You should be Dancing! Saturday Night Fever comes to the Westchester Broadway Theater stage

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Saturday Night Fever,the musical comes to the Westchester Broadway Theater stage.  This musical adaption of the 1977 movie which starred John Travolta was adapted for the stage and premiered in London in 1998 and on Broadway in 2000.  It has enjoyed numerous tours, and revivals around the world.  It now comes to Westchester and runs through January 29, 2017.

The story (inspired by  a 1975 article in New York Magazine by Nik Cohn) follows the life of 19 year old Tony Manero (Jacob Tischler) of Brooklyn, who lives with his family in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.  He is stuck in a job with no future and is caught up in the economic malaise that was the late 1970s.  With his father laid off from his job and his brother questioning his path into the priesthood, Tony and his friends turn to dancing as their escape.

We follow Tony’s exploits as he displays his talents on the floor of the 2001 Odyssey club where he absorbs the admiration of his fellow club goers.  Here he meets Stephanie Mangano (Alexandra Matteo) a 20 year old dancer who has moved away from the neighborhood to Manhattan where she is looking to transform herself.  Tony is intrigued by her dancing ability and her boldness in leaving Brooklyn and her old life behind.  They find as they practice for a dance contest that they have more in common then they originally thought.

 

Tony’s gang of friends and his family are all woven into the story as well as Tony discovers he really is “going nowhere” and must make decisions about his future.

The musical score including all the Bee Gees hits (“Staying Alive”, “Jive Talking”, “You should be Dancing”, Night Fever” ) are all here including songs not in the movie.  The arrangements of some of the songs have been changed which makes them fresh and more interesting and in some cases the lyrics have more impact in the context of the story.

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Set design by Michael Bottari makes full use of the WBT stage and included are a bridge which spans the back of the stage and frames the story, the Manero’s kitchen which appears from below and then disappears below stage, the disco, and other locals from the story.

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The cast is large with both main players and ensemble singer/dancers.  Michelle Dawson who last appeared in Man of La Mancha returns to the WBT stage  lends her vocal talents to several musical numbers including “Nights on Broadway”.  Lead actors Jacob Tischler and Alexandra Matteo are excellent in every aspect of their performance and the chemistry between them is quite convincing.  Directed by Richard Stafford who does an excellent job bring the characters to life.

All in all a fun musical that is family friendly and is a treat not just for fans of the film but anyone who enjoys a story of struggle,self discovery  and of course great dancing.

Get out your dancing shoes and boogie over to the Westchester Broadway Theater in Elmsford.

(all photos provided by Westchester Broadway Theater)

Tickets (includes dinner) run from $56 to $84 depending on performance date chosen.

For tickets:  

tel:  914 592-2222

http://www.broadwaytheater.com

Westchester Broadway Theater

One Broadway Plaza  Elmsford New York

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Next Stop: Exit 4 In Mount Kisco

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Food halls are undeniably one of the latest trends in dining. While prominent in New York City, food halls are starting to make their way into the Hudson Valley. Exit 4 Food Hall is the first one to open in Westchester County. Take a trip to Mount Kisco to taste the amazing local and fresh flavors at Exit 4.

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This dining venue offers 9 food stations for customers to try. The restaurant prides itself in serving fresh and local food. Mt. Kisco Seafood, wood fired pizza made from scratch, homemade pasta, and even Myong Salad are the participating local food providers. The restaurant even offers beverages from local breweries and coffee purveyors. Stations include Rotiss-A-Q, Panini/ Sandwich/ Wrap Station, Dirty Roots (salads and smoothies), Fuoco Wood Fired Pizza, Inno Sushi, Piacci Pasta Bar, X4 on Tap, Charcuterie, and Rawsome Seafood Bar.

With 9 stations available, there is always something new and exciting to try. If you come with a group there is a dining option for everyone.

You can meet and converse with new people by sitting at one of Exit 4’s communal tables. Following the theme of sustainability, glass bottles with filtered water is also provided.

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We started our meal with a Bok Choi salad from Dirty Roots (Myong). This healthy yet dynamic salad was comprised of sunflower seeds, walnuts, dried mango, cranberries, and crunchy noodles drizzled in a light red chili vinaigrette.

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Bok Choi Salad

 

We then devoured brussles sprouts pasta from Piacci. The linguini is homemade and prepared daily at Exit 4. This certainly was the perfect summer dish; a very light pasta incorporated with brussles sprouts and butternut squash. The sprinkled pancetta made for a flavorsome topping.

From Inno Sushi, we tried the crispy rice sushi special. Even my-non seafood lover buddy couldn’t get enough of this delish fare. Spicy tuna and jalapeños were delicately topped on firm crispy rice. The contrast between crunch of the rice and zest of the sushi made for a party in my mouth. Inno Sushi devotes themselves to emulating the most popular and newest sushi trends. This includes the trendy sushi burrito and poke bowls.

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Our group then ordered a chicken bowl and brisket burrito from Rotiss-A-Q. In a crispy taco bowl were pieces of rotisserie chicken layered with guacamole, pico de gallo, rice, beans, cheddar, lettuce and roasted veggies.   The brisket burrito included rice, beans, corn, and lettuce. It was fresh and delicious.

I could not pass up trying the high quality fish tacos. These appetizing tacos constituted of tantalizing pico de gallo, luscious avocado and other tasty spices.

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Fish Tacos

We then noshed on a very flavorful and unique wood-fired fig pizza. This unconventional pizza included fig, prosciutto, caramelized onions, fresh mozzarella and Italian parsley. There are a variety of pizzas to choose: from traditional pizza to unique pies. Try the Stracciatella or Pistachio for something new and exciting.

To finish this spectacular meal, we unanimously decided to order the skillet cookie. A warm gooey cookie with large chocolate chunks was brought to the table. A scoop of refreshing vanilla ice cream laid perfectly on top of this marvelous creation.

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Skillet Cookie

For a fun and different dining alternative, make sure you stop at Exit 4 Dining Hall in Mt. Kisco.

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Exit 4 Food Hall

http://exit4foodhall.com/

153 Main St. Mount Kisco, NY 10549

(914) 241-1200

 

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Million Dollar Quartet: Rock & Roll history comes to life at the Westchester Broadway Theater

 

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The musical “Million Dollar Quartet” is rocking audiences at the Westchester Broadway Theater.  The international hit musical which ran on Broadway and received three Tony Nominations was inspired by an actual event in Rock and Roll history.  On December 4, 1956, four early Rock and Roll artists just happen to get together at Sun Records Studios in Memphis for a jam session.   The artists that came together that night were Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins (Blue Suede Shoes), Johnny Cash and a new comer named Jerry Lee Lewis (Great Balls of Fire).   The session which was recorded became rock and roll legend and the four would never play together again.

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The musical is inspired by that fateful evening back in 1956.  The performance is part rock concert,  and part musical.  Inter weaved with all the great Rock and Roll songs from that era is the story of Sun Records,  Sam Phillips and the artists themselves.

Sam Phillips was the owner of Sun Records Studio, a tiny shop  in Memphis. Phillips had an uncanny ability of discovering raw talent.  It was he who discovered and promoted a  young Elvis Presley , Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins,  Jerry Lee Lewis, and later Roy Orbison who would all become some of the biggest stars in early Rock music history.

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The musical takes place entirely in Sun Studios on the evening of December 4, 1956.  The story is narrated by Sam Phillips who sets the scene of that fateful evening.   Carl Perkins has come to the studios with his brother and their drummer to work on a new record.  Sam Phillips has brought in a new talent, a feisty and unpredictable Jerry Lee Lewis to play piano on the track.  Later Johnny Cash drops in to discuss his contract renewal with Sun Records.  Eventually Elvis and his girlfriend stop by (Elvis at this point has moved on to RCA records)  and the jam session begins.   The stage design is brilliant and depicts the studio and recording room of Sun Records, and really transports the viewer back in time.  Very effective.

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The audience not only learns some of the history of these important artists, but are treated to a lively concert of great hits including, Blue Suede Shoes, Great Balls of Fire, Matchbox, Fever, Whole lot of Shakin’ Going on, Folsom Prison Blues and more.  The cast shows off its talents at acting, singing and playing guitar or piano.  The actors are not trying to actually impersonate or imitate the original artists.   Their performances are more inspired by the actual artists which allows their talents to really shine.  The performance was fantastic and the cast received a standing ovation from the opening night crowd.

The production stars Dominique Scott as Jerry Lee Lewis , Ari McKay Wilford as Elvis Presley, Sky Seals as Johnny Cash, Jason Loughlin as Sam Phillips, John Michael Presney as Carl Perkins, and Bligh Voth as Dyanne (girlfriend of Elvis).  Rounding out the cast are Sam Weber as the stand up bass playing Jay Perkins, and David Sonneborn as Fluke.  Set Design by Derek McLane .

Directed by Hunter Foster, who appeared in the original cast. The musical director is David Sonneborn.

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Photo from the original jam session 1956

Million Dollar Quartet runs through September 11, 2016

Discounts available for groups (20 or more)

Dinner (salad, entree and dessert) is served prior to the performance and is included in the purchase price.    Wine and cocktails available at additional cost.  Luxury Boxes are also available for groups of 6 to 20.

For ticket information:

Westchester Broadway Theater

1 Broadway Plaza

Elmsford New York 10526

http://www.broadwaytheater.com

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City Clipper: Sail away to adventure in New York Harbor

 

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Sail away on a two masted schooner for hours of adventure and relaxation.  It is not in the Caribbean, or some other exotic locale, but right in New York Harbor.   Manhattan by Sail offers a fantastic opportunity to see New York City on  vintage sailing vessels.  As you sail on these tall ships you will be transported to another time as you ply the waters of New York Harbor.  This is a unique escape that will make you feel that you are not in New York but rather on vacation in the islands. Although there are other tour boats that are available for sightseeing around Manhattan, this adventure is unique.

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The City Clipper prior to sail

We decided on a two hour excursion on the City Clipper, a restored 158 foot long sailing schooner equipped with two steel masts and two top sails and six fore and aft sails.  The ship was built prior to the Civil War  but has been renovated over the years and now has a steel hull, a long open deck seating for passengers and a full bar in the center of the vessel that serves drinks and snacks to the guests on board (additional cost).

We took advantage of the Twilight Sail which leaves from Battery Park at the tip of Manhattan and cruises for two hours in New York Harbor as the sun sets over New Jersey.  It was a warm and gorgeous summer evening as the City Clipper pulled away from its slip at the Battery and made its way into the harbor.  With a good wind on the water that day, the crew decided to hoist the sails and guests are able to assist in this task.

 

 

 

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Helping hoist the sails

The schooner turned away from Manhattan and navigated around Governors Island and plied the waters between that island and the Borough of Brooklyn.  This was a unique perspective and one not often seen by New Yorkers and visitors alike.   The ship made a graceful arc south of Governors Island to catch a wonderful sunset behind the Statue of Liberty as well as other ships that were enjoying the waters that evening.

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There are great photo opportunities at all points of the sail.

 

We really enjoyed the slow and quiet cruise under sail as well as the cocktails available at the cash bar.  The bar staff was friendly and helped keep the mood lively.  As the sun dropped into the west the schooner turned back toward the city and the lights of Jersey City, Battery Park, and  The Freedom Tower provided a memorable light show for all aboard.

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If you are looking for an unique excursion and a few hours of fun, you should experience a classic sail on the City Clipper.

for more information, sailing times and pricing please visit:

https://www.manhattanbysail.com/

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Lightscapes an adventure in light at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton


 

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Looking for a unique experience?   You should visit Lightscapes, a magical and incredible nighttime display of lights at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton on Hudson.   Lightscapes is an outdoor walk through the grounds of this historic property which has been transformed into a fantasy filled light garden.

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Walk through the tunnel of light that changes color, pass the fairy garden of lights and mushrooms,  more.   You cross the bridge over the river of light and enter the Colorwheel castle, then exit  to fields of lighted butterflies, a praying mantis, ladybugs and other fantastic lighted creations.  It is quite the marvel.

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The tour winds it way through the grounds of the Manor until it reaches the manor house itself which is lit in an amazing display of light that is synchronized to music.  Outside the manor is a fantastic field of lit tulips truly amazes.

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This is an event not to miss, and if you have been to the Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze (also held here) you will know the level of quality and creativity that is involved in hosting these events.

 

 

LIGHTSCAPES takes place rain or shine and admission is by timed ticket only. Remaining dates are May 27- 30, June 3-5, and June 10-12.

Online tickets are $20 for adults ($25 Saturdays), $16 for children 3-17 ($20 Saturdays), and free for children under 3 and Historic Hudson Valley members. Tickets are $2 more when purchased on site or over the phone.

Van Cortlandt Manor is at 525 South Riverside Ave. in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, just off Route 9.

Tickets and info: 914-366-6900, www.hudsonvalley.org.

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Calling all Foodies ! Westchester Wine and Food Week is back June 8-12

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Food and wine lovers in Westchester County have reason to celebrate as the annual Westchester Magazine Food and Wine Festival returns  June 8th-12th  for its 6th annual celebration.   This celebration is considered to be one of the premier food and wine events in the Northeast.  The event is spread over several days with unique events in several locations Some of the highlights are:

Thursday June 9th Burger and Beer Blastat the Kensico Dam Plaza park in Valhalla.  Attendees will sample burgers from 30 different local restaurants, with beer, wine and spirits served.  You can vote for your favorite burger in the competition. Live music will make the evening a festival for all.  New this year will be the Empire Casino Tent with five gaming tables, and cocktails and food from some of the Casinos restaurants

Time 6pm to 10pm .  Cost : $75

 

Friday June 10th –An evening with Westchester’s Tastemakers now in its 2nd year, it takes place at the Ritz-Carleton in White Plains.  Twenty of  the County’s top Chef’s will prepare two of their own dishes each  for an exclusive gathering.  Each dish will be paired with top wines from around the globe.  Some of the chefs who will be there will be Peter Kelly (Xaviers), Bobby Will (Saltaire),  Jay Lippin (Crabtree), Michael White (Bedford Post),  Leo Pablo (Inn at Pound Ridge) and many more !

Time: 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm  Cost: $125

Saturday June 11th- Grand Tasting Villageat Kensico Dam Plaza, 1 Bronx River Parkway, Valhalla NY.  This incredible event which  grows in popularity each year and will return for a 2nd year  to Kensico Dam Park. The event is  located outdoors under white tents concentrating on Farm to Table cuisine.  Considered to be the “Worlds Fair” of the Wine and Food Festival.  There will be 43 local restaurants serving tastings of their specialty dishes.   For wine lovers you can sample 100 different wines from the many wine growing regions of the world.  There will be celebrity chefs demos  local craft beers and wine. An event not to be missed!.

Time 12 pm to 5 pm   Cost: $75         Connoisseurs Ticket: $125 (access to Connoisseurs Tent for exclusive Tastings.)

The event helps support two not for profit organizations, The Food Bank For Westchester and The Friends of Westchester County Parks  There will be other events as well so check the website below for more information and updates as the event draws closer.

For more information, the full list of restaurants and tickets westchestermagazine.com/winefood

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Wine,Scotch and food event to benefit Charity at the Bedford Post Inn on April 8th

Taste of Spring Bedford

 

Vine and Co. of Bedford Hills has announced a tasting event with part of the proceeds going to a local charity.  Vine and Co. will be hosting its  Taste of Spring on Friday April 8th 2016 from 7pm to 9:30 pm and it will be held at Campagna at the Bedford Post Inn. 

The event will feature a wine tasting featuring 40 different wines from around the world, beer tasting from local breweries, and a Scotch tasting featuring a selection of  different premium single malt Scotch. Food and dessert will be provided by the restaurant, Campagna at the Bedford Post Inn.

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Part of the proceeds of the event will go directly to The Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester.  So make plans to be part of a special evening of tasting at the beautiful Bedford Post Inn.  Tickets are $100 per person for this event.   See you there!

For More information:

Vine and Co.      http://www.vineandcompany.com

Tickets:  914-234-7800  ext 109

or buy tickets online at: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eccmjdwvf3fecb85&oseq=&c=&ch=

Bedford Post Inn    

954 Old Post Road Bedford NY        http://www.bedfordpostinn.com

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New York International Auto Show returns to NYC

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A fun event for car lovers returns to New York City through April 3, 2016.  The New York International Auto Show returns to the Javits Center .   Hundreds of cars are on display from every major manufacturer.  There are production cars, concept cars as well as interactive exhibits.

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New Maserati Levante

Representatives from the manufacturers are on hand to answer questions and to show off the amazing variety of cars on display.   There are many new models which the public has not seen before including the Maserati Levante SUV, new Lincoln Continental,  all new Ford GT  supercar , the new Fiat 124 Spider,  Nissan GT-R , Mazda MX-6R and many more.  There is an entire level  (lower level) of just SUVs, Trucks and Jeeps.  And don’t miss the North Wing where companies such as Fiat, Mini, Subaru and more have set up there impressive displays.  Fun for everyone and please bring your camera.

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New Fiat 124 Spider

 

Tickets are $16 for adult and $7 for children under 12 years old.   For those of you traveling via Metro North to Grand Central, a new option for getting to the Javits Center just opened last fall.  From Grand Central take the 7 Train which will now end on at the new Hudson Yards subway station on the westside.  This is the first new NYC subway station to be built in decades.  The station is a half block from the Javits Center.

 

New York International Auto Show

Javits Center

655 West 34th Street NY  NY]

http://www.autoshowny.com

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Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden

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Looking for some Springtime inspiration while your own garden is still slumbering?   You should really check out the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.   This special show takes place in the Haupt Conservatory at the Garden and features thousands of beautiful  orchids from around the world on display.  As you walk, soft classical music is playing to enhance the mood. The conservatory is warm and humid and simulates a tropical garden complete with water features and palm trees.   It is quite the retreat from the cool early spring temperatures outside.

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Haupt Conservatory

There are guides to answer your questions, or you can self tour and read the many signs along the route.  It is quite a beautiful show.   In the evening there is a separate show  in the conservatory which features special lighting and you can stroll the through the show with a cocktail in hand and music is creating a romantic mood.  Your ticket to the evening show includes a signature cocktail, The Ginger Vanilla Fusion.

Your ticket also allows you access to the rest of the Botanical Gardens property.   The show runs through  April 17th 2016.

For ticket information :

http://www.nybg.org/visit/tickets.php

New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Boulevard Bronx New York

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The Impossible Dream: Man of La Mancha returns to Westchester

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The masterful Broadway classic Man of La Mancha has returned to the stage here in Westchester. This beautifully staged production at the Westchester Broadway Theater is Broadway quality and should not be missed!

Man of La Mancha is a musical inspired by the story of Miguel de Cervantes imprisonment during the Spanish Inquisition and is also inspired by his book Don Quixote written in 1615. The musical adaptation places Cervantes in a dungeon prison awaiting his hearing for charges brought against him by the inquisition. Cervantes is a self described poet and play wright  as well as a tax collector. His latter position and his act of taxing a church has placed him in prison. His fellow prisoners upon meeting Cervantes and his loyal sidekick decide to have their own “mock trial” and seize his manuscript.

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Cervantes demands the opportunity to defend himself and using his skills as an actor and a trunk full of costumes and props, he launches into a virtual “play within the play”. Along with his sidekick Sancho, the other prisoners become part of this story woven by Cervantes. Cervantes spins the tale of a noble knight on a noble quest, and he becomes Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha. Despite living in an era of fear and despair, Quixote is a dreamer. He dreams of a world where knights still roam spreading virtue and morals, performing noble quests and coming to the aid of their Lady.
Quixote is a idealist and a dreamer and the audience (as it has been since its Broadway debut in the 1960s) becomes a fan of Quixote. His idealism for a simpler and kinder world is in stark contrast to the reality of 16th Century Spain. Indeed his spirit and ideals in the face of grim reality  are what attract so many current audience members .

His idealism is manifested brilliantly in the song “The Impossible Dream” which is the hallmark of the performance.

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This production at the Westchester Broadway Theater is Broadway quality. Directed by David Wasson (who worked on the first Broadway revival) , it stars Paul Schoeffler as Cervantes/Quixote. He is brilliant especially in the role of the mad knight Quixote and his deep vocals do justice to the music. He has starred on Broadway in Rock of Ages, Sweet Charity, Hook and others. Michelle Dawson is wonderful as Quixote’s lady Dulcinea and her vibrant vocal performance is memorable. The rest of the cast does a great job in bringing the performance to life .

Special note should be given to the Set and costume designers Michael Bottari and Ronald Case and the wonderful lighting design by Andrew Gmoser.
Man Of La Mancha runs to May 1, 2016. Do not miss this Broadway classic. Dinner is included with your ticket price and you dine prior to the performance.

Westchester Broadway Theater
1 Broadway Plaza Elmsford New York 914 592-2222
http://www.westchesterbroadwaytheater.com
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