January 18, 2018

Community Music School Announces Caroline Wholean as one of Greenleaf Award Winners

Lyme-Old Lyme High School senior Caroline Wholean.

AREAWIDE — The selection committee for the Carolyn R. Greenleaf Memorial Fund of Community Music School has chosen two local music students as the recipients of the Fall 2017 Carolyn R. Greenleaf Music Award: pianist Caroline Wholean and violinist Schuyler Dragoo.  This award is given each semester to two high school students who have demonstrated exceptional musical ability and motivation, and awards a semester of private lessons at Community Music School in Centerbrook.

Caroline Wholean is a senior at Lyme-Old Lyme High School. Her rigorous academic schedule is supplemented with rowing for the crew team, competing on the math team and playing clarinet in the high school band and wind ensemble. A student of Community Music School for 12 years, she has taken violin and piano lessons and is a member of the String Ensemble. She was recently awarded the Connecticut Secretary of State’s Excellence in Citizenship Award. Caroline plans to continue her music education in college next year.

Schuyler Dragoo is both a violinist and a vocalist who will be entering her sophomore year at Haddam-Killingworth High School. Schuyler has been studying violin for eleven years with Irene Rissi in Waterford. She has participated in the CT Southern Region Orchestra for the past four years, and has attended Point CounterPoint, a chamber music camp in Vermont, for the past five years. Schuyler will be singing with the select choir in school this coming year, and is looking forward to using this scholarship to further her vocal technique and abilities at the Community Music School.

The Carolyn R. Greenleaf Memorial Fund was established at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County in 2008 by her friends to honor Greenleaf’s dedication to music and education. The Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Music Award is open to students of Middlesex County and the Lymes and is awarded twice a year, based entirely on merit.

Editor’s Notes: i) Community Music School is an independent, nonprofit school which provides a full range of the finest possible instruction and musical opportunities to persons of all ages and abilities, increasing appreciation of music and encouraging a sense of joy in learning and performing, thus enriching the life of the community.

ii) Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County. Working with charitably-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments since 1997, the Community Foundation has provided 850 grants totaling more than $2.5 million to organizations for the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities,  environmental improvements, and for health and human services. 

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Award-Winning Photographer Presents ‘Tools of Travel Photography’ at CT Valley Camera Club Meeting

Shadows of camels and their riders in the Sahara desert in Erg Chebi, Morrocco (Photo by David H. Wells)

The guest speaker at next Monday’s (Oct. 2) meeting of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will be award-winning photographer/videographer David H. Wells, who will give a presentation titled, “The Tools of Travel Photography.” The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme, Conn.  All are welcome.

Wells uses whichever technology he feels is most appropriate for the specific situation to create visual narratives. He is based in Providence, RI, affiliated with Aurora Photos and is also a photo-educator. One editor described him as a “… specialist in intercultural communication and visual narratives that excel in their creative mastery of light, shadow and sound, stills and video.”

Wells became the photographer he is today by first trying on the styles and/or methods of other well-known and historic photographers. Then he mastered the challenging discipline of color slide film. He fused all of these experiences, over 30-plus years, to develop his own style, built on a mastery of light, exposure and tonality, framing and composition with predictable and consistent control over focus and depth of field.

As a photography educator, he leads students to learn how to master consistently these same elements of photography. He was featured in Photo District News as one of “The Best Workshop Instructors.”

A Sicilian sunset (Photo by David H. Wells)

His project on the pesticide poisoning of California farm workers was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Over the years he has worked on assignment for such magazines as Fortune, Life, National Geographic, Newsweek, The Sunday New York Times, Time, etc. He also worked for corporations such as Consolidated Natural Gas and DuPont as well as for non-profits such as the Ford Foundation and the New Israel Fund.

His work has been featured in more than 50 exhibitions and he has taught workshops at the International Center for Photography in NYC and at the Maine Media Workshops. He has received two Fulbright fellowships, a grant from Nikon/N.P.P.A., a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation’s Program of Research and Writing on International Peace and Cooperation.

For more information on David H. Wells, visit his website.

Connecticut Valley Camera Club is dedicated to offering its membership the opportunity to become better photographers. The club offers a variety of presentations and interactive workshops to help members expand their technical and creative skills. Photographers of all levels of experience are welcomed. The club draws members from up and down both sides of the river, from Middletown to Old Saybrook; from East Hampton to Old Lyme; and along the shoreline from Guilford to Gales Ferry.

For more information, visit the club’s website at https://ctvalleycameraclub.smugmug.com/. The Club’s meeting dates, speakers / topics and other notices are also published on the club’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CTValleyCameraClubPage/

 

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‘I Hate Musicals: The Musical’ Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse

Equity member Stephen Wallem plays the lead in Ivoryton Playhouse’s upcoming production of  “I Hate Musicals: the Musical.”

Simpsons’ television writer and producer Mike Reiss is back in Ivoryton with his hilarious world premiere of I Hate Musicals: The Musical. It’s the story of a cranky comedy writer trapped in the rubble of an LA earthquake.  His life is playing out before his eyes in the form of a musical — and he hates musicals …  With numbers sung by everyone from Sigmund Freud and Satan, will he learn to be less cranky?

Previews for I Hate Musicals: The Musical begin Sept. 27 and then the show opens at the Playhouse Sept. 29 and runs through Oct. 15.

Stephen Wallem*, a SAG Award-nominated actor best known as Thor Lundgren for seven seasons on the Emmy-winning Showtime series “Nurse Jackie”, will lead the cast as Alvin, the comedy writer. Stephen worked as a stage actor and After Dark Award-winning cabaret singer in Chicago before moving to New York to make his television debut on “Nurse Jackie.” Other television appearances include Randall on Louis CK’s surprise limited series “Horace and Pete” and Chad on “Difficult People.”

I Hate Musicals: The Musical features new music composed by Walter Murphy, composer of the 70’s classic A Fifth of Beethoven (which was included in the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever. The play is one man’s zany ride through relationships with mothers and fathers, analysts and wives and with a host of surprising characters making unexpected appearances. Ultimately, the story is a traditional one about life, love, show business, and the importance of being kind.

Reiss, who is writer and producer for the long running TV show, The Simpsons, also created the animated series The Critic; the webtoon Queer Duck and worked on the screenplays for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Horton Hears a Who!; The Simpsons: The Movies; and, My Life In Ruins. Ivoryton audiences turned out in droves in the June 2013 for his hilarious play, I’m Connecticut, which was a huge popular and critical success and Comedy is Hard in September of 2014 with Micky Dolenz and Joyce DeWitt.

Directed by James Valletti, the cast includes Playhouse favorite R. Bruce Connelly*, and Will Clark, Sam Given*, Amanda Huxtable*, Ryan Knowles*. The set design is by Dan Nischan, lighting by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Elizabeth Cipollina.

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 our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

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Musical Masterworks Opens New Season, Oct. 21-22

Artistic Director Edward Arron will emcee the first Musical Masterworks concerts on Oct. 21 and 22.

As Musical Masterworks opens its 27th season of chamber music, the organizers are pleased to be introducing a number of internationally-acclaimed new artists to this series, as well as welcoming back Musical Masterworks veterans, such as Chee Yun on violin, Todd Palmer on clarinet and Jeewon Park on piano.

The season’s first concerts are Saturday, Oct. 21, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 22, at 3 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, an acoustically rich venue for chamber music. 

Edward Arron, Musical Masterworks Artistic Director, described how special the series is to him, “I take great comfort knowing that, after all of these years, Old Lyme, Conn., remains a sanctuary for the magnificent art of chamber music.  As time passes, I feel more strongly than ever that the arts are an indispensable part of a healthy society, and a necessary escape from the constant distractions of the fast-paced world in which we live.”

Musical Masterworks’ season runs October 2017 through April 2018.  To purchase a series subscription ($150 each), a mini-subscription ($100 each) or individual tickets ($40 individual; $5 student), visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

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Musical Masterworks, Community Music School Announce Scholarship Recipient from Old Lyme

From left to right, Alden Murphy and Abigail Nickell stand with Musical Masterworks scholarship winner Giovanna Parnoff at the piano.

Musical Masterworks and Community Music School are pleased to announce the recipient of the first Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas.

Giovanna Parnoff, already an accomplished pianist and exceptional sixth grade student from Old Lyme, was presented with the scholarship by Alden Murphy, President of Musical Masterworks and Abigail Nickell, Executive Director of Community Music School.

“We are so pleased to honor Nancy’s memory with an award to one of her very own students, in partnership with another of her most beloved arts organizations.’ said Nickell.  Nancy Thomas was a devoted staff member of Musical Masterworks for nearly 25 years.   “It is particularly fortuitous that Giovanna, as a life-long student of Nancy Thomas, is the first winner of this scholarship; we couldn’t be more pleased,” added Murphy.

Giovanna has attended The Community Music School since she was six months old. She discovered her love of music through Kindermusik and Kate’s Camp programs and eventually started individual piano instruction under the tutelage of Nancy Thomas at the age of 3.

She has received perfect scores at the New London Piano Festival organized by the Middlesex/New London Chapter of the Connecticut State Music Teacher’s Association. Giovanna is a member of Mensa and Intertel, two high IQ societies and was recently inducted into the Junior Mensa Honor Society for her academic performance, leadership skills and volunteerism/community service.

Giovanna has been accepted into Duke University’s Talent Identification Program, Stanford University’s Gifted and Talented Program, and Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. She is a competitive foil fencer, and has been coached for six years by the Fencer’s School of CT.

Giovanna is an award-winning poet, having seen her work published in “The Mensa Bulletin” and “The Young American Poetry Digest.” She lives in Old Lyme with her parents, Dr. John Parnoff and Ms. Monique Heller, and her younger sister, Mattea, who is also a piano student at The Community Music School.

The Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas provides the tuition for a middle school student to take music lessons, 30 minutes each, for one full year at Community Music School.  The scholarship will be awarded annually for the next four years.  To be eligible, the candidate must be a student of classical voice or instrumental music and reside in Middlesex County or New London County.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34-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 www.community-music-school.org or call 860.767.0026.

Musical Masterworks brings to Southern New England world-class chamber music performances and outreach programs which attract, entertain, and educate a diverse audience. Now planning its 27th season, Musical Masterworks offers five weekends of performances from October through May in Old Lyme.  Learn more by visiting www.musicalmasterworks.org or by calling 860.434.2252.

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Final Day Today of Community Music School’s Free Preview Week

Community Music School, located at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook and 179 Flanders Rd. in East Lyme, welcomes the general public to visit during Free Preview Week Sept. 11 through 15. Children and adults can tour the School’s studios, meet teachers and staff, enjoy a free preview lesson, and learn about a vast array of programs for all ages including private and group lessons, adult cabaret, jazz ensemble, string ensembles, music therapy services, Kindermusik for babies and toddlers, and more.

During the academic year, Community Music School is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.Monday to Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. Those interested in a 30-minute preview lesson are requested to call 860-767-0026 for scheduling.  The public is also welcome to observe any group class or ensemble during Free Preview Week.

For additional information, visit www.community-music-school.org/programs or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34 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 www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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Two New Exhibitions on View at Lyme Art Association

‘Below Zero’ by Thomas Adkins is one of the signature paintings of the New England Landscape Exhibition on view at the Lyme rt Association in Old Lyme.

The Lyme Art Association (LAA) at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, will present the 2017 New England Landscape Exhibition, on view from Sept. 1 through Nov. 3, with an opening reception on Friday, Sept. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m.  Concurrently, in the Goodman Gallery, the American Society of Marine Artists will feature a show and sale of select works. Sculpture by the Society of Connecticut Sculptors will also be on display throughout the gallery.

“The 2017 New England Landscape Show focuses on the subject matter that inspired our founders, the Lyme Impressionists,” comments LAA Gallery Manager, Jocelyn Zallinger. “Each year we welcome a number of celebrated landscape artists to participate in this exhibition with our member artists, always making this a competitive and impressive show. Among the artists invited to participate this year are Peter Poskas and Neal Hughes. Come visit us in our historic galleries and enjoy this highly anticipated exhibition.”

This work by Morgan Samuel Price is a signature piece for the exhibition by the American Society of Marine Artists .

All exhibited work is for sale with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Lyme Art Association. From 5 p.m. on Sept. 8 to 5 p.m. Sept. 9, artwork may be purchased tax-free.

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 the town’s historic district.

Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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

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Registration Open Through Today for Madhatters December Production

Madhatters Theatre Company is registering for their December production of ‘Scrooged, with a twist.’  Registration is open to students age 6-18 years.  Rehearsals begin on Saturdays in September at Lyme’s Youth Service Bureau in Old Lyme.

Performance week is Dec. 11-17 at Chester Meeting House in Chester.  Registration is open through Sept. 8.

For further information and to register, email: madhattersctc@aol.com or call (860) 395-1861  www.ctkidsonstage.com/madhatt

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Cappella Cantorum Concert Registration Scheduled for Monday

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus by Madeleine Favre of Deep River.

Registration and first rehearsal for Cappella Cantorum’s 2017 Christmas concert will be Monday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd., Deep River. No auditions are required.

All are welcome to join Cappella Cantorum and its new director, Simon Holt, to prepare for the Dec. 2 concert. Holt is also the artistic director of the Salt Marsh Opera and director of music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. He joins Cappella in its 48th year.

The program will feature Bach’s Cantata #140 (“Sleepers Wake”), Rutter’s “Gloria” and Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols.”

Registration fee is $40; music is $20. Late registration will be Sept. 18, same time and place. Use the rear entrance.

For more information or to register in advance, visit www.CappellaCantorum.org.

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Tickets Now Available for 44th Season of Collomore Concerts in Chester

The Claremont Trio opens the 44th season of the Collomore Concerts on Sept. 24.

CHESTER — For its 44th season, the Robbie Collomore Music Series will offer all four of its concerts in the fall, between Sept. 24 and Nov. 26. These will be on Sundays at 5 p.m. in the historic and charming Chester Meeting House. It is now the time to buy your season subscription.

Beginning the season, on Sunday, Sept. 24, is the Claremont Trio, brought to Chester as the Barbara and Edmund Delaney Young Artists Concert. Called “one of America’s finest young chamber groups,” these three young women have performed worldwide to great acclaim, both as a trio and as individual soloists. One reviewer wrote, “Their exuberant performance and gutsy repertoire… was the kind of fresh approach that keeps chamber music alive.” Their Chester concert will feature sonatas by Bach, Debussy, Britten and Rachmaninoff.

Internationally renowned Jason Vieaux and Julien Labro pair up on classical guitar and bandoneon on Oct. 15.

In recent years, Jason Vieaux and Julien Labro have thrilled Collomore Concert audiences separately – Jason playing classical guitar in a solo concert and Julien playing accordion with the Detroit Hot Club. When the Collomore committee heard they had joined forces touring, playing the guitar and bandoneon, they jumped at the opportunity to have them return to Chester on Sunday, Oct. 15.  You can expect something “entertaining, fun, exciting, virtuosic in the unusual pairing of these two instruments. The program contains some modern classical, world music from Brazil and Argentina, and even some pop music.”

Latin Jazz comes to Chester on Nov. 5, with the Curtis Brothers Quartet featuring Ray Vega, percussionist.  The Curtis Brothers Quartet takes bold steps towards a modern Latin Jazz sound, fearlessly pushing their musical approach into new territories. Their unique rhythmic concept is what separates them from most other jazz quartets. All of their music, original or not, is based on the percussive concepts that they have accumulated through their various musical experiences.

And on Nov. 26, the soulful songs of the Gullah culture will be brought to life by Ranky Tanky, a five-piece band of native South Carolinians who mix the low country traditions with large doses of jazz, gospel, funk, and R&B. They’ve been called “infectious, intoxicating and exotic” with
“frisky and hypnotic rhythms with a bone-deep mix of spirituals and gutbucket blues.”

Buy a season subscription now and save money, plus you’ll be certain you will have a seat even when a concert is sold out. A subscription to all four concerts is just $98. Individual concert tickets cost $28. For students from elementary through graduate school, a subscription is $15 ($5 per concert). Tickets and subscriptions can be purchased online at www.collomoreconcerts.org using PayPal. All ticket-holders are invited to stay for a reception after the concert to meet the performers. For more information, check the website or call 860-526-5162.

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Salt Marsh Opera Presents ‘Opera in the Park’ Tonight in Old Saybrook

Sarah Nordin

Salt Marsh Opera presents their annual event of well-known opera selections and musical theatre, “Opera in the Park,” on Friday, Sept. 1, at 6:30 p.m. on Old Saybrook Town Green, adjacent to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main Street.

Bring family and friends, blankets and chairs, and even relax with a picnic dinner.

Professional performers Sarah Nordin, mezzo-soprano and Tyler Putnam, bass will delight you with glorious music under the stars.

Nordin has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, toured Japan, and the Geneva Light Opera Company.

Tyler Putnam

Putnam has appeared with Opera Omaha, St. Petersburg Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Little Opera Theatre of New York.

This event is free, but a $10 donation is suggested to cover expenses.

Rain date is Saturday, Sept. 2, at 6:30 p.m.

For additional information, visit www.saltmarshopera.org

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Asch Retires from Cappella Cantorum After 47 Years, Simon Holt Appointed New Music Director

Barry Asch is retiring after 47 years at the helm of Cappella Cantorum.

Co-founder, music director, and conductor of Cappella Cantorum, Barry B. Asch, has announced his retirement from the Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus.  Asch has conducted the MasterWorks Chorus for 47 years during which time over 65 major choral works have been performed. 

The inaugural performance was March 1970 with Schubert’s Mass in E Flat.  Asch formed the popular Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus in 1977, and the SummerSings series in 1987.  Both events still continue.

The Eighth Annual Messiah Sing or Listen in 2016 at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center was nearly filled to capacity.  This favorite holiday tradition was conducted and organized by Asch.  ‘The Kate’ will host the ninth annual event on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017.

Group sessions and vocal classes have been offered to Cappella members with renowned soprano Patricia Schuman and tenor Brian Cheney.

Asch began Cappella Cantorum’s European Concert Tours in 1981.  The tours are currently organized by member Patricia Hill of Madison.

Simon Holt has been named the new Musical Director of Cappella Cantorum.

A highlight of Cappella Cantorum was performing five concerts at Carnegie Hall, New York City with Mid-America Productions.  This opportunity was initiated by Asch.

Cappella Cantorum has represented 20 communities throughout southeastern Connecticut.

Simon Holt, artistic director of Salt Marsh Opera and director of music at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, will be the new music director of the Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus.

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Play Live Jazz at Shoreline Community Center’s Drop-In Session, Aug. 17

There will be a Live Jazz Session Thursday, Aug. 17, at the Shoreline Community Center, 39 Hartford Ave., Old Lyme, starting at 7 p.m. Piano, guitar, bass and drum musicians are invited to drop by and jam all evening.

Bring refreshments, enjoy the music, and even dance if you want!

This is a fundraiser for the Community Center. The requested donation is $5.

For more information, call Rob at 860-710-1126.

This event is sponsored by the Sound View Beach Association, Inc.

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Paynter Fine Art Hosts Adi Dahlke Solo Show

Artwork by Adi Dahlke is on display in a solo show at Paynter Fine Art in Old Lyme.

Paynter Fine Art in Old Lyme presents a solo exhibition of new works by local artist Adi Dahlke from July 29 through Aug. 26.  The exhibition includes several pieces not previously displayed in a public setting.

Dahlke is a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2015.

Paynter Fine Art is located at 16 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.

Gallery hours are 12 to 5 p.m., Thursday through Saturday.

For more information, call (860) 322-9529 or email paynterfineart@gmail.com

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‘String of Pearls’ Plays ‘Summer Sounds’ Tonight at Lymes’ Senior Center

The ‘String of Pearls’ band will play at Lymes’ Senior Center, July 27.

Come and enjoy a summer evening at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd. for “Summer Sounds” — a five-week musical series.  All ages are welcome. Admission is free.

‘String of Pearls’ will present the fourth and final concert Thursday evening, July 27, starting at 7 p.m.  The band will play Big Band sounds

The Platinum Sponsor is Lymes’ Senior Center.

The Ice Cream Sponsor is the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee

Bring your chairs, blankets, dinner, etc. the performances will be held out on the lawn (weather permitting) or inside if the weather is inclement.

A free ice cream social will follow all concerts.

 

 

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‘Affordable Art’ by Local Seniors on Show at OL Town Hall Through August

This work by Jean McLean created during the art class taught at Lymes’ Senior Center is one of the signature pieces of the upcoming exhibition at Old Lyme Town Hall.

Students of classes from Lymes’ Senior Center under the instruction of local artist Sharon Schmiedel are hosting an exhibition of their artwork during the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival this year. 

Watercolor by George Kinser.

This year’s show is titled, “The Affordable Art Exhibit.”  

Students have been introduced to a variety of art mediums and encouraged to experiment, leading to an exciting and diverse show.

Artwork priced from $10 to $50 includes watercolors, drawings, acrylics, mixed media and pen and ink.

A portion of each sale will be donated to the Lymes’ Senior Center.  Each piece will be simply mounted and ready to hang.

The exhibit and sale will run through the end of August.  Contact information for any sale will be available at the exhibit.

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See Heartwrenching ‘West Side Story’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through July 30

Arianne Meneses (Consuelo) and Jason Daniel Rath* (Pepe) rehearse a scene from West Side Story.

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City in the breathtaking musical, West Side Story, which opened at the Ivoryton Playhouse July 5. With book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the original 1957 Broadway production ran for over 700 performances before going on tour, and garnered six Tony nominations.

Mia Pinero makes her debut at Ivoryton as Maria in ‘West Side Story.’

The story is set in the Upper West Side of New York City in the mid-1950s and explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. When, Tony, a Jet, falls in love with Maria, a Shark, the young lovers struggle to keep their love alive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice.

The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre when it was first produced; West Side Story remains one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.

The film version starring Natalie Wood, Russ Tamblyn, Richard Beymer and Rita Moreno won 10 Academy Awards and in 2009, Karen Olivo won a Tony for her portrayal of Anita in the Broadway revival.

Stephen Mir* plays Tony in the Ivoryton Playhouse production of ‘West Side Story’ opening July 5.

Stephen Mir* returns to Ivoryton to play the role of Tony and Mia Pinero* makes her Ivoryton debut in the role of Maria.

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Mike Morris, with set design by Dan Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Cipollina. Executive Producers are Michael A. Dattilo and Frank Perrotti

Tonight, Tonight, won’t be just any night!  Don’t miss the experience of this show live on stage at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

West Side Story opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Wednesday, July 5, and runs through Sunday, July 30. 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 our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

Pictures by Ivoryton Playhouse

Group rates are available by calling the box office for information. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main St. in Ivoryton.

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Lampos, Pearson Skillfully Bring The Lymes’ Revolutionary Role to Life in OL Library Talk

Michaelle Pearson and Jim Lampos gave a fascinating talk at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library last Tuesday.

Last Tuesday evening local authors and historians Michaelle Pearson and Jim Lampos gave a captivating talk to a packed house gathered at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library that took the audience back in time to pivotal turning points in the Revolutionary War involving the Lymes.

Husband and wife Pearson and Lampos asked their audience to imagine they were standing at the bend of the “Three roads” as it was then called — McCurdy, Lyme St. and Ferry Road — and then expertly described the street during an ordinary day in bustling colonial times.  Such was their storytelling expertise that as they spoke, you could almost see the shipbuilding on the river, merchant deliveries being made by horse-drawn wagons and the ferry making its way across to Saybrook.

Only then did you realize how much our town has changed … but at the same time, how much it has not changed at all. 

It is not always a given that writers are also good oral story tellers, but when you can almost hear the gallop of Israel Bissell — one of the five riders dispatched with Paul Revere — thundering down Lyme  Street with his call to arms, you know that Pearson and Lampos are exemplary at both and moreover their love of history so strong, that you can’t help but feel it too.

The intricate parts played and the powerful plans made by these memorable figures whom you have heard about all your life are exciting stuff! To know that all this was going on here in this town, shaping not just individual futures but the country’s too, summons up a host emotions.

Lampos and Pearson delivered an extraordinary history lesson that brought Lyme street into a “new light.“  When you have the chance, take the time to hear this talk and you will have a new appreciation for our town greens and the inspirational independence the Lymes had before, during and after the Revolutionary War … and continue to exhibit to this day.

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Ramblin’ Dan Stevens to be Inducted in CT Blues Hall of Fame This Evening in Old Lyme

Ramblin’ Dan Stevens (center) of Old Lyme will play at the ‘Rock The Dock’ event at Black Hall Outfitters this evening. Stevens will be inducted into the CT Blues Hall of Fame at the start of the evening.

This evening, veteran folk-blues musician Ramblin’ Dan Stevens of Old Lyme will be inducted into the Connecticut Blues Hall of Fame in a ceremony starting at 6 p.m. at Black Hall Outfitters on Shore Rd.(Rte. 156) in Old Lyme. All are welcome. Take a picnic and enjoy the beautiful location along with the sounds of music.

Ramblin’ Dan and a selection of his musician friends will give a concert after the ceremony.

 

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Ivoryton Playhouse Presents Dinner-Cabaret, ‘A Night on the Town,’ at ‘Water’s Edge,’ June 25

AREAWIDE — Ivoryton Playhouse, in a new partnership with Water’s Edge Resort,  will present a series of eight cabaret-style dinner theatre performances beginning Sunday, June 11, written for and performed exclusively at Water’s Edge.  This original series will showcase the professional talent of Ivoryton Playhouse performers and musicians in four unique events.

This original series of four uniquely themed productions celebrate a broad array of musical styles and genres:

Great Balls of Fire:
Sunday, June 11, and Sunday, June 18
‘50s Rock N’ Roll and so much more.

A Night on the Town:
Sunday, June 25 and Sunday, July 9
Featuring the musical inspiration of New York City.

That’s Amore:
Sunday, July 16 and Sunday, July 23
Favorites from opera and musical theatre celebrating all things Italian.

Sounds of the ‘70s:
Sunday, July 30 and Sunday, Aug. 13
Hits from the disco era.

Carly Callahan. Photograph courtesy of Carly Callahan

Each evening will feature a professional cast of performers, in addition to a trio led by Music Director, Eric Trudel and directed by Carly Callahan.

Cast members include Marsha Ackerman, Schuyler Beeman, Carly Callahan, Billy DiCrosta, Amy Maude Helfer, Kate Hubbard, Emily Johnson, Mia Pinero, Jorge Prego, Michael Scarcelle and Charlie Widmer.

“We have put together some great talent for these evenings, including cast members from our season, to bring the Water’s Edge audience a night of entertainment that they won’t forget,” said Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic Director of Ivoryton Playhouse.

Water’s Edge, previously known as Bill Hahn’s Hotel, was an entertainment destination in the 1940s and 50s and featured both up-and-coming singers and stars such as Henry Youngman, Art Carney and Barbra Streisand.  “We’re thrilled to revive the wonderful provenance of this resort, and look forward to entertaining a new audience inspired by Bill Hahn’s delightful evenings here decades ago”, said Hubbard.

Tickets are $69 per person, including dinner and the show, and can be purchased by calling Water’s Edge Resort at 860-399-5901.  Tickets are not available through the Ivoryton Playhouse website or theatre box office.

For more information, visit watersedgeresortandspa.com.

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