Friday, June 24, 2016
The Westport Arts Center tonight held its opening reception for the “SOLOS 2016” exhibition featuring the work of eight artists selected by juror Douglas Hyland, former director of the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain. Among the artists was Allan Gorman, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-born realistic oil painter who brings his strengths as an internationally celebrated brand marketing consultant and graphic designer to his artworks that include the power of cities, machines, and the night. Gorman currently maintains a studio practice in Kearny, N.J., and resides in West Orange, N.J. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com
Among guests at the opening reception tonight of “SOLOS 2016” at the Westport Arts Center (WAC) were (-r) Alice Hyland, “SOLOS 2016” juror Douglas Hyland, and WAC Acting Executive Director Amanda Innes. The exhibition will be on display through Aug. 20 and is free and open to the public. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com
Technicians from New York’s public television station WNET-TV 13 were at the Westport Country Playhouse today preparing to tape Saturday afternoon and evening performances of “Buyer & Cellar,” the one-man show starring Michael Urie for its “Theater Close-Up.” The series showcases Off-Broadway and regional not-for-profit, professional productions for Tri-State viewers. According to a WCP spokesperson, tickets for the play are still available for these performances at http://www.westportplayhouse.org. Pictured are Playhouse facilities manager Anne Kendall (l) and WNET-TV audio specialist Daryl Bornstein. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, June 23, 2016
“Photographs by Larry Silver, 1949-1955,” black and white photographs by Westport photographer Larry Silver opens July 1 at the New York Historical Society. The exhibit showcases 45 photos of post-war New York City life, including this scene of two boys playing in the debris of a construction site with the new United Nations building towering in the background. Silver is a 43 -year resident of Westport and a recipient of the Westport Arts Achievement Award in the Visual Arts 2006. He has exhibited recently throughout Connecticut, including the Westport Arts Center, Westport Historical Society, Westport Library and The Housatonic Museum of Art.The works by the Bronx-born photographer will be on display until Dec. 4 at the Society, 170 Central Park West (77th Street). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Larry Silver
Forty-seven members of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) today toured the Bedford Square Development project as part of the AIA Hard Hat Tour series, according to AIA member Peter Cornell. He is a staff member of Centerbrook Architects & Planners, project architects. The mixed-use project in the 1923-built former home of the Westport Weston Family YMCA, which will include retail, offices, and residential, is scheduled for completion in 2017. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
By Susan GrangerSpecial to WestportNow
If you’re really desperate for yet another odd-couple caper, consider “Central Intelligence,” a fast-paced froth that’s almost immediately forgettable.
Mild-mannered Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) is a disgruntled accountant who married his teenage sweetheart (Danielle Nicolet) yet yearns for the glory jock days when he was Senior Class President.
As his 20th high school anniversary looms, Calvin re-connects with Robbie Weirdicht (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), a shy, sensitive soul who remains grateful to Calvin for a singular act of kindness when he was the once-obese victim of cruel shower-room bullies – shown in flashback with inventive CGI.
When now-grown Calvin and Robbie - now known as Bob Stone - meet for a drink, they bond again. But then a CIA bigwig (Amy Ryan) shows up at Calvin’s house, informing him that Bob is actually a former undercover agent gone rogue after killing his partner.
By James Lomuscio
Treasure hunters who happen upon the estate sale at Westport’s 5 Rockyfield Road this weekend can expect more than the usual high-end furnishings and assorted tchotchkes, but a unique window into Westport’s artistic past.
For 61 years the house was home to Howard Munce, the Westport artist whose career as illustrator, art director, teacher, sculptor and author spanned generations earning him the sobriquet “dean of Westport artists.” Munce, 100, died here March 5, leaving behind a treasure trove of paintings, illustrations and other items detailing the life of the tall, thin, spry, seemingly ageless and energetic presence ubiquitous in town arts circles. (See WestportNow March 8, 2016)
Among the inventory are: a couple of Munce’s paintings; numerous pen and ink drawings of all sizes that appeared in national and local magazines and newspapers; wooden flat files; “and an incredible architectural table,” says Mary Brewster, Munce’s daughter who lives in Redding and is organizing the sale.
“I didn’t realize what this table was,” Brewster said. “It’s been in this house 61 years, and my father always had it covered with things. It’s a very large table, and you can tip the top; it’s made of solid wood.”
Items from legendary Westport artist Howard Munce’s home up for sale include those from his studio. The estate sale at 5 Rockyfield Road runs Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Munce died at age 100 in March. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
For the second consecutive year, the Staples High School Orphenians tonight sang the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium. The appearance followed a moment of silence for the Orlando massacre victims. See video here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Morgaine Pauker for WestportNow.com
Members of the Staples High School Orphenians take to the field tonight at Yankee Stadium to sing the National Anthem. Pictured (l-r) Colin McKecknie, Oliver Smith, Daniel Pauker, Keenan Pucci, and Wells Baumann. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Morgaine Pauker for WestportNow.com
Monday, June 20, 2016
Many Westporters tonight attended an invitation-only Norwalk Bow Tie Royale 6 Cinema screening of “Gleason,” the emotionally powerful story of former New Orleans Saints defensive back Steve Gleason’s battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
After debuting to standing ovations at the Sundance Film Festival this year, the hit feature-length documentary was sold to Amazon Studios and Open Road Films in a unique partnership for a wide theatrical release beginning July 29.
Special guest for tonight’s screening was Gleason’s wife, Michel, who weeks after her husband’s 2011 diagnosis revealed that she was expecting their first child. Now no longer the sole caretaker of her husband, she appeared relaxed but a bit bewildered by all the attention now focused on her family’s very painful but gripping story.
“To see us on the big screen, it’s weird, strange,” she told the audience at the screening. At a reception afterwards at Westport’s Vespa Restaurant, she repeated “strange” and “weird” to describe her feelings about being involved in the Hollywood whirlwind of activities in advance of the film’s wide release.
An invitation-only audience at the Bow Tie Royale 6 Cinema in Norwalk tonight watches a screening of “Gleason,” the Sundance Film Fetival hit documentary about the battle waged against ALS by former New Orleans Saints defense back Steve Gleason. Most of the footage came from 1,300 hours of a video journal made by Gleason. An executive producer of the film, set for wide release on July 29, is Westporter Mark Shapiro, who tonight hosted Gleason’s wife, Michel. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
The Westport Woman’s Club today honored longtime Westport patron of the arts Shirley Mellor (l), owner of former Max’s Arts Supplies. Club president Dorothy Curran, presented her with a red rose in appreciation for her financial support for the framing of three Bedford family portraits hanging in the club’s recently renovated Bedford Hall. Behind them is one of them, a portrait of Mary Ann Dingee Bedford, wife of Edward T. Bedford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Westport Arts Center (WAC) today installed works of art for its “SOLOS 2016” exhibit opening Friday with a 6 to 8 p.m. reception. It features more than 40 works from eight regional artists. Douglas Hyland (2nd l), former director of the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, was juror, selecting from more than 160 entries. Joining him for a photo were (l-r) Amanda Innes, WAC acting executive director; Jill Sarver, WAC visual arts manager; exhibiting artist Nina Bentley, and WAC board member Michael Loeb. At left is Bentley’s work, “There Are No Words,” reflecting the moments in life that are so overwhelming, there truly are no words. The exhibit runs through Aug. 20. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Michael Urie took his bows tonight after the opening night of his one-man “Buyer & Cellar” comedy at the Westport Country Playhouse and then invited the team behind him to join in the standing ovation. Pictured (l-r) Jonathan Tolins, playwright; Stephen Brackett, director, Urie, and Hannah Woodward, production stage manager. Urie went out into the audience to bring Tolins and Brackett on stage and beckoned Woodward from the wings. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
“Buyer & Cellar,” the critically acclaimed off-Broadway hit, opened tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse featuring Michael Urie, who originated the role and is the sole performer in the one-act play. Urie is known to many for his role as Marc St. James on the award-winning television series “Ugly Betty.” Pictured (l-r) Mark Lamos, Westport Country Playhouse artistic director, Jonathan Tolins, “Buyer & Cellar” author, and Ted Snowden, co-producer. In the show, Urie plays Alex, an actor who works in Barbra Streisand’s basement, and Barry, his boyfriend who’s worked up about the star’s relationship to her hometown, Brooklyn. “Buyer & Cellar” runs through July 3. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Michael Urie, star of “Buyer & Cellar,” the hit comedy that opened tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse, chats afterward with Joyce Hergenhan of Fairfield, production sponsor and member of the Playhouse board of directors. Hergenham, a retired General Electric executive and former journalist, supports numerous civic and academic institutions, including her alma mater, Syracuse University, where she is a life trustee of its board and a member of the advisory board to Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The owners of the house at 15 Crooked Mile Road are the newest recipients of a Westport Historical Society (WHS) historical plaque. The 1929-built house, known as the Horace W. Paine House, was once owned by the late Julian Brodie who was instrumental in the purchase of Longshore Club Park in 1959. Bob Weingarten, WHS plaque historian, presented the plaque to Joel and Carol Davis who purchased the house from Brodie in 1965 and have lived there since then. Longtime Westporters, the Davises raised their three sons in the house, each graduating from Staples High School. Carol Davis is a past officer of the PTA and the Westport Historical Society. Joel Davis has long been active at the Westport Library and currently serves as chair of its advisory council. According to Weingarten, the house was built by Paine who, with james B. Pikeman, purchased the undeveloped property on Sept. 4, 1928. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, June 17, 2016
The Westport Country Playhouse announced today that its 2016 Fundraising Gala on Monday, Sept. 19 will celebrate the Broadway musical composing team of lyricist and librettist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe.
Titled “The Night They Invented Champagne: Celebrating Lerner & Loewe,” it will serve as a springboard for the Playhouse’s October production of Lerner & Lowe’s “Camelot.”
The production, described by the Playhouse as “a freshly inventive take on the classic musical,” will be directed by Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director.
In addition to “Camelot,” Lerner and Loewe composed the acclaimed Broadway musicals “My Fair Lady,” “Brigadoon,” “Paint Your Wagon,” and “Gigi,” from which the gala’s title song, “The Night They Invented Champagne,” originated.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
The Westport Library with community partner the Barnard Club of Connecticut tonight presented author and former Westporter Cathleen Schine. She talked about her latest book, “They May Not Mean To, But They Do,” which she described as a story about aging. Schine, whose books include best-seller “The Three Weissmanns of Westport,” published in February 2010, said of her high school education in Westport: “I got a very good education at Staples even though I skipped some classes or tests.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Jesus Carrasquillo and Nicholas Mailloux, both of Manchester (Mailloux is co-chairman of Bank of America Employees LGBT Pride) were among guests tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse’s LGBT Night Out before a performance of “Buyer & Cellar,” the original, award-winning, Off-Broadway comedy production starring Michael Urie. In the one-man show, he plays Alex, an actor who works in Barbra Streisand’s basement, and Barry, his boyfriend who’s worked up about the star’s relationship to her hometown, Brooklyn. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Barbra Joan Streetsand performed her impersonation of Barbra Streisand at the Westport Country Playhouse’s LGBT Night Out tonight before a performance of “Buyer & Cellar,” the original, award-winning, Off-Broadway comedy production starring Michael Urie (TV’s “Ugly Betty”). Streetsand has been doing the impression since 1992, winning regional awards. “Buyer & Cellar” runs through July 3. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Some of the guests tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse’s LGBT Night Out before a performance of “Buyer & Cellar,” the original, award-winning, Off-Broadway comedy production starring Michael Urie. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
By Susan GrangerSpecial to WestportNow
After the endearingly forgetful blue tang won our hearts in “Finding Nemo” (2003), Dory deserved “Finding Dory,” a feature film of her own,
“Hi, I’m Dory. I suffer from short-term memory loss” is the way she sweetly introduces herself.
Years ago, Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) became separated from her parents (voiced by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy), but she suddenly remembers something about Monterey, Calif.
“I can’t find them on my own. I’ll forget,” Dory says, sorrowfully.
Green & Tonic, a health food cafe, opened today at 17 Jesup Road at the corner of Taylor Place and Jesup Road. (See WestportNow June 11, 2016) Owners Jeff and Cai Pandolfino, Cos Cob residents, announced that two grand opening receptions will be held Thursday and Thursday, June 23 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. with food samplings, beverages and champagne. Pandolfino said he and his wife plan to expand the concept regionally and nationally. Currently Green & Tonic cafes are located in Darien, New Canaan, Cos Cob, and Greenwich in addition to Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
The Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts announced today it will launch its 43rd summer season on Sunday, June 26 at 7 p.m. with Desert Highway – A Tribute to the Eagles.
Opening night is presented free and is sponsored by People’s United Bank. Because opening night is traditionally a highly anticipated event, free tickets will be distributed in advance, an announcement said.
They will become available to the public at noon on Thursday online at http://www.levittpavilion.com. No tickets will be distributed at the venue, the announcement said.
It is a return appearance for the Eagles tribute band. Desert Highway performed at the Levitt in August 2014.
Anne Keefe, Westport Country Playhouse associate artist, was honored Monday night with the Tom Killen Award at the 26th annual Connecticut Critics Circle Awards. The award, named in honor of the late critic who died at age 33 in 1989, is given in recognition to years of achievement and service to Connecticut’s professional theater. The ceremony took place at Hartford Stage. Guests included representatives of the state’s theaters, as well as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Peter Chernot
Monday, June 13, 2016
‘Blade Runner,” a 1982 science fiction film that has become cult film, had a Westport Cinema Initiative (WCI) screening at Westport Town Hall Sunday night. Following the screening, there was a talkback with one of its stars, Sean Young (l), and Susan Granger, a Westporter who is film critic for WestportNow and numerous other outlets. Young talked about the making of the iconic film, working with co-star, Harrison Ford and Academy Award-winning director Ridley Scott. She also discussed her long film career spanning over 30 years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Friday, June 10, 2016
Scenes from tonight’s Westport Historical Society Garden Party at the Westport Woman’s Club in advance of Sunday’s Hidden Garden Tour. J.C. Martin and Eileen Lavigne Flug for WestportNow.com and contributed photos
By James Lomuscio
Opening up a new restaurant in Westport’s highly competitive atmosphere is undoubtedly daunting. It’s even more challenging if it’s your first time owning one.
But for Revisson Bonfim, a 42-year-old investment banker who studies emerging markets, the planned opening of his Boca restaurant in August at the site of soon-to-close Acqua Ristorante Mediterraneo at 43 Main St. facing Parker Harding Plaza is the American Dream coming full circle. The restaurant, whose name is Spanish for mouth, will offer dishes from Spain, Italy and France.
“I’m originally from Brazil, and I moved to the United States when I was 16,” said the East Norwalk resident. “My very first job in the United States was working at a restaurant in Greenwich.”
The place was Manero’s, the same company that for decades had an iconic Saugatuck restaurant at the site that is now Rizzuto’s.