Vitanza’s Fumble Recovery, Ridenhour’s 1st Downs, Smalls Snares Key 35-13 Win

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WPCNR PRESS BOX. By John F. Bailey. October 4, 2003: White Plains held off Mount Vernon, 35-13 after Joe Vitanza recovered a key fumble in the last minutes of the game Saturday afternoon with the Tigers leading 21-13 which lead to a  53 yard pass to Ryan Smalls to set up the clinching touchdown.

White Plains achieved their fifth consecutive victory, remaining undefeated.

Spencer Ridenhour’s guts and power chewed out two key third down first downs deep in Tiger territory just prior to stem Mount Vernon’s momentum. In the first half, Ryan Smalls set up the second Tiger TD with a spectacular catch at the 3 yard line. Earlier Mike Devere connected on a sensational 50 yard touchdown pass to Evan McGuire for the Tigers’ first score. White Plains lead 21-0 at one point, but touchdown passes at the close of the first half and midway through the third quarter got Mount Vernon back in the game.

SNAG, LAND, SPIN, BULL AND DRAG: Greg Harris of Mount Vernon is trying to bring down the relentless Ryan Smalls in First Quarter Action at Memorial Stadium in Mount Vernon Saturday. Smalls has just leapt high at the 10 yard line to snare a Mike Devere pass, spun as he landed, eluded two tacklers, on his way to the 3 yard line. Ryan’s magnificent extension set up the Tigers second touchdown. The big cats held on to win 35-13.  Evan McGuire is just behind Smalls, Joe Vitanza (Number 75) watches Smalls punish the Knights secondary.Photo by WPCNR Sports.

This was a strange game on a brooding, overcast afternoon before about 500 fans who watched a game many thought would never end.


White Plains had a 21-0 lead midway through the Second Quarter thanks to three “ Tiger bust-a-move” plays. The Memorial Stadium scoreboard was not operating and time was loosely kept on the field by the officiating crew once the Tigers moved ahead by three touchdowns. All three quarters after the first quarter seemed to last a very long time, and appeared to be at least 5 minutes longer than the regulation 12 minutes.


A Tiger Test


Coming into the game, the Tigers were wary of Mount Vernon, but stopped the Purple Knights cold on their first series. A 15 knot breeze blew out of the South under the overcast  to begin the game and would complicate the afternoon, knocking down  Jason Indelicato’s punts into the wind, and making Mike Devere’s passes with the wind, sail.


 The Tigers’ field position game was severely challenged. As it turned out the Tigers had to win this game by making first downs late and making two huge plays with less than 4 minutes to go to ice the game that the officials seemed to be enjoying so much they never ran the clock.


Like Patterson and Basilio


The first quarter began with the teams wary and feeling each other out like the Floyd Patterson and Carmen Basilio fight. (Where Patterson started slowly and knocked down Basilio in the early rounds, piling up points early.)


The Tigers moved to their 48 on their first possession, only to have Mike Devere sacked on his first pass attempt on first down, moving the ball back to the Tiger 43.  A pitch to Ryan Smalls only got them back to the 49 and Indelicato punted to the Mount Vernon 16.


On the Knights’ second series, Joe Vitanza sacked Marquis Long back at the 10. Indelicato and “Rumbles” Robles then stopped Vernon for no gain, and a third down run got them back to the 19. Mount Vernon got off a terrific punt. Mike “Night Train” Lane took it on his own 38, deked and juked 12 yards to the 50 yard line.


Devere Calls in an Overhand Left.


The Devere Squadron strikes without warning.  On first down, QB Lefty Devere, the long tall tactician smoothly fakes a handoff to his right, holds the ball on his left hip with Ridenhour acting perfectly, while Devere pivots 360 degrees, looks straight over the middle, fires an overhand left strike to tight end Evan McGuire running a post pattern right through the middle of the secondary.


As Evan splits the safeties cheating up close to stop what they think is Spencer Ridenhour running on first down, he turns and takes the pass shoulder high and is GONE right down the middle for 6 points. It is a 50 yard touchdown pass, and Evan’s second touchdown reception of the season.


Pablo “The New Toe” Siaba splits the uprights and the Tigers have a 7-0 midway through the first quarter. The Grandstand Offensive Coordinators who convoyed from White Plains are stunned. So is Mount Vernon. It looks like Gorton and Lincoln all over again. Little did they know.


“The Prosecutor” Stops a Drive and Completes a Haymaker.


Mount Vernon returns the kickoff to their 35, and a 15 yard flat pass sets them up with a first down on the 50, with Spencer Ridenhour pushing the offending receiver out at midfield. Two plays later, after a penalty made it 3rd and 17 on the 40, “The Prosecutor” Ryan Smalls issues his first indictment of the proceeding.


 He blitzes in on Marquis Long the Knights quarterback  from the right side and subpoenaes  the QB chasing him back to the 30 yard line. The Knights punt from the 30, only getting off a 20 yard punt into the wind and Ryan Smalls returns the ball to the Mount Vernon 43, as the first quarter ended and the Tigers turned it around and were going into the South wind, moving left right.


Devere then pitched back to Ridenhour who dashed to the Knights 33. A Devere Pass to Smalls at the goaline sailed on him due to the wind. A run by Smalls failed to gain and it was third down and 10, White Plains from the Mount Vernon 30.


Another “Bust-a-Move” play on Third Down.


Devere moves back with style into the pocket like a minister in a pulpit and lofts a floating Y.A. Tittle alley-oop pass intended for Ryan Smalls at the 10 on the sideline, far side.


Ryan goes high, two arms up. Two defenders go up with him. The Smalls kid comes down wrestling the ball from the defenders and miraculously keeps his feet. He churns, spins, lunges away from them and drags them with him to the Mount Vernon 5. It is a first down. It is another “Smalls Snare to Share” and the Tigers are in business on the 5.


TouchDOWN! TouchDOWN! QB Devere handed off to Spencer Ridenhour for a routine blast up the middle for the touchDOWN after Ryan Smalls Third Down Grab and Drag. The Tiger front line of  Joe Vitanza, Smalls, Robles was just blowing the Vernons off the ball in this first 20 minutes. Siaba rung up the point and it was 14-0 with about 9 minutes to go in the first half. Photo by WPCNR Sports




Raeshoon Foote will have to forgive me that subhead, because the  senior fullback made the next “Bust-A-Move.”


Mount Vernon’s Greg Harris caught the Tiger coverage on the far side of the field on the ensuing kick off and seemed long gone for a kickoff return but Keith Shaw and Mike Lane out ran him and shoved him out of bounds at the Tiger 23. Mount Vernon needed a score now and Lane and Shaw made a great save. White Plains causes a fumbled snap by Marquis Long on the first down and it is second down 15 on the Tiger 29. It looks as if Vernon is going to get back in the game.


Again Marquis Long drops back, but the Tigers are coming bowling aside the blockers. Long retreats, holding the ball one-handed and Raeshoone Foote and Evan McGuire have him on the run…McGuire tears the ball out of his hand from behind. Long drops the ball, frantically trying to dive on it.


He can’t get it.  He falls by the wayside into turf, but Raeshone Foote picks it up on the 40  and starts rumblin’ stumblin’and steamin’ with it towards the South End of the Stadium. They’re not going to get him, and Raeshone rambles in for a 60 yard touchdown fumble recovery. It is a big play as it turned out. Pablo Siaba converted and the score was 21-0 with what we thought was 5 minutes to go in the half. Easy right?


Photo by WPCNR Sports


Mount Vernon Gets Up off the Canvas


The clock being kept by the referees seemed to crawl. Mount Vernon was able to get off 14 plays in those last 5 minutes. Finally with 2nd and 15 on the White Plains 45, Marquis Long hit Greg Harris all alone behind the Tiger secondary the far side at the Tiger 5. He waltzed in for the touchdown, which with the point made it 21-7,White Plains at the half.


Third Quarter Moves Slower. Seconds last minutes.


White Plains started with the ball in the second half, and could not move it. Neither could Mount Vernon. Again White Plains could only move the ball to their 16 and punted into the wind short and Mount Vernon took over with a first down at the Tiger 45. On third down on the Tiger 37, a run around left end by Greg Harris gave MV a first and goal on the Tiger 9. On third and goal, Long threw a screen pass to Harris in the left flat near sideline and he walked into the endzone, for the touchdown that made it 21-13. The kick failed, but with short time left in the third quarter, the Tigers had to move the ball.


4th Quarter Drama


Ater two plays from the White Plains 34, the third quarter ended. White Plains, punting with the wind this time was forced to punt, and the Purple Knights had a chance to get the tying touchdown as they set up on their own 30. It was a 35-yard punt from scrimmage by Indelicato and White Plains needed it.


Mount Vernon made a first down on the 43, and White Plains defense  held at 3rd and 6 on the MV 48 as Spencer Ridenhour and Ryan Smalls combined for a chase and sack.


On the ensuing punt Mike Lane returned the ball nicely to the 18  out of trouble but a very questionable “immaculate clip” penalty put the Tigers back on their own 8 yard line. Any mistake here with about 6 minutes to go, and Mount Vernon could tie it with a 2-point conversion, or at least get the ball in great position.


Ridenhour to the Rescue: 2 Third Down Classics.


Ridenhour lugged the ball off tackle to the 16 on the first play. A pass to Ryan Smalls over the middle was incomplete almost picked. It was 3rd and 2 from the Tiger 16. Devere handed to Ridenhour and he moved the mess of tacklers very close to a first down.


Officials called for a measurement. Silence descended. The chains could not be shortened.  Mike Devere signaled first down! Then the Ref signaled. Spencer had gotten the first down by the nose of the football. First and 10 on the White Plains 18. Four more downs. Word was there was two minutes to go.


Ike Nduka carried for 4 yards. Devere dropped back looked far left had Evan McGuire out there on the far sideline 20 yards downfield but Evan turned the wrong way. It was again third down, and a long 6.


Moving the Chains


Devere handed off to Mr. Touchdown. With Vitanza and Smalls clearing the right side Spencer deftly cleared secondary before they cut him down again very very close to the first down.


The lead stick came down, and Ridenhour again had gotten a first down by a nose. By this point we thought it was time for White Plains to take a knee. Playing with house money, Ike Nduka carried for 4,  then carried again for what seemed like a backbreaker gain to the Tiger 45





But suddenly the official was signaling first down Mount Vernon after Nduka was down. The Knights got it back with another chance to tie.


On the first down from the White Plains 45, Marquis Long made his third muffed snap of the day handed off and a scramble ensued at the line. The signal was first down the other way. Joe Indelicato was on his back, and we could not see who for White Plains recovered the giveback. In the postgame, Indelicato said it was Joe Vitanza. A kicksave and a beauty. First down White Plains on their own 45.


Smalls Shocker!


After what had  seemed like an eternity since the “immaculate clip” call and Ridenhour’s guts third down conversions, Devere took a snap and casually dropped back, looking right, on first down, looking DEEP, real deep.


Down there deep at the Mount Vernon 15 is Ryan Smalls ahead of his defender. He turns to his left gathers in the beauty floater from Pilot Devere and incredibly holds on to the ball as the defender drapes himself with all his weight on Ryan’s back.


But Smalls instead of buckling keeps moving! Another 3 yards, staggering, carrying his tackler. He refuses to go down, churning for 6 yards, 9 yards and a first and goal on the 3. The play covers 52 yards. Another Smalls classic catch of the season in the clutch.


Devere handed to Ridenhour who burst in on first and goal with no resistance for the touchdown that made it 27-13. Pablo converted and it was 28-13 with what we thought was seconds to go.


But the referees were enjoying the game so much that Mount Vernon got off about 6 more plays before White Plains took over on downs at their 30 yard line.


Another   7 Nails in the Coffin.


On first down, Devere gave it to Spencer Ridenhour who burst off tackle, into the secondary and simply out ran Mount Vernon for a 70 yard touchdown run. It was his second touchdown of the long afternoon.


When time finally ran out, the fans could not believe what they had seen: 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters that lasted endlessly. White Plains penalized more than they have been penalized in any game all season. Flagrant pass interferences not called.


Amateur in Truest Sense of Word


Let me repeat, the officiating was terrible in this game.


Sean McLaughlin went up for a pass in the second quarter in mid air and before the catch he was taken out, landing on his back. That is pass interference anywhere but today.


Evan McGuire was going for a pass, hit the ground and the pass defender hit him just before he caught it, and picked up the ball returning it 30 yards. The grandstand defensive coordinators felt that one was pass interference too.


Allowing hits like this makes it a dangerous game for both sides.


There were questionable calls allowing Mount Vernon key opportunities that the White Plains defense fortunately denied. There was a sack that would have killed a Mount Vernon drive giving the Tigers a much better field position at the time of the “Immaculate Clip.” The sack was declared a forward pass, nullifying a 20 yard loss. This was an egregious call.


This was a badly officiated game, with time kept very ineptly by the referees on the field.


When this one ended, the Tigers felt they must have played 5 quarters with at least 3 to 4 minutes added to each of the last three quarters.


Character Building


This fifth win was a win like all others this season: the line, the defense, the offense making big plays, and refusing to give in to fatigue, adversity, or in this case, amateur, in every sense of that word, officiating. White Plains is a superbly conditioned football team. The boys go both ways and have a lot left in their fuel tanks when the other clubs cannot respond.


This was a game where Spencer Ridenhour rose to the occasion for two third down plays that had to be made on third and long. His extra effort after having his ankle hurt in the second quarter was a valiant effort.


But the victory was won by every one stepping up and making plays, doing their jobs, following their assignments. The fumble at the 45 in the last minutes was the first Tiger turnover this reporter can remember in 5 games. That may be exaggerating, but this team makes no mistakes.


Mike Devere passed in the pinch when he had to on a hard day to pass. An oldtimer who played on New Rochelle in the early 60s, remarked to me that Mike did not have the touch when he was missing receivers in the first half.


When he hit Smalls for the 56 yard pass play with the game on the line, getting it to him in catchable position….my oldtimer compadre said, “He’s got the touch all right.”


They all have “the touch.”



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District 5 Legislator Candidate Calls for Legislative Reform

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WPCNR COUNTY CAMPAIGN JOURNAL. From the Cantatore Camp. September 4, 2003: Frank Cantatore continued his assault on the County Legislature Friday in his effort to represent White Plains and Scarsdale in the Fifth District of the Westchester County, calling for a new law to require the Board of Legislators to post on the internet agendas for the Board and committee meetings at least 48 hours before the meeting. The law would also require the Board to post monthly expenditure reports from the Legislature’s budget, as well as monthly reports on postage utilization and printing expenses for each Legislator. It will also require the Board of Legislators to post on the internet a “staffing disclosure report”, which will list every member of the Board of Legislator’s staff, a job description for each individual, including minimum qualifications required and the total salary paid to each individual.



“The Board of Legislators should be held accountable for their actions. This law creates a system using new and readily available technology that will give the public information they are entitled to. After all it’s their money that is being used. What’s more I was recently informed that over 200 purchase orders were submitted for the Courthouse renovation that not even certain members of the Board were aware of. That’s why we need to have this system up and running,” said Cantatore.  Currently such information does not exist in this manner. Citizens interested in obtaining such information have to submit a “freedom of information request” in order to receive it.


According to recent media surveys, over 60% of households have internet access. “People will be able to access information on where their monies are being spent from the comfort of their home, office or local library. This will bring much needed transparency to County government. This is an initiative whose time has come. What with all the corporate scandals of this past year, the American public has lost its faith and trust in the private sector. This initiative will restore Americans’ faith and trust in government,” said Cantatore.


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Westchester Way.. 2004 .Guide to Meeting Sites…FREE!

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WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From Westchester Office of Tourism, September 3, 2003: Sensational spaces, sites and scenery characterize Westchester County, New York as an ideal destination for meetings and special events.  The Office of Tourism has released “Meetings, The Westchester Way” the county’s  Meeting Planners’ Guide, 2004 edition, as an information resource to help meeting and event planners find venues throughout Westchester for conventions, conferences, meetings, and special events of all dimensions.

Published by Westfair Communications, Inc., the 40-page, four-color Meeting Planners’ Guide contains detailed information on the county’s hotels, conference centers, the Westchester County Center, and meeting space located in Westchester County parks facilities, such as Playland Amusement Park in Rye and Croton Point Park in Croton on Hudson. 

A section on additional “Unique Spaces and Places” describes non-traditional locations that create a special atmosphere for events, such as historic sites, mansions, theaters, parks, colleges, restaurants and catering facilities.  Event planners will appreciate the information on outstanding spaces such as castles, gardens, river cruises, and parks located throughout the county for weddings, anniversaries, holiday parties, etc.

“As a meeting destination, Westchester County offers the highest standard of service, combined with top notch facilities,” said Margo Jones, Director of the Westchester County Office of Tourism.  “Westchester is also conveniently located in the heart of the Hudson River Valley, just north of New York City.”

The Meeting Planners Guide also provides information about service vendors, such as audio-visual providers, booth and exhibit contractors, caterers, decorators, destination management consultants, transportation companies, entertainment and temporary staffing.

An “At Your Leisure” section on entertainment and recreation describes several possibilities for after-hours activities and group events, and a travel information page helps expedite travel to and from the area.

To request a free copy of the Westchester County Meeting Planners’ Guide, call the Office of Tourism at (914) 995-8500 or 1(800) 833-9282; e-mail, or visit  Special-interest brochures, such as the Westchester County Travel Guide, Gardens, and Antiques are also available.

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The White Plains Performing Arts Center Tour

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WPCNR’S CITY CENTER JOHNNY ON TOUR. By John F. Bailey. October 3, 2003: The highlight of the Mayor’s White Plains Performing Arts Center News Conference Thursday was “the tour.”  A group of about 30 persons were given hardhats and proceeded to cross the street from City Hall to the City Center, proceeding into “Conroy Place,” which now has its cobblestone drive mostly in place and gleaming black light posts emulating the new street ambience in White Plains.



DIGNATARIES from public relations persons to reporters, to councilpersons gawked at the imposing rich emerald green façade of the bridge from the new parking garage, the elegant cobblestones and the black granite fountain. Entering on the first floor street level, they were greeted by a brightly lit Circuit City store, looking ready to open. Photo by WPCNR News.



ENTERING STREET LEVEL ON CONROY PLACE: We proceeded to climb the escalators in the vaulted two level atrium/lobby,  to the fourth level of the City Center. As we entered from Conroy Place soon to be named City Center Place, we passed the Circuit City looking ready to open, and very inviting. Photo by WPCNR News.


PASSING CIRCUIT CITY, the party ascended the escalators which were not in motion to the fourth floor, the theatre level. Photo by WPCNR News.


THE THEATRE ENTRANCE: Main entrance, steel scaffolds of seating can be seen. Photo by WPCNR News



BOX OFFICE AREA IS TO THE RIGHT: We entered the theatre noticing that there is a shell of a theatre and that THE arc of steel seating structures were in the process of being installed. The stage is to our left. The walls of the theatre are sheetrock, awaiting interior decoration. Photo by WPCNR News.





PROJECT MANAGER, Steve Feinstein, of HRH Construction (in light blue shirt, slightly to right in photo), explained the next order of business was installing the light banks and control booth at top left of picture.  Photo by WPCNR News



CREATING THE VARIOUS SEGMENTS of the theatre will proceed on a simultaneous basis. To come: pouring concrete for the stage, and installing the polished wooden stage floor . Feinstein said work was proceeding at a 6-days-a-week-10 hours-a-day pace with a completion date of October 31 for the Performing Arts Center. He noted an elevator would whisk theatre goers directly from street level entry to the White Plains Performing Arts Center floor. Photo by WPCNR News.



ON THIS VERY STAGE, IN 35 DAYS, the Flying Karamazov Brothers will be doing the juggling. For now the intricate, precision juggling is being handled deftly by the HRH Construction crews who have been performing building miracles for two years, being counted on to finish a theatre in 28 days. Speaking to WPCNR after the tour, Co-Producer Jeffrey Rosenstock told WPCNR that he expected to be “running through” the theater control, lighting and production systems the first week of November. Photo by WPCNR News


Calling More Angels. Calling More Angels.


The Gala performance on November 9 is being relied on to produce a performance budget. In the meantime, George Gretsas, the Mayor’s Executive Officer, said a single sponsor (in Broadway speak, an “angel”)  has underwritten Bob Newhart’s performance. He would not reveal that sponsor, saying that was up to the Board of Directors of the theatre to announce at their discretion.


Asked the source of future operating funds for the theatre and whether any advance contributions had already been made, Gretsas said he did not know and would get that information. Rosenstock and Stimac as operators of the theatre are paid a flat $100,000 for the first year of their contract to operate the theatre, and that is the maximum city contribution to the theatre.


Staffing Up


Tony Stimac said a third person had been hired for the White Plains Performing Arts Center staff in addition to Kathy Davidson, the Theatre Manager. The new hand on board is Melinda O’Brien, who Mr.Stimac said will be Development & Programming Associate. He said she would responsible for fundraising overtures and program development.


Community Groups Invited


Mr. Rosenstock, echoing a theme in the news conference said the theatre would be produce 1/3 professional performances, 1/3 community-produced performances and 1/3 new creative works. Mr. Rosenstock said that Ms. Davidson had worked out what he called “a Basic Rental Sheet” and said “we’re working on drawing up a standard contract.”  He said groups desiring to rent the theatre could contact Ms. Davidson now for preliminary discussions on how to do that. She can be reached at 422-1376.



WPCNR SIDEWALK INSIDER CHAT with Jeffrey Rosenstock, Co-Producer. Mayor Delfino chats with Tony Stimac at left. Photo by WPCNR News.


Rosentock was bubbling with enthusiasm for the theatre during our sidewalk chat in front of City Hall.  He said he presents 425 performances a year at his Queens Theatre in the Park.  He said the synergy generated by persons coming to his Queens facility has brought many community groups throughout Queens to his theatre. “People come to the theatre, see groups performing there and inquire about how they can use the theatre,” he explained, saying he has attracted rentals from many groups in Queens this way. He says the enthusiasm is contagious, and that he and Mr.Stimac have had the experience of growing theatres and looked forward to watching it happen here.


Financing to Come.


Asked about what financial contributions had already been received by the White Plains Performing Arts Center, George Gretsas, the Mayor’s Executive Officer, said a sponsor, whom he could not reveal,  had underwritten the Bob Newhart Gala performance. He said he would get the information as to whether any other donations had been received.


Early Thursday evening, Gretsas said that of the $100,000 the city is paying the non-profit organization of Stimac and Rosenstock to run the theatre, about $50,000 has been spent, and he said they would continue “to draw down” on it. He said that he could not tell what financing had possibly been already contributed to the Center’s “endowment” because the White Plains Performing Arts Center was a private nonprofit organization and only their Board of Directors could supply that information. He said Mr. Stimac was the person we should ask for that information.



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Gala Key to Endowing Performing Arts Center. Mayor, Impresarios Impress.

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WPCNR STAGE DOOR. By John F. Bailey. October 3, 2003: Mayor Joseph Delfino and Co-Producers, Tony Stimac and Jeffrey Rosentock, operators of the White Plains Performing Arts Center, introduced their opening Weekend Thursday and took dignitaries and media on a tour of the theatre under construction Thursday.


MASTER OF CEREMONIES: Mayor Joseph Delfino introducing Thursday morning’s news conference to approximately 30 dignataries, media, and Common Council members that announced the details of the White Plains Performing Arts Center Opening Weekend, November 8,9 and 10. Left to right, Eli Schonberger, of the Founding Board of Trustees, the Mayor, and WPPAC Impresarios, Jeffrey Rosenstock and Tony Stimac. The Mayor said, prior to the tour of the theatre, that what you’ll see is “the shell of a theatre well under way to becoming the cultural heart of this city.” Photo by WPCNR News.


The Mayor introduced the news conference saying, he felt he should write a play about how the theatre came about. The first part, he said, would be a tragedy about all the attempts to build a community theater, and the second part would be about how a community could get it done and find a way to pay for a $3.5 Million theatre without the city having to pay for it. No city property taxes are being used to fund the theatre.

Cooperation. Cooperation. Cooperation.

The Mayor said today’s success was the product of cooperation between federal, state, county and local government, and the private sector. He singled out the Department of Housing and Urban Development and New York State Senator Nicholas Spano to thank for his acquiring Empire State Development Corporation funds for the theatre.


Newhart Show the Key.


Tony Stimac announced that Bob Newhart, the comedian, and star of The Bob Newhart Show, and Newhart, television hits of the 70s and 80s, would be the Gala Fundraising showcase performer appearing November 9 at 7 PM.


 There will be a cocktail reception and post-performance get-together to kickoff a fundraising drive to endow the theatre. Stimac saluted Newhart for agreeing to accept “a greatly reduced fee” for his one-man performance. Newhart is enjoying new popularity with his role in the movie, Legally Blonde II and an upcoming Christmas release, Elf.  For more about Bob and reviews of his comedy act, WPCNR refers readers to Bob’s website at


Tickets to the Newhart performance at the Gala, the Mayor said could be reserved  immediately, ( tickets start at $250) by calling 1-888-977-2250, right away. If 200 persons (the theatre seats 417) attend at $250 a head, the theatre will raise at least $50,000 to get it underway. A full house at the $250 minimum would raise $100,000.


Envelopes for the invitations were reported by Stimac at the news conference to have arrived today and the balance of invitations to the Gala would be mailed out shortly.


Two more Shows Articulate the Theatre’s Mission.


Mr. Stimac turned the festivities over to Jeffrey Rosentock, his Co-Producer, who said the Opening Weekend would showcase three events to show the three audiences the White Plains Performing Arts Center wanted to reach: family performances, the mature audience tastes (represented by Mr. Newhart at the Gala), and new works.


The enthusiastic Mr. Rosenstock, a natural born salesperson, (who makes you want to pick up the phone and order tickets right away), said that on Saturday, November 8, the day the National Amusements Theatres open, the WPPAC would also open its doors to present the Flying Karamazov Brothers.


The Flying Karamazov Brothers in Two Shows.


The Flying Karamazov Brothers will be performing their new show Catch! They are a national phenomenon who specialize in juggling, acrobatics, mime, sight-gags reminiscent of the vaudeville of the past with a contemporary pace and excitement that is entertainment for the entire family. They will perform a matinee at 3 PM  and an evening performance at 7 PM, with tickets priced at $30 to $35, with $20 tickets for children under 12. Those tickets will be on sale beginning October 8, according to Kathy Davidson, the Theatre Manager.


Catch! is described in the news release “includes traditional juggling of everyday items, such as sickles, hatchests, meat cleavers and torches. It also features a favorite bit of the brothers, “The Gamble,” where the audience brings whatever objects they think the group will be unable to juggle, betting applause against a pie in the face that the Brothers cannot juggle the objects. Catch! features taiko festival drumming, Polish Appalachian Clog Dancing and their “trademark” Nine Objects of Danger. For more about the Flying Karamazovs, visit their website at


Stimac to Bring Broadway to White Plains


Rosentock turned it back to Mr. Stimac for the latest on a surprise Monday night performance to take place on Monday, November 10.


Stimac is lining up a host of current Broadway stars to perform in a  one-time-only production he’s calling “Broadway Salutes White Plains.” According to the news release, this is an original review in which “cast members from Henry IV, Avenue Q, Aida, Beauty & The Beast,” and other shows will appear, doing numbers or bits from their shows, according to Mr. Stimac. Stimac told WPCNR walking back to City Hall after the tour that he had already gotten five Broadway performers lined up for the Monday evening performance. Stimac said that it made sense because Broadway is dark on Mondays and performers often do benefits and special guest appearances on those evenings.


That Monday evening performance, Rosenstock said, was to showcase WPPAC’s mission to bring in new creative works. Mr. Stimac said the complete lineup will be announced as soon as possible. Rosenstock added that a brochure will be out within two weeks with more details about WPPAC’s upcoming programming.


Tickets for Broadway Salutes White Plains are priced at $35 to $45, and will be available beginning October 8, again by calling the 1-888-977-2250 number.


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Cantatore Assails Ryan for “Allowing” Convict Work Program at Hudson Hills

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WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-JOURNAL. From Frank Cantatore. October 2, 2003: Businessman, community leader and candidate for the County Board of Legislator’s Fifth district, Frank Cantatore Thursday called for the immediate suspension of the inmate work program at the County’s golf course Hudson Hills. On Wednesday, an inmate who was working there escaped and was later captured. The program places inmates from the County jail at the golf course to do various work functions.



 “It’s time to put a stop to a program that should have never been instituted in the first place. All this program is and was is a way to cover costs overruns for an exclusive golf club that should have never been built by the County in the first place. But what’s more egregious is that Bill Ryan, Chairman of the Public Safety committee allowed it to happen. We’re fortunate that the criminal who escaped was a “low level” risk, maybe next time we won’t be so lucky,” I am calling on the County to put a stop to this inmate program immediately,” said Cantatore.


“We were lucky that no one was injured by this incident. The golf course should have professionals working on them, not dangerous criminals, said Cantatore.

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Newhart’s In! Producers:Flying Karamazovs, Broadway Stars to Perform Nov 8 & 10

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WPCNR STAGE DOOR. By John F. Bailey. October 2, 2003: At a news conference this morning, White Plains Performing Arts Center Impresarios, Tony Stimac and Jeffrey Rosenstock confirmed that Bob Newhart, the television and comedy star would headline the Gala fundraising event November 9, and announced a 3-day Opening Weekend Entertainment Extravaganza.

On Saturday, November 8, they said The Flying Karamazovs would perform at 3 PM and 7 PM on Saturday, the 8th, and that on Monday evening, November 10, at least 5 Broadway performers have agreed to participate in a “Broadway Salutes White Plains” review. Tickets for the Saturday and Monday performances will go on sale October 8 at the box office. Tickets to the Gala Performance can be ordered now by calling 1-888-977-2250. Beginning October 8, Tickets to the Flying Karamazovs shows and the Broadway Stars review may be ordered using that same number.

The White Plains Performing Arts Center Today.

Photo by WPCNR News


A group of dignataries attending the conference toured the White Plains Performing Arts Center site afterwards with the Mayor and city officials, and observed the steel superstructure of the seating being put in place. The Project Supervisor for HRH Construction, Steve Feinstein,  said he expected to complete the theatre by October 31, and his crews would be working 6 days a week, 10 hours a day to achieve that.

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Lodge Cancels 2003 Columbus Day Parade for Lack of Contributions

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WPCNR THE MAIN STREET LINE. By John F. Bailey. October 2, 2003: The Antonio Meucci Lodge, organizers and producers of the annual White Plains Columbus Day Parade have made the decision to cancel the parade previously scheduled in the city for October 18.


Serena Russell, a member of the Lodge Parade Committee told WPCNR Wednesday evening  that as the date approached it became clear the Lodge was not going to find enough community businesses and individuals to contribute enough money to fund the production. The committee held a vote and the consensus was to cancell the parade. Russell said the parade costs the lodge $30,000 and only about $15,000 had been pledged as of last week. She said the committee reluctantly decided to not have a parade this year.


She said the city provides services to stage the parade, and the city was quite willing to provide traffic control and in-kind services as they do every year for this year’s parade. Russell said the committee would begin fund-raising efforts earlier in the year in 2004.

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Bob Newhart to Entertain, Mingle at Performing Arts Center Gala Nov. 9

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WPCNR STAGE DOOR. By John F. Bailey. October 1, 2003, UPDATED 1:15 P.M. SUPPLEMENTED 2 P.M. with pictures: Invitations are beginning to be received across White Plains for the Gala Opening of the White Plains Performing Arts Center that will showcase the classic comedian, Bob Newhart “in concert” on early Sunday evening, November 9. 

His appearance and the theatre’s premier show, All Under Heaven, starring Valerie Harper, will be officially announced at a News Conference Thursday morning at 11:00 A.M. to begin at City Hall at the 11 o’clock hour and proceed to City Center  White Plains Performing Arts Center for a press tour, now under construction and being furnished internally, according to an official news advisory issued by City Hall Wednesday evening.



Gala Invitation Invites White Plains Rich Famous and Connected to Show Business: The invitation you’ve been waiting for was arriving this week in city and county mailboxes all over town. Photo by WPCNR News


Mr. Newhart,  will be the “Star of the Gala” and have the honor of christening the city’s first community theatre. The star of nightclubs, and two longrunning television sitcoms will present a comedy performance at 7 PM, and will host a VIP Post-Show Reception beginning at 8:30 P.M. Well-heeled honchos, honchoettes, and patrons of the arts and outstanding citizens of White Plains and Westchester will begin to arrive by limousine to mingle, smooze and showcase at a Cocktail and Hors d’oeuvres extravaganza beginning at 5:30 P.M.


Valerie Harper, will have the distinction of appearing in the first official “run” at The White Plains Performing Arts Center from November 18 to November 23, appearing in her one-woman show in which she plays the author, Pearl Buck, All Under Heaven. Showtimes and ticket purchasing information will be announced  Davidson said.


Invitations Are Out to the City’s Hottest and Most Expensive Ticket

Invitations for the toney event have gone out and request a minimum $250 per guest contribution to mingle and dig the scene, and watch vintage Bob Newhart in performance. The invitation invites groups White Plains and Westchester aficionados of the arts to immortalize their commitment and be designated “Angels” to the tragic-comic muse with a $25,000 contribution to the WPPAC  that will be remembered to future generations by their names being inscribed on a “Founders Plaque” to be displayed in the lobby of the White Plains Performing Arts Center. As an Angel the $25,000 buys you twelve tickets and “Preferred Seating.”

Other degrees of support are the “Star” level with a $10,000 contribution that gives you 8 tickets. “Producer” status, $5,000, bringing you 6 tickets. The $25,000, $10,000, and $5,000 commitments include the entire evening consisting of the Cocktail Hour Pre-Performance Reception, Mr. Newhart’s show, and the Post Performance Reception with Mr. Newhart.

SPONSORSHIPS REQUESTED: A copy of the patrons’ choices they have to fund the White Plains Performing Arts Center at the Gala on November 9. Proceeds from the mostly tax-deductible contributions and sponsorships will be used to fund theatre operations. Photo by WPCNR News


At the “Author,” status, you may bring three friends for $2,500, which entitles you to 4 seats, but you will miss the Post Performance Reception. Each of these levels of commitment includes an advertisement in the Gala’s Commemorative Journal.


For couples wishing to be in on entertainment history in White Plains, two tickets may be obtained with a Contribution of $1,500 letting you join in the Cocktail reception and view the Newhart show. A single ticket will be $250, also entitling you to the Cocktail reception.


A New Era


The official invitation  remarks, “This event marks a new era for White Plains with the inception of Westchester’s newest professional not-for-profit theatre,” and promises the opportunity “of being a sponsor of the Gala Opening and join Mayor Delfino and the Common Council members, as well as other community and business leaders.”


The announcement states the theatre’s mission: “The White Plains Performing Arts Center will be home to the best professional theatre, family programs, music and dance concerts as well as a hothouse for exciting new works and a venue for showcasing local talent. Your participation and support of our Gala Opening fundraising event will help shape the future of the center as a cultural resource to the community for many years to come.”


RSVPs  to purchase tickets to the Gala are to be returned to Chauncey Walker  of The Founding Board of Trustees  c/o of Cuddy & Feder at 90 Maple Avenue in White Plains. the invitation invites the public to call the WPPAC office at (914) 422-1376 or e-mail Tony Stimac at for more information.


Big Splash Conference  Moved Up to Thursday Morning.


Kathy Davidson, Theatre Manager told WPCNR yesterday that a news conference Friday would detail performances to come, and did not tell us that Valerie Harper was not performing in the Gala which was what we called to confirm with her. (That news conference has been moved up to Thursday at 11 A.M. at the City Center Performing Arts Center site.)


In our City Center Timetable story Tuesday, the date of the gala given to us by George Gretsas, the Mayor’s Executive Officer one week ago, he said was Saturday, which is November 8.  


Tuesday, WPCNR called to ask Ms. Davidson to confirm that the Gala was taking place on the 8th and would it feature Valerie Harper and which show was she doing. 


Ms. Davidson did not correct our impression that the Gala was taking place on November 8. She did not tell us Ms. Harper would not be involved in the Gala Performance when I asked what show Ms. Harper was going to play for the Gala. WPCNR apologizes for creating any confusion over the actual date of the Gala, which might be attributed to the city wanting to keep the audience and WPCNR in suspense. Who knows, Ms. Harper may very well put in an appearance and mingle at the Gala itself.


As Shakespeare would say, “All’s well that ends well.”


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City Center Timetable Firming Up: Express Trains on Separate Tracks

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WPCNR THE MAIN STREET LINE By John F. Bailey. September 29, 2003, UPDATED WITH PICTURES & INFO 2 P.M. E.D.T. UPDATED October 1, 2003, 12:30 P.M. E.D.T.: The White Plains City Center is coming together with different enterprises firming up opening dates. The Target Store on the ground floor below street level, and Circuit City, located on the first floor, open on October 12, according to a City Center spokesman.  An official announcement detailing the Opening performance and Gala for the White Plains Performing Arts Center is expected at the end of this week, the Theatre Manager said today.


RESTAURANT ROW: Restaurants will open in successive waves forming a “restaurant row” on Mamaroneck Avenue, beginning with Applebee’s opening before Thanksgiving, followed by Zanaro’s  in time for Christmas.  Geoffrey Thompson, spokesman for Cappelli Enterprises reports Zanaro’s will locate in the Greenpoint Bank Building after Greenpoint vacates the Greek revival style building effective October 15, and relocates in the City Center on the Mamaroneck Avenue side approximately the same date. Photo by WPCNR News


Thompson said The National Amusements Theatres are scheduled to open in November along with the fledgling White Plains Performing Arts Center on Saturday, November 8. 



Kathy Davidson, Theatre Manager for the WPPAC told WPCNR today that a news release detailing the WPPAC opening plans and gala, and how theatre goers can purchase tickets, as well as, possible future attractions, was expected by the end of the week. She said the Center was waiting for signed contracts from the artists, but had not received them to her knowledge as of Tuesday morning, and that was why the details of the opening had not been announced.

Hot Peppers and Java

Next, Thompson said, AppleMetro Applebee’s will be the first City Center eatery to open, followed in succession by Zanaro’s, which will occupy the former Greenpoint Bank building on the corner of Main and Mamaroneck, and is tentatively scheduled to open before Christmas, approximately December 15.. Legal Seafood will be next in line to locate on Mamaroneck Avenue, after the first of year, no date given.


Thompson said Zanaro’s will be “a spectacular new prototype for future Zanaro’s” that Apple Metro hopes to use to showcase this “super Zanaro’s” to other markets across the country.


STARBUCK’S HUTCH GOES UP: Starbuck’s the nation’s cup of coffee, will be opening approximately December 15, according to the Mayor’s Executive Officer, George Gretsas when interviewed last Wednesday. He said the Starbuck’s kiosk was scheduled to be completed and turned over to Starbuck’s November 1, with Starbucks expected to take six weeks to prepare the operation for business. The Renaissance Plaza Fountain, Gretsas said was scheduled for completion October 28. The site of fountain and Starbuck’s kiosk is shown as it

appeared last week. Photo by WPCNR News


SOUTH AMERICAN GRANITE beginning to be installed at Renaissance Plaza last week. The Starbuck’s Hutch is in perspective in the Southwest corner of the plaza in front of Macy’s. Photo by WPCNR News.


Roll ’em and Cue ’em.


Next in succession will be the opening of the 15 National Amusements theatres. The movies are scheduled to open for the weekend of November 8.


NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS CINEMA FLOOR  as it appeared September 9. Currently refreshment kiosks are being installed. Opening is November 8. Photo by WPCNR News.


November 9, the very next day will be the date of the first White Plains Performing Arts Center Opening Gala performance, Last week, Gretsas told WPCNR that Kathy Davidson, the theatre’s newly appointed Theatre Manager, is in the process of printing brochures and invitations, and had said the Gala would be the weekend of the 8, 9, 10, saying it would be the Saturday of that weekend, and that is where the confusion came in yesterday.


Asked who the opening night gala performers would be last Wednesday, Gretsas said they were in the process of being confirmed and said they would be announced when firmly committed.


“That Girl’s” Pal to headline.


Asked last week, if a show starring the former television sitcom performer and sidekick to Mary Tyler Moore on the sitcom of the past, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Valerie Harper, was the first featured attraction as reported by an executive of the Helen Hayes Theatre last week, Gretsas said it was too early to announce it formally last week.


Tony Stimac, now wearing two hats, running the White Plains theatre and recently reappointed Executive Director of the Helen Hayes theatre in Nyack, where he had been reassigned as Artistic Director, stated to the Rockland County press last week that Ms. Harper will perform in the White Plains Performing Arts Center, and the Helen Hayes and the Queens Theatre in the Park in a three week run in November, one week in each venue.

THE WHITE PLAINS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER shown when seen three weeks ago. As of  the end of last week, it is reported to have any seats installed yet and no interior decorating on the sides of the theatre walls. Photo by WPCNR News



Mr. Thompson said he was expecting that there would be an informal mini-gala tour of the new Performing Arts Center possibly as early as October 8.


Mr. Gretsas said last Wedneday, there was a possibility of such a pre-opening of the Performing Arts Center, but it was not definite at this time. (As of Wednesday no seats had been installed in the City Center White Plains Performing Arts Center.) Thompson said the seating would be stadium seating similar to the seating in the 15 National Amusements movie venues.


Valerie Harper’s One Woman Show Is Coming to Town November 18 to 23. Will Tell All Thursday.


Tuesday WPCNR spoke with Kathy Davidson, the Theater Manager and she said a news release would be circulated “by the end of the week” detailing the plans for the gala, opening weekend and ticket purchase procedures. She did not deny that Valerie Harper would peform in the Gala when we asked her about it. When asked which show Harper would be doing, she did not dissuade WPCNR from our impression that Valerie Harper’s touring show, The Allergist’s Wife would be the opening weekend attraction on November 8, nor did she correct our understanding that the Gala was taking place on Saturday evening, the 8th.


 All Under Heaven, Ms. Harper’s one-woman show in which she plays Pearl Buck will play later in the month at the WPPAC. WPCNR learned from Ms. Davidson Wednesday morning that Ms. Harper’s show, All Under Heaven, will play White Plains Performing Arts Center on November 18 to 23.


To read more about All Under Heaven, WPCNR refers readers to Ms. Harper’s website,


Barnes & Noble Coming March ‘04


The first major tenant beyond Circuit City and Target will be Barnes & Noble expected to open in March on the Main Street Side.


North Tower to  Open for Occupancy April 1.

The City Center North Column as it Appeared Thursday, September 25. Photo by WPCNR News


Turning to discussion of the City Center residences, the North Column, the loft building on Martine Avenue, and the South Column  which has begun to rise out of the ground, Thompson announced that Cappelli Enterprises would have the North Tower ready to receive residents by April 1, 2004.

VIEW DOWN MAIN STREET WITH TERRACE AT THE 7TH FLOOR. You are standing in the entertaining area, outdoor terrace parepet is through the sliding glass doors. Photo by WPCNR News


Mr. Thompson discussed the floor plans  in the North Column. The third through the 29th floors would provide 1 bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments. The 3rd floor, backing up on the west side to the City Center building would house 7 apartments, including some studios and 1 and 2-bedroom units.  The 4th floor has 6 apartments. The apartments per floor, expand commensurately as the column climbs to the sky. The 5th floor offers 10 units’ the 6th through the 21st floors present 12 apartments consisting of 1 and 2-bedroom apartments exclusively.


 As the Cappelli Column steps back at the 22nd floor with its North side terraces, there are 9 1-and-2 bedroom apartments on each floor up through the 28th Floor.  At the 29th and 30th floor, there are 6 1-and-2 bedroom apartments

North Side Terraces looking to the Tappan Zee Bridge West are an amenity of the 22nd Floor.

Photo by WPCNR News


THE CAPELLI PERCH: Deluxe Apartments in the Sky Include Duplexes. This is the view from the floor-to-ceiling windows on the 35th floor. Photo by WPCNR News


 The 31st through the 35th floors, the envisioned pinnacle of White Plains, there are four 3-bedroom apartments on each floor, for a total of 20 “premium perches,” with floor-to-ceiling windows that slide left to right to open to the air.



Meanwhile Back at Street Level


The Loft Building adjacent to the City Center on Martine Avenue has been built up to the fourth floor level, and Thompson reports that there will be 29 total condominium units in this offering. The building consists of 9 floors with 3 apartments on each floor, including two townhouse offerings consisting of two floors. Each townhouse will be located on each end of the loft structure.

ATTENTION CREATIVE TYPES WITH CASH:  The Condominium loft building on Martine Avenue as it appeared September 25. It has 6 more stories to rise. Photo by WPCNR News.

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