Once again Ridgefield Theater Barn is warming up the winter doldrums with a special festival of eight short plays that showcase a wide assortment of local talent and keep the audience laughing. Fitting eight “plays” into a time slot normally geared for two acts means that each work must be really short — more along the lines of a television comic sketch, than a complete dramatic work. The assortment of uniformly well acted and crisply directed “shorts” can better be thought of as scenes rather than skits, because between them they have enough depth and substance to make it worth going to. “An Evening of One-Acts 2014” continues only until February 8, on weekends only. The limited run is a shame, considering the talent on display, and the effort so clearly put into it by all concerned.
Last year Hartford’s TheaterWorks mounted a delightful production of Mark St Germain’s "Becoming Dr Ruth," a one-woman dramatic monologue about how an orphaned Holocaust survivor became America’s most popular sex therapist. St Germain’s grasp of human character and his ability to write crisp, incisive speech, which made that play so absorbing and entertaining, are once again on display in his two character prize winning work, "Freud’s Last Session." TheaterWorks is presenting what it calls “the profound and deeply touching play (laced with humor and insight) about two men who boldly addressed the greatest questions of all time” until February 23.
A Newtown woman’s enormous lighthouse made from Twinkies®, Ho Hos® and other Hostess snack cakes is the $750 second-place winner in the Festival of Lighthouses Contest at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. First place this year — which comes with a $1,500 cash prize — was won by woodworker David Bishop of Stamford, who created an intricate creation called “Hard-A-Lee.” Donna Kern Ball’s “Twinkie, Twinkie, Little Lighthouse” received the second-most votes from Aquarium visitors during the 12th annual holiday display, which ran from November 16 to January 20 and featured 22 large model lighthouses built by local artists, students and hobbyists. The contest’s winners are chosen by Aquarium visitors, who enjoy the lighthouses in the aquarium galleries and then vote for their favorite. Nearly 10,300 votes were tallied from this season’s display.
Instagram users can contribute photos to The Newtown Bee’s main website page by using #viewfromnewtown in a photo’s description. Recent contributions have shown snowy images of Newtown, people ice fishing on Taunton Lake, the view of Main Street from Castle Hill, The Matthew Curtiss House, and a night-time view of the Main Street flagpole.
The Newtown Chamber of Commerce will present the first ever Martini Madness Tasting & Competition on Thursday, January 30, in The Alexandria Room at Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main Street in Newtown. The Chamber’s annual meeting will be held from 5:30 to 6 pm, and the martini tasting is then open to the public from 6 to 8:30 pm.
Flagpole Radio Café will continue its sixth season with a performance by Sloan Wainwright on Saturday, February 8. The show will begin at 7 pm at Edmond Town Hall Theatre. Flagpole Radio Café features music by Jim Allyn and The Flagpole Radio Café Orchestra (Rob Bonaccorso, Rick Brodsky, Howie Bujese, Dick Neil and Francine Wheeler), radio style comedy sketches by the Flagpole Shakespeare Repertory Theatre (Martin Blanco, Barbara Gaines, Kate Katcher and David Wheeler), and appearances by guests artists.
A number of workshops have been scheduled by HealingNewtown, with most bring presented in the classrooms on the lower level of Newtown Congregational Church. New on the schedule are workshops in Asian brushwork painting led by instructors from Parem Hwah Asian Brushwork; clay techniques with Karen Pinto and Rosiland Liljengren; weaving with Hanna Roehrs; creative writing with a focus on poetry with Reggie Marra; and an interactive poetry program with Mr Marra. Fees are being charged for most HealingNewtown workshops now, but partial proceeds from all classes will benefit the Summer Art Programs being planned by the long-term project. Reservations for all classes are being accepted now.
Edmond Town Hall Theater is about to cap off a year of extensive theater renovations with the installation of an NEC digital movie projector. The beloved historic theater, known for its $2 movies and family-priced concessions, has been working to install technology that will keep 21st Century audiences coming back. A digital conversion began this month, energy efficient LED lighting, wi-fi capabilities and a quality sound system have also been installed. Now Ingersoll Auto of Danbury, which is owned by Newtown resident Todd Ingersoll, has stepped forward and made an advance payment for advertising, which will allow the ETH Board of Directors to complete the installation of a digital projector.
Kidologie Gets Ready for Summer, a children’s fair for kids of all ages and their parents, will return to Reed Intermediate School on Sunday, March 16, from 11 am to 3 pm. The 2nd Annual Kidologie Gets Ready for Summer event is a production of Connectologie LLC. The company’s signature event includes the latest in live entertainment and activities for children while highlighting family businesses offering information on fun and enrichment activities, the latest in trends, health, summer programs, family travel and entertainment, local schools and much more. An early bird rate is being offered for vendors who register by February 28.
The ancient art of bonsai will be the featured topic for The Garden Club of Newtown this month with a presentation by David Silver at Newtown Meeting House on Tuesday, January 28, beginning at 1 pm. In his program “Bonsai Fundamentals,” Mr Silver will discuss the principles of bonsai, including training, maintenance, care and display. He will demonstrate how to use nursery stock to create a bonsai, which will be raffled at the end of the lecture.