Arts and Leisure
Sunday, March 04, 2007
NY Grand Opera Company Performs at Town Hall
The New York Grand Opera Company performed in a benefit concert Saturday night at Westport Town Hall and among the featured performers was Westport’s Lucia Palmieri (4th l.), a soprano. Vincent La Selva (2nd l.), conductor and artistic director, introduced the selections of arias, duets, and ensemble pieces from the world’s most loved operas. The program will be repeated at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Thursday. Pictured are (l-r) pianist Michael Pilafian, La Selva, mezzo-soprano Valeria Girardi, Palmieri, soprano Joanna McIntire, and tenor Jose Antonio Ponce Mendez. A video of Palmieri’s performance is available on YouTube. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com
Rockin’ at Toquet Hall
Saturday night’s sold out show at Westport’s Toquet Hall teen center featured performances by Atlantic records recording artists Tally Hall (above) with A Sight For Sore Eyes, The Knockouts, Brighton and Ivydrive. Tally Hall, formed in December 2002, is based in Ann Arbor, Mich. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Eric Goldschmidt for WestportNow.com
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Honoring Westport Artist Hardie Gramatky
The Westport Public Libray Friday night held an opening reception to mark the opening of its exhibit of works by the late Westport artist Hardie Gramatky. The exhibit in the Great Hall runs through April 30. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com
Linda Gramatky Smith, daughter of the late Westport artist Hardie Gramatky, poses in front of one of her father’s rare oil paitings, East Side Brewery done in 1933. The Westport Public Library Friday night hosted a reception to mark the opening of its exhibit of Gramatky works which features his watercolors. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com
Friday, March 02, 2007
Hardie Gramatky Exhibit Opens Tonight at Library
An opening reception will be held at the Westport Public Library at 6 p.m. today for an exhibit featuring watercolors by artist Hardie Gramatky, including “Evening Quiet” (above) of a farmhouse on Westport’s Roseville Road. Called “one of America’s 20 great watercolorists” by painter Andrew Wyeth, Gramatky (1907-79) was a prolific artist and a longtime Westport resident. The exhibit includes never-before-seen watercolors painted both in Westport and around the world. Contributed photo
Monday, February 26, 2007
Westporter Tyler Hicks Wins Top Photojournalism Award
Westport-educated Tyler Hicks, a staff photographer for The New York Times, was named the newspaper photographer of the year by the Missouri School of Journalism’s Pictures of the Year International contest, the newspaper reported today.
Flashback: Tyler Hicks discusses his book of photographs at a Westport Public Library meeting in November 2004. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
It was the second time in less than a month that a Westport native has won a top photojournalism award.
On Feb 9, Spencer Platt, a 1989 Staples High School graduate who roams the world for the Getty Images photo agency, won the World Press Photo of the Year award, considered the top prize in photojournalism. (See WestportNow Feb. 9, 2007)
Hicks, 37, was honored for five series of photographs that he took in 2006 in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Israel, Camden, N.J., and other places., the Times said. In 2004, Hicks spoke at the Westport Public Library about his work as he introduced a book of his photographs. (See WestportNow Nov. 28, 2004)
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Library Director to Address Y’s Women Monday
Maxine Bleiweis: will talk about library expansion plans. Contributed photoMaxine Bleiweis, director of the Westport Public Library, will address the Y’s Women of Westport Weston at the group’s weekly meeting Monday.
She will talk on “The Prediction of Trends: Meeting ‘Customer’ Needs” as well as tell the audience about the new and expanded plans for the library.
In addition, Bleweis, director of the Westport library since 1998, will cover aspects of the Patriot Act and how it affects libraries and those who use them.
The meeting at the Westport/Weston Family Y begins with coffee and conversation at 11 a.m. followed by the formal presentation at 11:30 a.m.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Monday Playhouse Reading of Jan Marans Play Postponed
The Westport Country Playhouse announced today that Monday’s scheduled reading of “A Strange and Separate People,” a new play by Jon Marans, has been postponed to Monday, April 23 at 7 p.m.
No reason was given. Marans also wrote “Old Wicked Songs” which played last fall at the Playhouse.
In “A Strange and Separate People,” a young Orthodox Jewish woman is unexpectedly caught up in a love triangle that involves herself, her husband and her husband’s new alternative love interest.
The play reveals the challenges she now faces in her life, her faith and her place in a new and different world.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Kitt, Hensley and Huffman Cast in Playhouse Opener
Eartha Kitt: stars as fortune teller. Contributed photoThe Westport Country Playhouse announced today that Grammy, Emmy and three-time Tony Award nominee Eartha Kitt, and Tony Award winners Shuler Hensley and Cady Huffman will appear in the new Kander and Ebb musical, “All About Us,” which opens the Playhouse 2007 season, April 10 through April 28.
“All About Us” is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “The Skin of Our Teeth” by Thornton Wilder. Book is by the legendary Joseph Stein, author of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, March 5, at 10 a.m.
Music and lyrics are by John Kander and Fred Ebb, one of the foremost songwriting teams in Broadway history. The famed duo wrote a string of long-running musicals, including “Cabaret” and “Chicago.”
Kitt, a Weston resident, will play Esmeralda, the fortune teller. With an enduring international career that spans theater, cabaret, television, and the recording industry, Kitt is one of only a handful of performers to be nominated for an Emmy Award, twice for a Grammy Award and three times for a Tony Award.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Westport Country Playhouse Hosts Public Open House
The Westport Country Playhouse will host three public open houses beginning Sunday to preview its 2007 season and offer guided tours of the recently renovated historic theater, the Playhouse announced today.
The open houses, which are free and include refreshments, will be held on Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 27, 7 to 9 p.m.; and Thursday, March 1, 7 to 9 p.m.
Tazewell Thompson, artistic director, and Jodi Schoenbrun Carter, managing director, will host.
The first hour will include a discussion of the season’s eight productions by Thompson, followed by a question and answer session. The second hour will offer guided Playhouse tours, taking participants behind the scenes of the theater.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Westporter Susan Lucia Palmieri in NYC Grand Opera Benefits
Susan Lucia Palmieri: soprano soloist. Contributed photoSusan Lucia Palmieri, a 1993 graduate of Westport’s Staples High School, will perform in a special “Singers of Today and Tomorrow” benefit concert for the New York City Grand Opera Company at Westport Town Hall on Saturday, March 3.
A soprano, she will also perform as a soloist in a Thursday, March 8 benefit for the company at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Palmieri, who once worked as a cook as Westport’s VFW Post and started her own restaurant, My Place, was accepted into New York’s famed Julliard School opera program in September. She started rehearsing with the New York Grand Opera chorus in October.
Palmieri, who goes by the professional name Lucia Palmieri, has strong Westport roots. Her maternal grandfather is retired longtime Westport firefighter Joe Valiante.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Former Westporter Ellen Hanley, Broadway Star, Dies at 80
Former Westporter Ellen Hanley, 80, a stage actress best known for playing Fiorello LaGuardia’s first wife in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Fiorello!” in 1959, died of a stroke Monday at Norwalk Hospital after a long battle with cancer, her family said.
Hanley was honored last October at a Westport Town Hall ceremony with an award from the Westport Arts Advisory Committee.
Born May 15, 1926, in Lorain, Ohio, Hanley made her Broadway debut in “Annie Get Your Gun,” starring Ethel Merman, in 1946. The following year she appeared as Clothilde Pfefferkorn in “Barefoot Boy With Cheek,” a zany collegiate musical featuring Nancy Walker and Red Buttons.
In the 1952 revue “Two’s Company,” which starred Bette Davis, Hanley introduced the Vernon Duke-Ogden Nash song “Roundabout.”
Monday, February 12, 2007
Predicting the Winners
Movie critic Susan Granger spoke to a full room with the Westport Weston Y’s Women today about the upcoming Academy Awards. She said her personal favorite in the best movie category is “Babel,” but she believes “Little Miss Sunshine” is a front-runner. She also believes Helen Mirren will win best actress for “The Queen” and there is a toss-up for best actor between Forest Whittaker for “Last King of Scotland” and Peter O’Toole for “Venus.” She also believes Eddie Murphy will win best supporting actor and Jennifer Hudson will win best supporting actress. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Valentine Poems and Laughs
Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman share a Valentine poem during the performance of “Come Be My Love. . .Love Spoken Here” at the Westport Country Playhouse. A cast that included Woodward, Newman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Eartha Kitt, Charles Grodin, Joanna Gleason and Chris Sarandon read classic and contemporary love poems Saturday night as a benefit for the Playhouse’s education fund. Woodward is artistic director emeritus at the Playhouse. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kerry Long/Westport Country Playhouse photo
Bermel to Perform at Arts Center
Derek Bermel: Performing for the Composers Project.” Contributed photoWestport Arts Center will present composer, clarinetist, and jazz and rock musician Derek Bermel and the Lark Quartet on Friday, March 9 at the Seabury Center on Church Lane.
Pre-concert conversation begins at 7:30 p.m. with the concert at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $35 for general seating. Student tickets with valid identification are $5.
The concert is part of Westport Arts Center’s “Composers Project,” a series of chamber music performances continuing through April that includes conversations between arts center artist-in-residence and 2004 Putltzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec and the evening’s featured composer.
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport