Arts and Leisure
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Performing ‘Nutcracker’ at Playhouse
Students from the Ballet Etudes Company, under the artistic director Nanette Vallas, today performed the “Nutcracker Ballet” for a large audience at the Westport Country Playhouse Ballet Etudes is a company of 16 aspiring pre-professional dancer from the greater Fairfield County area. The production has a cast of more than 90 dancers, including 60 students of the ballet school. In addition to this weekend’s four shows, the company will present two additional performances on Dec. 14 at 1 and 4 p.m. For tickets and more information, call the Westport Playhouse box office at (203)227-4177 or visit westportplayhouse.org. Westport’s Academy of Dance also presented “The Nutcracker” at Staples High School today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: Granola Bar Opens
The Granola Bar opened today at Westport’s Playhouse Square. The entrepreneurial owners, Julie Gaines and Dana Nooril (see WestportNow Dec. 3, 2013), who also produce and market Granola Oats in retail food stores, said the restaurant offerings range from full breakfasts and lunches with table service as well as bakery goods and coffee at the counter. They said everything is freshly made on the premises. Hours are Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: Little Barn Opens on PRE
The Little Barn, a vintage-themed American pub, has opened at 1050 Post Road East. the former location of Swanky Frank’s. Owners are Kevin McHugh and Scott Beck, who collectively co-own six restaurants in Fairfield County including Spotted Horse in Westport, Gray Goose and The Chelsea in Fairfield. McHugh was the original co-owner and designer of The Little Pub in Ridgefield. The building is covered in reclaimed red barn siding and the roofing is made of corrugated steel. The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Historical Society Holiday House Tour Set for Sunday
Volunteers gathered to promote Sunday’s Westport Historical Society 27th annual Holiday House Tour. Led this year by Westport lifestyle expert Mar Jennings, it takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be followed by the “Eat, Drink & be MAR-y” party at Terrain home and garden retail store on Post Road East from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Five homes are on the tour – three in Westport and two in Fairfield. “ “It will be like a Bing Crosby Christmas special,” said Jennings. Tickets are available at www.westporthistory.org or at the Westport Historical Society at (203) 222-1424. Pictured (l-r) are Ed Gerber, member of WHS board of directors; Sue Gold, WHS executive director; Mar Jennings, honorary tour and party chair, and Kathy Winter, event producer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, December 06, 2013
Comings & Goings: Luxe Reopens Next Week
Luxe Winerbar, formerly known as Luxe Modern Wine & Cocktails, 190 Main St., will reopen next week, according to new owner Dave Morton. It originally opened in January 2012 by owners Roberts and Renee Reilly and then closed three months ago, only to announce the following day there was a new investor and would reopen. Morton said the bar will retain the same concept but will add light fare, including tapas-style tastings and a few desserts to complement the existing cheese and charcuterie to give it “a warmer, more comfortable and more welcoming environment.” A Stratford resident, Morton said he was formerly a member of the management team of Westport-based Techtronics, a high tech retail startup. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Drinking and Drawing
The Westport Arts Center tonight held another in its Drink n’ Draw series in which guests get an opportunity to draw a professional model under guidance from an instructor. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jill Sarver for WestportNow.com
‘Piling’ On Unexpected Levitt Costs
By James Lomuscio
Supporters of Westport’s Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts have had to dig deeper, literally and financially, to build the new pavilion set to open next summer.
This is a what the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts will look like as designed by Westport architect Peter Cadoux. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
A substantial number of the 177, 50-foot pilings to support the new structure sunk an extra 40 feet when being hammered in, thus requiring them to be capped with additional 40-foot pilings in order to hit bedrock, said Stuart McCarthy, Parks and Recreation director.
Freda Welsh, the Levitt’s executive director who referred all inquiries to McCarthy, is scheduled to ask the Board of Finance Wednesday night for an appropriation of $249,587 for contingency costs and additional funding.
According to McCarthy, the request is simply “a bookkeeping item,” since the town, as well as the Friends of the Levitt Pavilion, each respectively already has a 5 and 2.5 percent contingency plan in place.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Bedford’s ‘Guys and Dolls’ Set for the Weekend
Scenes from tonight’s dress rehearsal of “Guys and Dolls” by the Bedford Acting Group set for this weekend. A cast of 90 plus one Black Standard Poodle will present the Tony Award-winning musical on Friday at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online here or at the door. For further information, please call the Bedford Drama line, (203)341-1567. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Arts Center: We’ll Pay for Jesup Green Enhancement
The Westport Arts Center (WAC) today detailed its desire to relocate its headquarters to the top of Jesup Green and said it was prepared to pay to move existing parking and extend the green to the Saugatuck River.
Today’s breakfast meeting at the Westport Arts Center attracted several dozen persons. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser Durng for WestportNow.com
Addressing a breakfast meeting for several dozen community leaders, Lance Lundberg, chairman of the board, said WAC already has commitments for more than $3 million to build a new headquarters envisioned at about 10,000 square feet.
“Ideally, we’d like to be within walking distance of the Westport Library and the Levitt Pavilion,“ he said, adding that WAC was prepared to fund reconstruction of Jesup Green so as to enhance it, not destroy it.
Under preliminary plans, the green would retain its current square footage or increase it by extending it to the Saugatuck, River he said. This would mean relocating parking to a garage under the new Arts Center or a to a new parking deck built behind the current police station.
Friday, November 29, 2013
WCT Opens ‘Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge’
The Westport Community Theatre tonight opens its production of “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge,” written by Christopher Durang. The comic farce centers on the strains of the holiday season that send Bob Cratchit’s wife over the edge, and to make matters worse, she and Scrooge seem to be kindred souls falling in love. The play, directed by Tom Rushen, runs through Dec. 15 with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at www.westportcommunitytheatre.com. The theater is located in the basement of Westport Town Hall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, November 25, 2013
Up Close With Close
Eleventh grade students from Bridgeport’s Bridge Academy charter visited the Westport Arts Center today to view its current exhibit “Chuck Close: About Face.” Some made sketches from works on display. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Double Winners: A First in Hermanns Piano Competition
For the first time in its 42-year history, the Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition today awarded two first place prizes to Josh Wright (l) and Timur Mustakimov at Westport Town Hall. Wright made No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Traditional Chart in 2011 with his self-titled “Josh Wright” album, one of five he has released so far. Mustakimov is a 2013 graduate of the New School, New York. The competition attracts contestants from all over the world, including many foreign musicians studying or working in the United States. The two categories of voice and piano alternate every two years. The Heida Hermanns International Competition is presented by Connecticut Alliance for Music, with support from the Westport Arts Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Marina White for WestportNow.com
Finalists in Piano Competition
Six finalists competed tonight in the 2013 Hieda Heramanns International Piano Competition at Westport Town Hall. They were (l-r) Yi Yang Chen, Moye Chen, Andrew Yang, Joshua Wright, Samuel Post, and Timur Mustakimov. The six finalists were selected from 16 semi-finalists who performed Saturday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Seth Goltzer for WestportNow.com
Friday, November 22, 2013
Special Guest at Chuck Close Exhibit Opening
A special guest at tonight’s opening of the Westport Arts Center’s exhibition, “Chuck Close: About Face” was Robert Elson of Westport. He stands next to a portrait of himself created in 1973-74 by Close, whose wife was a close friend of his in junior high school. Elson said the charcoal print had never been shown before to a large crowd. It is a smaller version of “Robert/104,072,” a much larger work by Close now at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The title refers to the 104,072-square grid to which Close painstakingly applied tiny black dots to create the work. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Getting a Good Look
Guests view one of many works by artist Chuck Close tonight at the Westport Art Center’s opening reception for its “Chuck Close: About Face” exhibit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com