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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Levitt Pavilion Gets $200,000 State Grant

Gov.  M. Jodi Rell announced today that Westport’s Levitt Pavilion will get a $200,000 state grant toward building a new Image
This is a what the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts will look like as designed by Westport architect Peter Cadoux. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The Levitt grant was one of three for Norwalk area towns – Weston and Wilton are the others – that will share in $486,000 from the Connecticut Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP).

STEAP provides financial assistance for projects that encourage economic development and preserve the character of the state’s less-populated towns.

The grant to the Levitt was for construction of a stage, an entry pavilion and improved access to the river walk.

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Posted 07:34 PM
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Arts Awards Winners Announced

The Westport Arts Advisory Committee (WAAC) has announced nine recipients of its 2010 Westport Arts Awards. Image
Frank Deford: among Arts honorees. Contributed photo

Since 1994, the committee has annually recognized members of the community for their outstanding contributions to the Arts. This year’s awards will be presented on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium.

The WAAC Achievement Awards are given in five categories: Literature; Film/Theatre; Music; Visual Arts and the Horizon Award, designated for artists under the age of 32.

The Horizon Award, established in 2001, is presented to Westport young people who have demonstrated measurable excellence in either visual, film, theater, music or literary arts thus far in their careers. The 2010 Awardees are Connor Murphy (Staples High School 2003) for Visual Arts and Igor Pikayzen (Staples High School 2005) for Music.

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Posted 10:13 PM
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Blues Views and BBQ Festival Comes to End Image
The Westport Blues Views & BBQ Festival came to an end Sunday night at the Levitt Pavilion with a performance by the Uptown Horns Revue featuring Christine Ohlman, Debbie Davies, Joe Louis Walker, Junior Mack, and Brian Mitchel. The two-day event drew thousands. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for

Posted 04:15 AM
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

“Six Degrees of Marvin Hamlisch”— the Westport Connection Image
Carole Schweid (r) of Westport, artistic director of Play With Your Food, rehearses with Kelly Bishop (c), a Tony Award winner, and Merete Muenter for “At The Ballet” for the Oct. 4 performance of “Six Degrees of Marvin Hamlisch” at Symphony Space in New York City. The show is a benefit for The Actors Fund honoring Broadway musical director and keyboardist Fran Liebergall of “A Chorus Line” and “They’re Playing Our Song.” Liebergall is the sister of Westport resident Mel Liebergall. Weston resident Lucie Arnaz will also be starring in the show. Schweid is an original cast member of “A Chorus Line.” Tickets are available by calling (212)864-5400 or at Contributed photo

Posted 04:35 PM
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A Crowd Favorite Image
Lil’ Ed Williams and the Blues Imperials were a crowd favorite Saturday at the Westport Blues Views & BBQ Festival.The festival resumes today at the Levitt Pavilion at 11 a.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for

Posted 04:15 AM
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Opening Night Curtain Call Image
The cast of “Enter Laughing” takes a bow tonight after its opening night performance at the Westport Community Theatre stage in the lower level of Town Hall.  The production, a remake of the 1967 play by Joseph Stein and adapted from the Carl Reiner book by the same name, features a a young would-be actor seeking his first break. The play was later made into a film. The show runs on weekends through Oct. 10— Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., and Thursday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 02:45 AM
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Party Time Before Blues Traveler Performance Image
About 140 people tonight attended a pre-concert cocktail reception at TD BankNorth at 185 Main St. prior to the Levitt Pavilion performance by the Blues Traveler concert, a fundraiser for the Levitt Pavilion. TD Banknorth was lead sponsor for the evening’s festivities. The concert kicked off Westport’s Blues Views BBQ Festival this weekend at the Levitt sponsored by the Westport Downtown Merchants Association. Click here for a complete schedule. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 01:20 AM
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A Connection to “Memory” Artist Image
Dutch art lecturer Jaap Nijstad tells tonight’s Westport Arts Center “Memory” exhibit opening reception about the works of Leo Kok (rear, left, self-portrait)), a Belgian Jewish artist whose concentration camp depictions had never before been seen in the United States. Kok died at 22 from malnutrition after release from a concentration camp at Westerbork, Holland. Nijstad brought a gasp from the crowd when he disclosed that the portrait of the woman next to Kok is his mother who married Kok when she was 18 and survived the camp and now lives in Holland. With Nijstad is Helen Klisser During, the Arts Center visual arts director who curated the show. Nijstad also disclosed that Klisser During’s grandmother, who perished in the camps, is seen in one of Kok’s drawings in the exhibit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 12:30 AM
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Getting a Closer View Image
A visitor to tonight’s “Memory” exhibit opening at the Westport Arts Center gets a close view of painter Mayer Kirshenblatt’s “Slaughter of the Innocents II,” a 1942 chilling portrait of a Jewish family felled by a Nazi soldier. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Posted 12:29 AM
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Paradox of ‘Memory’ Opens at Arts Center Tonight

By James Lomuscio

Energized, with an eye for detail and fastidious about finishing touches, Helen Klisser During Thursday walked the Westport Arts Center gallery, prepping for tonight’s opening of a show that has been six months in the making – “Memory.” Image
Helen Klisser During stands in front of ” The Gramaphone” by Mayer Kirshenblatt. At 73, the artist began painting scenes from his childhood prewar Poland. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Klisser During, the center’s director of visual arts and the event’s curator, has amassed 65 works of 14 artists from Westport to the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam, from the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. to New York.

They include such well known names as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Anselm Kiefer, and Christian Boltanski.

It is an eclectic collection of paintings, charcoals, photographs, sculpture, videos, even taped transcripts. Yet, the exhibition’s unifying theme of memory, and memories, some warm and comforting, others too painful to dwell on, transcend each medium.

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Posted 04:30 AM
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“Enter Laughing” Opens Westport Community Theatre Season Image
The Westport Community Theatre Friday night opens its 2010-2011 season with “Enter Laughing,” a comedy adapted for the stage in 1967 by Joseph Stein from the Carl Reiner book by the same name. Based on a young would-be actor seeking his first break, the play was later made into a film “Enter Laughing” starring Jose Ferrer, Shelley Winters, Elaine May and Jack Gilford. Pictured are (l-r) Wayne Reimer, Dana DiCerto, and Jason Caruba. Among the cast of 12 is Westport’s Bob Lasprogato. The show runs on weekends through Oct. 10— Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., and Thursday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m.  The Community Theatre is located in the lower level of Town Hall.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 01:53 AM
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rotary Hears About “Sustainable Tourism” Image
Robin Tauck, a longtime Westport resident and recognized authority on the travel and tourism industry, told the Westport Rotary Club today about “sustainable tourism,” a term to elevate the awareness of travelers of the importance of preserving World Heritage sites as earmarked by UNESCO (United States Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Tauck said there are 911 designated World Heritage sites, most in Europe and North America, and UNESCO is seeking to identify and protect additional sites in third world countries. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 07:35 PM
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Supporters Welcome Westport Youth Film Festival Leaders Image
Community film supporters Monday night joined together at Rizzuto’s with Westport Arts Center board members to welcome and generate enthusiasm for the Westport Youth Film Festival leadership team—new WYFF Coordinator Kate Lupo and WYFF Youth Director Matt Kalmans, a senior at Weston High School. The group assembled to discuss year-round programming leading up to the 2011 WYFF Festival. Pictured (l-r) are Barry Lieberman, Nancy Gault, Lance Lundberg, Howard Steinberg, Debra Somerville, Kate Lupo, Matt Kalmans, Doug Tirola, Dennis Wong, Johnny Boston, Dan Burstein, and Danielle Ogden. Part of the effort but not pictured: Nancy Heller and Helen Klisser During. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 12:52 PM
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Discussing Anne Frank at the Playhouse Image
Author Francine Prose (r) talked today about her book, “Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife,” at the Westport Country Playhouse which later this month presents “The Diary of Anne Frank.” The Westport Public Library presented the event in collaboration with the Playhouse. Joining in a chat with an audience member afterward were Mark Lamos, artistic director of the Playhouse, and Maxine Bleiweis, director of the Westport Library. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 10:10 PM
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Talking Arts Image
U.S. Representative Jim Himes (l), a Democrat, and his Republican challenger in November, state Senator Dan Debicella, today appeared before a Westport gathering sponsored by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Fairfield County. While both candidates stressed their time-honored love and support for the arts, their methods of support during a period of economic downturn were strikingly different. Himes arrived after Debicella spoke.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 09:45 PM
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