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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Artist Recalls Hilton Kramer as ‘Very Kind’

By James Lomuscio

As international obituaries painted the legendary Hilton Kramer as a harsh, poison pen critic who could send shivers through the art world, even shutter galleries, one local artist recalled the former Westporter who died at 84 from heart failure in Maine Tuesday as “very kind and inspirational.”

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Hilton Kramer: art critic lived in Westport 34 years. File photo

“Everybody has a different opinion of him, but we loved him,” said Ann Chernow who with her late husband Burt Chernow, an art historian, were close friends of Kramer and his wife Esta. “He was very different from what people thought of him as a critic, and he was always very kind to us.”

Kramer has been described as a no nonsense, acerbic critic who embraced modernism while deriding postmodernism, pop art and conceptual art during his tenure at The New York Times from 1965 to 1982.

According to The Times, he once called postmodernism “a revolt against the basic traditions of Western civilization.”

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03/29/12 12:58 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Westport Middle Schools Present Plays This Week

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Scenes from “Alice in Wonderland” (top) and “Guys and Dolls.” Contributed photos

Students at Westport’s Coleytown Middle School and Bedford Middle School are showing off their theatrical skills this week -– “Guys and Dolls” at Coleytown and “Alice in Wonderland” at Bedford.

Benjamin Frimmer, theater director at Coleytown, directs 77 students in the “Guys and Dolls” time-honored classic opening Thursday at 7 p.m. with additional performances Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and a Saturday matinee at 1 p.m.

The sixth grade Bedford production of Lewis Carroll’s much loved classic “Alice In Wonderland,” which includes more than 100 students, opens Friday at 7:30 p.m. with additional performances Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Coleytown ticket sales will be conducted Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the school rotunda and at the door 30 minutes prior to performance. Bedford tickets, available at the door, are $10 for adults and students with free admission for children 3 and under.

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03/25/12 10:04 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Playhouse to Host Dance School Benefit

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Performing at Playhouse on Friday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The Westport Country Playhouse will host “Seven With Three,” an original, choreographed music score to benefit the Fairfield-based Connecticut Dance School (CDS) on Friday at 7 p.m.

The performance features the music of Norwalk composer John Rose working with choreographer Alan Woodward.

According to Valerie Pullman, CDS general manager, the event will also include her works and those by CDS teacher Moira Murphy Wright. Intermediate and advanced level ballet students will perform, she said.

Pullman added that the hour-long performance will be followed by a reception and silent auction, and that tickets can be purchased at the door. For further information or reservations, call 203-384-2492.

03/20/12 03:10 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Turning the Clock Back to Westport of the 1950s

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Time was turned back to Westport of the 1950s today in the Westport Town Hall Auditorium as Westport Cinema Initiative sponsored a showing of the 1956 film “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,” starring Gregory Peck and Jennifer jones which was set in and partially filmed in Westport. The popular Sloan Wilson novel about a couple living in Westport became a symbol for conformism in the business world. The showing was preceded by a reception at the Westport Historical Society across the street where martinis were served against the backdrop of its current exhibit,“Next Stop: Westport!,” a tribute to 1950s television and films created by Westporters and set in Westport. CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

03/18/12 11:37 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Welcome to Film Crowd

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State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, wearing his hat as president of Westport Cinema Initiative, the nonprofit group seeking to bring a movie theater back to Westport, welcomed the Town Hall audience today to a showing of the 1956 film “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit’ starring Gregory Peck and Jennifer jones. The film adaption of the popular Sloan Wilson novel set in Westport of the 1950s had scenes filmed in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

03/18/12 11:32 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

He Was There

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Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff today shows off his personal film poster and first edition copy of Sloan Wilson’s popular 1955 novel “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” at the Westport Historical Society. Its current exhibit “Next Stop: Westport!,” features the film starring Gregory Peck as well as other 1950s television programs and films created by Westporters and set in Westport. Westport Cinema Initiative hosted a reception there prior to its showing of the 1956 film adaption of the novel in the Town Hall Auditorium. Joseloff told the film audience he was present as a 10-year-old in 1955 when producer Darryl F. Zanuck oversaw filming of scenes of Peck in downtown Westport. “It was the biggest thing to happen in Westport since the end of World War II,” Joseloff said of the location shooting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

03/18/12 11:24 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Crowds Throng Library Winter Book Sale

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The Friends of the Westport Public Library annual Winter Book Sale got under way today and drew large crowds. The sale continues Sunday, Monday, and part of Tuesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

03/17/12 06:23 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Pleased With Book Sale Find

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A youngster seems pleased with his find at the Westport Public Library Winter Book Sale today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

03/17/12 06:15 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Mill River Band Closes Out Sr. Center Sunday Music Series

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The Sunday Music Series at the Westport Center for Senior Activities ends Sunday with a performance by The Mill River Band – a.k.a. The Levitt Pavilion’s house band – as it delivers up a unique mix of acoustic rock, country blues and western swing. The free Sunday Music Series—five monthly indoor concerts to warm up winter in Westport from November to March at the Center – is programmed by The Levitt Pavilion and made possible by a grant from Mimi Levitt. Doors at 21 Imperial Ave. open at 1 p.m. with complimentary refreshments at 1:30 p.m. and show time at 2 p.m. All ages are welcome. More information is available at (203) 341-5099. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

03/17/12 03:01 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Cool Jazz to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

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There were plenty of shamrocks and wearing of the green Friday night at Westport’s Dressing Room Restaurant as Lissy Newman belted out jazz numbers. The daughter of the late Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward entertains at the restaurant on Friday nights. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

03/17/12 04:15 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Poetry Recited as ArtCafé Meets Community Gardens

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Tonight’s second “Happy Hour” edition of the Westport Arts Center’s popular weekly ArtCafé featured poetry readings with guests who included members of Westport’s Community Gardens. Host Helen Klisser During, the Arts Center’s director of visual arts, introduced Louis Weinberg, head of the Community Gradens, who read his poem “Ode to a Strawberry Patch.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

03/17/12 01:18 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Garden Variety Poetry

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Eileen Flug of Westport was among those reading poetry at tonight’s Westport Arts Center ArtCafé “happy Hour.” The theme was inspired by Westport Community Gardens whose members read nature-inspired offerings. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

03/17/12 01:12 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, March 16, 2012

David Pogue Named ‘NOVA scienceNOW’ TV Host

“NOVA scienceNOW” has named Westporter David Pogue, personal technology columnist for The New York Times, to host the critically acclaimed science magazine series. WestportNow.com Image
Westporter David Pogue addresses an overflow Westport Public Library audience in 2010. Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Senior executive producer Paula S. Apsell said Pogue, who has also appeared on “CBS Sunday Morning,” has signed on to the series beginning this fall with the launch of its sixth season, premiering in October at 10 p.m. on PBS.

Pogue is already a familiar face to audiences of the flagship NOVA series with recent stints hosting the highly watched four-hour miniseries on materials science, “Making Stuff” (PBS, 2011), viewed by 14 million people, and the forthcoming two-hour special program, “Hunting the Elements,” premiering on NOVA on April 4.

Pogue is the third host tapped to helm the series. Prior hosts include broadcast correspondent Robert Krulwich, who originated the role for the series’ inaugural season in January 2005, and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who took the reins in October 2006 and hosted seasons two through five.

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03/16/12 10:54 PM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Staples Players Preview

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Westport’s Staples Players Thursday night held a preview performance of “Into the Woods,” the play with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. Performances begin tonight and continue next weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

03/16/12 04:15 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Winter Library Book Sale Begins Saturday

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Preparations were under way today for the Winter Book Sale presented by The Friends of the Westport Public Library. Sale items include hardcover and trade paperback (fiction only, including mysteries, science fiction and fantasy). There will be children’s books for $1 or less and vinyl records, video tapes and music cassettes as well as mass market paperbacks, fiction and non-fiction. The sale begins Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., continues Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 pm., Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (half price), and Tuesday 9 a.m. to noon with everything free (suggested donation $5 per bag). Helping out today were Mimi Greenlee, chair of book sales, and Sal Porio. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

03/15/12 11:54 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Staples Players Present ‘Into the Woods’ Beginning Friday

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Staples Players present “Into The Woods,” with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, beginning Friday night. The fairy tale-style story includes familiar characters such as Cinderella, Jack (from Jack the Beanstalk), Little Red Ridinghood, Rapunzel, and more. It is focused on a baker and his wife, and the journey they take to break a curse that has been put upon them by the witch living next door. Performances are this Friday and Saturday nights as well as next Friday and Saturday (March 23 and 24) at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. For ticket information, go to www.staplesplayers.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kerry Long Photography photo

03/15/12 11:22 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Taking a Bow

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The cast of the script-in-hand reading of the comedy-thriller “Stage Struck” takes a bow tonight to the applause of an overflow crowd at the Westport Country Playhouse. Before the start of tonight’s performance, Playhouse artistic advisor Anne Keefe announced that the next play—not yet named—in the popular series is scheduled for June 25. Pictured (l-r)  are Gabriel Morrow, stage directions; Doug Stender, Michel Gill, Jefferson Mays and Jane Atkinson. Gill and Atkinson are husband and wife and former Weston residents who now reside in Great Barrington, Mass. Mays currently appears in “The Best Man” on Broadway. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Enthusiastic Playhouse Audience

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The Westport Country Playhouse audience gives a mostly standing ovation after tonight’s script-in-hand play reading of “Stage Struck.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

03/13/12 02:50 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hamming It Up

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The cast of tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse script-in-hand play reading of “Stage Struck” hams it up for a photo during a rehearsal today. Created by playwright Simon Gray, the comedy thriller which chronicles a stage manager’s thrilling revenge plot against his famous actress wife, is directed by Playhouse artistic advisor Anne Keefe and features (seated) Jane Atkinson and (l-r standing) Doug Stender, Michel Gill and Jefferson Mays. The performance begins at 7 p.m.  All tickets are $15. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

03/12/12 07:32 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Flowers for Melissa

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Mellisa Bernstein of Melissa and Doug educational toymakers gets a bouquet of flowers today from the Westport Arts Center for her support of today’s toy design competition. With her is Daneille Ogden, director of education, and Peter Van Heerden, executive director of the Arts Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Country Meets Celtic at Library

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The Westport Public Library today had another in its series of Music at the Library featuring “Country Meets Celtic: Bill Turner and Blue Smoke.”  Turner, a former lead guitarist with Bill Haley & His Comets during the mid-70s, along with his Blue Smoke band derive their inspiration from traditional country and rockabilly, but put their own distinctive spin on the music effectively creating their own highly individual sound and style. On this concert, the band demonstrated its country music style with Celtic roots added. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

03/11/12 11:09 PM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

WN on the Scene: NY’s Annual Contemporary Art Fair


The Armory Show, a leading international contemporary and modern art fair and one of the most important annual art events in New York, ends today at Piers 92 and 94 in Manhattan. Now celebrating its 14th year, The Armory Show has re-established itself as the most adventurous and dynamic contemporary art fair in New York City. WestportNow contributing photographer Helen Klisser During, who is director of visual arts at the Westport Arts Center and an arts advisor to The Armory Show, takes WestportNow readers on a photo tour. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Tied Up at Play With Your Food

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Actors John O’Hern and Alison Cimmet star in one of three plays performed today at this month’s Play With Your Food lunchtime theater at Westport’s Toquet Hall. Their reading of “The Loop” by playwright Warren Leight had them portraying a married man and a prostitute tied up together by a robber who invades their hotel room. Play With Your Food has additional performances Wednesday and Thursday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

03/06/12 09:21 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Playhouse Begins Single Ticket Sales

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David Byrd, Westport Country Playhouse marketing director, inserts a new poster at the Playhouse entrance on Westport’s Post Road East today to announce its opening day of single performance ticket sales for its 2012 season. The season opens with “Into the Woods,” the musical retelling of the Grimm classics, that runs from May 1 to May26. It is directed by the Playhouses artistic director Mark Lamos. The new production is currently running at Baltimore’s Centerstage from March 7 to April 15 under Lamos’ direction. Byrd said tickets are available starting at the $25 level. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

03/06/12 07:42 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Adam Gopnik on French Influence on American Food

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New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik drew a full house today at the Westport Public Library. Interviewed by author Mary-Lou Weisman, Gopnik spoke about his latest book, “The Table Comes First: France, Family, and the Meaning of Food,” about how France has influenced the way Americans taste and talk about food. He explained how to make “French scrambled eggs,” and said that some of his favorite things to cook with are lamb, cinnamon, saffron, and bacon. He is also author of the essay collection “Paris to the Moon,” an account of five years that Gopnik, his wife Martha, and son Luke, spent in the French capital. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Marcia Logan for WestportNow.com

03/04/12 09:21 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Westport Photographer in ‘No Flowers’ Photo Exhibit

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A reception was held tonight to mark the opening of an exhibit “No Flowers” featuring the works of Westport photographer, MaryEllen Hendricks (c) at Photographic Solutions, 250 Westport Ave., Norwalk. She is pictured with Steve Barnes and Laurie Weinstein, owners of Photographic Solutions. Hendricks is primarily known for her vintage lens photographs of flowers. In this body of work, she brings the same timeless sensibility to portraiture. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Pam Barkentin Blackburn for WestportNow.com

03/03/12 01:31 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Art Exhibit Opens in Saugatuck

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An exhibit reception tonight hosted at the Laura Barton Gallery, 56 Railroad Place featured Fairfield artist Janine Brown (r) who exhibited more than 40 pastels and oil paintings. The exhibit, Variete, runs through March 17. The gallery celebrates its 14th year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Friday, March 02, 2012

Players Present Neil Simon’s ‘Rumors’

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Staples Players tonight present Neil Simon’s farcical play “Rumors” at Toquet Hall at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are on sale at the door 30 minutes before the performance. Additional performances are Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. Student Gregg Bonti directs the play which debuted on Broadway in 1988.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Thursday Night Jazz Scene


The once a month Westport Arts Center Thursday Jazz Jam drew another large crowd tonight. This session saw more than 15 musicians come and join the fun, and there was standing room only for the audience. Remaining jazz dates for the season are April 12, May 17, and June 14. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Film Trivia and More

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The fun and festivities at today’s Oscars party at Westport’s Shake Shack was emceed by celebrities Stormin’ Normin’ of WEBE 108 and Susan Granger, noted film critic, who posed film trivia questions to enthusiastic attendees who were also encouraged to complete an Oscar ballot and turn it in at the party. They also awarded Disney Lady and the Tramp complimentary posters to the crowd. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/26/12 10:45 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

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