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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Friday, November 13, 2009

Westport Music Teacher Hits it Big at MLB.Com

Westport music teacher and performer Suzanne Sherman Propp has achieved a major league honor—her song “Running Home” has been selected as the soundtrack for’s new video montage of the 2009 baseball Image
Westport’s Suzanne Sherman Propp is interviewed on about her song “Running Home” which was selected for’s video montage of the 2009 baseball season. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow photo from

“I’m so thrilled and honored and excited,” the Green’s Farms Elementary School teacher said in an interview with “It made me cry to watch it. I hope everyone enjoys it.”

Produced with the help from her brother Russell Sherman, the video captures the key moments from the year that saw the New York Yankees triumph in the 2009 World Series to win their 27th championship.

“When we’re sitting in the stands as parents, there’s such a mix of emotions, highs and lows, the thrill of watching your kid coming around third and tearing for home,” said Propp, the mother of two, including a 12-year-old baseball player.

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P&Z Approves New Levitt Pavilion Applications Image
The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission tonight approved applications that will clear the way for a new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. The commission expressed support for careful monitoring of construction on the former landfill site on the Saugatuck River as required by the Conservation Commission. It also said that the Pavilion grounds must be open to the public from dawn to dusk except from Dec. 1 to April 1 of each year. Pictured is a model of the design by Westport architect Peter Cadoux. Levitt backers hope to begin construction on the $5 million structure in the fall of 2010 and have it ready for the 2011 summer season. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 02:32 AM
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Staples Players “Guys and Dolls” Opens Friday Image
The Staples Players production of “Guys and Dolls” opens Friday at Westport’s Staples High School. Featured are senior Jake Yarmoff and junior Tori Schachne shown performing “If I Were a Bell” in act one of the revival of the oddball romantic comedy classic. “Guys and Dolls” originally opened on Broadway in 1950 and won five Tony Awards including best musical. The play runs this and next Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday, Nov. 15 matinee at 2 p.m. There will also be a special “stimulus performance” Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. with reduced ticket prices. More information is available on the Players Web site. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 05:15 AM
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Veterans Day Applause for “Letters Home” Image
A Veterans Day audience tonight gave a standing ovation to the Westport Country Playhouse’s presentation of “Letters Home,” a dramatic production of actual letters written by U.S. troops serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Produced by the Griffin Theatre Company of Chicago, the initial production last winter was critically acclaimed and nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for “Outstanding New Play.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Posted 03:53 AM
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Soldiers in Iraq—“Ordinary Images” Image
In conjunction with tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse production of “Letters Home,” Terri Smith (l), director of visual arts for the Westport Arts Center, curated an exhibit in the Playhouse lobby entitled “Daily Exchanges: U.S. Soldiers in Iraq - The Ordinary in Images.”  She worked with the guidance and input of artist and Operation Enduring Freedom veteran Paul Kaiser (r) to create the exhibit which features photographs and videos depicting the everyday lives of troops serving in war. They are show in front of one of Kaiser’s works. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Posted 03:45 AM
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Westport Pie Maker on Food Network’s “Throwdown” Image
Westporter Michele Albano (r), owner of Michele’s Pies in Norwalk, and her family watch her tonight on the Food Network’s “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” In the show, Flay, an acclaimed chef, restaurateur, and award-winning cookbook author, drops in unexpectedly to challenge a cook to a cook-off. The challenge for this episode was pumpkin pie. According to a show publicity release, Albano took the traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie to “new heights with her newest creation, the decadent Maple Pumpkin with Pecan Streusel Pie.” Said Albano of the experience: “What an exciting time it was. It was the thrill of my life!” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julie Whamond for

Posted 03:15 AM
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Staples Hosts Synergy Brass Quintet Image
At Staples High School today, the Westport Cultural Arts Committee presented an emerging young brass quintet to students and faculty in the front hall entrance. The Synergy Brass Quintet has performed throughout the country and includes members in their late 20s or early 30s. One parent described the musicians as “prime examples of the classical-crossover younger generation. This is not your typical classical quintet—at all.” Pictured (l-r) are Jon Hurrell, Bobby Thorp, Jesse Chavez, Gregg Lloyd, and Jordan Witt. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kim Bird for

Posted 11:10 PM
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Music to Go to Class By Image
John Dodig, principal of Westport’s Staples High School, faculty and students paused today to listen to The Synergy Brass Quintet which played in the school’s front entrance hall. The performance was sponsored by the Westport Cultural Arts Committee. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kim Bird for

Posted 11:08 PM
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Laughter With a Message

By Dave Matlow

Westport Town Hall was packed tonight for 90 minutes of nonstop stand-up humor comprised of painfully sensitive portrayals of stereotypical high school students and their wide ranging self-images. Image
Boston-based actor and comedian John Morello performs his one-man show “Dirt” tonight at Westport Town Hall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The highly acclaimed performance called “Dirt” was performed by Boston-based actor and comedian John Morello, now in his seventh year of these presentations about substance abuse and choices. It was sponsored by the Staples High School Teen Awareness Group.

It was top flight entertainment with a heavy social message. Ripples of nervous laughter were scattered throughout the audience as the very likeable and modest Morello warmed up to adults and students alike.

Morello told the audience his act was made up of “fictional stories with intense truths.” 

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Posted 03:16 AM
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Large Turnout for “Dirt” Performance Image
There was a large turnout tonight of parents, students, and community members for the peformance of “Dirt,” a one-man show about the dangers of addiction at Westport Town Hall. The Teen Awareness Group at Staples High School sponsored the performance by actor and comedian John Morello. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 03:15 AM
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Monday, November 09, 2009

Playhouse, Arts Center Present “Letters Home” on Vets Day

Award-winning actor Brian Dennehy will host the Westport Country Playhouse’s presentation of “Letters Home,” a dramatic production of actual letters written by U.S. troops serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on Veterans Day, Image
The exhibit includes artist interpretations of the daily lives of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. This one is by artist Paul Kaiser. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Produced by the Griffin Theatre Company of Chicago, the initial production last winter was critically acclaimed and nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for “Outstanding New Play.”

In conjunction with “Letters Home,” the Westport Arts Center (WAC) will install an exhibition in the Playhouse lobby, “Daily Exchanges: U.S. Soldiers in Iraq - The Ordinary in Images.” 

Curated by WAC’s Director of Visual Arts Terri C. Smith, with the guidance and input of artist and “Operation Enduring Freedom” veteran Paul Kaiser, “Daily Exchanges” will feature photographs and videos depicting the everyday lives of troops serving in war.

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Posted 07:21 AM
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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Honoring Our Heritage: 90 Myrtle Ave.

By Bob Weingarten

Page and John Englehart are honoring Westport’s heritage by displaying a Westport Historical Society plaque identifying their home at 90 Myrtle Ave. as the David Salmon Carriage Image
The Westport Historical Society plaque for 90 Myrtle Ave. turned out to be a warmly welcomed Christmas present. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Weingarten for

Salmon built the carriage house and barn in 1869 several years after purchasing the main house at 96 Myrtle Ave. from The Rev. and Mrs. Timothy Atkinson in 1864. 

The Engleharts were happy to find their roots in an antique home in 2000 after living for 15 years in Asia and Europe. They had been researching the built date of their home when they saw the image of their home on an 1878 map displayed in the Public Works Department office of Town Hall.

Using this information to confirm that their home was at least built by 1878, the Engleharts approached the Westport Historical Society to request further information. 

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Posted 01:33 PM
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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Gala Photo Show by WestportNow’s Phyllis Groner Image
Phyllis Groner, a contributing photographer for WestportNow, had an exhibit and sale at Greg and Tony"s Salon tonight on Westport’s Post Road West. A portion of the proceeds went to the Westport Historical Society with matching amounts donated by Greg and Tony’s Salon. Many of the photographs for sale were first published on WestportNow. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for

Posted 02:31 AM
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Rehearsing Image
Marcus Russi, 14, of Westport and Cormac Cummiskey, 14 of Redding rehearse Darius Milhaud’s “Scaramouche” for the Music for Youth benefit concert and dinner party at Southport’s Trinity Church Sunday at 5 p.m. The benefit funds the free concerts and master classes for students held monthly at Pequot Library. Tickets are available at Sally’s Place in Westport or at the door on Sunday. The ticket price includes the concert and buffet dinner with the artists and all outstanding youth musicians. More information is available at the Music For Youth Web site. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 12:54 AM
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Friday, November 06, 2009

Westporter Launches Online Travel Magazine

A Westport-based travel writer has launched a new travel Web site that features high tech animation and cinematic-quality short films to provide a vivid portrayal of travel Image
The new Web site features an animated map of the Greek island of Folegandros. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed graphic

Susan Farewell said her “FarewellTravels: Select Escapes” is really an online travel magazine that seeks to use multimedia elements to showcase travel suggestions.

“My job as a travel writer is to capture the essence of what a place is like,” said Farewell, whose past travel writing mostly has been confined to glossy magazines.

“In the past, I’ve relied on prose and still photography. What we’re doing here takes travel reporting to a whole new dimension.”

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Posted 10:16 PM
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