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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Winners

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New York Times Puzzle Editor Will Shortz (2nd l) is joined by the winners of today’s 17th annual crossword puzzle contest at the Westport Library. Glen Ryan (2nd r) of Norwich, finished in first place, Peter Rimkus (r) of Ashford earned second place and Andy Kravis (l) of Brooklyn, earned third place. All are familiar faces. Kravis earned first place in each of the past three years, Rimkus came in second in 2013, and Ryan placed third in each of the past three years but was the winner in 2012. According to Kelly Ruden, event organizer, 30 of today’s participants earned perfect scores in all four crossword puzzles presented. The finalists are determined by three who completed the four puzzles perfectly in the shortest time. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matow for WestportNow.com

02/06/16 05:20 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Puzzling the Puzzlers

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Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times, again presided at the Westport Library’s 17th annual crossword competition today. He supplied unpublished NYT puzzles for the event and puzzled the puzzlers with some word games. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Crossword Buff

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Westporter Michael Goodman was at the 17th annual Westport Library crossword competition today. He said he has participated every year but one—because of a death in the family. “Over the years, I’ve completed every puzzle correctly with the exception of one— when I entered ‘aral’ instead of ‘Ural’ as a European/Asian border,” he said.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/06/16 02:35 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Market Music

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Orange resident Al Howard entertained visitors to the Westport Farmers Market today with pop rock selections, many self-created.  A Connecticut News12 videographer, Howard performed his musical hobby on his 2000 Strat guitar. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Friday, February 05, 2016

WCT Debuts ‘Light Up the Sky’

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The Westport Community Theatre tonight opened its production of Moss Hart’s “Light Up the Sky, “a comedy about Broadway. It runs through Feb.. 21. Performances are on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on Sundays, with a Thursday performance on Feb, 11 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $23, $21 for seniors and students, and can be purchased at westportcommunitytheatre.com or by calling (203) 226-1983. Westport Community Theatre is located at 110 Myrtle Ave. (Town Hall) in Westport. Pictured are (l-r) Bia Hittman, Rosanne Nelson, John Fatteross and Tom Rushen. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

02/05/16 09:55 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Lisa Lampanelli in March19 New Play Reading

“Fat Girls, Interrupted,” a new play by two-time Grammy-nominated comedian/author Lisa Lampanelli, will receive a reading on Saturday, March 19, at 8 p.m., at Westport Country Playhouse, it was announced today.

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Lisa Lampanelli: “Comedy’s Lovable Queen of Mean.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Lampanelli has requested that proceeds benefit The Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport. 
 
The cast will include Lampanelli as well as Broadway actress Lisa Howard, TV and film veteran Patricia Kalember, and newcomer Jessica Luck.

“Fat Girls, Interrupted” tackles weight, body image, and food issues from the perspective of four very different women with four very different problems, an announcement said.

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02/05/16 08:34 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Son of Saul,’ ‘Kung Fu Panda 3,’ ‘Dirty Grandpa’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Set in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in October, 1944, the powerful, poignant “Son of Saul” revolves around a Hungarian Jewish prisoner named Saul Auslander (Geza Rohrig). He’s a member of the Sonderkommando, a group of prisoners assigned the grim task of carrying corpses from the gas chamber to the crematorium, then carting away the ashes to be discarded.

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As Allied Forces draw closer to the camp, the pace of killing is accelerated. Among the dead, Saul finds the body of a young boy he claims as his son, and he becomes obsessed with finding a rabbi among the prisoners to say Kaddish (the prayer for the dead) and give the child a proper burial.

Inspired by “Voices from Beneath the Ashes,” true tales from Auschwitz which was published in Jean-Paul Sartre’s periodical “Les Temps Modernes,” Hungarian-born writer/director Laszlo Nemes noted:  “The story of the Holocaust is not the story of the exceptions who survived. It is the story of the dead.”

Co-scripting with Clara Royer, first-time feature film director Nemes reveals the agony solely through Saul’s perception, as cinematographer Matyas Erdely consigns violence and nudity into the un-focused background, along with the desperate wailing and persistent screaming.

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02/04/16 09:46 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Lunchtime Theater in Westport

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Wynter Kullman (l) and Melody James perform today in the lunchtime Play With Your Food series at Toquet Hall. Three one-act plays were presented with food supplied by Matsu Sushi of Westaport. Additional performances in Westport are on Wednesday and Thursday and later in Fairfield and Greenwich.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Gallery: Play With Your Food


Scenes from today’s Play With Your Food lunchtime play reading at Toquet Hall. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Swinging at the Senior Center

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It was a capacity, enthusiastic crowd at the Westport Center for Senior Activities today for a performance by the Galvanized Jazz Band. They played New Orleans jazz, Dixieland, blues, rags, swing, spirituals and more. The Sunday Indoor Music Festival is sponsored by the Friends of the Westport Center for Senior Activities, programmed by the Levitt Pavilion, and funded by the Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

01/31/16 06:03 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Real Chickens at ‘Chicken Dance’

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Families attending today’s Westport Country Playhouse Children’s Festivities Series musical “Chicken Dance” got to meet some live chickens from Westport’s Wakeman Town Farm. Carrie Aitkenhead and daughter Cora, 5, showed two bantam (small) breed chickens, Nuggets, a Japanese breed black silkie, and Lula, a white cochin. According to Aitkenhead, these chickens are particularly tame and friendly with adults and children. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/31/16 05:18 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Playing Chicken

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Cast members of “Chicken Dance” at the Westport Country Playhouse today got a chance to meet some real live chickens from Westport’s Wakeman Town Farm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

01/31/16 05:13 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, January 30, 2016

WestportREADS Author at Playhouse

WestportNow.com Image WestportREADS 2016 keynote speaker James McBride, author of “Miracle at St. Anna,” spoke about his book to a packed audience tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse. He said he lived in Italy for six months researching his book about an extraordinary experience of black American soldiers fighting in a village in Tuscany during World War II. McBride is a National Book Award winner and accomplished musician. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

01/30/16 08:46 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, January 29, 2016

Comings & Goings: Green&Tonic to Taylor Place

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Green&Tonic, a health food eatery, will open in April at the corner of Jesup Road and Taylor Place, the former site of Crumbs, which closed in November 2015 (see WestportNow Nov. 10, 2015.)  The Cos Cob-headquartered business, founded in 2011 by Jeff and Cal Pandolfino, opened in Darien (1098 Boston Post Road) and Cos Cob (7 Strickland Ave.) in 2012, Greenwich (85 Railroad Ave.) in 2013 and New Canaan (5 Burtis Ave.) in 2014. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/29/16 07:44 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Honoring Our Heritage: 130 Riverside Ave.

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The newest recipient of an historic plaque from the Westport Historical Society (WHS) are owners of the circa 1869-built Italianate-style house, now known as the Perry-Crossman-Driscoll house, 130 Riverside Ave. Bob Weingarten (r), WHS house historian and plaque coordinator, presented Ann Driscoll with a plaque. Members of the sixth generation Westport Driscoll family were present for the presentation and to celebrate Ann’s birthday. The Driscolls have occupied the house since 1964. Weingarten said John W. Perry built the house in 1869, and lived in it for three years. The Crossman family lived in it from 1882 to 1964, he said.(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/29/16 12:51 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘The Big Short,’ “13 Hours…’ ‘The Benefactor’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Based on Michael Lewis’s best-seller, “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine,” “The Big Short” is the story of how “affordable and flexible” home mortgages encouraged borrowing by homeowners who were unable to repay their loans, causing the financial collapse of 2008.

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Working with screenwriter Charles Randolph, it’s adapted and directed by Adam McKay, best known for collaborating with Will Ferrell on “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights.” That explains why “Wolf of Wall Street” sexpot Margot Robbie explains mortgaged-backed securities while sipping champagne in a bubble bath.

Starting in 2005, this grimly comic drama revolves around two anti-social money managers. Scion Capital executive, bohemian Dr. Michael Burry (Christian Bale), says that the mortgage market is a Ponzi scheme that’s doomed to fail, expressing his concern to Wall Street’s Mark Baum (Steve Carell).

Confident, far-sighted Burry buys millions of dollars of financial instruments called ‘credit default swaps,’ or shorts, which will only pay off if and when the subprime market collapses.

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01/27/16 10:10 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Presentation to Owners of 5 Old Hill Road

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Westporters Adam and Ginger Propper, residents of 5 Old Hill Road, were recently presented with a photograph of their 1920-built house and, through lenticular photographic imaging, a replica of the house as it appeared in 1935. The lenticular imaging was created by Westport graphic artist Miggs Burroughs (r). The photographs are part of the collection of 131 photographs included in the Westport Historical Society (WHS) exhibit “Window to Westport’s Past and Present.” Making the presentation was Bob Weingarten (l), WHS house historian. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/26/16 10:22 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Then and Now: 5 Old Hill Road

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This lenticular image by Westport artist Miggs Burroughs shows Westport’s Old Hill Road today and as it appeared in 1935. The work is part of the current Westport Historical Society (WHS) exhibit “Window to Westport’s Past and Present.” Lenticular by Miggs Burroughs

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Arts Center Sets Student Art Exhibition

The Westport Arts Center is holding its second annual Westport High School Student Art Exhibition showcasing the artistic talent of the student community.

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Last year’s winner of the Tracy Sugarman Award was Audrey Seo, 17, a junior at Staples High School, who posed in front of a self-portrait.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Selected works will be on display in the Westport Arts Center’s Project Space from March 18 – April 23, an announcement said.

The competition is open to all students who reside and/or attend high school in Westport. There is no specific theme or subject matter for the exhibition, allowing students to submit the work of their choice.

The juror for the exhibition is Ann Chernow, a Westport artist who is known for her portrait-style illustrations that evoke the images of female cinematic figures of the 1930s and 1940s. Her exhibition, “NOIR,” will be on display at the Westport Arts Center from March 18 – April 23.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Arts Center Opens Enid Munroe Exhibit

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The Westport Arts Center tonight hosted a reception to mark the opening of its “Enid Munroe: Artist & Alchemist” exhibition featuring paintings, works on paper, and three-dimensional “bling boxes” composed with found objects by the Westport artist. Munroe is pictured with Westport Arts Center Executive Director Cindy Armijo in front of Munroe’s “Studio Still Life,” acrylic on canvas. The exhibit, which runs through Feb. 27, was curated by Helen Klisser During, the center’s artistic director emeritus. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie Lasala for WestportNow.com

01/22/16 08:32 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Keynote WestportREADS Talk Postponed a Week

A scheduled Saturday talk by bestselling author and musician James McBride, whose book “Miracle at St. Anna” is this year’s WestportREADS selection, has been rescheduled a week later because of the storm, organizers said today.

McBride’s keynote address for the month-long community reads program will now be held Saturday, Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. at the Westport Country Playhouse.

01/22/16 01:06 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘The Revenant,’ ‘45 Years,’ ‘The Forest’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

“The Revenant” begins in 1823, when frontier ‘scout’ Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) sets out to explore an uncharted northern Missouri River area. When he and his fur-trapping cohorts are near what is now Lemmon, S.D.,, Glass is savagely mauled by a grizzly bear and left for dead.

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According to the dictionary: ‘revenant’ means one who returns from the dead, so it’s quite apt to describe stoic Glass, who not only survives but is determined to wreak revenge against those who abandoned him and killed his teenage half-Pawnee son (Forrest Goodluck).

En route to Fort Kiowa, tormented Glass resolutely forges on foot through the harsh, frigid wilderness, dodging Arikara tribesmen searching for a chief’s kidnapped daughter. The collateral damage inflicted by encroaching white men on the spiritual culture of America’s indigenous people is thematic.

And if you thought Alejandro G. Inarritu’s bitterly sardonic, Oscar-winning “Birdman” (2014) was obtuse, this perilous epic is even more so, as cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki finds primordial symbolism in the rugged landscape, using all-natural lighting.

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01/22/16 10:21 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

New Restaurant Replacing Post 154

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Westport’s Post 154, which closed Monday at 154 Post Road East because the restaurant’s owners are selling it, have gone to contract with a company that plans to open another restaurant there this year, it was announced today. Laura Leeds, principal of Weston-based Simon David Real Estate representing Post 154, said that the seller is under a confidentiality agreement with the buyer of the business in the former U.S. Post Office building. The restaurant space consists of approximately 9,000 square feet spread over two floors. “A new restaurant will be taking over the space; it will be this year,” Leeds said. “That’s the good news for Westport.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/22/16 09:46 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Westporters at Sundance

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Sandy Lefkowitz and Douglas Tirola of the Westport Cinema Initiative this wek are at the Art House Convergence, a conference supported by the Sundance Institute for Independent art house movie theaters. Lefkowitz, WCI president, presided over two roundtables called “building a film community to build a community.”  4th Row Films filmed the conference. They are pictures with Russ Collins the Founder and President of the AHC. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Comings & Goings: Harvest Restaurant Opens

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The Harvest Restaurant, 36 Railroad Place in the space formerly occupied by Mario’s Place, has opened. For now, it is dinner only beginning at 5 p.m., according to a person answering the phone at the restaurant with plans to open for lunch in several weeks. The owners also operate Cava in New Canaan, Harvest in Greenwich, New Haven, Scena in Darien, and 55 Degrees in Fairfield. Mario’s closed in April 2015. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Comings & Goings: Post 154 Closes

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Post 154, the restaurant in Westport’s former main post office at 154 Post Road East, has closed abruptly after almost two and a half years. A source said the staff was notified of the closing on Monday and that Alex Rosado, executive chef, left several months ago and is now at Poloma, Stamford. An investment group with ties to Westport paid $2.35 million for the property in May 2011. (See WestportNow May 23, 2011) The restaurant opened in August 2013. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/20/16 01:49 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

‘We Are Saddened to Inform You…’

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A sign on the front door of Post 154 Restaurant, 154 Post Road East, notifies all of its closing. There was no immediate word from the owners on plans for the property, purchased in 2011 for $2.35 million from the U.S. Postal Service. The closing follows closely on the heels of the recent closing by Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant and the announced March 31 closing of Bobby Q’s, both longtime Westport dining spots, and last year, by The Red Barn and Mario’s Place (which changed hands). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Installing Enid Munroe Exhibit

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Westport Arts Center Visual Arts Manager Jill Sarver (l) and Victoria Munroe today install Westport artist Enid Munroe’s “bling boxes,” visually rich collections of found objects placed into typography boxes, in advance of Friday’s opening reception for “Enid Munroe: Artist & Alchemist” at the center. The exhibition, showcasing Munroe’s works beyond her traditional domain of painting, many of which have never before been framed or seen by the public, runs through Feb. 27. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Monday, January 18, 2016

WHS Honors MLK Jr.

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The Westport Historical Society (WHS) today honored Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a program for children aged 6 to 11 entitled “Peace, Love and Understanding.”  Elizabeth De Voll, WHS education director, assists children in creation of MLK Jr. remembrance crafts, including peace wreaths and protest posters. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Toquet Hall Hosts firekid

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Atlantic Records recording artist Dillon Hodges, aka firekid, tonight headlined the show at Westport’s Toquet Hall teen center, which also featured performances by Staples High School’s own Pizza Dust and local Connecticut students, The Foresters. A large crowd of students came out and danced to a mix of rock, indie, electronic, and bluegrass music.  firekid’s current single “Magic Mountain” is in regular rotation on Sirius XM Alt Nation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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