Art lovers perused more than a dozen demonstrations, exhibits and pop-up galleries while music lovers braved sizzling temperatures to enjoy a Beatles tribute band Saturday, September 6, as the 2014 Newtown Arts Festival sprang to life with overlapping events sponsored by Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity. While Art In Residence Galley operators Rosemary and Rob Rau welcomed visitors to their pop-up gallery at 100 Church Hill Road (Suite 104, the former SHACK location), others put their final touches on temporary exhibitions at a number of nearby locations. Meanwhile, about 100 families and fans gathered alongside the Pootatuck River to hear Ticket To Ride play two sets of popular tunes spanning the history of the Beatles. The concert was the penultimate of the inaugural Choose Love Concert Series.
Combining the talents of Nuala Kennedy, John Doyle and Eamon O’Leary, The Alt focuses on songs, as opposed to instrumental dance tunes, from the Irish, Scottish, English, and American roots traditions. The trio debuted its new self-titled CD in August at this year’s Milwaukee Irish Festival and is now touring the country. On Monday, September 15, at 7:30 pm, the Fairfield County-based Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society will bring The Alt to Newtown Meeting House.
Ridgefield Theatre Barn is presenting Diana Son’s "Stop Kiss" in its fall lineup. The play, under the capable direction of Marla Manning, provides an intimate story of how we choose who we love and how those choices are adjusted by the world around us. This is not only the story of a possible hate crime. It is a love story about two people who connect and despite the obstacles, come to care for each other above all else. It is a tender journey threatened by needless violence. It also shows that in our darkest hour, our greatest strength is revealed.
Friday, September 12, would have been Benjamin Wheeler’s eighth birthday. Friends are joining members of the Wheeler family to remember Ben and the other children and educators lost at Sandy Hook School with light. Ben loved lighthouses. To share the light of Ben’s spirit, all are invited to place a candle safely in a window, doorway, or porch on Friday evening.
Weaving, painting, coloring, and hugging therapy dogs were all part of the Second Annual Children’s Art Party held September 7 at NYA Sports & Fitness. The event was an early Newtown Arts Festival event, just one part of the “ridiculous abundance of enriching throughout September all around town” that been promised by festival organizers. The outdoor event on September 7 offered three hours of creative fun and performances for families and children. Young residents mingled, enjoyed arts and crafts, and could not keep their small and curious hands away from the therapy dogs.
Murder and mayhem prevail, in a hilarious family kind of way, with The Town Players current production of Charles Ludlam’s "The Artificial Jungle," an outrageously campy romp through a quirky pet shop nestled in downtown Manhattan. Complete with an overbearing mom, neighborhood cop and conniving wife, this family makes good on the old adage of “the ties that bind, and strangle.” Under the direction of Gene Golaszewski, a cast of remarkably quick studies has turned out an evening of pure farce which is delightfully entertaining.
The Sandy Hook-based Leaps of Faith (LOF) Adaptive Skiers hosted “Tournament of Champions,” a first of its kind grassroots water ski tournament for individuals with spinal cord injuries, on August 23 on Lake Lillinonah in Southbury. With 16 skiers from all across the Northeast participating, the tournament was a great success, according to a recent release. “We were very inspired by this amazing group of skiers,” said LOF Executive Director Joel Zeisler. “Almost all of the skiers were wheelchair bound, yet to see them ski on the water you would never know you were watching someone with a spinal cord injury or who is quadriplegic or paraplegic.
Walking past a twisting vine carved into smoked glass on the front door, Diane Thompson enters her bright, naturally lit Victorian home that has been a fixture on Newtown’s Main Street since 1899. After launching major renovations several months ago, her eventual goal is to sell the house.