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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Saturday, January 30, 2016

WestportREADS Author at Playhouse

WestportNow.com Image WestportREADS 2016 keynote speaker James McBride, author of “Miracle at St. Anna,” spoke about his book to a packed audience tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse. He said he lived in Italy for six months researching his book about an extraordinary experience of black American soldiers fighting in a village in Tuscany during World War II. McBride is a National Book Award winner and accomplished musician. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Comings & Goings: Green&Tonic to Taylor Place

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Green&Tonic, a health food eatery, will open in April at the corner of Jesup Road and Taylor Place, the former site of Crumbs, which closed in November 2015 (see WestportNow Nov. 10, 2015.)  The Cos Cob-headquartered business, founded in 2011 by Jeff and Cal Pandolfino, opened in Darien (1098 Boston Post Road) and Cos Cob (7 Strickland Ave.) in 2012, Greenwich (85 Railroad Ave.) in 2013 and New Canaan (5 Burtis Ave.) in 2014. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/29/16 07:44 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Honoring Our Heritage: 130 Riverside Ave.

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The newest recipient of an historic plaque from the Westport Historical Society (WHS) are owners of the circa 1869-built Italianate-style house, now known as the Perry-Crossman-Driscoll house, 130 Riverside Ave. Bob Weingarten (r), WHS house historian and plaque coordinator, presented Ann Driscoll with a plaque. Members of the sixth generation Westport Driscoll family were present for the presentation and to celebrate Ann’s birthday. The Driscolls have occupied the house since 1964. Weingarten said John W. Perry built the house in 1869, and lived in it for three years. The Crossman family lived in it from 1882 to 1964, he said.(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/29/16 12:51 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘The Big Short,’ “13 Hours…’ ‘The Benefactor’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Based on Michael Lewis’s best-seller, “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine,” “The Big Short” is the story of how “affordable and flexible” home mortgages encouraged borrowing by homeowners who were unable to repay their loans, causing the financial collapse of 2008.

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Working with screenwriter Charles Randolph, it’s adapted and directed by Adam McKay, best known for collaborating with Will Ferrell on “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights.” That explains why “Wolf of Wall Street” sexpot Margot Robbie explains mortgaged-backed securities while sipping champagne in a bubble bath.

Starting in 2005, this grimly comic drama revolves around two anti-social money managers. Scion Capital executive, bohemian Dr. Michael Burry (Christian Bale), says that the mortgage market is a Ponzi scheme that’s doomed to fail, expressing his concern to Wall Street’s Mark Baum (Steve Carell).

Confident, far-sighted Burry buys millions of dollars of financial instruments called ‘credit default swaps,’ or shorts, which will only pay off if and when the subprime market collapses.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Presentation to Owners of 5 Old Hill Road

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Westporters Adam and Ginger Propper, residents of 5 Old Hill Road, were recently presented with a photograph of their 1920-built house and, through lenticular photographic imaging, a replica of the house as it appeared in 1935. The lenticular imaging was created by Westport graphic artist Miggs Burroughs (r). The photographs are part of the collection of 131 photographs included in the Westport Historical Society (WHS) exhibit “Window to Westport’s Past and Present.” Making the presentation was Bob Weingarten (l), WHS house historian. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/26/16 10:22 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Then and Now: 5 Old Hill Road

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This lenticular image by Westport artist Miggs Burroughs shows Westport’s Old Hill Road today and as it appeared in 1935. The work is part of the current Westport Historical Society (WHS) exhibit “Window to Westport’s Past and Present.” Lenticular by Miggs Burroughs

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Arts Center Sets Student Art Exhibition

The Westport Arts Center is holding its second annual Westport High School Student Art Exhibition showcasing the artistic talent of the student community.

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Last year’s winner of the Tracy Sugarman Award was Audrey Seo, 17, a junior at Staples High School, who posed in front of a self-portrait.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Selected works will be on display in the Westport Arts Center’s Project Space from March 18 – April 23, an announcement said.

The competition is open to all students who reside and/or attend high school in Westport. There is no specific theme or subject matter for the exhibition, allowing students to submit the work of their choice.

The juror for the exhibition is Ann Chernow, a Westport artist who is known for her portrait-style illustrations that evoke the images of female cinematic figures of the 1930s and 1940s. Her exhibition, “NOIR,” will be on display at the Westport Arts Center from March 18 – April 23.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Arts Center Opens Enid Munroe Exhibit

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The Westport Arts Center tonight hosted a reception to mark the opening of its “Enid Munroe: Artist & Alchemist” exhibition featuring paintings, works on paper, and three-dimensional “bling boxes” composed with found objects by the Westport artist. Munroe is pictured with Westport Arts Center Executive Director Cindy Armijo in front of Munroe’s “Studio Still Life,” acrylic on canvas. The exhibit, which runs through Feb. 27, was curated by Helen Klisser During, the center’s artistic director emeritus. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie Lasala for WestportNow.com

01/22/16 08:32 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Keynote WestportREADS Talk Postponed a Week

A scheduled Saturday talk by bestselling author and musician James McBride, whose book “Miracle at St. Anna” is this year’s WestportREADS selection, has been rescheduled a week later because of the storm, organizers said today.

McBride’s keynote address for the month-long community reads program will now be held Saturday, Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. at the Westport Country Playhouse.

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Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘The Revenant,’ ‘45 Years,’ ‘The Forest’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

“The Revenant” begins in 1823, when frontier ‘scout’ Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) sets out to explore an uncharted northern Missouri River area. When he and his fur-trapping cohorts are near what is now Lemmon, S.D.,, Glass is savagely mauled by a grizzly bear and left for dead.

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According to the dictionary: ‘revenant’ means one who returns from the dead, so it’s quite apt to describe stoic Glass, who not only survives but is determined to wreak revenge against those who abandoned him and killed his teenage half-Pawnee son (Forrest Goodluck).

En route to Fort Kiowa, tormented Glass resolutely forges on foot through the harsh, frigid wilderness, dodging Arikara tribesmen searching for a chief’s kidnapped daughter. The collateral damage inflicted by encroaching white men on the spiritual culture of America’s indigenous people is thematic.

And if you thought Alejandro G. Inarritu’s bitterly sardonic, Oscar-winning “Birdman” (2014) was obtuse, this perilous epic is even more so, as cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki finds primordial symbolism in the rugged landscape, using all-natural lighting.

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01/22/16 10:21 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

New Restaurant Replacing Post 154

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Westport’s Post 154, which closed Monday at 154 Post Road East because the restaurant’s owners are selling it, have gone to contract with a company that plans to open another restaurant there this year, it was announced today. Laura Leeds, principal of Weston-based Simon David Real Estate representing Post 154, said that the seller is under a confidentiality agreement with the buyer of the business in the former U.S. Post Office building. The restaurant space consists of approximately 9,000 square feet spread over two floors. “A new restaurant will be taking over the space; it will be this year,” Leeds said. “That’s the good news for Westport.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/22/16 09:46 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Westporters at Sundance

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Sandy Lefkowitz and Douglas Tirola of the Westport Cinema Initiative this wek are at the Art House Convergence, a conference supported by the Sundance Institute for Independent art house movie theaters. Lefkowitz, WCI president, presided over two roundtables called “building a film community to build a community.”  4th Row Films filmed the conference. They are pictures with Russ Collins the Founder and President of the AHC. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

01/21/16 05:30 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Comings & Goings: Harvest Restaurant Opens

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The Harvest Restaurant, 36 Railroad Place in the space formerly occupied by Mario’s Place, has opened. For now, it is dinner only beginning at 5 p.m., according to a person answering the phone at the restaurant with plans to open for lunch in several weeks. The owners also operate Cava in New Canaan, Harvest in Greenwich, New Haven, Scena in Darien, and 55 Degrees in Fairfield. Mario’s closed in April 2015. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/21/16 04:43 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Comings & Goings: Post 154 Closes

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Post 154, the restaurant in Westport’s former main post office at 154 Post Road East, has closed abruptly after almost two and a half years. A source said the staff was notified of the closing on Monday and that Alex Rosado, executive chef, left several months ago and is now at Poloma, Stamford. An investment group with ties to Westport paid $2.35 million for the property in May 2011. (See WestportNow May 23, 2011) The restaurant opened in August 2013. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/20/16 01:49 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

‘We Are Saddened to Inform You…’

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A sign on the front door of Post 154 Restaurant, 154 Post Road East, notifies all of its closing. There was no immediate word from the owners on plans for the property, purchased in 2011 for $2.35 million from the U.S. Postal Service. The closing follows closely on the heels of the recent closing by Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant and the announced March 31 closing of Bobby Q’s, both longtime Westport dining spots, and last year, by The Red Barn and Mario’s Place (which changed hands). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/20/16 01:44 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Installing Enid Munroe Exhibit

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Westport Arts Center Visual Arts Manager Jill Sarver (l) and Victoria Munroe today install Westport artist Enid Munroe’s “bling boxes,” visually rich collections of found objects placed into typography boxes, in advance of Friday’s opening reception for “Enid Munroe: Artist & Alchemist” at the center. The exhibition, showcasing Munroe’s works beyond her traditional domain of painting, many of which have never before been framed or seen by the public, runs through Feb. 27. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Monday, January 18, 2016

WHS Honors MLK Jr.

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The Westport Historical Society (WHS) today honored Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a program for children aged 6 to 11 entitled “Peace, Love and Understanding.”  Elizabeth De Voll, WHS education director, assists children in creation of MLK Jr. remembrance crafts, including peace wreaths and protest posters. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/18/16 01:19 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, January 15, 2016

Toquet Hall Hosts firekid

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Atlantic Records recording artist Dillon Hodges, aka firekid, tonight headlined the show at Westport’s Toquet Hall teen center, which also featured performances by Staples High School’s own Pizza Dust and local Connecticut students, The Foresters. A large crowd of students came out and danced to a mix of rock, indie, electronic, and bluegrass music.  firekid’s current single “Magic Mountain” is in regular rotation on Sirius XM Alt Nation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Faces of Pediatric Cancer

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The Westport Arts Center Wednesday night hosted a one night only provocative and alternative view of childhood cancer photo exhibit by Circle of Care, a local nonprofit which gives emotional and financial support to families with children with cancer, in partnership with New Canaan photographer Jeanna Shepard. The photos featured faces and stories behind pediatric cancer from communities across Connecticut. Catherine Alter (l) and mother Barbara posed before a photo taken when Catherine was undergoing chemotherapy two years ago. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Honoring Our Heritage: 19 Washington Ave.

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The newest recipients of an historic plaque from the Westport Historical Society (WHS) are the owners of the circa 1918-built house, now known as the Della Reichert house, at 19 Washington Ave.  Bob Weingarten, WHS House historian and plaque coordinator,  presented Sheila Gallo and son Nick with a plaque.  In 2011, Sheila was looking for a house in Westport and after entering this house she saw sunlight from various windows and said she realized that someone was telling her to purchase this house. Her son believes that the yellow door to the house identifies the house as “the house of the inviting door.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

01/13/16 08:57 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘The Hateful Eight,’ ‘Concussion,’ Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Known for his penchant for approaching racism in America with profanity-laced, gratuitous hyper-violence, Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” is a “molasses-like” saga about a bounty hunter trying to transport a killer to justice.

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Set several years after the U.S. Civil War, it begins with a stagecoach hurtling through wintry Wyoming - until it’s stopped by Maj. Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a former Union officer-turned-bounty hunter who’s hauling three dead bodies to Red Rock to collect the reward.

Inside the stagecoach is bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) with a feisty, feral fugitive (Jennifer Jason Leigh), also headed for Red Rock. Joining them later is Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a former Confederate renegade who introduces himself as Red Rock’s new Sheriff.

As a ferocious blizzard approaches, the passengers seek shelter in a log cabin called Minnie’s Haberdashery, joining the Mexican (Damian Bichir) who’s temporarily minding Minnie’s stopover, a British hangman (Tim Roth), a Confederate General (Bruce Dern), and cowboy (Michael Madsen).

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Play With Your Food Debuts 14th Season

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The 14th season of the Play With Your Food noontime play reading series at Westport’s Toquet Hall debuted today with four one-act plays. They included actors (l-r) James Feuer, Jeremy Funke, Katie Spare and Kim Squires. The Westport productions continue Wednesday and Thursday with productions in Fairfield on Jan. 19 and Greenwich on Jan. 20.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Food Before the Play

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Guests at today’s season debut of the noontime Play With Your Food play reading series line up for food before the performance at Westport;s Toquet Hall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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American Boychoir Set for Jan. 30 Concert

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The American Boychoir will perform Saturday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. in a special concert at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. The world renowned vocal ensemble of the Princeton, N.J.-based American Boychoir School has been heralded as one of the nation’s premiere musical ensembles. Tickets ($45 preferred seating; $35 general adult; $15 general child under 18) may be purchased online at http://www.chtwestport.org/tickets or at the door if seats are still available. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Applause for Blues Keyboardist Mark Naftalin

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Westporter Mark Naftalin (r), a 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, takes a bow today with drummer Barry Urich at the Westport Library’s McManus Room after a performance before an overflow crowd. Naftalin, 71, a blues keyboardist, recording artist, composer, and record producer, was inducted into the Hall after appearing on the historic first four albums by Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the mid 1960s as a band member. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Gallery: Mark Naftalin Performs


Scenes from today’s Westport Library performance by blues great and Westporter Mark Naftalin accompanied by drummer Barry Urich. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Saturday, January 09, 2016

WestportREADS Film Screening

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The Westport Cinema Initiative (WCI) with partner the Westport Library today presented a Westport Town Hall screening of “Miracle at St Anna,” a 2008 Spike Lee movie as part of the townwide WestportREADS celebration of the 2002 novel of the same name by author and musician James McBride. Posing for a photo were Trey Ellis, Westport novelist, screenwriter, professor, playwright, and essayist, whose film, “The Tuskegee Airmen” was the subject of a post–screening discussion; state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, WCI preident; Sandra Lefkowitz, WCI executive director; Bill Harmer, executive director of the Westport Library; Kelle Ruden, Westport Library, and First Selectman James Marpe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Friday, January 08, 2016

Comings & Goings: Bobby Q’s Closing

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Bobby Q’s, a Westport Main Street ribs favorite since 2004, is closing March 31, owner Bob LeRose (above) announced today. The building at 36-42 Main St. was sold for $9.2 million in November 2014 by longtime owner Drew Friedman, who originally opened Onion Alley in the Bobby Q space. “While I’m sad that this chapter of my restaurant career is coming to an end, I’ll have some exciting news coming soon on my next chapter,” LeRose said. Matthew Mandell, executive director of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, said he hears Bobby Q’s will move to West Avenue in Norwalk. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Comings & Goings: Parker Mansion Opening Soon

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Parker Mansion, described as an “American casual” restaurant and bar, will open this month at 541 Riverside Ave. in space previously occupied by the Mansion Clam House, according to owner Patrick Fahy (above). The space, which has undergone a major makeover inside and out, now includes seating on the second floor indoor and deck and will offer patio seating in warmer temperatures. “Our menu has a wide range, serving everything from hamburger to filet mignon,” Fahy said. He added that the restaurant owns nine boat slips along the Saugatuck River so sailors can pull right up to the property. He owns two other restaurants, Parker Steaks & Scotch in Trumbull, and Parker Eatery & Bar. Mansion Clam House closed in October 2014 (see WestportNow Oct. 12, 2014) after being there since 1958, according to its website. The property, which includes the adjoining Julian’s Brick Oven Pizza, changed hands in April 2014 for $2.1 million. The listing said the building was built in 1900. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/08/16 04:28 PM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Playhouse to Host Free King Celebration

The 10th annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration presented by Interfaith Council of Westport and Weston, TEAM (Together Effectively Achieving Multiculturalism) Westport and the Westport Country Playhouse is set for Sunday, Jan. 17, at 3 p.m. at the Playhouse, officials announced.

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Marilyn Ward: keynote speaker. Contributed photo

The free event will feature keynote speaker Marilyn Ward Ford, the Neil Cogan Public Service Professor of Law at Quinnipiac University. Following the program, a reception will take place in the Playhouse lobby.

“In light of recent race-related incidents on city streets and college campuses, this year’s program will lift up not only the legacy of Dr. King but also help us envision ways we might move forward to fulfill his dream of a more just and inclusive society.”  said the Rev. Ed Horne, pastor of the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston and chairman of the event’s organizing committee.

The program will include excerpts from King’s works being read by students from Regional Center for the Arts in Trumbull, and choral music will be sung by the Staples High School Orphenians and the Serendipity Chorale.

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