Monday, February 15, 2010

Mae West: Westchester

Fond memories of MAE WEST performing at the Tarrytown Music Hall are part of its legacy — — cherished along with sunny recollections about Dave Brubeck rousing the audience and Bruce Springsteen impulsively jumping on stage. Built in 1885 by the local chocolatier William Wallace, and enjoyed by presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, unfortunately, the chips were down for awhile before a determined German couple Helen and Berthold Ringeisen rescued this glorious damsel-in-distress with a savvy combination of blood, sweat, and volunteers.
• • Mae West in Tarrytown • •
• • Westchester scribe Peter D. Kramer has assembled an inspiring narrative, a portion of which is below.
• • Peter D. Kramer writes: "We like to say that chocolate coins built this theater," jokes executive director Björn Olsson.
• • The Tarrytown Music Hall, the oldest theater in Westchester County, had played host to presidents and bombshells over the years: Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Mae West all appeared at the Main Street venue. But by the mid-1970s, the building had fallen into disrepair, with a leaking roof and no heat.
• • Today, because of the dedication of the Friends of the Mozartina, the nonprofit group that repaired and saved it, 80,000 patrons a year are drawn to its programs, from children's theater to jazz greats to folk music.
• • The hall kicked off its 30th/ 125th anniversary year with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Blind Boys of Alabama, Levon Helm, Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, David Bromberg and Jorma Kaukonen.
• • It was also recently the shooting location for "Henry's Crime," a film starring Keanu Reeves, James Caan, and Vera Farmiga set for release later this year.
• • Nobody's quite sure when, but the story is that sometime during the 1980s, Bruce Springsteen came to see a show at the Music Hall and jumped up on stage to join in the fun. And greats from James Taylor to Bonnie Raitt have played there. It is now listed on the National Register for Historic Places.
• • The venue is still a work in progress — — the air-conditioning has been upgraded but the bathrooms are "extremely genuine," Olsson says — — but the momentum seems to be carrying the hall in the right direction.
• • It's a long way from Valentine's Day 1980, when the Friends of the Mozartina took possession of that leaky, drafty, water-stained relic. ...
• • Continue reading at the link below.
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Article: "Twin anniversaries mark Music Hall's comeback"
• • BY: Peter D. Kramer | Columnist
• • Published by New York's Lower Hudson Valley — —
• • Published on: 14 February 2010

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• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West appeared onstage here • • 1901 entrance • •
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Mae West.

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