Arts and Leisure
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Levitt Children’s Performance Draws Large Crowd
Tonight’s Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts performance by Jeffrey Friedberg & the Bossy Frog Band drew a large crowd of youngsters and parents. It was part of the Melissa & Doug Children’s Series. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘American Ultra,’ ‘Ricki and the Flash,’ ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’
By Susan Granger
The deranged action comedy called “American Ultra” has two things going for it: Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) and Kristen Stewart (“The Twilight Saga”). They’ll probably account for more box office clout than this dreadful stoner dirge deserves.
As it opens, bruised and battered Mike Howell (Eisenberg) is in jail. Why? Flashbacks reveal he’s a clerk at a Cash & Carry who draws a graphic novel called “Apollo Ape” when he’s not busy behind the register.
A laidback pothead, he lives with his supportive girlfriend, slovenly Phoebe Larson (Stewart), who works for a bail bondsman.
Mike bought an engagement ring and planned to take Phoebe to Hawaii to propose marriage but, at the airport, he suffered another one of his crippling, yet inexplicable anxiety attacks.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Treehouse Comedy Club at Levitt Tonight
The Treehouse Comedy Club performed tonight at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. The group, which traces its origins to 1983 in Westport, is Connecticut‘s original and first full time comedy showcase. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Jazz at the Levitt
The Tizer Quartet performed at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts tonight. The group was a 2011 Grammy nominee for Best Jazz Group. With a multi-genre, multi-national appeal that expands beyond just jazz enthusiasts, Tizer has a diverse resume – including performance slots alongside musicians Jethro Tull, Isaac Hayes, Al Jarreau, George Benson, Babyface, Bruce Hornsby and Robin Thicke. Sponsor of the performance was The Nevas Law Group of Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Michael Mathis for WestportNow.com
Staples 2012 Grad Issues First Full-Length Album
Singer-songwriter Ellen Kempner, 21, Staples High School class of 2012, has released her first full-length album. She is known as Palehound and her “Dry Food” album was given four stars in Rolling Stone Magazine. NPR also favorably reviewed it, noting, “Kempner took to the guitar early, looking for an outlet as a precocious, self-described shy kid who felt like she didn’t quite fit in growing up in a socially claustrophobic New York suburb.” Kempner, who started playing the guitar at 7, had her earliest performances at Coleytown Middle School and performed locally at Toquet Hall throughout high school. The album is available on iTunes. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Chad Kamenshine
‘Hamilton’ Author Welcomed
Westporters Ann Chernow (bottom row, c.) and Martin West (top, r.) hosted a dinner party at their home Saturday night to welcome Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow (top, c.), whose Broadway musical adaption by Lin-Manuel Miranda of his 2004 “Alexander Hamilton” biography is a smash hit. Ron Chernow, a cousin of Ann Chernow’s late husband, Burt, said he was looking forward to attending the upcoming original cast recording session of “Hamilton.” Among other guests were actors Keir Dullea (top, l.) and wife, Mia Dillon (bottom, r.), and Alison Vanderbilt (bottom, l). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Saturday, August 15, 2015
Pete Molinari Band Headlines at Levitt
The Pete Molinari Band entertained tonight at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. The British-born Molinari (r) has won fans here and abroad with his special sound influenced by American blues and rock. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Bon Odori - Welcoming Ancestral Spirits
The Japanese Festival Bon Odori was held on Jesup Green. (Click upper right corner arrows to enlarge) WestportNow.com photos
Friday, August 14, 2015
Entertaining at the Levitt
The Little River Band entertained at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts tonight in a ticketed event to benefit the 50 nights of free summer programming. The Australian band has had worldwide album and CD sales topping 30 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Packed House for Levitt Ticketed Event
Some Danced Drink in Hand, Some With a Selfie Stick
There was a crowded dance area tonight at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts as The Little River Band played some of their top hits. Some danced with drink in hand, some with a selfie stick. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Little River Band Headlines Levitt Benefit
Scenes from tonight’s Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts ticketed event with The Little River Band. WestportNow.com photos, J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com, and contributed photos
Little River Band Performs Tonight at Levitt
The Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts tonight presents the Little River Band in a ticketed event to raise funds for more than 50 nights of free entertainment.
The Little River Band performs tonight in the second Levitt Pavilion ticketed event of the season. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The band is one of Australia’s most popular with worldwide album and CD sales topping 30 million. It also set a record for having top 10 hits for six consecutive years.
Formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1975, the band was originally a blend of musicians who had enjoyed success in other Australian rock acts.
The members’ new focus was to get airplay on American radio, and they achieved that goal with good songwriting, powerful vocals, and guitar harmonies, according to a Levitt announcement.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘The Gift,’ ‘The Stanford Prison Experiment,’ ‘Vacation’
By Susan Granger
Australian actor Joel Edgerton makes an auspicious directorial debut in “The Gift,” a taut psychological thriller.
It begins as Simon (Jason Bateman) and his sensitive wife Robyn (Rebecca Hall) buy a mid-century modern house in Los Angeles, near the suburb where Simon grew up. They’ve moved from Chicago because Simon has a lucrative job opportunity as a sales executive.
While shopping for home furnishings, they encounter creepy Gordon Mosely (Joel Edgerton), who was Simon’s high-school classmate. Back then, Simon dubbed him “Gordo the Weirdo,” and his sad, lonely demeanor is still oddly ominous.
Eager to become friends, Gordo leaves wine on their doorstep and stocks their koi pond. To Simon’s dismay, he continues to drop by on one pretext or another when Simon is at work and Robyn is at home.