Sometimes when a review begins with a discussion of the set it is out of an attempt to be kind, because there was nothing else on stage worth mentioning or remembering. That is definitely not the case with Hartford’s TheaterWorks production of Sharr White’s powerful and absorbing drama, The Other Place. Designer Luke Hegel-Cantarella, a TheaterWorks fixture known for the lovingly detailed naturalism of the sets he has created for the Hartford company, has done something quite different and brilliant here. In addition, Kate Levy is stunning in her portrayal of Juliana, alternating between convincing lucidity and increasing episodes of rage and confusion, while R. Ward Duffy as her husband Ian is both believable and admirable in his dogged, pained patience in offering his love and support.
At Vogue Knitting Live, a yarn industry expo in Manhattan this past January, Newtown resident Linda Zemba Burhance taught an 8-hour session on arm knitting. “I noticed that anybody, of any age or gender, seemed interested and could learn it quickly. It’s multigenerational and gender neutral,” Ms Burhance said of the ages-old knitting technique that has seen a resurgence in the craft. The technique is simple, and precisely what the name implies. A person’s arms take the place of knitting needles, looping yarn about the arm and pulling the loop through to make a stitch. With arm knitting, the craft is literally in the hands of the creator. She is now sharing the process, in detail, in her new book, "Thread Select — Arm Knitting," available online April 1 and in book stores April 15.
The spotlight found him center stage, where he quietly settled in behind the microphone. Guest performer Mark Barden, a Newtown resident and accomplished career musician, used few words, and let his guitars do the talking March 22, at the Flagpole Radio Café, a local production now in its sixth season. The Flagpole Radio Cafe and Flagpole Shakespeare Repertory Theatre members were right there with Mr Barden, entertaining those in the ETH Theatre Saturday night.
Following an excruciatingly long period of rebuilding and recovery after a devastating January 4 flood, the C.H. Booth Library came fully alive again last weekend, with celebratory toasts, socializing, music and even a little fire juggling to really spice things up. While patrons have been welcomed back to the reopened facility for more than a week, a private reception on March 21 and a public celebration on March 22 was a chance to officially reopen the doors and welcome both the prominent supporters of the local institution as well as the residents and children who are the lifeblood of the local library. Attendees socialized and checked out some of the renovations, particularly behind the reception desk where staff members had found ankle deep water flowing after sprinkler pipes burst in the ceiling nearly three months earlier.
There are a few natural treasures to be found at 34 Pole Bridge Road. Citing a “nice main trail, some recently cleared meadows” and “old charcoal pits,” Conservation Commission member Joe Hovious recently ticked off some of the property’s features. The parcel, made up of four lots and measuring more than 50 acres, includes habitat for wildlife, plants and birds, a rare hemlock forest, and trails that loop through forests and fields. Recent volunteer efforts have aimed at making the preserve more attractive, and a just-published brochure will help the public learn about the preserve's history as well as find their way around thanks to trail maps.
Documentary filmmaker Karyl Kreizinger Evans is the producer, director, writer, and editor of the upcoming one-hour documentary film, "Letter From Italy, 1944: A New American Oratorio." A five-time Emmy Award winner for her work on previous documentaries, Ms Evans is particularly thrilled to have had the opportunity to film the making of the Oratorio with the Greater Middletown Chorale. “It is probably my favorite project I’ve done,” Ms Evans said in a March 19 interview with The Newtown Bee. The statement carries a lot of weight, considering that she has served as the primary filmmaker for more than 50 films of at least ½ hour in length.
For the second year in a row, Katie Sailer has nabbed the top prize in the youth division of Wilton Arts Council’s photography exhibition, “Focus ‘14.” The 16th annual juried photography presentation by the council is on view at Wilton Library through March 29. Katie’s winning entry, “Effervescence,” is a self-portrait with a twist: she took the photo after submerging herself underwater and took the picture from below the water’s surface. Newtown was also represented in the awards circle this year by Maggie Breault, who placed third in the youth division with her entry, “Rockscape.”