David Lydem has stepped down as the unofficial Keeper of the Flagpole. The Main Street 100-foot tall flagpole is easily one of Newtown’s most recognizable landmarks. To most, the flagpole is white, its gold finial is shining, the flag flies without worry. It has appeared for years in photos, paintings, postcards, and in books; on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; and as the backdrop for countless television broadcasts done from the town center. And for more than 30 years, Mr Lydem has taken care of it.
The benches began showing up around town last month, inviting those passing by to pause, rest, and remember. By early this week, private contractors, Parks and Recreation employees, and town employees had installed ten of the benches in places as diverse as The Pleasance on Main Street, tucked in next to the rabbit cottage at the back of the property; or at Ferris Farms Creamery, offering an overview of the Creamery and fields across Sugar Street. Eventually, 26 benches honoring those killed 12/14 will populate private and town properties in Newtown, due in large part to the efforts of Mark Sigrist of Columbus, Ohio.
With just two days until opening night of Disney’s "Lion King Jr," NewArts Summer Musicals Director Michael Unger was zooming around the Newtown High School auditorium so busily, it was as though there were three of him. One moment he was up on stage advising his tech crew on how to precisely line up several massive moving panels that serve as important set pieces for his productions this year; the next, he’s at a work station set up in the center of the audience checking an email; and moments later, he’s in the rear of the house, welcoming back a cast member who just returned from the doctor, sporting a brand new arm cast. Disney’s "The Lion King Jr" opened last night, featuring a cast of 130 local actors. It will continue tonight at 7 pm; Saturday, August 8, at 2 and 7 pm; and Sunday, August 9, at noon and 5 pm.
The progressive American rock band Toto recently released its latest album, XIV. How it is percieved in terms of a follow-up, however, depends on who you talk to among the current lineup of highly respected and globally recognized musicians playing with the ensemble. “This (album) is opposite of going through the motions. We are treating this like it is Toto V, our follow-up to TOTO IV," said Keyboardist Steve Porcaro on the band's website. But in an exclusive chat with The Newtown Bee earlier this week, ahead of Toto's August 7 stop at Grand Theater at Foxwoods, Toto co-founder and long-time keyboardist, arranger and songwriter David Paich had a different opinion.
The First Annual "Hot August Nights" evening of one act plays, at The Little Theatre in Newtown, covers the theater gamut from drama to farce. Opening night on July 31 of this two week run being presented by Town Players of Newtown resulted in a fully satisfied audience. They laughed, shed a tear, and were moved by the selections, the music, and the performances. There are only so many “Hot August Nights” every year, don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy one of them thanks to Town Players.
Parents and students swarmed the halls of Head O’ Meadow School, Friday, July 31. Bright yellow “SMART” bags hung from their arms, piled high with works of art created during the final session of this summer’s Newtown Continuing Education SMART Camp. Summer, Music, and ART Camp runs for two, two-week sessions each summer, with hands-on activities that this summer included Jewelry Design, Great Clay, Mosaics, Fashion Design, Adventures in Painting, Fused Glass, Knitting, Icky Sticky Chemistry, and Theater & Performance Workshops.
In an attempt to reach a wide range of ages for film screenings this month, the Board of Managers at Edmond Town Hall is offering two films each week. The ETH Theatre offered "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2" and "Mad Max: Road Fury." This week movie lovers will again find two films sharing space on the marquee. The town hall is hosting a return of Hot Pursuit, a Reese Witherspoon-Sofia Vergara film that had a four-day run (July 19-22) last month. The Main Street theater is also offering a special treat this week: screenings of the 1964 musical fantasy Mary Poppins. Edmond Town Hall Operations Manager Sheila Torres said on Monday that the idea has been in the works for a short time.