September 19, 2018

‘Once’ Opens Tonight at Ivoryton Playhouse

Katie Barton plays the lead role of Girl in ‘Once,’ which opens Sept. 19 at Ivoryton Playhouse.

ESSEX — Tonight, Wednesday, Sept. 19, the Broadway smash hit Once, opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

On the streets of Dublin, an Irish musician about to give up on his dreams and a beautiful young Czech immigrant are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated love story, underscored by emotionally-charged music.

Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Once is an original theatrical experience. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, Once is an unforgettable story about going for your dreams and the power of music to connect us all.

Based on the 2007 movie of the same name, written by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, the show features all of the haunting songs from the critically acclaimed film, including the Oscar-winning “Falling Slowly”. This uplifting show strikes an unforgettable chord in audiences and speaks to the power of music to connect us all. As Irglova said in her remarkable Oscar acceptance speech, “Fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up.”

A show like this only comes around Once.

Ivoryton welcomes back Ben Hope*, who has performed at Ivoryton in Million Dollar Quartet and Stand by Your Man. Hope is making his directorial debut with this show, which is dear to his heart, since he performed the role of Guy on Broadway many times.  What makes this production special is that Hope is directing his wife, Katie Barton*, in the role of Girl. Barton has also performed in Ivoryton, playing the lead role of Tammy Wynette in Stand by Your Man.

Joining them in this production are Sam Sherwood*, last seen in Ivoryton in The Road — My Life with John Denver, as Guy; Steven G. Anthony* as Billy; Jonathan Brown as Svec; Margaret Dudasik* as Reza; Andreina Kasper as Bank Manager; Marcy McGuigan* as Baruska; John Mervini as Eamon; Morgan Morse as Andre; Rachel Mulcahy as Ex-Girlfriend; Don Noble* as Da; Victoria Wepler as Emcee and Cadyn Malary and Lizzie Pantano as Ivanka.

Musical direction is by Eric Anthony, set design by Glen Bassett, lighting design by Marcus Abbott, and costume design by Cully Long.

Once runs through Oct. 14, 2018.  Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p. m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $55 for adults; $50 for seniors; $25 for students and $20 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org 

Group rates are available by calling the box office for information. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity.

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Chester/Deep River Cub Scout Pack 13 Invites All Youth — Boys and Girls — to ‘Joining Night’ Tomorrow

CHESTER & DEEP RIVER – Cub Scouting wants you!

Now is the time to join the fun and excitement of America’s foremost youth program for boys and girls — Cub Scouting. A Joining Night and Rain Gutter Boat Regatta will be held Thursday, Sept. 20, at the United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester from 7 to 8 p.m.

Cub Scouting is for boys and girls in the kindergarten through fifth grades. The program combines outdoor activities, sports, academics, and more in a fun and exciting program that helps families teach ideals such as citizenship, character, personal fitness, and leadership.

At the meeting, boys and girls will have an opportunity to meet other Scouts and participate in a Rain Gutter Boat Regatta., building supplies will be at the meeting.  Parents can learn more about the local unit’s activities and how Scouting can benefit their child.

For more information, visit www.beascout.scouting.org and enter your zip code for more information, also at http://chesterdeeprivercubpack13.scoutlander.com

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Letter to the Editor: Democrat Pugliese Represents a Fresh, Viable Alternative in House 23rd District Race

To the Editor:

Matt Pugliese offers a refreshing, non-partisan voice in the state House of Representatives for Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. Matt brings business experience from the non-profit sector where he has managed tight budgets and competing union interests to deliver theatrical arts to communities in Middletown and at U Conn. Matt has been recognized for his business acumen by the Hartford Business Journal 40 under 40.

As a resident of Old Saybrook raising a young family, Matt knows first hand the importance of supporting education, working women and families. With his courage to speak up for policies that make sense, Matt has earned the endorsements of Moms Demand Gun Sense, CT Chapter of National Organization of Women and Planned Parenthood.

Connecticut has distinguished itself as a leader in gun control and voting equality. To retain these advances, our legislature needs to be controlled by those willing to stand up for these values. Connecticut needs to become a leader in business and the arts. Matt Pugliese has the experience and fortitude to be our next leader.

Sincerely,

Candace Fuchs,
Old Lyme.
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Renowned Wildlife Photographer Speaks Tonight on Photographing Birds, Other Wildlife at CT Valley Camera Club Meeting; All Welcome

Shawn Carey, who took this photo, will speak tonight at the Connecticut Valley Camera Club meeting at the Lymes’ Senior Center on tips taking nature photos.

AREAWIDE — The guest speaker at the Monday, Sept. 17, meeting of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will be the renowned wildlife photographer Shawn Carey, who will give a talk titled, “ Photographing Birds and Other Wildlife in New England and Beyond.” The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme, Conn.

All are welcome and there is no admission charge.

Over the last 10 years, bird and wildlife photography has seen a surge in popularity—thanks in large part to vast improvements in digital technology. Digital cameras are better, easier to use, and more affordable than ever. But how do you choose the right one? And once you have the camera, what’s next? Where do you go? When should you get there? And how do you turn those great views you’re getting into memorable images that truly capture the moment?

Don’t panic: wildlife photographer and educator Shawn Carey has you covered. Join Carey as he expertly guides you through these topics and shares some tricks of the trade to help you truly enjoy your experience.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Carey moved to Boston, Mass. in 1986 and has been photographing birds and other wildlife for over 20 years. He’s been teaching wildlife photography for Mass Audubon for the past 18 years. On the board of directors for Eastern Mass HawkWatch where he serves as their Vice President, he is also on the advisory board for the Massachusetts Audubon Society and Mass Audubon Museum of American Bird Art.

“I love the natural world,” Carey says, “if it walks, crawls, flies, swims or slithers … I’ll photograph it!”

Carey’s work can be viewed on his website at www.migrationproductions.com.

The CVCC is dedicated to offering its membership the opportunity to become better photographers. The group offers a variety of presentations and interactive workshops to help members expand their technical and creative skills. Photographers of all levels of experience are welcomed.  The club draws members from up and down the river, from Middletown to Old Saybrook; from East Hampton to Old Lyme; and along the shoreline from Guilford to Gales Ferry.

For more information, visit the club’s website at https://ctvalleycameraclub.smugmug.com/. CVCC meeting dates, speakers/topics, and other notices are also published on the club’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CTValleyCameraClubPage.

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Cappella Cantorum Hosts Late Registration for December Concert, Sept. 24; Includes Works by Puccini, Saint-Saens


AREAWIDE: 
Join the Cappella Cantorum Masterworks Chorus for its first rehearsal of Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio on Monday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m., at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Road, Deep River. Use the rear entrance.

These melodious and inspiring works will be performed in concert Sunday, Dec. 2, at John Winthrop with professional orchestra and soloists. Simon Holt of the Salt Marsh Opera will direct.

Auditions are not required.

Registration is $50 plus music: Puccini $9, Saint-Saens $11. Late registration is the following Monday, Sept. 24, at the same time and place.

For more information, visit www.CappellaCantorum.org or call 860-526-1038.

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Enjoy ‘Once,’ Two Receptions at ‘A Night of Theater’ to Benefit Sister Cities Essex Haiti, Sept. 27

ESSEX — Sister Cities Essex Haiti is joining with the Ivoryton Playhouse for “A Night of Theater” on Thursday, Sept. 27. The evening begins under the tent with a pre-show cocktail and light fare reception 6 to 7:15 p.m. “Once” cast musicians will stroll through the tent and entertain during the reception.  

The 2012 Award winning musical “Once” begins at 7:30 p.m. “Once” is an unforgettable story about going for your dreams and the power of music to connect us all.  It is winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards.  

Enjoy dessert and meet the cast immediately following the show under the tent. 

For tickets visit, info@sistercitiesessexhaiti.org or call 860-227-0848.  Tickets are on sale through Monday, Sept. 17.

Proceeds from this event will enable Sister Cities Essex Haiti to continue its good work in Deschapelles, Haiti by providing funds for the operation of the Deschapelles Community Library and projects in Music, Tennis and Early Education Teacher Training. Essex and Deschapelles are Sister Cities.

For more information, visit www.sistercitiesessexhaiti.org

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Major Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition on View in Old Lyme

Looking across Gilbert Boro’s Sculpture Grounds towards his own Studio 80, the sculptures shown in the photo are all by Boro himself.

OLD LYME — Gilbert Boro, owner and curator of Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme, will host Summer Sculpture Showcase 2018: An Exhibition of Unique Landscape Sculptures on his property in the center of this historic town. Boro’s towering studio is also on the beautiful four-and-a-half acre landscaped grounds, as well as his home.

Featuring 20 works by both established, nationally renowned sculptors, as well as fresh new faces, the summer-long show opens June 4. A meet-the-artist opening reception is set for Saturday, June 9 from 5 to 7 p.m., which will feature a live jazz band and a performance by David Dorfman Dance. There is no charge for admission and all are welcome.

Competition to exhibit was keen, with 120 submissions from around the country. Entries were evaluated for concept, execution, creative process, artistry, and how it would fit in the landscape. Boro, a nationally acclaimed sculptor in his own right, hosts this annual show to provide a venue for both young and mid-career sculptors to showcase their work to a diverse audience.

Boro also holds a firm conviction that art and viewer should be interactive. His Sculpture Grounds are an environment where viewers are not only permitted – but encouraged – to touch sculptures. “I really think that three-dimensional art should be handled, touched, pushed, and experienced in three dimensions,” he says. “It’s the only way you can understand it.”

The exhibitors accepted for the Summer Sculpture Showcase embrace this concept. Acclaimed exhibitor artists from Connecticut, the northeast region, and around the country are represented in the show.

‘Lustration’ by Sarah Haviland is one of the features works in Summer Sculpture Showcase 2018.

New York sculptor Sarah Haviland, who received a Fulbright Award to study in Taiwan this fall, had two pieces selected: Lustration, a contemplative female figure of aqua resin and mirrors, and Seraphim Mirror, a butterfly-shaped wall hanging created with galvanized mesh, resin, and a mirror. Haviland’s abstract work explores female identity and is exhibited both nationally and internationally.

Aether by Andreas von Huene is on display at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds.

Miguel Castillo Hernao, a native of Colombia, evolved to sculpting after university studies in literature and philosophy. Hernao explores geometry, color and repetitive forms in his works composed of stone, wood, metal and plexiglass. His seven-foot tall entry, Composition #28, is formed of painted riveted aluminum.

Chicago artist Ruth Aizuss Migdal’s bold and striking Radiate, standing more than eight feet tall, also plays with female forms and is composed of patinated bronze gilded with gold leaf.

Connecticut-based artists include Deborah Hornbake, whose Running Man is a fusion of wood, pipe, copper tubing, wire and stones; Eric Camiel, who has works in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and The Library of Congress, and whose film work has received numerous Emmy and Academy Award nominations, will have his aluminum sculpture, Sail Dream, on display; and Denis Folz’s monumental 11- foot steel sculpture, Feathered Resting Spot.

Boro is committed to supporting and exhibiting promising new artists. This year he presents Shelli Weiler as the featured indoor artist, with her photography exhibit titled Intimate Exchange. Weiler, a native of Scarsdale, NY, is studying photography at Wesleyan University in Middletown. Her photography explores the deep hidden character of people through ground-breaking and provocative poses and settings. Boro is presenting her work in the small, freestanding ESB Gallery, created in honor of his late wife, Emily.

Situated halfway between Boston and New York, Summer Sculpture Showcase 2018 is set on Boro’s four-and-a-half acre estate in the heart of Old Lyme’s historic village. In addition to special exhibits, the permanent display consists of approximately 100 works strategically placed around the park-like grounds.

Now in its 14th year, the Sculpture Grounds host more than 5,000 visitors a year. Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic to the cafe. The grounds are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, year-round, admission is free, and touching the sculptures is encouraged.

The show runs through Oct. 26 and is curated by Gilbert Boro, and Exhibitions Coordinator and photographer, Christina Goldberg.

For more information about Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds, visit www.sculpturegrounds.com. The David Dorfman Dance group performs and holds workshops around the country and will be in residence at Conn College in New London June 6-11.

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Enjoy ‘Music on the Riverboat’ Tonight Featuring ‘Seat of our Pants’

‘Music on the Riverboat’ will be held on the Becky Thatcher, pictured above.

Enjoy live music while sailing down the Connecticut River during a gorgeous sunset at Essex Steam Train’s annual summer concert series, Music on the Riverboat. Offering four nights of music on the Becky Thatcher riverboat on select Fridays this summer, this is a fun and unique live music series offering the opportunity to dance the night away in front of a beautiful, natural backdrop.

There is one act remaining on the schedule:

  • on Sept. 14, the series closes out with Seat of our Pants.

Features of the cruise include:

  • Board the train at Essex Station at 6 p.m. for a 6:15 p.m. departure
  • Two-hour cruise down the Connecticut River aboard the Becky Thatcher riverboat
  • Bands perform between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.
  • Train returns to Essex Station approximately 9 p.m.
  • Food and beverage service are available at the fully stocked bar (No BYOB permitted)
  • Due to the time of day and duration of the cruise, Music on the Riverboat is not recommended for children under 10.
  • $45 per person

The Essex Steam Train is located at 1 Railroad Ave., Essex.  For more information, visit the Essex Steam Train website or contact Pam Amodio at 860.767.0103 or pamodio@essexsteamtrain.com

To reserve tickets, visit this link.

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Centerbrook Architects Promote Deep River Resident Batt to Associate

Daniel Batt

ESSEX – Centerbrook Architects & Planners has announced that Daniel Batt, AIA, LEED AP has been promoted to associate.

A graduate of Miami University in Ohio and the Rhode Island School of Design, Batt is just shy of 10 years with Centerbrook. His diverse résumé includes having served as the project manager for built projects such as the expansion of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and the new Red Barn at Mitchell College.

Batt, a Deep River resident, is currently the project manager for Rocky Corner, Connecticut’s first cohousing development that is now under construction. He is also managing a project currently in planning for The Basilica of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Stamford.

“Dan is one of the most well-rounded architects I’ve worked with,” said Centerbrook Principal Jim Childress, FAIA. “Not only is he a creative and thoughtful designer, but he’s excellent at delivering a project on-time and on-budget. He really knows how to keep the water out.”

Centerbrook also announced that its architectural staff is now 90-percent licensed with David Peterson most recently passing the Architect Registration Examination. The other latest licensees on the design staff include Aaron Emma, Hugo Fenaux, Anna Shakun and Aaron Trahan.

Centerbrook Architects & Planners is a firm conceived in 1975 as a community of architects working together to advance American place-making and the craft of building. A collaborative firm with an exceptional history of building, Centerbrook is known for inventive design solutions that are emblematic of its client and their traditions.

Centerbrook’s designs have won 380 awards, including the Architecture Firm Award, a distinction held by only 36 active firms nationwide. Centerbrook is currently designing for clients in seven states, Canada and China.

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Letter to the Editor: Protection of the Environment is Good for the Economy

To the Editor:

We in the lower Connecticut Valley live in one of the world’s “last great places”. But can we afford to protect the environment if it raises our taxes and costs us jobs and money? This question always comes up around election time but it is based on an incorrect assumption and it leads to the wrong answer. For a state like Connecticut with its knowledge based economy, the environment is actually good for the economy.

China has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and it is a leader in the environmental technology. Some of the wealthiest places on earth (Germany, Denmark, California) are the most environmentally conscious. Solar voltaic installers and wind turbine service technicians are projected to be among the fastest growing occupations in the United States. Connecticut is home of some of the pioneers of the future (the fuel cell industry) and has some of the best resources in the world for the green economy; e.g.: the Connecticut Green Bank (the first in the nation) and the Yale Center for Business and the Environment. Our own locality has initiatives such as Sustainable Essex and the Chester Energy Team and engines of sustainability such as Centerbrook Architects and Noble Power Systems. All of this is in addition to the tourist industry which brings jobs and money to the area as well as making it a nice place to live. These signs are telling us something – that the future belongs to the clean and the efficient.

You don’t need to be a member of the Sierra Club or a follower of the Pope’s Encyclical to care about the environment. It is good enough to care about turning “Green to Gold” (to quote from the book by Dan Esty of Yale). The green economy is the wave of the future and if jobs and money are what we want, we ought to get on board or we will lose BOTH our environment and our economy.

Sincerely,

Frank Hanley Santoro,
Deep River.

 

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St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Hosts Tree Swallow Cruise and Benefit, Sept. 30

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church of East Haddam has announced a benefit cruise on the Connecticut River aboard RiverQuest’s Adventure to view the Tree Swallow migration on Sunday, Sept. 30.  One of nature’s extraordinary events is the annual gathering of hundreds of thousand of Tree Swallows on the Connecticut River in the fall, just prior to their migration south. The swallows converge at dusk and form large clouds from which they descend into the communal roost along the shoreline. This has been declared as one of nature’s greatest spectacles.

There are two ticket levels. Patron for $150.00 which includes a private pre-cruise reception at the Gelston House in East Haddam with champagne and hors d’oeures from 3:45pm to 4:30pm; and, general price of $75.00. Both levels include food and beverage aboard the Adventure. Cruise starts promptly at 5:00pm so arrive early. Departure is from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam.

This cruise will be a unique St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church fundraising opportunity with a portion of the funds raised through ticket sales going to the East Haddam Fuel Bank.

Captain Mark has found the best way to maneuver The Adventure to allow optimum views from her open decks on the bow and stern. Flexible seating ensures everyone gets “up close and personal” viewing. The cruise is about 3.5 hours on the water. The cruise is primarily about the Tree Swallows, however, it is also about the journey there is so much to see while cruising along the river.

Many birds are migrating through the area at this time; for the fall season, we saw a record number of Bald Eagles and Great Egrets last year. On board Naturalist(s), will educate you on the Tree Swallow phenomenon and all the other wildlife we see. On the return cruise home, there is time to chat with others and experience the river at twilight, blending into night. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars.

“This Tree Swallow cruise and viewing experience on the Connecticut River is an incredible opportunity to see the beauty of nature up close, to bring people together in a unique event and to provide a way for St. Stephen’s to raise money both for the church and a portion of the money raised will go to the East Haddam Fuel Bank”, comments Tom Angers, Chair of the Tree Swallow Cruise Committee at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. “We are delighted to bring this event to the church and the East Haddam community,” Tom concludes.

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit www.ststeves.org/cruise.

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Needleman To Host East Haddam Issues Forum, Aug. 29

Essex First Selectman and 33rd State Senate District candidate Norm Needleman.

AREAWIDE — State Senate candidate Norm Needleman has announced plans to host a series of public forums to discuss the issues facing the towns in the 33rd State Senate District.

The forums will take place in towns throughout the district, with the first one planned for the East Haddam Grange Hall,  488 Town St, East Haddam, on Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m.

In announcing his plan to host the public forums, Needleman said: “The most important perspective on the issues facing our district comes from the folks who live and work in our small towns, not from politicians. The people of our district deserve to have their voices heard by the legislators they will be electing to address those issues. These public forums will be a vital public dialogue … a way for all of us to exchange views and lay the groundwork for common sense solutions to the issues our small towns deal with every day.”

Needleman is the Democratic Candidate for Connecticut’s 33rd Senatorial District which includes: Clinton, Chester, Colchester, Deep River, Essex, East Hampton, East Haddam, Haddam, Lyme, Westbrook, Old Saybrook and Portland.

For more information about Needleman’s campaign for state senate, visit NormForSenate.com.

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Ann Nyberg to Receive 3rd Annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award at the Kate’s Summer Gala, Saturday

Ann Nyberg. Photo by Lora Karam Photography.

Ann Nyberg, Connecticut’s longest-serving, full-time female news anchor/reporter will receive the 3rd annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award. The award is given by the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) to an individual who embodies the spirit, independence, and character of the legendary actress and will presented to Ann on Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Kate’s annual Summer Gala in Old Saybrook.

A resident of Madison, Nyberg is WTNH-TV’s longest-serving anchor/reporter in station history and has been nominated for multiple Emmys. In addition to anchoring several evening newscasts, she also produces and hosts the show Nyberg an on-air and online show she developed to share people’s stories with the masses.

In November of 2015, Nyberg was inducted into the prestigious Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Boston/New England Chapter – an honor given to television professionals who have made significant contributions to their community and to the vitality of the television industry. In 2017, Nyberg was recognized, during the year of Harper’s Bazaar Magazine’s 150th anniversary, as a woman of success who pays it forward.

Nyberg has been a storyteller her entire life, which all started with a diary her mother gave her for Christmas when she was just 8-years-old, and the rest is history. As she says, “I never met a story I didn’t want to tell.” Her first book, Slices of Life, A Storyteller’s Diary debuted in October 2015, and is based on her diary. Her second book, released October 2016, is on the legendary Connecticut film actress, Katharine Hepburn. It is called Remembering Katharine Hepburn: Stories of Wit and Wisdom About America’s Leading Lady.

Nyberg began her journey in broadcast journalism immediately following graduation from Purdue University, where she earned a degree in journalism. She was a television journalist in Indiana and Oklahoma before making Connecticut her home. She and her husband have three daughters and two dogs, Henry Watson, a rescued Coon Hound and Mr. Trip Meeshu, a Golden Retriever.

Nyberg feels strongly about philanthropy and in 1993 she founded the Toy Closet Program at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. Thousands of toys and other items are given to children of all ages to help ease their trauma. A lover of the arts, she is a Trustee of the Kate, the only theater in the world named after the iconic four-time Academy Award winning Connecticut actress. Nyberg is also the only honorary female member of the Walter Camp Football Foundation, which raises thousands of dollars for charity every year.

An advocate for all things local, Nyberg’s website Network Connecticut spotlights people and places, small businesses and innovators and entrepreneurs all over the state. She also owns a boutique in Madison, called Annie Mame, where she carries several Connecticut-made goodies to help small businesses push ahead. The name of her shop is in tribute to her favorite movie, Auntie Mame which came out in 1958 and starred Waterbury native, Rosiland Russell.

The Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award, which will be presented to Ann Nyberg on Saturday.

The Kate’s August 25th Gala takes place on the historic Old Saybrook Town Green at 6 pm and includes a cocktail hour with silent auction and dinner by Max Catering. Ann will receive the award, a graceful statuette in the likeness of Hepburn by Kimberly Monson, an artist and faculty member of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. An exciting auction and live music and dancing round out the evening. GSB Wealth Management, a subsidiary of Guilford Savings Bank, is the Executive Producer sponsor for the event.

For additional information and/or to order tickets at $275 per person and up, visit www.thekate.org or call 860-510-0453.

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center. It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.

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Last Week to Vote for Fred! Hearing-Impaired Brooke is One of Three National Finalists for ‘Focus on People’ Award

Fred Brooke of Old Lyme is the founder of AngelRide and one of the three finalists for the Oticon ‘Focus on People’ award.

Frederick Brooke of Old Lyme is a finalist for a national award.

The Oticon Focus on People Award celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of individuals with hearing loss, and Brooke is one of the top three individuals across the country in the Adults category.  His final placement in the Awards now depends on online votes, which are open through Aug. 24.

Brooke doesn’t let his hearing loss slow him down.

In 2001, inspired by 12-year-old Angel Uihlein, he swam across Long Island Sound, raising enough money for Angel’s mom to stay at home with her seriously-ill daughter.  AngelSwim continued over the following years, as Brooke swam 850 miles along the coast of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine to reach the Canadian border, all to benefit sick children.

In 2004, Brooke and his partner Lynn McCarthy started AngelRide, a trans-Connecticut (135 miles, two-day) charity bicycling event with nearly 100 percent of the money raised donated to The Hole in the Wall Camp, founded by actor Paul Newman for children too sick to go to conventional camps.

The money raised enabled the camp to start a Hospital Outreach program that sends specially-trained employees to enrich the lives of children in oncology wards. Today, AngelRide is an annual Memorial Day event that has raised more than $5.75 million to benefit hospitalized children.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Oticon Focus on People Awards, the first national awards program recognizing individuals who challenge outdated stereotypes and demonstrate that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to make a difference. Through the awards program, Oticon continues its mission to raise awareness and open doors of opportunity for people with all degrees of hearing loss.

The other two finalists in the Adult category for this year’s Focus on People Awards are Garth Baker of Twin Falls, Idaho and Clare Wolf of Rubicon, Wis.

“For 20 years, the Oticon Focus on People Awards program has brought inspiring individuals into our lives, and this year is no exception,” says Nancy Palmere, Director of Consumer Marketing and Public Relations. “We’re honored to introduce the country to our finalists and celebrate how they defy the stigma of hearing loss. Each story is unique and we encourage people to visit our website to cast a vote.”

Voting is open through Aug. 24, and the results will be announced in October. All finalists receive a cash prize. First place winners also receive a donation to a charity of their choice.

To vote and to learn more about the awards, visit www.Oticon.com/FOP.

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Chestnut Hill Chamber Music Concert Series Finale is Friday at the Kate


OLD SAYBROOK — Now in its 49th season,Chestnut Hill Concerts will present four programs of chamber music this August at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook. The prestigious series is highly-regarded, not only for its programming, but also for the world-class musicians that artistic director Ronald Thomas invites for the performances.

The concerts will take place August 3, 10, 17, and 24, all Friday evenings at 8 p.m. Cellist and artistic director Ronald Thomas will host and perform in each concert.

The Aug. 3 concert features Ronald Thomas performing the 5th Bach Cello Suite. The remainder of the concert presents John Novacek’s Rags for Violin and Piano, and the Brahms Piano Quartet in  G minor, Op. 25. In addition to Ronald Thomas, artists include Steve Copes, violin; Matthew Sinno, viola; and Randall Hodgkinson, piano.

On Aug. 10, Chestnut Hill presents two string sextets and a string quartet. Chestnut Hill welcomes the Amernet String Quartet, whose members include Misha Vitenson, violin; Franz Felkl, violin; Michael Klotz, viola; and Jason Calloway, cello. The quartet will perform Schubert’s String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 125, No. 1. The quartet will be joined by Vivek Kamath, viola and Ronald Thomas, cello to perform two string sextets: Richard Strauss’ String Sextet from Capriccio, Op. 85 and Tchaikovsky’s String Sextet Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70

The program on Aug. 17 presents music by Debussy, Kodály, and Dvořák. Ronald Thomas and Mihae Lee will perform Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano; Catherine Cho, violin, Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, violin, and Todd Phillips, viola will perform Kodály’s Serenade for Two Violins and Viola, Op. 12; and the ensemble will perform Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81.

The season finale on Aug. 25 explores the music of Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Schumann, including the rarely-heard Horn Quintet in E-flat by Mozart, K. 407, written for one violin and two violas. The concert also includes Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 49 and Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 47. This performance introduces Frank Huang, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, to the Chestnut Hill audience, and brings back some of its favorite performers: William Purvis, horn; Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, violin and viola, Cynthia Phelps, viola; Ronald Thomas, cello; and Mihae Lee, piano.

The 2018 season of Chestnut Hill Concerts is made possible with support from the Connecticut DECD Office of the Arts.

All concerts are Friday nights at 8 p.m. at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate), 300 Main Street in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Subscriptions to the four concerts are $140 (orchestra) and $120 (balcony). Single tickets are $40 for orchestra seats and $35 for the balcony. Kids and teens come free. To purchase tickets, contact The Kate’s box office at 860-510-0453, or visit www.thekate.org.

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Deep River Public Library Hosts Talk on ‘Preventing Chronic Conditions,’ Wednesday

DEEP RIVER — Certified Holistic Health Coach, Tracy Livingston will be at the Deep River Library on Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 6 to 7  p.m. to talk about weight loss and the prevention of chronic conditions, such as thyroid disease and diabetes. Livingston has 18 years of healing experience and is committed to helping people learn how to live a balanced life.

This class is free and open to 20 participants. Registration is required. Visit the library website at http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on the monthly calendar, or call the library for more information at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8pm; Tuesday 10 am – 6 pm; Wednesday 12:30 – 8 pm; Thursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm; and Saturday 10 am – 5 pm.

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Organ ‘Concert in Gratitude’ to be Held at All Saints, Aug. 26

ESSEX — Ivoryton Congregational Church has vacated its building. Before doing so it donated its Pipe Organ to All Saints’ Episcopal Church.

The pipe organ has been installed at All Saints Church and a “Concert in Gratitude” is being celebrated Sunday, Aug. 26, at 3 p.m. All are welcome.

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Registration for Holistic Nurses Integrative Healing Arts Program in Chester Closes Tomorrow

The American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) announces Colleen Delaney PhD, RN, AHN-BC, HWNC-BC and Catherine M. Alvarez, RN, MA, BS, CNML, HNB-BC, PCCN as new faculty for the “Integrative Healing Arts Program in Holistic Nursing” (IHAP) on the East Coast.

IHAP is a unique 84-hour continuing nursing education (CNE) program, in a retreat setting, that prepares nurses to take a pivotal role in transforming the healthcare culture using the principles of holistic health, therapeutic presence and person-centered care.

The Integrative Healing Arts Program in Holistic Nursing (IHAP) will begin in September, 2018 and enrollment is open until Aug. 20. AHNA will offer this three-session program beginning in September,
2018 in Chester, Conn. Session 1 is September 20-23, 2018; Session 2 February 7-10, 2019, and Session 3 is June 20-23, 2019.

The American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) acquired this continuing nursing educational (CNE) program in March 2018 from The BirchTree Center for Healthcare Transformation, which has offered it since
2000. “It is with great anticipation that we announce this opportunity to provide a continuing education program throughout the U.S. and internationally to our members and future members seeking to become
certified in holistic nursing” said Lourdes Lorenz-Miller RN, MSM-IH, AHN-BC, NEA-BC, President of AHNA from Murphy, North Carolina.

This CNE program has a successful 17-year history of preparing holistic nurses to sit for the Holistic Nurse Certification Exam. The requests for holistic nursing educational preparation have escalated at AHNA over the past two years, and this program will assist in meeting this demand.

Marie Shanahan, MA, BSN, HN-BC, President/CEO of The BirchTree Center
for Healthcare Transformation said “We’re very excited to support
the AHNA in expanding IHAP and making it more available to nurses
seeking holistic practice education and certification. We’ve seen
this program change nurses’ lives and careers – and believe the AHNA
is the perfect organization to take the program to a nationwide
audience.”

The American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) is a non-profit
specialty nursing professional membership organization that serves as
the definitive voice for registered nurses who practice holistic
nursing.

Founded in 1981, AHNA’s primary mission is to advance holistic
nursing through Practice, Community Building, Advocacy, Research and
Education. The association is dedicated to the continued development
of evidence-based holistic research, self-care methods for nurses and
non-pharmacological pain management. AHNA offers networking
opportunities to its members along with continuing nursing education
through webinars, self-study programs, publications, conferences, and
scholarship and grant opportunities.

AHNA currently services more than 5,000 members through 146 local
chapters in the U.S. and abroad. Holistic nursing is recognized by the
American Nurses Association as an official nursing specialty with a
defined scope and standards of practice.

For additional information contact: Casey Bohannon at Communications@ahna.org o800-278-2462r call

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Last Chance to Enjoy a Saturday Night Sunset Cruise, Aug. 25

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat offers Sunset Cruises aboard the Becky Thatcher every Saturday.

The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat is offering summertime leisure aboard the Becky Thatcher riverboat with Saturday Night Sunset Cruises down the Connecticut River.

Every Saturday evening through Aug. 25, at 6 p.m., guests will enjoy 360-degree views Connecticut’s storybook countryside. For $30 per person, enjoy this sunset riverboat trip from the boat’s dock in Deep River to the Baldwin Bridge and back again – a twilight trip, which includes a 15-minute diesel locomotive ride from Essex Station to the Deep River boat launch, a two-hour cruise on the Connecticut River, and a return train ride.

  • Board the train at Essex Station at 6 p.m. for a 6:15 p.m. departure
  • Two-hour cruise down the Connecticut River on the Becky Thatcher riverboat
  • 9 p.m. return to Essex Station
  • Food and beverage service is available on board at the Snack Bar (no BYOB)
  • Due to the timing and duration of the cruise, the Sunset Cruise is not recommended to children under the age of 10.

The train will return passengers back to Essex Station after enjoying a wonderful sunset experience.

Space is limited.  Visit http://essexsteamtrain.com to purchase your tickets.

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Joint Summer Worship Services Planned Between Ivoryton, Essex Congregational Churches

Combined summer worship services between the Ivoryton Congregational Church and the First Congregational Church in Essex will be held through the summer at the First Congregational Church in Essex at 6 Methodist Hill, Essex at 9 a.m. in the sanctuary.

The joint services will continue through Sept. 9.

All are welcome.

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Leif Nilsson Hosts ‘The Honey Hill Band’ in Tonight’s ‘Concert in the Garden’

The Honey Hill Band will play the next ‘Concert in the Garden,’ tonight at the Spring Street Studio and Gallery

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson hosts a ‘Concert in the Garden,’ this evening from 7 to 9 p.m.,  featuring The Honey Hill Band at the Spring Street Studio and Gallery at 1 Spring St, Chester Center.

With roots stemming from New England to North Carolina to Norway, Honey Hill finds it’s musical base within a potion of hearty folk, pop, and punk influences. A blend of banjo, guitars, keys and vocal harmonies with the intention of lyrics at the forefront.

Helene, Karl, and Justin have been singer-songwriters in their own domains long before the group came together and bonded over the beauty of cadence, melody, and the craft of original songwriting. With some brave performances under their belt in NYC and the surrounding New England area, the group is part of a hopeful rise of the folk spirit within young artists.

Honey Hill offers their confessions, self-reflections, and professions of love to every audience they find, always leaving traces of sweetness.

This monthly concert series highlights eclectic international singer/songwriter artists from cool jazz to blue grass.

Gates open half hour before the show — first come first seated. Seating is Bistro Style in the amphitheater. The concert will be moved indoors in the event of inclement weather.

A $20 donation is appreciated. The event is BYOB – pack a picnic and bring your own wine or beer or buy it across the street at the Chester Package Store.

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It’s ‘First Friday’ in Chester Tonight!

Chester Gallery will be open for the grand opening of its new Celebration of Summer exhibition tonight during First Friday.  The sculpture in the foreground is by Old Lyme sculptor Gil Boro.

It’s ‘First Friday’ tonight in Chester when Chester restaurants, galleries and shops stay open until at least 8 p.m. with special offerings for visitors to the downtown.

Chester Gallery has a fresh coat of paint inside and will host the grand opening of their Celebration of Summer Exhibition featuring sculptures, paintings, baskets and glass works by the area’s finest between 5 and 8 p.m. 

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New Driver Education School Opens Serving Local Area, ‘APC Driving’ Offers a “Boutique” Approach

Brent and Suzanne Thompson stand outside the doors of the newly-opened APC Driving in the Old Lyme Marketplace. Brent co-founded the business with Chris Robson. Photo submitted.

OLD LYME — APC Driving has opened its doors at 19 Halls Rd. in the Old Lyme Marketplace near The Hideaway, offering driver education programs for teens and adults, as well as advanced driver training. Co-founder Brent Thompson, who lives in Old Lyme, explains, “We didn’t want to be like any other driving school … we hope to develop more of a lifestyle approach [to driving.]”

This photo of the exterior of APC Driving in the lower left shows its prime location in the Old Lyme Marketplace next to the Hong Kong II restaurant.

Chris Robson is the other co-founder and he has over 25 years of experience as a professional race car driver and instructor.  Both men share a lifelong passion for all things automotive or in Thompson’s own words, “We’re both ‘Gearheads.'”

A small selection of Chris Robson’s extensive racing trophies and memorabilia decorates the walls.

Thompson grew up in Texas and Colorado and graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  A sales and marketing executive with years of experience leading teams across the U.S., Canada and Australia, Thompson has had a life-long passion for cars.  Working with the Franklin Mint and its die cast car models division in the 1990s, he created, negotiated and executed marketing programs with world-class partners in historic and collectible automotive fields.  He moved on to executive management in the men’s clothing industry.  

When Thompson’s employer was bought out by competitor in 2016, he decided to get off of corporate travel treadmill and see what he could create locally.  He maintains his full competition license with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and is chief motorsports correspondence for the Auto Chat Show podcasts, which has a subscriber base of over 100,000 listeners.

APC Driving co-founders Brent Thompson (left) and Chris Robson stand together on a racetrack in Brazil after Robson had completed a race there. Photo submitted.

Robson, APC Driving’s chief driving instructor, grew up in a racing family in the quiet corner of Connecticut.  A former chief driving instructor at Performance Motorsports Karting School in Columbus, Ohio, he has over 100 U.S. and international podium finishes in recognized racing organizations and over 25 years of professional racing and instructor experience.  Thompson describes Robson affectionately as, “the real deal behind the wheel,” noting, “The kids love him!”

Chris Robson drives through rain in this race. Photo submitted.

Asked how the idea of opening a driving school was conceived, Thompson explains, ” Chris and I met at a business networking event in West Hartford in 2017. Small talk quickly turned to cars and racing, so we set about figuring out how to create a business.”

The spacious teaching area will never accommodate more than 10 students at any one time.

 
He continues, “We’re taking a boutique approach to teaching people how to drive, with small classes of never more than 10, personalized assessments of their skills, abilities and confidence levels, and providing the training they need,” said Thompson, adding, “Whether you’re first learning to drive, want to have a safer commute or simply like to drive, the skills that you can learn at APC Driving will help you achieve your goal.” 

Both men take safe driving seriously.  Robson seeks to teach young drivers precision and control at the wheel, not speed and thrills.  Thompson’s academic approach to driver education focuses on building a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding what it takes to be safe and happy behind the wheel at any level.  The business partners also both have daughters, so Thompson notes sanguinely, “We have a vested interest. We look at safe driving from the perspective of parents, too.”

The driving simulator is a real boon to the business.

The office that APC Driving occupies is spacious and comfortable.  It is divided into a reception area and a teaching space while a driving simulator occupies one corner, retail sales another and advanced driving programs another.  The walls are covered with automobile-associated artwork and maps, and a large display case houses a number of Robson’s trophies and a fascinating selection of his his racing paraphernalia. Thompson comments, “Everything is fluid,” meaning the artwork and memorabilia will change regularly and as retails sales of clothing, equipment and model cars expand, he anticipates increased inventory necessitating more space being given over to them.

Brent Thompson sometimes mans the reception desk when he’s not teaching.

Brent is married to local writer and radio personality Suzanne Thompson, who is assisting APC Driving with their publicity and promotional planning.  Suzanne explains with a smile, “I’m more into kayaking and gardening than cars,” noting she hosts a weekly radio show about gardening and nature on WLIS 1420 AM/Old Saybrook and WMRD 1150 AM/Middletown and writes regularly for The Day and its weekly publications on environmental matters.  Suzanne stepped back from corporate communications in 2005 to raise her family, and since then she has served on Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau board for six years and in June became a board member of Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce.

Suzanne describes herself and her husband as “a couple of misplaced Midwesterners, who enjoy Connecticut’s New England feel and coastal shoreline.”  The Thompsons moved to Old Lyme in 2002 and have two daughters, who both attend Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.

Looking into the APC Driving area, one can see the teaching one on the left and the advanced skills program area at the rear.

 
APC Driving is licensed by the State of Connecticut to teach the eight-hour Teen Drug and Alcohol and 30-hour Full Course classroom sessions for 16-17 year-olds, including the mandatory two-hour Parent Class, as well as classes for 18-year-olds and adults seeking their Connecticut Driver’s License.  These include behind-the-wheel training with a certified APC Driving instructor in an APC car. 
 
The school also offers specialized training for new and licensed drivers to prepare them to drive on today’s roads.  Students can master their parallel and other parking challenges in PARK IT, hone their big-city driving skills in RUSH HOUR, or sign up for additional Individual Driving Hours.  APC Driving also offers PRIMETIME for mature or senior drivers and in-car training for anyone who needs help understanding all of the technologies in today’s cars. The AUTO SELECT program helps people choose and purchase their vehicle.
 
Courses and training are described on APC Driving’s website, www.apcdriving.com, where parents and students can see the class schedule and register online.  Classes are held Monday through Friday and the school offers flexible hours for in-car instruction.  APC Driving is open Monday through Friday10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call for an appointment. 
 
APC Driving is a subsidiary of Accelerated Performance Coaching, LLC.
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Jeannine Lewis Sworn In as Judge of Probate for Saybrook District

Atty. Jeannine Lewis is sworn in as Judge of Probate for Saybrook Probate District by Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna.

On Monday, July 23, Essex Attorney Jeannine Lewis was sworn in as the next judge of probate for the Saybrook Probate District in a ceremony held on the town green in Old Saybrook. The swearing-in was performed by Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl P. Fortuna, Jr.

Attorney Lewis was elected in November to fill the remaining term of Hon. Terrence B. Lomme, who retired the same week after eight years in service to the district. The Saybrook Probate District encompasses the Towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Killingworth, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

Attorney Lewis has focused her legal career on the types of cases typically handled by the probate court. She is particularly concerned with ensuring that the rights of the most vulnerable individuals who appear before the court are respected and upheld including the rights of the elderly, disabled, mentally ill, and minor children. She has been actively involved in educating other attorneys regarding elder law and estate planning as immediate past chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Elder Law Section Continuing Legal Education Committee. 

In addition, she is a contributing author of the manual used online by Connecticut’s Probate Court Administration to help train attorneys on how to properly represent clients in probate court. As a result of these accomplishments she was appointed to the Probate Court Administration’s Conservatorship Guidelines Committee, which developed standards of practice for Connecticut conservators that were published on July 1 of this year.

As a 17-year-resident of Essex, Lewis is also an active community member. She is a board member for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries and has been a meal site server for the organization for more than 10 years. In addition she is a community lecturer on end-of-life issues and the pro bono attorney for Sister Cities Essex Haiti.

Judge Lewis is running unopposed in the upcoming November election for a full four-year term as probate judge for the Saybrook Probate District.

For more information about Lewis and her qualifications, visit www.lewisforprobate.com.

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Last Chance to See ‘Grease’ Today at Ivoryton Playhouse

Danny, played by Johnny Newcomb, and  Sandy (Kimberley Immanuel) are the leads in ‘Grease’ at Ivoryton Playhouse.  Both are members of Equity. Photograph by Anne Hudson.

IVORYTON — Dust off your leather jackets, pull on your bobby-socks and take a trip to a simpler time as Danny and Sandy fall in love all over again at the Ivoryton Playhouse. Opening on July 5, and running through July 29, Grease, by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey,  features all the unforgettable songs from the hit movie including “You’re The One That I Want”, “Grease Is The Word”, “Summer Nights”, “Hopelessly Devoted To You”, “Greased Lightnin’” and many more.

Here is Rydell High’s senior class of 1959: duck-tailed, hot-rodding “Burger Palace Boys” and their gum-snapping, hip-shaking “Pink Ladies” in bobby sox and pedal pushers, evoking the look and sound of the 1950s in this rollicking musical.

Head “greaser” Danny Zuko and new (good) girl Sandy Dumbrowski try to relive the high romance of their “Summer Nights” as the rest of the gang sings and dances its way through such songs as “Greased Lightnin’,” “It’s Raining on Prom Night,” “Alone at the Drive-In Movie” recalling the music of Buddy Holly, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley that became the soundtrack of a generation.

The Burger Palace Boys comprising (Kenickie, (Natale Pirrotta*), Roger (Taylor Morrow), Danny (Johnny Newcomb*), Doody (Luke Linsteadt*) and Sonny (Max Weinstein) play a key  role in ‘Grease.’ * denotes member of Equity. Photograph by Anne Hudson.

Grease‘ opened Off-Broadway at the Eden Theatre on Feb. 14, 1972 but was deemed eligible for the 1972 Tony Awards, and received seven Tony Award nominations. The 1994 revival also garnered Tony nominations and the show went on to a successful national tour, featuring local hero Micky Dolenz as Vince Fontaine.

The movie that we all know and love opened 40 years ago and it is a testament to the music and the iconic characters that ‘Grease‘ is still the word today.

The best part of this quintessentially American high school story (aside from the music, of course) is what Danny, Sandy, Rizzo, Kenickie, Frenchy and the rest of the Rydell High gang taught us – that the people who really care about you will stay by your side no matter how different you are from one another, and support you just the same whether you’re a pom-pom-wielding goody-two-shoes, a leather-touting T-Bird or a starry-eyed, pink-haired aspiring beautician, who drops out of school months before graduation.

So throw your mittens around your kittens and hand jive the night away with the show that’ll make you want to stand up and shout, ‘A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop, a-wop-bam-boom!

This production stars Johnny Newcomb* as Danny Zuko and Kimberley Immanuel* as Sandy. Johnny made his Broadway debut in The Last Ship and was part of the national tour of American Idiot. He was last seen in Ivoryton as Roger in Rent. This season’s audience may remember Kimberley for her luminous performance as Luisa in The Fantasticks

Other cast members that may be familiar to Ivoryton audiences are Alyssa V. Gomez* (Rizzo), Amy Buckley (Miss Lynch), Cory Candelet (Eugene), Jonny Cortes (Johnny Casino), Taylor Lloyd (Marty), Alexa Racioppi (Patty Simcox) Max Weinstein (Sonny) Amanda Lupacchino, Andee Buccheri, and Nathan Russo. Making their Ivoryton debut are Katelyn Bowman (Frenchy) Lawrence Cummings* (Vince Fontaine/Teen Angel), Luke Linsteadt* (Doody), Taylor Morrow (Roger), Natale Pirrotta* (Kenickie), Shalani Taylor (Cha-Cha), Audrey Wilson (Jan), Jamaal Fields-Green, Jared Starkey and Clementine Wurzbach

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd L. Underwood and musical directed by Michael Morris, with set design by Daniel Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Saylor Cippolina.

Grease opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 5 and runs through July 29, 2018. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm.Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

Additional matinee performances are on Saturday, July 7, 14 and 28 at 2pm.

Tickets are $55 for adults; $50 for seniors; $25 for students and $20 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org 

Group rates are available by calling the box office for information. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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Summer Rock Camp Opens at Community Music School Tomorrow

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School (CMS) has announced the launch of a new summer initiative, Summer Rock Camp.  This new program takes place at Community Music School’s main campus at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook and runs for a weeklong session July 30 through August 3 from 9 am to 12 pm each day. Designed for intermediate to advanced students aged 12 and up who play guitar, bass, drums, woodwinds, brass, or voice.

Directed by CMS Guitar Instructor John Birt, Summer Rock Camp will help students explore popular music on a variety of instruments. Students will gain experience putting together an ensemble and learn how to prepare for a performance.

All instruments are welcome, as well as all styles of music such as classic rock, country, pop, blues, and more.  The camp will end in a live performance at the Centerbrook Meeting House for family and friends on Aug. 3 at 1 pm.

Tuition for this camp is $225 and scholarships are available for families with a financial need.

For additional information and to register, visit www.community-music-school.org/summer or call 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 35 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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Letter to the Editor: Vote for Chester Library to Win Prestigious CT Treasure Award

To the Editor:

With all the differing opinions about whether or not the town of Chester needs a new 8,000 square foot, $7.4 million library, or if a library of this magnitude can be sustained or utilized to its fullest capacity by Chester’s 4,245 residents, one thing is for sure – the Chester Library is a true Connecticut treasure. It has been recognized as such by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIACT) who has nominated the Chester Library for their prestigious Connecticut Treasures Award.

Our library was chosen to represent Middlesex County and we are in great company! Other nominees include New Haven County: Beinecke Library, Yale University, New Haven; Fairfield County: Pequot Library, Fairfield; Hartford County: Kent Memorial Library, Suffield; Litchfield County: Hotchkiss Memorial Library, Sharon; New London County: Public Library of New London, New London; Tolland County: George Maxwell Memorial Library; and Windham County: North Woodstock Public Library, North Woodstock.

The voting process is a People’s Choice format, and the voting period is from July 9th through the 20th, so please vote for our Middlesex County Connecticut Treasure, the Chester Library, at: https://aiact.org/vote-2018-connecticut-treasures.

Sincerely,

Caryn B. Davis,
Chester.

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Deep River Congregational Rummage Sale Seeks Donations, Sale Starts Aug. 17

DEEP RIVER — The Annual Rummage sale will be held inside at the Deep River Congregational Church on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a Preview Sale on Friday, Aug. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m.  
The church is seeking donations for the event beginning June 1.   The following items cannot be accepted:  large furniture, TVs and large appliances, car seats, cribs, books, clothing, shoes, VHS tapes or items that are in disrepair.  
Contact Cathy Smith for more information  at 860-767-1354 or smithcathleen@sbcglobal.net, or Kris in the church office at 860-526-5045 or office.drcc@snet.net.
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Community Music School Presents Inaugural Annual Cornhole Charity Challenge, Aug. 13

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School will present their first annual Cornhole Charity Challenge on Aug. 13, at 6 pm on beautiful Essex Island.  Join us for live music and southern BBQ! Local charities will face off in this friendly cornhole competition. BYOB and family friendly! The event is presented by Guilford Savings Bank and proceeds will benefit scholarships and outreach programs at Community Music School.

Event tickets include live music and all food: $25/adult, $12/kid, ages 5 and under free. Teams of two can enter the cornhole competition for $20. Rain or shine; covered area available. For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit www.community-music-school.org/cornhole or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 35-year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity, and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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Deep River Congregational Church Invites Vendors to Participate in Flea Market, Aug. 18

DEEP RIVER — The Annual Flea Market will be held at the Deep River Congregational Church on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Market will be held on the church lawn and on Marvin Field, located on Rte. 154, just as you enter Deep River from the South.  
Spaces are 20 x 20 ft. and available for $30 and can be reserved by contacting Kris in the church office at 860-526-5045 or office.drcc@snet.net as soon as possible since the 80 spaces go quickly.   
Registration forms and a map of the spaces can also be found on our web site, www.deeprivercc.org.
 
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Chester Resident Margaret Wilson Honored as a Member of 2018 Class of 60 Over 60

Margaret Wilson of Chester was recently named a member of the 2018 Class of 60 Over 60.

CHESTER — Chester resident Margaret Wilson was recently honored as a member of the 2018 Class of Connecticut’s 60 Over 60. She was celebrated at a reception and ceremony at Duncaster, the Hartford area’s first LifeCare community.  Over 200 people, including family, friends and admirers of the honorees celebrated her accomplishments. The event was sponsored by The University of Hartford’s The Hartt School whose students also provided the music throughout the event.

“We were so honored that almost all of the members of this year’s class were able to attend,” said Duncaster CEO Michael O’Brien.  “We are pleased that, for the second year, we had the honor of showcasing some of the state’s most influential individuals who are age 60 or better.  We are overwhelmed with the contributions each member of the Class of 2018 has made to the world; the people they touch every day and their families.”

“It is truly a pleasure to nominate Margaret Wilson for this recognition. Margaret is Vice President/President-elect of the Resident Board of Masonicare at Chester Village. A woman of many interests and gifts, she unselfishly shares them with the community-at-large,” so begins the nomination of Margaret Wilson by Masonicare’s Executive Director, Annie Hoefferle.

For the past 20 years, Margaret has served as treasurer of the Connecticut River Gateway Commission, which is a state-local compact dedicated to the protection of the 30-mile Lower Connecticut River Valley. She also serves on the town of Chester’s Conservation Commission, is a monthly volunteer at the YMCA’s Camp Hazen in Chester and authors a weekly “Envirotrips” column.

After her retirement, Margaret continued to volunteer on nature and environmental projects at Chester Elementary School where she was a substitute teacher. Her retirement also allowed her to attain her Master Gardener status through UCONN.

Her nominator enthusiastically concludes, “With her passion for the environment and continued love of learning and serving, Margaret is truly deserving of this recognition.”

The search for 60 individuals began in January.  Nominations came in from across Connecticut from people who wanted to honor those who had contributed to their businesses, the arts scene, the local and international nonprofit community and their families.  They were selected by a panel of judges that included three members of the first class of Connecticut’s 60 Over 60: Molly Gavin, President of Connecticut Community Care, Inc.; Kathleen Miller Murphy, Board Member, Simsbury Library and Terry Borjeson, State of Connecticut, Pardons and Paroles Board Member.

The search for the 2019 Class of Connecticut’s 60 Over 60 will begin in January.

For profiles of the members of the 2018 Class of 60 Over 60, go to: duncaster.org/60-over-60-winners.

Editor’s Note:  Duncaster, the Hartford area’s first LifeCare community, is located minutes from West Hartford and Simsbury in Bloomfield CT.  This boutique Life Plan Community sits on 94 acres.  While catering to the active and engaged in independent living neighborhoods, Duncaster also offers options for those seeking assisted living, memory care, long-term care and rehab services (all private) in intimate settings. Duncaster was voted the Best Retirement Community by readers of Hartford Magazine and the Connecticut Law Tribune.  Residents have a role in governance and sit on the board – a rare distinction. For more information, visit http://www.Duncaster.org or call (860) 380-5005.

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Middlesex Hospital Opens Renovated Essex Facility

Middlesex Hospital leaders celebrate the opening of the renovated Shoreline Medical Center. From left to right, Lori Pascarelli, Manager of Occupational Medicine, Jackie Calamari, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Dr. Matthew Lundquist, Chief of Occupational Medicine, David Giuffrida, Vice President of Operations, Brian Taber, Physical Rehabilitation Director, Donna Stroneski, Vice President of Human Resources and Robin Copperthwaite, Rehabilitation Supervisor.

ESSEX — Middlesex Hospital has opened its renovated building at 252 Westbrook Road in Essex.

The building was once home to the Shoreline Medical Center, which moved to 252 Flat Rock Place in Westbrook in 2014. On July 10, Middlesex Hospital’s Occupational and Environmental Medicine Department and its Physical Rehabilitation Department began seeing patients at the renovated facility.

The Physical Rehabilitation Department, which includes the Hospital’s physical and occupational therapy programs, has several offices located throughout Middlesex County. The department’s office at 192 Westbrook Road in Essex is now closed due to the department’s move to the renovated space.

Occupational and Environmental Medicine also moved from 192 Westbrook Road. As such, Middlesex Hospital no longer has any offices located at that address.

When it renovated 252 Westbrook Road, Middlesex installed new exterior wall framing, insulation, siding and a new roof. The inside of the building was rebuilt and includes a new HVAC system, ceiling, lighting, flooring and finishes. By doing this work, Middlesex invested in its facility, in the services it offers and in the Essex community.

“We are so excited to open this renovated facility,” says Middlesex President and CEO Vincent G. Capece, Jr. “This building will give our Occupational and Environmental Medicine and Physical Rehabilitation departments a new home. It will give them the space and resources to continue doing what they do best—caring for our community.”

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Ivoryton Village Farmers’ Market Open Saturdays on Ivoryton Green


IVORYTON — Summer’s back and so is the Ivoryton Farmers’ Market.  The Ivoryton Green will be bustling with vendors showcasing Connecticut-Grown produce and prepared foods. Local artisans and crafters will be displaying their latest creations and area musicians will be performing, live.

Brought to you by the Ivoryton Village Alliance, the market is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and runs weekly from June 16, through Sept.29. Everyone is invited to visit our village, shop the market and enjoy the free, live entertainment.

More information is available at www.ivorytonfarmersmarket.com or www.facebook.com/ivorytonfarmersmarket

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Essex Land Trust Hosts Kayak Race Today on Mill Pond

Join a kayak race round Jean’s Island, July 14!

ESSEX — On your marks, get ready. paddle!

Join the Essex Land Trust in a first ever kayak race around Jean’s island, on the seven-acre Falls River Mill Pond located in Ivoryton and Centerbrook. This will be an informal, fun and family-friendly race with prizes provided for the first three finishers.

Participants ages 12 and older should register on site starting at 9:30 a.m. and launch their boats from the Falls River Park Landing, located on Falls River Drive. All participants should wear a personal floatation device.

The competition starts at 10 a.m. Safety boat will accompany. Bad weather cancels.

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CBSRZ Temple Announces ‘Knit-In’ Tomorrow to Benefit Project Amigo

combination knitting tutorial

CHESTER — Calling all knitters/crocheters!

Do you have 30 yards of yarn lying around?  Knit a square for Project Amigo at the Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) Knit-In to benefit Project Amigo. The Knit-In will be held at CBSRZ, 55 E. Kings Highway, Chester, on Sunday, July 15, 2018 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

You will be joining fellow yarnsmiths to make knitted or crocheted 6 inch by 6 inch squares for afghans. The squares will be sewn together by seamstresses in Mexico and distributed to students who are being sponsored by Project Amigo. This is a charity that supports students from Colima in rural western Mexico so that they will be able to create their own educational opportunities and pathways to better their quality of life in Mexico.                                                                                                                                                    

If you would prefer, you can knit or crochet your square(s) ahead of time and bring them to the Knit-In. Each square needs to be 6 inches by 6 inches, any pattern and any type of yarn.

For knitting directions, visit www.srbrown.info/afghans and select directions.

For more information, call the CBSRZ office at 860-526-8920.

Project Amigo supports students from Colima, Mexico so that they can create their own educational opportunities and improve their quality of life. 

To do this, the financial barriers to education are removed through scholarships that include school fees, transportation, uniforms and school supplies, and a hot lunch. Project Amigo staff also provide tutoring and mentoring during Project Amigo Homework Club. These Clubs also provide a way of keeping in close touch with the students so problems can be identified before they become so severe that the student is forced to drop out of school.

Opportunities are also provided for volunteers from other countries to perform valuable humanitarian service that creates and fosters friendship, and understanding across cultures.

Education and literacy are powerful tools to create a brighter future for the world’s children who in turn benefit the nations they live in. Since 1984, Project Amigo has worked with rural youth in Mexico to continue their formal schooling including university level.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Hosts Classic Car Show During Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival, July 28

This year’s Classic Car Show sponsored by the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions will be held on the grounds of the Bee and Thistle Inn on Saturday, July 28.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Classic Car Show will be held on Saturday, July 28, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the grounds of the Bee & Thistle Inn, Lyme St, Old Lyme, next to the Florence Griswold Museum, between I-95 Exits 70 and 71.

There will be 14 classes shown as well as a ‘People’s Choice’ award.

Admission is $5 for spectators and $10 for show car registration (includes admission for driver and one passenger).  

The Lions will serve their usual fare, including bacon cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and fries.  All proceeds benefit Lions charities.

To pre-register your car for the event, visit the Car Show Registration at this link. Your $10 registration fee is not due til the day of the show.

The Car Show is now part of the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival, where you will find art exhibitions, music and dance, family fun, and wonderful artisan cheeses and breads.

Directions: From the north, take I-95, exit 71, right onto Four Mile River Road, left onto Route 1 South, which becomes Lyme Street.  You will find the Bee & Thistle Inn on your right. From the south, take I-95, exit 70, go left onto Route 156, take a right onto Halls Road, then a left onto Lyme Street (Route 1, Boston Post Road). the Bee & Thistle Inn will be on your left.

Rain Date: Sunday, July 29.
 
Car owners: arrive by 9 a.m. Flea Market vendors: set up before 9 a.m. 

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Local Organizations Host Summer Program to Provide Food for Families in Need

TRI-TOWN — Tri-Town Youth Services, Deep River Public Library and Deep River, Chester and Essex Social Service Departments are working together to help local families in need over the summer.  No child should go hungry, and yet many children, who receive free and reduced lunches during the school year, are left without the nutrition they need in the summer.

Beginning Thursday, July 12, families can visit the Deep River Public Library’s Children’s Garden, on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to receive a bag of nutritious food.  Arts and crafts will also be available for the children.

The program sponsors are looking for volunteer help and food donations, especially easy-to-carry, kid-friendly, nutritious lunch and snack items.

Contact Tri-Town Youth Services at 860-526-3600 for more information or to sign up to help.

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Happy Fourth to all our Readers! Join the Ivoryton Independence Day Parade Today!

IVORYTON — Join your friends and neighbors to celebrate The Fourth of July at the Ivoryton Independence Day Parade, July 4th.

All are welcome to march on foot or ride on bicycles, scooters, trucks, tractors wagons or in vintage cars. Patriotic attire encouraged.

Vehicles should assemble on Cheney Street, Ivoryton by 9:15 a.m. and walkers by 9:30 a.m. The parade steps off at 10 a.m., circling Ivoryton and winding up by the green in preparation for a short, patriotic program around 11 a.m.

Severe rain will cancel the event, which will not be rescheduled.

Show your spirit for American History and help celebrate The Glorious Fourth!

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Tri-Town Youth Services Hosts “When I’m In Charge,” July 10

DEEP RIVER —Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High St., Deep River, will host the following summer event:

When I’m In Charge

Tri-Town Youth Services will host the American Red Cross Program “When I’m In Charge.”  This program is ideal for children, 9 and up, who may sometimes be home alone this summer.  The program will cover topics of potential dangers, personal safety and safety for younger siblings, home and hazards safety, how to get help, and other safety related topics.

This one-day summer course will be held Tuesday, July 10, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Deep River Public Library Community Room, 150 Main St.  Fee: $25.  To sign up, visit www.tritownys.org or call 860-526-3600.

Bring a snack (no peanuts or peanut butter.)

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Tri-Town Youth Services Offers Babysitter Training Course, July 9

DEEP RIVER — Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High St., Deep River, will host the following summer event:

Babysitter Training Course

Learn how to become a safe and responsible babysitter.  

Tri-Town Youth Services is offering the American Heart Association’s First Aid and CPR course along with a babysitter training certificate program.  This course provides an excellent opportunity to help youth, 11-17, to build self-confidence as well as job leadership and decision making skills.  The $75 fee includes instruction, books and certificate.

The one-day summer course will be held on Monday, July 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Tri-Town, 56 High St., Deep River.  To sign up, visit www.tritownys.org or call 860-526-3600.

Bring a lunch.

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Essex Steam Train Hosts ‘Cigar & Whiskey’ Cruise, July 12

AREAWIDE — Join Essex Steam Train for a unique night of refined pleasures on their Cigar & Whiskey Cruise.

On Thursday, July 12, from 6 to 9 p.m., the Cigar & Whiskey Cruise (for adults only) will take an exclusive group of cigar enthusiasts on the Becky Thatcher riverboat for an evening of spirits, cigars, and delicious cuisine.  This event will be held rain or shine.

Guests board the vintage steam train at Essex Station for a ride to Deep River Landing, where they will embark on a two-hour sunset cruise along the Connecticut River while they sample premium whiskeys paired with a hand-rolled cigar for each passenger.

The schedule for the evening is as follows:-

  • Board the locomotive at Essex Station at 6 p.m.
  • Train departs Essex at 6:15 p.m.
  • Riverboat Cruise runs from 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Arrive back at Essex Station at 9:30 p.m.

Light hors d’oeuvres will be provided and additional spirits will be available for purchase.

Included in the $85 ticket price ($95 at the door) is the initial train ride to Deep River Landing, two-hour cruise on the Connecticut River, a hand-rolled cigar, 1/2-oz. tastings of the night’s featured whiskeys, light fare, and an Essex Steam Train & Riverboat rocks glass.

For more information and to reserve tickets, contact Pam Amodio at pamodio@essexsteamtrain.com or call 860.767.0103 or visit this link.

 

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“Brilliant,” Essex Art Association’s Summer Exhibition, on View Through July 21

‘Mom’s Basket’ by Steven Wells is one of the signature paintings of the artist’s solo show in the Gantner Gallery at the Essex Art Association.

ESSEX — The July show at the Essex Art Association (EAA) is an Open Exhibition and welcomes all area artists to submit up to two pieces of artwork for display. This type of show offers the public a viewing experience with a wide spectrum of subjects, styles and mediums.

The show is juried for awards only, with the EAA distributing $1800 in nine categories. In addition, one artist will be awarded a solo exhibit in the EAA Gantner Gallery during the 2019 gallery season. 

The exhibit’s opening reception is Friday, June 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. The show runs June 30  through July 21. The EAA Gallery is located at 10 North Main Street, Essex, CT. Gallery hours are 1-5 pm daily, closed Tuesdays. For more information visit essexartassociation.com or call 860-767-8996.

The exhibit theme “Brilliant” invites artists to share their most ingenious and insightful artwork reflecting expressions of dynamic composition, luminous color or any personal inspiration.

The Gantner Gallery exhibit, “Perspective of Portland, My Home Town,” features the work of Steven Wells of Portland, Conn. Wells has enjoyed portraying familiar and unique perspectives in and around his home town the better part of his life.  This Paier College of Art student, after teaching art classes on and off for a few years, set aside his passion for watercolors to create with a different medium, hammer and nail, having been a professional building contractor for over 40 years.

Throughout his time designing, renovating, and creating homes in and around Portland, Wells never truly “put down the brush” as he would use the winter months to pick up where he left off, pursuing what he enjoys most, which is painting.

His profound ability to capture the essence of life and nature was undoubtedly nurtured by his mother Lois, a tremendous watercolorist of her own. They loved to share creative moments while they worked on their latest pieces.  

Becoming a member of the Essex Art Association and participating in their exhibitions has been a welcoming experience and allowed him to share, through his eyes, the artist behind the hammer.

Exhibition juror, Douglas Deveny is an abstract expressionist who attended the Art Institute of Atlanta and Savannah College of Art and Design. He graduated with a B.S. in Art Education from Southern Connecticut State University – Summa Cum Laude.

Deveny says, “My work is non-objective. I like to explore the complexity in simplicity by use of texture and color. I am intrigued by the beauty of deteriorated surfaces, happenstance and patina. Each painting incorporates a variety of techniques and countless layers of acrylic and mixed media, with a constant accumulation and reduction of materials, until each piece finds its own end.”

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Essex Library Receives $20,000 Gift

The Friends of Essex Library recently presented Library Director Richard Conroy with a $20,000 check.

ESSEX — The Friends of the Essex Library presented a $20,000 check to library Director Richard Conroy at their Annual Meeting held on June 13.  This generous gift was made possible thanks to the hard work of a dedicated group of volunteers who put in countless hours organizing book sales, and working on highly successful fund raisers such as the “Festival of Dinner Parties” held in the fall of 2017 and recent tour of “Our Friends Gardens.” 

“Quite simply, the Library could not offer the level of services we provide if it weren’t for the vital financial support we receive from our Friends” said Conroy, who marveled at how vibrant the organization has become over the past few years.  He offered special thanks to outgoing Friends President Jo Kelly for being “the sparkplug” that has kept the group on task during her tenure.  He also mentioned that he looked forward to working with incoming President Suzy Baird. 

In addition to their usual fall and spring book sales the Friends are hard at work planning upcoming fund-raising events such as a Swallow Cruise in September, and Library Mini-Golf in January.  To learn more about the Friends, or how to become one, visit their webpage at: www.youressexlibrary.org/friends/.

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Area Legislators to Host Lyme Disease Prevention Forum in East Haddam Tomorrow

EAST HADDAM — State Representatives Melissa Ziobron (R-34), Devin Carney (R-23) and Robert Siegrist (R-36) will be hosting an informational forum presented by the BLAST Tick-borne Prevention Program to address Lyme Disease prevention.

The forum will take place on Wednesday, June 27, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the East Haddam Grange Hall, 488 Town Street, East Haddam.

The event is open to the public and no registration is required.

The BLAST Tick-borne Prevention Program was developed in 2008 by the Ridgefield, CT Public Health Department, BLAST stands for: Bathe after outdoor activity, Look for Ticks and rashes, Apply repellent, Spray the yard and Treat pets.

The legislators can be reached by phone (800) 842-1423 or online at www.repziobron.comwww.repcarney.com andwww.repsiegrist.com.

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Community Picnic, Free Concert at CBSRZ This Afternoon, All Welcome

‘The Cluppin Spielers’ will perform at the Community Picnic at CBSRZ this afternoon.

CHESTER — Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek’s (CBSRZ) open to the public annual community picnic and free concert presents The Cluppin Spielers (“Clapping Players”), the new CBSRZ house band that will bring us an exceptional concert, on Sunday, June 24, at 5 p.m.

Performing a mix of old and new, The Cluppin Spielers’ repertoire draws on the traditional melodies of Eastern European Klezmer, contemporary Jewish Bluegrass known as “JewGrass,” and Americana Folk. Regardless of the genre, the group’s lively, toe-tapping melodies leave audiences laughing, smiling, and clapping.

Although there is no charge for the performance, concertgoers will have plenty of grilled summer fare to purchase and other foods with proceeds benefiting local charitable organizations. In the event of rain, the music will be moved inside. Bring your own entrée if you wish (out of respect for CBSRZ kosher dietary restrictions, please no shellfish or pork products).

Jointly produced by our Music & More and Social Action committees, it is intended not only as a joyous music treat, but something that will benefit those in need. No reservations are necessary.

Klezmer is largely dance songs for weddings, often sung in Yiddish.  The word Klezmer comes from two Hebrew words, kleizemer meaning “vessels of song”.  Over time the term klezmer referred to musical instruments, and later to the musicians themselves.  The music of Klezmer swings and gets you on your feet.

As Klezmorim brought their yiddish “folk” sounds and merged them with American culture, contemporary Jewish musicians are now taking part in a growing trend to combine Jewish spirituals with Americana – typically thought of as blue grass, folk and country music to create a new genre known as “JewGrass”.   Traditional and contemporary Jewish musicians have in common the desire to push the boundaries of what’s expected, forging new ways of telling stories.  After all, storytelling is second nature to Judaism, a perfect match for Americana folk tunes.

The member group consists of musicians who were in A Klez Act, the previous congregation house band that has entertained audiences since 1993, as well as musicians who made folk music together when celebrating at the installation ceremony of the current Rabbi, Marci Bellows in 2016.  In bringing the two groups together as one, CBSRZ joins fellow artists on the musical journey to tell stories in fun, new ways.

The Cluppin Spielers’ members include Melinda Alcosser – percussion;  Steven Barasz – vocals, guitar; Billy Bertelli – drums; Belinda Brennan – vocals, mandolin; Meg Gister – vocals, keyboard; Neil Gottfried – vocals, guitar, clarinet; Norman Hanenbaum – saxophone; Lori Jubelirer – bass guitar; Deb Rutty, vocals; Norman Rutty – vocals, 12 string guitar; Marcy Saltzman – vocals, banjello; Joel Saltzman – guitar; Pat Smith – percussion; Shelley Sprague – vocals, guitar; Dave Zeleznik – banjo.

The location of this free concert and community picnic is at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, 55 East Kings Highway, Chester, Connecticut.

For more information, visit www.cbsrz.org/engage/events or call the CBSRZ office at 860-526-8920.

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Last Chance to See ‘A Night with Janis Joplin’ at Ivoryton Playhouse This Afternoon

Paige MacNamara plays Janis Joplin in the production about the legendary singer’s life opening at Ivoryton Playhouse, May 30. Photos by Curtis Brown.

ESSEX — The Ivoryton Playhouse will present the 2014 Tony Award-nominated 2013 Broadway Musical A Night With Janis Joplin, written and directed by Randy Johnson, from May 30 to June 24.

Born in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1943, Janis Lyn Joplin challenged racial and sexual stereotypes, and created a sound and a style that has become legendary. She exploded onto the music scene in 1967 and, almost overnight, became the queen of rock and roll. The unmistakable voice, filled with raw emotion and tinged with more than a touch of Southern Comfort made her a must-see headliner from Monterey to Woodstock

Her unique sound, however, was originally created as a result of her love for some of the greatest African-American singers of all time. Now, theatergoers can share an evening with the Queen of Rock and Roll and her musical influences in A Night with Janis Joplin

On Jan. 12, 1995, when she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, her profile proclaimed, “Janis Joplin’s star rose fast, burned bright and burned out too soon. The blues-influenced rocker had one of the most powerful voices of the Sixties. Her voice is equal parts tough and vulnerable, a shout into the void that resonated with a generation.” Joplin biographer Myra Friedman added, “It wasn’t only her voice that thrilled, with its amazing range and strength and awesome wails. To see her was to be sucked into a maelstrom of feeling that words can barely suggest.”

A Night with Janis Joplin made its Broadway debut, under the direction of Randy Johnson, on Oct. 10, 2013 at the Lyceum Theatre, where it played for 140 performances before closing on Feb. 9, 2014. Mary Bridget Davies, who made her Broadway debut in the title role, earned a 2014 Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, and won a 2014 Theatre World Award for her critically acclaimed performance.

Aurianna Tuttle plays Etta James in ‘A Night with Janis Joplin.’

Sharing the lead role of Janis Joplin in this production are Francesca Ferrari* and Paige McNamara*. The cast also includes Aurianna Angelique*, Jennifer Leigh Warren*, Tawny Dolley*, and Amma Osei* who take on the roles of the many women who influenced Janis – Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Bessie Smith, Nina Simone and many more.

A Night with Janis Joplin opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on May 30 and runs through June 24. Original direction by Randy Johnson, original set design by Brian Prather, original lighting design by Ryan O’Gara, original projections by Darrel Maloney, original costume designs by Amy Clark and original wig designs by Leah Loukas. This production is co-directed by Tyler Rhodes. Musical Director is Michael Morris.

Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets purchased before June 1 are $50 for adults, $45 for seniors, $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting the Playhouse’s website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. After June 1, tickets are $55 for adults and $50 for seniors. (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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Haddam Garden Club Hosts a Vineyard Afternoon in Higganum Today

HADDAM — In case you haven’t heard the buzz, the Haddam Garden Club is hosting A Vineyard Afternoon on Saturday, June 23 from 4 to 7 p.m. at RubyBelle Vineyard in Higganum.  It promises to be a beautiful afternoon (and if it isn’t, there is a rain date of Sunday, June 24) at which you can mingle with friends old and new while you sample abundant hors d’oeuvres and, of course, wine. 

There will be talks on the grape culture and the process of wine making by Maurice Adams, how to pair wine with food by Laura Grimmer of The Perfect Pear in Chester, while vineyard owner, Stew Gillmor will be on hand to give tours and answer questions. 

All this takes place in the stunning setting of RubyBelle Vineyard off Brainerd Hill in Higganum.  The magnificent gardens are worth a tour on their own merit.

Preregistration is strongly urged, as space is limited.  Tickets are $30 per person.  To access the registration form or for more information, visit this link.

For more information about Haddam Garden Club, visit their website at this link.  

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‘Fire Truck Pull’ to be Held at ‘Relay for Life’ Today

Do you want to pull a fire truck? Do you and 11 friends want to pit yourself against major tonnage for a good cause?

AREAWIDE — The American Cancer Society’s Fire Truck Pull at the Relay For Life of HK will take place on Saturday, June 23, at Haddam-Killingworth High School (HKHS.)  The event is a team-building, fundraising, cancer-fighting event where teams of 12 people compete to pull the truck a designated distance in the fastest time.

You and other groups in the area are challenged to step up to the rope and show Middlesex County who can Pull For a Cure with the fastest time.

How does it work?

Teams will rally together to raise money however they see fit. The minimum amount of money that a team must raise is $1,200 (or $100 per person) to participate. All funds raised benefit the mission of the American Cancer Society to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world free from cancer.

The winning team will receive bragging rights and a trophy.

There will also be the traditional Relay For Life walk-a-thon on the HKHS track. The soft opening ceremony will be at 12 noon. There will be a Survivor Ceremony and dinner, luminaria and much more.

If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information, contact Cate Reid from the American Cancer Society at Catherine.reid@cancer.org.

To register, visit www.relayforlife.org/hkct

For more information, call Alexis Maliga at 203.379.4827 or email at Alexis.Maliga@cancer.org

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‘Imagination Playground’ Starts at Deep River Public Library, Wednesday

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Public Library is kicking off their Summer Reading program, Library’s Rock with Imagination Playground, on Wednesday, June 27 at 5:30 p.m. The program will feature a 90-minute building session with Imagination Playground’s Large Blue Blocks.

Frank Way from Real.Good.Play. will guide participants through the building process, teaching children ages 2 through 11 cooperative, constructive play. There is no registration for this program.

For more information, visit http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.comand click on the monthly calendar, or call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8pm; Tuesday 10 am – 6 pm; Wednesday 12:30 – 8 pm; Thursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm; and Saturday 10 am – 5 pm.

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Gencarella Shares ‘Wicked, Weird, and Wily Yankees’ at CT River Museum Tomorrow

ESSEX — On Tuesday, June 19, at 5:30 pm, join Stephen Gencarella as he shares some of his fantastic stories of the prophets, vagabonds, fortune-tellers, hermits, lords, and poets who shaped New England.  New England has been a lot of things–an economic hub, a cultural center, a sports mecca–but it is also home to many of the strangest individuals in America.  Wicked, Weird, & Wily Yankees explores and celebrates the eccentric personalities who have left their mark in a way no other book has before.

Some folks are known and others not so much, but the motley cast of characters that emerges from the pages of his book represents a fascinating cross-section of New England’s most peculiar denizens.  Listen as Steve tells the tales of the Leather Man and the Old Darned Man, who both spent years crisscrossing the highways and byways of the northeast, their origins and motivation to remain forever unknown.  

Delve into the magnificent homes of William Gillette and Madame Sherri, famed socialites who constructed enormous castles in the New England countryside.  Learn of William Sheldon’s apocalyptic prophecies and wild claims including that the American Revolution had hastened the end of the world and that he could, through his mastery of the “od-force” prevent cholera across the eastern United States. 

And find out about the mysterious fortune-teller Moll Pitcher whose predictions, some say, were sought by European royalty and whose fame made her the subject of poems, plays, and novels long after her death. 

Stretching back to the colonial era and covering the development and evolution of New England society through the beginning of the 21st century, this book captures the rebel spirit, prickly demeanors, and wily attitudes that have made the region the hotbed for oddity it is today.  This event is free and the program begins at 5:30 p.m. 

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street on the Essex waterfront and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River.

For a full listing of Museum programs, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

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