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Friday, March 27, 2015

Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bedford Acting Group Dress Rehearsal


Scenes from today’s Bedford Acting Group dress rehearsal at Bedford Middle School of the sixth grade play, “Revolting Rhymes & Other Ridiculous Rambles” by Roald Dahl. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students (children under 3 free). Tickets are available online here or at the door, subject to availability. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 08:39 PM
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Susan Granger At the Movies: ‘Trial of Viviane Amsalem,’ ‘Marigold Hotel,’ ‘Insurgent’

By Susan Granger

For Orthodox Jews in Israel, divorce is decided not in civil court but by a triumvirate of rabbinical judges.

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In order for a wife to obtain one, her husband must consent – and “The Trial of Viviane Amsalem” vividly illustrates this patriarchal tyranny.

After bearing four children and enduring decades of an unhappy marriage, Viviane (Ronit Elkabetz) has left her home and moved in with her brother and overbearing sister-in-law.

For three years, she has attempted to obtain a “gett,” which is permission to dissolve her marriage, but her taciturn, religiously devout husband Elisha (Simon Abkarian) steadfastly refuses.

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Posted 08:00 AM
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Special Tour

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Members of the Saugatuck Elementary’s PTA were treated to a walking tour today of works from the Westport Permanent Art Collection (WSPAC) by Linda Gramatky Smith. She is the daughter of Hardie Gramatky, famed Westport watercolorist. SES is home to over 80 art pieces from the WSPAC, including several representing Gramatky’s much-loved children’s books. Gramatky Smith is pictured holding copies of “Little Toot” and “Nikos and the Sea God” beneath original art from those books. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 04:59 PM
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

That’s Me!

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Westport artist Leonard Everett Fisher today points to a drawing of himself he inserted into one of the works to go on display at the Westport Arts Center beginning Friday with a 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. reception. The exhibit, “Leonard Everett Fisher: A Retrospective,” features 38 of his paintings, drawings, and illustrations from his prolific 70-year career. Installation of the exhibit was under way today. (For background, see WestportNow March 21, 2015)  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Posted 05:06 PM
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Addario is Library’s BOOKED for the Evening Honoree

Westport prize-winning photographer and now best-selling author Lynsey Addario has another honor coming, this one from her hometown library as its BOOKED for the Evening honoree.

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Lynsey Addario: hometown honoree. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

The Westport Library announced today that the 1991 Staples High School graduate, author of the recently published best-selling memoir, “It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life,” will be recipient of its annual award at a gala evening on Saturday, May 9.

She joins an illustrious line of previous awardees. Last year’s honoree was fellow Westporter Nile Rodgers, Grammy Award-winning musician, composer, arranger, producer, philanthropist, and writer.

Other past recipients have included Tom Brokaw, E.L. Doctorow, Calvin Trillin, Wendy Wasserstein, Pete Hamill, Martin Scorsese, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Halberstam, Arthur Mitchell, Oscar Hijuelos, Adam Gopnik, Barry Levinson, Patti Smith, and Jon Meacham.

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Posted 04:56 PM
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Anna Lee Fuchs, 79

Anna Lee Fuchs of Westport died March 8 at home. She was 79.

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Anna Lee Fuchs: wife of noted Westport illustrator. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed grapic

Born Jan. 9, 1936 in O’Fallon, Ill. to Alma Fries Hesse and Henry M. Hesse, longtime mayor of O’Fallon, she graduated from MacMurray College in 1954. In 1955, she married illustrator Bernard Fuchs, her high school sweetheart. They lived in Detroit before moving to Westport in 1960.

Bernie Fuchs, whose influential work ranged from presidential portraits to classic racing cars, died Sept. 17, 2009. He was 76. (See obituary here)

Anna Lee managed her husband’s illustration business and later, his career as a gallery and children’s book artist. She worked for many years at the Society of Illustrators in New York City, organizing and cataloguing their annual show.

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Posted 01:29 PM
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Honors for Westport Schools Music Program

Another honor today for the music program in Westport schools.

The NAMM Foundation, a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its nearly 9,200 members around the world, awarded Westport a Best Communities for Music Education designation. It was one of 12 districts in the state receiving the designation.

Now in its 16th year, Best Communities for Music Education affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of schools’ core curriculum, an announcement said. This year, 388 school districts in 46 states were honored.

“Westport has long possessed a unique insight and understanding of the important role music plays in the education of the whole child,” said Thomas Scavone, district music supervisor.

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Posted 01:00 PM
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Monday, March 23, 2015

Walt Reed, 97,  Noted Westport Artist

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Westport artist Walt Reed, once described as the founding father of the study of American illustration as well as its chief archivist and its patron saint, died March 18. He was 97. Once an instructor at Westport’s Famous Artists Schools, he authored numerous books and articles, including one on fellow Westport artist Harold von Schmidt. He founded Illustration House in Westport in 1974, which was devoted to the art and history of illustration. His son Roger joined him in 1981, and in 1987 they moved the gallery to New York City. He is pictured front of his 1976 American bicentennial U.S, postage stamp issue showing the flags of each of the 50 states which was part of a 2012 Westport Historical Society exhibit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Posted 01:52 PM
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Westport Historical Society Honored Walt Reed

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A 2013 exhibition in the Mollie Donovan Gallery at the Westport Historical Society honored Westport artist Walt Reed, who died March 18 at age 97.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Posted 01:47 PM
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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Arts Center Presents Hartford Jazz Orchestra

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Vocalist Nicole Pasternak performs today with the Hartford Jazz Orchestra led by Donn Trenner (l) in a Westport Arts Center concert at the Pequot Library in Southport. The 15-member group, founded In 1965, has been led by Trenner since 2000. Most of his career has been as a jazz pianist. He has worked as pianist-conductor for such artists as Lena Horne, Nancy Wilson, Vicki Carr, Dick Haymes, Jose Feliciano and Jack Jones. Hartford native Pasternak is featured with a number of jazz orchestras and combos in the area and also is a songwriter and lyricist. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 07:08 PM
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Meeting Again After Many Years

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William O. Harbach (l) of Fairfield talks over old times today with Donn Trenner, leader of the Hartford Jazz Orchestra, which performed at a Westport Arts Center jazz concert at the Pequot Library in Southport. Harbach is an award-winning television producer, director and author who worked with Trenner on the “The Steve Allen Show,” a spinoff from “The Tonight Show” from 1954 to 1960. Harbach, 95, was the producer and Trenner, 88, eventually became band leader. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 07:03 PM
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Sunday Jazz Jam


Scenes from today’s Hartford Jazz Orchestra concert sponsored by the Westport Arts Center at the Pequot Library in Southport. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 06:58 PM
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Sunday Songbooks at Senior Center

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There was a large turnout today at the Westport Center for Senior Activities to welcome the “Return of Jodi Keogan & Friends.” They performed songs and duets from the Great American and Italian Songbooks. Before the show, there was a pizza party with pizzas supplied by Westport pizza producers. The series is funded by the Friends of the Center for Senior Activities as well as the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts and funded by the Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 06:02 PM
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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Music Delight at Christ & Holy Trinity Church

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Friends of Music & Arts at Westport’s Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church were treated to a reception and concert tonight with a variety of music performed, from Mozart and Puccini to Charles Ives and Richard Rogers. Section leaders Jason Linden, tenor, Elizabeth James, soprano, Jamilyn Manning-White, soprano, and Matthew Vitti, baritone, sang to an enthusiastic audience. They were accompanied on piano by Michael Burnette, organist-choirmaster. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jane Sherman for WestportNow.com

Posted 09:13 PM
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Cantor Plays a Cantor at Westport Town Hall March 29

Two area temples are teaming up to present a unique performance on Sunday, March 29 at Westport Town Hall of one cantor playing another in “Cantor Arik Luck is Moishe Oysher.”

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Cantor Arik Luck plays Cantor Moishe Oysher in the one afternoon only performance. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Temple Israel of Westport and Temple Shalom of Norwalk are sponsoring the 3 p.m. performance about the life of Oysher, an unorthodox cantor of the 1930s and ‘40s who played in Yiddish theater and films. He died in 1958 at age 51.

Oysher’s story struck a chord with Cantor Arik Luck (Beth Emet, Evanston, Ill.) who wanted to be a stage actor before he entered cantorial school at Hebrew Union College in New York.

During his studies, Luck discovered Oysher and his interest prompted him to create a full-length musical revue, “Arik Luck Is … Moishe Oysher: The Master Singer of His People!”

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Posted 07:45 PM
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