Monday, September 19, 2016
Michael Barker, new Westport Playhouse managing director, and wife Heidi pose at tonight’s Playhouse gala. Anne Keefe, associate artist, made the onstage formal introduction of Barker to the gala audience, noting he was a new Michael, a reference to his predecessor, Michael Ross, who left in June after seven years in the post. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Guests at the 2016 Westport Country Playhouse gala tonight check out some of the auction items available. They included tickets to theater and sporting events, stays at luxury accommodations, and items donated by Westport merchants and residents. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Sunday, September 18, 2016
The Chiara String Quartet performed today at the Westport Arts Center (WAC). In addition to playing without printed music, the quartet, based in Lincoln, Neb., is also known for performing in a variety of unusual venues, including bars. The group performed a program of Britten, Bartok and Brahms and was complimented by the commentary of chamber music co-curator Alexander Platt. The concert is the first in the 2016-17 WAC Performing Arts concert series. The next chamber music performance will be on Oct. 30 featuring Jenny Lin, a Taiwanese-born American pianist. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com
Thursday, September 15, 2016
The Vine Wine Room had its official opening today at 190 Main St. in space formerly occupied by Luxe Wine Bar, which closed in April. Among those doing the honors: (l-r): co-owner Sammy Alanz, Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce (WWCC) Board Member Adam Faillace, WWCC Executive Director Matthew Mandell, Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe, and co-owner Heather Buchheit-Ferrari. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Workers today prepare the main tent for the Westport Country Playhouse’s annual fundraising gala Monday, “The Night They Invented Champagne: Celebrating Lerner & Loewe.” It features artists Richard Thomas, host; Britney Coleman, Kristen Hahn, Robert Sean Leonard, Stephen Mark Lukas, Howard McGillin, Ciara Renée, Mary Testa, Richard Troxell, Max von Essen, Nicholas Ward, and members of the New York Theatre Ballet and begins with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
By Susan GrangerSpecial to WestportNow
Timed to coincide with the release of Oliver Stone’s docudrama “Snowden,” the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International launched an initiative to get Edward Snowden a presidential pardon from President Obama.
So is whistleblower Snowden a 21st century hero or traitor?
Director Stone (“The Walk,” “World Trade Center”) believes that knowing the backstory of the contractor who leaked classified documents about the National Security Agency’s enormous invasions of privacy will influence your opinion.
If you’ve seen Laura Poitras’ incisive, Oscar-winning documentary “Citizenfour,” you’re familiar with much of Snowden’s tale. Stone’s begins in 2013, when Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) meets with Poitras (Melissa Leo) and journalists Glenn Greenwald (Zachary Quinto) and Ewan MacAskill (Tom Wilkinson) in a Hong Kong hotel room.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Harrison Burke, 16, of Westport and his mother, author Jane Green, were among guests tonight at the Westport Arts Center (WAC) as it celebrated Moffly Media’s “Teens to Watch.” Harrison was among members of the U.S. Junior National Team who won a bronze medal Aug. 28 at the world rowing championships in Rotterdam, (See WestportNow Aug. 28, 2016) The teens were selected for their achievements and for breaking boundaries in academics, athletics, volunteering and the arts. The teens, their families, teachers and counselors had an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments and to view the current WAC “MORE Than Words” exhibit, which examines bullying in a broad cultural context. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com
Friday, September 09, 2016
The popular (almost) all-physician band DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) performed at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts tonight in balmy, 80-degree weather. The performance was a benefit for Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services and first responders on the eve of the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. That’s Bob Altbaum, Westport internist and the band’s keyboardist/vocalist, at the right. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
With temperatures in the 80s and high humidity, it seemed like a mid-summer night tonight at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts in a special benefit concert by the DNR band for Westport’s WVEMS and first responders. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com
Yves Cantin, president of the Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service (WVEMS), gets together tonight backstage with members of the DNR band before their Levitt Pavilion concert benefitting WVEMS and first responders. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The Westport Arts Center (WAC) tonight held a reception to mark the opening of its “MORE Than Words” exhibit curated by Gerry Snyder (r), dean of the School of Art at Pratt Institute. With him is Laura Perese, a WAC board member and part of curatorial team. The exhibit is focused on the theme of courage, resilience, and empowerment in the face of bullying. They are standing in front of Donald Moffett’s “He Kills Me” (1987.) The exhibit runs through Oct. 29. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Among those at the Westport Arts Center (WAC) reception tonight marking the opening of its “MORE Than Words” exhibit were (l-r) artist Nina Bentley, Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe, and Amanda Innes, WAC executive director. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com
Thursday, September 08, 2016
Michael Barker, recently appointed managing director of the Westport Country Playhouse (WCP) was introduced tonight to WCP patrons and board members at the “2016 Gala Benefactor Preview Party” at Steinway & Sons Gallery, 501 Post Road East. Tonight’s event presented a glimpse of plans for the Monday, Sept. 19 WCP gala, which celebrates composers Lerner & Loewe. Actor Richard Thomas will host “The Night They Invented Champagne” at which Broadway artists perform Lerner & Loewe music. The gala theme serves as a springboard for the Playhouse’s October production of Lerner & Lowe’s “Camelot,” directed by Mark Lamos. Playhouse artistic director. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Just when you thought the Levitt Pavilion season was over, there will be a special performance Friday night by the (almost) all-physician local popular band DNR in a 9/11 salute to the Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service (WVEMS) and all first responders. The concert, sponsored by Westport’s Matsu Sushi restaurant, begins at 7:30 p.m. It will be the seventh successive year for the DNR benefit concert for WVEMS sponsored by Matsu Sushi. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Westport Library is moving ahead with its planned $19.5 million renovation after abandoning a much costlier version earlier this year (see WestportNow July 7, 2016). Bill Harmer, executive director, outlined some details of the new plan Wednesday night to the Board of Finance, which met in the library’s McManus Room. He said working within the existing footprint, and upgrading the library’s aging infrastructure, the major goal of the Transformation Project is to renovate the library from a static structure into a dynamic environment that will be more responsive to the ever-changing needs of Westport residents. Among the planned changes—flexible space for gathering, working and playing in the Great Hall (above), creating a 75 percent increase in open work and study areas. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
As part of the Westport Library’s planned $19.5 million renovation is an updated lower-level River Walk space (above), providing users a quiet environment with increased natural light and the best views of the Saugatuck River. The library is seeking a $5 million town appropriation for the project with the majority of the funding coming from private donations. Construction is set to commence in August 2017 with completion of the project slated for fall 2019. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Wednesday, September 07, 2016
By Susan GrangerSpecial to WestportNow
What you think you know about how Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger skillfully glided his disabled U.S. Airways flight 1549 onto the Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009, is only the beginning of the story.
Which is why director Clint Eastwood begins this harrowingly realistic, compelling re-creation with the “Miracle on the Hudson,” after which Sully was widely acclaimed as a national hero.
Though it was kept secret at the time, skeptical members of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) seriously questioned Sully’s judgment, accusing him of needlessly endangering his crew and passengers with a forced water landing.
Based on sensor readings of the Airbus 320’s left engine, computer simulations showed that the commuter jet could have safely returned to New York’s LaGuardia or made an emergency landing at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.
Tuesday, September 06, 2016
The fifth annual Slice of Saugatuck, a celebration of the section’s shops, restaurants and its integral place in the history of Westport, is scheduled for Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m., with 47 local businesses and 26 restaurants participating.
The event goes from Railroad Place to the fork of Saugatuck and Riverside Avenues, featuring food samples from participating eateries for those who walk the Slice.
New this year will be two beer gardens, one on Bridge Square and the other on Railroad Place, according to Matthew Mandell, Slice creator and the executive director of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of the event.
In addition, Mandell said there will be eight bands playing in six locations throughout the afternoon, demonstrations by Makerfaire in Luciano Park, “climbing, walls, an obstacle course, a balloon vendor, Hula Hoop Lady and a boucy house.”
Sunday, September 04, 2016
Scenes from today’s second and final day of the ninth annual Blues, Views, and BBQ Festival sponsored by the Westport Downtown Merchants Association. J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com and WestportNow.com photos
The Revivalists, a seven-piece New Orleans roots-driven rock band, tonight closed out the ninth annual Blues, Views, and BBQ Festival sponsored by the Westport Downtown Merchants Association. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com
David Shaw, vocalist for The Revivalists, gives a high five tonight to a young fan as the New Orleans roots-driven rock band closed out the Blues, views, and BBQ Festival. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com
Addie Teolis, 13, of the New Canaan School of Rock was among performers in the Westport Library parking lot today on the second and final day of the ninth annual Westport Blues, Views, and BBQ Festival sponsored by the Westport Downtown Merchants Association. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Saturday, September 03, 2016
Marc Broussard, a rock-soul artist whose “Bayou Soul” sound is a mix of funk, blues, R&B, rock, and pop, was a crowd pleaser today at the ninth annual Blues, Views, and BBQ Festival in Westport sponsored by the Westport Downtown Merchants Association. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Executive Chef Mike Hazen of Pearl at Longshore restaurant today demonstrates cooking of grilled oysters at the CTbites.com booth at the Westport Blues, Views, and BBQ Festival. He is helped by Andrew Dominick while Ellen Bowen (r) does the play by play. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Blues/rock/soul singer Jay Stollman was among the early performers today at the ninth annual Blues, Views, and BBQ Festival in Westport. The two-day event is expected to attract thousands. CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Blues singer Jay Stollman performs today with Beth Ivonelli at the Blues, Views, and BBQ Festival in Westport. British guitar virtuoso and Blues Hall-Of-Famer Matt Schofield (l) accompanied them. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
There was a near capacity crowd today at the ninth annual Blues Views, and BBQ Festival at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion. There was food and entertainment in the Westport Library parking lot and a BBQ competition in the Imperial Avenue parking lot. The event continues Sunday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Joe Farrell, co-owner of Westport’s Rothbard Ale + Larder, a rathskeller restaurant in the basement of the old Westport Town Hall, serves up a warm pretzel today to a customer at the Blues, Views, and BBQ Festival. A large variety of foods were available in the Westport Library parking lot, in addition to play activities and music. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo