of those semiautobiographical moments that Burns has become so adept at slipping into his movies and is based on a similar memory he had.
“Both my folks went to high school in Queens and the Bronx. They came out to Long Island but they were city kids, so they were always taking us back into Manhattan,” the writer/ director/actor explained. “My mom was a theater nut as well, so she was always going to see Broadway shows. My dad, being a cop in New York, would always take us in to walk around the Village and take us to this restaurant, that pizza place or in this case, the building where he grew up. We were always being told that Long Island is a great place for your childhood but your dreams will come true across the river. So once you were 18, we were told to get our asses into the city.”
There are certain filmmakers readily identifiable with representing the experiences of their particular ethnicities. Woody Allen and Paul Mazursky make movies about Judaism in a contemporary setting, Spike Lee and John Singleton are notable for filmographies steeped in African-American experiences past and present and Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola have churned out numerous Italian-American-themed projects, rightly or wrongly from an organized crime perspective. Blue-collar Irish families are the well of inspiration for Ed Burns. Throughout the 11 films that Burns has produced, directed and starred in, blue-collar Irish families have been his well of inspiration and the world that he’s most consistently represented on the big screen. The following are the former Valley Stream resident’s favorite cinematic children and the reasons why.
Sidewalks of New York (2001) – “It’s the film that most closely resembles the vision of the film I had in my head when I wrote the screenplay. I executed what I set out to do.”
Artists in America: Highlights of the collection from the New Britain Museum of American Art is on view at Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor from November 17 through February 24, 2013. The exhibition surveys 300 years of great American painting rarely seen on Long Island. Its 79 works dating from the early 1700s to the present include history painting, landscape, portraits, still life, and modernist abstraction with significant examples of photography, collage and other media. Major artists from every era of American art are on view, including John Singleton Copley, Charles Willson Peale, John Singer Sargent, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, Robert Motherwell and Sol LeWitt. All works in the exhibition are selected from the permanent collections of the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut. Nassau County Museum of Art’s presentation of Artists in America is organized by Museum Director Karl Emil Willers, working with Deputy Director Fernanda Bennett, Assistant Curator Rhianna Lee Ellis, and the curatorial interns Andrea Chang, Faith Natalie Friedfeld, Brett Garde, Elizabeth Shaja and Danielle Sweeny.
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