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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Freshman Chorus and Sophomore Chorale

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The Freshman Chorus and Sophomore Chorale performed at Westport’s Staples High School tonight under the direction of Alice Lipson. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julia Mally for WestportNow.com

Posted 01:45 AM
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Heavenly Sounds

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Soloists David Ressler, Becca Loeser and Mikey McGovern and the Staples High School combined Chorus, Chorale, Choir and Symphonic Orchestra perfomed Haydn’s “The Heavens Are Telling” from The Creation at tonight’s concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julia Mally for WestportNow.com

Posted 01:40 AM
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Strings Attached

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Part of the cello and bass sections of the Staples High School Symphonic Orchestra in concert tonight. The Spring Concert featuring the bands and choir is currently showing on Cablevision Channel 78 at 8:30 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julia Mally for WestportNow.com

Posted 01:38 AM
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Phil Donahue to Discuss “Body of War” Film at Library

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Phil Donahue: Discusses first film effort. Contributed photo
Westporter Phil Donahue, executive producer and co-director of the award-winning documentary “Body of War,” will appear at the Westport Public Library on Wednesday, June 10 at 7 p.m.

Attendees will watch the 87-minute film and then hear Donhue lead a discussion about the film and the issues it addresses.

“Body of War” explores the true cost of war. It recounts the moving story of a young veteran who joined the military after 9/11 to fight in Afghanistan but was instead sent to Iraq, where, a week into his tour of duty, he was shot and paralyzed.

Donahue is best known as the Emmy Award-winning host of the popular TV talk show, “The Phil Donahue Show,” which began in 1967 and ran for 29 years.

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Posted 05:07 PM
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Comings and Goings: Gary Frame Gallery Moving

By Dave Matlow

A little bit of Westport is changing places next week with the moving of Gary Frame Gallery from its Post Road East location to its new home in Saugatuck after 40 years.WestportNow.com Image
Gary Manne shows a portrait of himself created by son Garrison (l) as a 50th birthday gift in 1997. The Gary Frame Gallery, a Westport institution on Post Road East for 40 years, is moving to Saugatuck. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

To understand what this means is to understand owner Gary Manne, 62, and son, Garrison, 31. The senior Manne, an accomplished artist, is also a no-nonsense individualist.

He says he has never worn a wristwatch, doesn’t own a computer, never owned a credit card, never carried a wallet, has a black and white TV, and only upgraded from his rotary-dial phone in year 2000.

But what he has done all this years is to provide a sympathetic ear to Westporters at the shop at 611 Post Road East in the shopping center formerly anchored by Shaw’s Supermarket.

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Posted 01:29 PM
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Getting the Levitt Ready

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A crew was hard at work today preparing the stage of the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts for its 36th season. The 2009 season opens on June 19 with a fund-raising gala event featuring Tom Jones that makes more than 50 nights of free performances possible. For more information on the gala and the season visit the Levitt Pavilion Web site. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Posted 02:26 AM
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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Saturday Night at the Opera via Norwalk Symphony

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Many Westporters were among attendees tonight at the final performance of the 2008-2009 season and the reception for the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra at Norwalk City Hall. The program, titled “La Dolce Vita,” was comprised of selections from operas by Rossini, Puccini, Mascagni and Verdi.  Diane Wittry was the conductor. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 03:34 AM
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

NY Post Cites Westport as Area’s No. 41 Top Destination

The New York Post today published its top 100 destinations within a six-hour drive or one-hour plane ride of New York City and listed Westport as No. 41.

“Why?,” the story said. “A lovely setting—nature preserves, rivers and beaches—a mix of cosmopolitan sophistication, coastal charm and proximity to New York. Big win.”

The Post noted that “there’s been a strong Hollywood connection to this affluent town for some time: It was the fictional residence of Ricky and Lucy Ricardo (‘I Love Lucy’) and Darrin and Samantha Stephens (‘Bewitched’), and the real home of many a celebrity, most famously, Martha Stewart and the late Paul Newman.”

It said “lots of money has translated into lots of culture” and urged readers to “grab a picnic basket and a blanket or lawn chair and head to the banks of the Saugatuck River for one of the 50 free summer concerts at the Levitt Pavilion.” It also touted the Westport Country Playhouse and the adjoining Dressing Room restaurant.

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Posted 01:06 AM
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Sculptor Says Missing Golda Meir Work Was Her Best

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Westport Sculptor Steffi Friedman today wrapped up the last “Conversations with the Artists” series at the Westport Center for Senior Activities. Working in many mediums, including terracotta, glass, bronze, alabaster and marble, she has sculpted many pieces both very large and some small. Among those she cited was one of a former Israeli leader. “The sculpture I did of Golda Meir is the best sculpture I ever did,” she said. “It was 9 feet by 9 feet and weighed well over 100 pounds.” But she added, “It was stolen and never recovered.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 11:27 PM
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Children’s World at Playhouse

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Today was the fifth and final matinee performance at the Westport Country Playhouse of “Around the World in 80 Days” especially for elementary school children. More than 2,500 children from area schools have seen the production with cost of the tickets for many partially offset by the Theatre Access Fund,which is supported by grants and foundations. Today’s audience was comprised of students from three schools—Holland Hill in Fairfield, Our Lady of Fatima in Wilton, and Westport’s Bedford Middle School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 08:42 PM
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Author: Social Media Highly Transformational

By Phyllis Groner

UPDATE AND CORRECT Publishing and technology industry analyst John Blossom told a Westport Public Library audience tonight that social media’s influence is far more transformational than many may believe.WestportNow.com Image
Westporter John Blossom addresses a Westport Public Library audience tonight on social media. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Blossom is a Westporter and author of “Content Nation: Surviving and Thriving as Social Media Changes Our Work, Our Lives, and Our Future.

“We are a nation of publishers…..we have the ability for anyone to influence others easily using highly sociable and accessible publishing tools…computers, cell phones, Web sites,” he said.

In fact, he said he estimated there are already 59 million people using social media publishing tools who are seriously trying to influence other people in the world – equivalent to a nation the size of South Korea. He added,“Publishing is the DNA of civilization.”

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Posted 03:21 AM
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Candidates Sought for Arts Awards

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The Westport Arts Advisory Committee is seeking recommendations from the community to assist in selecting its 2009 Horizon Award recipients, to be presented on Oct. 25. Horizon Awards are given to up-and-coming artists who either were raised in Westport or currently reside here. Candidates will be selected from six artistic fields: visual arts, literary arts, film, theater, dance and music. All must be high school graduates, age 32 or under and have demonstrated excellence in any of the six categories. Candidates should send a resume and visual sample, if applicable, to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). All materials must be received by June 15. Pictured is Justin Paul, composer and musical director, who was awarded the 2007 Horizon Award. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 01:03 AM
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Westport Arts Center Honors Sunrise Rotary

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The Westport Arts Center tonight held a reception recognizing the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club for its funding of a collaborative initiative, “The Art of Filmmaking.” Guests included students from Bridgeport’s Bridge Academy charter school representing the 25 seniors who participated in a 10-week program that culminated in a film telling their stories which was screened last weekend at this year’s Westport Youth Film Festival. In addition to a screening of the film at the reception, awards were presented to three Rotary members for their work on the project—John Franklin, a former president of the Westport Arts Center, Cheryl Scott Daniels, and Dennis Wong. They received hand-blown glass stars created by Simon Pearce. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Lefkowitz for WestportNow.com

Posted 02:05 AM
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Wrapping Up the Harlem Renaissance Series

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Edward Pleasant, a classically trained baritone, was the featured performer tonight at the fifth and final event in the Westport Public Library’s Spoken Word: Harlem Renaissance series. He sang two moving songs by James Weldon Johnson—the patriotic Negro National Anthem and “Creation.” He went on to recite the poetry of Langston Hughes, an American poet, novelist, playwright, and short story writer who was one of the earliest innovators of the new literary art form jazz poetry. “Poetry is like amber, it crystalizes a moment in time,” said Pleasant, who has performed in opera and musical theater as well as in concert, recital and recording. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Posted 01:05 AM
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jack the Golden Retriever Stars in “Our Place Westport”

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“Our Place Westport” will debut at Earthplace at 10 a.m. on Saturday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
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Jack romps through Westport history complete with a WestportNow dog bone on his collar. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
There’s a new canine personality in Westport—Jack the wise and witty Golden Retriever who stars in a new book, “Our Place Westport.”

Written by the husband and wife team of Chris Gorman and Michelle Morfitt, the book published by Hometown 520 LLC is part of a new richly illustrated series depicting the local history of Connecticut towns and communities written especially for children.

The Rowayton authors said they were inspired to write the Our Place books as a way to teach their own children about Connecticut local history and to convey to them an appreciation of the natural environment.  The story is told through the eyes of Jack the Golden Retriever who romps through Westport history and events past and present.

Illustrations range from depictions of native Indians, the Westport Country Playhouse, Mario’s, Oscar’s Deli, and the Black Duck restaurant, to a closeup of his collar that has the WestportNow logo on a dangling dog bone.

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Posted 11:31 AM
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