A dance group performing “Stand Out” opened the Kindness in Motion Newtown Dance Concert on Friday, July 24. The special event was held to benefit NewArts, a division of The 12.14 Foundation. Persephonie Alvarez, founder of Thrive The Essence of Dance in Monroe, was the director for the dance concert, which included 33 acts, all performed by local youth. Ms Alvarez also performed the final act of the night.
NOTE: This story was updated July 29 removing incorrect references to a possible Broadway run for the musical "Liberty Smith." || Are you one of those lucky theater lovers who saw "A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder" during its premier at Hartford Stage before it went on to capture four 2014 Tony Awards on Broadway? Well, you won’t have to travel further than Newtown High School this weekend to see another entertaining musical that could have its next premier on the boards in New York. During a visit to final runthroughs of the historical comedy/musical "Liberty Smith," running this weekend at Newtown High School, NewArts summer program director Michael Unger hinted that the version of the show he has adapted for Newtown’s run is under consideration for a New York theater run in the near future.
Families from Newtown and area towns stood in the shade outside Christ the King Lutheran Church on July 27, waiting for their Fresh Air Fund guests to arrive. Heads turned as a coach bus from New York City carrying young passengers arrived at the parking lot of the Mt Pleasant Road church. Soon spilling from the opening door were young guests who would spend a week with families in Newtown and nearby towns through The Fresh Air Fund. As area coordinator Marie Athans and her husband Dave helped unload guests and get their luggage, words of greeting included comments from “Hello” and “Welcome back” to “Good to see you” and “You definitely got taller.”
Marching bands, salsa dancers, pipe and drum corps, the skirling of bagpipes, and banjo music have also been regular parts of the Newtown Labor Day Parade over the years. Parade-goers will experience a new kind of music on September 7, though, when Joseph FireCrow, of the North Cheyenne tribe of Native Americans, and an acclaimed Native American flutist, brings his indigenous music to town. Meanwhile, the Labor Day Parade Committee has also introduced a new way for the public to support the parade's fundraising efforts.
Jeannette Maté’s visit to Newtown the week of July 20 was three-fold. Not only was the founder of Ben’s Bells Project in town to finalize plans for the move of the Newtown studio to a larger, Bethel site, but Ms Maté also made time to visit with area companies interested in implementing the Ben’s Bells Kind Colleagues program, and to assist with the installation of a large Be Kind mural commissioned by the Soto family at the new Victoria Soto School at Stratford Academy in Stratford. Ben’s Bells is the Tucson, Ariz., organization founded by Ms Maté, more than ten years ago, in response to the outpouring of kindness she experienced after the death of her three-year-old son, Ben.
Area beer lovers can add one more microbrewery to the list of Connecticut breweries to visit, just in time for hot summer days. Veracious Brewing Company, 246 Main Street in Monroe, opened its tasting room Saturday, June 20, featuring craft beers, cold brew coffee on tap, and beer drinks geared toward people who appreciate a fine beer. Veracious is a natural offshoot of the brewing supply company, Maltose Express, located adjacent to the brewery, said Tess and Mark Szamatulski, owners of both businesses.
The Home Economics room at Newtown Middle School was a flurry of activity the week of July 20, as 13 preteens baked, blended, and chopped their ways through the cuisines of five countries, under the direction of cooking instructor Sharon Martovich. Ms Martovich, of Southbury, has been teaching kids’ cooking classes through Newtown Parks and Recreation summer programs for 11 years, she said. Other than one year, when the sessions conflicted with the 12.14 Foundation summer theater productions, she has had a good turnout of youngsters interested in learning about healthy foods and new ways to prepare them. A certified nutritionist and chef, Ms Martovich said she always tries to use recipes that are healthy options for the class.
Newtown Cultural Arts Commission continued its Sunday Cinema Series with two screenings of the film "Casablanca" on Sunday, July 19, at Edmond Town Hall. NCAC, in collaboration with Edmond Town Hall and with support from the Law Offices of James O. Gaston, was able to showcase Director Michael Curtiz’s 1942 classic film, which stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.