A one-day delay did not diminish the spirits of the nearly 100 seniors in attendance at the Newtown Senior Center Annual Holiday Party, Wednesday, December 11, at Capellaro’s Grove in Bethel. Originally scheduled for the previous day, wintry weather caused a postponement of the festivities.
The holiday season is three times as bright in Newtown as residents celebrated tree lightings in Sandy Hook, Hawleyville, and at the Ram Pasture. A quick countdown from ten zeroed in on the Sandy Hook tree on The Glen , which threw its rainbow of holiday lights across the center on December 7, followed shortly thereafter by the lighting of a second tree covered with thousands of green and white lights. Hawleyville followed with a tree lighting on Sunday night, and the 29th Annual Ram Pasture Tree Lighting -- postponed from last week due to poor weather -- was held Wednesday, December 11.
Seated side by side and facing a long line of adults and children carrying stacks of books, former resident and renowned children’s book illustrator Steven Kellogg and award-winning author Patricia MacLachlan were in Newtown this past weekend to meet residents, readers of all ages, and sign copies of their recent work, "Snowflakes Fall." Mr Kellogg, a former Sandy Hook resident, and Ms MacLachlan worked together to create the book in memory of those lost on 12/14. The friends and collaborators were in town for special book signings on Sunday afternoon at C.H. Booth Library, and then Monday at Big Y.
Residents are reminded that the 29th Annual Ram Pasture Tree Lighting Ceremony will be tonight. Entertainment will begin by 6:30, and First Selectman Pat Llodra will light the tree at 7 pm. The first of three tree lightings that had been planned for last weekend, the Ram Pasture event was postponed last week due to poor weather on December 6. This event is centered around the trees at the corner of Elm Drive and Hawley Lane. Hundreds of luminarias will again surround Hawley Pond and line streets in the immediate vicinity, leading those who are walking from nearby roads (and homes, for some) to the trees.
All our identity is shaped by the private oceans of our experience. For Troy Maxson, the tragic hero of Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning "Fences," currently in production at Long Wharf’s C. Newton Schenck III Theatre, his sense of who he is came from a harsh childhood on a sharecropper’s acres in Alabama, where his brutal father raised his 12 motherless children. In some ways, thematically, "Fences" brings to mind Arthur Miller’s "Death of a Salesman." Certainly the final plea by Willy Loman’s wife (“Attention must be paid”) is a fitting comment on the life of Troy Maxson. Wilson’s characters are less abstract, however, and easier to care about, than the Loman family. There is a subtle difference between a very good play and a great one. Personally, I think "Fences" is a great one, and I recommend that you go see it while you can.
"Boeing Boeing" is a six door farce by the late Marc Camoletti, a French architect turned playwright who was an admirer of both Molière and American screwball comedies. The title is a pun, in that when you hear it, you think of something bouncing back and forth — boing boing fashion — which is fitting for the type of play in which Bernard, the philandering main character, is trying to juggle three separate romantic entanglements, only to have them collide when the wrong fiancée shows up for dinner, while another one is taking a shower. The title word is spelled with an “e” as in Boeing Jets, however, because Bernard’s special shtick is that he only dates international flight attendants, who fly three different routes for three different airlines. This show, currently in production at TheatreWorks New Milford, is Joe Russo’s baby, and he has taken great care with it. The production, which continues weekends until January 4, offers up a fast paced, very enjoyable evening.
For the third year in a row, The Sherman Players are presenting a “Christmas Panto” — something that is traditional in Britain, and hopefully will become a tradition here as well, since the two that I’ve seen (last year’s "Cinderella," and this year’s "Aladdin") — are rollicking good fun, designed to entertain young children, but delightful fun for grownups as well. The show combines lively music and serious vocal talent with campy female impersonation, topical humor, and a cast that is a seamless mix of kids and adults, while the audience sings along, and shouts out helpful advice.