Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights had youngsters on their feet tonight in the Wednesday night Melissa and Doug Children’s Series at the Levitt Pavilion. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Justin Hoff, one of the three standup comedy performers from the Treehouse Comedy Club, entertains a large crowd tonight at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. Comedy Club owner Brad Axelrod is a former resident of Westport and graduate of Staples High School. The other two comedians were Michael Petit and Tom Briscoe. It was the second appearance this summer at the Levitt for the Treehouse Comedy Club. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
By Susan GrangerSpecial to WestportNow
Back in the 1960s, I became an avid fan of Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek,” which not only boldly explored new worlds but also set forth challenging concepts, tackling relevant social issues with philosophical ingenuity and inventive diplomacy.
Yes, the sci-fi sets were tacky but provocative ideas and redemptive life-lessons flourished.
Several movie franchises continued in that vein but, under the stewardship of J.J. Abrams, character complexity has become secondary to continual conflict and spectacle, sacrificing much of the emotional satisfaction.
In “Star Trek: Beyond,” there’s Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto), Dr. “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban), along with Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Hikaru Sulu (John Cho) and Pavel Chekhov (the late Anton Yelchin, who tragically died at age 27).
The Suzuki Music School of Westport, for 18 years one of the country’s leading, nonprofit community music schools, will move to a larger in-town location Aug. 1, school officials announced.
The school, dedicated to the family oriented Suzuki method of music instruction, will relocate from 212 Post Road West to 7,000 square feet of space at 246 Post Road East in the Colonial Green complex, officials said. It is the former home of the Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage (MTC).
According to Andrew Smith, the school’s director, the new central location will mark a turning point in the school’s role within the town.
“This puts the school at the heart of the Westport music scene, and we couldn’t be prouder,” Smith said. “Whether or not you have children who are interested in music, we would encourage music lovers everywhere to come to one of our events and see for themselves.”
Sunday, July 24, 2016
The owners of the house at 22 Crooked Mile Road are the newest recipients of a Westport Historical Society (WHS) historical plaque. Bob Weingarten, WHS plaque historian, presented the plaque to Robert G. Shaw, who has lived in the house with wife Katerina since 2005. According to Weingarten, the 1930-built house, was built for the renowned artist, Charles Prendergast (1863-1948). According to Shaw, Prendergast’s widow donated her husband’s art to the Williams College Museum of Art, which now houses the largest collection of Prendergast’s work. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saturday, July 23, 2016
“The Invisible Hand,” a tense drama of a financial futures trader kidnapped and held hostage for ransom in Pakistan, opened tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse. Taking a bow after the performance were (l-r): Jameal Ali, Fajer Kaisi, Eric Bryant and Rajesh Bose— an internationally diverse cast playing the roles of Pakistanis, Kaisi was born in Iraq, Ali in London and Bose in Connecticut. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
River City Slim & The Zydeco Hogs performed at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts tonight. They brought the exuberant sounds of the steamy bayous of southwestern Louisiana to the hills of New England to the dancing audience. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Bonita Weisman of West Hartford played the rubboard in tonight’s River City Slim & The Zydeco Hogs performance at the Levitt Pavilon. Weisman has been teaching, performing and choreographing in Hartford since 1983. She also maintains a private practice as a muscular therapist through her business, West Hartford Massage Therapy. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com
After a day in which temperatures reached into the mid-90s, many people turned out tonight at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts to cool off with River City Slim & The Zydeco Hogs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
The owners of the house at 349 Wilton Road are the newest recipients of a Westport Historical Society (WHS) historical plaque. Bob Weingarten, WHS plaque historian, presented the plaque to Kris Toohey who, with her husband John, have occupied the house since 2010 and are Westport residents since 2006. According to Weingarten, the 1834-built house, known as the Captain Alfred Taylor House, was built by Taylor, a captain in the state militia. who also owned a dwelling at what is now 316 Wilton Road, built prior to 1832. Kris Toohey said the meticulous renovations she and her husband incorporated into the house were a “labor of love.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, July 22, 2016
The Saugatuck Sweets-sponsored outdoor summer series tonight at Westport’s Saugatuck Center featured Adam Roberts (l) and Mike Messer, known as After School Special. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, July 21, 2016
The Goza Latin Jazz Band, specializing in Latin America rhythms on violin, guitar, horns, percussion and vocals, entertained tonight at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Guitarist David Giardina, a 1970 Staples High School graduate, was back home tonight leading the Goza Latin Jazz Band in a performance at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com
The owner of the house at 79 Myrtle Ave. is the newest recipient of a Westport Historical Society (WHS) historical plaque. Bob Weingarten, WHS plaque historian, presented the plaque to Nick Visconti who acquired the house in March and is the process of renovating the five-apartment dwelling. According to Weingarten, the 1913-built house, known as the Berrell-Borden House, was built by Rose B. Berrell for Hope Lewis Borden. Visconti said he is also the owner of two historic properties, built in the 1700s, at 85-87 and 104 East Ave., Norwalk. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
In conjunction with the Westport Country Playhouse production of “The Invisible Hand,” engineer, writer, academic and Staples High School graduate Haris Durrani was interviewed tonight at the Playhouse by Staples teacher Cathy Schager about his new novel “Technologies of Self.” The book is about a young Muslim man finding his way in New York City after 9/11. Durrani, who is attending Columbia Law School, holds a master’s in history and philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s in applied physics from Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Marcia Logan for WestportNow.com
Antoine Bleth today paints a mural at the entrance of his new restaurant, Le Penguin, a French bistro that opens late next month at 15 Myrtle Ave., Sconset Square, in space formerly occupied by Blue Lemon. “I’m an artist and musician primarily but have been in the restaurant business for 35 years,” he said. Co-owner of other prominent restaurants with business partner Anshu Vidyarthi, Blech said he sometimes plays piano in his jazz band named Antoine Bleck. “I’m a crooner too in the style of Charles Aznavour and other popular French singers,” he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
UPDATE Meredith McIver, who today acknowledged she wrote Melania Trump’s Cleveland GOP convention speech that included passages from a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama, has a Westport connection—her sister lives here.
Although there is no record of her owning property here or having registered to vote here, several internet record searches show she used her sister’s Westport Beachside Avenue address in the past.
Several reports today said McIver currently lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and that she is a registered Democrat.
Town records show Karen McIver, 69, also a registered Democrat, owns the Westport property used in the past by Meredith McIver, 65. The New York Times reported that Karen McIver is Meredith’s sister.
The cast of the Westport Country Playhouse production of “The Invisible Hand,” a riveting and relevant new thriller by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, author of Broadway’s “Disgraced,” rehearses for Tuesday night’s first preview performance. The play, a recent off-Broadway production, is based on an American futures trader who finds himself kidnapped and held hostage in Pakistan, knowing the only way to get home is to do what he does best: play the market like his life depends on it. “The Invisible Hand” opens on Saturday and runs through Aug. 6. Pictured (l-r): Eric Bryant, Jameal Ali and Fajer Kaisi. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
By Susan GrangerSpecial to WestportNow
Taking ‘helicopter parenting’ to a new extreme in “Captain Fantastic,” Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) is raising his six children off-the-grid in the Pacific Northwest forest.
Ten years ago, Ben and his Buddhist wife, Leslie (Trin Miller), became survivalists, teaching their kids to be self-sufficient, stalking and killing game and homeschooling them in philosophy, history, literature, science and five languages.
Subjected to strenuous exercise, they sleep in a yurt, do chores in adjacent tree houses and teepees, and play musical instruments around a campfire at night. Unconventionally counter-cultured, they ignore Christmas, celebrating Noam Chomsky Day, honoring the leftist ‘60s icon.
Each child has a unique name: Bodevan (George MacKay), Kielyr (Samantha Isler), Vespyr (Annalise Basso), Rellian (Nicholas Hamilton), Nai (Charlie Shotwell), and Zaja (Shree Crooks).
Monday, July 18, 2016
Mitchells of Westport tonight hosted a reception for New York Times best-selling Westport authors Jane Green (l) and Lauren Weisberger to celebrate publication of their new books—Green’s “Falling: A Love Story” and Weisberger’s “The Singles Game.” Weisberger is best known for her 2003 debut novel “The Devil Wears Prada,” later made into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. Green has had 16 New York Times bestsellers and her books have been published in more than 25 languages. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
The Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts has announced that its annual fundraising gala this year will headline CHIC featuring Westporter Nile Rodgers, Grammy Award-winning musician, composer, arranger, producer, philanthropist, and writer.
The Summer Gala Concert on Thursday, Aug. 11 helps underwrite the Pavilion’s 50 nights of free concerts.
CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers was organized during 1976 by Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards.
Its commercially successful disco songs include “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)” (1977), “Everybody Dance” (1977), “Le Freak” (1978), “I Want Your Love” (1978), “Good Times” (1979), and “My Forbidden Lover” (1979).
Sunday, July 17, 2016
The Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts was filled tonight for a performance by Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks. Grammy Winner Giordano’s music evokes the height of ballroom perfection, combining jazz elegance and swingin’ (or rumba-in’ or cha-cha-cha-in’) style, along with renditions of 1920s and 1930s chestnuts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
In response to an audience request, Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks performed the “Tea for Two” cha-cha tonight as the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
There was a full house tonight for the Westport Cinema Initiative screening of the 2005 film “The War Within” at the Westport Country Playhouse Barn. Written by Ayad Akhtar, a Pulitzer prize-winning playwright, the film provides insights into the Muslim experience in the United States. It was held in conjunction with the Playhouse production of “The Invisible Hand” by the same author and included a talkback with its director, David Kennedy, and Westport filmmaker Doug Tirola. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Today’s second and final day of the Westport Fine Arts Festival drew hundreds of visitors despite temperatures in the 90s. A number of artists queried said they were pleased with sales at the event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J. C. Martin for WestportNow.com