There were undoubtedly a lot of Country Music fans glued to their TVs on November 5, the night of the 47th Annual CMAs – the Country Music Association’s annual awards ceremony. But there were probably few as excited as local family members of former Newtown resident Matt Wheeler, whose work as a Nashville recording studio engineer was featured on seven CMA nominated albums and songs by Miranda Lambert, Eric Church and Keith Urban. As the awards ceremony wrapped up, Wheeler was proud to learn that he was recognized for his engineering skills on Lambert’s CMA winning Album of the Year Platinum, and for his work as Assistant Engineer on her CMA winning Song of the Year, “Automatic.”
Two 'brothers from other mothers' and one of the hottest Texas Blues guitarists in the nation will converge in a supergroup configuration November 29 on the stage of Danbury's Palace Theater. Michael Allman, Charles Neville, and Jeff Pitchell and his band Texas Flood will be coming together performing a night of rock and blues that is sure to include popular favorites from across those two genres and beyond. Allman, son of Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Greg Allman, and Neville of the legendary Neville Brothers, both talked about what fans and music lovers will be seeing and hearing in exclusive pre-tour interviews with The Bee.
The opening night of Alan Ball’s "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress," celebrated last Friday night at Ridgefield Theatre Barn, was well received by a fully sated, sold out audience. The cabaret style seating lent itself to the camaraderie and and intimacy of the piece. The audience felt like flies on the wall of the bedroom set, so much so that audience members even felt compelled to chime in. And despite the title, this play is not for women only. The performances and the humor are quality fare for adults of both sexes.
The Brookfield Theatre of the Arts production of Larry Kramer’s "The Normal Heart," under the direction of David Bass, is pretty much flawless. Full disclosure here, I love this play. It pulls back the curtain on on a dark time in American history, when many were willing to turn a blind eye to a plague striking an entire population deemed to be different. Because of their preferences, they were marginalized in their time of suffering and need. Tissues should be provided with the tickets.
Newtown High School will present Lend Me a Tenor, Thursday, November 20, to Sunday, November 23. Written by Ken Ludwig, Lend Me a Tenor is a comedy that takes place at the Cleveland Grand Opera Company in 1934. When the general manager attempts to welcome a famous tenor for a one-night-only engagement, problems ensue. Performances on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are at 7 pm, and Sunday is a matinee at 2 pm. Tickets are general admission and will be sold at the door. Ticket prices are $7 for students and faculty, $12 for adults, and $10 for seniors. The performances will be held in the Newtown High School auditorium, located at 12 Berkshire Road.
A special birthday party took place Monday morning, November 17, when former and current drivers, and board members of Newtown Meals on Wheels gathered in the meeting room at C.H. Booth Library to celebrate 40 years of service to the community. Since its inception, Meals on Wheels has worked to provide healthy meals, five days of the week, to community members needing short or long-term assistance. Some recipients are elderly, others have recently returned home from surgery, or are temporarily or permanently unable to prepare their own meals. Whatever the reason, for four decades volunteers have worked diligently to make sure that those in need do not go hungry any day of the week, or on holidays. “Meals on Wheels services more people than you would think,” said Marg Studley, who is co-president of the organization, along with Pat Barrett.
Avancé Esthétiques Day Spa will host an exhibition showcasing the work of “three fabulous females,” says Rosemary Rau, curator of “Holiday Arts Show.” Featuring jewelry by Justine Aspinwall, traditional watercolors by DeAnn L. Prosia, and mosaic glass art by Heidrun Morgan, the exhibition will be on view at the Sand Hill Plaza location November 23 until December 31. An opening reception is planned for Sunday, November 23, from 2 to 4 pm. The opening will include an informal jewelry and fashion show, Ms Rau said November 7. “We will have three generations of models, and lovely refreshments,” she said. Seated alongside spa owner Melanie Allen and two of the three participating artists last Friday afternoon, Ms Rau was well into planning the location of all of the works for the show and the grand opening celebration just a couple weeks away.
Goldrush, a local progressive bluegrass group, will add its contemporary sound to the usual holiday music that fills the first weekend of December in Newtown each year, with the new Jingle Bell Jam concert, Saturday, December 6, in the Alexandria Room of Edmond Town Hall. From 7 From 7 to 8 pm, concertgoers will be treated to classic holiday songs “with a Goldrush flair,” promised Mary Beth Sippin, the band’s founder. Ms Sippin provides vocals for the group, along with guitarist husband, Gary, and pianist Chris Coogan. Dick Neal on banjo, mandolin, and guitar; Gary Wikfors on mandolin, John Widgren on pedal steel, and John Mobilio on bass round out the band.
When the Newtown Holiday Festival returns to Main Street on Sunday, December 7, people of all ages looking for some holiday-themed fun should be able to find something that appeals to them. The festival runs from 11 am until 4 pm, rain, shine, or light snow. The Holiday Festival, anchored at Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main Street, offers a little bit of everything under one umbrella. The town hall will be host to a Holiday Tea, "Nutcracker Suite" performances, The Festival of Trees, The Gingerbread House Contest, Yankee Candle and Scholastic Books sales, and Frozen Frenzy. It will also be the starting point for Trolley Tours, and a meeting point for many who will go on Historic House Tours. The five-hour event is a fundraiser for Newtown Youth & Family Services.