October 28, 2016

Full Steam Ahead! Cappella Cantorum Hosts Wine & Beer Tasting Fundraiser, Saturday

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-11-19-30-pmAREAWIDE — Help Cappella Cantorum propel into 50 years of tradition with this new, exciting fundraiser slated for Saturday, Oct. 29, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Enjoy tastes of wines and beers from local and regional sources, as well as delicious hors d’oeuvres and a pasta station, while you peruse lots of great silent auction items, including artwork, many gift certificates to local merchants and some surprise items! 

Live entertainment will also be provided by Cappella’s own Hilltop Four Barber Shop Quartet.

The event is in the River Valley Junction building at the Essex Steam Train, where you will be enveloped by the delightfully preserved, historical space.

Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased at the door the night of the event. Tell your friends and family.

All proceeds benefit Cappella Cantorum, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is celebrating its 47th year of tradition in the upcoming 2016-2017 concert season, Moving Full Steam Ahead! Into Our Next Half Century of Cappella Cantorum.

For questions and more information, call 860-526-1038 and visit www.cappellacantorum.org.

Cappella Cantorum is the lower Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline’s premiere non-auditioned community choral organization whose primary purpose is to learn, perform and enjoy great choral music while striving for excellence and the enrichment of its singers and audience.

Cappella Cantorum continues because of the support of area businesses and professional people through program advertising; by generous sponsors, our concert audiences, members through dues and hard work, and through the dedication of Music Director Barry Asch, Assistant Music Director Deborah Lyon, and the efforts of the volunteer Board of Directors.


See CT Premier of ‘Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical’ at Ivoryton

Michael Marotta and Kim Rachelle Harris in 'Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical,' which opens Wednesday at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Michael Marotta as the Doctor and Kim Rachelle Harris as the title role in ‘Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical,’ which opens Wednesday at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

IVORYTON – Based on the life of Rosemary Clooney, American’s favorite girl singer comes to life on stage in this exhilarating and inspiring musical biography.

Kim Rachelle Harris makes her debut as Rosemary Clooney.

Kim Rachelle Harris makes her debut as Rosemary Clooney.

Tenderly is not a typical “juke-box musical.” It offers a fresh, remarkably personal, and poignant picture of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend. With her signature songs woven in and out, we learn both the story of her successes on film, radio, and TV, as well as the struggles in her personal life.

“I’d call myself a sweet singer with a big band sensibility,” Rosemary once wrote. She  came to prominence in the early 1950s with the novelty hit “Come On-a My House”, which was followed by other pop numbers such as “Mambo Italiano”, “Tenderly”, “Half as Much”, “Hey There” and “This Ole House.”

Clooney’s career languished in the 1960s, partly due to problems related to depression and drug addiction, but revived in 1977, when her “White Christmas” co-star Bing Crosby asked her to appear with him at a show marking his 50th anniversary in show business. She continued recording until her death in 2002.

Michael Marotta revisits the role of the Doctor in the Ivoryton Playhouse production.

Michael Marotta revisits the role of the Doctor in the Ivoryton Playhouse production.

This production was developed and premiered by The Human Race Theatre Company and produced at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Michael Marotta* will be revisiting the role of the Doctor that he helped develop and Kim Rachelle Harris* will be making her debut as Rosemary Clooney. The production is directed by Brian Feehan, musical directed by Dan Brandl, set design by William Stark, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Rebecca Welles.

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Oct. 26 and runs through Nov. 13. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main St. in Ivoryton.


Kate’s Kid’s Camp Presents “Toys!”

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center — ‘The Kate’ — and Community Music School are partnering again under the umbrella of their performing arts summer camp, “Kate’s Camp for Kids,” to present a winter program and show entitled “Toys!”  This exciting program takes place at The Kate, 300 Main Street in Old Saybrook, and runs for six weekly sessions on Wednesday evenings from 4 to 5 p.m. beginning Wednesday, Oct. 26.

Launched in 2013, Kate’s Camp for Kids is a performing arts camp for children in grades K-5 incorporating music, dance, theater, and visual art.

Directed by Martha Herrle, a 15-year member of the Community Music School faculty and certified Kindermusik educator, this year’s camp theme will be “Toys!”  Students will be acting out the personalities of their favorite toys, all the while discovering that “Christmas dreams, large or small, can come true, for one and all.” Featuring five original songs and easy-to-learn rhyming dialog, the program culminates in a lively performance for friends and family.

Tuition for this camp is $125 and scholarships are available for families with a financial need.

For additional information and to register, visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at visitwww.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.


Artist Jan Dilenschneider Featured in Exhibition at Lyme Academy

"Trees with broken color" by Jan Dilenschneider

“Trees with broken color” by Jan Dilenschneider is a signature painting from the exhibition opening today at the Sill House Gallery in Old Lyme.

Artist Jan Dilenschneider, just back to the U.S. from acclaimed exhibitions in Paris and Monaco, will exhibit upwards of 20 recent works in a major exhibition in the Sill House galleries on the Old Lyme campus of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven.

The exhibition, “The 4th Dimension,” will open on Friday, Oct. 7, with a reception with the artist from 5 to 7 p.m. and is part of Lyme Academy College’s Center for Arts Programming fall events. The exhibition, in the 1817 federal-style Sill House, will be on view through Nov. 12. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

“We at Lyme Academy College are very proud to be exhibiting Jan’s exquisite paintings,” said Todd Jokl, campus dean. “Her sensitivity to the lushness, the colors and movements, of the landscape at a certain moment both reminds us of those great painters who first memorialized the Old Lyme area and also looks beyond the moment she captures so imaginatively to the timeless qualities of light and color.”

A classic work by Jan Dilenschneider.

A classic work by Jan Dilenschneider.

In Paris and Monaco, Dilenschneider’s landscape paintings met with critical acclaim. She was the only living American artist who had her work displayed at the recent European Art Fair – Monaco. Marguerite d’Aprile, director of the Center for Arts Programming at Lyme Academy College, noted, “We are quite honored and pleased to host an artist with such an extensive international exhibition record. Ms. Dilenschneider’s paintings, in both subject and color, breathe life into her landscape canvases.”

In an ideal marriage of art and place, Dilenschneider’s vibrant landscape paintings, inspired by a passionate confluence of impressionist and expressionist styles, speak precisely to the Old Lyme landscape that gave birth to American Impressionism.

This idyllic setting is as appealing to artists today as it was when viewed over a century ago by Barbizon School painter Henry Ward Ranger, who called it a “landscape waiting to be painted.” The landscape of Long Island Sound outside her studio windows in Darien, Conn., has provided a similar inspiration for Dilenschneider’s work.

Dilenschneider will also be giving a gallery talk at the exhibition site on Thursday, Oct. 27 (reception 6 p.m. to 7 pm; lecture at 7 p.m.).  The talk is open to the public ($15 per person) and seating is limited. Reservations must be made by contacting Kristen Brady at 860 434 3571 ext. 121kbrady@lymefs.newhaven.edu.

The exhibition and gallery talk are highlights of the fall schedule of the Center for Arts Programming. For more information about the fall schedule of classes, lectures, film screenings and special exhibitions, visit http://www.lymeacademy.edu/index.php/community-engagement.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts is a college of the University of New Haven.  Its mission is to educate aspiring artists through a rigorous studio curriculum rooted in figurative and representational art.  The college offers a comprehensive liberal arts education essential for advanced critical and creative thought.  For more information, visit: http://lymeacademy.edu/



Letter From Paris – No, Now It’s Essex!  A Brave, New Museum Opens in DC

Nicole Prevost Logan

Nicole Prevost Logan

Editor’s Note:  Our popular writer from Paris, Nicole Prevost Logan, is back in Essex, CT, for the winter.  She does not normally write for us from Essex, but this year, she is making an exception and will be continuing to contribute articles to ValleyNewsNow.com and LymeLine.com during the winter months.  Here is her inaugural column from Essex about the opening of  a very special museum in Washington DC.

The Grand Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will take place in Washington DC this coming Saturday, Sept. 24.  The NMAAHC, the 19th and newest of the Smithsonian museums, was established by a bi-partisan Act of Congress in 2003.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, Nov. 6, 2015. (Photo by Michael Barnes from http://newsdesk.si.edu/photos)

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Nov. 6, 2015. (Photo by Michael Barnes / Smithsonian Institution.)

The massive structure occupies a prime location next to the Washington Monument and contrasts with the 555 ft. slender obelisk.  The dark bronze-colored metal lattice that covers the ‘Corona” also stands out from the white marble classical architecture of most of the other museums standing on the National Mall.

It has been a long struggle for the supporters, such as Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia), to make the project a reality.  They needed to overcome the resistance from several senators who advocated another location. The final approval  was more than a triumph — it might be considered a miracle.  It succeeded in making a strong statement as to the importance of Black history and culture in the American nation.

The lead designer was David Adjaye, son of a Ghanaian diplomat and the lead architect Philip Freehon, who died in 2009.  Founding Director Lonnie B. Bunch III is the visionary and driving force of the project.  During some of the many interviews he gave to the press and to a variety of audiences, including select ones like the Aspen institute, he explains the building process and his objective with a very contagious enthusiasm.

The NMAAHC is not intended to be a Holocaust museum, he explains . Its mission is to show the pain but also the joy and the creativity of African-Americans.  A daunting fund-raising goal of 450,000 million dollars had to be reached.

The three-tier effect of the construction incorporates elements from African culture, such as the Yoruban crowns from Nigeria.  Inside the building, high tech designs and the enormity of the space will make it possible to be versatile in organizing several exhibits simultaneously.

The collections had to be created from zero.  It required a treasure hunt into the attics, trunks and basements of the population.  To date 35,000 artifacts have been collected.  A segregated train from outside Chattanooga (TN) was lowered by crane and the museum built around it.  All traffic stopped on Constitution Ave. when an oversized truck delivered the control tower from a federal prison.

Artifacts showing the terrible fate of the slaves are very moving.  Such is an amulet created by the Lombi tribe in the form of a shackle.  More tragic still were the shackles for children.

But fun and the world of entertainment are also present in the displays , such as Louis Armstrong and his trumpet, Lena Horne or Marianne Andersen . The film archives will be essential to build up history, from Harriet Tubman to the human rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s.

According to Washington insiders , the opening of the new museum is the hottest event in a decade.  More than 150,000 special tickets have been distributed to dignitaries while long lines of visitors gather at the entrances of the building to purchase tickets for general admission after the opening.


OL Library & St. Ann’s Host Art Show, Lecture Series on Plum Island

This signature painting for the 'Natural Beauty of Plum Island' exhibition is by John Sargent.

This signature painting for the ‘Natural Beauty of Plum Island’ exhibition is by John Sargent.

The Old Lyme–Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library and St. Ann’s Church announce their collaborative program series,The Natural Beauty of Plum Island: Sea, Seals  Sunsets and More beginning in September. The partnership will hold concurrent art exhibits and a lecture series.

The first art opening reception at the OLPGN Library will be held on Friday, September 16 from 5 to 7 p.m.  St. Ann’s will host an art opening luncheon reception at 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18 following services.

In addition to the art exhibitions, a lecture series to educate the public about the island’s history, habitat and its preservation will be presented. The public is invited to attend the events and experience an amazing breadth of images of Plum Island in acrylics and pastels by painter John Sargent and photographs by Robert Lorenz.  The two exhibits will run until Nov. 23.

Experience the unprecedented access given to Sargent and Lorenz that allowed them to create works depicting beaches, rocky shorelines and coves, wildlife and the occasional visitors who come by boat and ferries. Sargent is a retired art teacher with a studio at his Quaker Hill home and Lorenz a retired commercial photographer, who divides his time between Old Saybrook and New York City.

The lecture series offers four distinct perspectives on the island by experts who will share their insights and knowledge of its importance to our region.  All programs begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Note the location for each lecture.

Thursday, Sept 22 at OLPGN Library:

Preserving Plum Island for Future Generations” by Chris Cryder, Special Projects Coordinator for Save The Sound and Outreach Coordinator for the

Thursday, Oct 6 at Saint Ann’s Church:

Survey of the History of Plum Island” by Amy Folk, Collections Manager Southold Historical Society and co-author of the book “A World Unto Itself, The Remarkable History of Plum Island, New York”.

Thursday, Oct 27 at OLPGN Library:

Plum Island’s Place in the Geological History of Southern New England” by Ralph Lewis  Connecticut State Geologist Emeritus, and currently part-time Officiate of The Long Island Sound Resource Center  at the University of Connecticut- Avery Point   and a professor in residence in the Marine Studies Department  at UCONN- Avery Point.

Thursday, Nov. 10 at Saint Ann’s Church:

Plum Island’s Biodiversity, Birds, Bats, Bugs, and Basking Seals” by Matthew D. Schlesinger, PhD, Chief Zoologist New York Natural Heritage Program and Adjunct Assistant Professor, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Registration is expected for all lectures.

For programs at the Library, visit www.oldlyme.lioninc.orgfor the online calendar of events or call 860-434-1684 and ask for the Reference Desk. To register at St. Ann’s Church, call 860-434-1621 or email office@saintannsoldlyme.org.

The Library is located at 2 Library Lane, off Lyme Street in Old Lyme. Hours are Monday and Wednesday, 10am to 7pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 10am to 6pm; Friday, 10am to 5pm and Saturday, 10am to 4pm.


Final Week to View “The Artist’s Garden” at Florence Griswold Museum

Exterior view of the Florence Griswold Museum, which hosts a Free Day for New London residents on Sunday.

Exterior view of the Florence Griswold Museum on Lyme Street.

This is the final week for the exhibition, The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887–1920. The exhibition is on view through Sept. 18, and its presentation at this museum is supported by a grant from Connecticut Humanities.

Organized by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, The Artist’s Garden tells the story of American Impressionists and the growing popularity of gardening as a leisure pursuit at the turn of the 20th century. Paintings and stained glass from the Pennsylvania Academy are blended with paintings, sculpture, prints, books, and photographs from the Florence Griswold Museum’s permanent collection, as well as selected private loans. Drawing on new scholarship, The Artist’s Garden considers the role of artists and designers in defining a cultivated landscape in an era of new attitudes toward leisure, labor, and a burgeoning environmentalism.

The Artist’s Garden is the first exhibition to situate discussions of the growth of the Garden Movement within the politics of the Progressive era, with which it overlapped at the turn of the twentieth century. The Progressive era was marked by intense political and social change. Along with the surge of nationalism and patriotic optimism came growing concerns over mass immigration, women’s suffrage, and urbanization. The Garden Movement proposed that the creation of public parks and the hobby of gardening could provide beauty and balance within this fast-changing world.

The American Impressionist works in this exhibition demonstrate the profound impact of theGarden Movement on the American culture. “Not only is the Florence Griswold Museum an ideal venue for this exhibition because of its history as a boardinghouse for artists and its restored gardens, but also because Connecticut women like Old Lyme’s Katharine Ludington played an important part in Progressive-era causes such as women’s suffrage while also tending a much loved garden,” said Curator Amy Kurtz Lansing.   

Many American artists developed their interest in gardens from their travels overseas. The outdoors became a major subject for Impressionists as they embraced painting outside, or en plein air. Not only does Daniel Garber’s Saint James’s Park, London, 1905 (on loan from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts – PAFA) demonstrate theImpressionists’ careful study of light and quick, loose brushwork, but an attempt to capture the tension within urban life between the realities of development and the desire for pastoral tranquility. Public parks like St. James’s were praised by critics as peaceful oases amid the hectic frenzy of city life.

The Progressive era was a time of important change for women. They became leaders of the Garden Movement who combined their creative interests in art and gardening with a passion for Progressive causes, such as women’s suffrage. By blending art, writing, and gardening in their careers, women like Anna Lea Merritt were at the vanguard of professionalizing women’s work. They used their public platform to engage social issues like environmental conservation and immigration through the metaphor and example of the garden.

Professional artists such as Cecilia Beaux, Violet Oakley, and Jane Peterson participated in these changes by coupling their interest in modern art with a love of the garden. Peterson wrote that she loved painting flowers for their “prismatic hues of therainbow.” In Spring Bouquet, ca. 1912 (on loan from PAFA) the steeply tilted perspective and sense of patterning inthe composition are variations on the stylistic principles of Post-Impressionism. Locally, practitioners like artist, gardener, and suffragist Katherine Ludington exemplified this trend.

The exhibition will include selections from FGM’s Ludington Family Collection that acknowledge the expression of the Garden Movement in Connecticut, as well as around the family’s other home base in Philadelphia, the epicenter of the Garden Movement.

'Crimson Rambler' by Philip Leslie Hale is a signature paintings of the exhibition.

‘Crimson Rambler’ by Philip Leslie Hale is a signature paintings of the exhibition.

Even as women were making inroads towards more equal status and finding personal and professional expression through the venue of the garden, images that presented a sentimental and idealized vision of women posed decoratively in nature were still very popular. Philip Leslie Hale’s The Crimson Rambler, ca. 1908 (on loan from PAFA) embodies this simultaneous tendency to equate women with the beauty of flowers. He pairs a flowering vine with a women by adding touches of rose red to the lady’s hat and sash, and by draping each across the porch or trellis. Hale’s blooms are considerably larger than the flowers actually grow, suggesting that he idealized the fashionable plant as much as the woman beside it.

Hale’s painting also demonstrates his knowledge of gardening. Many artists combined their devotion to painting flowers with the practice of planting and tending gardens. “An artist’s interest in gardening is to produce pictures without brushes,” Anna Lea Merritt observed in her 1908 book An Artist’s Garden Tended, Painted, Described. Artists’ gardens were personal laboratories for Impressionist studies of light and color. They were outdoor classrooms where painters could teach their students about form and composition.

Special emphasis is given in the exhibition to the many ways Miss Florence’s garden served as a space for creative expression, both for her as a gardener and for the artists who painted and taught there. Paint was not the only medium used to translate nature’s vibrancy. Peony Window Panel, 1908-1912 (on loan from a private collection) by Louis Comfort Tiffany shows his appreciation for color and pattern. As a glass designer, his distinctive floral aesthetic defined the era and was perhaps cultivated in his own Long Island garden where he enjoyed painting.

The grounds of the Florence Griswold Museum provide the perfect accompaniment to The Artist’s Garden. After walking through the restored 1910 garden on the Museum’s campus, visitors will see first-hand in the galleries how artists captured nature’s fleeting beauty on canvas. “Miss Florence’s” lovingly tended garden was a favorite subject for many of the artists of the Lyme Art Colony who stayed at her boardinghouse.

One of the paintings on view in the exhibition, William Chadwick’s On the Piazza, ca. 1908 (collection of the Florence Griswold Museum) shows a female model posing on the side porch of the boardinghouse. Chadwick first visited Old Lyme in 1902 and soon became a central figure in this artist colony, along with Childe Hassam, Robert Vonnoh, and other painters who sought the colonial-era architecture and gardens of Old Lyme and their nostalgic suggestions of a simpler, earlier time, far removed from hectic, modern city life. A walk to the Lieutenant River, on the grounds of the Museum, provides further examples of vistas painted by the nature-loving artists.

Visitors can tour the historic boardinghouse – the 1817 Florence Griswold House – where the artists of the Lyme Art Colony lived, played, and worked. Paintings in the home continue the story of the artists’ love of the landscape. A new Guide to the Historic Landscape encourages visitors to walk where the artists created some of their most enduring paintings.

The recipient of a Trip Advisor 2015 Certificate of Excellence, the Florence Griswold Museum has been called a “Giverny in Connecticut” by the Wall Street Journal, and a “must-see” by the Boston Globe. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, the Museum features a gallery for changing art exhibitions, education and landscape centers, a restored artist’s studio, thirteen acres along the Lieutenant River, and extensive gardens. TheMuseum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Connecticut. Visit www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for more information.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme hosts a celebration of the site’s historic gardens featuring special events, displays, demonstrations, and family activities. From June 3 through 12, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of activities for all ages and interests.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme hosts a celebration of the site’s historic gardens featuring special events, displays, demonstrations, and family activities. From June 3 through 12, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of activities for all ages and interests.

Garden lovers are invited to enjoy Café Flo Tuesdays and Saturdays from 11:30am-2:30pm and from 1-3:30pm on Sundays. Menu items are garden-fresh and family friendly. Dine on the veranda overlooking the Lieutenant River or pick up a basket and blanket and picnic along the river.

The Museum is located on a 13-acre site in the historic village of Old Lyme at 96 Lyme Street, exit 70 off I-95. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under. For more information, visit FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org or call 860-434-5542 x 111.


Lori Warner Gallery Hosts ‘ART-ISTRY’ Featuring Work of David Rau from Flo Gris: Opening Reception Tonight

Detail from a featured work by David Rau in the ART-ISTRY exhibition opening Oct. 1 at the Lori Warner Gallery.

Detail from a featured work, ‘Untitled,’ by David Rau in the ART-ISTRY exhibition opening Oct. 1 at the Lori Warner Gallery.

ART-ISTRY, featuring new work by David D. J. Rau and Christopher B. Steiner, opens Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Lori Warner Gallery in Chester with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. to which all are welcome.  On view will be three-dimensional assemblage pieces by Rau, and limited edition prints and original photomontage works by Steiner.

This exhibition will be a very special one since the Lori Warner Gallery invites artists to exhibit their work once per year and the selection process is highly competitive.

David D.J. Rau’s Vintage Hardware Drawer series, was inspired by 14 antique drawers that originally held screws, bolts, and plugs (according to the various labels). Rau transforms them into miniature surreal stage sets using vintage and antique pieces collected over the years. Inspired by the past, his aesthetic combines vintage photography, tattered paper, intriguing ephemera, and antiques into humorous, ironic, and most importantly, beautiful scenes. 

Rau is the Director of Education & Outreach at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn. Responsible for the public programs and making connections between the art and history and the Museum’s visitors. Rau holds a masters degree in Art History and a certificate of Museum Studies from the University of Michigan. Rau has worked at Cranbrook Art Museum.

Detail from "The Fall of Suburban Man" by Christopher Steiner.

Detail from “The Fall of Suburban Man” (2016) by Christopher Steiner.

Christopher B. Steiner has always been partial to artists with “a deep sense of wit and (twisted) humor.” His work has been described as “irreverent parody with a twist of dark absurdity.” Steiner deconstructs iconic or cliché images and well-rehearsed art-historical traditions in order to invite alternative readings. These interventions are meant to surprise, delight, destabilize, and sometimes even shock. His intent is to “reinvigorate familiar images by bringing to them new perspectives and insights through unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur visual tropes”.

Steiner holds an undergraduate degree from the Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University. He is the Lucy C. McDannel ’22 Professor of Art History and Anthropology at Connecticut College, where he also serves as Founding Director of the Museum Studies Program.

Steiner is also a member of the board of trustees of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, where he was also Interim Director in 2003-04. In addition, he serves on the Advisory Boards of both the Florence Griswold Museum and the Bellarmine Museum at Fairfield University.

The exhibition will be on view through Dec. 1, and is free and open to the public. The Lori Warner Gallery is located at 21 Main St. in Chester, Conn.

For further information, call 860-322-4265, email gallery@loriwarner.com and visit www.loriwarner.com or www.facebook.com/loriwarnergallery/

eum; the Henry Ford Museum and The Currier Gallery of Art. Rau also teaches Museum Studies at Connecticut College.


Acclaimed Local Contemporary Artist Judy Friday Opens Gallery in Old Lyme

'February Sunrise' by Judy Friday.

‘February Sunrise’ by Judy Friday.

One of the area’s best known contemporary artists has opened her own gallery in Old Lyme. Judy Friday Gallery, full of Friday’s paintings, photography, weavings and sculptures, can be found at 10 Lyme Street.

Friday, a resident of Old Saybrook, explains that she opened the new gallery for a number of reasons, noting, “The first is that the space is so perfect for a gallery and studio combined.”

She says the second reason for opening her own gallery is, “… that I had too much work accumulating in my studio at home and I love organizing paintings and my hooked rug pillows in a clean, organized way.”

Friday adds, “The third reason is that I wanted to be able to show my work year-round versus one month here and there,” commenting, “I appreciate all the shows I’ve been given over the years.”

Judy Friday Gallery is open Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by chance or appointment. The phone number is 860.581.0116.


‘Touching Water’ Exhibit by Roxanne Steed on View at Old Lyme Library Through August

'Looking South on the Connecticut River at Old Lyme' is the signature painting of the 'Touching Water' exhibition opening Friday at the Old Lyme Library.

‘Looking South on the Connecticut River at Old Lyme’ is the signature painting of the ‘Touching Water’ exhibition opening Friday at the Old Lyme Library.

The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library is currently hosting a new exhibition titled Touching Water featuring artwork by Roxanne Steed.

Steed has lived in some of the most beautiful towns on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as well as traveled to Hawaii, Singapore, Italy, France, England and Ireland.  Always in pursuit of new challenges, her works explore the local waterways painted en plein air.

Steed pursued her formal art education along the way at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Conn.; The Art League School in Alexandria, Va.; and Watts Atelier in Encinitas, Calif.  Recent studies with colorists Leif Nilsson, and Camille Przewodek, students of renowned teacher Henry Hensche have enabled her to pursue the ever-intriguing study of the effects light on color.

The works of the American Impressionists have had a great influence on her work, particularly those of New England and California. Steed says, “There is nothing quite so satisfying as painting from life in the great outdoors. I find the textural quality of paint an exciting element of painting as much as design, composition, and color. Evoking an emotional response to a ‘sense of place’ is a great thrill; that connection with my viewer is priceless.”

Steed’s professional affiliations include Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society, Lyme Art Association, Mystic Art Center, CT Plein Air Painters Society and DailyPainters.com.

Her paintings are in private collections across the United States, as well as Canada, Ireland, UK, Germany, South Korea, Australia, and Dubai. Her most recent corporate collector is Bank of Hampton Roads (Virginia).

The exhibition will run until Aug. 31.


State Troubadour Performs at Lyme Library This Evening

Connecticut State Troubador Kate Callahan gives a concert at Lyme Public Library Friday evening.

Connecticut State Troubador Kate Callahan gives a concert at Lyme Public Library Friday evening.

Friends of the Lyme Public Library will sponsor a concert presented by Connecticut State Troubadour, Kate Callahan, this evening, Friday, July 15, at 6 p.m., at the Lyme Public Library at 482 Hamburg Rd./Rte. 156, Lyme.

The concert will be outdoors on the lawn area near library patio.  Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets.  This is a family program and all are invited.

In the case of inclement weather, the event will be held at the Lyme Public Hall, 249 Hamburg Rd./Rte. 156, Lyme.  Refreshments will be available for a small fee.

As Connecticut’s 16th State Troubadour, Kate Callahan gives a concert of compelling original music plus songs by the Beatles, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan.  Connecticut is one of the only states that honors a singer-songwriter with a formal position.

Callahan serves as an ambassador of music and song and promotes cultural literacy among Connecticut citizens.  She has shared stages with songwriter legends Judy Collins, Noel Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul & Mary) and Aztec Two Step.

Callahan has been  awarded the prestigious United Arts Campaign’s Featured Artist of the year in 2014 and named Connecticut’s Best Singer-Songwriter.  She has also received Hartford’s Woman of Character Award and has five albums including her 2014 release Two Doors, which was featured on WNPR.

The Boston Globe says “Kate has garnered an appreciative audience with her easy going vibe and mystical lyrics.”  She lives in Connecticut where she also leads a vocal improvisation workshop she created, called the Miracle of Melody.

For more information visit:  http://www.kate-callahan.com/#!home/mainPage andhttp://music.lafamos.com/katecallahan.


“Chicago” Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse; Tickets Sold Out for Opening Week

Lyn Philistine (Ivoryton Playhouse photo)

Lyn Philistine (Ivoryton Playhouse photo)

Tickets are going fast for the steamy and sexy musical, “Chicago,” currently running at the Ivoryton Playhouse through July 24.  Winner of six 1997 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival, “Chicago” has everything that makes theater great:  a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz;  one show-stopping song after another combined with frenetically energetic dancing.

Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the musical (book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb) is based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins based on actual criminals and crimes. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the “celebrity criminal” – as timely today as it was when it first opened on Broadway in 1975.

“Chicago” was revived on Broadway in 1996 and holds the record as the longest-running musical revival and the longest-running American musical in Broadway history, and is the second longest-running show in Broadway history, behind “The Phantom of the Opera.” The London revival ran for nearly 15 years, becoming the longest-running American musical in West End history.

Christopher Sutton* returns to Ivoryton in the role of Billy Flynn and will be accompanied by his wife, Lynn Philistine* in the role of Roxie Hart. CCC award-winning actress Sheniqua Trotman* also returns to Ivoryton, this time in the role of Mama Morton. She was last seen in Ivoryton as Effie in “Dreamgirls.” Stacey Harris* will be playing Velma Kelly, Z. Spiegel is Mary Sunshine and Ian Shain is Amos Hart.

Christopher Sutton (Ivoryton Playhouse photo)

Christopher Sutton (Ivoryton Playhouse photo)

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Paul Feyer, with set design by Martin Marchitto, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Cipollina. Executive producers are Michael A. Dattilo and Frank Perrotti.

Whether you’ve seen it before and want to recapture the magic or you’ve been thrilled by the Academy Award-winning film, “Chicago” always delivers.  Don’t miss the experience of this show live on stage at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for adults, $45 for seniors, $22 for students and $17 for children. They are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. Group rates are available by calling the box office for information. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity


LAA Hosts Two New Exhibitions, ‘American Waters’ and ‘Purely Pastel’

'Boundless Energy" by Anthony Davis is one of the signature paintings of the American Waters exhibition.

‘Boundless Energy” by Anthony Davis is one of the signature paintings of the American Waters exhibition.

The Lyme Art Association (LAA) hosts American Waters: A Marine Art Exhibition; Purely Pastel, and Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty will run concurrently with American Waters in sequential shows.

Visitors of all ages can enjoy American Waters, the LAA’s summer exhibition of work by the country’s premier maritime artists, which is on view in the LAA’s sky-lit galleries through Aug. 26. An opening reception for American Waters will be held this evening, Friday, June 17, from 5 to 7pm at the LAA, 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Conn. Admission is free, all are welcome and refreshments will be served.

The exhibition features work by the American Society of Marine Artists as invited guests, alongside marine works by LAA artists. Russ Kramer, an internationally recognized marine painter, juried the exhibition. Kramer notes, “What better place for an exhibition of marine-inspired art than the Lyme Art Association … a true landmark in our region’s artistic history, whose proximity to the Lieutenant and Connecticut rivers and Long Island Sound has inspired artists for a century. “

He continues, “These new works in the exhibition American Waters are by many of the finest practitioners of marine art working today. To think the same subjects continue to inspire us a hundred years later is testament to this area’s enduring, irresistible allure.”

Concurrent with the American Waters exhibition, the Lyme Art Association will present two shorter exhibitions. From June 10 through July 15, the Connecticut Pastel Society presents Purely Pastel, their annual exhibition. Then from July 22 through Aug. 26, a juried show of paintings created during this year’s paint out at the Hamburg historic district will be shown in Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty.

Lyme Art Association Board President, Katherine Simmons, states, “American Waters continues an LAA tradition of exhibiting the very best of fine contemporary American marine painting. We are grateful to the members of the American Society of Marine Artists who are joining us as invited guests, and we would especially like to thank our premier media sponsor, The Day, and our presenting sponsor, Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law, along with juror Russ Kramer, for making this exhibition happen.”

The LAA was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 to 5pm, or by appointment.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org


Cappella Cantorum Present Men’s Chorus Concert in Old Lyme, June 26

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus drawing inspired in St. Paul Lutheran Church in a 2005 concert, drawn by Madeleine Favre of Deep River.

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus drawing inspired in St. Paul Lutheran
Church in a 2005 concert, drawn by Madeleine Favre of Deep River.

Cappella Cantorum presents a Men’s Chorus Concert, Sunday, June 26, at 7:30 pm, the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme at 2 Ferry Rd. Old Lyme, CT 06371.

The music will include When the Saints Go Marching In, Guys & Dolls Selections Order My Steps, Men of Harlech, Ride the Chariot, For the Beauty of the Earth, Barbershop Favorites and Va Pensiero.

Tickets are $20 at the door or online at CappellaCantorum.org. Ages 18 and under are free.  

For more information, contact Barry at 860-388-2871 or barrybasch@gmail.com.


Cappella Cantorum Present Men’s Chorus Concert in Guilford, June 18

cappella-cantorum-for-webOLD SAYBROOK —  Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus presents its annual concert on Saturday, June 18, at 8 p.m., at Christ Episcopal Church, 11 Park St., on the Guilford Green.

The music will include “For the Beauty of the Earth,” “Rutter,” selections from “Guys & Dolls,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Men of Harlech,” “Ride the Chariot,” “Va Pensiero” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

Tickets are $20 (age 18 and under are free) and can be purchased at the door or through CappellaCantorum.org. Contact Barry at 860-388-2871 for more information.


Lymes’ Senior Center Art Exhibit at Old Lyme Town Hall on View Through July 31

One of the paintings which will be on view in the Lymes' Senior Center Art Exhibit at the Old Lyme Town Hall.

One of the paintings which will be on view in the Lymes’ Senior Center Art Exhibit at the Old Lyme Town Hall.

This afternoon, the Town of Old Lyme opens its first ever art exhibition in Memorial Town Hall at 52 Lyme Street. There will be a reception with refreshments from 3 to 5 p.m. on the Friday in the foyer of the town hall’s meeting room to which friends and family members of the artists and the general public are welcome.  There is no charge for admission.

The 24 works on view are drawings and watercolor pieces, which have all been created by members of the Lymes’ Senior Center, who attended classes with local artist Sharon Schmiedel. Jeri Baker of Old Lyme, a member of the Senior Center’s Board and also one of the artist exhibitors, explains that Schmiedel’s classes have enabled many seniors, “to rediscover talent they may have had long ago and in other cases to develop new skills.”  She described Schmiedel as, “An amazing instructor,” who has encouraged her students to experiment and be, “a little brave.”

Baker noted that she herself is typical of many of the students in that she, “used to do a lot [of art] in college and then life got in the way.”  She encourages anyone who is thinking about renewing their interest in art to join Schmiedel’s classes at the Senior Center, which are held Mondays for Advanced Watercolor and Drawing and Tuesdays for Introduction to Drawing.

Logo_750x668Baker says that the seniors whose works are featured in this exhibit are, “real proud to be the first ones exhibiting in the town hall.”  Stephanie Lyon-Gould, the Senior Center Director adds, “They are excited to share their work with the Old Lyme community, and this exhibit is a great example of collaboration between the Lymes’ Senior Center and the Old Lyme Town Hall.”

Editor’s Note: In an art-filled evening, attendees at this exhibition can stroll up Lyme Street to Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds, where there will be another Opening Reception from 5 to 7 p.n. for Summer Sculpture Showcase 2016 featuring some 30 sculptures from guest artists intermingled with Gilbert Boro’s own work on his expansive grounds adjoining the Lieutenant River.

For more information on classes and activities at Lymes’ Senior Center or , call 860.434.1605 ext. 240 or email seniorcenter@oldlyme-ct.gov


Summer Sculpture Showcase 2016 at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds Hosts on View Through Sept. 13

Mega-Dandelion by Gints Grinsberg is the signature piece of Summer Sculpture Showcase at Studio 80 +Sculpture Grounds, which has an Opening Reception Friday, June 10 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Mega-Dandelion by Gints Grinsberg is the signature piece of Summer Sculpture Showcase at Studio 80 +Sculpture Grounds, which has an Opening Reception Friday, June 10 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Gilbert Boro, owner and sculptor at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme, will host an Opening Reception for Summer Sculpture Showcase 2016 this coming Friday, June 10, from 5 to 7 p.m.  All are welcome to attend the outdoor reception at which light refreshments will be served. Guests will be free to explore the expansive sculpture gardens and view the more than 100 sculptures on display during the event.

This juried exhibition follows on naturally from last year’s extremely successful Summer Sculpture Showcase 2015, which drew large crowds and had to be extended into October to meet public demand. This new exhibition on the grounds adjoining Boro’s studio and inside the Emily Seward Boro (ESB) Gallery on the property features works created by 17 widely acclaimed sculptors interspersed amongst Boro’s own sculptures, along with works by 13 other contributing artists.  More than 30 sculptors from across the country responded to the Call for Entries submitting some 60 works.

Boro’s Sculpture Gardens are located on 4.5 acres of his residence on historic Lyme Street in the heart of Old Lyme, Conn.  The beautifully landscaped grounds slope down toward the Lieutenant River offering a unique plein air experience for the exhibition, which combines both large- and small-scale contemporary sculptures. Many of the works, which are in a variety of media, are for sale.

The sculptors, whose 25 pieces of work are included in the Showcase, are:
Mark Attebery, Diane Barcelo, Ashby Carlisle, Bryan Gorneau, Gints Grinbergs, Lannie Hart, Jay Hoagland, Deborah Hornbake, Conrad Levenson, Elaine Lorenz, David Madasci, Liza Masalimova, Sui Park, Chris Plaisted,
Bill Vollers, Martha Walker and Melanie Zibit.

The signature piece of the exhibition is “Mega-Dandelion” by Gints Grinbergs.  It is a large — 144” in height, 56” in diameter — yet delicate structure that evokes the intricate design of lace in its welded and stainless steel structure.  Grinbergs explains in his artist’s statement that he looks to nature for inspiration with “interests [that] range from the macroscopic to the microscopic – from flowers and their structure to bacteria and viruses – from the giants of outer space to sub atomic particles.”  He continues, “I build sculptures derived from the universal forms of nature.
All of the sculptures in this series are built from recycled materials … I attempt to transform, up-cycle, these manmade materials into the infinitely more complex forms designed by nature.”

Grinbergs’ work has been featured at various museums and galleries and is included in private and corporate collections throughout North America.

'Water Courses' by Elaine Lorenz is another featured piece in the Showcase.

‘Water Courses’ by Elaine Lorenz is another featured piece in the Showcase.

Created out of cement, fiberglass and paint, Elaine Lorenz’s intriguing “Water Course” comprises three pieces. She states that she has made “sculpture in such diverse materials as wood, metal, concrete, encaustic over a wire armature and ceramic, while maintaining an overall view of nature as a dominant source of energy and influence on her work.”  Lorenz explains her approach in creating art as, “abstract, only alluding to things, relationships or emotions and leaving room for the viewer’s interpretation.”

Lorenz has exhibited her work in numerous group exhibitions and sculpture sites throughout the US and her sculptures are in private, public and corporate collections in numerous states including Alabama, California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas. She has been the Vice President of Exhibitions for the Sculptors Guild since 2011.

Jay Hoagland charming ‘Mephisto’s Waltz’ features a viola made out of steel and copper with a kinetic element.  When the integral weathervane at the head of the instrument catches the wind, the bow travels across the strings playing an eerie melody. Hoagland explains the motivation behind his sculpture thus, “I work because the sheer joy of seeing thought turned into material is rejuvenating but my approach is more and more obviously the result of where and who I’ve been.”

'Mephisto's Waltz'is an intriguing piece of kinetic sculpture.

‘Mephisto’s Waltz’is an intriguing piece of kinetic sculpture.

He continues, “I’m inspired by natural science with an injection of humor and contradiction. Inspiration also comes from the minutae of life, the shape of a stone, the footprints of giants like da Vinci, Calder, Giacometti, Gabo, Hepworth, Moore, and Noguchi. Hoagland concludes, “I see my work as a catalyst to understand, and a lens to clarify, my place in the world.”

The jurors for the exhibition were acclaimed sculptors Gilbert V. Boro and Lisa Simonds, and painter Julia Pavone.

Boro has enjoyed an extraordinary and distinguished more than 50-year-career as a successful architect, sought-after international design consultant and an inspiring educator.  With a BFA from Duke University and post-graduate degrees from Columbia University, NYC, his work explores the interplay of space, place and scale in a wide range of media including steel, stone, wood, metal, aluminum and fiberglass.

Sculptor Gilbert V. Boro in his studio.

Sculptor Gilbert V. Boro in his studio.

Working in sculpture has been a compulsion rather than a possibility for Gil.  While mastering the rigors of technical competence, he developed a deep-seated passion for three-dimensional art, which continues to be the influential force behind his creations. He is both inspired and motivated by the creative freedom of sculpting, finding that abstract work is the means to fulfill his vision.  Boro’s sculptures can be found in art centers and public art venues across the US and throughout Europe; they have also been purchased by private collectors, corporations and foundations in both the US and internationally.

"Nest' is one of Gil Boro's most recent pieces.

“Nest’ is one of Gil Boro’s most recent pieces.

Simonds is a visual artist with a BFA in Sculpture from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Conn.  She is currently employed as the Exhibitions Coordinator at Lyme Academy and previously worked as an Independent Exhibitions Installer at Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Conn., for eight years.

Pavone is the co-founder of the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery of Art at the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point Campus, and has served as its Curator/Director for the past 24 years.  During her 29-year career, Pavone, who has a BFA from Long Island University in Westbury, N.Y., and an MEd from Lesley College in Cambridge, Mass., has continued her own work as a painter, while variously serving as a teacher, and guest lecturer, juror and curator for numerous exhibitions.

This Summer Sculpture Showcase offers a unique opportunity for established sculptors to exhibit their work in a different location, while also effectively creating a new exhibition within the Sculpture Gardens.  Boro comments, “I’m delighted to be able to open my grounds to these exceptional sculptors whose work intrigues me.  Each one offers original creative thinking resulting in a combination of contrasting conceptual designs in a variety of media.  I think any visitor to the exhibition is going to be thoroughly engaged by what he or she sees – including children.”

Boro is somewhat unusual as a professional sculptor in that he loves to see folk of all ages directly interacting with his sculptures, noting that he has a strong aversion to exhibitions, “… where people can’t touch my work.”  Apart from attracting visitors to see the works on his grounds, Boro is thoroughly invested in the vibrant Old Lyme arts scene and hopes this exhibition will help cement the town as a summer destination for art-loving visitors from near and far, especially during the town’s Midsummer Festival which this year is on Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30.

Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds are located at 80-1 Lyme St., less than a minute from Exit 70 on I-95, the Sculpture Grounds are open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Admission is free.  Children, field trips and group visits are all welcome.

For further information, contact 860-434-5957, visit www.sculpturegrounds.com or email studio80sculpturegrounds@gmail.com


Falstrom of Lyme Exhibits with Three Artist Friends at Guilford Free Library

Works by Angie Falstrom of Lyme are on display at the Guilford Free Library.

Works by Angie Falstrom of Lyme are on display at the Guilford Free Library.

Four Connecticut artists will be exhibiting for the month of June in the Meeting Room of the Guilford Free Library at 67 Park St., Guilford, CT.   The artists are Angie Falstrom of Lyme; Cheryl Kling of Branford; Janet Romanowski of Hebron; and Roxanne Steed of Mystic.

The exhibition will be on view Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through June 30.

Works by Roxanne Steed are in the same exhibition.

Works by Roxanne Steed are in the same exhibition.

The four friends met at a class at the Florence Griswold Museum in 2006 and have continued to meet regularly at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library for the past 10 years to discuss their individual projects and progress and to share sources of inspiration. This is the first time their work has been shown together.

for more information, call 203-453-8282 (library) or e-mail angie.falstrom@att.net


Theater Along the River Returns with “Edward III,” June 18

King_Edward_III_from_NPG 1

King Edward III


On Saturday, June 18, the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River kicks off with the Flock Theatre production of William Shakespeare’s Edward III. This year’s summertime series is once again made possible through the generous support of the Essex Wellness Center.

The Raigne of King Edward the Third (typically abbreviated as Edward III) centers on the life of the eponymous English monarch as he faces the threat of a rebellious Scotland while simultaneously laying claim to the French throne, starting the Hundred Years War in the process. Originally printed anonymously in 1596, the author’s identity has been a subject of some debate, though scholars now generally agree that the play is the work of William Shakespeare collaborating with fellow playwright Thomas Kyd.

According to director Derron Wood, “We are pleased to return for a third year to the Connecticut River Museum. It offers a spellbinding backdrop for outdoor theater and allows us to reach a new audience.”

The Connecticut River Museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs, said, “Flock Theatre is a master of Shakespeare. We feel fortunate to offer this level of entertainment at the museum and hope that the audience enjoys the production and its backdrop – the river.” Dobbs was quick to note that the museum is only able to host this event and keep the ticket prices reasonable for all ages to enjoy through the “generosity of lead sponsor, the Essex Wellness Center.” Essex Wellness Center offers a range of holistic-minded health services, including Fitness on the Water, a beautiful, private workout studio.

The museum’s grounds will open at 6 p.m. for picnickers to lay out blankets and chairs. Museum staff encourage the audience to make the picnic part of the experience. In fact, there will be a special prize awarded to the “best” picnic arrangement.

Tickets are $18 for the general public and $10 for children (12 and under) and $12 for Connecticut River Museum members. A cash bar serving beer and wine will be available for theatergoers. No carry-in alcohol is permitted. Tickets may be bought at www.ctrivermuseum.org or at the door starting at 6 p.m. the night of the performance. Curtain opens at 7 p.m., with a raindate of June 19.

A second evening of Theater Along the River will be held on Friday, Aug. 5, when Flock Theatre will be performing Shakespeare’s popular comedy, Taming of the Shrew.

Flock Theatre is a professional, not-for-profit theater company founded in 1989. The company is dedicated to creating original, collaborative and educational theater. Perhaps best known for the long-standing summer Shakespeare in the Arboretum, Flock Theatre performs year-round in a variety of venues, including their winter “nest” at the First Congregational Church, on the New London Pier, at the historic Shaw Mansion Museum and throughout New England.

For more information on the programs, please contact the Connecticut River Museum at 860-767-8269 or visit the website, ctrivermuseum.org. The museum is located at 67 Main St., Essex.


“The 39 Steps,” Zany Spoof of Hitchcock Movies, Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse

Dan Fenaughty and Larissa Klinger. Photo by Ivoryton Playhouse

Dan Fenaughty and Larissa Klinger. Photo by Ivoryton Playhouse

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have “The 39 Steps,” a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theater! This two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of four), an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers and some good old-fashioned romance!

“The 39 Steps” is set in England, just before the war. A young man bored with life meets a woman with a mysterious accent who says she’s a spy and needs to take refuge in his apartment. Murder and mayhem soon follow as our hero is chased across the wild and wooly British countryside, meeting a host of ridiculous characters and climaxing in a death-defying finale! A riotous blend of virtuoso performances and wildly inventive stagecraft, “The 39 Steps” amounts to an unforgettable evening of pure pleasure!

The first version of the play was written by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon for a cast of four actors and funded by a £1,000 Yorkshire Arts Grant. It premiered in 1995 at the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond, North Yorkshire, before embarking on a tour of village halls across the north of England. In 2005, Patrick Barlow rewrote the script, keeping the scenes, staging and small-scale feel, and in June 2005 this re-adaption premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. In 2006, it opened in the West End and in 2008 it premiered on Broadway to rave reviews. The New York Times proclaimed, “Theatre at its finest!… Absurdly enjoyable! This gleefully theatrical riff on Hitchcock’s film is fast and frothy, performed by a cast of four that seems like a cast of thousands.”

This production introduces Ivoryton audiences to the husband and wife team of Dan Fenaughty and Larissa Klinger, who have both performed these roles before in the national tour. The clowns are played by Ivoryton favorite, David Edwards, and Jonathan Brody, making his Ivoryton debut. All four actors are members of Actors Equity. The play is directed by Erik Bloomquist, a two-time Emmy-nominated writer/director/producer and former Top 200 Director on Project Greenlight. Erik is currently in post-production on the television adaptation of “The Cobblestone Corridor,” a seriocomic mystery series based on his internationally acclaimed short film of the same name. The set design is by Dan Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Cully Long.

“The 39 Steps” opened at the Ivoryton Playhouse on June 1 and runs through June 19. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $44 for adults; $39 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

Ticket prices go up on June 1 to $50 for adults and $45 for seniors, so purchase tickets now for all the summer shows for the best prices. (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.