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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Waiting His Cue

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Staples High School graduate Drew McKeon awaits his cue during a rehearsal session today for the two performances this weekend of “The Broadway Boys” at the Westport Country Playhouse. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

12/17/11 12:14 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Bow for ‘Seasons Readings’

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The cast of “Seasons Readings” takes a bow after performing to a full house tonight at the Westport Woman’s Club. Readings of holiday-themed plays and stories by writers including Ann Patchett and David Sedaris, and directed by Carole Schweid, were followed by an eggnog and dessert reception. Pictured (l-r): Bob McDonald, Westport’s Susan Terry, Florence Phillips, Susan Vanech and Norman Allen.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

12/16/11 04:01 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Jazz Scene


The Westport Arts Center tonight presented another in its series of Thursday night jam sessions. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

12/16/11 03:41 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Orphenian Cheer

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Staples High School senior John Morris and junior Grace McDavid-Seidner perform with fellow members of the Orphenians at the group’s annual performance todayfor the Westport Rotary Club at the Inn at Longshore. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

12/13/11 09:50 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

‘Holiday’ Bow

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The cast of the script-in-hand performance of “Holiday” takes a bow tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse. The popular script-in-hand series is curated by Anne Keefe, the Playhouse’s artistic advisor. The romantic comedy written in 1928 by Philip Barry, who also authored the well known “Philadelphia Story,” was remade as a film in 1938 starring Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

12/13/11 04:10 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, December 12, 2011

Getting Ready for Tonight’s Playhouse Reading

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The cast of tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse script-in-hand reading of “Holiday,” which debuted in 1928 and created by playwright Phlip Barry, pose for a photo during a rehearsal today. The performance is directed by Playhouse artistic advisor Anne Keefe. All tickets are $15. Pictured are (front row, l-r):  Bill Heck, Maggie Lacey, Betty Gilpin, Rebecca Brooksher, Jodi Stevens; (center row) Brian Carter, Chad Kinsman, Kiernan Campion; (back row) Jack Gilpin, Jordan Coughtry. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

12/12/11 06:46 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, December 11, 2011

GrooveLily in Playhouse Holiday Performance

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The Westport Country Playhouse tonight presented “Striking 12,” a critically acclaimed holiday concert-musical by the band GrooveLily.Taking a bow after the performance were (l-r) Brendan Milburn, keyboard and vocals, Valerie Vigoda, electric violin and vocals, and Gene Lewin, drums and vocal. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

12/11/11 04:20 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday Night Fun


As part of its holiday offerings, the Westport Country Playhouse tonight presented “Striking 12,” a holiday concert-musical by the band GrooveLily. Among those in attendance was Rep. Jim Himes and his wife Mary. Board of Trustees sponsors were Ann Sheffer and Bill Scheffler and Meredith and David Bukzin, corporate cponsors First Niagra and Peirson & Smith, and the program was also supported in part by a grant from the Peterson Foundation. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

12/11/11 04:15 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, December 10, 2011

71st Annual Candlelight Concert Opens

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Westport’s Staples High School 71st annual Candlelight Concert opened tonight with the traditional processional by junior and senior members of the choir as the combined members of the choir, chorus, and chorale sang “Sing We Noel,” the 16th century French carol. There will be additional performances on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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A Tradition Continues


Highlights of tonight’s opening night of Westport’s Staples High School 71st annual Candlelight Concert.Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

12/10/11 04:18 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sadness Touches Tonight’s Candlelight Concert

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Sadness touched tonight’s Candlelight Concert at Westport’s Staples High School as Thursday’s tragic homicide took the life of the Kuti Zeevi, the husband of Nava Zeevi, longtime piano accompanist for the concerts. Stepping in at the last moment was Todd Simmons (l) of Westport, the assistant director of the Westport School of Music. He and choral director Justin Miller listen to the combined Chorus and Chorale. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

12/10/11 04:15 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, December 09, 2011

David Pogue on Being a Children’s Book Author

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Westporter David Pogue, TV personality, New York Times technology columnist and book author, participated in a panel discussion tonight with other authors of children’s novels at Westport’s Writers Workshop on Sylvan Road South. Pogue, whose recently released book, “Abby Carnelia’s One and Only Magical Power,” told attendees that his book is far less fantasy than it is realism—“actual realistic repeatable magic.”  Pogue describes the book as “hyper-realistic” because a youth could actually do what the main character does. “By the end of the book a child reader may say to himself, ‘I have something that this character has and this is a spark to me,’” he said. Pogue said that he gets a lot of e-mail from youths who read the book and “I respond to every single kid’s e-mail—think what it is for the kid to get a note back from the author of a book he or she has just read.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

12/09/11 03:02 AM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, December 02, 2011

Special Performance of “The Nutcracker”

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The Westport Country Playhouse today hosted about 870 students for two preview performances of “The Nutcracker” ballet performed by the Ballet Etudes Company under artistic director Nanette Vallas. The students were from Norwalk, Wilton and Stratford. According to Bruce Miller, Playhouse company manager, “For many, this is the first live theater experience. To see kids their age doing this is a spark to them.”  He said this is the 13th consecutive year of student matinees for “The Nutcracker” and in that time, more than 10,000 youngsters have benefited. “Nutcracker” performances continue at the Playhouse this weekend at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m each day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

12/02/11 11:31 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tough Audience

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Youngsters get set for a special performance today of “The Nutcracker” at the Westport Country Playhouse.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Getting Ready for Weekend Performances

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Students from the Ballet Etudes Company under artistic director Nanette Vallas perform “The Nutcracker” today fpr student audiences at the Westport Country Playhouse in preparation for this weekend’s public performances. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

12/02/11 11:20 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

WN on the Scene: Art Basel Miami


Helen Klisser During, WestportNow contributing photographer, art advisor, and director of visual arts at the Westport Arts Center, was in Florida for several days this week for Miami Art Basel, one of the world’s premier arts fairs. Taking place each November/December, the creative event welcomes artists from all over the world and is widely regarded as “the place to be” in the art world. Here are some highlights of Miami Art Basel as seen through her lens. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

12/02/11 08:42 PM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Film Shot in Westport Selected for Sundance Festival

The Sundance Film Festival has selected a feature film, “Hello, I Must Be Going”—written by 1985 Staples High School graduate Sarah Koskoff and shot in Westport over the summer— for its 2012 competition and scheduled it for a coveted first day showing.

Selection of the the film, directed by Todd Louiso, who is married to Koskoff, was announced on Wednesday. It stars Melanie Lynskey, Blythe Danner, Christopher Abbott, John Rubinstein, and Julie White.

The festival said the film is about a divorced, childless, demoralized woman named Amy Minsky who at 35 is condemned to move back in with her parents. Her prospects look bleak – until the unexpected attention of a teenage boy changes everything, according to a Sundance announcement.

Much of the filming was done for three weeks in and around the Saugatuck Shores waterfront home of Koskoff’s parents, Michael and Roz Koskoff, with additional scenes shot on Main Street, the Westport train station, and Fast Fitness on Post Road East. (See WestportNow Aug. 1, 2011)

More "Film Shot in Westport Selected for Sundance Festival"

12/01/11 04:59 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Yorker Editor Addresses Y’s Women

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Dorothy Wickenden, executive editor of The New Yorker and a Weston native, addressed the Y’s Women today in the Great Hall of Westport’s Christ and Holy Trinity Church about her book “Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West.” In 2008, Wickenden came upon a collection of her grandmother’s letters in the family home. The letters revealed vivid written accounts of Dorothy Woodruff, her grandmother, and a childhood friend, Rosamond Underwood, as they taught school in a remote corner of Colorado in 1916. The letters form the basis of the book, which has received positive reviews. Celie Rosenau for WestportNow.com

11/28/11 06:43 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Opening Bow for “The Seafarer”

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The cast of “The Seafarer” by Irish playwright Conor McPherson and directed by Ruth Anne Baumgartner takes a bow following tonight’s opening night performance at the Westport Community Theatre at Westport Town Hall. It runs through Dec. 11 with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. and Thursday, Dec.1 at 8 p.m.  All tickets are $20. The performers and their respective town of residence: (l-r) Rob Pawlikowski (Roxbury), Al Kulcsar (Fairfield), Damien Langan (Bridgeport), Will Jeffries (Bethel), and David Hartigan (White Plains. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

11/26/11 03:31 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, November 21, 2011

Heida Hermanns Piano Competition Winner

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The first prize of $5,000 for the 2011 Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition today was awarded to Yue Chu and presented by Westport’s Frederic Chui, honorary chair of the event, now in its 40th year. Chu, born in China, won his first competition at age 8, and at the age of 10 was among the youngest conductors chosen to lead the youth orchestra and choir in his hometown of Tianjin.  At present, Chu lives in Philadelphia, where he is working on his Artist Diploma at the Curtis Institute of Music. “I did not know of this competition until three weeks ago when my teacher (at Curtis) mentioned it to me,” said Chu. “I did not expect to win the prize. My goal is to share music. I enjoyed doing that yesterday and today.”  He said this weekend was his first ever visit to Westport and was thankful to the Barry Katz family for hosting him. Katz is a member of the Board of the Westport Arts Center. Other winners were (l-r)  Sejoon Park (honorable mention - $500), Soyen Park (honorable mention - $500), Esther Park (third place - $1,500),  Zhennie Li (second place - $2,500), and Silvie Cheng (honorable mention - $500). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

11/21/11 12:17 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Words of Thanks

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- Yue Chu thanks the audience and judges today after winning the Heida Hermanns Piano Competition at Westport Town Hall. With him are Frederic Chiu, honorary chair, and Doris Goltzer, artistic and executive director of the Connecticut Alliance for Music which co-sponsored the event with the Westport Arts Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

11/21/11 12:13 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Afternoon Concert

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Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, who calls himself “the world’s most recorded drummer,” addresses a Westport Arts Center audience today before performing with a jazz ensemble. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

11/20/11 09:34 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

‘Pretty’ Music


Renown drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie appeared at the Westport Arts Center for an afternoon of jazz. Performing with him were Rob Paparozzi, harp/vocals, John Korba, piano/vocals, George Naha, guitar, and Brian Torff, bass. WestportNow.com video by Helen Klisser During

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Drummer Bernard ‘Pretty’ Purdie in Sold Out Concert

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The Westport Arts Center today hosted a sold out jazz concert featuring drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, an influential and innovative exponent of funk best known for his strict musical time keeping and “The Purdie Shuffle.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gathering of Artists

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A new video produced by the Friends of the Westport Public Library titled “Black & White Works on Paper” was shown in the McManus Room on Friday afternoon. The video, a collection of works by 92 Westport artists includes an explanatory narration by artists Howard Munce and Leonard Everett Fisher. The video highlights the richness of Westport’s graphic art heritage while celebrating the newly reinstalled collection of the library’s black and white art. A number of the artists whose work is displayed and included in the video were on hand for the premier showing. Copies of the video will be available for sale at the library. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

11/19/11 04:43 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Large Turnout for ‘Farmageddon’

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More than 200 persons turned out Friday night to view the documentary film “Farmageddon” at Westport’s Christ and Holy Trinity Church followed by a question and answer session. The screening of the film which tells the story of small family farms battling the bureaucracy to provide fresh, healthy foods to their communities was presented jointly by the Westport Cinema Initiative (WCI) and the Westport Farmers’ Market and sponsored by Whole Foods Market. “The highlight of the evening was a community of all ages coming together to share in their passion for their support of the independent farmer and their concerns for the food that we eat,” said Sandy Lefkowitz, executive director of WCI. Contributed photo

11/19/11 02:32 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Arts Center Opens Photojournalist Exhibit

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A visitor checks out one of the photos on display tonight at the Westport Arts Center as it opened its latest exhibit “On Duty: Weegee, Metinides, Odertmatt,” It features works by New York photojournalist Arthur Fellig, known as “Weegee,” Mexican photojournalist Enrique Metinides, and Swiss policeman Arnold Odermatt (whose photos are featured above). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

11/19/11 01:51 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Boomer Memories

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A number of Westporters traveled to Stamford Tuesday night for a concert by Joan Baez at the Palace Theatre. The 1960s-era American folk singer, songwriter, musician and a prominent peace and human rights activist said she dedicated her concert to the Occupy Wall Street movement. She entertained some of the protesters on Veterans Day in New York’s Foley Square. Baez, 70, is touring without a full band for the first time in decades and was accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

‘Dial M for Murder” Curtain Call

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The Westport Country Playhouse audience tonight applauds the cast at the curtain call following the script-in-hand reading of “Dial M for Murder,” the classic whodunit. The Frederick Knott play, which poses the question “Is there such a thing as a perfect murder?” prompted Anne Keefe, Playhouse artistic advisor and curator of the script-in-hand series to say, “I love looking for plays that intrigue our loyal script-in-hand audience while giving me the opportunity to work with our Playhouse friends and alums.” The next script in hand reading in the popular series is Philip Barry’s “Holiday” on Dec. 12.  All tickets are $15. Pictured (l-r) are Sean Patrick Reilly (hired murderer), Mark Shanahan (manipulative husband) , Kieran Campion (mystery writer boyfriend), Liv Rooth (victimized wife), Paxton Whitehead (police inspector) and Jake Robards (narrator). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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

Monday, November 14, 2011

Remembering American Musical Classics

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It was standing room only today as the Westport Library presented “Music: American Musicals Celebrate America” at the McManus Room. Hosted by Arthur Gang (r), a group of gifted local musical performers entertained the enthusiastic audience with great American musical classics. The program was sponsored by the Grace K. Salmon Foundation.The cast included Richard Weidlich, Carole Schweid; Danielle Merlis with cello; Caitlin Collins, and Gang. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

11/14/11 12:44 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

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