It started on Halloween six years ago…
That’s when Douglas McClure, John Malone, and a few of their friends dressed up as the Ramones and performed on North Dutcher Street where they live. Since then, the ritual has joyfully multiplied into a treasured Irvington tradition: community bands providing their neighbors with a rock and roll soundtrack (and the accompanying light show) while trick-or-treaters and their families crowd the Village side streets to sing and dance along.
“We’ve got architects, psychologists, veterinarians, teachers, and technology professionals,” said McClure of the musicians who comprise each act. “It runs the gamut.”
The Halloween Bands (as they’ve been collectively dubbed) don’t let their moniker dictate their performance schedule; last spring, they came together for “Half Halloween,” a spectacular concert fundraiser on the Irvington Theater stage that thoroughly enchanted audience members of all ages. For the first time, four beloved bands were all in one place: Lennon + Friends, Wild Thyme, Evil Eckar, and the North Dutcher All-Stars. Local resident Rich Lobel made a wildly entertaining Master of Ceremonies, and the whole evening was replete with uncanny impersonations, impromptu aisle dancing, spooky surprises, and a karaoke contest that brought down the house. The Village of Irvington was abuzz for weeks, basking in the afterglow of such palpable community spiritedness and intergenerational celebration.
“Ever since that magical night, people always ask us if we made a movie of the show,” said participating musician Miyuki Furtado, who also serves on the Irvington Theater Commission. “Folks who missed it were so disappointed, and anyone who was there wishes they could see it again.”
That wish is about to come true. For the first time ever, Irvington Theater will stream this legendary concert for a one-night-only Halloweekend event – from their stoops to our stage, and now directly to you! Costumes, candy, and household watch parties are strongly encouraged.
Furtado says it’s the perfect time to revisit such a cathartic, live event: “Especially now, with so much uncertainty in the air, that night takes us back to a feeling not so long ago… when we could all gather together and share an incredible, creative community bond that made everyone on the stage and in the audience feel so welcomed, close, and inspired.”
This world premiere concert film will stream at 7:30pm on Friday, October 30. Purchase your ticket ($12 per household) to receive the viewing link and password at irvingtontheater.com/irvingtonanywhere.
Irvington Theater is home to a diverse range of innovative programming that entertains, enlightens, and inspires, establishing itself over its 118-year history as the cultural heart of the Rivertowns. The theater continues its tradition with unprecedented reach with “Irvington Anywhere,” their entirely virtual fall season of short films, lively concerts, and classic celebrations. Irvington Anywhere is made possible thanks to the generous support of Eric Bernstein of Compass, Dobbs Ferry.
PHOTOS BY Paula Romanow Etzel