News + Views

The Bikinis — 1960s Nostalgia at the Westchester Broadway Theatre

Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat







By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel




During the early 1960s, the comedy genre at the theatres were “beach movies” where California surfing and popular teen stars like Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon were the leads in numerous summer flicks. My favorite, Gidget, started a series of follow-up films based on its popularity. Flash forward to the current year, and the Westchester Broadway Theatre (WBT) spreads sunshine this dreary winter with The Bikinis, a “new musical beach party”! Opening February 2nd and running through March 19th, it is once again the summer of 1964. The story is about four inseparable friends who form a girl group called The Bikinis, win a talent contest, and make it to the top! Now, many years and a few pounds later The Bikinis reunite for a show filled with sun and fun and all the great songs they sang on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore.  Audiences at the WBT will join them as they relive their heyday and put on a show that promises to get everyone dancing in the aisles!

Ray Roderick and James Hindman conceived and wrote this musical, based on a true story about a one-hit-wonder 1960s girl group whose members come back together two decades later. These Jersey Girls perform in a non-stop celebration of song with over 30 hits like It’s In His Kiss, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Heat Wave, I’m Every Woman, I Will Survive, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, and many more! The Bikinis promises to be irresistible! The production is directed and choreographed by Ray Roderick. The musical director is Dan Pardo and the lighting designer is Jamie Roderick. Call up your friends and make a date for a fun evening of dining and great entertainment with some of the best music of that era!

For reservations call: (914) 592-2222 or visit:

Ticket Prices: Dinner & Show range between $56.00 and $84.00 PLUS TAX depending on the performances chosen. Beverage service and gratuities are not included in the ticket price. Discounts are available for children, students, and senior citizens at select performances. Also check the website for on-going special offers! The Westchester Broadway Theatre is located in Elmsford, New York.

Upcoming shows:
Mamma Mia – March 23 – June 25, 2017
Annie – June 29 – September 10, 2017
Annie Get Your Gun– September 14 – December 3, 2017


February 1, 2017 |

Discard Outdated Medicine Cabinet Supplies

Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat








By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel



When was the last time you went through your medicine cabinet and checked the dates of your medicines?  Discard outdated cough syrups, aspirins and cold capsules that are hidden in the back of the medicine cabinet and seldom used. Now is the time to discard these expired medicines and restock so you have potent ones ready for when an illness hits.  This gives you plenty of time to watch for sales on the items you need.  Having these supplies on hand will ensure you are ready when they are needed and you do not have to head out to the store when you are sick. Speaking of discarding medicines, check with your town to see if they have a program that collects outdated medications.  Many towns have programs where medicines can be dropped off at the local police station in a dispensary box. They should NOT be flushed down the toilet to contaminate the water supply.

First Aid Kits

Is your home first aid kit well stocked?  Is the Poison Control Center telephone number clearly posted by your telephone?  Most families store a first aid kit high up on a shelf away from the children. Let your family members know where it is stored and think about locating it within reach of everyone.  Show your children where it is and what is in it.  You may be the one hurt and have to depend on a child to get the first aid kit for you.  Being prepared and going over the contents with the child before an emergency happens is a good idea. Also keep a fully stocked first aid kit in the car, complete with a flashlight and fresh batteries. You should keep an old blanket in the car or purchase a solar blanket for emergency situations.  A solar blanket looks like a large piece of crinkly aluminum foil, but is lightweight and durable.   It is made for warmth and particularly for keeping a patient warm who may be going into shock.  Keep extra bandages in the auto kit and heavy, sterile cloth for severe wounds.  A clean, new diaper could be used if a wound produced a flow of blood that was heavier than gauze or bandages could handle.  Being prepared with all the proper materials is of the utmost importance, but knowing what to do is even more critical.

January 25, 2017 |

Organize for the New Year

Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat







By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel



Christmas shopping bills have started to arrive, and once charges are paid the next money topic to think about is income taxes.   For me, the first of the year signals the start of gathering the necessary papers needed to work on our taxes.  Over the course of the year, we have collected an assortment of papers and receipts and stored them in a large, accordion file folder.  I write headings like “contributions,” “medical/dental,” “real estate taxes,” and so on, and file the receipts in the corresponding pocket. This makes it easier to locate the papers needed to compile and total these expenditures.  Some papers arrive well into February, but having a head start compiling them gives us ample time to figure out and compute our income taxes before the deadline.  When my husband is ready to work on the income taxes, the papers are ready. When taxes are finished, these papers are moved to a storage box and filed away. The folder is now ready for the coming year.



After exchanging Christmas presents with friends and relatives, we are always faced with the problem of where to store the new clothing we received.  With closet and drawer space at a premium, it is difficult to know where to put bulky sweaters, new pocketbooks, boots, and a host of glove and scarf sets. Our older clothing is still in perfect condition, but has gone unworn for many reasons.  Several times a year, we go through closets and attic storage and decide what we no longer need.  After Christmas is also a good time to re-evaluate what we want to keep.

There are so many organizations looking for clean/warm clothing that it is a shame not to pass along these unused items to others that need them. Ask your family to also pass along warm winter clothing to those agencies providing for needy families.  Call your house of worship to see if there are clothing drives in which they are participating; collection sites are also centrally located throughout the county.

View the PennySaver for notices about civic organizations holding tag sales or drives looking for donations of clothing or household items. If you have received a new set of dishes, pots and pans, blankets or towels, go through your cabinets and donate the extras you have that are no longer needed.  Someone else will be grateful for these items you no longer use.


January 18, 2017 |

Presidential Trivia Quiz

Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat







By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel



Here we go — it’s just days before the January 20, 2017 presidential inauguration and the main topic in the news is about the preparations, inaugural balls, weather conditions, and a host of comparisons to the ceremonies of the past forty-four presidents. On the same topic concerning presidents, the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, two of our most famous leaders, are next month.  So the topic of presidents is a perfect subject for this week’s column.

How many of these questions do you remember from your elementary school lessons?  If the children are at home during the broadcast of the inauguration, try to watch parts of it or record it to show them a little bit of American history. Usually, wonderful footage of our nation’s capital is shown and the pomp and circumstance of this event is played on all of the TV channels. It is certainly a day in our country’s history where the peaceful transition of power is one that is admired and envied throughout the world. That in itself is something to make all American citizens proud!

Trivia Quiz:  Ten points for every correct answer. If playing with elementary school students, tell them the answers if they fail, and in a week ask them the same questions and see how many were retained from the first testing.



1.  Which of our presidents was a famous Union general during the Civil War?

2.  Which president was a five star general in our army?

3.  The “teddy bear” was named after which president?

4.  Who said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country?”

5.  Whose initials are LBJ?

6.  Which president kept a sign on his desk that said “The buck stops here”?

7.  Which college produced the most presidents?

8.  Who was the first president to live in the White House?

9.  Who was the only president to not represent a political party?

10. Who is the oldest person to be elected a U.S. president?



1.  Ulysses S. Grant

2.  Dwight D. Eisenhower

3.  Theodore Roosevelt

4.  John F. Kennedy

5.  Lyndon B. Johnson

6.  Harry S. Truman

7.  Harvard produced six presidents and four VPs

8.  John Adams

9.  George Washington

10. Donald J. Trump


January 11, 2017 |

Birthday Parties for Grownups

Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat







By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel



When an adult has a birthday it is either out to dinner or inviting friends to the house to celebrate. How about reverting to “theme” parties like we did as children and plan an outing? A perfect party formula is to find a place mutually convenient for guests to reach. The Hudson Valley is rich in places to visit with a long list of historic homes and estates. Several years ago we were invited to a friend’s birthday that took advantage of one of these locations.

Rockefeller Estate

The invitation instructed us to meet at Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate.  Kykuit is a Dutch word meaning, “lookout,” which describes this magnificent mansion and grounds overlooking the majestic Hudson River. This is the home of John D. Rockefeller, the philanthropist and founder of Standard Oil.  The home was completed in 1913 and was used by four generations of the Rockefeller family.  Part of this huge estate at Pocantico Hills is still used by the family while over 1,000 acres were deeded in 1983 to the State of New York.  A trust was established by the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Fund to help ensure the preservation of the property to safeguard the natural beauty and wildlife on the lands.

Opened in 1994 the Preserve has a variety of natural habitats, woodlands, meadows, wetlands, and a 24-acre lake that is open to the public to use and enjoy. There are 20 acres of carriage paths that can be used for walking, jogging, cross country skiing or horseback riding around the estate, with a permit. A tour guide explains the history of the estate, both on the grounds and mansion and carriage house interior. Visitors can stroll through extensive terraces, grottos, and the European inspired walkways and arches.  Governor Nelson Rockefeller collected 20th century sculptures, and these pieces are situated throughout the grounds surrounding the mansion. Period furniture and artifacts are in the main house. There is an extraordinary art gallery housed in the basement of the mansion.  The carriage house, formerly a stable, now holds a classic car collection that is something to behold for any car enthusiast.

After the tour, the “birthday entourage” was invited out to dinner by the hosts. This party was a perfect blend of entertainment, art, nostalgia and celebrating a friend’s special day.

For more information on Hudson Valley sites and Kykuit visit: or call 914 631-9491.

January 4, 2017 |

Holiday Newsletters — What is Your Opinion?

Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat







By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel




Most people have strong opinions on the subject, either loving or hating newsletters tucked in Christmas cards.  It’s interesting to hear the ideas some people have about receiving these “annual reports.”

Several friends from other countries on work assignments in the States were perplexed on how to respond after receiving a Christmas newsletter. They wondered if they were expected to send a similar yearly summation out to their friends. While I personally enjoy reading what our friends have been doing over the year, it takes special expertise to compose an informative newsletter without it becoming a litany of high-end achievements. It’s nice to hear about a recent engagement, an upcoming wedding, a baby’s arrival or other happy family news that involved friends or relatives.  However, the line is quickly drawn when the newsletter turns into “keeping up with the Jones family.” Newsletters should not be about expensive car purchases, exotic travel destinations or ultra-expensive home upgrades. Children’s accomplishments certainly make parents proud, but detailed reports on their grades, science projects or sport trophies may be tiresome for others to read.

The holiday newsletter can often become a vehicle for letting friends know the downside of your life, especially when faced with the serious illness of a loved one, a job loss, or other calamity. This news can be one way the sender has of asking for emotional support, understanding or a phone call. It is a way of saying, “If you do not hear from me in a while, or if I do not sound bubbly when you call, this is why.”

When we receive a newsletter with sad news, I am compelled to write a note to let the individual know they are in our thoughts and prayers. If there is any way we can help or lend support, I include that notation, and ask the friend not to hesitate to call, to keep us updated or to ask for help. Without hearing this response from the friend that learned of the family situation, people might feel that others do not want to hear of their problems or are uncomfortable discussing these topics.  Anytime I feel someone is “reaching out” via these newsletters, I interpret it as a sign that this person wants to share what is going on and needs to have someone to talk to or lean on. That is what friends do.





December 21, 2016 |

Christmas Inn at Westchester Broadway Theatre — Great for a Pre-holiday Outing!

Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat







By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel



When I think of the holiday season, the first thought that comes to mind is spending time with family, friends and often our co-workers. It’s not always possible to have guests come to your home because of lack of space, time or budget, but one solution is to meet where someone else does the entertaining.

A perfect place is the Westchester Broadway Theatre (WBT) for a fabulous night out of dining and a live show! Now through December 23, Christmas Inn, based on an original book and lyrics is on stage. It is days before Christmas and the Christmas Inn is a hive of activity. Two famous entertainers who split up their act return to the Inn, one to try out his new Christmas show and the other to see the place one last time before it is sold.

Enjoy an evening of holiday music, laughter and a poignant story filled with Christmas magic as the supporting players and the families of the feuding stars try to get them to reunite and recreate the act which made them famous. The show features all favorite Christmas songs including an old-fashioned sing-along. The play is based on the book and original lyrics by Kathy Keating Wheeler and Bob Fitzsimmons with original music and arrangements by Steven Silverstein. It is directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford, with musical direction by Ryan Edward Wise.

There are both matinee and evening performances.

If you have never been to the Westchester Broadway Theatre, think about organizing a get- together for this production! It’s a great start for getting in the holiday mood.

Ticket prices for dinner and show range between $56.00 and $84.00 PLUS TAX depending on the performances chosen. Beverage service and gratuities are not included in the ticket price. There are group discounts, which are great if you are getting together for family reunions, co-worker or any organization outings. Discounts are available for children, students, and senior citizens at selected performances.

For reservations:  Call (914)-592-2222 or visit:

Also take a look at the schedule for 2017, which is another exciting lineup that includes Saturday Night Fever, The Bikinis, Mamma Mia, Annie and Annie Get Your Gun!

Wishing all of our PennySaver readers a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a blessed, healthy New Year ahead!

December 14, 2016 |
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