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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Friday, November 20, 2015

‘In His Closet’ Image
One of the selected works for the “DREAMscapes” members’ exhibition at the Westport Arts Center drawing much attention tonight was this one by Danbury artist Eric Camiel. Titled “In His Closet,” it is described as “mixed media plastic, wood, cloth, metal; Mara Horowitz, seamstress; Julie Jackson, paint and makeup.” It sells for $4,950. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Posted 08:51 PM
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Gallery: Opening Reception for ‘DREAMscapes’

Scenes from tonight’s opening reception for the Westport Arts Center’s “DREAMscapes” annual members exhibition and post-party reception for Helen Klisser During, outgoing WAC artistic director. The exhibition, juried by Alexandra Munroe, Samsung senior curator of Asian art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, runs until Jan. 9. Helen Klisser During for and contributed photos

Posted 08:44 PM
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Westporters Greet Robards at New Play Image
Actor Jake Robards (2nd r) is greeted tonight by founding members of the Westport Country Playhouse’s New Works Circle (l-r) Westporters Anna Czekaj-Farber, Barbara Streicker, Scott and Judy Phares, and Westonite Howard J. Aibel. The meeting followed Robards’s performance in “Promising,” a new play by Michelle Elliot about a politician caught up in a scandal, which opened Wednesday at New York’s Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row, 410 W 42nd St. Robards is a Playhouse trustee, as are Czekaj-Farber, Streicker, Judy Phares, and Aibel. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Samantha Goober for

Posted 10:36 PM
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Erica Jong: ‘I No Longer Care About Pleasing Everyone’ Image
The McManus Room at the Westport Library was overflowing tonight for a talk by best selling author Erica Jong about her latest work, “Fear of Dying: A Novel,” the first by the Weston resident in 10 years. The book delivers a fresh perspective on love, desire and aging, similar to the way her classic, “Fear of Flying,” four decades ago challenged views of love, marriage, sex and what women really feel and desire. Said Jong, 73: “I can’t say I won’t write another book with ‘Fear’ in the title, but I will try not to.”  She added: “I feel empowered after menopause. I no longer care about pleasing everyone.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 10:27 PM
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A New Look at Some Old Themes Image
Best selling author Erica Jong of Weston gets set tonight to autograph copies of her latest book, “Fear of Dying: A Novel,” at the Westport Library.  Said Woody Allen of the book: “How Erica is able to deal with all these sensitive issues and still make the book funny is amazing. I loved reading it.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 10:22 PM
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Gallery: Book Launch of ‘The Beautiful Pond’

Scenes from tonight’s book launch party for “The Beautiful Pond” by Westport artist Judith Orseck Katz at Positano Ristorante. Phyllis Groner and Helen Klisser During for

Posted 10:03 PM
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Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Spotlight,’ ‘Spectre,’ ‘The Peanuts Movie’

By Susan Granger

Sure to wind up in many 10 Best lists this year, “Spotlight” is the fascinating, true crime story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that revealed the Roman Catholic Church’s systematic ‘cover-up’ of pedophile priests. Image

Spotlight is the name of the Globe’s investigative team, headed by Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton) and comprised of Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sarah Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matty Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James).

They report to managing editor Ben Bradlee, Jr. (John Slattery), whose father figured prominently in the Watergate-themed “All the President’s Men.”

After the Globe was bought by The New York Times in 2001, there’s a new, cost-cutting boss, Marty Baron (Liev Schrieber), who is not only Jewish but also an out-of-towner. He urges them to pursue molestation allegations against a priest, a subject the newspaper has traditionally ignored under tacit pressure from Cardinal Bernard Law (Len Cariou) and the Boston Archdiocese.

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Posted 07:36 PM
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Award-Winning Short Films Screened Image
Movie lovers were treated tonight to screening of five award-winning Tribeca Film Festival short films at the Short Cuts film series held at the Garden Cinemas in Norwalk. Among them was the seven-minute comedy “Merry Xmas” featuring Dick van Dyke, co-produced by Adam Rackoff. Rackoff participated in the talkback afterwards with Short Cuts producer Nancy Diamond of Westport. Short Cuts is a program of JIB Productions, Westport’s presenters of the popular lunchtime theater series, Play With Your Food. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Inge Maki for

Posted 09:21 PM
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Monday, November 16, 2015

‘Dracula’ Curtain Call Image
Actors who performed in tonight’s Script in Hand reading of “Dracula” at the Westport Country Playhouse make their curtain call. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 10:45 PM
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Getting Ready for Tonight’s ‘Dracula’ Playreading Image
The cast of tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse Script in Hand reading of “Dracula” posed during a rehearsal with director Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artist and curator of the playreading series. “Long before our latest obsession with vampires and zombies, there was Bram Stoker’s terrifying novel,” she said. “This version was done in 1927, and it is by far the least hokey and most scary. What makes it scary is that it in no way begs a laugh. Prepared to be scared.” Pictured (l-r, first row) are Boyd Gaines; Bethany Jillard; Mark Shanahan; Kristin Hahn and Jack Gilpin; (back row) Martha Stout; Aaron Krohn; Ryan Garbayo; Mathew Amendt and Anne Keefe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 02:53 PM
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Staples Cited for Commitment to Music Education

Westport’s Staples High School is among 119 U.S. public high schools selected by the GRAMMY Foundation as a GRAMMY Signature Schools semifinalist for making an outstanding commitment to music education, school officials announced today. Image
Staples students perform at a recent concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

It is the only Connecticut high school chosen for the honor.

Created in 1998, the GRAMMY Signature Schools program recognizes top U.S. public high schools for their commitment to music education during an academic school year.

The next part of the process will be the submission of performance excerpts from the past school year. Finalists for the GRAMMY Signature Schools will be announced in mid-March.

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Posted 12:20 PM
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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Arts Center Presents Decoda Chamber Ensemble Image
The Westport Arts Center today presented at the Pequot Library in Southport the chamber ensemble Decoda. Comprised of virtuoso musicians, entrepreneurs, and passionate advocates of the arts, the group is based in New York City, The artists of Decoda first collaborated with one another in the renowned Ensemble ACJW fellowship program, created by Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute; and they now extend that relationship as an Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 07:13 PM
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TEA Talk Discusses Arts in Connecticut Education Image
The Westport Arts Advisory Committee today held a TEA Talk (Thinkers, Educators, Artists) symposium at Westport Town Hall discussing “Where Are the Arts in Connecticut Education?”  Panelists in three moderated conversations discussed ways to improve arts education in the state. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Posted 04:21 PM
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‘People Sometimes Think of Arts as the Frosting’ Image
State Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell today told a Westport symposium on arts education in Connecticut that the state is actively seeking to improve arts education in schools and is working directly with the 30 lowest performing school districts to bolster their arts programs. “We see a direct relationship with the arts and improvement,” she said, adding that “people sometimes think of arts as the frosting instead of an important ingredient of the cake.” She spoke in a discussion with Kristin McKinney (r), a member of the Westport Arts Advisory Committee, which sponsored the TEA (Thinkers, Educators, Artists) Talk in the Westport Town Hall auditorium. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Posted 04:16 PM
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Westport Mural Cited as Teaching Aid Image
A 1969 mural by Westport artist Robert Lambdin depicting Saugatuck in the 19th century was cited today by Julie Droller (l), director of elementary education in the Westport Public Schools, as an important teaching aid for Westport elementary students. She spoke in a discussion with Jody Carlson (c), a Westport elementary teacher, and Robbin Zella, executive director of the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport, at today’s TEA (Thinkers, Educators, Artists) Talk sponsored by the Westport Arts Advisory Committee in the Westport Town Hall auditorium. The mural is on display at Town Hall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Posted 04:11 PM
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