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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Discussion Sets Stage for Westport Youth Film Festival

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In a lead in to this weekend’s Westport Youth Film Festival, Barnes & Noble Monday night hosted a panel discussion on “Documentaries and Social Justice.” Westport film critic Susan Granger took part along with filmmakers David Burstein (l), Matt Heineman, and Gabriel London. Burstein, one of the Westport Youth Film Festival founders, is a senior at New York University Film School. The participants showed clips from their films and gave insights into the evolving role of the documentary. The film festival opens Friday night at Westport Town Hall with two blocks of documentaries made by teens—one by Connecticut high school students about the U.S. Constitution, and the other by Canadian, Israeli and Palestinian high school students. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 01:48 PM
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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Jazz

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Brian Torff and a band known as the Westport Horns debuted today as a repertory jazz ensemble for the Westport Arts Center. The concert explored original music that combined jazz improvisation with modern beats. Reggae, funk, New Orleans second line, tango, Afro-pop beats and more. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 11:13 PM
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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Honored by Friends of the Library

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The Friends of the Westport Public Library at its annual meeting tonight presented a Special Friend Award to members of the library’s Spoken Word Committee—(l-r) Phyllis Groner, Carol Diamond, Nikki Untermeyer, and Simone Dubow, chair. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Posted 01:37 AM
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Paying Tribute

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Tonight’s annual meeting of the Friends of the Westport Public Library included a tribute to the eight years of programs of the library’s Spoken Word Committee. Mark Schenker (2nd r), associate dean at Yale College, and Eddie Pleasant (r), performing artist in opera and musical theater, entertained the audience with a witty poem accompanied by musical selections. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Posted 01:35 AM
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Friday, April 30, 2010

Copies of “Years in the Making” Archives Gifted

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Filmmakers Martin West and Ann Chernow share a laugh with the audience today at a ceremony at Greens Farms Elementary School turning over copies of original interviews that made up their “Years in the Making: A Journey into Late Life Creativity” documentary. The film project features 50 Westport and Weston artists ages 70 and older and took four years to produce. Copies went to schools in Westport and Weston as well as to their libraries and historical societies. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Posted 03:20 PM
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A Gift for Generations to Come

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John Bayers, principal of Westport’s Greens Farms Elementary School, and two of his students today accept 50 DVDs containing copies of the original interviews that went into producing the “Years in the Making: A Journey into Late Life Creativity” documentary that features 50 Westport and Weston artists ages 70 and older. Filmmaker Martin West (l) and his team presented copies of the archive interviews to Westport and Weston schools and their libraries and historical societies in a ceremony at Greens Farms. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Posted 03:17 PM
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Presenting Readings and Poetry from Ancient Rome

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Tonight the second in the Spoken Word Series at the Westport Public Library featured Edward Pleasant, an opera and musical theater performing artist, who presented “Sinners, Saints and Sages,” a program of readings and poety Ancient Rome. He explored the works of Sappho, the poet from the Isle of Lesbos, Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor who devoted his life to the study of philosophy and wise governmental leadership, and Catullus, the Roman poet from the first century BC. The next program is on Tuesday—“Art and Architecture of Rome” at 7:30 p.m.—and the last is on Thursday when the Theatre Artists Workshop performs “Metamorphoses” at 7:30 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 01:14 AM
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Offering Political Cartoon Tips

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Pulitizer Prize-winning cartoonist Matt Davies, a graduate of Westport’s Staples High School, was guest tonight at the first of the Westport Arts Center’s cartoon lab series that also includes lab partners Ina Chadwick and Simon Billig. Davies explained the world of political cartooning, saying that “working against a deadline is an essential part of the creative process.” Behind him is a chalk wall drawn by The New Yorker staff cartoonist Roz Chast whose drawings along with those of R. Crumb are currently on exhibit at the Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 01:53 AM
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Trying Their Hand at Political Cartooning

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Participants in tonight’s cartoon lab at the Westport Arts Center try their hand at writing words in political cartoons under the tutelage of Pulitizer Prize-winning cartoonist Matt Davies, who grew up in Westport and attended Staples High School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 01:52 AM
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Drawing the Sinking Titanic is a Political Cartoonist’s Cliche

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Matt Davies, a Pulitizer Prize-winning political cartoonist for the Gannett and Hearst newspapers, tells a Westport Arts Center audience tonight that it is a cliche for political cartoonists to draw the sinking Titanic or the airship Hindenburg going up in flames. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 01:50 AM
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Michel Nischan in Walk-On Role in “She Loves Me”

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Michel Nischan will have a walk-on role in “She Loves Me” on May 14. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
He can cook but can he act?

Michel Nischan, owner/founder of Westport’s Dressing Room: A Homegrown Restaurant, will have a walk-on role as a chef in the musical “She Loves Me,” for one performance only, on Friday, May 14, at 8 p.m., at Westport Country Playhouse. 

Nischan was the highest bidder for the role, a prize in a silent auction benefiting the Playhouse at the theater’s 2009 gala last November.

For more information or ticket purchases, call the box office at (203) 227-4177.  Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.westportplayhouse.org.

Posted 01:51 PM
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Kate Baldwin to Star in Playhouse’s “I Do, I Do”

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Kate Baldwin: Starred in “Finian’s Rainbow.” File photo
Actress Kate Baldwin will star in the musical “I Do, I Do! “ at the Westport Country Playhouse in August.

The Tom Jones-Harvey Schmidt musical runs Aug. 10 - 28. As previously announced, the production will be directed by Tony nominee Susan H. Schulman.

The musical spans 50 years in the marriage of Agnes and Michael.

Baldwin starred in the Broadway revival of “Finian’s Rainbow” earlier this season, for which she has received an Outer Critics Circle nomination.

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Posted 10:50 PM
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An Artist Discusses “Inside the Mind’s Eye”

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Artist, lecturer, and teacher David Dunlop addressed the Y’s Women of Westport Weston today at its weekly meeting at the Unitarian Church in Westport. An avid reader in pursuit of the underlying principles of art and exploring original sources and recent advances in neuroscience, Dunlop spoke about “Inside the Mind’s Eye.” He explained how to develop skills through focusing on what you are doing, whether it be golfing, gardening, designing or other pursuits. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 10:24 PM
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Pulitzer Prize Winner Discusses World of Cartooning

What goes on in a cartoonist’s mind? WestportNow.com Image
Matt Davies: discusses the world of cartooning. WN file photo

Pulitizer Prize-winning cartoonist Matt Davies, a graduate of Westport’s Staples High School, answers that question and more on Wednesday at the Westport Arts Center at 7 p.m.

It’s the inaugural session of the Fourth Wall Down Cartoon Lab series that also includes lab partners Ina Chadwick and Simon Billig.

Davies will demonstrate how the drawing part of cartooning is the easiest. However, it’s the process in between, such as the initial writing and careful editing, that make cartooning an often elusive, intriguing but doable art form that starts with words.

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Posted 08:44 PM
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Insider Arts: Playhouse’s “She Loves Me” a Flirt of a Play

By Ina B. Chadwick

Special to WestportNow

I thoroughly enjoyed the Westport County Playhouse’s opener for the summer season, “She Loves Me?”

Is it that I still believe in squeaky clean hearts? Forget reality. Forget that life can be mean. Is it my rose-colored glasses syndrome? 

This formulaic love story, which takes place in Budapest in the 1930s, could be set anywhere and within any time frame.

However, in 2010 it competes in a milieu that would cause the play’s decadent Lothario, Kodaly, who is dallying with the bosses’ wife, to faint dead away if he read this week’s sex columnist’s advice in The Fairfield County Advocate.

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Posted 06:34 PM
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