On July 4, 1998, the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (WHBPAC) opened its doors to the public. But the building that houses the WHBPAC has a history more than a half-century older than that. The space first opened in June 1932 as the Westhampton Theatre, a John Eberson–designed building that was later purchased by United Artists and converted to a single-screen movie theater. By the mid-1990s, the theater was “not financially viable” and was set to be demolished. Enter the community.
In 1996, a group of village residents and business owners stepped forward with the intention of buying the theater, which they did, the next year, for $300,000. Over the following year volunteers raised 60% of the $2.8 million needed to transform the building into a state-of-the-art facility. Throughout the entire renovation process, the community was the backbone of the fundraising effort. More than half the cost of the entire renovation project came from residents and local business owners. On July 4, 1998, the new Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center reopened to the public, and it has since become one of the most important cultural institutions on the East End.
Saturday, June 9, 8 p.m.
At this point in his career, it would seem that this Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is just getting started. With three critically acclaimed albums released in the past four years alone, Crosby is still pioneering folk music and pumping out song after song. Backed by a full band sound with deep, soulful grooves, this folk-rock legend will have you intoxicated with sheer melodic bliss by the end of the night.
The Righteous Brothers
Sunday, June 10, 8 p.m.
Get ready to have “The Time of Your Life” as The Righteous Brothers, featuring Bill Medley & Bucky Heard, taking a brief break from their Las Vegas residency, bring us their legendary “blue-eyed soul!” Their iconic hits include “Unchained Melody,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” music from Ghost, Top Gun and Dirty Dancing—you know, the soundtrack to your life.
Saturday, June 23, 8 p.m.
These alumni of Duke University’s renowned a cappella group have performed across the country in dorm hall common rooms, in massive sports arenas, at NBA games, and even showcased their talents before the Queen of Jordan. Blending everything from classic doo-wop to today’s hits, these boys are still going strong and are sure to entertain.
Nick Lowe and Los Straightjackets
Sunday, June 24, 8 p.m.
What do you get when you pair a famed, tender-hearted but sharp-tongued singer-songwriter with an energetic and eclectic group of masked guitar gods? A match made in rock ’n’ roll heaven, that’s what. Combining Lowe’s legendary lyrics and rootsy pop style with Los Straitjackets’s trademark guitar licks and instrumental fills makes for an unprecedented musical mashup that’s truly spectacular to behold.
Friday, June 29, 8 p.m.
Grammer, whose smash hits include “Keep Your Head Up,” “Fine By Me,” “Honey, I’m Good” and “Fresh Eyes,” has taken the musical world by storm, communicating his truths through his music. Don’t miss your chance to see him up close and personal, and rock along with this global pop phenomenon.
Friday, July 6, 8 p.m.
He’s a Tony, Olivier and Emmy Award winner; has been nominated for multiple Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG awards; performed on Broadway; and he’s a New York Times best-selling author. To us he’s a renaissance man, a style icon, a bon viveur—but to himself, he’s “a story-teller and provocateur for hire.” Alan Cumming is sure to wow with his insightful storytelling and exquisite song choices!
Saturday, July 14, 8 p.m.
When you think sketch comedy, you think Monty Python. When you think Monty Python, you think “It’s merely a just wound”—that or John Cleese. The father of sketch comedy bares all, tells all, and brings all in this rare and unprecedented evening of laughs and audience participation! Telling stories of his life and career, he includes conversation and audience Q&A in this truly unforgettable evening.
Friday, August 3, 8 p.m.
Coupled with his gift for storytelling, this Texas legend fuses elements of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues. Backed by his ‘Large Band’, Lovett’s live performances show not only the breadth of his deep talents, but also the diversity of his influences, making him one of the most compelling and captivating musicians in popular music.
Saturday, August 18, 8 p.m.
Praised by the New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists, composers, and songwriters of his generation. Unique in every way, this solo performance will allow you to experience firsthand what everyone raves about! Bringing raw emotion and authenticity to each song, he will bare his soul, make you smile or break your heart.
WHBPAC, 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach. 631-288-1500, whbpac.org