Wednesday, May 11, 2016
UPDATE Connecticut’s congressional delegation today applauded $1,053,800 in grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support several projects in the state, including one in Westport.
In a joint statement, the lawmakers said: “The arts play a vital, valuable role in our communities—enriching our neighborhoods and attracting visitors to experience the rich cultural heritage and modern artistic scene that Connecticut has to offer. These awards are a wise investment, and will encourage many across the state to learn, create, and engage.”
A $25,000 grant went to the Westport Country Playhouse to support a production of Ayad Akhtar’s “The Invisible Hand” with a community engagement initiative.
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is an independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Bella Meyer, a granddaughter of Marc Chagall, the Russian-French-Jewish modernist painter, addressed a Westport Woman’s Club audience today and spoke of her love for flowers, a theme often found in her grandfather’s works. Meyer runs a floral design business on Manhattan’s East 11th Street called Fleursbella that creates beautiful, dramatic arrangements for places like the Metropolitan Opera and other openings and celebrations. She said she creates arrangements much in the way an artist paints, just as she had watched her grandfather paint bouquets. She showed the audience a picture of herself with Chagall. She was 30 when he died in 1985 at the age of 97. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com and contributed photo
Sunday, May 08, 2016
The cast of “Art” takes a bow today at its opening performance at the Westport Country Playhouse. The play, which centers on the controversy between three longtime friends on the artistic merit of a blank white canvas, earned a Tony Award for Best Play in 1998. It is being performed on even-numbered dates, alternating with the play “Red.” Pictured (l-r) are Benton Greene, John Skelley, and Sean Dugan. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saturday, May 07, 2016
Westport Country Playhouse Artistic Director Mark Lamos (c) tonight celebrates the opening of “Red” with cast members Patrick Andrews (l) and Stephen Rowe at a post-performance reception. The drama about the abstract expressionist Mark Rothko and his young assistant is being performed on odd-numbered dates, alternating with the play “Art,” which opens Sunday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Scenes from tonight’s Westport’s Arts Center gala with a “Club Havana” theme.The event celebrated the unique and diverse culture of Cuba, immersing guests in the island nation’s rich and expressive arts heritage, its food and drinks, and its music. Helen Klisser During and J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com
Honorees at tonight’s Westport Arts Center (WAC) gala were Howard Aibel and Elizabeth Strick. They were honored for their significant contributions to WAC and the greater arts community. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
The first Westport Pops Concert featuring Staples High School vocal and instrumental groups is set for Thursday, June 9, at 7 p.m. at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, event planners announced.
This concert, which is planned to be an annual event, marks both the culmination of the Staples school year and its nationally recognized music program, an announcement said.
It also serves as a“pre-season” opening of the Levitt Pavilion’s 2016 summer season, said Thomas Scavone, K-12 chairman of the school system’s music department.
The concert is free, and tickets limited to four per person will be available at noon Wednesday via the Levitt Pavilion website at http://www.levittpavilion.com or by calling Ovationtix at (866) 811-4111.
Edward F. Gerber (yellow raincoat), past president of the Westport Historical Society (WHS), ltoday ed a walking tour of the Kings Highway North Historic District. He described some of the highlights of one of the town’s oldest settled areas where some homes date to the mid-1700s. Following the tour, the group was treated to beverages at Rothbard Ale & Larder, 90 Post Road East, in the lower level of the old Town Hall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Friday, May 06, 2016
By Susan GrangerSpecial to WestportNow
Perhaps the best that can be said about the cringe-worthy rom-com “Mother’s Day” is that octogenarian Garry Marshall has assured his continuing Academy membership by staying ‘active’ in an industry that could all-too-soon forget he once directed hits like “Pretty Woman,” “Runaway Bride,” “Beaches” and “The Princess Diaries,” along with creating TV’s “Happy Days” and “Laverne & Shirley.”
Following “Valentine’s Day” (2010) and “New Year’s Eve” (2011), Marshall’s star-studded holiday franchise now includes this treacly ensemble tribute to motherhood in its various suburban permutations.
Perennially perky Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) is a divorcee with two sons whose ex-husband (Timothy Olyphant) has just married his much-younger girlfriend (Shay Mitchell). It’s a foregone conclusion that Sandy will end up with widower Bradley (Jason Sudeikis), father of teenage daughters, whose military wife (Jennifer Garner) died in combat in Afghanistan.
Jesse (Kate Hudson) and her sister are estranged from their prejudiced/homophobic mother (Margo Martindale) and father (Robert Pine). Unbeknownst to their parents, Jesse’s married to Russell (Aasif Mandvi), whose family came from India, while Gabi (Sarah Vhalke) has a lesbian spouse (Cameron Esposito).
Thursday, May 05, 2016
The Frieze New York 2016 Art Fair opens today at New York’s Randall’s Island. The fifth edition of the fair brings together more than 200 of the world’s leading contemporary galleries to the island’s festive surroundings. Helen Klisser During, artistic director emeritus of the Westport Arts Center and WestportNow contributing photographer, was among VIP guests Wednesday getting a preview. The show runs through Sunday. For ticket information, click here. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, May 04, 2016
The cast of the Westport Country Playhouse production of “Art,” a witty comedy by Yasmina Reza, rehearses for tonight’s first preview performance. The play, which ran on Broadway from February 1998 to August 1999 earned a Tony Award for Best Play. Playhouse Artistic Director Mark Lamos said, ” ‘Art’ explores the power of art to transform relationships—the painting in the play is a catalyst that plunges the characters into behavioral change.” “Art” which opens on Sunday at 3 p.m., will be performed on even-numbered dates until May 28, alternating with “Red” which plays on odd-numbered dates until May 29. Pictured (l-r) are John Skelley, Sean Dugan, and Benton Greene. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, May 03, 2016
Westport James Mapes, to paraphrase a famous, late town resident, Rod Serling, seeks to show others how to unlock doors with the key of imagination.
And Mapes, an “imaginologist” considered a foremost authority on applied imagination, is set to bring his show “Master of the Imagination” to the Theatre Artists Workshop at 5 Gregory Boulevard in Norwalk May 20 through 22.
Mapes is the best-selling author of the “Quantum Leap Thinking: An Owner’s Guide to the Mind” and “The Magic of Quantum Leap Thinking.” His new web interactive book, “Imagine That: Igniting your Brain for Creativity and Peak Performance” is scheduled for an October release.
A combination showman, motivator, peak performance coach, clinical hypnotist and actor, Mapes has had has a lifelong fascination with the subconscious, event planners say.
Monday, May 02, 2016
The life of Howard Munce, the “dean of Westport artists,” is set to be celebrated Saturday, May 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Westport Arts Center (WAC), event planners announced today.
A Westport resident since 1935 and a spry, ubiquitous presence in town arts circles, Munce died at his Westport home on March 5 at 100. (See WestportNow March 8, 2016)
He was revered as a painter, illustrator, sculptor and writer, as well as a living link to the town’s time-honored arts history.
“Howard Munce was an incredibly generous and talented man, whose guiding influence helped shape the Westport Arts Center, as well as the larger arts community of Westport,” said said Amanda Innes, WAC executive director.
Sunday, May 01, 2016
The Westport Library today hosted the Altruistic Band performing soul, jazz, gospel, R&B and pop. Altruistic is a band comprised of musicians from many different walks of life. According to the band’s website, its sound “can be described as ‘Gumbo,’ combining the musical styles of Latin, Contemporary, Fusion, and Straight-ahead Jazz with Funk, R&B and Gospel rhythms.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Saturday, April 30, 2016
The annual Westport Woman’s Club Art Show for local artists opened today in the club’s newly refurbished Bedford gallery. Westport artist Miggs Burroughs (above) curated the show, and among works displayed was his lenticular image of Howard Munce, the dean of Westport artists who died in March at age 100. The show, which continues Sunday noon to 4 p.m. , was dedicated to Munce’s memory. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Westport artist Miggs Burroughs today looks at an image of Howard Munce as a young man in a lenticular work honoring the late Westoirt artist, who died in March at age 100. The work is among those on display at the annual Westport Woman’s Club Art Show, which opened today and continues Sunday. Burroughs was curator for the exhibit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Scenes from today’s opening of the annual Westport Woman’s Club Art Show featuring local artists. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Friday, April 29, 2016
The kid band, Abby & the Roadsters, entertained tonight at Westport’s 323 Restaurant to the delight of a packed crowd. The youngsters, ranging in age from 11 to 13, started as winners in the 2015 BandJam at Ridgefield Playhouse, where they will appear again on Sunday, May 15 at 4 p.m. The group plays a brand of classic rock that ranges from The Beatles to The Who, Led Zeppelin and others. Members include lead singer Abby Giansiracusa, 13, of Danbury; drummer Vincent Fontenelli, 13, of Danbury; bassist Owen Hughes, 12, of Katonah, N.Y.; lead guitarist Anton Klettner, 12, of South Salem, N.Y.; his brother Joseph, 11, who plays keyboard, and Jack Reynolds, 12, of New Fairfield, who plays rhythm guitar. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Local business owner Dania Carine, born in Cuba, poses tonight at the Westport Arts Center in front of Jacqueline Brito’s “The Fleet (La Flota).” The work is featured in the Center’s new exhibit, “The Two Steps Forward: Cuban Contemporary Art,” which opened tonight and showcases contemporary Cuban art from the collection of Terri and Steven Certilman of Greenwich. The works collectively represent the country’s unique artistic talent. Curated by Arianne Faber Kolb, the exhibit will be on display through June 4. The Center will continue to celebrate Cuba at its annual gala, called “Club Havana,” on Saturday, May 7. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com
Among those at tonight’s Westport Arts Center reception marking the opening of its “The Two Steps Forward: Cuban Contemporary Art” exhibition were (l-r) Jill Sarver, the Center’s visual arts manager, Steven Certilman, the Greenwich collector who with his wife Terri assembled the works, curator Arianne Faber Kolb, and Amanda Innes, the Center acting executive director. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com
A retro automobile supplied by Dragone Classic Motorcars of Westport was outside the Westport Arts Center tonight in support of its “Two Steps Forward: Cuban Contemporary Art” exhibition, which opened tonight, and its Saturday, May 7 Club Havana annual gala. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com
Westport Woman’s Club volunteers today apply final touches for the club’s Arts Show fundraiser to be held Saturday 5 to 8 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. The artwork of 14 Westport area artists will be displayed and available for purchase. Curator Miggs Burroughs said he will display seven art pieces, including his newest one, “Piet Pollack,” a lenticular creation based on a Mondrian and a Jackson Pollack painting. This year’s show is dedicated to the memory of legendary local artist Howard Munce, whose wife, Gerry, was a longtime WWC member and avid community volunteer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
The owner of 82 Compo Road South, Judi Koffsky (l), is the newest recipient of a Westport Historical Society (WHS) historical plaque presented by Bob Weingarten, WHS plaque historian. The circa 1875 house, known as the William Thomas House, is situated on a .9-acre property that borders on Thomas Road. Koffsky bought it in 1983 when she and her late husband moved to Westport from Westchester County. Also taking part in the presentation ceremony was Dunkin Doodle, Koffsky’s 10-year-old golden retriever. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
By Susan GrangerSpecial to WestportNow
Chronicling an amusing historical anecdote, Liza Johnson’s droll reminiscence “Elvis & Nixon” shows how Elvis Presley (Michael Shannon) met President Richard M. Nixon (Kevin Spacey) one afternoon.
In late 1970, watching the news at Graceland, Presley becomes so infuriated with the growing drug problem and moral decline in the United States that he shoots out the TV set with a .45. That’s his first reaction.
His second is to become an undercover federal agent. But – for that – he’ll need a badge from J. Edgar Hoover’s Bureau of Narcotics. And the only way to get one is from the president of the United States.
So it falls it Presley’s long-time confidante, Jerry Schilling (Alex Pettyfer), along with Memphis crony Sonny West (Johnny Knoxville), to deliver a rambling, hand-written letter to the White House and convince Nixon aides Egil “Bud” Krough (Colin Hanks) and Dwight Chapin (Evan Peters) to arrange an appointment.
Monday, April 25, 2016
Longtime Westport artist Leonard Everett Fisher, whose honors include a Joseph Pulitzer Scholarship in Art, told the Westport Y’s Women today that art often repeats. Titling his Temple Israel talk “Past is Present—Creative Connections Revealed,” he showed slides illustrating his works and similar parts from works of old masters. Coming from a family of four generations of artists, Fisher, 91, said: “Artists have a little bit of nuttiness … I have been at this since I was 2.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Norwalk Sculptor Chris Crowe today works on his sculpture of a dragon at the Westport Library, which will be displayed at the fifth Mini Maker Fair to be held at the library on Saturday. Crowe, designated by the library as a “maker in residence” and commissioned to create the sculpture, said the final version of the 18- to 20-foot long dragon will have a fiberglass finish and will be moved to the library grounds in time for display at the fair. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Artist Jim Chllington of Newtown, who frequently paints Westport street scenes, was along the riverwalk at the Westport Library today painting a Saugatuck RIver scene. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com
Friday, April 22, 2016
The Westport Woman’s Club (WWC) Annual Art Show, designed to help local artists to generate sales while raising funds for scholarships, is dedicated this year to the late artist Howard Munce, who designed the organization’s logo.
The show is set for Saturday, April 30, from 5 to 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 1, from noon to 4 p.m. in the WWC’s Bedford Hall at 44 Imperial Ave., organizers said.
Curated by local artist Miggs Burroughs, the free event open to the public is dedicated to Munce, who died at 100 this year. (See WestportNow March 8, 2016)
His late wife Gerry was a longtime WWC member and avid community volunteer. Munce designed many posters for WWC events, and for the organization’s 100th anniversary in 2007, he created its new logo.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
A best-selling author, an entrepreneur and Hadassah’s national vice president will headline the annual spring luncheon of the Westport Chapter of Hadassah on Tuesday, May 3, from 10-30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Inn at Longshore, event planners announced.
Keynote speaker will be Cathleen Schine, an international, best-selling novelist who grew up in Westport. Among her works are “The Love Letter,” “Fin & Lady” and “The Three Weissmanns of Westport.” Her new book, “They May Not Mean to, But They Do,” is set for a June release.
Event honoree is Bonnie Marcus, an entrepreneur and founder of the Bonnie Marcus Collection, which encompasses stationery, gifts, books, calendars and accessories. Marcus is a life ,ember of Hadassah and founder of the Westport chapter’s Women in Business group.
Hadassah National Vice President Frieda Rosenberg will be the event’s presenter.