Playwright George Kelly came from a notable Philadelphia family whose ranks included a champion Olympic oarsman and a movie star who married a prince, but his own star led him to the stage, first as a vaudevillian performer and then as a playwright. He was very successful in the 1920s, winning the Pulitzer Prize for his drama Craig’s Wife, and achieving great popular success with his comedy, The Show-Off. He drifted to Hollywood in the thirties, but found little satisfaction there. By today, most people have never heard of him. Now Westport Country Playhouse is hoping to gain him recognition again, with its revival of The Show-Off, touting it as an example of American comedy. Performances continue on the historic theater’s stage until June 29.
Three years ago, Town Players of Newtown audiences were treated to a portrait of the young Picasso, early in his career, in Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile. This summer, see Picasso at the height of his career, shortly after he painted "Guernica," in Jeffrey Hatcher's A Picasso, at The Little Theatre July 12 to August 3.
Newtown Historical Society will host an open house at its headquarters, The Matthew Curtiss House, on Sunday June 23. Retired Hook & Ladder Fire Chief Lee Glover and Retired Hook & Ladder Engineer Ed Forbell will be at the society’s headquarters along with a vintage ladder wagon, hose wagon, and pumper. The men will talk about and answer questions concerning the antique pieces. In addition, Town Historian Dan Cruson will lead a walking tour of the oldest sections of Village Cemetery, Newtown’s primary cemetery.
On Saturday, June 29, the Connecticut Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Danbury Moose Lodge No. 1373 will host the second annual Family Fun Day Celebration for Community Cancer Survivors and their families. The event will be at Danbury Moose Family Center, from 1 to 5 pm. There will be carnival themed games, food, live entertainment, children’s activities, swimming and raffles. Cancer survivors and children under 5 years old are admitted free. There is a suggested donation of $5 per person, or $15 for families of four. Proceeds will benefit LLS and its mission of curing blood cancers and improving the quality of life of patients and their families.
Dancers from Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet will perform Peter and the Wolf (with narration) and members of The Malenkee Ballet Repertoire Company will perform their own choreographed pieces during the studio’s annual spring recital. Students will be performing under the direction of Artistic Director Jennifer Johnston. Performances are Friday, June 21, at 6 pm, and Saturday, June 22, at 4 pm, in the cafetorium of Reed Intermediate School, 3 Trades Lane. Admission is free.
St Rose of Lima Parish will host its annual carnival on the parish grounds beginning Tuesday evening, June 25, and continuing nightly through Saturday, June 29. The carnival will operate from 6 to 10:30 each night.
The Society of Creative Arts of Newtown (SCAN) will have Robert Noreika of Rocky Hill demonstrating painting a landscape in watercolor at its next meeting, Wednesday, June 26, at 1:30 pm. Mr Noreika’s subjects are varied, including expressive coastal scenes and intimate woodland and countryside pictorials. The program will be at Newtown Meeting House, and admission is free.
Eight members of The Society of Creative Arts of Newtown (SCAN) are represented in an exhibition on view at Tommy’s 160 Main until August 31. The show is the second in a series of four hosted by SCAN, and offers 40 pieces done in oil, pastel, watercolor and mixed media. A special painting demonstration will be offered on Sunday, June 30, from 3 to 4:30 pm, by Amy Skillin, one of the participating artists. The public is invited, and light refreshments will be served.
Seussical: The Musical, one of Broadway’s most joyous musicals, written by the Tony Award-winning team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, will be presented at the Newtown High School this summer. The three main forces behind “From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Sandy Hook,” which took place on January 28 at the Palace Theatre in Waterbury, will reprise their roles on this production. Auditions for student performers begin June 22, rehearsals begin July 8, and the production will be staged August 9-11. There will be two full casts for the production, with two performances each.
Masonicare at Newtown, 139 Toddy Hill Road, will host its 2nd Annual Kids Fishing Derby and Family Fun Day this weekend. The event will run from 10:30 am until 1 pm, rain or shine, on Saturday, June 22. This is a catch and release event for ages 10 and under.