Arts and Leisure
Sunday, May 05, 2013
Arts Center Hosts Pacifica Quartet
UPDATE (corrects name of violinist) An overflow audience at the Westport Arts Center today enjoyed a performance by the Pacifica Quartet, a chamber music ensemble which has gained international stature and tours extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Russell Platt, curator of the Center’s Chamber Music Series and a composer, New Yorker music editor, and Westport native, introduced members (l-r) Simin Ganatra, Brandon Vamos, Alexander Kerr, and Masumi Per Rostad. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Chamber Music Words
Russell Platt, curator of the Westport Arts Center’s chamber music series, today introduces the Pacifica Quartet (waiting in background). For several years they were the quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Their concert was generously underwritten by Mimi Levitt. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Bernerd and Leatrice Platt of Westport were in the audience today as son Russell introduced the Pacifica Quartet at the Westport Arts Center. Russell, curator of the Center’s Chamber Music Series, is a composer and New Yorker music editor. His siblings are equally as talented –- Spencer Platt is an award-winning photographer, and Alexander Platt is a noted symphony conductor. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Sophia Green of Westport, a Staples High School sophomore, shows off her acrylic self-portrait at Saturday’s awards ceremony and reception in Norwalk to announce the winners of this year’s Congressional Art Competition, a nationwide art competition and exhibition conducted by members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Sophia’s work was not among the finalists but drew attention of attendees. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Saturday, May 04, 2013
‘The Dining Room’ Opens 83rd Playhouse Season
The cast of “The Dining Room” takes a curtain call tonight as the Westport Country Playhouse opened its 2013 season, its 83rd. They are (l-r) Keira Naughton, Jake Robards, Heidi Armbruster, Charles Socarides, Jennifer Van Dyck, and Chris Henry Coffey. The play by A. R. Gurney and directed by Mark Lamos, the Playhouse’s artistic director, runs through May 18. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Actor James Naughton celebrates at a post-show reception tonight with his daughter, Keira Naughton, following her opening night performance in “The Dining Room” at the Westport Country Playhouse. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport Country Playhouse artistic director Mark Lamos (l), director of “The Dining Room,” chats following tonight’s opening night performance with its author, A. R. Gurney. The play was first produced in New York at the Studio Theatre of Playwrights Horizons, opening on Jan. 31, 1982. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Opening Night Fun
Michael Ross (l), Westport Country Playhouse managing director, has some fun tonight with Mark Lamos, artictic director, just before the curtain went up on the opening night performance of “The Dining Room” to start the Playhouse’s 83rd season. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Friday, May 03, 2013
Merritt Art on its 75th Birthday
The Westport Public Library tonight held a reception in the McManus Room for Cynthia Mullins who had several of her paintings of the Merritt Parkway in the Riverwalk display case. She became fascinated with the beauty of each bridge and the originality of each one—no two are the same design. She has painted 31 paintings of the Merritt Bridges in the last five years. The section of the Parkway from Greenwich to Norwalk is 75 years old this year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Staples Senior Gets Music Scholarship Award
The Staples Music Parents Association tonight gave a scholarship award for outstanding achievement to senior Harry Zec, who will be attending Berklee College of Music next year, focusing on guitar studies. The award is given to Staples seniors who will be containing on in music studies in college or at a conservatory. The award was presented by Maureen Whiteman and Nick Hubbell of Staples Music Parents Association. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
‘The Dining Room’ Kicks Off Playhouse Season
The Westport Country Playhouse tonight begins previews of “The Dining Room,” created by playwright A. R. Gurney and directed by Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director. Jennifer Van Dyck (l) and Jake Robards are among the cast. The first in the Playhouse’s five-play 2013 season is a witty and heartfelt story of the American family and its vanishing traditions set in the most singular of rooms, where people gather, meals are eaten, conversations begin, and generations converge. Opening night is Saturday, and it and runs through May 18. For more information and tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177 or visit http://www.westportplayhouse.org. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Staples Grad Justin Paul Gets Tony Nominaton
Among today’s Tony Award nominations was 2003 Staples High School graduate Justin Paul.
Justin Paul was honored in 2007 with a Westport Arts Horizon Award, given to young artists. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
He was nominated in the Best Original Score (music and/or lyrics) Written for the Theatre category with writing partner Benj Pasek for their work on “A Christmas Story, The Musical.” The show also received two other nominations.
They are up against “Hands on a Hardbody,” “Matilda The Musical,” and “Kinky Boots,” written by pop star Cyndi Lauper.
Two other Staples graduates, like Paul, former members of Staples Players, worked on shows also receiving nominations.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
‘A Place at the Table’ Closes Out Green Day
The Westport Cinema Initiative, in partnership with the Saugatuck Congregational Church and supported by several local religious institutions, today presented a showing of “A Place at the Table,” a documentary film about hunger in America. The closing act for the Staples High School Green Day brought more than 100 persons to the Westport Town Hall Auditorium. A talk back followed moderated by the Rev. Alison J. Buttrick Patton of the Saugatuck Congregational Church (r) and included (l-r) Kevin Mullins, Community Plate, Bun Lai, chef and owner, Miya sushi restaurant, and Michel Nischan, head chef at Westport’s Dressing Room restaurant and founder of Whole Wave. Contributed photo
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Maker Faire Takes Creativity to New Heights
By James Lomuscio
From a model plane made out of yard signs and household foam insulation soaring high over Jesup Green to a 3-D printer inside the Westport Public Library making a wind turbine to a revolutionary mirror that lets individuals see themselves as they truly are for the first time, the second Annual Mini Maker Faire celebrated innovation today, drawing creators and the curious en masse to the downtown.
Westport Library Director Maxine Bleiweis (l) helps a youngster at one of the displays today at the Mini Maker Faire. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Mark Mathias, a school board member who founded the event last year and now serves as its co-chair, said he expected attendance to be double that of last year.
“So far, we’re expecting 3,000 to 4,000 people,” he said he about the event with displays ranging from robotics demonstrations to comic book art and to violin making to showcasing old computers and amateur radio Morse Code.
Mathias credited a close working relationship with the library for making the event a success. He said that after last year’s inaugural Mini Maker Maire, Library Director Maxine Bleiweis set aside a section for “Maker Space,” an area creative minds can work on hands-on projects throughout the year.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Broadway Tribute to Kevin Gray Set for May 13
Kevin Gray and wife Dodie Pettit visit Staples Players in 2007. Contributed photo
The Broadway community will gather Monday, May 13 to celebrate the life and show business legacy of Broadway performer Kevin Gray of Westport.
The event will take place at 2 p.m. at The Majestic Theatre, 247 West 44th St., which held a special place for Gray, having starred there in “The Phantom of the Opera,” first as Raoul and later as The Phantom. Titled “A Celebration of the Life of Kevin Gray,” the memorial tribute will be open to the public.
Doors will open at 1:15 p.m. for a pre-show photo and video gallery that will be screened in the lobby before the start of the event. Seating will begin at 1:30 p.m. when the house itself opens.
Participants are set to include Phantom director Harold Prince; many of Gray’s former Phantom co-stars including Rebecca Luker, Hugh Panaro, Cris Groenendaal, Karen Culliver, Sarah Pfisterer, Lisa Vroman and Dodie Pettit (Gray’s wife); Judy Blazer; Carolee Carmello; Robert Cuccioli; Elizabeth Renihan and Craig Schulman; as well as presentations by members of the casts of the Broadway and national touring companies of “The Lion King,” “Miss Saigon,” “Titanic” and “The King & I.”
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport