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'Earth Matters' to these Heckscher artists

A detail from Thea Lanzisero's

A detail from Thea Lanzisero's "Bamboo Weaving," part of the "Earth Matters" exhibition opening at the Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, July 30, 2011. Photo Credit: Handout

WHAT Land- and seascapes capturing the visual treasures of Long Island are not what this show is about -- although preserving such scenes may be. In the Heckscher Museum's "Earth Matters," artists explore the human tilting of the Island's ecological balance through installations created out of natural material and man-made detritus. Those invited by curator Lisa Chalif are Thea Lanzisero, Seung Lee, Winn Rea and Barbara Roux, all of Huntington, along with Manhattan-based Tamiko Kawata, who also works in the Hamptons. While not all the works were created for this show, all have been specifically adapted to the Heckscher space. "It's a first for us," says Chaliff. Lanzisero's "Tend," meaning to nurture, is constructed of bamboo harvested from Eaton's Neck. It was woven with the help of community volunteers whose names Lanzisero writes out in bamboo. The installation starts with an arch in Heckscher Park outside. Lee's "Tree of Life" juxtaposes a motherboard with insects encased in resin beneath a tree's roots. Rea's "Reed Topo" pairs a natural-material relief map of the hollow at Cold Spring Harbor with a video. Roux creates a lunar landscape out of stripped tulip tree branches, while Kawata demonstrates the volume of paper Long Islanders discard with "Newsday Falls," a "waterfall" constructed of paper strips from four weeks' worth of Newsdays.

WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends, noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays (until 8:30 tonight, the first Friday of the month), Heckscher Museum of Art, 2 Prime Ave., Huntington

INFO $8, $6 seniors, $5 students (discounts for Huntington residents); heckscher.org, 631-351-3250

Theater: From Shakespeare to Sir Andrew

WHAT Guess the Shakespeare play: "Friendship is constant in all other things, save in the office and affairs of love." If "Much Ado About Nothing" be your answer, get thee forthwith to ye olde manse at Vanderbilt, where Arena Players presents the comic counterpoint to the tragic portion ("Romeo and Juliet") of its Shakespeare Festival. Two pairs of lovers find their relationships altered by mistaking the word "noting" for "nothing." Hence, the title.

WHEN | WHERE Opens 7 p.m. Sunday; Wednesdays, Fridays (8 p.m.) and Sundays through Aug. 28, Arena Players, Vanderbilt Museum's mansion courtyard, 180 Little Neck Rd., Centerport. (Seating available, or bring your own chair.)

INFO $15; arenaplayers.org, 516-293-0674

WHAT Although "Phantom of the Opera" may run forever, Andrew Lloyd Webber's last big splash on Broadway (1994) was "Sunset Boulevard." Based on the 1950 film about a young screenwriter and a faded movie star (played by Gloria Swanson, herself a fading diva), the musical melodrama unfolds with such searing numbers as "This Time Next Year." Even Cecil B. DeMille makes an appearance!

WHEN | WHERE At 8 Friday and Tuesday nights; 3 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday; 2 and 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Gateway Performing Arts Center, 215 South Country Rd., Bellport

INFO $51-$57; gatewayplayhouse .com, 631-286-1133

Music: Irving Berlin tribute

WHAT Hofstra University's Gray Wig alumni company presents a celebration of the music of Israel Isidore Baline, the Jewish immigrant from Russia who became so gleefully Americanized that he wrote the nation's unofficial anthem, "God Bless America," and its all-time bestselling single, "White Christmas" (also "Easter Parade"). That would be Irving Berlin, of course. Among his other classics you'll hear from the Gray Wig troupe are "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "Blue Skies," "Always" and his first hit, "Alexander's Ragtime Band." This year marks the centennial of "Ragtime's" release.

WHEN | WHERE Friday and Saturday nights at 8, Sunday at 2 p.m., John Cranford Adams Playhouse, Hofstra University, Hempstead

INFO $15-$25; 516-463-6644

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