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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Comings & Goings: Japanese Gastropub to Vigilante Firehouse Image
Chef Brian Lewis, owner of The Cottage in Colonial Green, today announced plans to open a second eatery in Westport at the landmark former Vigilante Hose Co. No. 6 firehouse, 6 Wilton Road. Lewis describes the cafe as “a modern Japanese Izakaya meets Omakase restaurant.”  Izakya is a type of informal Japanese gastropub that are casual places for after-work drinking. Omakase is a Japanese phrase that means “I’ll leave it up to you” (from Japanese “to entrust.”) Lewis said it is slated to open in late fall. The space was formerly occupied by Neat Coffee and Craft Cocktails, which closed in January. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/17/17 02:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Up Close Image
Steve Roslonek of SteveSongs gets up close and personal tonight with youngsters at the Levitt Pavilion childrens series. He is recognized by the young set as “Mr. Steve,” co-host of the “PBS KIDS” preschool destination. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


08/16/17 08:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Granger at the Movies: ‘The Glass Castle,’ ‘Menashe,’ ‘Detroit’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

“The Glass Castle” is a dysfunctional childhood recollection that makes the anti-Establishment patriarch “Captain Fantastic” (2016) look like a candidate for Father-of-the-Year. At least he never starved or tortured his children. Image

In Destin Daniel Cretton’s screen adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ 2005 best-selling memoir, Walls’ abusive, alcoholic father Rex is seen all-too-often through rose-colored glasses, or perhaps that’s Woody Harrelson’s colorful, manipulatively roguish interpretation.

Working as a Manhattan gossip columnist in the 1980s, riding in a taxi after a posh restaurant dinner with her financier fiancé (Max Greenfield), Jeanette Walls (Brie Larsen) spots her grubby, itinerant parents dumpster-diving on the Lower East Side. Which ignites a series of flashbacks.

Nomadic Rex and Rose Mary Walls were free spirits. An intelligent but self-destructive bohemian, Rex (Harrelson) was unable to hold a job or cope with authority, while self-centered Rose Mary (Naomi Watts) would rather paint than cook for her hungry kids. Which is why, as a 3-year-old, Jeannette suffered serious burns trying to boil hot dogs.

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08/16/17 05:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Pink Brass Image
The brass section of The Fairfield Counts was in the pink tonight as the Big Band sound filled the Levitt Pavilion. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/15/17 08:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Swinging With Grandpa Image
A proud grandpa dances tonight with his grandson to the Big Band sound of The Fairfield Counts at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/15/17 08:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘Appropriate’ Opens Previews Tonight at Playhouse Image
“Appropriate,” the 2014 Obie Award winner for Best New American Play, previews tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse. Pictured are (l-r) Betsy Aidem, Diane Davis, and David Aaron Baker. The story of family secrets is written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, 2016 MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, and directed by David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director. The play runs through Sept. 2. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/15/17 03:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, August 14, 2017

‘Falsettos’ Tickets Available Tuesday

Free tickets for “Falsettos: In Conversation,” the Westport Library’s Susan Malloy Lecture in the Arts event in September will become available Tuesday at noon.

On a first-come, first-served basis, tickets will be made available through the Westport Country Playhouse’s online box office or by calling (203) 227-4177.

To be held at the Westport Country Playhouse, the Monday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m. event will feature a panel discussion on the Broadway hit “Falsettos,” featuring the men behind the show.

They include Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist William Finn and Tony Award-winning playwright and director James Lapine, plus the revival’s Tony-nominated star Stephanie J. Block.

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08/14/17 02:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Library Countdown to Transformation Project Underway Image
The Westport Library leadership and staff, with the help of donor Nancy Beard, today flipped the switch on the Library’s Countdown to Groundbreaking clock in the Library’s Great Hall. The clock is counting down the days until the official Groundbreaking Ceremony on Sept. 14. Beard’s foundation, the Nancy Jones Beard Foundation, provided one of the major gifts to the long-awaited Transformation Project. Pictured (l-r) are Library Executive Director Bill Harmer, Nancy Beard, and Jocelyn Barandiaran, vice president of the Library Board of Trustees. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Richard Frank for


08/14/17 02:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Library Party to Honor Artist Miggs Burroughs

The Westport Library will honor Westport artist Miggs Burroughs at a special reception on Monday, Aug. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. Image
Miggs Burroughs at the opening of his Westport Library “Signs of Compassion” exhibit in May with Chris Timmons, curator of library exhibits. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for

The repertoire of the lifelong town resident includes designing the town flag, an Easter egg for Ronald Reagan’s White House that is now housed in the Smithsonian Institution, a U.S. postage stamp, and a Time magazine cover.

The event titled “Bravo & Thank You, Miggs!” caps Burroughs’ yearlong artist-in-residence role at the library, where he has served “as the library’s ambassador to the town,” library officials said.

Among his myriad tasks, Burroughs hosted a series of “Artist-to-Artist” talks with others exhibiting in the library’s Great Hall, as well as offering up design challenge prompts each month to the community.

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08/14/17 01:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, August 13, 2017

P.J. Pacifico Headlines at Levitt Image
Singer-songwriter P.J. Pacfico (c) headlined tonight at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. With Eric Donnelly (l) and Ian Tait (r), he performed a variety of introspective folk and pop music. He said some of the songs have yet to be recorded.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/13/17 08:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Making Music Together Image
The Westport-based husband-wife concert pianists Cathy Waldman and Paul Levi, who call themselves the Four Hand Band, performed today at a Gorham Avenue private reception.  The classical and contemporary repertoire included creative renditions of Brahms, Bach, Prokofiev and Gershwin. In addition to concert performances the two, Juilliard graduates, are active in Westport community arts, including Waldman’s piano tutoring. Levi is musical director of Greens Farms Academy’s November production of “Guys and Dolls.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/13/17 04:13 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Hank & Cupcakes at Levitt Image
Hank & Cupcakes entertained at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts tonight. Hank & Cupcakes are an Atlanta-based indie rock-pop duo formed in 2008 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The group consists of husband-and-wife Ariel “Hank” Scherbacovsky (bass guitar) and Sagit “Cupcakes” Shir (drums, vocals). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


08/12/17 10:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Honoring Our Heritage: Barn at 383 Greens Farms Road Image
The owners of 383 Greens Farms Road are the newest recipients of a Westport Historical Society (WHS) historical plaque. Bob Weingarten, WHS plaque historian, presented the plaque to Lawrence Zlatkin and Maureen Whiteman. According to Weingarten, the barn, known as the Buckley Barn, initially was built in c. 1820 by Francis Buckley after purchasing 13 acres of land to build the main house in c. 1818.  Weingarten’s research found the barn was restored on the original foundation after it burned down c. 1870. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/12/17 02:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Early Call for Westport Film Extras Image
There was an early call today for Westporters who responded to an appeal to appear as extras in an independent comedy being made by filmmaker Jonathan Smith (red hat, foreground). Today’s shoot was at Christ & Holy Trinity Church where the extras appeared as wedding guests. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/12/17 10:58 AM Comments () • Permalink

Here Comes the Bride Image
A group of recruited Westport extras acting as wedding guests gathered inside Christ & Holy Trinity Church today for a scene for an independent wedding comedy film being made by filmmaker Jonathan Smith. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/12/17 10:53 AM Comments () • Permalink

Making Their Film Debut Image
Extras recruited from the Westport area pose as wedding guests today for an independent comedy film being shot at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. Filmmaker Jonathan Smith said he could not pay the extras but offered them an IMDb credit if wanted one, (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/12/17 10:52 AM Comments () • Permalink

Waiting at the Altar Image
An actress playing a bride waits at the altar today as extras recruited from the Westport area pose as wedding guests at Christ & Holy Trinity Church for a comedy being made by independent filmmaker Jonathan Smith. He said he will be shooting at several Westport venuses over the coming week.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/12/17 10:50 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Inspired by the Music Image
Matuto’s sound of syncopations of Brazilian music and folk traditions of the American South –- one critic called it “Bluegrass Meets Brazil”—brought an enthusiastic response tonight from the audience at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


08/10/17 09:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Large Crowd for Levitt Children’s Performance Image
There was a packed crowd tonight at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts for three-time children’s Grammy-nominated Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


08/09/17 08:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Pop and Rock Sound for Children at Levitt Image
Brady Rymer (l) and the Little Band That Could entertained tonight at the Wednesday night children’s series at the Levitt Pavilion sponsored by Melissa & Doug educational toymakers. Three-time children’s Grammy-nominated, the band’s accordion-laced pop and rock music has won fans across the country. Its gigs include the Easter egg hunt at the White House. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


08/09/17 08:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Parents Had Fun, Too Image
Parents had fun, too, at tonight’s Levitt Pavilion children’s series featuring Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


08/09/17 08:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Westporter Emma Charleston Headlines at Levitt Image
Folk pop singer-songwriter and Westport native (Staples ’15) Emma Charleston performed at the Levitt Pavilion tonight with a full band. The multi-instrumentalist Charleston is about to begin her third year at the prestigious Berklee College of Music and has recently garnered significant media attention with several song premieres of tracks taken from her debut EP “Enjoy the Ride.” The most recent member of a musical family spanning multiple generations, she is influenced by her mother, the award-winning jazz singer, lyricist, and songwriter Rondi Charleston. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/08/17 09:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Granger at the Movies: ‘The Dark Tower,’ ‘Atomic Blonde,’ ‘The Emoji Movie’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

If you read Stephen King’s sprawling eight-novel saga, “The Dark Tower,” which reportedly took more than 30 years to assemble, you may understand what’s happening on-screen. If not, it’s an epic hit-or-miss proposition. Image

The story begins in earthquake-plagued Manhattan, where teenage Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) is suffering horrific nightmares following the death of his firefighter father. When his mother (Katheryn Winnick) sends him to an asylum for psychiatric evaluation, he escapes, literally running for his life.

Apparently, Jake has vaguely defined but formidable psychic powers. He feels compelled to document his terrifying, apocalyptic visions in spooky sketches which include a mysterious Man in Black and an impassive hero known as the Gunslinger.

Finding his way to an abandoned house in Brooklyn, Jake stumbles through a portal into a surreal dimension known as Mid-World, where he not only encounters the trench coat-wearing Gunslinger (Idris Elba) but also the demonic Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey).

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08/08/17 01:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, August 07, 2017

Extras Sought for Indie Feature Film

Independent filmmaker Jonathan Smith is seeking extras for an independent feature film that is shooting in and around Westport. 

‘It’s a really funny wedding comedy and the producers and I are trying to find extras for wedding, reception, party, and restaurant scenes,” said Smith, who lives in Stamford. He said he chose to shoot around Westport because he secured a wedding venue here.

“Since the film is so micro-budget, we can’t pay extras, but they will receive an IMDb credit if they’d like one,” Smith said. “Plus, it’ll be fun.”

He said the film is about a bride who, on April Fool’s Day, pranks her fiancé right before their wedding by telling him that she thinks that they “have lost that spark.”

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08/07/17 10:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Imagining at the Westport Library Image
Brian Reich, a former Westport resident, addressed an overflow Westport Library Large Reading Room audience tonight on the topic of imagination as crafted in his newly released book, “The Imagination Gap.”  Reich, the son of Westport art patron Ann Sheffer, said, “Imagination is our greatest natural resource. It’s what differentiates us from one another. We’re capable of imagining anything.” Citing entrepreneur Elon Musk as the one person most people refer to when asked to name an imaginative person, he said Musk exhibits the profile of successfully imaginative people—“They do not care about the rules”  He added: “Imagination happens when you let it happen.” He encouraged attendees to “unleash your imagination, capture and share ideas, ask questions” and offered this advice: “Stop shutting down other people’s imaginations.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/07/17 07:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: Match Burger Lobster to Saugatuck Image
The red and white signs in the window are kind of hard to read sideways, but they say “Burger Lobster,” heralding the opening of Match Burger Lobster at 580 Riverside Ave. in Westport’s Saugatuck area. Offering a new fast casual concept, the new restaurant is in space formerly occupied by Fleishers Craft Kitchen, companion to Fleishers Craft Butchery, which remains. According to Fleishers manager Guy Sealey, the new eatery will open in weeks, will have a few tables for indoor dining, and an outdoor patio in addition to the takeout option. The menu will feature lobster rolls, whole lobsters, a variety of burgers, local Copps Island oysters, Fleishers hot dogs, onion rings, donut milk shakes, wine and beer. Sealey said the new eatery is designed so that patrons can walk through the connection between Match and Fleishers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/07/17 07:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Sultans of String Entertain at the Levitt Image
The Sultans of String entertained tonight at the Levitt Pavilion, serving up a mix of gypsy-jazz, Arabic, Flamenco, Celtic and Cuban rhythms. A belly dancer, Ghada Makuch of Norwalk, joined them for part of their performance. She originally is from Beirut, has been dancing since the age of 7, and has belly danced professionally. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


08/06/17 09:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Levitt Rocks With Wendy May Band Image
Blues rock country singer Wendy May and the Wendy May Band entertained tonight at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. May has been entertaining audiences at fairs, festivals, clubs, and concerts, for more than 20 years.  She has performed with musical legends such as, Charlie Daniels, Kenny Chesney, Mark Chestnut, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr. Marty Haggard, Hank Thompson, and countless others. Her band was one of two headliners on the program; the other was the Doug Wahlberg Band. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


08/05/17 09:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Doug Wahlberg Band at Levitt Image
The Doug Wahlberg Band was part of a two-headline concert tonight at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion – the other was the Wendy May Band. Offering up a unique brand of classic guitar rock and roll numbers, the band has been an audience favorite for years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


08/05/17 09:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Guest Announcer Image
Westport artist Miggs Burroughs was guest announcer tonight at the Levitt Pavilion introducing the double bill of the Wendy May Band and Doug Wahlberg Band. Burroughs knows both artists well. Wahlberg and May were featured in Burroughs’ 2013 music video “What If?,” which was inspired by, and is the musical companion to his book “What If? Book of Questions.” While Wahlberg and May collaborated on the video, they never were in the same place at the same time while working on it, making tonight’s reunion especially notable for Burroughs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


08/05/17 09:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

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