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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Special Guests Image
Among those at the Westport Cinema Initiative’s screening today of the 1987 film “The Dead” at Christ & Holy Trinity Church were (l-r) Yale Professor Mark Schenker, Kelle Rudin of the Westport Library, Joe Meyer, a writer for Hearst Connecticut Media, and state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, president of the Westport Cinema Initiative. Schenker and Meyer held a talk-back after the film, which was shown as part of the library’s WestportREADS celebration of James Joyce’s “Dubliners.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 07:46 PM
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Matisse Cut-Out Workshop at Library Image
At today’s Matisse cut-out workshop in the Westport Library’s children’s library, youngsters tried their hand at making cut-outs for a series of panels in the Higgins Room. The effort was inspired by French artist Henri Matisse’s monumental cut-out “The Swimming Pool” (1952), a favorite of visitors since its acquisition by New York’s Modern Museum of Art in 1975 and now on exhibit for the first time in 20 years. In the late 1940s, Matisse, who died in 1954 at age 84, turned almost exclusively to cut paper as his primary medium, and scissors as his chief implement. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 06:24 PM
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Friday, January 16, 2015

Library Exhibit Features Norma Minkowitz Works Image
Westport artist Norma Minkowitz talks to attendees tonight about her intricate pen-and-ink drawings at a reception held to celebrate an exhibit featuring her works in the Westport Library’s Great Hall. Called “Drawn to the Edge,” the exhibit runs through March 25. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 08:32 PM
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Susan Granger’s At the Movies: ‘Selma,’ ‘Taken 3’

By Susan Granger

Ava DuVernay’s Oscar-nominated “Selma” about the voting-rights struggle of 1965 is not only timely but relevant, given the continuing racial turmoil over the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Image

The historical drama begins with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) receiving the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, then meeting with President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson), whom he urges to support passage of a national Voting Rights Act.

To underscore the need for change, King and his Southern Christian Leadership advisors travel in March, 1965, to Selma, Ala., for a peaceful, nonviolent protest -– then boldly march 50 miles from Selma to the state’s capital of Montgomery.

Stressing that raising white America’s consciousness is as crucial as organizing black communities, King outlines his three principles of protest: “Negotiate, demonstrate, resist.” 

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Posted 12:30 AM
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

WestportREADS Event Features Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Image
Westport Country Playhouse Artistic Director Mark Lamos interviewed Ireland-born Pulitzer prize-winning author Paul Muldoon tonight as part of the Westport Library’s WestportREADS program this month featuring James Joyce’s “Dubliners.” Muldoon’s most recent book, “One Thousand Things Worth Knowing” was released Jan. 13. Muldoon, poetry editor of the New Yorker Magazine and who grew up in Ireland said, ”I’m predisposed to rhyme more then most writers today. Rhyme was influenced through my upbringing.” He lightheartedly referred to Ireland as always being behind the times and said he was unaware that poets had strayed away from rhyme as a poetry form. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 09:55 PM
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Play With Your Food Debuts 13th Season Image
Actors Katie Sparer and Carolyn Marble were part of today’s 13th season debut of the Play With Your Food noontime play reading series at Westport’s Toquet Hall. They performed in Mary Louise Wilson’s “Lost,” a comedy about not remembering. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 03:14 PM
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Ready to Greet Guests Image
Volunteer helpers at today’s Play With Your Food return to Toquet Hall in Westport prepare to greet guests with food from Westport’s Blue Lemon and coffee by Starbucks. Performances continue Wednesday and Thursday. For more information, click here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 03:09 PM
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Monday, January 12, 2015

Broadway Benefit for Orphenians Set for Jan. 26

Performers from Broadway will take part in a special benefit Monday, Jan. 26 to help raise funds to send the Staples Orphenians to San Francisco in March for the National Youth Choral Festival. Image
The Orphenians are also raising funds for their San Francisco trip online here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Adam Kaplan, a 2008 Staples graduate and a Broadway performer, has agreed to gather some of his friends from Broadway shows to participate in the 7:30 p.m. event at Staples, an announcement said. They include performers from shows such as “Wicked,” “Newsies,” and “Mary Poppins.”

The Grammy award-winning choir Chanticleer chose the Orphenians to be part of the festival based on a performance last spring, according to organizers. The Orphenians are the only East Coast group to be invited.

The Oprhenians have been learning new music and preparing for the trip that will involve rehearsals, workshops, master classes, and performances with Chanticleer. Classes in vocal technique and sight singing will be offered to all students, the announcement said.

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Posted 03:07 PM
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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Doing the Bossa Nova at the Arts Center Image
The Westport Art Center was filled with sounds of the “The Brazilian Samba and Bossa Nova” today. Jazz flutist Ali Ryerson teamed up with longtime duo partner guitarist Joe Carter, along with bassist David Finck and percussionist Ze Mauricio, to perform a program of Brazilian favorites from master composers Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bonfa, Carlos Lyra. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 06:01 PM
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Step Dancing to Celebrate James Joyce Image
WestportREADS 2015 and James Joyce’s “Dubliners” was celebrated at the Westport Library today with a performance by Themselves, a quartet and step dancer group. They played Irish music on harp, violin, and guitar and offered poems, songs and stories of Joyce. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 04:43 PM
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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Best-Selling Author Kicks Off WestportREADS 2015 Image
Award-winning author, broadcaster and James Joyce expert Frank Delaney spoke today to a crowd at the Westport Library as part of the WestportREADS focus on Joyce’s collection of short stories, “Dubliners.” Delaney, born and raised in Ireland, said “Dubliners” was hailed as a masterpiece upon its publication in the early 20th century, giving authors the license to “write about their own lives and call it literature.” He said without Joyce “there would have been no Hemingway, Virginia Woolf or Faulkner.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 05:53 PM
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Friday, January 09, 2015

Rehearsing for ‘Guys and Dolls JR’ Image
The Music Theatre of Connecticut (MTC) School of Performing Arts rehearses for “Guys and Dolls JR” at the Westport Country Playhouse Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.  According to Kevin Connors, MTC co-founder, the cast of 28 is comprised of performing arts students from 8 to 15 years old who live in Fairfield County. “Guys And Dolls JR.,” an oddball romantic comedy, is an adaptation of its namesake show which ran for 1,200 performances when it opened on Broadway in 1950.  Directed by MTC co-founder Jim Schilling, tickets and information for the production are available at (203)454-3883 or visit (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 05:45 PM
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Getting Ready for Library Exhibit Image
Work was under way today in the Westport Library’s Great Hall preparing for an exhibit, “Drawn to the Edge,” by Westport artist Norma Minkowitz. Ellen Naftalin (l) and Joan Miller were among those unpacking and mounting works for the show, which opens Friday, Jan. 16 and runs through March 25. Minkowitz has worked with fiber, wire, resin and other materials to transform the craft of crochet into a timeless art form. Her work is held in 27 museum collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Posted 03:35 PM
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Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Imitation,’ ’ Gambler,’ ‘Angel of Death’

By Susan Granger

In “The Imitation Game,” Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, the obsessive genius who cracked the German Enigma code during World War II. Image

As the Luftwaffe bombed London and German U-boats were sinking ships, brilliant but troubled Alan Turing was recruited to join five other mathematicians at Bletchley Park to try to crack the Nazis’ complex military code which defied decryption by changing at midnight every night. 

Awkwardly antisocial, Turing’s blunt, condescending rudeness immediately alienates Commander Denniston (Charles Dance) and his colleagues (Matthew Goode, Allen Leech and Matthew Beard).

Nevertheless, Turing builds a digital ‘thinking’ device, an artificial intelligence that’s obviously an early computer - with the help of Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley), the only woman judged bright enough to associate with the code breakers.

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Posted 01:58 PM
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Sunday, January 04, 2015

‘Dr. K’ Opens WestportREADS Event on ‘Dubliners’ Image
There was a full house at the Westport Library today for the opening event of the library’s month-long WestportREADS program this year featuring James Joyce’s “Dubliners.” Veteran Staples High School English teacher Gerry Kuroghlian, known to legions of students as “Dr. K,” provided history, background and insight into the characters, the stories and the city of Dublin. “There is lots of humor in the book even though some of the themes are dark,” he said. “My wife is Irish, and I have found that you can’t be Irish without having a sense of humor.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 06:07 PM
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