THAW Fest Heats Up The Weekend

The Hamptons Arts Weekend Festival, or THAW Fest
Bennie and the Jets, an Elton John tribute band, will be part of THAW Fest, a weekend of cultural events tied to spring and produced by the Hamptons Arts Network.

In addition to the usual signs of spring on the South Fork — tree buds, new birdsongs, peepers — this year there is a new harbinger, the Hamptons Arts Weekend Festival, or THAW Fest. The full weekend of events is sponsored by the newly formed Hamptons Arts Network, a group of nonprofits that have banded together to share programs and advocacy efforts.

According to Andrea Grover, one of the founders of the network, the festival is based on a walking tour the art spaces in SoHo started a couple of years ago, which “had visitors in the thousands the first year and now has even more. It’s based on a ‘if you build it they will come’ principle.” Late March is “a time of year people have cabin fever. They want to get out and see other human beings, think about the spring season.”

For those who might come “from away,” it’s also the time of year when hotels are not fully booked and seasonal rates have not yet kicked in. Restaurants and merchants can also benefit, Ms. Grover said earlier this year.

Highlights from the weekend will include special programming such as the appearance of the Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company at the Southampton Arts Center, the Hamptons International Film Festival’s “Masterclass: Romeo and Juliet,” an Elton John tribute band at Bay Street Theater, two concerts presented by the Southampton African American Museum at the Southampton Historical Museum, documentary screenings by the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival, and tours of the newly restored Thomas Moran Studio in East Hampton.

The Parrish Art Museum will have a kickoff event tomorrow with a night of poetry readings inspired by the stories told by community members during a story circle at the museum in January. Marya Martin, the artistic director of the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, will help emphasize the collaborative nature of the weekend by playing Debussy’s “Syrinx,” a solo flute piece, prior to the readings. The event is $12, free for Parrish members. Reservations are encouraged.

Venues typically closed for the winter will open their doors this weekend, including the Madoo Conservancy, which will have a special show of the late Robert Dash’s paintings on display. LongHouse Reserve will be open on Saturday with docent tours from 2 to 3 p.m. At the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center there will be film screenings on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and a family day and open studio on Sunday from noon to 4.

The Watermill Center will have a potpourri of programs including a tour to morrow at 2 and an exhibition opening of text-based works from House of Trees from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Its monthly In Process open rehearsals will continue on Saturday with Anne Carson at 1 p.m. and Tania Bruguera at 3:30. A family workshop related to the exhibition will take place Sunday.

Following is a breakdown of other events that will continue this weekend. Events are free unless otherwise noted. Details on children’s and family activities can be found on today’s Schools page, and more information can be found in The Star’s calendars section.



Guild Hall’s final weekend of “Romeo and Juliet” performances will begin tomorrow with a special post-show talk by its Teen Arts Council. Showtime is 7 p.m. for all performances. Tickets for this contemporary post-punk interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic love story are $25, or $23 for members, with a special student rate of $10. They are available through Guild Hall’s website and at the box office.

Those interested in “Romeo and Juliet” from a film perspective will enjoy the Hamptons International Film Festival’s Masterclass: Romeo and Juliet on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Guild Hall. An award-winning filmmaker will compare the cinematic approaches of Franco Zeffirelli in 1968 to Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 version in an hourlong examination of the two films. 

At the Southampton Cultural Center, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” will be onstage tomorrow through Sunday at 7 p.m. Sunday’s 2 p.m. matinee is sold out. Tickets, available at the door, are $28, $15 for students. 



Tomorrow, Sag Harbor’s Bay Street Theater will present an All Star Stand Up Comedy night hosted by Joseph Vecsey at 8. Mr. Vecsey’s guests will be up-and-coming comedians such as James Myers, Clayton Fletcher, and Wellie Jackson. Tickets are $30 and available online or at the box office.

The Upright Citizens Brigade’s Touring Company will bring unscripted, anything-can-happen comedy to the Southampton Arts Center for the first time on Saturday at 7 p.m. The improvisational troupe has launched several careers since its founding by a group that included Amy Poehler. The $20 ticket price includes wine and refreshments. Tickets are available online, by phone, or at the door depending on availability.



On Saturday, Bay Street has Bennie and the Jets: An Elton John Tribute at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30. 

The Southampton African American Museum will present two concerts at the Southampton Historical Museum on Sunday. Taylor Burgess, a jazz vocalist with a broad range of singing styles, will perform first at 1 p.m. Showers of Blessings, a gospel choir from King’s Chapel Church in Southampton, follows at 2 p.m.

Those willing to travel can head to the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center to see Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks play on Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $33 for reserved seating and can be purchased on the center’s website.


The Hamptons International Film Festival will have a family screening of “The Breadwinner” on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Southampton Arts Center. The animated film tells the story of an 11-year-old girl who disguises herself as a boy to help her family survive after her father is arrested in Afghanistan under the Taliban in 2001.

The Hamptons Take 2 Film Festival will screen “Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight” by Wendy Keys at the Southampton Arts Center tomorrow at 8 p.m. A conversation with Ms. Keys and Walter Bernard, a designer who worked closely with Mr. Glaser, will follow. On Sunday, Richard Kane’s “I Know a Man . . . Ashley Bryan,” about an African-American poet, painter, illustrator, and puppet maker who lives on the remote Cranberry Islands in Maine, will be screened at 2 p.m. at Bay Street Theater.

At 3, LongHouse Reserve will show “Larsenworld” at Bay Street. The 23-minute film focuses on Jack Lenor Larsen, LongHouse’s founder, and the world he created at the singular nature preserve and sculpture garden that is also his residence.



The East Hampton Historical Society’s final talk in its winter lecture series will be presented tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Clinton Academy. The topic to be discussed by Richard Barons and Jeff Heatley will be “Fever in Montauk: Camp Wikoff and the East Hampton Community,” about the encampment where soldiers were quarantined after returning from the Spanish-American War. A reception precedes the talk at 6:30.

“Cruising the Island: Long Island’s Maritime Heritage” will be the topic addressed by Tara Rider, a lecturer at Stony Brook University, at the Southampton Historical Museum on Saturday at 2 p.m.



In Sag Harbor, the Eastville Community Historical Society’s Heritage House will have an East End Artists Tour from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The newly restored Thomas Moran Studio in East Hampton will be open for tours from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The tour will include a discussion about the printmaking process from a local artist and the studio’s antique etching press. A small group of etchings by Moran and his wife, Mary Moran, acquired by the East Hampton Historical Society this past year will be on display. The house is on Main Street.

Bay Street Theater will give a free behind-the-scenes tour of its backstage and technical areas on Sunday at 11 a.m.

The Southampton Historical Museum’s Rogers Mansion will be open all weekend for self-guided tours, with special candlelight tours from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Admission is $4 during the day and $10 after 4 p.m.


Art and Exhibitions

Dia’s Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton will be open tomorrow through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. On view are a special exhibition of work by Mary Heilmann and the permanent installation of Flavin works.

The exhibits at the Eastville Community Historical Society in Sag Harbor will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Refreshments will be served.

East Hampton’s Guild Hall will be open tomorrow and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It will be the last weekend to see solo exhibitions of work by Hiroyuki Hamada and Alice Hope and a permanent collection show of work selected by Bryan Hunt. Ms. Hope will speak about her work in the gallery on Saturday at 2 p.m.

It is also the last week for “A Radical Voice: 23 Women” at the Southampton Arts Center, which is reviewed in this issue.

On view at the Parrish Art Museum are a new show, “Image Building: How Photography Transforms Architecture,” and permanent collection shows highlighting the Parrish’s five-year anniversary in its Water Mill building.

The Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Its exhibits cover the history of Shinnecock and other East Coast woodland cultures.

The Hamptons International Film Festival will screen “The Breadwinner” on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Southampton Arts Center.
Members of the Hamptons Arts Network met recently with media representatives at the Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack to discuss their mission and this weekend's THAW Fest events. Jennifer Landes