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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Monday, December 15, 2014

Celebrating ‘The Mousetrap’ Image
Some of the members of the cast of tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse script in hand play reading of the classic Agatha Christie play “The Mousetrap” get together with director Anne Keefe (2nd l) after the sold out show. They are (l-r) Robert Eli (Giles Ralston), Tom Beckett (Mr. Paravicini), Matthew Amendt (Detective Trotter) and Charles Socarides (Christopher Wren). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 11:10 PM
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Getting Ready for Playhouse’s ‘Mousetrap’ Tonight Image
The cast of tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse script in hand play reading of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” posed for a photo during today’s rehearsal. The play, directed by Anne Keefe, curator of the popular play reading series, opened in the West End of London in 1952 and has been running continuously since.  Pictured (l-r, front row) are Anne Keefe, Ann mcDonough, Geneva Carr, Heidi Armbruster, Mark Shanahan, and Chad Kinsman, stage directions; (back row) Charles Socarides, Tom Beckett, Matthew Amendt and Robert Eli. According to MIchael Ross, Playhouse managing director, the one-time performance is sold out. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 04:13 PM
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Van Heerden Named Exec Director of Quick Center

Peter Van Heerden, outgoing executive director of the Westport Arts Center, today was named executive director of Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Image
Peter Van Heerden: “a great opportunity.” Contributed photo

Kevin Lawlor, Fairfield University’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said the appointment is effective Jan. 13. He called Van Heerden “a dynamic leader in the arts in both academic and large-scale nonprofit organizations.”

Van Heerden, a Westport resident, announced his resignation Saturday in an email to friends and patrons of the Arts Center. (See WestportNow Dec. 13, 2014) He has led the nonprofit since March 2011.

Located on the 200-acre campus of Fairfield University, the Quick Center is a multi-faceted facility that presents a wide variety of performances, lectures, and exhibits.  It opened in 1990 and will celebrate its 25th anniversary during the 2015-16 season. It houses the 740-seat Kelley Theater, 120-seat Wien Experimental Theater, and Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery.

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Posted 03:27 PM
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Reindeer Dance Image
As part of today’s Westport Historical Society’s ninth annual holiday concert, students from Mary Ann Hall’s Music for Children and Beyond program took part in seasonal songs and interactive dancing and singing. Music for Children is a music appreciation school for infants, children and parents. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Posted 05:26 PM
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‘Frosty’ Draws Playhouse Crowds Image
Three consecutive Westport Country Playhouse performances today of “Frosty” attracted near sellout crowds. With book and lyrics by Catherine Bush, music by Mandy Williams, directed by Katy Brown and a cast of six actors, the event was part of the Playhouse’s Family Festivities Series.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 01:06 PM
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Van Heerden Stepping Down as Arts Center Head

Peter Van Heerden, executive director of the Westport Arts Center (WAC) since March 2011, announced today he will leave the position in early January. Image
Peter Van Heerden: served since March 2011. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

In an email to friends and patrons, he said, “I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you for your amazing support and belief in me as executive director of the Arts Center.

“I will be stepping down in early January 2015 as the executive director of the Westport Arts Center.”

Van Heerden, a South African educator in the performance arts and himself a much talked about performance artist, did not spell out his next step.

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Posted 11:40 AM
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Friday, December 12, 2014

Invitation to 75th Anniversary Concert Image
At the end of tonight’s 74th annual Candlelight Concert at Staples High School, a large banner was unveiled inviting all to return for next year’s 75th anniversary event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for

Posted 11:42 PM
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Full House for 74th Candlelight Concert Image
A full house attended the Staples High School 74th annual Candlelight Concert tonight, a gift from the Staples Music Department to the Town of Westport. The concert featured musical selections performed by the Orphenians, led by Luke Rosenberg (above), choirs, symphonic orchestra and symphonic band. A large banner, which appeared at the end, announced that Staples will be celebrating its 75th Candlelight Concert next year with a special program. The Candlelight Concert will be presented again at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Posted 11:35 PM
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Processional Image
The traditional “Sing We Noel” candlelight processional opened tonight’s 74th annual Candlelight Concert at Staples high School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for

Posted 11:32 PM
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Season’s Greetings at Candlelight Concert Image
Staples High School students perform the traditional production number tonight as part of the 74th annual Candlelight Concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Posted 11:30 PM
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Continuing a Tradition Image
Staples High School students perform tonight at the 74th annual Candlelight Concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 11:25 PM
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Candlelight Concert 74th Annual Edition

Scenes from tonight’s opening night of the 74th annual Candlelight Concert at Staples High School. Larry Untermeyer and Lynn U. Miller for

Posted 11:20 PM
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Susan Granger At the Movies: ‘Wild,’ ‘Top Five’

By Susan Granger

In “Wild,” Reese Witherspoon delivers her most fearless performance since “Walk the Line.” Image

This adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir follows the author’s grueling 1,100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Coast Trail from the Mojave Desert near the Mexican border to the mountains of Oregon and Washington.

Determined to leave behind the drug abuse and sex addiction that torpedoed her marriage, Cheryl (Witherspoon) trudges into the wilderness. Frequent, non-linear flashbacks fuel her determination, particularly memories of her spunky mother (Laura Dern), who died of lung cancer at age 45.

Adapting Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail,” author/screenwriter Nick Hornsby (“About a Boy”) and director Jean-Marc Valee (“Dallas Buyers Club”) deliver an emotionally volatile character study - with colorful supporting characters, evocative imagery and magnificent vistas.

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Posted 10:56 AM
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Monday, December 08, 2014

Learning Computer Coding at the Library Image
Jack Grannan from the French firm Aldebaran, which manufactured the Westport Library’’s two robots, tonight conducted an Hour of Code workshop on programming for a full room. Hour of Code is a global grassroots campaign dedicated to expanding participation in computer science. The program was streamed live and attended by more than 80 persons from children to adults. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 09:29 PM
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Westport Filmmakers’ Documentary Selected for Sundance Image
Doug Tirola and Susan Bedusa: headed to Sundance. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

A new film by Westport filmmakers Douglas Tirola, director, and Susan Bedusa, producer, has been selected for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in the Documentary Premiere section, organizers announced today. 

“Drunk Stoned Brillian Dead—The Story of the National Lampoon” is the story of three Harvard graduates as they start the first national humor magazine for adults, launching the careers of some of Hollywood’s most legendary talent.

The film’s description adds: “But success and excess among its brilliant and subversive contributors begins to challenge its existence.”

Sundance director of programming Trevor Groth noted that selection differences this year were particularly difficult with regard to documentaries, 13 of which will screen in Documentary Premieres.

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Posted 08:17 PM
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