Ready to Spring

’Twas ever thus: one minute it’s Presidents Weekend and the next thing you know, we’re turning clocks ahead, the birds are trying out new solos at sunrise, main streets are sprouting green center lines, real estate brokers are dusting off their listings, and light and dark agree to split the day evenly on March 21.

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The blues of Quogue; a single bird makes a wake. —Ginny Rosenblatt Photo

That’s right: it’s springtime on the calendar, next Thursday to be precise, and if the weather doesn’t exactly cooperate, well then, we’ll all just have to act “as if” until we can comfortably cavort outdoors in single layers.

Speaking of weather, the (traditionally one week early) St. Patrick’s Day parade in Westhampton Beach was blessed with the good stuff this year: sunny skies, moderate temperatures and winds light and variable. With the actual saint’s day and big parade in New York coming up this Sunday, March 17, local celebrations of all things Irish will resume next weekend in Hampton Bays and Montauk.

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Decked out and ready: Westhampton Beach, Saturday, March 9, 11:37 a.m. —A. Botsford Photo

Last Chance (possibly) for French Cooking and “Sin in the Big Easy”
Tonight, Thursday, March 14, at 6 p.m. at the Firehouse, everyone’s invited to hear a story of booze, lies, and mystery and then enjoy fine French cuisine, all in one evening. The fun begins with writer Elizabeth McCourt sharing excerpts from “Sin in the Big Easy,” a family drama set in the sordid underworld of New Orleans.

After the reading and some Q&A, cheffe Colette will prepare some French cuisine in the Parisian style for all to enjoy. Books will be available for purchase. Cost of the dinner is $15 per person; see if there’s still room and then register (if you can) by calling 631-653-4224.

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Sham rock. —A. Botsford Photo

Library Film Feast at Firehouse Saturday Features “A Man Called Ove”
This Saturday, March 16, it’s time for another installment in the monthly Film Feast series sponsored by the Quogue Library at the Firehouse. This month’s selection is the 2015 Swedish film “A Man Called Ove.”  

Adapted from Fredrik Backman’s international best selling novel, the film tells the story of Ove, the quintessential angry old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse who spends his days enforcing block association rules that only he cares about and visiting his wife’s grave, Ove has given up on life.Man Called Ove

Enter a boisterous young family next door, one of whom accidentally flattens Ove’s mailbox while moving in and earning his special brand of ire. Yet from this inauspicious beginning an unlikely friendship forms and we come to understand Ove’s past happiness and heartbreaks.

Writing on RogerEbert.com, the critic Odie Henderson called the film “a morbidly funny and moving success.”

The feasting begins at 6:15 and the film will be screened at 7:15. As always, admission is a beverage to share and a dish that serves at least six. Best to call the library at 631-653-4224 to let them know you’re coming and what food you’re planning to bring.

Full Moon Night Hike at Wildlife Refuge Slated on March 20
Nature lovers are invited to enjoy the full moon on the eve of the 2019 vernal equinox on the next Full Moon Night Hike at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, on Wednesday, March 20, starting at 7 p.m.

During the 90-minute walk through the forest up to North Pond and back, adults and families with children age 11 and up will look and listen for nocturnal creatures and undertake some night vision activities under the light of January’s Wolf moon.

This program is $5 for Wildlife Refuge members; $10 for non-members. Reservations, by telephone or in-person only (631-653-4771) are required at least 24 hours in advance, along with payment of the appropriate fee. No online reservations are accepted for this program.

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Loaded and ready for the start of last Saturday’s parade. —Terry Brennan Photo

“Man of La Mancha” Opening March 21 at Community Hall
“Man of La Mancha,” the first fully-staged musical in the 34-year history of the Hampton Theatre Company, will be the third play of the HTC’s 2018-2019 season, opening on Thursday, March 21, at the Quogue Community Hall and running through April 7.

Inspired by the 17th century novel “Don Quixote,” the classic Broadway show—with book by Dale Wasserman, music by Joe Darion and lyrics by Mitch Leigh—is widely considered one of the most enduring pieces of musical theatre, having enjoyed four revivals in New York and providing one of the best known songs in the Great American Songbook, “The Impossible Dream.”

Framed as a play within a play, “Man of La Mancha” presents Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes performing a play based on his novel “Don Quixote” to a group of prisoners awaiting a hearing. Its score includes the standard “The Impossible Dream”, as well as “Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote)” and “A Little Gossip.”

The original Broadway production won five Tony Awards in 1966: Best Musical; Best Composer and Lyricist; Best Actor in a Musical (Richard Kiley); Best Scenic Design (Howard Bay); and Best Direction of a Musical (Albert Marre).  

The cast of “Man of La Mancha” features two HTC veterans: Matthew Conlon in the role of Cervantes/Quixote; and Jessica Howard doubling as the Housekeeper and the Innkeeper’s Wife. Of the other 10 members of the cast, Rick Grossman, playing Sancho, is reprising the role he played in the recent Broadway national tour of “Man of La Mancha.”

Hampton Theatre Company Vice President Edward A. Brennan and HTC Artistic Director Diana Marbury are the directors. Musical direction is by Amy Federico McGrath. Set design is by Sean Marbury; lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski; and costumes by Teresa Lebrun.

“Man of La Mancha” runs at the Quogue Community Hall from March 21 to April 7,  with shows on Thursdays and Fridays at 7, Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2:30. An additional matinee performance will be offered during the final weekend of the production, on Saturday, April 6, prior to the regular 8 p.m. performance that evening.

The Hampton Theatre Company will again be offering special dinner and theater packages in collaboration with the Westhampton, Southampton, Hampton Bays and Quogue libraries. Offered in association with the Quogue Club at the Hallock House, a special lunch and theater package is available for the Saturday matinee on January 26. For information about all packages and available discounts, visit  www.hamptontheatre.org or email info@hamptontheatre.org. Additional information about library dinner and theater packages is also available through the libraries.

To reserve tickets, visit www.hamptontheatre.org, or call OvationTix at 1-866-811-4111.

Library Sponsors “Signs of Spring” Nature Walk at Wildlife Refuge
Saturday, March 23rd 1:00-2:30 Quogue Library sponsors a Nature Walk at The Quogue Wildlife Refuge! View the first signs of Spring as we take a guided walk around the preserve at The Quogue Wildlife Refuge. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water. First buds and foliage of blossoms and fruits will be sighted to chase away the Winter blues and welcome Spring! Rain/snow date is April 13th. Must register by calling 631-653-4224.

“Zima!” Scavenger Hunt Rescheduled at Wildlife Refuge
Due to the (accurate) prediction of foul weather last Sunday, the immersive, theatrical, scavenger hunt known as “Zima!” (titled after the Polish word for “winter”) has been rescheduled to Sunday, March 24 at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge at 1 p.m. The imaginative and inventive hunt is an interactive winter journey combining mystery, poetry, theater and exploration created by the Neo-Political Cowgirls.

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One of the forest creatures of “Zima!” helps a young visitor with a clue at a previous installment of the theatrical scavenger hunt. —Photo courtesy of Kate Mueth

Held outdoors against the beautiful natural backdrop of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, “Zima!” asks audience members to seek out the wild characters hidden on the path in search of clues to solve a riddle of mysterious origin.

Participants will set off between 1 and 2 p.m. in search of the hidden scenes in the forest; the goal is to stop, watch, listen and try to solve the riddle. Warm drinks and cookies will be served in the Nature Center after the adventure. Adults 18 and older, $25; kids, $15. Proceeds are shared between the Neo-Political Cowgirls and QWR. Call the QWR at 631-653-4771, or visit quoguewildliferefuge.org/zima/ to register.

Irish Cuisine This Week at Inn Spot on the Bay
At the Inn Spot on the Bay, cheffes Colette and Pam will be preparing a menu of dishes from the Emerald Isle for Friday and Saturday evening. Visit www.theinnspot.com/internationaldiningseries to find out more.   

Artificial Etiquette Update
For those who might be following the roller coaster relationship that At Quaquanantuck has been having with Siri, that saucy minx pretender without gender that lives in … well, not just my phone, clearly, because all Apple users have access … the cloud, maybe.

At any rate, this week when thanked, Siri gave me the same old, disappointing “no problem” five or six times in a row, before coming up with yet another response I had not heard before: “Don’t mention it.”

Well, I hope I haven’t broken your trust, Siri, because I just did. Mention it. Here’s hoping you can surprise me again next week.  

At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.

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