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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Westport Artist’s 1949 Work in Hartford Coney Island Show

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A 1949 artwork created by Westport artist Leonard Everett Fisher called “Coney Island” is included in the Hartford Wadsworth Atheneum exhibit “Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008.” The exhibit complements the current Westport Arts Center exhibit “Coney Island: Side Show.”  The painting, described by Fisher as “a pure egg tempera on gessoed Masonite,” is on loan from the Constance Erdelac Collection, Bay Village, Ohio. The Hartford exhibition is the work of Westporter Robin Jaffe Frank, the Atheneum’s chief curator and Krieble Curator of American Painting and Sculpture. Says Fisher: “My own connection to the Coney Island area goes back to 1918 when my father first met my mother in front of the Washington Baths on the Coney Island beach.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 08:22 PM
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Monday, February 09, 2015

Tony Award-Winner Headlines Playhouse Benefit Thursday

Tickets are still available for a special benefit concert Thursday for the Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County at the Westport Country Playhouse featuring two-time Tony Award-winner Sutton Foster.

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Sutton Foster: ‘Modern Millie’ vet. Contributed photo

Norwalk-based the Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County is a nonprofit which provides mental health services to more than 2,000 local children every year.

Foster won Tony Awards for her performances in “Anything Goes” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” She will be joined by Adam Kaplan from the Broadway cast of “Newsies,” and Adam Christoferson (“Musical Intervention.”)

Also appearing will be local theater and chorus groups representing Staples High School, Brien McMahon High School, Broadway Bootcamp, Greens Farms Academy, Music Theatre of Connecticut, New Canaan High School, Weston High School, Wilton High School, and Wiremill Academy.

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Posted 07:31 PM
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Sunday, February 08, 2015

A Singing Valentine

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The Sheffer Gallery of the Westport Historical Society today was filled with love songs as well known Westport singer-actress Leslie Orofino performed many of the best love songs from the American Songbook during her Valentine show, “Affairs of the Heart.” She was accompanied by Daryl Kojak on the keyboard and Boots Maleson on bass.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Posted 06:56 PM
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Hot Jazz at Library

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The Groove Quintet performed at the Westport Library today. Members include Gene Pino, guitar and leader; Joe Meo, saxophone, clarinet, flute and vocals; Phil Bowler, upright bass and top radio jazz personality, historian, and Grammy winner who records with Wynston Marsalis; David Jones, drums, and and Joe McWilliams, piano. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 05:12 PM
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‘The Lightning Thief’ at Playhouse

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Cast members perform “The Lightning Thief” today at the Westport Country Playhouse’s Family Festivities series in the Theatreworks USA production based on the popular book series by Rick Riordan. The play features mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus who seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy Jackson’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. The single day play, with original music, lyrics and orchestrations by Rob Rokicki and choreographed by Chloe Treat, was performed at 1 and 4 p.m. to large audiences. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 04:04 PM
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Learning to be Actors

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Children attending today’s Westport Country Playhouse Family Festivities series production of “Lightning Thief” were entertained in a pre-show acting workshop conducted by Norwalk resident Jennifer Katona, director of the graduate program on educational theatre at The City College of New York. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 03:45 PM
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Friday, February 06, 2015

Susan Granger’s at the Movies: Five Movies for the Weekend

By Susan Granger

Writer/director Mike Binder delves into his own family history for “Black and White,” a timely dramedy, starring Kevin Costner as a grieving widower fighting to retain custody of his bi-racial granddaughter.

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Still stunned over the death of his wife in an automobile accident, Scotch-swilling attorney Elliot Anderson (Costner) is determined to continue to raise seven year-old Eloise (Jillian Estell) in Brentwood, the affluent Los Angeles suburb where she’s lived all her life.

Eloise’s mother (Elliot’s 17-year-old daughter) died in childbirth. Eloise’s biological father (Andre Holland) is a drug-addicted ex-con with a long rap sheet; he’s never taken any interest in Eloise’s life.

Suddenly, Eloise’s paternal grandmother Rowena – a.k.a. Grandma Wee Wee (Octavia Spencer) –demands guardianship, seeking to move Eloise near her extended family in working-class Compton. At irrepressible Rowena’s side in the courtroom is her lawyer brother (Anthony Mackie).

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Posted 03:31 PM
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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Califano Draws SRO Library Crowd

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Westport resident Joseph A. Califano Jr. drew a standing room only audience at the Westport Library’s McManus Room tonight. He talked about his book “The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years.” Originally published in 1991, it was republished this week with a new introduction by Califano that updates Johnson’s impact on America today. Califano said contrary to the depiction of Johnson in the film “Selma,” he and Martin Luther King Jr. formed a partnership to champion civil rights—“two guys who knew what they were doing.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 10:02 PM
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Insights from a Lyndon Johnson Insider

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Joseph A. Califano, Jr (r)., a Westport resident who served as Special Assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1965 to 1969, told a Westport Library audience tonight that Johnson was a president “who knew how to make Washington work.” He was a hard worker who expected everyone to do the same, said Califano, 83, adding that in three and a half years working for Johnson, he had 11 days off. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 09:55 PM
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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Cold and Snow Does Not Deter Play With Your Food Crowd


Scenes from today’s Play With Your Food play reading at Westport’s Toquet Hall. Matsu Sushi provided the food to an enthusiastic audience undeterred by the cold and snow. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 03:55 PM
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Sunday, February 01, 2015

Jamming at the Arts Center


Scenes from today’s Jazz Jam at the Westport Arts Center. Phyllis Grioner for WestportNow.com

Posted 06:47 PM
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Friday, January 30, 2015

Now it Can Be Told: Westporter Involved in Time Cover Switch

Westport artist Miggs Burroughs today provided a bit of Time Magazine history he says has not been told before -– the last minute switch of a 1973 Watergate cover he did depicting Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman.

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The original July 30, 1973 cover is at left and its replacement is on the right.  Contributed photos

“It was to be the fifth cover I did for Time Magazine in the early 70s, most of which portrayed aspects of the Watergate scandal,” he wrote in a Facebook posting.

“My assignment was to portray Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s personal counsel in the White House, who were complicit in the ‘coverup’ of Nixon’s impeachable crimes. I put their heads together, sharing an ear, to further convey the media’s and public’s perception of them as one inseparable and evil force in the Oval Office.

“I was told to leave room for the headline but had no clue what it would be. The cover was printed and wrapped around a few hundred thousand issues of the magazine, ready to be distributed, before cooler heads at Time prevailed and had the entire issue pulled and destroyed for its offensive headline. A first in Time’s history, and never revealed until today. This may be the only remaining copy of that cover.”

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Posted 04:25 PM
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Advance Praise for Lynsey Addario Book

There is advance praise for Westport award-winning photographer Lynsey Addario’s new book to be published next week, “It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War” (The Penguin Press, HC, $29.95).

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Lynsey Addario’s book will be published next week.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The New York Times Magazine this Sunday publishes excerpts from the book, which Kirkus Reviews called “A remarkable journalistic achievement from a Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Fellowship winner that crystalizes the last 10 years of global war and strife while candidly portraying the intimate life of a female photojournalist. “

Dexter Filkins, a former New York Times colleague and author of “The Forever War,” said: “Lynsey Addario’s book is like her life: big, beautiful, and utterly singular. With the whole world as her backdrop, Addario embarks on an extraordinary adventure whose overriding effect is to remind of us what unites us all.”

Addario, a 1991 Staples High School graduate, is a frequent visitor to her hometown. A year ago, the Westport Arts Center presented an exhibit of 34 of her photographs, “On The Wire: Veiled Rebellion,” which depicted the plight of women in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. (See WestportNow Jan. 25, 2014)

Posted 04:13 PM
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Friday Drop-in Distinguished Visitor

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Helen Clark, U.N. Development Program head and former prime minister of New Zealand, was a drop in visitor today at the Westport Arts Center. She was greeted by Helen Klisser During, fellow New Zealander, artistic director, and curator of the Center’s current exhibit, “Coney Island: Side Show,” which runs until March 14. They are pictured in front of Westport photographer Stephen Wilkes’s shot “Coney Island Boardwalk, NY, Day to Night 2011.” Clark is just back from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where, among other events, she was honored at a reception for Forbes Magazine’s “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” Clark is often mentioned as a possible future U.N. secretary-general. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 03:33 PM
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Violent Year,’ ‘Strange Magic,’ ‘Wedding Ringer’

By Susan Granger

Set in New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically the most dangerous year in the city’s history, J.C. Chandor’s intense noir-thriller “A Most Violent Year” combines political intrigue with industrial corruption.

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Ambitious, idealistic Hispanic immigrant Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) started as a fuel truck driver for a heating oil distributor. When he married the mob-connected boss’s daughter Anna (Jessica Chastain), taking over the family business, he discovers it’s not easy being honest in the crime-riddled city.

After making a deal to purchase a waterfront storage facility, Morales is faced with a series of brutal anonymous attacks.  His drivers are hijacked and his fuel is stolen.

Egged on by Anna and his lawyer (Albert Brooks), he turns to desperate measures to protect his property, his family and his chunk of the American Dream.

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Posted 02:25 PM
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