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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Real Westport Appears in ‘American Housewife’

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The real Westport appeared—briefly—tonight in the ABC-TV sitcom “American Housewife,” set in Westport. Until tonight’s episode “The Cotillion,” all exterior shots of the town were Hollywood make believe. But tonight there was brief glimpse of the real Inn at Lonsghore in Westport, the result of a film crew visiting Westport seveal weeks ago to film real Westport exteriors. “American Housewife,” which premiered Oct. 11, originally had been called “The Second Fattest Houswife in Westport,” before the later name change. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo from ABC-TV

12/06/16 09:16 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Granger at the Movies: ‘Rules Don’t Apply,’ ‘Miss Sloane,’ ‘Bad Santa’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Watching “Rules Don’t Apply” reminded me of when Elizabeth Taylor died. I was chatting with another critic at a Manhattan screening when the twentysomething publicist asked, “Who’s Elizabeth Taylor?”

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After years of gestation, Warren Beatty has created an absurdly nostalgic farce about aviation tycoon/film producer Howard Hughes. But do moviegoers remember either of them?

Beatty’s story begins with “Never check an interesting fact,” a quote attributed to Howard Hughes, known for being the most eccentric, elusive executive in Hollywood, as shown in the 1964 prologue.

Flash back to 1958, when an aspiring actress, virginal Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins), arrives in Hollywood from Virginia with her devoutly Baptist mother (Annette Bening). Marla soon discovers she’s only one of many starlets summoned by Hughes and paid $400 a week to ‘stand by’ for RKO Pictures auditions.

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Monday, December 05, 2016

Boca Restaurant Launches Sunday Brunch

Boca Mediterranean Restaurant & Bar, 43 Main St., is launching a Sunday brunch beginning Sunday.

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Revisson Bonfim opened Boca Mediterranean Restaurant & Bar in November. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“Our guests have been complaining about the lack of good brunch options in Westport,” said Revisson Bonfim, who opened the restaurant in November.

He said Luis Arias, executive chef and part owner, has put together a brunch menu that will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The restaurant, which describes itself as “where the cuisine and wines from the coastal regions of France, Italy, and Spain are combined,” is in space previously occupied by Acqua Ristorante Mediterraneo for 20 years.

12/05/16 06:35 PM Comments (2) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Gallery: WHS Holiday House Tour


Scenes from today’s Westport Historical Society 30th annual holiday house tour. J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

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Touring Westport History

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A visitor today checks out the history of the house at 46 Kings Highway South, one of the houses on the annual Westport Historical Society holiday house tour. The WHS said the c. 1700 John Platt House is one of Westport’s oldest and is listed on the Connecticut Register of Historic Places.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

12/04/16 04:10 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Christmas Setting

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The dining room table at 56 Sylvan Road North was Christmas meal ready today for guests on the Westport Historical Society holiday house tour. Known as the Clark Nash House c. 1750, it was the one-time home of H. Daniel Webster, who designed the Minute Man monument at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

12/04/16 04:07 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Gallery: Historical Society Holiday Soiree


Scenes from the Westport Historical Society’s 30th anniversary Holiday Soiree tonight at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, a National Historic Landmark in Norwalk. The event was a prelude to Sunday’s annual Holiday House Tour that starts at 11 a.m. and includes six historic homes in Westport and Easton built before 1850 as well as the Adams Academy, Westport’s first one-room schoolhouse. J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

12/03/16 10:30 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Opening Reception for A.S Fine Foods

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A.S Fine Foods of Westport celebrated its opening tonight at 361 Post Road West with a reception under a tent in the parking lot. Co-owner Albert Pizzirusso (r), a Westporter, greeted guests along with Jim Conte, the building owner. Pizzirusso described the range of takeout-only offerings as “prepared foods, prime and organic meats and chicken, an espresso and coffee bar, specialty olive oils, cheeses and specialty sandwiches.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

12/03/16 08:00 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sampling the Food

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Paul Lebowitz (r) of Westport enjoys some of the offerings at a reception tonight marking the opening of A.S Fine Foods, 361 Post Road West.  The takeout-only business offers up a variety of prepared foods, including fresh meats from Vincent Market in the Bronx’s Arthur Avenue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

12/03/16 07:55 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Music for Farmers Market Shopping

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Westport Farmers Market visitors today were treated to classical music performed by four members of the Staples High School Chamber Orchestra. Pictured (l-r) are James Gikas 14, Jack Whitten 16, Paz Meyers, 14, and Michael Fording, 16. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

12/03/16 02:47 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, December 02, 2016

Brisk Business at Opening of Library Holiday Sale

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The Westport Library’s 12th annual Holiday Book and Gift Sale opened today and did brisk business, according to Mimi Greenlee, co-chair. “This is the first year we’ve had a Friday sale, and we’ve been very busy,” she said. The sale continues Saturday and Sunday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

12/02/16 04:19 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Arts Center Hosts Workshop on Bullying

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The Westport Arts Center and the Anti-Defamation League tonight presented a free workshop for parents of elementary and middle school students, “Bullying, Name-Calling and Cyberbullying: What Children Wish Their Parents Knew.” The speaker, Marji Lipshez-Shapiro, director of education for the ADL, shared insights she has gained from working with young people across the state over the past 26 years, and provided prevention and intervention strategies for parents.The workshop also included a panel of area high school students who shared their personal experiences and responded to questions.The event is part of the community programming for WAC’s current exhibition, “MORE Than Words/#iammore,” a juried community exhibition focused on courage, resilience and empowerment in the face of bullying. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Aubrey Grodin for WestportNow.com

12/01/16 08:28 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Putting on Finishing Touches

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Putting finishing touches today on preparations for the Westport Library’s theee-day 12th annual Holiday Book and Gift Sale beginning Friday were (l-r) Heli Stagg; Mimi Greenlee, co-chair; Suzy Cooper, and Dick Lowenstein, co-chair. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

12/01/16 04:21 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Getting Ready for ‘Peter Pan’

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Bedford Middle School students today held a dress rehearsal for this weekend’s production of “Peter Pan.”  A cast of more than 70 seventh and eighth graders helps Peter and friends fly in the beloved classic. Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m, and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.bedfordactinggroup.com or at the door—$15 for adults and $10 for students. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

11/30/16 11:20 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Dancing Captain Hook and More

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The Bedford Acting Group has a dancing Captain Hook and more in this weekend’s production of “Peter Pan.” Tiickets for the Bedford Middle School production are availabe at http://www.bedfordactinggroup.com or at the door—$15 for adults and $10 for students. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

11/30/16 11:15 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

WN on the Scene: Art Basel Miami 2016


Art Basel Miami, North America’s foremost international modern and contemporary art fair, takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center beginning Thursday and runs through Sunday. It is the sister fair to the original Art Basel, founded in Basel, Switzerland in 1970.  Helen Klisser During, artistic director emeritus of the Westport Arts Center and WestportNow contributing photographer, was among VIP guests today getting a preview. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

11/30/16 08:48 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Granger at the Movies: ‘Moonlight,’ ‘The Eagle Huntress,’ ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

In “Moonlight,” writer/director Barry Jenkins has created an achingly affecting, incandescent coming-of-age story, covering 16 years—with three different actors playing the leading African-American character.

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Growing up in a decrepit, inner-city housing project in Miami, scrawny, fatherless 10-year-old Chiron (Alex Hibbert) has been dubbed “Little” by playmates, who suspect his tendency toward homosexuality long before he knows what the term “faggot” means.

Hiding from schoolyard tormentors, silent, wide-eyed Chiron is discovered by a kindly, Cuban-born crack dealer Juan (Mahershala Ali), who offers him a meal and a place to stay for the night at the apartment he shares with his girl-friend Teresa (singer Janelle Monae).

When Juan drives Chiron home the next morning, he realizes that his mother, Paula (Naomi Harris), is a drug addict. “My momma does drugs?” Chiron asks, trying to comprehend. “And you sell drugs?”

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11/30/16 01:07 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Library Holiday Book Sale This Weekend

The Westport Library’s 12th annual Holiday Book and Gift Sale will be held Friday through Sunday on the library’s main level.

For the first time, with the newly added Friday opening, the sale runs three days. All proceeds from the sale directly benefit the Library.

A large selection of gift-quality books at deep discounts will be available in many categories including art, current fiction, literature, classics, history, current events, gardening, crafts, cooking and biography.

Also for sale are many children’s books and holiday-themed materials, as well as DVDs and CDs in sealed original packaging, an announcement said.

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11/30/16 11:13 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

EMS Drama: Ben Frimmer Honored

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Westport Volunteer EMS Crew Chief Benjamin Frimmer tonight shows off his presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, signed by President Obama, presented to him during the service’s monthly meeting. Frimmer, who is also a dramatic arts teacher at Coleytown Middle School, has been with the service since 1985 and has “demonstrated his skills, abilities, and compassion on thousands of 911 medical emergency calls” according to WVEMS President Yves Cantin. The award is given to those who have served more than 4,000 volunteer service hours, although Frimmer has met that requirement many times over. “I have to say that volunteering, specifically with EMS, has been such a major part of my life, I can’t imagine it any other way,” Frimmer said in a Facebook post. “I couldn’t be more honored to have received this award signed by our outgoing President. I’m not usually one to be excited about certificates or awards, but this one seems quite special. To all my mentors I thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing me the value of giving.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

11/29/16 09:49 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Al Brodax, ‘Yellow Submarine’ Producer, 90

Albert P. Brodax of Ridgefield, formerly of Westport and Weston, producer and co-writer of the iconic animated Beatles film, “Yellow Submarine,” died Nov. 24 in Danbury. He was 90.

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Al Brodax at a 2010 Westport Arts Center appearance where “Yellow Submarine” was screened. (CLlCK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

In 2010 and 2012, he appeared at the Westport Arts Center to discuss his Beatles film and the 2004 book he wrote about the experience, “Up Periscope Yellow: The Making of the Beatles Yellow Submarine.”

Born in the Bronx on Feb. 14, 1926, he enlisted in the Army at age 17, was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and awarded the Purple Heart and a Combat Medical Badge. 

He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1948 and began his career at the William Morris Agency as a program developer, working on “Your Show of Shows” and co-producing the Broadway play “Winesburg, Ohio.”

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11/27/16 10:44 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Miller Pope, Mad Man Illustrator, 87

Miller Pope, a Mad Man illustrator who lived the life of “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” while living in Westport in the 1950s and ‘60s, died Nov. 20 at his home in Shallotte Point, N.C. He was 87.

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Miller Pope: an original “Mad Man.”  Contributed photo

“We called it ‘The Uniform,’” said Pope of the commuter attire in a 2006 interview. “Oxford shirt, button-down collar, regimental tie.”

Pope said every workday, like Gregory Peck in the movie, he would don his full dress and take the train from Westport to Manhattan.

There, he made a living as one of New York’s top illustrators, creating covers and inside sketches for such magazines as The Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, Redbook, and Reader’s Digest.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Travel Veteran: ISIS and Climate Change Threaten Cultural Sites

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Westport travel industry veteran Robin Tauck told the Westport Rotary Club today that the biggest current threat to the world’s cultural sites are ISIS and climate change. She said Secretary of State John Kerry is working to help preserve the sites as part of internaitonal efforts led by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization. Tauck, a co-owner of Tauck Inc., a third generation travel company, is a member of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

11/22/16 02:11 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Granger at the Movies: ‘Moana,’ ‘The Edge of Seventeen,’ ‘Almost Christmas’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Gather the kids and let’s be thankful for “Moana” (pronounced Mo-ahna) - with songs co-written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton”).

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On Motunui in Oceania, teenage Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) lived in an idyllic, self-sustaining Polynesian community. But, as daughter of Chief Tui (Temuera Morrison), she has been forbidden to travel beyond the barrier reef that surrounds their isolated island.

When she discovers her ancestors’ sea-faring past, her ailing Gramma Tala (Rachel House) explains that she has been chosen by the ocean to control its waves.

Plucky Moana calls on this watery power when her island’s resources deteriorate because the heart of Goddess Te Feti was stolen. Accompanied by Hei Hei (Alan Tudyk), a goofy, rainbow-colored chicken, she searches for the disgraced demigod Maui (Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson).

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11/22/16 10:21 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Art of Kindness

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More than 30 families participated today in the Westport Arts Center’s “Family Art Day: Art of Kindness,” creating projects based on giving and kindness. Families also had the opportunity to bring gifts or make donations to Al’s Angels. The event was held in conjunction with the Center’s current exhibition, “MORE Than Words/#iammore,” a juried community show based on the themes of courage, empowerment and resilience in the face of bullying, on view through Jan. 7. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Xenia Gross for WestportNow.com

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

CNN Anchor to Address Y’s Women

CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota, a Westport resident, will be guest speaker at the meeting of the Y’s Women on Monday, Nov. 28 at Temple Israel, 14 Coleytown Road. 

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Alisyn Camerota: Westport mom. Contributed photo

She will share her experience in covering the 2016 election, an announcement said.  The meeting will begin at 10:45 a.m. with coffee and conversation, followed by the program at 11:30 a.m. 

As CNN anchor and co-host with Chris Cuomo on CNN’s morning show “New Day,” Camerota has covered breaking news stories, both internationally and domestically and interviewed Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, as well as many other politicians and personalities.

Before joining CNN in 2014, she was at Fox News Channel for 16 years. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., she lives in Westport with her husband, Tim, and their twin daughters and son.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Gallery: WHS Holiday Market


Scenes today from the Westport Historical Society’s Holiday Market, which continues Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. WestportNow.com photos

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Film Screening Highlights Mental Illness in Children

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The Westport Woman’s Club tonight hosted a screening of “No Letting Go,” an award-winning feature film based on the real-life experiences of its co-writer/producer Randi Silverman (above), who has a child suffering from mental illness. After the showing she engaged in a question and answer session with audience members. Silverman hopes the film will call attention to the issue of mental health literacy, and particularly the presentation of mental illness in young children. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Granger at the Movies: ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,’  ‘Hacksaw Ridge,’ ‘Trolls’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

When Harry Potter studied at Hogwarts, one of his textbooks was “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” by Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). So Newt’s story is an imaginative prequel.

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Newt, a British Magizoologist, travels to New York City in 1926, arriving on Ellis Island with a bottomless satchel of supernatural creatures, several of which escape, thrusting nerdy Newt into the company of Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), a gullible, good-natured No-Maj (American for Muggles).

They’re spotted by Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson), an astute ex-Auror who’s eager to regain her Investigator post. Members of the Magical Congress of the United States (MACUSA) are strictly segregated and secretive, hidden within a skyscraper (the Woolworth Bldg.).

Its immense Magical Exposure Threat Level Barometer is color-coded at Orange for “severe unexplained activity” because sinister, manipulative Dark Wizard Gellert Grindlewald is on the loose. Pressure is heightened by fanatical witch hunters, Second Salemers, led by bigoted Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton). 

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Candelight Concert Tickets Available Online for First Time

For the first time, tickets will be available online beginning Thursday for the three performances next month of the 76th annual Candlelight Concert by the musicians of Staples High School.

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A scene from last year’s Candlelight Concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U.Miller for WestportNow.com

An announcement said free tickets, with a limit of eight per person, will be available online here.

A limited number of tickets can also be requested by mail until Dec. 9 at Candlelight Tickets, Staples High School, 70 North Ave., Westport, CT 06880. Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

The performances are Friday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Rehearsing for Tonight’s Playhouse Reading

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Actors paused today during a rehearsal for tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse Script In Hand reading of “Social Security” by Andrew Bergman, one of Hollywood’s top comedy screenwriters. There are still a few tickets available, according to the Playhouse. The reading will be directed by Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artist and curator of the playreading series. Pictured: (seated on floor) Martha Stout; (seated in chairs) Deirdre Madigan, Lynn Cohen, Ronald Cohen and Lizbeth Mackay; (standing) Stephen Schnetzer, Annie Keefe, and David Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

11/14/16 03:04 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

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