Friday, November 18, 2016
Scenes today from the Westport Historical Society’s Holiday Market, which continues Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. WestportNow.com photos
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
The Westport Woman’s Club tonight hosted a screening of “No Letting Go,” an award-winning feature film based on the real-life experiences of its co-writer/producer Randi Silverman (above), who has a child suffering from mental illness. After the showing she engaged in a question and answer session with audience members. Silverman hopes the film will call attention to the issue of mental health literacy, and particularly the presentation of mental illness in young children. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
By Susan GrangerSpecial to WestportNow
When Harry Potter studied at Hogwarts, one of his textbooks was “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” by Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). So Newt’s story is an imaginative prequel.
Newt, a British Magizoologist, travels to New York City in 1926, arriving on Ellis Island with a bottomless satchel of supernatural creatures, several of which escape, thrusting nerdy Newt into the company of Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), a gullible, good-natured No-Maj (American for Muggles).
They’re spotted by Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson), an astute ex-Auror who’s eager to regain her Investigator post. Members of the Magical Congress of the United States (MACUSA) are strictly segregated and secretive, hidden within a skyscraper (the Woolworth Bldg.).
Its immense Magical Exposure Threat Level Barometer is color-coded at Orange for “severe unexplained activity” because sinister, manipulative Dark Wizard Gellert Grindlewald is on the loose. Pressure is heightened by fanatical witch hunters, Second Salemers, led by bigoted Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton).
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
For the first time, tickets will be available online beginning Thursday for the three performances next month of the 76th annual Candlelight Concert by the musicians of Staples High School.
An announcement said free tickets, with a limit of eight per person, will be available online here.
A limited number of tickets can also be requested by mail until Dec. 9 at Candlelight Tickets, Staples High School, 70 North Ave., Westport, CT 06880. Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
The performances are Friday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Monday, November 14, 2016
Actors paused today during a rehearsal for tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse Script In Hand reading of “Social Security” by Andrew Bergman, one of Hollywood’s top comedy screenwriters. There are still a few tickets available, according to the Playhouse. The reading will be directed by Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artist and curator of the playreading series. Pictured: (seated on floor) Martha Stout; (seated in chairs) Deirdre Madigan, Lynn Cohen, Ronald Cohen and Lizbeth Mackay; (standing) Stephen Schnetzer, Annie Keefe, and David Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Scenes from today’s Westport Country Playhouse kickoff party for its Family Festivities Series, which begins on Sunday, Nov. 20. The six-show series will feature musical productions based on classic and new children’s stories. The opening show will be “The Mixed-Up Fairy Tale,” a musical produced by TheatreWorks USA. The Playhouse’s community partners for the event, including the Westport Young Woman’s League, Westport Library, Read to Grow, and Barnes & Noble, hosted a variety of activities for kids such as story book readings and live music by the Suzuki School of Music. Food was available, including free samples from Qdoba and Shake Shack.Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
|Today’s New York Times Arts & Leisure section front page features composer and 2003 Staples High School graduate Justin Paul (r) and his writing partner Benj Pasek as they prepare for the Broadway debut of their “Dear Evan Hansen” at the Music Box Theatre. The subhead on the article is “What It’s Like To Make It in Showbiz With Your Best Friend.” The Times describes the original production as a “daringly heart-wrenching show that explores the charged interplay between collective grief and social media after a misconstrued high school suicide.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo|
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Voices Café at the Unitarian Church in Westport presented its monthly show tonight with Rob Carlson and Benefit Street. Beth Bradley on vocals and guitar, Sam Carlson on drums and Marshal Rosenberg on percussion rounded out the six musician group. Leader Rob Carlson held the crowd with his exceptional voice and rhythmic guitar playing interspersed with entertaining story songs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jane Sherman for WestportNow.com
Comedian Colin Quinn appeared in a sold out performance of “Stand Up for Homes with Hope” at the Westport Country Playhouse tonight. Before the show, he met with guests including Lisa Marriott a show organizer and Homes with Hope Board Member Chan Wheeler. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Friday, November 11, 2016
Staples Players Jacob Leaf as Harold Hill, and Zoe Mezoff as Marian the Librarian acknowledge a thunderous standing ovation tonight from the opening night audience of “The Music Man.” The show, which debuted on Broadway in 1957, was co-directed by David Roth and Kerry Long. Tickets are available at http://www.staplesplayers.com for performances this weekend and next. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Tonight’s opening night audience for the Staples Players production of “The Music Man” gave the performance a standing ovation. Sixty-four Staples students are taking part in the production along with eight more from elementary and middle school. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
More than 300 guests tonight celebrated the opening of Westport Arts Center’s “MORE Than Words/#iammore” exhibition featuring juried works by the community on the theme of courage, resilience and empowerment in the face of bullying. Among the works on display was “Be Nice,” a lenticular image by Westport artist Miggs Burroughs (r) of model Lucy Zuckerman (l) using American sign language to communicate “Be Nice.” CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com
Members of the Westport Artists’ Collective are pictured tonight at the opening reception for the Westport Arts Center’s latest exhibit, “MORE Than Words/#iammore.” Many of the artists are represented in the show, which features juried works by the community on the theme of courage, resilience and empowerment in the face of bullying. Of special note is the new junior category, featuring art from students ages 10-17. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com
Today’s start of a three-day estate sale at the Morningside Drive South home of the late Westport artists Walter and Naiad Einsel drew dozens of buyers and browsers. Many of the items were produced by the artists while many were among their eclectic collection dating to the 19th century. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Thursday, November 10, 2016
A preview of the estate sale Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the home of the late Westport artists Walter and Naiad Einsel on Morningside Drive South. Click here for details. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
An estate sale of a variety of unique items by the late Westport artists Walter and Naiad Einsel will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at their home on Morningside Drive South. Click here for details. Naiad Einsel died on April 3 at age 88. (See WestportNow April 6, 2016) Walter Einsel died in 1998 at age 72. (See other videos here, here, and here.) WestportNow.com videos by Helen Klisser During
There is a new home for an iconic painting of Staples High School band members by Westport artist Stevan Dohanos—Staples High School.
“The Band Played On (The Big Game),” drawn for an Oct. 19, 1946 Saturday Evening Post cover, depicts five members of the 1946 Staples High School band. In recent years, it has been in the first selectman’s office at Westport Town Hall.
The painting will hang in the Staples auditorium lobby throughout Staples Players’ run of “The Music Man” on Friday and Saturday, and on Nov. 13, 18 and 19, alongside the promotional posters for the 2001 and 2016 Staples Players’ productions of “The Music Man” that were inspired by the painting.
Taking part in an unveiling of the painting in its new home were members of the Friends of Westport Public Arts Collections Committee (WestPAC), which conserved the work, along with First Selectman Jim Marpe, Staples High School Principal James D’Amico, Town Curator Kathie Bennewitz, and Staples Players Director David Roth.
Wednesday, November 09, 2016
By Susan GrangerSpecial to WestportNow
Denis Villenueve’s “Arrival” is an exciting, provocative, intellectually stimulating sci-fi thriller.
Combining the wonderment of Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” and Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” while jettisoning the perception of linear time, it’s about Earth’s first contact with an alien civilization.
When 12 mysterious spacecraft touch down around the globe, renowned linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is summoned by Col. Weber (Forest Whitaker) to try to decipher their intergalactic intentions.
Still mourning the death of her young daughter, Louise realizes that this is a mind-bending adventure. En route to the nearest landing site in Montana, she’s joined by theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), an expert in binary code.
Tuesday, November 08, 2016
Installation was underway today for “MORE Than Words/#iammore,” the Westport Arts Center juried show featuring selected works by the community, which opens Friday with a 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. reception. The works were created in support of the theme of the Arts Center’s previous exhibition “MORE Than Words” about bullying. Pictured are WAC staff member Noah Steinman and Tom Berntsen installing Westport artist Tammy Winser’s “Trump: Bully For You,” an acrylic painting on board. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Xenia Gross for WestportNow.com
Westport filmmaker Doug Tirola (c) chats with Stephen Carpentieri, an owner of Westport’s Dunville’s, outside Coleytown Middle School as Tirola followed Carpentieri today as part of a national Election Day documentary. The film is by Jeff Deutchman who produced a similar documentary, “11/4/08,” that had footage from around the world on the day Barack Obama was elected president. Tirola, who featured Carpentieri in his 2013 award-winning documentary “Hey, Bartender,” is among 20 filmmakers selected to participate in the film, “11/8/16,” scheduled for release early next year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Sunday, November 06, 2016
The Connecticut-based Galvanized Jazz Band, first established in 1971, entertained a large crowd today at the Westport Center for Senior Activities. The band performed New Orleans Jazz, Dixieland, blues, ragtime, swing, spirituals and more. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Xian Gao of Brooklyn, N.Y. offers her French bulldog, Gus, 11 months, a taste of mac n’ cheese today at The Great Mac n’ Cheese & Chili Challenge at Sherwood Island State Park. Hundreds of mac and chili lovers attended what was described as the sister event to last month’s Chowdafest at the park. There were 20 entants competing in three categories—Classic Beef Chili, Creative Chili and Mac n’ Cheese. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Saturday, November 05, 2016
Westport’s Indian community tonight celebrated Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. The event drew about 170 persons and included cultural performances by local children’s groups, live music with a DJ, dancing, and dinner. Diwali is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year and gets its name from the row of clay lamps that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. Emcees for the cultural events were Staples High School students Vrinda Kareddy, a junior, and Eshita Kumar, sophomore. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Scenes from today’s opening day of the 41st annual CraftWestport show at Staples High School sponsored by the Young Woman’s League of Westport. The event features more than 175 fine contemporary artists and craftspeople from the region and across the country in what has become Connecticut’s largest indoor fine crafts festival. It continues Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. WestportNow.com photos
Friday, November 04, 2016
ABC has ordered additional episodes of “American Housewife,” the Tuesday night sitcom set in Westport, Variety reported tonight.
ABC Studios and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment received an order for an additional nine episodes, bringing its season to a full 22, the show business publication said.
The half-hour comedy staring Katy Mixon, originally called “The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport,” debuted Oct. 4.
Kenny Schwartz, a 1985 Staples High School graduate, is an executive producer. Mixon’s co-star, Diedrich Bader, who plays her husband, is married to actress Dulcy Rogers, a 1982 Staples High School graduate.
Thursday, November 03, 2016
The Westport Arts Center (WAC) tonight was transformed into a one-night-only Jazz Lounge with a performance by Atla & Matt DeChamplain. The former high school sweethearts performed songs of the Great American songbook including works by Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, Sammy Cahn, George and Ira Gershwin, and Jules Styne. Pictured are Atla DeChamplain, vocals, Ben Billelo, drums, Brian Torff, bass, and Matt DeChamplain on keyboard. The next WAC Jazz concert will feature The Saxtet Under the Direction of Darren Litzie, performing a tribute to Benny Goodman and Stan Getz on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Aubrey Grodin for WestportNow.com
Staples High School this weekend hosts the 41st annual Westport Young Woman’s League’s (WYWL) CraftWestport show.
The event features more than 175 fine contemporary artists and craftspeople from the region and across the country in what has become Connecticut’s largest indoor fine crafts festival.
Visitors will be able to meet visionary artists and purchase their latest work as well as help to raise money for local charities, an announcement said.
The show includes one-of-a-kind and limited edition jewelry, fashion and accessories, furniture, and home décor pieces as well as functional and sculptural work in ceramics, glass, metal, painting, photography, wood and mixed media, organizers said.
Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Staples Players marches into its 57th season beginning next weekend with Meredith Wilson’s, “The Music Man.” The production features a cast of 73 actors, including eight local elementary and middle school students. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, Saturday, Nov. 12, Friday, Nov. 18, and Saturday, Nov. 19. Matinee performances are at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Nov.19. Tickets may be purchased online at www.StaplesPlayers.com. Pictured are Charlie Zuckerman, a junior, and Jacob Leaf, a senior. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Kerry Long
By Susan GrangerSpecial to WestportNow
Set in 1930s Korea, during the Japanese occupation, auteur Park Chan-wook’s romantic melodrama “The Handmaiden” revolves around larcenous Sookee (Kim Tae-ri), an ambitious pickpocket recruited to help a con man, known as Count Fujiwara (Ha Jung-woo), who is planning to seduce lovely, lonely Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee) to obtain her large inheritance.
This aristocratic Japanese heiress lives in a magnificent manor house, deep in the woods, with her tyrannical uncle Kouzuki (Cho Jin-woong), an avid collector of rare exotic books whose tongue has turned black from licking his ink brushes.
Groomed since childhood to marry avaricious Kouzuki, devious Hideko tells Sookee that, when she was little, her deranged aunt (Moon- So-ri) hanged herself from a cherry tree and has become a ghost.
When Sookee has slyly established her servant status in the sumptuous household, fraudulent Count arrives, explaining he’s a painter from an impoverished noble family. Perverse Kouzuki hires him to forge illustrations for new books that can then be sold as originals.
Tuesday, November 01, 2016
By James Lomuscio
The Westport Library’s long sought redo transforming it into a state-of-the art information and community center got a major boost tonight as the Board of Finance unanimously approved $5 million for renovations.
The approval came with the contingency that the Library board raise the remaining $4.8 million for the project totaling $19.5 million before construction begins.
A target date for construction is Aug. 1, with a 17-month expected completion, according to Tom Walsh of AP Construction. He also said the work would be orchestrated in phases to keep the library open during construction.
Library Director Bill Harmer made the tonight’s request, noting that the town’s commitment, which has been part of its long-term capital forecast, represent about 20 percent of the total $19.5 million tab. The rest is being raised by the Library supporters via private donations and grants.