Stepping Out

Catherine Russell's Harlem beat

An evening with the dynamic songstress


On Stage

Catherine Russell’s ‘Harlem on My Mind’

Catherine Russell brings her jazz vibe to the great African American songbook, with “Harlem on My Mind.” Swinging forth with soulful interpretations, Russell taps into the golden age of Harlem. Her repertoire includes a selection of gems from the 1920s through the present; vital interpretations bursting with soul and humor. She launches fearlessly into each tune, getting inside the melody and capturing every emotion. Vocalists Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Dinah Washington provide inspiration where tunesmiths like Benny Carter, Irving Berlin, Andy Razaf and Fats Waller once ruled the roost of a renaissance that continues to reverberate. Her musical prowess reflects her pedigree: her father, the late Luis Russell, was an acclaimed pianist-arranger-composer, and Louis Armstrong’s longtime musical director; her mother Carline Ray was a pioneering bassist-guitarist-vocalist. Russell reflects that heritage with an off-the beaten-path song selection, sparkling acoustic swing and an insightful vocal approach.

Friday, Feb. 9, 8 p.m. $42, $37, $32. Landmark on Main Street, Jeanne Rimsky Theater, 232 Main St., Port Washington (516) 767-6444 or

Family Fun

Go, Dog, Go!

P.D. Eastman’s beloved book comes to life on stage in a frolicking musical dog party. The cast of this preschool favorite has gone to the dogs in a lively romp that is full of surprises with color clowning, singing/barking, and of course, six lovable dogs. The one-hour production includes crazy cars, goofy hats, audience participation, and even a touch of vaudeville. The six actors portraying Eastman’s memorable mutts hound one another and have a fetching good time — as does their audience. From bright pastel motorcars to eager tree-climbing puppies, every detail in the show is carefully created to match those from the fun-filled book, according to Andrés Alcalá, director with Childsplay Theatre. The goal is to let children see their favorite characters come alive and experience the story in a thrilling new way. This includes inviting audience members to play a high-energy game of baseball — with a beach ball, no less.

Friday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m. $45, $25, $15. Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, LIU Post, Rte. 25A, Brookville. (800) 745-3000 or or