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Sunday, August 24, 2003

NY Times Connecticut Section Features Westport Playhouse and Oysters

Sundays New York Times Connecticut section prominently features two Westport stories Җ the renovation of the Westport Country Playhouse and the ongoing dispute between Westport boaters and a Westport doctor-oyster entrepreneur.

The Playhouse story with three photos takes up most of the front page. It continues inside for another half page with four more photos.

The Times reviews the Playhouse history and details the $17 million renovation set to begin at the end of this summers season. Artistic director Joanne Woodward is featured in the story.

But it also contains several errors and an omission.

The newspaper repeats a spelling error in the surname of one of the PlayhouseҒs founders which it also made on April 29 and which it corrected—with some prodding from WestportNow—on May 26.

The Sunday section article by David Cote, assistant drama editor at Time Out magazine, says the Playhouse was founded in 1931 by Lawrence “Langer and his wife Armina Marshall. The correct spelling is Langner (See WestportNow April 29 and May 26, 2003).

The article also identifies him as a member of the Theater Guild, which he was.  But he is better known as the co-founder of the Guild (with his wife).

It also says Richard Rodgers was a Westport summer resident when he went to see the Playhouse production of ԓGreen Grow the Lilacs in 1940. Three years later, the play became the Rodgers and Hammerstein legendary hit musical ԓOklahoma!

As Westport author Max Wilk recounts in his ԓOK! The Story of Oklahoma!, Rodgers in fact had a home in Fairfield, not Westport, at the time.

The Times notes that the Playhouse has featured the work of playwright David Wiltse several times and this summer presented the world premiere of his Nazi-era drama, ԓThe Good German.

ԓMr. Wiltse, who lives in the area, is the closest the Playhouse has to a resident playwright, having been produced there four times, the Times said.

And while the story contains numerous quotes from Anne Keefe, the PlayhouseԒs associate artistic director, it fails to say that Keefe is married to Wiltse.

The oyster story is by James Lomuscio, a former Westport News and Westport Magazine editor and a frequent Times contributor.

It is a good review of the dispute involving boaters and plans by Westporter John Garofalo to harvest oysters off of Westport using suspended cages. (See WestportNow July 24, 2003).

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Posted 08/24/03 at 01:09 AM  Permalink



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