Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Aux Delices French bakery and cafe, 1035 Post Road East, opens its second location in Westport next week at 44 Church Lane, according to owners Greg Addonizio and his wife Debra Ponzek. The new space was formerly occupied by SoNo Baking Company’s Bakery and Cafe which closed this month. Ponzek said the new location is its fifth since opening its first cafe in Riverside in 1995. Other locations are in Greenwich and Darien. She said the Church Lane location features the same range of baked goods and gourmet foods as its other Westport location, which opened in June 2012. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
After a two-year absence, Concours d’Caffeine, a mini-version of the Concours d’Elegance classic car show, is returning to Westport on Sunday.
The event, presented by Jaguar Land Rover Fairfield with Concours Consulting Partners and benefiting the Westport Police Benevolent Association, will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Railroad Place.
An announcement said Concours d’Caffeine “combines the excitement of a Concours d’Elegance and the relaxed atmosphere of a Sunday morning cars and coffee gathering of motoring enthusiasts.”
The event is free to owners and show guests alike. Area businesses and restaurants will be open for coffee and lunch to make it a leisurely Sunday enjoyment for all attendees.
Monday, April 24, 2017
The cast of “Lunch Hour” takes a bow tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse following the script-in-hand reading of the play written by the late Jean Kerr. Pictured (l-r) : Mark Shanahan, Kate MacCluggage, James Waterston, Rebekah Brockman, John Skelley and Peter Chenot, program directions. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Actors paused today during a rehearsal for tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse Script In Hand reading of “Lunch Hour,” a romantic comedy by Jean Kerr. The play is set in a Long Island beach house in 1980 when two female friends discover their spouses are having an affair. They counter by having an affair of their own. The reading will be directed by Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artist and curator of the play reading series. Pictured: (seated, l-r) Mark Shanahan, Kate MacCluggage, James Waterston, Rebekah Brockman and John Skelley; (standing) Anne Keefe, Peter Chenot, stage directions, and Ann Sheffer, sponsor. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Westport Country Playhouse said today it is seeking non-Equity extras, male and female, all ethnicities and types, ages 25-70, to play tourists in the season opening production of Peter Shaffer’s comedy “Lettice & Lovage.”
It said the play, directed by Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director, needs extras who must be available for rehearsals and performances beginning Friday, May 26 and ending Sunday, June 18.
Extras will appear in the first 10 minutes of the production and “play a range of feelings that go from bored-to-death to interested and finally elated as Lettice Douffet, played by Patricia Conolly, evolves from their inexperienced tour guide to a theatrical tour de force,” an announcement said.
Also in the cast are Playhouse alumni Mia Dillon and Sarah Manton, who play Charlotte Schoen and Ms. Framer, respectively, and Paxton Whitehead, who will reprise his role of Mr. Bardolph from the original Broadway production.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
The Westport Chapter of Hadassah will host its annual spring fundraiser at the Inn at Longshore on Thursday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with CNN anchor and Westport resident Alisyn Camerota as guest speaker, organizers announced.
The luncheon will honor Susie Blumenfeld, an entrepreneur and founder of her own event planning business Pink House Productions, LLC. A chapter member for more than 24 years, she has held leadership positions both locally and regionally, an announcement said.
Funds raised will support the Hadassah Medical Center’s groundbreaking work, including stem cell and nephrology research, it said.
At this event, organizers will also collect business attire for the Dress for Success Mid-Fairfield County in Bridgeport.
Layla’s Falafel, featuring Middle Eastern cuisine and owned by Trumbull residents Dino and Layla Sakakini, will open at 1537 Post Road East in late May. J.P. Sakakini, the owners’ son, said his parents started the business 17 years ago in Fairfield. He said Westport will be the family’s fifth location, with two in Stamford, and one in Trumbull in addition to the original Fairfield location. “The Westport location is small, only a few tables but our main business is takeout and catering,” he said. “We offer fast, casual food and service and we are definitely not at all like a chain food business—we are truly family owned and operated.” He added, “We’re excited to become part of the Westport community.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, April 21, 2017
Scenes from today’s seventh annual Westport preschool self-portrait reception in the Higgins Room in the Westport Library’s Children’s Department. The event marking the Week of the Young Child is part of the early literacy outreach program with Westport preschoolers. The preschool artists were very proud of their self-portraits and happily showed their artistic endeavors to their families and friends. The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers and families. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Sophia Livecchi, 17, a Staples High School senior, tonight was named winner of the annual Tracy Sugarman Award, named in honor the late Westport artist and illustrator. Jurors Ann Chernow and Leonard Everett Fisher selected her entry, “Woven Terrains,” as best in the third annual High School Student Art Exhibition at the Westport Arts Center. Sophia, who will attend Swarthmore College majoring in art, credited Staples art teacher Camille Eskell for inspiring her work and urging her to enter. The award, sponsored by retired Senior U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas and Janet Nevas, was presented at the opening reception for the Center’s “Main Street to Madison Avenue” exhibit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Retired Senior U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas (l) congratulates High School Art Exhibit winner Sophia Livecchi, 17, a Staples High School senior, tonight upon her being named winner of the annual Tracy Sugarman Award, which honors the late Westport artist and illustrator. Nevas and wife Janet established the award to honor their longtime friend. Jurors Ann Chernow (seated) and Leonard Everett Fisher (2nd r) selected her entry, “Woven Terrains,” as best in the third annual High School Student Art Exhibition at the Westport Arts Center. The ceremony took place at the opening reception for the Center’s “Main Street to Madison Avenue” exhibit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Westport Arts Center guests get a closeup look tonight of some of the entries in its “Main Street to Madison Avenue” exhibit. It examines the history of interplay between art and advertising and the lasting impact in pop culture and fine arts by Westport’s own illustrators of the day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Julian’s Pizza Bar & Kitchen, 1460 Post Road East, will open in May, according to owner Mike Sayed who also owns Julian’s Pizza, 539 Riverside Ave. He said the eat-in and takeout eatery offers wood-fired oven pizza, burgers made with beef supplied by Fleisher Craft Butchery, vegeburgers, free range chicken appetizers, pasta and a full service bar. Pizza slices are available during daytime hours. “We were the first Westport pizza shop to offer wood-fired oven pizza and we’re expanding that offering in our new location,” he said. The space was previously occupied by Bravo, an Italian cuisine restaurant, also owned by Sayed and, before that, until April 2012, by Munson’s Chocolates for 20 years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Mark Lamos (r), artistic director of the Westport Country Playhouse, tonight hosted a sneak peek program of the Playhouse’s 2017 season. Seated next to him is actor Paxton Whitehead, a familar Playhouse stage presence who will appear in “Lettice and Lovage,” a 1990 Tony Award nominee for Best Play, written by Peter Shaffer, author of “Amadeus.” It is the season opener, playing May 30 through June 17, with Lamos directing. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Westport’s Saugatuck Elementary School second graders were in for a treat today as renowned actors (and Saugatuck parents and grandparent) (l-r) Greg Naughton, Kelli O’Hara, and James Naughton visited the school (pictured with student Owen Naughton). James Naughton narrated the Weston Woods animated adaption of Peter Brown’s “Creepy Carrots!” and his son and daughter-in-law read several of Brown’s books. Award-winning author and illustrator Brown will visit all Westport elementary schools next week. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Rae Anne Locke for WestportNow.com
Final preparations are underway today for the installation of the Westport Arts Center’s “Main Street to Madison Avenue” exhibition, opening Friday with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibition highlights many of the most significant illustrators, photographers and designers who lived and worked in Westport in the 1950s – 1970s. Simultaneous with the exhibition, the third annual High School Student Art Exhibition will be on view. The exhibition was juried by Ann Chernow and Leonard Everett Fisher. The recipient of the Tracy Sugarman Award will be announced Friday at the reception. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com
Westport’s Tony-winning actress Kelli O’Hara will appear in a concert staging of “Brigadoon” at New York City’s City Center, the theater announced today.
The production of the 1947 Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe musical will run from Nov. 15 to 19, beginning with a Nov. 15 gala performance in honor of the theater producer Stacey Mindich.
Christopher Wheeldon, who won a Tony for choreographing “An American in Paris,” which he also directed, will direct and choreograph the concert staging. Steven Pasquale and Robert Fairchild will co-star with O’Hara.
“Brigadoon” centers on a pair of Americans in Scotland who discover a mystical village that appears for only one day every century.
Samantha Atlas, a Staples High School junior trumpet player, recently participated in the National Association of Music Educators All-Eastern Honor Ensembles held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The event represents the top performing high school musicians from the eastern United States and is held every two years. Samantha performed in the All-Eastern Band. She is pictured with conductor Dennis Fisher. Recently, for the fifth consecutive year, Westport was honored with the designation among the Best Communities for Music Education from the NAMM Foundation, a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
By Susan GrangerSpecial to WestportNow
The numbers tell the tale: “The Fate of the Furious,” the eighth installment of this long-running series revved up an estimated $532.5 million worldwide, setting a record for an opening weekend.
Built around muscle cars, drag racing and the importance of family, this high-speed action thriller brings back Vin Diesel as gruff, monosyllabic Dominic Toretto, and it’s filled with spectacular, globe-spanning vehicular destruction.
In Havana, Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) interrupt their honeymoon so that he can race against the Cuban who tried to heist his cousin’s jalopy. Tinkering with the old car, Dom strips down the engine and installs a dangerous nitrous-oxide canister. You can already visualize what happens next.
Injecting vicious fuel, there’s a sociopathic supervillain, an icy hacker known as Cipher (Charlize Theron), who wants Dom to do a job for her. When he hesitates, she shows him something on her cellphone that changes his mind. What is it? We have to wait to find out.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Guests enjoy outdoor dining today at Boca Restaurant & Bar, 43 Main St.. It is the first season for outdoor dining for the eatery, which opened last fall in space previously occupied by Acqua Ristorante Mediterraneo. Its wide ranging menu of Italy, Spain and France cuisine includes tapas, salads, pizza, pasta, burgers, paella, seafood, chicken and meat plates. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Westport Country Playhouse Managing Director Michael Barker today reviewed the 2017 season at the Westport Rotary Club weekly luncheon at Christ & Holy Trinity Church’s Branson Hall. This year there will be a later starting and ending time and with two of the five plays in the fall instead of one as in past years. The season culminates with Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” which runs Oct. 31 through Nov. 19 with Playhouse artistic director Mark Lamos directing. Barker said special student performances for the classic are already sold out. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, April 17, 2017
Fred Sip & Shop women’s apparel shop has opened at 30 Post Road East at the corner of Taylor Place. It is co-owned by Kelley Frey of Stamford and Shereen Koshnoodi of Old Greenwich. The business also has a location at 236 Sound Beach Ave., Old Greenwich. Koshnoodi said the Westport location is much expanded from the concept in Old Greenwich and features a coffee bar cafe to enhance the shopping experience. She describes the apparel and accessories offerings as “contemporary, mid-price range with brand name new designer fashions.” The Westport space was previously occupied by Soleil Toile, which relocated to 24 Post Road East, then by Walin & Wolff women’s accessories, followed by a pop-up shop for cashmere apparel during the past two Christmas shopping seasons (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Today is the final day for the Sono Company Bakery & Cafe, 44 Church Lane. The space will be occupied by Aux Delicis, which also operate at 1035 Post Road East since September 2012. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
The annual Westport Downtown Merchants Association (WDMA) Fine Arts Festival will return to Main Street this summer after a nine-year hiatus in Parker-Harding Plaza.
The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously today to approve use of town property on Main Street, Elm Street, and Church Lane for the event on the weekend of July 15 and 16.
The last time the festival was on Main Street was in 2007. Since then, it has used areas of the Parker-Harding parking area as well as the adjacent Gorham Island office building for the event.
Randy Hebertson, WDMA president, told the board its members suggested the move back to Main Street. He said merchants felt they really were not benefitting from the event with only the back of their stores facing the riverside exhibits.
By Keith M. Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
The House of Representatives today passed a bill that would enable bars and restaurants to sell beer and wine on their premises using an automated machine.
But while supporters said it would make it easier for some businesses to serve patrons, critics argued it would make it easier for minors to consume alcohol.
The measure, which passed 129-19, now heads to the Senate.
It would allow alcohol permit holders, such as restaurants and bars, to issue specially coded cards to patrons, who then could use them to draw beer or wine themselves from an automated machine on the site. The Department of Consumer Protection would have to develop regulations to implement this system by Oct. 1.
The Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) recently honored two Staples High School students at its 22nd annual Arts Recognition Banquet recognizing Connecticut’s outstanding high school visual and performing arts students. Nominated by their teachers for the award were (top, l-r) Jack Norman and Alyssa Domenico. They are pictured with Staples teachers David Roth and Carla Eichler. At the event, 150 member high schools were represented. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
By Susan GrangerSpecial to WestportNow
Bill Gates once said, “Banking is necessary, banks are not.” Which may be why bankers and banks have become popular cinematic villains, like the hapless brothers in last year’s “Hell or High Water.”
In “Going in Style,” three Brooklyn-based seniors suddenly realize that — because of a nefarious local bank — they’re going to be broke and homeless.
Joe (Michael Caine) comes up with the idea of an armed robbery after conferring with a sleazy Williamsburg Savings Bank manager (Josh Pais) about his adjustable mortgage that has suddenly tripled, threatening him, his divorced daughter and beloved granddaughter with foreclosure and eviction.
Joined by longtime friends Willie (Morgan Freeman) and Al (Alan Arkin), Joe then discovers that Wechsler Steel, where they’ve all worked for years, has outsourced to Vietnam and their pensions will be confiscated by the same Williamsburg Savings Bank.
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and David Alan Gonzales, owner of David Alan Designs at Sola Salons, 495 Post Road East, cut the ceremonial opening day ribbon today. Also participating are (l-r) Rich Bobrow, co-owner of Sola Salons, Westport resident Michael Fromm, Holly Bobrow, co-owner of Sola Salons, and Avi Kaner, selectman. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Sunday, April 09, 2017
Stephen Kempson London, a custom clothing shop, opens at 5 Post Road West next month. Owner Stephen Kempson, a Westport resident since 2005, said the store will offer custom made clothing with a lifestyle brand that ranges from golf course to boardroom attire. Kempson owned a small clothing stpre on Railroad Place, across from the Saugatuck train station, for two years until 2009. “I’ve been in the clothing business for 32 years, starting when I was only 16, before emigrating to America 22 years ago to operate a clothing business in the Los Angeles area,” he said. The space was previously occupied by George Subkoff Antiques. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com