Saturday, December 02, 2023


Arts and Leisure

Granger at the Movies: ‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,’ ‘Astronaut’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

With “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino delves into bittersweet revisionist history in this fractured fable, revisiting six months in 1969. Image

Once a top TV Western star, Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) is watching his once-promising career decline to the point where he’s now ‘guest-starring’ as the villain whom the hero beats up.

Dalton’s best friend is his stunt double/driver, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), who — according to rumor — killed his wife and has been blackballed in the industry.

Dalton owns a house on Cielo Drive in posh Benedict Canyon, next to director Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha) and his pregnant wife Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), while Booth lives with his Rottweiler in a beat-up trailer behind the Van Nuys Drive-In.

Gallery: ‘A Concert for Mimi’

Scenes from “A Concert for Mimi” at the Levitt Pavilion tonight in tribute to the late arts patron Mimi Levitt. She died in January at age 97. The Levitt Pavilion is named for her and her husband Mortimer Levitt. The program featured Tony Award nominee Tony Yazbeck, soprano Amy Owens and others under musical director Michael Barrett. J.C. Martin for

Tribute to Mimi Levitt Image
The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts tonight paid tribute to its longtime supporter Mimi Levitt with “A Concert for Mimi.” Performers included soprano Amy Owens (above) and Tony Award nominee Tony Yazbeck under musical director Michael Barrett (at piano). The program included selections by Leonard Bernstein as well as from Broadway, the classics, and opera. Mimi Levitt, longtime Westport resident, iconic arts patron, philanthropist, and with husband Mortimer for whom the Levitt Pavilion is named, died Jan. 6, 2019. She was 97.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for

Back Home Again Image
Former Westport resident Heather Hardy (2nd r) and her East Coast ensemble entertained today at the Westport Center for Senior Activities.  An accomplished violinist, Hardy resides in Tucson, Arizona where she was inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame. The daughter of Judy Hardy, who was present at the performance, and the late Neil Hardy, she attended the Manhattan School of Music in New York and formed the Lil’ Mama Band in 1998. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Opening Reception for ‘Lost Negatives’ Image
A reception in the Westport Library’s Jesup Gallery tonight celebrated the opening of the photography exhibit, “The Lost Negatives,” an historic collection of entertainment photos from the archives of Westport native Michael Friedman (black shirt). One of his photos taken during a career as a publicist, music producer and manager of dozens of iconic musical artists, including Janis Joplin and the Rolling Stones, is of a 1969 Rolling Stones concert at Madison Square Garden. Pictured with him are (l-r) Westporters Richard Berman, Rusty Ford and Weston resident Dick Wingate, all of whom say they were also there that night. CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Westport Arts Center’s New Name is MoCA Westport

The Westport Arts Center announced today it will begin a new chapter in its history on Sept. 22 when it moves to Newtown Turnpike and changes its name to MoCA Westport. Image
The new logo. Contributed graphic

The origin of the term MoCA is “Museum of Contemporary Art,” said Heather Lawless, a spokeswoman, who emphasized it will simply be known as MoCA Westport. The new look was designed by Westport’s The Visual Brand, she said.

“Thanks to 50 years of connecting an entire community around a love of the arts, it will open its new doors at 19 Newtown Turnpike under an evolved identity and mission,” the announcement said of the arts facility.

“The quality of programming in recent years has been of an exceptional standard; bringing the best of both locally celebrated and globally renowned artists and their work front and center in Westport. 

Curtain Call at ‘Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin’ Image
Hershey Felder takes a curtain call bow tonight before a near capacity crowd following his solo performance impersonation of the musical career of the legendary Irving Berlin. It was the first evening performance since the Saturday scheduled opening night was canceled due to air-conditioning problems. The three week-run ends on Aug. 3. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Levitt Colors Image
The colors of a rainbow mixed with the artificial colors of the Levitt Pavilion stage tonight as Our Native Daughters performed in a ticketed event. The group’s debut album, “Songs of Our Native Daughters,” addresses American historical issues that have influenced the identity of black women, including slavery, racism, and sexism. The rainbow appeared as one of the performers was paying tribute to her late grandmother and audience members got her attention by pointing to the sky. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jill Gordon for