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Arts and Leisure

Monday, May 16, 2016

Celebrating a Year of Creativity

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Some of the art on display tonight at Bedford Middle School’s Art Museum 2016, celebrating a year of creativity. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dale Najarian for WestportNow.com

05/16/16 09:20 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Gallery: BMS Art Museum 2016


Scenes from tonight’s Westport Bedford Middle School annual Art Museum. Dayle Brownstein and Dale Najarian for WestportNow.com

05/16/16 09:15 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Master Guitarist at Arts Center

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Master guitarist Eliot Fisk, a charismatic performer known for his adventurous and virtuosic repertoire, entertained at the Westport arts Center today. He has received critical acclaim in recital, as a soloist with major orchestras and in a wide variety of chamber music combinations. Brought back by popular demand, Fisk last played at the Center in 2013. There was a full house of enthusiastic concertgoers of all ages who were delighted with several encores. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

05/15/16 08:12 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Back Home

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UPDATE There was a reunion/homecoming tonight at Westport’s Toquet Hall teen center. Justin Honigstein (l), who goes by the stage name of Honeystone, a 2010 Staples High School, appeared on stage with fellow Staples grads Alan Southworth and Jonathan Foster. Honigstein moved to Chicago to pursue a career in music and came home this weekend for a show in New York City at The Bitter End. In addition to that concert, he set up this event at Toquet Hall and invited the two two other Staples grads to join him. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Paying Tribute to Howard Munce

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Mary Brewster, daughter of the late Westport artist Howard Munce, greets Westport artist Neil Hardy today at the Westport Arts Center at a tribute to her father. 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. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

05/14/16 07:26 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Gallery: Arts Center Tribute to Howard Munce


Scenes from today’s Westport Arts Center tribute to the late Howard Munce, dean of Westport artists. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

05/14/16 07:21 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, May 13, 2016

BOOKED for the Evening Sold Out

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Ron Chernow: to be honored May 26.  Contributed photo

The Westport Library said today that its BOOKED for the Evening Thursday, May 26 event honoring Ron Chernow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of “Alexander Hamilton,” the inspiration for the Broadway hit “Hamilton,” is sold out.

The sell-out is a first in the 18-year history of the event, said Marcia Logan, the library’s spokesperson.

She said while no more tickets are available for the 7 p.m. event, “we are still accepting donations—all proceeds benefit Library programs.”

Chernow won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for biography and the 2011 American History Book Prize for his book, “Washington: A Life.” He published “Alexander Hamilton” in 2004.

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Tickets on Sale for Staples Players Production

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The Staples Players production of “The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later” runs Thursday, May 19 through Sunday, May 22. It is about the lasting effects of the 1998 murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, who was tied to a fence outside Laramie, Wyoming and left to die. Staples Players last spring produced the original play, “The Laramie Project.” Tickets to the play, coo-directed by David Roth and Kerry Long, are available at http://www.staplesplayers.com. Pictured (l-r) are juniors James O’Brien, Jacob Leaf, and Nick Roehm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kerry Long photo

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

ABC Drops ‘Second Fattest Housewife in Westport’ Title

ABC has approved a new comedy series about a plump housewife in Westport raising her “flawed” family but has dropped the working title “The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport,” the network announced today.

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Katy Mixon: stars as plump Westport housewife. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The series, now known temporarily as “Untitled,” stars Katy Mixon, a lead in the “Mike and Molly” series on CBS since 2010, which was canceled in January.

The network said she stars as Katie Otto, a “confident, unapologetic, plump wife and mother of three, [who] raises her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, Conn., filled with ‘perfect’ mommies and their ‘perfect’ offspring.”

It adds: “She lets us in on her deepest, most unfiltered thoughts through voiceover as the she lives her life as the second fattest housewife in Westport.”

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ and ‘Papa: Hemingway in Cuba’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

POW! Crammed with action, “Captain America: Civil War” should really be dubbed “Avengers 2.5,” since it features a plethora of superheroes in conflict with one another.

Responding to public protests after an alarming amount of casualties…a.k.a. collateral damage…caused by their derring-do, Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) proposes the Sokovia Accords, which would limit the vigilantes’ autonomy under international law.

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Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) opposes this threat to their independence, joined by his buddy Falcon (Anthony Mackie), plus Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).

Somewhat surprisingly, Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) accedes to Ross’ proposal, along with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Vision (Paul Bettany) and a newcomer, African Prince T’Challa (Chadwich Boseman)…a.k.a. Black Panther, who will get his own feature film.

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Playhouse Gets $25,000 Federal Grant

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.

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05/11/16 01:21 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Chagall’s Granddaughter and Her Love of Flowers

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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

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Sunday, May 08, 2016

‘Art’ Opens at Playhouse

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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

05/08/16 07:27 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, May 07, 2016

‘Red’ Opens at Playhouse

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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

05/07/16 11:05 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Gallery: Arts Center Gala


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

05/07/16 10:32 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Honored

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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

05/07/16 10:27 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

A Havana Night in Westport

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Some of the guests celebrating tonight at the Westport Arts Center’s annual “Club Havana” gala at the Vespa Restaurantin Westport.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

05/07/16 07:26 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

First Westport Pops at Levitt Set for June 9

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.

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05/07/16 07:17 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Learning Westport History

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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

05/07/16 05:10 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, May 06, 2016

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Mother’s Day,’ ‘Keanu,’ ‘Ratchet & Clank’

By Susan Granger

Special 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.”

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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).

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Thursday, May 05, 2016

WN on the Scene: Frieze NY 2016 Art Fair


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

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Wednesday, May 04, 2016

‘Art’ Previews at the Playhouse

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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

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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Westport’s Mapes to Bring Imagination Show to Norwalk

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.

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James Mapes: imaginologist. Contributed photo

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.

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Monday, May 02, 2016

Arts Center to Celebrate Howard Munce

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Howard Munce in the 1960s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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.

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Sunday, May 01, 2016

‘Gumbo’ Sound at Library

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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

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

WWC Arts Show Pays Tribute to Howard Munce

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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

04/30/16 08:40 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Howard Munce (the Younger) Honored

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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

04/30/16 08:35 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Gallery: Annual Westport Woman’s Club Art Show


Scenes from today’s opening of the annual Westport Woman’s Club Art Show featuring local artists. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Kid Band Rocks Westport Venue

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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

04/29/16 10:30 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Celebrating Cuban Art

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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

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