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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Saturday, June 24, 2017

CT Contemporary Art Fair at Bedford Square Image
A reception tonight celebrated the “CT contemporary art fair” at Bedford Square in Westport’s center. The exhibit is the culmination of the three-part “Cultivating Collectors” series organized by the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County and Silvermine Arts Center. It offers a look into what is happening in Connecticut’s major contemporary art galleries, according to organizers.  The exhibit continues Sunday noon to 5 p.m. and is accessible from Church Lane. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


06/24/17 07:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Showing His Works Image
Japanese-born artist Kiyoshi Otsuka today stands beside a couple of his works on display at the “CT contemporary art fair” at Westport’s Bedford Square. Otsuka studied in Paris at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. Stimulated by the encouragement of Akiyama, a sculptor friend and mentor, Otsuka moved to New York and enrolled at the Art Student’s League. There, he studied with Knox Martin. Recently he has worked in his studio at ArtsWestchester landmark building in White Plains. His work has been exhibited in galleries in New York, London, Pennsylvania and Japan. Otsuka’s paintings are included in private collections in New York, Tokyo, and Paris. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


06/24/17 07:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

jUNe Day Guests Visit Arts Center Image
The Westport Arts Center today welcomed jUNe Day guests and staff member Mercedes Arensberg guided the guests through the current exhibition “Main Street to Madison Avenue.” It features paintings, illustrations, and photography commissioned by Madison Avenue advertising agencies for iconic commercial branding and advertising campaigns in the 1950s to 1970s, many of which originated in Westport. Also on exhibit are works from the well-known pop art and contemporary artists who appropriated this advertising imagery. The exhibition is on view through June 30. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Adriana Reis for


06/24/17 02:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

Library to Host Talk on U.S. Involvement in Middle East

The history of United States involvement in the Middle East, as well as its status today is the subject of a Westport Library talk by an Amherst College visiting professor set for Thursday, June 29, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the McManus Room, Library officials announced.

Steven Simon is scheduled to offer historical insights and firsthand experience having served on the National Security Council during the Clinton and Obama administrations and in a range of posts at the Department of State.

In addition to his national posts, Simon has been a visiting professor at Princeton University, a Hasib Sabbagh senior fellow in Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a university fellow in the history of religion at Brown University,

His first book, “The Age of Sacred Terror” co-authored with Daniel Benjamin, won the Arthur C. Ross award for best book on international affairs.

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06/24/17 08:09 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Library Summer Book Sale Set for July 15

The Westport Library has announced its 25th Annual Summer Book Sale is set for Friday, July 15 through Tuesday, July 18. Image
Steve Atkinson, a book collector from Springfield, Massachusetts, was an early shopper at the opening day of the Westport Library’s summer book sale last year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The sale falls on the same weekend that the Westport Downtown Merchants Association hosts its annual Fine Arts Festival.

Under tents on Jesup Green and in the Library’s McManus Room, the sale will feature more than 100,000 discounted books in more than 70 categories from art to zoology, with a particularly large selection of art and photography books, organizers said.

In addition to books there will be DVDs, CDs, vinyl and audio books. The sale also will offer a large selection of music, including songbooks from heavy metal to Broadway shows, plus pristine Metropolitan Opera librettos, most at low paperback prices.

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06/21/17 02:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Joy of the Book Hunt Image
Kenneth Gloss, proprietor of Boston’s Brattle Book Shop, one of America’s oldest and largest used bookshops, and guest appraiser on PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow,” delighted a packed Westport Library audience tonight with tales from the book trail. He showed replicas of some of his favorite finds and offered some snap appraisals of guests’ books. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


06/20/17 09:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Competition Opens for Sprouting Digital Artists

Submissions are being sought for “Young Shoots,” a digital photography competition for children 8 through 18, organizers announced today.

Sponsored by the Westport Arts Center (WAC) and the Westport Farmers Market, the competition is designed “to demonstrate their creativity through the digital photography medium, and to showcase the local color and vibrancy of the Westport Farmers’ Market,” said Leslie LaSala, WAC spokeswoman.

The submission deadline in Aug. 14, and winners will be announced Aug. 25. All photographs must be or have been taken at the Westport Farmers Market.

Among the jurors are: Lillie Fortino, WAC’s director of education for the Westport Arts Center; Stephanie Webster, editor-in-Chief of; and Eileen Sawyer, local photographer and Farmers Market board member.

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06/20/17 03:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, June 19, 2017

Granger at the Movies: ‘Cars 3,’ ‘The Women’s Balcony,’ ‘The Book of Henry’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

If you thought it was weird seeing a young Carrie Fisher and resurrected Peter Cushing in “Star Wars: Rogue One,” wait ‘till you hear Paul Newman’s gruff voice as Doc Hudson in outtakes from the first “Cars” outing in 2006. Image

“Cars 3” begins as the current champion, Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson), is trounced by a new, sleek, black-with-purple headlights “tech” car, Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer), who gloats, “I can’t believe I get to race Lightning McQueen in his farewell season.”

Realizing “the racing world is changing,” following a fiery crash, discouraged Lightning discovers that his Rust-eze sponsorship is now owned by smarmy Sterling (voiced by Nathan Fillion), who wants him to become a racing brand.

Eager to race in the Florida 500, Lightning reports for training at the high-octane site where Jackson Storm toned up. That’s where he meets Cruz Ramirex (voiced by Cristela Alonzo), a peppy performance coach who refocuses his angry outbursts with “Use that!” endeavoring to increase his speed from 198 mph to 210 mph.

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06/19/17 12:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Woodstock Revisited, John Fogerty on Tap at Levitt Image

Westport’s Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts has announced highlights of its 44th summer season.

It will open Sunday, June 25 with a celebration of the music and spirit of the Woodstock Music Festival, “Back to the Garden 1969.”

On Thursday, Aug. 24, the annual summer gala will feature musician and singer-songwriter, John Fogerty.

As previously announced, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason returns to the Levitt for the fourth time on Friday, July 14 as part of his new “Alone Together Again” limited engagement U.S. tour.

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06/18/17 01:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Gallery: Westport Library’s MakerSpace Reopens

Scenes from today’s grand reopening of the Westport Library’s MakerSpace. photos


06/17/17 03:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Grand Reopening for Library’s MakerSpace Image
It was grand reopening day today for the Westport Library’s MakerSpace as it moved from the Great Hall to the library’s top floor. Guests enjoyed a walk-through of the space, introductions to new equipment, and hands-on demonstrations. Demetri Dassouras of Norwalk demonstrated one of the 3D printers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


06/17/17 03:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sculpting Godzilla Image
Chris Crowe leads a group of youngsters in sculpting Godzillas today in the Westport Library’s newly reopened MakerSpace. The class was part of Godzilla Day at the library that included classic Godzilla movies and a talk by Staples High School English teacher and author Brian Solomon, who shared his book, which explores the character, popularity and the many facets of the “King of the Monsters.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


06/17/17 03:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Library Sponsors ‘A Day in Life’ Photo Challenge

The Westport Library is marking the start of the summer solstice on Wednesday, June 21 with a “Day in the Life of Westport” photo challenge.

“Join in photographing anywhere/anything in Westport to create our own record of the town on that day,” an announcement said.

“Use a high-resolution setting. Select your three best images, and submit them one image at a time to
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) at the largest option offered (large or actual size) by Sunday, June 25.

“Be sure to put your name and town in the subject line.”

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06/17/17 07:56 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, June 16, 2017

Arts Center to Host Talk on Westport’s Mad Men

The Westport Arts Center (WAC) will host a roundtable discussion on some of Westport’s real life “Mad Men” from the 1950s through 1970s on Tuesday, June 27 at 7 p.m., WAC officials announced today. Image
Jonathan Horowitz, Coke/Pepsi (231 cans), pigment ink on canvas, 2012/2016 (detail). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Image courtesy of the Brant Foundation, Greenwich, Conn.

The talk is being held in concert with the exhibit “From Main Street to Madison Avenue,” featuring previously unseen works by Westport artists “illustrating their important role in advertising,” said Leslie Lasala, WAC spokeswoman.

The talk will be moderated by Kerston Mitton-Rivas, president of Source CXM. Participants include Michael Brennecke, former creative director at Young & Rubicam, Joe Schachter, former vice president at J. Walter Thompson, and Norm Siegel, past creative director at Ogilvy and Mather; DMB&B.

“Also at the roundtable event, the winner of the student high school exhibition’s ‘Best of Show’ award will be announced,” Lasala said. The $500 award is sponsored by Sontag Advisory.

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06/16/17 12:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Playwright A. R. ‘Pete’ Gurney, 86 Image
Playwright and author A.R. “Pete” Gurney, whose works focusing on the quirks and barely concealed anxieties of the privileged class were seen frequently by Westport Country Playhouse audiences, died Tuesday at his Manhattan apartment. He was 86. He is pictured with Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director, on July 25, 2015 at the world premiere at the Playhouse of Gurney’s “Love and Money.” Not only were several Gurney plays performed at the Playhouse, but Gurney and his wife Molly attended many other opening night performances there. In addition to “Love and Money,” other Gurney productions at the Playhouse include “The Dining Room” and “The Cocktail Hour.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


06/14/17 09:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Remembering Mom Image
Timon Malloy, principal owner of the newly renovated, solar-powered office building at 500 Post Road East, today shows the painting he selected for the ground floor entrance area. Called “Compo Beach,” it was done by his late mother, Susan Malloy, artist and philanthropist who died in April 2015. (See WestportNow April 14, 2015) “It is very personal to me,” he said. “it was the last large size painting she completed.” It was announced today that Morgan Stanley will consolidate its two Westport offices in the building. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


06/14/17 03:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Granger at the Movies: ‘The Mummy,’ ‘The Lovers,’ ‘Churchill’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

“The Mummy” was designed as the first entry in an upcoming Universal franchise to be called the “Dark Universe,” featuring interconnected classic horror monsters from the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s Image

Opening with an Egyptian proverb that specifies “we never die” but, instead, reincarnate again and again, it introduces a pharaoh’s treacherous daughter, Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who murdered her father, his second wife and their infant son after making a pact with Set, god of the dead.

Mummified and buried alive, Ahmanet’s tomb is ‘discovered’ in Iraq by antiquity-hunting Army Sergeant Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), his buddy (Jake Johnson) and archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis).

Disregarding Jenny’s warning about an ancient curse, cocky Nick releases exotic, tattooed Ahmanet from imprisonment. This ancient enchantress subsequently sucks the life out of her victims with a deadly kiss, transforming them into zombies, while her spirit inhabits and confuses Nick, her “chosen” host.

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06/13/17 02:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, June 12, 2017

WHS Exhibit Pays Tribute to Staples Concerts of the ‘60s

The Westport Historical Society turns the clock back to the 1960s with its new exhibit opening Friday. Image
The exhibit opens Friday with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed graphic

“The High School That Rocked!” revisits the years between 1966 and 1968 when Staples High School hosted performances of six iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bands at Staples: the Animals, the Yardbirds, the Rascals, the Doors, Cream, and Sly and the Family Stone.

The Sheffer Gallery will be exhibit roughly 100 vintage visuals, including replicas of concert posters and ticket stubs, clippings from local and student newspapers, and photographs taken of the concerts themselves and behind the scenes.

The exhibit will feature a clip from the documentary short of the same name, along with an assortment of vintage memorabilia including an old record player, records, and a clock radio. 

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06/12/17 07:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Remembering His Coleytown Middle Drama Teacher Image
Justin Paul poses with one of his former Westport teachers Ben Frimmer of Coleytown Middle School, following tonight’s Tony Award win for “Dear Evan Hansen.” In a red carpet interview, Paul cited Frimmer and Staples Players director David Roth as among those influencing his pursuit of a musical theatrical career. Facebook photo


06/11/17 11:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport’s Justin Paul Wins Two Tony Awards Image
UPDATE Westport’s Justin Paul (l), a 2003 Staples High School graduate, tonight added two Tony Awards to his achievements. He won in the Best Original Score category for his work on Broadway’s “Dear Evan Hansen,” along with writing partner Benj Pasek. The duo later returned to the Radio City Music Hall stage to share another Tony for Best Musical for “Dear Evan Hansen.” In all, the play won six Tonys tonight. Paul recently won an Oscar for Best Original Song for “City of Stars” from “La La Land.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo from CBS-TV


06/11/17 09:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

Enjoying Hidden Garden Tour Image
Guests on the Westport Historical Society 26th annual Hidden Garden Tour today enjoy a garden on Meadowbrook Lane in Westport. It is one of six gardens on the tour in Westport, Southport and Easton. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


06/11/17 01:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Large Turnout at Levitt for Pre-Season Concert Image
There was a large turnout tonight at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts for a pre-season concert starring Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot-“Celebrating the Music of Billy Joel.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/10/17 09:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sounds of Billy Joel at Levitt Image
Tonight’s Levitt Pavilion pre-season concert featured Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot-“Celebrating the Music of Billy Joel.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Samantha Ryan for Levitt Pavilion photo


06/10/17 09:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, June 09, 2017

Drone View of Staples Pops Concert Image
A drone view of tonight’s Levitt Pavilion Staples High School pops concert (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Still frame from Brandon Malin video


06/09/17 10:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gallery: Staples High School Pops Concert

Scenes from tonight’s second annual Staples High School pops concert at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. The sellout event featured Staples musicians and performers as well as the Westport police color guard. Award-wnning actor James Naughton was master of ceremonies. Dave Matlow for


06/09/17 10:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Gallery: Friends of Westport Public Art Collection Fundraiser

There was a “Second Story Moonlight” fundraiser tonight hosted by Friends of the Westport Public Art Collection (WESPAC) at Rive Bistro, 299 Riverside Ave. The event showcased WESPAC-owned art in town schools and public buildings, including works by Warhol, Matisse, Cezanne, Miro and others. in addition, there was a silent auction featuring works created by local artists Ann Chernow, Larry Silver, Leonard Everett Fisher, Hardie Gramatky, and Miggs Burroughs. Lynn U. Miller and Dave Matlow for


06/08/17 09:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Dave Mason Returns to Levitt on July 14 Image
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason returns to Westport’s Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts on Friday, July 14 as part of his new “Alone Together Again” limited engagement U.S. tour. The event is a fundraiser for the Levitt that will help to underwrite the more than 50 free music and performances at this summer. It will be Mason’s fourth appearance at the Levitt, the last occurring in 2013 (above). Mason is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist who first found fame with the rock band Traffic. On Saturday, the Levitt will present Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot: “Celebrating the Music of Billy Joel.” The 44th season officially opens on Sunday, June 25. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


06/08/17 05:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Justin Paul: Great Care in Writing of Teen Suicide in ‘Dear Evan Hansen’

Westport’s Justin Paul and fellow songwriter Benj Pasek said in authoring their Broadway hit “Dear Evan Hansen” they took great care in writing about teen suicide. Image
Justin Paul (l) with writing partner Benj Pasek at the Oscars in February. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo from ABC-TV

“We wanted to make sure the subject was treated thoughtfully and sensitively,” Paul told Variety, the show business publication.

“There was vetting of the script and of the story with mental health professionals, to make sure what we were telling felt truthful and honest, and like we weren’t trying to sugarcoat things, but that also wasn’t trying to provoke anything.”

Paul disclosed there was a small change made in the show as it moved from off-Broadway to Broadway.

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06/07/17 07:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

WHS Garden Tour, Garden Market Set for Sunday

The Westport Historical Society (WHS) presents its annual Hidden Garden Tour on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Image
This garden at Westport’s Old Mill was one of the gardens on last year’s tour. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for

Guests will visit six gardens in Westport, Southport and Easton.

“Each garden has been carefully selected for our 26th annual Hidden Garden Tour,” said Event Co-Chair Terri Keppel. 

One of the gardens was a favorite of a past tour and is being showcased again by popular demand to see how it has evolved, she said.

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06/07/17 01:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Cutting the Ribbon at NewBrook Kitchen Image
NewBrook Kitchen and Artisan Market, a paleo cuisine takeout cafe, opened today with a ribbon cutting at 37 Saugatuck Ave., next to Dunville’s. Taking part were (l-r) Matthew Mandell, executive director of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, First Selectman Jim Marpe, owner Cindy Hartog, and her daughter, Danielle. The store offers a wide range of gluten-free and paleo foods. At the end of the day, Cindy Hartog said: “It was a great day. We really did well, especially with our wild caught tuna sandwiches and our salads.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/06/17 06:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

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