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Granger at the Movies: ‘The Goldfinch,’ ‘Succession,’ Etc.

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

The challenge facing Irish filmmaker John Crowley was adapting Donna Tartt’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning, 784-page novel “The Goldfinch” about a precocious, 13-year-old boy whose adolescence is shattered by one tragic event, leading him into a life of subterfuge.

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Tartt’s meticulously detailed story begins with how Theodore Decker (Oakes Fegley) happens to be in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art when a bomb explodes, killing his mother. But the disappointing movie jumbles the linear dexterity.

So we don’t learn until much later why Theo was given a signet ring by a dying man and how he filches Dutch painter Carel Fabritius’ “The Goldfinch” from the rubble.

By altering the chronology, jumping backward and forward, haphazardly hitting key plot points, screenwriter Peter Straughhan confuses anyone who hasn’t read the source material, which is basically a reflective character study.

On Exhibit at Silvermine

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Westport artist Ann Chernow today shows off her work “Love’s Old Sweet Sorrow” at the opening exhibit reception of the 69th annual “AONE (Art of the Northeast) at the Silvermine Galleries, New Canaan. It was among featured works by 56 artists from across the country, including seven from Westport. Chernow said her noir creation is “a reflection of how I see myself when I think of unrequited love in my life.”  The other Westport artists are Eric Chiang, Pam Einersen, Jana Ireijo, Matthew Shelley, Marlene Siff and Debbie Smith. The exhibit runs through Oct. 18. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Playhouse Hosts Lynn Nottage, a Two-Pulitzer Playwright

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage is set to take center stage at the Westport Country Playhouse Sunday, Sept. 29, with an hour-long talk in advance her play “Mlima’s Tale” scheduled to open Oct. 1.

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Lynn Nottage: in Sunday conversation. Photo by Lynn Savarese

Titled “A Conversation with Lynn Nottage,” the free event will be held at 4 p.m. in the Playhouse’s Jason Robards Theatre.

“Mlima’s Tale,” which is directed by Mark Lamos, the Playhouse’s artistic director, runs through Saturday, Oct. 19.

Lamos is scheduled to lead the conversation, Playhouse officials said, adding that both will discuss the play, Nottage’s career and acclaimed body of work.

In Performance

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Kelli O’Hara performing tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse Black & White Gala. The Broadway star and Westport mom sang selections from her life and career. Her musical productions have included “Jekyll & Hyde,” “Follies,” “Sweet Smell of Success,” “Dracula,” “The Light in the Piazza,” “The Pajama Game,” “South Pacific,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “The Bridges of Madison County,” “The King and I,” for which she won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, and “Kiss Me, Kate.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Samuel Stuart

Playhouse Announces 90th Season Lineup

The Westport Country Playhouse today announced the lineup for its 90th season in 2020.

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Mark Lamos: “New ways of bringing theatrical excitement to life at Playhouse.” Bruce Plotkin photo

It features five productions — two musicals, two dramas, and a new comedy — playing April 14 through Nov. 21, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos.

“Our 2020 season speaks to the world today, embraces our communities, and explores new ways of bringing theatrical excitement to life at our historic Playhouse,” said Lamos, who next year will be in his 12th season as Playhouse artistic director. “We want to share this with you!”

Lamos noted that the new season has been planned “to build on the excitement generated by the current one, with two great musicals, an evergreen classic, fresh and funny new work, and engrossing drama.

A Westport Ride With an Acclaimed British Artist

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Westport best-selling author Jane Green, a native of Britain, rides her Remarkable Bookcycle at Compo Beach today alongside British artist Grayson Perry, whom she described on Facebook as “one of the greatest living contemporary artists in the world.” Perry is in the United States filming a documentary on the American Dream. The New York Times has called Perry an artist and media personality who has “made himself a household name in Britain by sculpting flamboyant engraved pots, stitching bold tapestries that grapple with modern social issues, and dressing, for some public appearances, as his female alter ego, Claire.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Meeting English Artist Grayson Perry

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English contemporary artist Grayson Perry, in Westport today filming a BBC documentary, posed with fans Amelia Holl and Lindsay Shurman at Compo Beach. Winner in 2003 of the Turner Prize, an annual prize presented to a British visual artist, he is known for his ceramic vases, tapestries and cross-dressing, as well as his observations of the contemporary arts scene. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo