Parents can never be sure how their children will react to their first day of kindergarten. Some children hop on the bus without hesitation, and maybe slow down long enough to give a wave to their anxious parents before starting a new adventure with future friends. Others will cling, or cry, or worse, making the first day difficult for everyone involved. A five-day, ten-hour program being offered this month by Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS) hopes to make that big transition much smoother for parents and children alike. Safety Town will be offered at NYFS during the weeks of July 21–25 and July 28–August 1. It will meet Monday through Friday, 9 to 11 am each day. Safety Town was developed in 1964 as a national program to teach young children important lessons on traffic, fire, water, bus, and bicycle safety, awareness of medicine and poison, and awareness of strangers. But it has an added benefit.
Is musical theater the vehicle for portraying society’s deeper, darker issues and transforming a message from taboo to topical? The Brookfield Theatre of the Arts (TBTA) production of "Next to Normal," a musical with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, proves that it is exactly the venue for such a conveyance. Exposing the experience of mental illness, this production takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster allowing them to experience the “mountains” that are lost in a fog of pharmaceuticals administered to those in anguish. Once again, under the bold direction of Michael Burnett, TBTA has produced a musical that informs, enlightens, and moves the audience by way of dramatic, powerful performances, lovely voices, and a stirring live rock band. Performances continue weekends through July 26.
What’s not to love about a warm breezy summer evening, a picnic in the park, and songs so familiar and divine you could sing along? There is everything to love about the Musicals at Richter’s production of "Anything Goes," with music and lyrics by the sublime Cole Porter, and book by Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsay, and Russel Crouse. This musical has stood the test of time and continues to entertain and delight. Performances wrapped this past weekend, with the final show offered Saturday, July 12.
The public is invited to join Newtown Parks & Recreation Department staff and supporters on Saturday, July 26, at 11 am, at Dickinson Park for a Dickinson Memorial Playground (FunSpace II) grand opening celebration. “We are very excited to be moving forward with our playground celebration,” Parks and Recreation Director Amy Mangold told Park and Recreation Commission members Tuesday night, July 8. The day will be a celebration of a “creative and fun” play area that has “come to its full fruition due to hundreds of donations” following 12/14, she said.
After enduring rain squalls and pesky mechanical problems while dodging overly enthusiastic photographers and bugs that hit his facemask like bullets, Newtown Resident Frank Buonanno finally settled back into his life as a semiretired classic car restoration expert. But for nine days in late June, he spent most of each day tightly gripping the wheel of his 1915 Hudson as it careened from Ogunquit, Maine, to The Villages, Fla., in the 2014 Great Race. This was Mr Buonanno’s fourth Great Race adventure behind the wheel of a vintage auto competing against the clock and dozens of other drivers — and his third piloting the Hudson, which has been meticulously restored at his Black Horse Garage in Bridgeport.
Continuing its monthly series of one free movie, Edmond Town Hall will screen Captain America: The Winter Soldier on Saturday, July 12, at 7:20 pm. Tickets are free courtesy of Ingersoll Auto of Danbury. The film starring Chris Evens, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, and Anthony Mackie, et al, is being featured daily, July 11–16, at the theater within the historic building at 45 Main Street. The modern world holds many challenges for this marvel superhero who, after decades in suspended animation, finds himself confronting a complex society that no longer understands his old school idealism. A society where the lines between friend and foe are insanely blurred. A place where an old enemy can patiently wait and plot his revenge in this action-packed sci-fi adventure.
It is turning into “a banner year,” said Friends of C.H. Booth Library Book Sale Volunteer Toni Earnshaw of the CD, DVD, and even sci-fi/mystery book sections of the upcoming book sale. “Twice as many CDs as last year — 7,000 at at last count” have been donated for this year’s fundraiser, which returns to the air-conditioned Reed Intermediate School for its 39th annual offering Saturday through Wednesday, July 12–16. In addition, the Friends have received a donation of at least 2,000 gardening, crafts and woodworking books from “a local publisher,” said Ms Earnshaw. A collection of 1,000 paperbacks arrived on June 22, and “a large selection of beloved Mad magazines” has also arrived, she said. The recent donations are a welcome change for volunteers, who saw a slower than normal start to this year's donations. “People know the sale is coming up, they knew it was difficult to make donations when the library was closed, and now the weather has turned…” said Ms Kaiser, to which Ms Earnshaw added, “It’s been like a flood.”