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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Friday, October 31, 2014

Levitt Billy Joel Tribute Concert Saturday Moved Indoors

The forecast of bad weather has forced the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts to move Saturday’s benefit concert featuring Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot celebrating the music of Billy Joel indoors to the Saugatuck Elementary School auditorium, organizers announced today.

The special ticketed benefit event will take place at 2 p.m. at the school, 170 Riverside Ave., with doors opening at 1 p.m.

Big Shot is the only authorized Billy Joel tribute band and lead singer/pianist Mike DelGuidice, along with other Big Shot band mates, are members of Billy Joel’s touring band.

Advance-price tickets will remain on sale online and by phone (866-811-4111) until noon Saturday while supplies last with a limited number of tickets on sale at the door, organizers said.

Posted 04:36 PM
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Susan Granger at the Movies: Halloween Offerings

By Susan Granger

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the gruesome, sadistic horror thriller “Saw” is back in theaters for a week, and the only other scary stories are “Nightcrawler,” “Dracula Untold” and “Ouija.” Image

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in Dan Gilroy’s neo-noir crime thriller “Nightcrawler” as a sociopath who prowls Los Angeles at night with a video camera, doing accident and crime-reporting and selling his footage to a TV news director (Rene Russo), who’s hungry for ratings.

Problem is: instead of remaining a passive bystander, he brazenly begins to stage his own roadside carnage -– until he stumbles onto an apparent home invasion.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Nightcrawler” is a dark, cynical 7, filled with savage, scathing commentary about our media’s relentless exploitation of violence.

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Posted 09:18 PM
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Special School Performance of ‘Intimate Apparel’ Image
The Westport Country Playhouse today hosted 510 students from five local schools for a special mid-morning performance of Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nattage’s “Intimate Apparel.” The students, transported to the theater in 10 buses, included representation from St. Luke’s School (New Canaan), Notre Dame High School (Fairfield), Trumbull High School, Staples High School and Norwalk Community College. The love story that confronts race and religion, directed by Mary B. Robinson, runs through Saturday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 01:03 PM
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Deli Art Image
Oscar’s Deli owner Lee Papageorge today helps Westport photographer Irene Penny of Silver Penny Photography install one of her photographs for her show opening at Oscar’s on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a free photo raffle and gifts. The exhibit continues until Jan. 1. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 05:16 PM
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Sunday, October 26, 2014

TEA Talk Highlights Technology and the Arts

By Phyllis Groner

The Westport Arts Advisory Committee (WAAC), recognizing 21st century technology’s influence on the arts, today hosted its inaugural TEA Talk at Westport Town Hall -– TEA standing for Thinkers, Educators and Artists. Image
Richard Epstein (l) interviews composer Nick DiBerardino at today’s TEA Talk. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

“The success of the TED talk format led us to imagine our first TEA Talk where artists could discuss and demonstrate how technology is currently employed in various artistic disciplines,” said Nancy Diamond, WAAC co-chair.

“Finding the right people to engage and interview artists about the creative process in a live format seemed very natural,” said Richard Epstein, co-chair.

The format was three 20-minute moderated conversations on the theme of Technology and the Arts. Featured were professionals in the visual arts (Thomas Berntsen), music (Nick DiBerardino) and theater (Gina Rattan).

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Posted 07:33 PM
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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mystery and Crime at the Library Image
The Westport Library today hosted a day-long “CrimeCONN” conference. Co-sponsored by the New York chapter of Mystery Writers of America, it featured many Connecticut mystery writers and panel discussions. Pictured is Lt. Art Weisgerber of the Norwalk Police Department Crime Scene/ID Unit speaking about the use of new technology in solving cold case investigations. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 01:40 PM
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Levitt Wraps Up Again With Billy Joel Tribute Band Nov. 1

The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts will light up one more time this year on Saturday, Nov. 1 to present Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot and an afternoon celebrating the music of Billy Joel. Image
Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot wrap up the extended new Levitt season. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The special ticketed benefit event is made possible by lead sponsor Tiffany & Co. and sponsor Honda of Westport and gives the community another opportunity to support the ongoing “Because Summer Lives Here” Levitt capital campaign, an announcement said.

Big Shot is the only authorized Billy Joel tribute band and lead singer/pianist Mike DelGuidice, along with other Big Shot band mates, are members of Billy Joel’s touring band. 

The Levitt lawn will open at 1 p.m. to all ticket holders with the concert to start at 2 p.m.  At 4 p.m., there will be a cocktail party at Tiffany & Co. for premium ticket holders only. Chairs will be provided for all ticket holders.

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Posted 07:44 PM
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Susan Granger At the Movies: ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Fury’

(Editor’s Note: Westport resident and veteran film reviewer Susan Granger today joins the WestportNow columnist lineup.)

By Susan Granger

David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” is an intense Hitchcockian thriller with an innocent man accused and a coolly elegant platinum blonde, neither of whom can be trusted. Image

Gillian Flynn adapted her psychologically complex 2012 best-seller, maintaining constant suspense as the mystery unfolds. Ben Affleck is totally convincing as bewildered Nick, whose beautiful wife (Rosamund Pike) disappears on the morning of their fifth anniversary.

As the police investigation proceeds, details about perfectionist Amy’s past and the fragile state of their marriage are revealed – with everything pointing to Ben’s guilt.

David Fincher (“The Social Network”) is a stickler for detailed authenticity, as participants painstakingly track down multiple whodunit clues within the perspective-shifting structure.

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Posted 10:20 AM
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Historic District Commission Preservation Winners Image
Recipients of the 2014 Westport Historic District Commission Preservation Awards posed tonight for a group picture with First Selectman Jim Marpe and members of the HDC following the awards ceremony at Town Hall. Owners of seven Westport residential and business properties were cited for their efforts to preserve the town’s character and cultural heritage through their restoration and renovation work. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 08:44 PM
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Honored for Making Westport Special

Scenes from tonight’s 2014 Historic District Commission Preservation Awards ceremony and reception at Westport Town Hall. Dave Matlow for

Posted 08:37 PM
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Author Says He Knows ID of 1922 Hollywood Murderer Image
Author William J. Mann, who has written books featuring such famous divas as Katharine Hepburn, Barbara Streisand and Elizabeth Taylor, was at the Westport Library’s McManus Room tonight promoting his latest book, “Tinseltown.” a story about the movie business in Los Angeles in the Roaring 20s. There were drugs, beautiful women, handsome men and the highly publicized 1922 murder of director William Desmond Taylor. It officially remains a “cold case,” but Mann said readers of his book will find out the identity of the murderer. “I did lots of research and had a lot of help from the FBI files and feel I know who the murderer is,” he said. “I liked tracking down killers. I got tired of writing traditional biographies.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 08:35 PM
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Westporters Aid Art Bra Workshop at Yale-New Haven Image
As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Westport Arts Center today held an Art Bra workshop today at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven as part of their WAC Gives Back outreach initiative. Patients and hospital staff worked together to design creative and whimsical bras which featured dreams and wishes from the participants. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for

Posted 02:18 PM
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Learning the Art of Art as an Asset Image
The Westport Arts Center (WAC) tonight was the venue for a panel discussion presented by U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management on “Art as An Asset: Exploring the Aesthetic and Financial Role of Art.” Andrew McGrade, market investment director, U.S. Trust and former WAC board president, was host. Moderator was Peter van Heerden, WAC executive director. Panelists included Ramsay H. Slugg, national wealth planning strategist, U.S. Trust; Dorothy G. Doyle, managing director, U.S. Trust, Helen Klisser During, WAC director of visual arts, and Bonnie Brennan, senior director, Christie’s Americas. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Marni Katz for

Posted 09:29 PM
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Preserving Our Heritage: 8 Beachside Ave. Image
In another recognition of preserving Westport’s heritage, Nicholas Eisenberger (3rd l) and his wife Robin Bates (red dress) today received a Westport Historical Society (WHS) plaque from WHS historian Bob Weingerten (2nd l), adding their 1903-built home at 8 Beachside Ave. to the WHS list of notable Westport homes. Joining the Eisenberger-Bates couple, in addition to their three young children, for the presentation ceremony were members of three of five families who were previous owners of the house. Among them was 11th generation Westporter Peter Jennings (l), descendant of the original owner of the house, Henry A. Jennings. The Eisenberger-Bates family moved to Westport in December from Brooklyn’s Park Slope section. ‘We wanted to move to Connecticut and looked at each town along the coast until a friend recommended we take a look at Westport,” Eisenberger said. “We fell in love with the town and when we saw this house we knew it was for us.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 09:23 PM
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Preservation Award Winner: 44 Church Lane Image
The building at 44 Church Lane is among the seven winners of the Westport Historic District Commission 2014 Preservation Awards to be presented in a Town Hall ceremony at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The HDC said the award to real estate developer David Waldman, owner of the colonial revival, circa 1920 house, is in recognition of “the adaptive reuse of a structure that was originally a single family house built in 1920 on the fringes of the town center business district on a street that was still primarily residential and consolidated the makeshift changes to which the building had been subjected over the years and have distilled it back to a refined version of what the structure had been.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 01:31 PM
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