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Children’s Museum Launches Friends Of The Theatre

A family from Oyster Bay recently had the unique opportunity to enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the theater at the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City. From the moment they entered the museum to their big moment in the spotlight, participants got to experience at least some of what the performers in the 145-seat theater do.

The tour, the very first of its kind, is an offering made exclusively available to Friends of the Theatre (FOTT) members. Theater Program Coordinator Cindy-Lou Edwards is overseeing the new initiative and says it was a way of thanking the families who have been coming for years to the programs at the theater.

The tour began when the participants entered through a secret door in the museum.

“Many of our staff don’t even know about this door,” said Theater Director Jim Packard.

On the other side, they found what is referred to in show business as the “green room,” although no one is quite certain why. According to Packard, one of the theories is that traditionally, the room where the performers wait for their time to go out on stage would have been outside on grass, hence the name.

Backstage, participants fiddled with the lighting and sound systems. On stage they experienced the magic of lighting. With lights of three colors, red, blue and green, they were able to make shadows in varying shades of the rainbow.

As the group moved around the stage, they learned theater lingo--being asked to move from stage right to stage left, upstage and down and to the “house,” where the audience sits.

According to Maureen P. Mangan, director of marketing and communications, “The success of last year’s ‘Puppet’s Take Long Island’ festival served as a catalyst for the FOTT program.”

The festival took place over an eight-week period and included a different puppeteer each week. Families were given a punch card to track their performances. Those who attended all eight were given a t-shirt.  Watching families return week after week gave theater directors the idea to reward that loyalty in a more meaningful way.

The LICM has set its mission to be a place where visitors of all ages can explore freely, discover their passions and appreciate the communities and world we share. With the inception of the FOTT program, visitors will now not only get to watch a series of wonderful performances from “the house,” but will have more opportunities to interact with the performers and experience their practice.

“We want to help children to find their voice,” said Edwards.

And find their voice they have. During their first interactive workshop, children got to experience the feeling of welcoming the audience to the theater while under the spotlight and standing downstage center. Three-year-old Rosabella Memon, whose mom says she has a hard time getting her to say hello to relatives, decided to belt out the song “Let It Go,” from Disney’s Frozen, the moment she was handed the microphone.

Anyone interested in joining the FOTT program can contact Cindy-Lou Edwards, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

News

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.

Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.

As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com