Arts and Leisure
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Erica Jong: ‘I No Longer Care About Pleasing Everyone’
The McManus Room at the Westport Library was overflowing tonight for a talk by best selling author Erica Jong about her latest work, “Fear of Dying: A Novel,” the first by the Weston resident in 10 years. The book delivers a fresh perspective on love, desire and aging, similar to the way her classic, “Fear of Flying,” four decades ago challenged views of love, marriage, sex and what women really feel and desire. Said Jong, 73: “I can’t say I won’t write another book with ‘Fear’ in the title, but I will try not to.” She added: “I feel empowered after menopause. I no longer care about pleasing everyone.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
A New Look at Some Old Themes
Best selling author Erica Jong of Weston gets set tonight to autograph copies of her latest book, “Fear of Dying: A Novel,” at the Westport Library. Said Woody Allen of the book: “How Erica is able to deal with all these sensitive issues and still make the book funny is amazing. I loved reading it.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Gallery: Book Launch of ‘The Beautiful Pond’
Scenes from tonight’s book launch party for “The Beautiful Pond” by Westport artist Judith Orseck Katz at Positano Ristorante. Phyllis Groner and Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Spotlight,’ ‘Spectre,’ ‘The Peanuts Movie’
By Susan Granger
Sure to wind up in many 10 Best lists this year, “Spotlight” is the fascinating, true crime story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that revealed the Roman Catholic Church’s systematic ‘cover-up’ of pedophile priests.
Spotlight is the name of the Globe’s investigative team, headed by Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton) and comprised of Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sarah Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matty Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James).
They report to managing editor Ben Bradlee, Jr. (John Slattery), whose father figured prominently in the Watergate-themed “All the President’s Men.”
After the Globe was bought by The New York Times in 2001, there’s a new, cost-cutting boss, Marty Baron (Liev Schrieber), who is not only Jewish but also an out-of-towner. He urges them to pursue molestation allegations against a priest, a subject the newspaper has traditionally ignored under tacit pressure from Cardinal Bernard Law (Len Cariou) and the Boston Archdiocese.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Award-Winning Short Films Screened
Movie lovers were treated tonight to screening of five award-winning Tribeca Film Festival short films at the Short Cuts film series held at the Garden Cinemas in Norwalk. Among them was the seven-minute comedy “Merry Xmas” featuring Dick van Dyke, co-produced by Adam Rackoff. Rackoff participated in the talkback afterwards with Short Cuts producer Nancy Diamond of Westport. Short Cuts is a program of JIB Productions, Westport’s presenters of the popular lunchtime theater series, Play With Your Food. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Inge Maki for WestportNow.com
Monday, November 16, 2015
‘Dracula’ Curtain Call
Getting Ready for Tonight’s ‘Dracula’ Playreading
The cast of tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse Script in Hand reading of “Dracula” posed during a rehearsal with director Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artist and curator of the playreading series. “Long before our latest obsession with vampires and zombies, there was Bram Stoker’s terrifying novel,” she said. “This version was done in 1927, and it is by far the least hokey and most scary. What makes it scary is that it in no way begs a laugh. Prepared to be scared.” Pictured (l-r, first row) are Boyd Gaines; Bethany Jillard; Mark Shanahan; Kristin Hahn and Jack Gilpin; (back row) Martha Stout; Aaron Krohn; Ryan Garbayo; Mathew Amendt and Anne Keefe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Staples Cited for Commitment to Music Education
Westport’s Staples High School is among 119 U.S. public high schools selected by the GRAMMY Foundation as a GRAMMY Signature Schools semifinalist for making an outstanding commitment to music education, school officials announced today.
It is the only Connecticut high school chosen for the honor.
Created in 1998, the GRAMMY Signature Schools program recognizes top U.S. public high schools for their commitment to music education during an academic school year.
The next part of the process will be the submission of performance excerpts from the past school year. Finalists for the GRAMMY Signature Schools will be announced in mid-March.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Arts Center Presents Decoda Chamber Ensemble
The Westport Arts Center today presented at the Pequot Library in Southport the chamber ensemble Decoda. Comprised of virtuoso musicians, entrepreneurs, and passionate advocates of the arts, the group is based in New York City, The artists of Decoda first collaborated with one another in the renowned Ensemble ACJW fellowship program, created by Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute; and they now extend that relationship as an Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
TEA Talk Discusses Arts in Connecticut Education
The Westport Arts Advisory Committee today held a TEA Talk (Thinkers, Educators, Artists) symposium at Westport Town Hall discussing “Where Are the Arts in Connecticut Education?” Panelists in three moderated conversations discussed ways to improve arts education in the state. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
‘People Sometimes Think of Arts as the Frosting’
State Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell today told a Westport symposium on arts education in Connecticut that the state is actively seeking to improve arts education in schools and is working directly with the 30 lowest performing school districts to bolster their arts programs. “We see a direct relationship with the arts and improvement,” she said, adding that “people sometimes think of arts as the frosting instead of an important ingredient of the cake.” She spoke in a discussion with Kristin McKinney (r), a member of the Westport Arts Advisory Committee, which sponsored the TEA (Thinkers, Educators, Artists) Talk in the Westport Town Hall auditorium. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Westport Mural Cited as Teaching Aid
A 1969 mural by Westport artist Robert Lambdin depicting Saugatuck in the 19th century was cited today by Julie Droller (l), director of elementary education in the Westport Public Schools, as an important teaching aid for Westport elementary students. She spoke in a discussion with Jody Carlson (c), a Westport elementary teacher, and Robbin Zella, executive director of the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport, at today’s TEA (Thinkers, Educators, Artists) Talk sponsored by the Westport Arts Advisory Committee in the Westport Town Hall auditorium. The mural is on display at Town Hall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
TEA Talk Gallery
Scenes from today’s TEA (Teachers, Educators, Artists) Talk sponsored by the Westport Arts Advisory Committee on “Where are the Arts in Connecticut Education” at the Westport Town Hall auditorium. Participants included arts advocate Kristin McKinney of Westport, state Commissioner of Education Dianna R. Wentzell, Robbin Zella, executive director of the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport, Julie Droller, director of elementary education for the Westport Public Schools, Westport art teacher Jody Carlson, piano impresario and music teacher Frederic Chiu of Westport, Frank Derico, executive director of Bridgeport’s Neighborhood Studios, and Misty Beyer, executive program director of Music for Youth. WestportNow.com photos
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Installing Art Center’s Members’ Show
Installation was completed today of the Westport Arts Center’s annual group members’ exhibition, “DREAMscapes,” which opens Friday with a 6 to 8 p.m. reception. It was juried by Alexandra Munroe (r), Samsung senior curator of Asian art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Joining her was Helen Klisser During, the Center’s artistic director. They are pictured with “Zebra” by Fairfield artist Rick Shaefer. Munroe selected the 45 featured works of art from more than 260 entries. The exhibit runs until Jan. 9. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Thursday, November 12, 2015
‘Fiddler’ Dress Rehearsal Curtain Call
Members of the Staples Players acknowledge a curtain call ovation tonight at the end of the final dress rehearsal of “Fiddler on the Roof.” The musical plays this weekend and next. See http://www.staplesplayers.com for more information. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com