Arts and Leisure
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Saturday Night Special
Scenes from tonight’s Play With Your Food gala in Westport. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Westport Author to Talk About Nigeria
Catherine Onyemelukwe: 24 years in Nigeria. Contributed photo
Westport author Catherine Onyemelukwe will be guest Wednesday at the Friends of The Weston Public Library Lunch and Learn program to talk about events in Nigeria and her recent book “Nigeria Revisited: My Life and Loves Abroad.”
She went to Nigeria as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1962 and stayed for 24 years. She married a Nigerian and went on to raise a family, teach, launch a business and ultimately, adopt the country as her own.
Onyemelukwe will address the current political situation in Nigeria as well as its history, legacy of colonialism and culture, an announcement said. Additionally, she will provide perspective on the tragic kidnapping of the Chibok school girls and their captors.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Staples Players’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ Opens to Sell-Out Crowd
Westport’s Staples Players opened its production of “Hello, Dolly!” tonight to a sell-out crowd and a standing ovation. The production, months in the making, dazzled the audience with singing, dancing, costumes and sets to rival any Broadway production. Staples Players parents hosted a pre-show gala fundraiser in the lobby. Performances are Nov. 15, 21, and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 16 and 22 at 3 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit www.staplesplayers.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Susan Granger At the Movies: ‘Birdman,’ ‘Force Majure,’ ‘Big Hero 6’
By Susan Granger
In an astonishing technical achievement, Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu films “Birdman,” a satirical backstage comedic drama, in what looks like one long, continuous take, transcending time and space, soaring into hallucinatory flights of fancy, while remaining grounded in the present.
Michael Keaton is Riggan Thomson, a fading, egocentric movie star, renown as the comic book hero Birdman. He’s determined to prove himself on Broadway in his own adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story - with the voice of Birdman firmly lodged in his brain
During previews, delusionary Riggan must cope with his just-out-of-rehab daughter (Emma Stone), embittered ex-wife (Amy Ryan), lawyer/manager (Zach Galifianakis), venomous theater critic (Lindsay Duncan), insecure leading lady (Naomi Watts), and her supercilious actor/boyfriend (Edward Norton).
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Birdman” is an intense, immersive 10, assuring an Oscar nomination for Michael Keaton.
The Staples Players ensemble takes a curtain call Thursday night after the final dress rehearsal of “Hello, Dolly!” The production opens tonight and continues next weekend. For more information and tickets, go to www.staplesplayers.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Guest Bartending at Dunville’s
Steve Schneider, a bartender at the West Village cocktail haunt For Employees Only, does a guest bartending stint tonight at Westport’s Dunville’s, 41 Saugatuck Ave. Schneider and Dunville’s co-owner, Steve Carpentieri, were featured in Westport director Doug Tirola’s award-winning documentary “Hey Bartender.” Schneider agreed to the Dunville’s gig to celebrate its reopening after renovations. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Uncovered After All These Years
With removal of trees and ivy in front of the former Westport Weston Family Y building on Post Road East, two gargoyles above the main entranceway of the 1923-built building are finally seeing the light of day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Bridgeport Students See NYC Art Highlights Thanks to WAC
Tenth grade students from Bridgeport’s Bridge Academy charter school today visited New York’s Chelsea art district as part of the Connections program of the Westport Arts Center (WAC). Helen Klisser During, WAC artistic director, and WAC staffers Jill Sarver, Rebecca Brown, and Marni Katz, as well as Laura Spada, a member or the WAC Education Committee, pose with the students in front of artist Takashi Murakami’s work on display at the Gagosian Gallery. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
‘A League of Their Own’ to be Screened Sunday
Westport Cinema Initiative and Project Return are partnering to present “A League of Their Own,” a 1992 fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
Starring Tom Hanks and Geena Davis and directed by Penny Marshall, the comedy-drama will be shown Sunday, Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. at Westport Town Hall. Tickets are $10 and are available at http://www.westportcinema.org.
The film tells the story of the women’s baseball team as it tours the United States during World War II. The light-hearted look at early professional female athletes shows just how ground breaking and resilient these early pioneers were in playing the sport that they loved.
The screening is sponsored by Lee Rawiszer of Paradigm Financial Partners. A brief talk back with Doug Tirola of the Westport Cinema Initiative board, and Meghan Skelton, from the Weston Public Schools, will follow. There will also be a pizza supper at Project Return for the first 30 people who RSVP, an announcement said.
Monday, November 10, 2014
Anne Keefe (l), director of tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse script in hand playreading performance of “Trying” gets together afterwards to celebrate with actors (l-r) Star and Edward Herrmann and Helen Cespedes. The play by Joanna McClelland Glass is based on her real life experience serving as secretary to Francis Biddle (1886-1968), U.S. Attorney General under Franklin D. Roosevelt and, after the war, chief justice at the Nuremburg trials. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Library Hosts Talk on the Ukraine
The Westport Library tonight presented Ian Brzezinski, foreign policy expert. He spoke on Russian’s invasion of Ukraine and its implications for transatlantic security. The former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO Policy in 2001–2005, who earlier served as a volunteer adviser to the Ukraine, said Russia’s Vladimir Putin wants to slowly take back the former states of the Soviet Union by using troops and quick attacks.“Putin is going to go for more territory….assertive Russian policy is becoming increasing aggressive,” he said. Brzezinski is son of foreign policy expert Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as a counselor to President Lyndon B. Johnson and was National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter. His brother Mark is also a foreign policy expert who just retired as U.S. ambassador to Sweden. His sister is television news journalist Mika Brzezinski, who worked in Hartford before moving to CBS News, then MSNBC. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
In Rehearsal for Tonight’s ‘Trying’
The cast in rehearsal today for tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse script-in-hand play reading of “Trying.” The play, by Joanna McClelland Glass and directed by Anne Keefe, is based on the author’s experience during 1967-68 when she worked for Francis Biddle at his home office in Washington D.C. The play tells the story of a young Canadian girl and an old Philadelphia aristocrat “trying” to understand each other in what Biddle knows is the final year of his life. Pictured are Helen Cespedes reading the role of Sarah Schorr, Edward Herrmann as Judge Francis Biddle, and Star Herrmann, Edward’s wife, providing stage directions. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Sunday, November 09, 2014
Dover String Quartet at Westport Arts Center
The Dover String Quartet peformed to an enthusiastic audience today at the Westport Arts Center. Comprising (l-r) violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee, cellist Camden Shaw, and violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, the group was formed in October 2008 while its members were students at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. It and gave its first official performance in February 2009 and has quickly established a burgeoning presence in the music world. Having won a variety of competitions, including the first and grand prizes at the 2010 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Dover swept the first and all subsidiary prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Enthusiastic Reception for Dover String Quartet
Playhouse Hosts Family Festivities Day
The Westport Country Playhouse today hosted a Family Festivities Kick-off Party to celebrate the Playhouse’s 2014-15 Family Festivities Series, which begins on Sunday, Nov. 16. The popular series will feature productions based on children’s classic stories, including “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse,” “The Lightning Thief,” “Dog Loves Books,” and “Curious George.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com