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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Susan Granger At the Movies: ‘The Theory of Everything,’ ‘The Homesman,’ “The Hunger Games’

By Susan Granger

Eddie Redmayne deserves an Oscar nomination for his eloquent portrayal of renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.” Redmayne accomplishes a challenging physical, mental and emotional transformation, comparable to Daniel Day-Lewis’ in “My Left Foot.”

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Hawking’s story begins in 1963 at Cambridge University, where he wooed and wed Jean Wilde (Felicity Jones). When he was diagnosed with ALS – a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s disease – he was given two years to live. Yet he continued his cosmology studies, earning his doctorate and writing “A Brief History of Time.”

What’s astonishing is how Eddie Redmayne is able to communicate Hawking’s emotions by mirroring the expressive, often mischievous movements of his eyes and eyebrows.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Theory of Everything” is an extraordinary, inspirational 10. “There should be no boundary to human endeavor,” Hawking concludes. “However bad life may seem, where there is life, there is hope.”

More "Susan Granger At the Movies: ‘The Theory of Everything,’ ‘The Homesman,’ “The Hunger Games’"

Posted 04:00 AM
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Monday, November 24, 2014

New Saugatuck Attraction

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Nigel Holmes and Erin McKenna of Westport tonight view a prototype of light-boxes showing old and new Westport which went up earlier today on the outside of the westbound stationhouse at the Westport Metro-North station on Railroad Place. Plans call for installation of 32 of the panels showing Westport scenes in the two tunnels at the station. The project is a joint effort of Westport artist Miggs Burroughs, the Westport Arts Center, and the Westport Police Department Railway Parking Division. (See WestportNow Nov. 24, 2014) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Posted 07:43 PM
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Old and New Westport on Display at Train Station

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A prototype of light-boxes showing old and new Westport went up today on the outside of the westbound stationhouse at the Metro-North station on Railroad Place. A total of 32 of the panels will line the station underground tunnels. They are being produced in cooperation with Helen Klisser During, artistic director of the Westport Arts Center, the Westport Police Department Railway Parking Division, and Westport artist Miggs Burroughs, using his signature lenticular images. Each panel will combine an image from a 100-year-old postcard of Westport with a current photo of the same location, which will change from one to the other as viewers walk by Erecting the prototype today were (l-r) Police Chief Dale Call, Deputy Police Chief Foti Koskinas, Helen Klisser During, and Miggs Burroughs. Sponsorships of individual boxes at $3,000 each are being solicited from Westport individuals, families, and businesses. Those interested should contact Marni Katz at the Westport Arts Center at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (203) 226-1806. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Posted 02:58 PM
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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Heida Hermanns String Competition Winner

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Xiao Wang, violinist from China, was selected today as the winner of the 2014 Heida Hermanns International String Competition at Westport Town Hall. The two-day competition was presented by the Connecticut Alliance for Music (CAM) with the support of the Westport Arts Center. Wang, who began playing the violin at age 5, was awarded a $5,000 cash prize. At age 10, he was accepted to study at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, later studying at the Curtis Institute of Music. He is pictured with Barry Persky, vice president, Connecticut Alliance for Music. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Seth Goltzer for WestportNow.com

Posted 07:09 PM
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Heida Hermanns Finalists

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Finalists in the two-day 2014 Heida Hermanns International String Competition at Westport Town Hall which concluded today included (l-r) Xinou Wei, honorable mention ($500 cash prize); Rachell Wong, second place ($2,500 cash prize); Chensi Tang, third place ($1,500 cash prize); Xiao Wang, first place ($5,000 cash prize); Christina Bouey, honorable mention ($500 cash prize), and (sitting with cello) You Kyung Kim, honorable mention ($500 cash prize). The competition is named after Heida Hermanns, a world-class concert pianist and child prodigy who fled Nazi Germany and eventually settled with her husband in Westport. She died in 1995 at age 89. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Seth Goltzer for WestportNow.com

Posted 07:04 PM
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Great-Great-Great Grandpa Featured in Saugatuck Mural

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The mural “Saugatuck in the 19th Century” created in 1969 by the late Westport artist Robert L. Lambdin anchors the Westport Historical Society’s “Saugatuck@Work,” which opened today. The meticulously researched wall mural depicts the area bustling with commerce and community and features Sea Capt. Sereno Gould Allen. Among those attending today’s opening reception were his great-great-great-grandchildren Wm. Bradley Kellogg of Fairfield and Katherine Daught Jacob of Weston. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Posted 03:25 PM
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Westport Historical Society Debuts ‘Saugatuck@Work’


Scenes from today’s reception marking the opening of the Westport Historical Society’s exhibit “Saugatuck @ Work—Haven of Community, Commerce and Innovation” and companion exhibit devoted to the life of Saugatuck immigrants, “Framing Saugatuck,” in the WHS’s Mollie Donovan Gallery. Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Posted 03:21 PM
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Family Magic at Westport Arts Center


Scenes from today’s Westport Arts Center “Family Art Day: Magical Moments.” The Arts Center was transformed into a workshop with multiple hands on art activities lead by local teaching artists and volunteers. Families created magic wands, shadow boxes, stained glass, and lenticular drawings together.Melissa & Doug created a play zone for younger children and sponsored the event.Marina White for WestportNow.com

Posted 01:30 PM
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Magic at the Arts Center

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Well know professional magician Michael Chaut dazzles guests at the Westport Arts Center tonight with magic tricks at the opening reception for the annual juried members exhibition “Perception Illusion Magic.” The exhibit, with magic as its theme, features 40 works, including photographs, mixed media, paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and engravings. It runs until Jan. 10.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Posted 09:30 PM
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Up Close Look

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Peggy Shore of Westport (mother of exhibiting artist Jake Shore ) takes a close look at New York artist Liz Neilson’s “Cattail Electron” and “Castle Rocket,” two of 40 artworks on display at the Westport Arts Center tonight as part of the annual juried members exhibition “Perception Illusion Magic.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Posted 09:25 PM
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Jurors and New Artistic Director

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Jurors Elizabeth Koehn (l) and Julia Mechtler (r) of New York’s David Zwirner Gallery get together with Helen Klisser During, newly named artistic director of the Westport Arts Center, tonight at a reception marking the opening of the annual juried members exhibition “Perception Illusion Magic.” Klisser During, director of visual arts since 2010, was honored at the event on her new appointment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 09:20 PM
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Arts Center Opening Reception


Scenes from tonight’s reception marking the opening of the the Westport Arts Center’s annual juried members exhibition “Perception Illusion Magic.” Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com and contributed photos

Posted 09:15 PM
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Susan Granger At the Movies: ‘Whiplash,’ ‘Rosewater,’ ‘Dumb and Dumber To’

By Susan Granger

Writer/director Damiel Chazelle draws on memories of his music student days to create “Whiplash,” a compelling, coming-of-age drama about a prodigy who yearns to be a celebrated drummer.

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Enrolling at a prestigious Manhattan conservatory, Andrew (Miles Teller) impresses embittered Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), an impatient, sadistic perfectionist who belittles his pupils and pits them against one another. Succumbing to Fletcher’s monstrous “practice” imperatives, Andrew relinquishes all semblance of a normal life.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Whiplash” is an abusive yet electrifying 8, defining the parameters of artistic sacrifice.

On a three-month hiatus from Comedy Central, Jon Stewart made “Rosewater,” adapted from Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bahari’s memoir, “Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival.”

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Posted 01:43 AM
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Historical Society to Celebrate Saugatuck’s Proud Past

Nineteenth century Saugatuck, bustling with manufacturing and river commerce, is the centerpiece of a Westport Historical Society (WHS) exhibit opening Sunday.

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Westport artist Robert L. Lambdin’s wall mural “Saugatuck in the 19th Century” will anchor the exhibition. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The exhibition titled “Saugatuck @ Work—Haven of Community, Commerce and Innovation” is scheduled for an opening reception from noon to 2 p.m.

According to WHS officials, the late Westport artist Robert L. Lambdin’s meticulously researched wall mural “Saugatuck in the 19th Century” will anchor the exhibition.

Created for the Westport Bank & Trust Company’s Saugatuck branch when it opened in 1970, the painting measures 6 by 10 feet and depicts the various types of vessels that plied the river over the course of the century.

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Posted 07:28 PM
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Monday, November 17, 2014

Westport Arts Center Names Artistic Director

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The Westport Arts Center has announced the appointment of Helen Klisser During to the position of Artistic Director. “We are delighted to honor Helen with this appointment, for her artistic vision and dedication to the arts in Westport and especially to what she has achieved for the Westport Arts Center,” said Executive Director Peter Van Heerden. Klisser During, pictured during a recent visit to Coney Island doing research for an exhibit opening in January, has been Director of Visual Arts since January 2010. (She is also a WestportNow contributing photographer.) She will be honored at a reception marking the opening of the annual juried members exhibition “Perception, Illusion, Magic “ on Friday 6 to 8 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Posted 05:10 PM
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