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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Susan Granger At the Movies: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies,’ ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’

By Susan Granger

Epics are a style of film-making with large scale, sweeping scope and spectacle. Its ambitious nature sets it apart from a historical period piece or action-adventure. This week, there are two epics. Image

Oscar-winning Peter Jackson returns to Middle Earth with “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies,” the conclusion of his cinematic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel.

You should see the previous installments since this fantasy picks up where the last one ended – as the fire-breathing dragon Smaug decimates Lake-town after the Dwarves of Erebor reclaim their gold.

Dark Lord Sauron returns, ordering Azog and legions of malevolent Orcs to attack. As the conflict escalates, the Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide to unite or be destroyed.

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Posted 01:55 AM
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Honoring our Heritage: 319 Post Road East Image
The newest recipient of an historical plaque from the Westport Historical Society (WHS) is Dr. David SantisI, a Wilton resident who owns the Winslow Park Veterinary Hospital at 319 Post Road East. The plaque was presented to him by Bob Weingarten, house historian of the WHS. The plaque signifies the house was constructed c.1835 and is known as the Haight-Kemper House with the descriptive name “Tannery Cottage.” According to Weingarten, the house, in addition to three neighboring houses at 305 and 311 Post Road East and 15 Powers Court, housed tannery workers of nearby Morocco Manufacturing Company and were commonly known as “Tannery Cottages.”  Each of the four properties is now occupied as professional offices. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 09:15 PM
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Westporter Voted Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Westporter Mark Naftalin, keyboardist with the1960s blues favorites Paul Butterfield Blues Band, was among 2015 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced today. Image
Mark Naftalin plays at a Westport First Night event two years ago. He will return this year. photo

He and other band members will be inducted on April 18 when the induction ceremonies return to the Hall’s home of Cleveland.

Harmonica player Butterfield and guitarist Mike Bloomfield fronted the group, which, in addition to Naftalin, also included guitarist Elvin Bishop, drummer Sam Lay and bassist Jerome Arnold.

Others in the 30th class of inductees include Green Day, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble and Bill Withers.
In addition, The Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr will receive the Award for Musical Excellence and 1950s R&B vocal group the “5’’ Royales will be honored as an early influence.

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Posted 08:44 PM
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Monday, December 15, 2014

Celebrating ‘The Mousetrap’ Image
Some of the members of the cast of tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse script in hand play reading of the classic Agatha Christie play “The Mousetrap” get together with director Anne Keefe (2nd l) after the sold out show. They are (l-r) Robert Eli (Giles Ralston), Tom Beckett (Mr. Paravicini), Matthew Amendt (Detective Trotter) and Charles Socarides (Christopher Wren). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 11:10 PM
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Getting Ready for Playhouse’s ‘Mousetrap’ Tonight Image
The cast of tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse script in hand play reading of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” posed for a photo during today’s rehearsal. The play, directed by Anne Keefe, curator of the popular play reading series, opened in the West End of London in 1952 and has been running continuously since.  Pictured (l-r, front row) are Anne Keefe, Ann mcDonough, Geneva Carr, Heidi Armbruster, Mark Shanahan, and Chad Kinsman, stage directions; (back row) Charles Socarides, Tom Beckett, Matthew Amendt and Robert Eli. According to MIchael Ross, Playhouse managing director, the one-time performance is sold out. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 04:13 PM
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Van Heerden Named Exec Director of Quick Center

Peter Van Heerden, outgoing executive director of the Westport Arts Center, today was named executive director of Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Image
Peter Van Heerden: “a great opportunity.” Contributed photo

Kevin Lawlor, Fairfield University’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said the appointment is effective Jan. 13. He called Van Heerden “a dynamic leader in the arts in both academic and large-scale nonprofit organizations.”

Van Heerden, a Westport resident, announced his resignation Saturday in an email to friends and patrons of the Arts Center. (See WestportNow Dec. 13, 2014) He has led the nonprofit since March 2011.

Located on the 200-acre campus of Fairfield University, the Quick Center is a multi-faceted facility that presents a wide variety of performances, lectures, and exhibits.  It opened in 1990 and will celebrate its 25th anniversary during the 2015-16 season. It houses the 740-seat Kelley Theater, 120-seat Wien Experimental Theater, and Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery.

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Posted 03:27 PM
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Reindeer Dance Image
As part of today’s Westport Historical Society’s ninth annual holiday concert, students from Mary Ann Hall’s Music for Children and Beyond program took part in seasonal songs and interactive dancing and singing. Music for Children is a music appreciation school for infants, children and parents. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Posted 05:26 PM
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‘Frosty’ Draws Playhouse Crowds Image
Three consecutive Westport Country Playhouse performances today of “Frosty” attracted near sellout crowds. With book and lyrics by Catherine Bush, music by Mandy Williams, directed by Katy Brown and a cast of six actors, the event was part of the Playhouse’s Family Festivities Series.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 01:06 PM
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Van Heerden Stepping Down as Arts Center Head

Peter Van Heerden, executive director of the Westport Arts Center (WAC) since March 2011, announced today he will leave the position in early January. Image
Peter Van Heerden: served since March 2011. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

In an email to friends and patrons, he said, “I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you for your amazing support and belief in me as executive director of the Arts Center.

“I will be stepping down in early January 2015 as the executive director of the Westport Arts Center.”

Van Heerden, a South African educator in the performance arts and himself a much talked about performance artist, did not spell out his next step.

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Posted 11:40 AM
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Friday, December 12, 2014

Invitation to 75th Anniversary Concert Image
At the end of tonight’s 74th annual Candlelight Concert at Staples High School, a large banner was unveiled inviting all to return for next year’s 75th anniversary event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for

Posted 11:42 PM
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Full House for 74th Candlelight Concert Image
A full house attended the Staples High School 74th annual Candlelight Concert tonight, a gift from the Staples Music Department to the Town of Westport. The concert featured musical selections performed by the Orphenians, led by Luke Rosenberg (above), choirs, symphonic orchestra and symphonic band. A large banner, which appeared at the end, announced that Staples will be celebrating its 75th Candlelight Concert next year with a special program. The Candlelight Concert will be presented again at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Posted 11:35 PM
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Processional Image
The traditional “Sing We Noel” candlelight processional opened tonight’s 74th annual Candlelight Concert at Staples high School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for

Posted 11:32 PM
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Season’s Greetings at Candlelight Concert Image
Staples High School students perform the traditional production number tonight as part of the 74th annual Candlelight Concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Posted 11:30 PM
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Continuing a Tradition Image
Staples High School students perform tonight at the 74th annual Candlelight Concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 11:25 PM
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Candlelight Concert 74th Annual Edition

Scenes from tonight’s opening night of the 74th annual Candlelight Concert at Staples High School. Larry Untermeyer and Lynn U. Miller for

Posted 11:20 PM
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