Arts and Leisure
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Enjoying Lunchtime Theater
Actors Scott Bryce, Susan Vanech and Joanna Keylock performed in today’s “Play With Your Food” offering at Westport’s Toquet Hall catered by Matsu Sushi. The Wednesday performance has been rescheduled to Feb. 12 due to the weather. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: Grilled Cheese Eatery to PRE
By Dave Matlow
A new “mostly take-out and delivery” casual food establishment, Grilled Cheese Eatery, will open at 772 Post Road East this month, according to co-owner Ivanina Donneaux.
The upscale grilled cheese eatery is expected to open this month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Westport space is located adjacent to just-closed Great Cakes.The owners, Belgian-born Henri and Bulgarian-born Ivanina Donneaux, opened their first Grilled Cheese Eatery at 57 Unquowa Road, Fairfield in October 2013, having converted their Cafe Lola space into the new food concept.
She describes the menu as “for the sophisticated palate, even though our basic offering is grilled cheese.”
“Our menu features short ribs with truffle sauce, Cuban sandwiches buffalo wings, barbecued ribs and even a mac ‘n cheese grilled cheese which customers often describe as ‘heaven in my mouth,’” Donneaux said.
Saturday, February 01, 2014
Comings & Goings: Dressing Room Closes
After weeks of rumors, chef Michel Nischan has made it official—his Dressing Room restaurant at the Westport Country Playhouse founded with Paul Newman has closed after an eight-year run.
Nestled behind the Westport Country Playhouse, the Dressing Room restaurant with its farm fresh entries attracted diners from throughout the region (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
In a posting on the restaurant’s website, Nischan made clear that he believed the time had come to focus on his Wholesome Wave endeavors. Founded in 2007, Wholesome Wave helps underserved urban and rural communities gain more affordable access to healthy, locally grown foods while supporting the small and mid-sized American farmers.
But the flood of new restaurant competitors in recent months and attendant financial pressures no doubt also played a role in the decision.
Nischan said he and his wife Lori “will always hold Dressing Room Restaurant dear in our hearts. Our talented culinary and service team made it one of the most amazing restaurants ever to grace Connecticut.
Friday, January 31, 2014
‘Tunnel Vision’ Art Installation Set for Downtown
The well-known tunnel connecting Westport’s Main Street to Parker-Harding Plaza parking area is about to get a facelift with a permanent art installation called “Tunnel Vision.”
The tunnel connecting Westport’s Main Street to the Parker-Harding Plaza parking lot will be the site of a permanent art installation called “Tunnel Vision”. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
The Westport Downtown Merchants Association (WDMA) announced today that local artist Miggs Burroughs has been commissioned to create a work of contemporary art for the pedestrian passageway.
The project, in collaboration with tunnel owner Win Properties of Rye, N.Y. with granted public access, will be unveiled at WDMA’s Art About Town Opening Night Street Party on Thursday, May 22, an announcement said.
“Tunnel Vision is one of the most ambitious and challenging art projects I have ever been involved in,” said Burroughs, who is donating his creative talents to the endeavor.
Looking for a New Home
A tile mural in the downtown Westport tunnel linking Main Street to Parker-Harding Plaza created in honor of the first Westport-Weston First Night in 1995 will soon be looking for a new home. The Westport Downtown Merchants Association (WDMA) announced today it will be replaced by a permanent art installation called “Tunnel Vision” to be created by Westport artist Miggs Burroughs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
‘God of Carnage’ Opens Tonight at MTC MainStage
“God of Carnage” opens tonight at MTC MainStage in Westport with (l-r) Marty Bongfeldt, John Flaherty, Jim Schilling and Cynthia Hannah. A comedy of manners without the manners, it features two married couples who meet to sort out a playground fight between their sons. At first, niceties are observed but as the evening progresses and the rum flows, the gloves come off and the night becomes a side-splitting free-for-all. It runs through Feb. 16. For more information and tickets, visit http://musictheatreofct.com/godofcarnage.html. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Focus on Photojournalism
Award-winning photographer Spencer Platt (at computer), a 1989 Staples High School graduate, tells a Westport Arts Center audience tonight about a picture he shot in the early morning hours of today of a homeless person in New York’s Pennsylvania Station while on assignment for Getty Images. He took part in a panel discussion about photojournalism that included award-winning photographers Larry Silver (2nd r) and Douglas Healey (r) of Westport. It was moderated by Gordon Joseloff (l), former Westport first selectman, award-winning journalist and editor and publisher of WestportNow.com. The website is media sponsor of the Center’s current exhibit of photos of Afghanistan women by award-winning photographer and Westport native Lynsey Addario. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Broadway Vet Tillinger Back at Playhouse
Veteran Broadway director and Tony Award nominee John Tillinger will return to the Westport Country Playhouse to direct another of British playwright Alan Ayckbourn’s comedies, “Things We Do for Love,” Aug. 19 – Sept. 6, the Playhouse announced today.
John Tillinger: returns to Westport. Contributed photo
Tillinger has directed other Ayckbourn plays for Westport, including “Relatively Speaking,” “Time of My Life,” and “How the Other Half Loves.” He also directed the theater’s productions of A. R. Gurney’s “Sylvia” and “Children,” as well as a Script in Hand playreading of Gurney’s “The Golden Age.”
“It’s a distinct pleasure to bring John Tillinger back to the Playhouse for ‘Things We Do for Love,’” said Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director. “No one else has brought so many of Ayckbourn’s brilliant comedies to life on these shores, on and off-Broadway, and in Westport.”
Ayckbourn’s “Things We Do for Love,” first produced in 1997 in London, is about a woman who begins an affair with her best friend’s fiancé, only for this new relationship to swiftly descend into violence.
Westport Chef Competes on ‘Cutthroat Kitchen’
Molly Brandt, executive chef of the recently opened CM Gourmet Market in the Saugatuck Center, will compete with three other chefs from different parts of the country on the Food Network’s weekly television program “Cutthroat Kitchen” to be aired Sunday at 10 p.m. (Channel 29 for Cablevision viewers). East Norwalk resident Brandt, 33, a 2006 graduate of of the Culinary Institute of America said, “This is not the first time I’ve appeared on a chef-related TV show. In 2011, I appeared with 35 other chefs on ‘Top Chef,’ a reality-type show, on the Bravo channel which actually led indirectly to my being invited as a contestant on Cutthroat Kitchen.” She said the Feb 2 program was filmed in September and because of a confidentiality agreement cannot discuss what she is cooking or who will be selected as the winner. Brandt relocated from Florida to the Westport area to work with CM Gourmet Market owner Michelle Weber who also owns Cocoa Michelle on Railroad Place. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Sunday, January 26, 2014
‘I’m Really Stunned…This is a Shock to Me Tonight’
Westport songwriter, guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers, in his collaborations with Daft Punk, won three Grammys tonight at the 56th Grammy Awards show, held in Los Angeles. The included: Album of the Year - Random Access Memories by Daft Punk; Record of the Year - Get Lucky by Daft Punk ft Pharrell and Nile Rodgers, and Best Pop Group/Duo Performance - Get Lucky by Daft Punk ft Pharrell and Nile Rodgers. Said Rodgers: “I’m really stunned…this is a shock to me tonight.” YouTube.com video
A Jazz Afternoon
The Westport Arts Center was packed for the third straight day today, this time for a jazz concert by Jim Clark, world class saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist. Playing with him were Chris Coogan on piano, John Mobillo on bass, and Jim Royle on drums. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Tribute to Great Saxophonists
Scenes from today’s jazz afternoon at the Westport Arts Center with Jim Clark in a performance featuring the renowned and important jazz saxophonists of the 1940-1950 period. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Adam Gopnik and Judith Jones in Conversation
New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik and Knopf editor Judith Jones packed the Westport Library McManus Room today with their conversation about Julia Child, the focus of the Librarys annual WestportREADS program. Gopnik, the Library‘s 2009 BOOKED for the Evening honoree, interviewed Jones, who lobbied Knopf to publish a manuscript called “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” during a time when Americans were preoccupied with quick-fix meals. Millions bought the cookbook, which has never been out of print. Jones is also known for rescuing “The Diary of Anne Frank” from the rejects pile and was the editor for many writers, including John Updike. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Marcia Logan for WestportNow.com
WHS Debuts Exhibit of New Yorker Covers
Susan Gold, executive director of the Westport Historical Society, addresses today’s opening reception of the exhibit “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport.” Between 1925 and 1989, 16 New Yorker artists living in and around Westport-Weston produced 761 covers for The New Yorker. Some 44 of the covers actually depict Westport scenes. The exhibit focuses on the influence of The New Yorker’s “idea man” turned Art Editor, James Geraghty, who–with wife Eva–first lived on Rayfield Road in Westport. Some of Geraghty’s relatives are behind Gold. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Showing Off an Historical New Yorker Cover
At the Westport Historical Society today, Mandy Teare, niece of New Yorker cover artist John Norment, holds a copy of the magazine that despite its upbeat cover contains an historic narrative of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author John Hersey, a former Westport resident. It is the subject of a New Yorker-themed exhibit in the WHS Mollie Donovan Gallery, “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover…” the story-behind-the-story. Here’s how a story in the July 31, 1995 New Yorker described that issue: “John Hersey’s ‘Hiroshima,’ which famously constituted the entire editorial contents of this magazine’s issue of August 31, 1946, is a work of sustained silence. Its appearance, just over a year after the destruction of the Japanese city, offered one of the first detailed accounts of the effects of nuclear warfare on its survivors, in a prose so stripped of mannerism, sentimentality, and even minimal emphasis as to place each reader alone within scenes laid bare of all but pain.” The article was read on national radio over four evenings and eventually became a book that sold 3.5 million copies. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com