Hamptons 2014 Fall Preview: Suffolk Theater in Riverhead

The Suffolk Theater marquee
The Suffolk Theater marquee. Photo credit: Daniel Gonzalez

he Suffolk Theater in Riverhead remains just as beautiful as the day it was built. Designed by architect R. Thomas Short, the venue first opened on December 30, 1933, and it is the only remaining movie theater by Short. The 350-seat theater has a storied history, ranging from its original construction as a National Recovery Act project to its role as a war bond issuing agent during World War II, from its closure and emptiness for nearly two decades, to its purchase and its revitalization, which began in 2005. The theater, a cabaret-style venue with tables and a full-service restaurant and bar, re-opened in 2013. Doors open 90 minutes prior to performances, providing ample time to enjoy dinner and a show this fall.

Saturday, September 27, will see the return of The Long Island Comedy Showcase, featuring standup from Stevie G.B., John Larocchia, Bill McCarty and a number of surprise guest comedians.

The next evening, the Long Island Sound Chorus (a chapter of Sweet Adelines International) will perform a tribute to the Beatles. This all-female barbershop harmony group will perform with special guests The Rum Hill Rockers in an all-out homage to the Fab Four.

On Saturday, October 4, visitors can enjoy the music of Long Island–founded The Brooklyn Bridge, a doo-wop group who has been making music for more than 45 years.

The Fast Lane, a native New York band widely hailed as the most authentic-sounding Eagles tribute band in the world, performs on Friday, October 10.

On Friday, October 17, comedic genius Gilbert Gottfried comes. His work and hilariously abrasive stage voice can be seen (and heard) in numerous Comedy Central roasts, films, television series and YouTube videos. Gottfried will no doubt bring his edgy language and storytelling to the Suffolk stage, so the kids should sit this one out.

The theater will host Glenn Tilbrook, lead singer and guitarist of the popular English power pop band Squeeze, on Thursday, October 23. Tilbrook penned the melodies for most of Squeeze’s big hits, including “Tempted (by the Fruit of Another),” “Black Coffee in Bed” and “Pulling Mussels (from the Shell).” Showing off his excellent guitar skills, Tilbrook will perform a full acoustic set.

For a different, “very adult” Halloween event, check out the Coney Island Burlesque’s Halloween show on Thursday, October 30. And on Friday, October 31, do the Time Warp at Suffolk Theater’s screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with an after-party to follow.

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s scheduled summer performance date has been rescheduled to Thursday, November 6. Headed by the legendary singer of the Black Crowes, the group will bring their signature brand of blues-rock.

November 8 brings the first in a series of tributes to the ’60s, when Melanie Safka, who tantalized audiences with her performance at Woodstock, takes the stage. She’ll perform hits from her legendary 40-year career, including the No. 1 track “Brand New Key.”

The Californian folk rock band The Association comes roaring into town on Saturday, November 15, ready to perform a set of their many popular singles (including “Windy” and “Along Comes Mary”). This three-time platinum group was the first band to open a rock ’n’ roll festival (1967’s Monterey Pop Festival), and they promise to bring some of that fabled ’60s energy to Riverhead.

The first week of December will continue on where The Association left off—The Sixties Show plays on Saturday, December 6. This act features former members of Billy Joel’s band and Elton John’s band, as well as members of the Boston Pops Orchestra and members of The Smithereens.

Suffolk Theater, 118 East Main Street, Riverhead. 631-727-4343, suffolktheater.com.

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