Arts and Leisure
Friday, February 07, 2014
The Art of Growing Up as a Child of a Las Vegas Showgirl
Westporter Suzanne Krauss (l) was guest at the Westport Arts Center’s weekly ArtCafe cocktail version tonight where she discussed her first book, a memoir, “To Vegas and Back,” about her childhood as the daughter of a Las Vegas showgirl in the 1970s. Krauss has described it as a tale of “abuse, alcohol, mobsters, and drugs.” Helen Klisser During, the Center’s director of visual arts, hosted the event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Marina White for WestportNow.com
Learning from a Master
The Staples Players cast, preparing for the March 14 opening of the play “Avenue Q,” were treated to coaching today from the famed puppeteer master Ricky Lyon, who designed and created all the puppets and operated other characters in the Tony Award-winning musical, which opened on Broadway in 2003. Lyon also worked for the Jim Henson Company as one of the operators of Big Bird. The play will be performed at Staples High School on March 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and on March 16 at 3 p.m. For ticket information, visit staplesplayers.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport Pianist in Southport Concert on Sunday
|Westport award-winning pianist Dalia Lazar will help honor the Town of Fairfield’s 375th anniversary with a free concert Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Pequot Library in Southport. The concert also helps mark the year-long 125th anniversary celebration of the Pequot Library. The classical music program includes works by Beethoven, Schumann, and Rachmaninov. Born in Croatia, Lazar began studying piano at an early age. She has performed a broad repertoire as a soloist in concerts and recitals worldwide, including the United States, Russia, Venezuela, Israel, Switzerland, Croatia, Mexico and Romania. The concert is presented by the Lazar Foundation for the Performing Arts.Contributed photo|
Thursday, February 06, 2014
‘The Crucible’ Opens Friday at Community Theatre
The 20-member cast of “The Crucible” rehearses a curtain call with director Rich Mancini (back to camera) in preparation for the Friday opening at the Westport Community Theatre. The Arthur Miller 1953 play is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch trials. Miller wrote the play as an allegory of McCarthyism, when the U.S. government blacklisted accused communists. The cast includes Westport residents, Shelby Cataldo, a junior at Staples High School, and Manny Lieberman as well as Susan O’Hara, a Staples High School English teacher. It runs through Feb 23 with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. and on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. Click here for more information. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Beatles on ‘Ed Sullivan’—Westport Girl, 13, Was There
Fifty years ago on Feb. 9, 1964, the Beatles made their live U.S. television debut on “The Ed Sullivan” show and Andrea Tebbetts, 13, of Westport was among the lucky ones in the New York studio audience.
Andrea Tebbetts (l) as a screaming 13-year-old watching the Beatles perform live on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and on a recent return to the same theater. CBS News photos
Her grandfather, an advertising executive, secured hard sought tickets for her and her mother, she told “The CBS Evening News” Wednesday night.
She returned to what is now known as the Ed Sullivan Theater with CBS News correspondent Anthony Mason to relive that night, clearly still excited.
“I remember just the thrill of hearing them start to sing,” she said.
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Authors Profile Remarkable Music Teacher
Despite weather issues, a number of people turned out at the Westport Library tonight to hear Joanne Lipman (r), award-winning journalist, and Melanie Kupchynsky, Chicago Symphony Orchestra violinist, speak about Kuypchynsky’s father, Jerry, the subject of their book, “Strings Attached: One Tough Teacher and the Gift of Great Expectations.” It is the story of a remarkable—yet brutally tough -– public school music teacher whose students achieved outsize success. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Laughs With Author at ‘Play With Your Food’
UPDATE and CORRECT Actors in today’s “Play With Your Food” performance at Toquet Hall share a laugh with playwright Fred Stroppel, author of “Package Deal,” one of two plays read today. Stroppel is best known for his comic, often racy. short plays and is a regular contributor to “Play With Your Food.” The Wednesday performance has been rescheduled to Feb. 12 due to the weather. The Thursday performance is still on, (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Enjoying Lunchtime Theater
Actors Scott Bryce, Susan Vanech and Joanna Keylock performed in today’s “Play With Your Food” offering at Westport’s Toquet Hall catered by Matsu Sushi. The Wednesday performance has been rescheduled to Feb. 12 due to the weather. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: Grilled Cheese Eatery to PRE
By Dave Matlow
A new “mostly take-out and delivery” casual food establishment, Grilled Cheese Eatery, will open at 772 Post Road East this month, according to co-owner Ivanina Donneaux.
The upscale grilled cheese eatery is expected to open this month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Westport space is located adjacent to just-closed Great Cakes.The owners, Belgian-born Henri and Bulgarian-born Ivanina Donneaux, opened their first Grilled Cheese Eatery at 57 Unquowa Road, Fairfield in October 2013, having converted their Cafe Lola space into the new food concept.
She describes the menu as “for the sophisticated palate, even though our basic offering is grilled cheese.”
“Our menu features short ribs with truffle sauce, Cuban sandwiches buffalo wings, barbecued ribs and even a mac ‘n cheese grilled cheese which customers often describe as ‘heaven in my mouth,’” Donneaux said.
Saturday, February 01, 2014
Comings & Goings: Dressing Room Closes
After weeks of rumors, chef Michel Nischan has made it official—his Dressing Room restaurant at the Westport Country Playhouse founded with Paul Newman has closed after an eight-year run.
Nestled behind the Westport Country Playhouse, the Dressing Room restaurant with its farm fresh entries attracted diners from throughout the region (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
In a posting on the restaurant’s website, Nischan made clear that he believed the time had come to focus on his Wholesome Wave endeavors. Founded in 2007, Wholesome Wave helps underserved urban and rural communities gain more affordable access to healthy, locally grown foods while supporting the small and mid-sized American farmers.
But the flood of new restaurant competitors in recent months and attendant financial pressures no doubt also played a role in the decision.
Nischan said he and his wife Lori “will always hold Dressing Room Restaurant dear in our hearts. Our talented culinary and service team made it one of the most amazing restaurants ever to grace Connecticut.
Friday, January 31, 2014
‘Tunnel Vision’ Art Installation Set for Downtown
The well-known tunnel connecting Westport’s Main Street to Parker-Harding Plaza parking area is about to get a facelift with a permanent art installation called “Tunnel Vision.”
The tunnel connecting Westport’s Main Street to the Parker-Harding Plaza parking lot will be the site of a permanent art installation called “Tunnel Vision”. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
The Westport Downtown Merchants Association (WDMA) announced today that local artist Miggs Burroughs has been commissioned to create a work of contemporary art for the pedestrian passageway.
The project, in collaboration with tunnel owner Win Properties of Rye, N.Y. with granted public access, will be unveiled at WDMA’s Art About Town Opening Night Street Party on Thursday, May 22, an announcement said.
“Tunnel Vision is one of the most ambitious and challenging art projects I have ever been involved in,” said Burroughs, who is donating his creative talents to the endeavor.
Looking for a New Home
A tile mural in the downtown Westport tunnel linking Main Street to Parker-Harding Plaza created in honor of the first Westport-Weston First Night in 1995 will soon be looking for a new home. The Westport Downtown Merchants Association (WDMA) announced today it will be replaced by a permanent art installation called “Tunnel Vision” to be created by Westport artist Miggs Burroughs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
‘God of Carnage’ Opens Tonight at MTC MainStage
“God of Carnage” opens tonight at MTC MainStage in Westport with (l-r) Marty Bongfeldt, John Flaherty, Jim Schilling and Cynthia Hannah. A comedy of manners without the manners, it features two married couples who meet to sort out a playground fight between their sons. At first, niceties are observed but as the evening progresses and the rum flows, the gloves come off and the night becomes a side-splitting free-for-all. It runs through Feb. 16. For more information and tickets, visit http://musictheatreofct.com/godofcarnage.html. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Focus on Photojournalism
Award-winning photographer Spencer Platt (at computer), a 1989 Staples High School graduate, tells a Westport Arts Center audience tonight about a picture he shot in the early morning hours of today of a homeless person in New York’s Pennsylvania Station while on assignment for Getty Images. He took part in a panel discussion about photojournalism that included award-winning photographers Larry Silver (2nd r) and Douglas Healey (r) of Westport. It was moderated by Gordon Joseloff (l), former Westport first selectman, award-winning journalist and editor and publisher of WestportNow.com. The website is media sponsor of the Center’s current exhibit of photos of Afghanistan women by award-winning photographer and Westport native Lynsey Addario. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Broadway Vet Tillinger Back at Playhouse
Veteran Broadway director and Tony Award nominee John Tillinger will return to the Westport Country Playhouse to direct another of British playwright Alan Ayckbourn’s comedies, “Things We Do for Love,” Aug. 19 – Sept. 6, the Playhouse announced today.
John Tillinger: returns to Westport. Contributed photo
Tillinger has directed other Ayckbourn plays for Westport, including “Relatively Speaking,” “Time of My Life,” and “How the Other Half Loves.” He also directed the theater’s productions of A. R. Gurney’s “Sylvia” and “Children,” as well as a Script in Hand playreading of Gurney’s “The Golden Age.”
“It’s a distinct pleasure to bring John Tillinger back to the Playhouse for ‘Things We Do for Love,’” said Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director. “No one else has brought so many of Ayckbourn’s brilliant comedies to life on these shores, on and off-Broadway, and in Westport.”
Ayckbourn’s “Things We Do for Love,” first produced in 1997 in London, is about a woman who begins an affair with her best friend’s fiancé, only for this new relationship to swiftly descend into violence.
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport