Following an excruciatingly long period of rebuilding and recovery after a devastating January 4 flood, the C.H. Booth Library came fully alive again last weekend, with celebratory toasts, socializing, music and even a little fire juggling to really spice things up. While patrons have been welcomed back to the reopened facility for more than a week, a private reception on March 21 and a public celebration on March 22 was a chance to officially reopen the doors and welcome both the prominent supporters of the local institution as well as the residents and children who are the lifeblood of the local library. Attendees socialized and checked out some of the renovations, particularly behind the reception desk where staff members had found ankle deep water flowing after sprinkler pipes burst in the ceiling nearly three months earlier.
There are a few natural treasures to be found at 34 Pole Bridge Road. Citing a “nice main trail, some recently cleared meadows” and “old charcoal pits,” Conservation Commission member Joe Hovious recently ticked off some of the property’s features. The parcel, made up of four lots and measuring more than 50 acres, includes habitat for wildlife, plants and birds, a rare hemlock forest, and trails that loop through forests and fields. Recent volunteer efforts have aimed at making the preserve more attractive, and a just-published brochure will help the public learn about the preserve's history as well as find their way around thanks to trail maps.
Documentary filmmaker Karyl Kreizinger Evans is the producer, director, writer, and editor of the upcoming one-hour documentary film, "Letter From Italy, 1944: A New American Oratorio." A five-time Emmy Award winner for her work on previous documentaries, Ms Evans is particularly thrilled to have had the opportunity to film the making of the Oratorio with the Greater Middletown Chorale. “It is probably my favorite project I’ve done,” Ms Evans said in a March 19 interview with The Newtown Bee. The statement carries a lot of weight, considering that she has served as the primary filmmaker for more than 50 films of at least ½ hour in length.
For the second year in a row, Katie Sailer has nabbed the top prize in the youth division of Wilton Arts Council’s photography exhibition, “Focus ‘14.” The 16th annual juried photography presentation by the council is on view at Wilton Library through March 29. Katie’s winning entry, “Effervescence,” is a self-portrait with a twist: she took the photo after submerging herself underwater and took the picture from below the water’s surface. Newtown was also represented in the awards circle this year by Maggie Breault, who placed third in the youth division with her entry, “Rockscape.”
You grow up with high expectations when your dad, a wacky but monumentally respected international musical star lists your religion on your birth certificate as "musician." But today, at age 44, Dweezil Zappa is living the destiny his father Frank pinned on him so many years ago - carrying on the Zappa legacy in a stellar tribute ensemble while at the same time passing on some of his more spiritual wisdom about music and guitar playing to enthralled followers who eagerly sign up to take his pre-concert master classes. This spring, Zappa is shelving his Zappa Plays Zappa tour in favor of joining this year's outing of the Experience Hendrix Tour, which jams into the Waterbury Palace Theater March 29.
Say the name George Mattegat around town and you’ll likely get a different response from every person you meet, from those who know him as a former bus driver, Shriner, volunteer firefighter, animal control officer, Nunnawauk board member, or Labor Day Parade organizer, among other roles he has played. The same goes for his wife Carol, who has been a Police Commissioner, Ambulance Association member, Newtown VNA volunteer, and Edmond Town Hall Mural Committee organizer, among her multiple town roles. Sadly, for many of those acquaintances, an opportunity to address health concerns has created a need for the Mattegats to relocate to sunny Florida. But not before their many friends say a final, more formal farewell. LeReine Frampton, a longtime family friend, is throwing the migrating couple a going away party at her local restaurant on Thursday, March 27.
Winner of one of those MacArthur “genius” awards, and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Sarah Ruhl, who turns forty this year, is one of America’s most prolific and successful playwrights. Her works are performed on Broadway, at repertory theaters from Yale to Berkeley, and, frequently, on local amateur stages as well. The Clean House, which received a lot of attention when it premiered at Yale, and is currently being offered at Ridgefield Theater Barn. Directed by Julie Bell Petrak, who gets very good performances from her five person cast, the publicity for the play does it a disservice by describing it as a comedy about a Brazilian cleaning woman who longs to be a stand up comedian, and so would rather tell jokes than clean the house. The local production is good, but don't let its advance publicity fool you: this is a serious work.