Tuesday, April 16, 2024


Arts and Leisure

Granger at the Movies: SCREAMS TO STREAM for Halloween Week

By Susan Granger
Special to WestportNow

These are available for rent/buy on Prime Video, Fandango Now, and Vudu, plus others, as noted.

Susan Granger at the Movies

“A Quiet Place” ... With its sequel scheduled soon, this eerie, angst-riddled “creature feature” stars Emily Blunt & John Krasinski as a married couple, living on a secluded farm in upstate New York after most of the civilized world has been decimated by an alien invasion of hideously hungry predators who detect their prey by super-sensitive sound ... streaming on demand

“Child’s Play” ... Mark Hamill (known best as Luke Skywalker) takes on the role of the iconic demon doll Chucky, turned deadly because of a manufacturing glitch ... also streaming on Hulu

“Get Out” ... Giving an astutely satirical jolt to “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” meets “The Stepford Wives,” Jordan Peele has created a social thriller that’s one of the most critically acclaimed horror movies in years. His subversive, surrealist sequences are stunning, depicting the soul-sucking danger posed by so-called “liberals” amid racial tension in America ... streaming on demand.

Pumpkinfest Draws Families Downtown

Pumpkinfest, sponsored by Westport Downtown Merchants Association & Westport Parks & Recreation, Oct. 25, 2020, by Dave Matlow
Many families were attracted to Main Street for Family Pumpkinfest, an event organized by the Westport Downtown Merchants Association (WDMA) and the Parks and Recreation Department. Families were provided, free of charge, with pumpkins and art kits so families could decorate pumpkins and compete for prizes. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

One of Many Halloween Window Painting Contest Participants Making Westport Spooky

Elise Mergenthaler (painting) and sister Camille Mergenthaler, annual Halloween Window Painting Contest by WWCC, Westport, CT, Oct. 24, 2020, photo by Matthew Mandell
Elise Mergenthaler, 11, a sixth-grade student at Bedford Middle School, performs her competitive art creation on Main Street as observed by her also artistic sister, Camille, 13, an eighth grade student at Bedford Middle School. She is taking part in the eighth annual Halloween Window Painting Contest organized by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce. The contest was open to elementary, middle school and high school students and has three competition categories: most scary, best Halloween themed, and most original. The winners will be announced Tuesday, Oct. 27. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Matthew Mandell for WestportNow.com

MoCA Holds Record-Breaking Attempt

Trace Burroughs leads MoCA Westport CT families in attempt to create record-breaking World's Largest Abstract Painting on Oct. 24, 2020, by Leslie LaSala
Led by artist Trace Burroughs, socially distanced families created the World’s Largest Abstract Painting today (8’10” x 20’) at MoCA Westport as part of a Guinness World Record attempt. The previous record for the largest expressionist painting was held by Jackson Pollock for a painting that was 8’10” x 17’6”.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com

Compo to Close at 3 p.m. Halloween

To discourage parents, children, parents, and assorted trick or treaters from congregating at Compo Beach in the wake of COVID-19 Halloween, the beach will be closed to parking that day at 3 p.m., town officials said.

According to Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe, the closure is “an effort to protect the health and safety of Westport residents and keep our schools open.”

The announcement said that parking after 3 p.m. will only available to Compo Marina slip holders.

The reason for the vigilance stems from recent state data on COVID-19 cases by community, with the town’s neighbors Fairfield and Norwalk now considered “red” municipalities with a 15 or more COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

Staples Players Take to the Radio

Sophia Betit (SHS '23) in a recording session for The Wizard of Oz, in which she plays a Munchkin. Staples High School, Westport CT
Staples Players isn’t allowing COVID-19 to keep them from performing. Instead, they’re offering free radio performances via WWPT 90.3 FM or livestream at www.wwptfm.org. Three performances are scheduled: “The Wizard of Oz” at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25; “Pride & Prejudice” on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m.; and “It’s a Wonderful Life” at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22. Above, Sophia Betit (SHS ‘23) in a recording session for “The Wizard of Oz,” in which she plays a Munchkin. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kerry Long for WestportNow.com

Town Launches Halloween House Contest

The Westport Parks and Recreation Department today announced its first Halloween House Decorating Contest, a town wide event to replace the annual Halloween Parade canceled in the wake of COVID 19.

“We understand the disappointment in not being able to host our annual Halloween Parade,” the announcement said. “However, we still wanted our community to have the opportunity to show their creativity and come together as one.

“We encourage you and your families to decorate the outside of your homes in a way that follows the theme of Halloween,” it added. (See “Ellery Lane Home’s Spine-Chilling Transformation.”)

Those interested in participating in the free event can register via the Parks and Recreation Department.

Granger at the Movies: ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7,’ ‘Britannia,’ ‘Death of Me’

By Susan Granger
Special to WestportNow

With Netflix’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” the 2021 Oscar race is officially underway. For this surprisingly timely, compelling courtroom drama, writer/director Aaron Sorkin has assembled a stunning all-star cast.

Susan Granger at the Movies

The story begins before the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago when the presumptive candidate Hubert Humphrey indicates his support for America’s continued involvement in Vietnam.

Sorkin sets the stage for the seven Anti-Vietnam protestors who will subsequently be accused of conspiracy, inciting to riot, and other troublemaking charges stemming from disruptions during the Convention.

So we meet Abbie Hoffman (Sasha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong), founders of the Youth International Party, known as Yippies, along with pacifist David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch), social/political activist Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), and protesters Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp), John Froines (Daniel Flaherty), and Lee Weiner (Noah Robbins).