November 14, 2019

Musical Masterworks ‘MMModern’ presents ‘Project Fusion–Saxophone Quartet’ in Old Lyme, Friday

Project Fusion will perform at Lyme Art Association, Nov. 15, in the opening concert of the 2019-20 MMModern series.

OLD LYME — This fall experience contemporary chamber music featuring Project Fusion–Saxophone Quartet, an ensemble that is dedicated to creating unique collaborations among musicians. “We are looking forward to welcoming these marvelous young musicians to our community. We know they will inspire our audience with their energy and skill.” said Alden Murphy, President of Musical Masterworks.

Join Musical Masterworks Nov. 15, at the Lyme Art Association to enjoy a concert by Project Fusion, who Splash magazine describes as a “joy to watch — sparkling as much as the instruments in their hands.”

Project Fusion Executive Director and Baritone Saxophonist Matt Evans comments, “We’re thrilled to be performing this program of American music in Old Lyme, including two world premieres and a piece inspired by the paintings of Matisse; very appropriate, considering Old Lyme is the home of innovative art as well as great music. We are also excited to be presenting numerous educational engagement programs in K-12 schools in Norwich and New London the week leading up to the performance.”

Admission is $35; student admission is $5.  Admission includes a reception prior to the concert at 5:30 p.m.; the concert begins at 6:30 p.m.  

After the performance, end your evening with a three-course Prix Fixe dinner for two with a bottle of wine for $100 at the Bee & Thistle, only available to MMModern concertgoers. Make your dinner reservation by calling the Bee & Thistle at 860.434.1667.

For more information and to purchase concert tickets, visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252. 

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Sophia Griswold Named to All-National Honor Jazz Ensemble

Sophia Griswold is not only a talented trombonist but also an acclaimed guitarist. She is shown here playing in a file photo from June 2019.

OLD LYME — During the 2018–19 school year, along with other accomplished music students across the United States and overseas in military base schools, trombonist Sophia Griswold from Lyme-Old Lyme High School practiced with dedication to gain a chair or part in her local, district, and state music honor ensembles. The band director at Griswold’s high school is Jacob Wilson

Griswold will now join the “best of the best” for the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) 2019 All-National Honor Ensembles November 7–10, 2019, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Previously, Griswold played at the Newport Jazz Festival through a scholarship with the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. In addition, she has performed at various venues including Silvana & The West End Lounge (New York, NY), Black Eyed Sally’s (Hartford), The Side Door Jazz Club, Penny Lane Pub, Bee & Thistle Inn and Black Hall Grille. She is also thrilled to be a current member of the 2019-2020 Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra under the facilitation of jazz great, Wynton Marsalis.

Griswold will join 19 other talented musicians as a member of The Jazz Ensemble. These select students will be rehearsing a challenging repertoire in preparation for performing under the direction of six of the most prominent conductors in the United States. All participating conductors have received top honors in their field and will spend several days rehearsing with students before the concert.

Here at LymeLine.com, we send heartiest congratulations to Sophia!

Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online or onsite.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.nafME.org/ANHE

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Vote for Old Lyme’s Rhyleigh Russell in the ‘Celebration of Music National Competition’!

Rhyleigh Russell

OLD LYME — Rhyleigh Russell of Old Lyme is a finalist in the Celebration of Music National Competition. She is 14-years-old and a freshman at Lyme Old Lyme High School (LOLHS), where she is one of the varsity goalkeepers on the LOLHS soccer team.

Russell has four siblings and notes in her biography on the Celebration of Music website, “My whole family runs on music never going a day without it or discussing it in some manner.”

She also explains her passion for music in her biography, saying, “My goal with every performance is that I’m making someone proud or connecting with someone who may be uplifted in some way. My purpose is to help as many people as I can through music and performance whether its a smile on my parents face, a tear rolling down someone’s face because they don’t feel alone or to uplift a spirit. Everything I sing is with purpose and emotion.”

The contest is a talent search that showcases the best young musical talent across America. Singers, musicians, bands, and dancers between the ages of four and 25 are all encouraged to enter in their city by submitting an audition tape.

The Celebration of Music concept was inspired by Ethan Bortnick and his desire to give young musicians the same opportunities PBS afforded him. The winner will be announced Nov. 3 by Bortnick at the Bushnell in Hartford.

Voting is still open in the contest and Rhyleigh and her family would love LymeLine.com readers to vote for her.

Read Rhyleigh’s biography at this link and vote for her at the link at the foot of the page!

Good luck, Rhyleigh!

 

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Final Performance of Salt Marsh Opera’s ‘Pagliacci’ to be Presented This Afternoon in Westerly, RI

WESTERLY, RI– Salt Marsh Opera presents Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci Saturday, Oct 19, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m. at the George Kent Performance Hall, Westerly, R.I. starting at 7 p.m.

Based on a case of true crime, Pagliacci tells the riveting tale of a man swallowed by feelings of love, betrayal and jealousy. Set in the late 19th century, actor Canio and his wife Nedda lead a band of traveling carnival players across Southern Italy. Canio may play a clown on stage, but when he discovers evidence of his wife’s affair, it’s only a matter of time before his ferocious anger boils to the surface.

Pagliacci features one of the greatest tenor arias of all time, “Vesti la giubba,” so although you may not know the opera, you will almost certainly recognize that song.

A few tickets are still available at $20 (balcony) or $50 (table seating.) To purchase or reserve tickets, call 860.535.0753.

 

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Explore, Enjoy ‘Supertopia’ Wee Faerie Village at FloGris in October, Host of Associated Events During Month Will Also Delight Visitors

‘Faerie Thor’s Viking Realm’ by Lori and Rich Lenz from Deep River is one of the 29 Faerie Houses on display in ‘Supertopia’ at the Florence Griswold museum during October.

OLD LYME – The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme presents Supertopia– Wee Faerie Superheroes’ Headquarters and Hideaways on the grounds of museum’s 12-acre campus currently through Oct. 27. Visitors follow a map of Supertopia to explore where superhero faeries live (when they’re not saving the universe) in 29 hand-crafted, faerie-sized hideouts. This annual event has come to signify an enriching, not-to-be-missed outing for visitors of all ages.  Last year over 15,000 visitors enjoyed the month-long event.

This year’s Wee Faerie Village is the 11th anniversary of the Museum’s annual outdoor creative installations. In keeping with the superhero theme, visitors will travel to Silver Surfer Faerie’s Surfboard Beach Bungalow, Blank Panther Faerie’s Futuristic Utopia, the Woodland Hideaway of Black Widow Faerie, and even Notorious RBG’s Supreme Faerie Court, among a host of others.

Artists, designers, and faerie-aficionados are selected from across Connecticut and a few from outside the state. Challenged to create their scenes using natural materials, most artists work for months on their creations. The artists based in Connecticut are from Amston, Branford, Broad Brook, Chester, Cromwell, Danbury, Deep River, Essex, Hamden, Hebron, Ivoryton, Killingworth, Mystic, Niantic, Old Lyme, Salem, Stratford, Voluntown, Waterford, West Hartford, and the Windsor area.

‘Captain America’s Lighthouse’ by Steve Rodgers of Hamden will delight all visitors to ‘Supertopia’ at the Florence Griswold Museum.

“It took me a few weeks to figure out how to intertwine my love of building natural material fairy houses with a superhero theme,” notes Steve Rodgers (yes, that’s right, like Captain America but spelled differently) of Hamden, Conn. “I gather most materials that I use while hiking with family and friends. I hope all who see it will be transported into the wonderful, magical world of the fairy realm.”

As part of its Wee Faerie Village exhibition, adults and families with children can enjoy a month of faerie-themed activities. Events include, parties, performances, book discussions, and craft activities. Many events are included in Museum admission.

Find details of many of the events below. Visit www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for a complete list.

Every Sunday through Oct. 27
11 am to 4 pm
Free with Museum admission
Superhero Crafts
Museum Educators present a superhero or faerie-inspired hands-on project for families to enjoy during their visit. A different project each Sunday.

Tuesdays, Oct. 8, 15, and 22
3:30-5 pm
$10 Fee
Make a Wee Faerie House
Dress in your faerie best for an afternoon immersed in imagination. Decorate your very own wee faerie house with an assortment of creative supplies. For makers aged 8 and up.

Sunday, Oct. 13
1 to 3 pm
Free with Museum admission
Caped A Cappella Super Singers
Singing is their super power. Enjoy the captivating voices of the caped Co Co Beaux, Connecticut College’s all-male a cappella group. These talented superhero singers will wander the grounds, serenading all with their super-power voices.

Monday, Oct. 15
Museum open 10 am to 5 pm, activities from 11 am to 4 pm
All events are free with Museum admission and kids 12 and under are always free.
Columbus Day Fun
Behold the sculpture of mighty Thor, frozen in place until “danced” alive by wee faeries and little superheroes. L’Ana Burton leads faerie/superhero dance lessons at 11:30am. Then, join our fun parade featuring the Sailing Masters of 1812 at noon. Cosplay enthusiast encourage to join in the fun. All are welcome to wear masks, capes, tiaras, and wing. Hands-on crafts.

Thursday, Oct. 17
5:30 to 7:30 pm
Fee: $25
Art•Bar Happy Hour: Wee Faerie Houses
The Museum’s Art•Bar combines creativity with light fare and libations. Join the Museum’s educator for a fun and creative night of making a wee faerie house filled with faerie furniture. All materials included.

Saturday, Oct. 19
11 am to 4 pm
Free with Museum admission
Pirates! The Supervillians of Yesteryear
Ahoy Mateys! The pirates have come ashore and set up camp at the Museum. Come meet the Free Men of the Sea, re-enactors who bring the myths and history of pirates and privateers to life. Pirate crafts.

Saturday, Oct.26
11 am to 4 pm
Free with Museum admission
Heroic Halloween Fun
Halloween fun lasts all day with treats and hands-on crafts. Dress up as goblins, faeries, or superheroes to march in our costume parade which begins at noon. Craft-bag prizes for all participants.

The Florence Griswold Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm. The Museum will open on Columbus Day, Monday, October 14 from 10am to 5pm. Admission during the exhibition is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, $13 for students, $5 for members. Children 12 and under are free thanks to the support of an anonymous donor. Admission includes the outdoor walking tour of the faerie village as well as the Florence Griswold House, Chadwick Studio, Rafal Landscape Center and the Krieble Gallery special exhibition.

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Old Lyme BOF Allocates $6,250 to Lyme Academy to Assist “Reinvention” Process

File photo of the Chandler Academic Center, which comprises part of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts. The new management of the Academy is considering renting out the Chandler building as office space.

OLD LYME— Deemed an economic development driver for the town, the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts this week was allocated $6,250 by the Board of Finance to help fund a “strategic plan” to reinvent itself as it moves forward without an affiliate.

The school had asked for $15,000.

Finance board Chairman Andy Russell said the allocation, approved in a unanimous vote, was only possible after his board discovered that leftover funds previously designated to the academy from last year’s budget were never awarded. He said the town typically allocated $12,500 to the academy annually, but …

Read the full article titled, Old Lyme gives art academy $6,250 as it reinvents itself, written by Mary Biekert and published Sept. 19 on theday.com.

 

 

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See America’s Favorite Comedy Whodunnit ‘Shear Madness’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through Oct. 6

Patrick Noonan (left) and Jordan Ahnquist play the lead male characters in ‘Shear Madness’ opening at the Ivoryton Playhouse, Sept. 18. Photo courtesy of Shear Madness.

IVORYTON – Shear Madness, one of the most popular comedy productions in the world, is opening in Ivoryton on Sept. 18. This iconic production was first produced in Boston in 1980 and has been delighting audiences ever since with its unique blend of madcap improvisation and spine-tickling mystery.

This unique comedy-whodunit takes place today in the Shear Madness hairstyling salon and is chock full of up-to-the-minute spontaneous humor. During the course of the action, a murder is committed and the audience gets to spot the clues, question the suspects, and solve the funniest mystery in the annals of crime. The outcome is never the same, which is why many audience members return again and again to the scene of the mayhem.

Voted “Best Comedy of the Year” seven times by the Boston Globe and recipient of the title “Best Play of the Year” by both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Philadelphia Enquirer, Shear Madness has also received the Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America and has been inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame, the first play ever to receive that accolade.

Shear Madness is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running play in the history of the USA. The flagship Boston company has given birth to 50 productions in the U.S. and Shear Madness has been translated into 23 foreign languages, playing worldwide in a host of cities including Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Paris, Rejkavik, Rome, Tel Aviv, Melbourne, Johannesburg and Seoul. Over 12.5 million people worldwide have joined in the fun.

The production features veteran performers Jordan Ahnquist*, Patrick Noonan*, and Lisa McMillan* who have performed these roles many times – most recently in the off-Broadway production. They will be joined by Ivoryton Playhouse alum Bill Mootus* and Siobhan Fitzgerald* and Lev Harvey will be making his Playhouse debut.

The production is directed by Robert Lohrmann with set design by Daniel Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Liz Saylor.

Shear Madness opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Sept. 18  and runs through Oct. 6. 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 $55 for adults; $50 for seniors; $25 for students and $20 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. Discounted tickets after 6pm on Thursday evenings – get half price adult ticket (subject to availability). Six-Tix are only available at the Playhouse Box Office window and do not apply to special events.  Limit 4 Six Tix per person.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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Lyme Academy Relaunches Itself with Fall Program of 33 Classes

There will be opportunities to paint ‘en plein air’ for all ages in Lyme Academy’s Fall Program.

OLD LYME – Whether with brushstrokes or keystrokes as their instrument of choice, artists can learn and hone their craft at the renamed Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, which is reinventing itself with the launch of a full slate of courses for the upcoming fall semester. The first classes start Sept. 23.

In an effort to define itself anew while staying true to its core values, the academy will offer 33 courses covering traditional arts curriculum and new digital offerings – the best of art traditions and the newest innovations.

File photo of the Chandler Academic Center, which comprises part of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts announced in July that its campus will remain open and a rebuilding initiative is underway in the wake of the school’s disaffiliation from the University of New Haven (UNH). The UNH decision to end its relationship with the academy was made public in August of 2018.

The incorporation of new intensive courses in digital art with a focus on the Adobe Creative Suite is part of efforts to modernize offerings in a world where many use digital programs in their careers and artistic endeavors.

Innovation classes will train students on Adobe programs including Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, InDesign and Premiere to offer those of all generations career advancement training in the Internet age.

These offerings will also include a Social Media for Creatives course taught by Maria Miranda, the Creative Director and Founder of marketing agency Miranda Creative, Inc., who is excited to join the staff as it works to train artists in all mediums including emerging digital ones.

“As principal and creative director of a brand management firm with a degree in fine arts, I have long understood that there is a relationship between the traditional arts and innovative arts,” Miranda said. “As a result, I could not be more excited or honored to be immersed in the best of both worlds in teaching at the Lyme Academy.”

Though art is always evolving and changing, particularly in a computer-driven world, the foundation of art and its teaching remains a guiding force for the academy, which is staying true to its roots by offering comprehensive courses in figurative and representational art.

Fall offerings include core curriculum courses such as Foundations in Drawing, Anatomical Drawing, Figure Drawing to Painting, Figure Sculpture, Printmaking, and weekly classes open to the public including Open Figure Drawing and Watercolor.

In addition, the fall will bring portfolio prep weekends with instructional focus on building skills to develop a body of work. These will be:

  • Drawing: Art of the Cast Sept. 28 & 29 and Oct. 5 & 6
  • Sculpture: The Skull Oct. 19 & 20 and Oct. 26 & 27
  • Value Painting: Shades of Grey Nov. 2 & 3 and Nov. 9 & 10.

Stephen Shaheen, a former faculty member at Lyme Academy College, and Kellie Pereira, a BFA graduate of Lyme Academy College, will teach the stone carving class., which runs from Nov. 7-10.

Masterclass workshops with nationally known artists will be open to both novice and skilled artists and offered in:

  • Animal Sculpture
  • Encaustic
  • Stone Carving
  • Painting the Human Image
  • Large Scale Figure Painting
  • Painting En Plein Air & In-Studio: 4 Steps to Successful Painting
  • Digital Photography for Beginners
  • Photography: Insightful Portraiture
  • The Expressive Photograph and the Landscape.

Registration is open for all fall courses.

For more information or to enroll in a course, visit lymeacademy.org.

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is located at 84 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, Conn.

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Billy Boyle is Back! Join Jim Benn’s Latest Book in Best-Selling Series is on Sale Now

LYME — Lyme Public Library hosts local resident and best-selling author James R. Benn on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 2 p.m., when Benn will present “When Hell Struck Twelve: The 14th Billy Boyle Mystery.” This is the latest book in Benn’s series of popular Billy Boyle World War II mystery novels, which the New York Times Book Review has called “spirited wartime storytelling.”

Benn will be on hand to sign and sell copies of his book. This event is free and all are welcome.

In the 14th Billy Boyle mystery, US Army detective Billy Boyle and Lieutenant Kazimierz travel into the heart of Nazi-occupied Paris on a dangerous mission: ensure a traitor to the French Resistance unwittingly carries out a high-stakes deception campaign.

It is August, 1944, and US Army detective Billy Boyle is assigned to track down a French traitor, code-named Atlantik, who is delivering classified Allied plans to German leaders in occupied Paris. The Resistance is also hot on his trail and out for blood, after Atlantik’s previous betrayals led to the death of many of their members.

But the plans Atlantik carries were leaked on purpose, a ruse devised to obscure the Allied army’s real intentions to bypass Paris in a race to the German border.

Now Billy and Kaz are assigned to the Resistance with orders to not let them capture the traitor: the deception campaign is too important. Playing a delicate game, the chase must be close enough to spur the traitor on and visible enough to ensure the Germans trust Atlantik.

The outcome of the war may well depend on it …

James R. Benn

Critics have given extremely positive reviews of Benn’s latest book.

The Publisher’s Weekly said,“Stellar … The author makes the most of the tense and dramatic backdrop to this high-stakes whodunit. Benn has surpassed himself with this installment,” while BookPage noted, “I’ve read every book in James R. Benn‘s series, reviewed most of them, loved all of them, and this is the best one yet.”

Booklist wrote, “This consistently strong series has jumped to another level, with this volume clearly the hands-down best so far . . . Benn’s portrayal of the gallimaufry of competing Resistance groups, whose bullets, Billy learns, kill you just as dead as the Germans’ more powerful weaponry, adds a fascinating dimension to this exciting story of the sometimes-deadly chaos that accompanied the liberation of Paris.”

If you cannot attend on Saturday but would like to order a signed copy of the book, email Benn at jrb@jamesrbenn.com. Visit this link to order a copy online.

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Gil Boro of Old Lyme’s ‘Knot Theory’ Exhibition on View at Lyman Allyn Through Oct. 27

Sculptor Gil Boro in his studio in Old Lyme.

OLD LYME/NEW LONDON — The Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London will host an opening reception this evening from 5 to 7 p.m. for Gilbert Boro’s exhibition titled, Knot Theory: Sculptural Works by Gilbert Boro. All are welcome.

Boro, who lives and works in Old Lyme, is a sculptor, architect, educator, and international design consultant, whose sculptures focus on the interplay of space, place, and scale. His studio is located at 80-1 Lyme St., where his private residence is also found. Both are set within four and a half acres of beautifully landscaped grounds on which more than a 100 sculptures are on display. The majority of the sculptures are by Boro himself with the remainder being by guest artists. The Sculpture Grounds are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offer free admission.

‘Flat Bar Knot’ is one of the featured sculptures in ‘Knot Theory’ on view at the Lyman Allyn Museum.

Knot Theory is the latest exhibit in Lyman Allyn’s Near :: New contemporary series. As the name suggests, Knot Theory will highlight Boro’s  knot sculptures, exploring their intricate shapes and figures. The exhibition will be on view in Glassenberg Gallery through Oct. 27.

‘Bowline Knot’ by Gilbert Boro.

Knots have dual associations for Boro: their indispensable applications in sailing, which he learned as a teenager living on Long Island Sound and their symbolism of unity, which is seen in the synergy created from weaving different strands to form a strong bond. Boro’s knots simultaneously expose the inherent power and strength of their construction with the smoothness and elegance of their grace.

A sailboat cannot navigate challenging weather without a crew working in unison to ensure the knots and lines are correctly placed. It is this dual bond between strength and grace that creates a universal harmony — as in art and in life. Unlike the tautness of a sailor’s knot, the voids floating between Boro’s strands recognize that we still need space to expand and thrive while exploring our common bonds through sculpture.

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is located at 625 Williams Street, New London, CT 06320.

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‘Fresh Expressions’ on View at Lyme Art Association through Sept. 30

‘Kayak rack’ by Neil Ruenzel is the featured work of the ‘Fresh Expressions’ exhibition, which opens Friday at the Lyme Art Association.

OLD LYME — The juried member show titled, Fresh Expressions: Late Summer Painting and Sculpture celebrates portraits, landscapes, still life paintings and sculpture and is on view through Sept. 30.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am-5 pm, and by appointment. Admission is free but a $5 donation is suggested.

Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme.

For further information, call (860)434-7802 or visit lymeartassociation.org

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‘Cabaret’ Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse, Runs Through Sept. 1

Katie mack stars in ‘cabaret’ at the Ivoryton Playhouse as Sally Bowles.

IVORYTON – “There was a cabaret and there was a master of ceremonies and there was a city called Berlin in a country called Germany. It was the end of the world … and I was dancing with Sally Bowles and we were both fast asleep.” So begins the international classic musical and winner of eight Tony awards –  Cabaretwhich opened last night in Ivoryton to rave reviews. The show runs through Sept. 1.

Join other members of the audience at the Kit Kat Club as the Emcee takes us back to those tumultuous times with unforgettable musical numbers including,  “Wilkommen,” “Cabaret,” and “Maybe This Time.”

This Broadway classic is set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power. Cabaret focuses on the nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, and revolves around American writer Cliff Bradshaw and his relationship with English cabaret performer, Sally Bowles, as the world spins out of control.

The original 1966 Broadway production became an instant hit, winning eight Tony Awards in 1967 and four in 1998.  The show has inspired numerous subsequent productions in London and New York, as well as the 1972 film of the same name.

Cabaret is an unusual musical that has changed many times over the past 50 years to reflect the changes in the world, but the musical’s implicit warning about the temptations of fascism, nationalism and prejudice — the way they can sneak up on you when you’re having fun — has never seemed dated or irrelevant.

“It’s such an important piece of theatre, in what it says about the world and how quickly things can change,” says Playhouse Artistic Director, Jacqui Hubbard. “I think it is even more relevant today than when it was first performed over 50 years ago. Underneath the humor, the sex and the fabulous music is a constant alarm sounding, telling us to pay attention.”

Sam Given takes the lead male role in ‘Cabaret.’

The production stars Sam Given* as the Master of Ceremonies. Sam has appeared in Ivoryton in Godspell, A Chorus Line, I Hate Musicals: The Musical and in his own one-person show with his alter ego, Millie Grams. He has recently been seen as Ziggy Stardust inRebel Rebel: The Many Lives of David Bowie. 

Katie Mack* as Sally Bowles and Andy Tighe* as Cliff will be making their Ivoryton debuts. The cast also includes Will Clark, Carlyn Connolly*, Corrie Farbstein, Taavon Gamble*, Jade Genga, Aliah James, John Little*, Amanda Luppachino, Amani Pope, Carolyn Popp*, Renee Sutherland, Emerson Valentina, Max Weinstein and Jayke Workman. 

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Michael Morris with set design by Daniel Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Katie Bunce.

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.

Additional matinee performances are on Saturday, Aug. 17, and Aug. 31, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $55 for adults; $50 for seniors; $25 for students and $20 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.

Pictures courtesy of Ivoryton Playhouse

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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Kidz Connection Presents its ‘Outdoor Summer Theater on the Lawn Season Finale’ in Clinton, Aug. 23-25

Join a cast of 43 aspiring advanced musical theater actors as they get groovy with the beloved tracks of ABBA in this fun full length musical production on the lawn at Kidz Konnection Shoreline Theater Academy, Clinton.

Don’t miss this entirely free event to be held Friday, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m., Aug. 24, at noon and 6 p.m. and Aug. 25, at 4 p.m.  Bring your picnics, lawn chairs/blankets and get ready for some summer close-out fun!

For more information, contact kidzkonnectionct@gmail.com/860-227-2363 or go to kidzkonnectionct.org.

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Old Lyme Joyfully Celebrates the Magic of Midsummer Festival

Smile, please! Ryan Catucci of Old Lyme snaps a photo of his daughter Olivia, age 3, and five-year-old son Jameson, who had seized the opportunity to step inside a classic painting on the grounds of the Lyme Art Association during Saturday’s Midsummer Festival. All photos by Suzanne Thompson.

OLD LYME — Oh, what a day!  The 33rd Old Lyme Midsummer Festival was deemed a roaring success judging by the huge crowds drawn to the town yesterday to celebrate the event.

The day began with LYSB’s 5K run …

…and then moved to vintage cars photographed by the young …

…and the not so young!

The Bohemian Fair at the Florence Griswold Museum sported tents in a variety of shades …

… while the gardens drew scores of admirers.

There were tall folks …

… and smaller folks, here working on the community sculpture at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds …

… and four-legged folks!  This is Boomer, who won the Best Trick contest in the Parading Paws competition, posing for a photo!

Photo by Kim Monson.

Sales of art by alumni at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts were brisk …

Photo by Kim Monson.

… while artists took their time to draw or paint the delightfully-clothed model.

In front of the Lyme Art Association, the Old Lyme Land Trust hosted a wonderful display of native pollinator plants and …

… another of live reptiles!  The latter was presented by the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center.

Members of the Halls Road Improvement Committee were on hand to discuss the various proposals that are still in the development stage for making Halls Road an altogether better place.  Howard Margules is seen here hard at work.

Old Lyme Emergency Services Technicians were on hand to answer questions or spring into action …

… as were board members of the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce. From left to right, Jean Wilczynski, President Rich Shriver, Heather Gagnon and Dan Henderson.

Kristen Thornton (right) of the Florence Griswold Museum helped youngsters create all sorts of wonderful arts and crafts. Her ‘customers’ included Faye Casey (left), who, with her father James Casey (center), had come all the way from Brooklyn,NY, to attend the Festival.

Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club was ready to sign up new members …

… and The Moonshiners Trio was one of many bands that entertained as part of the Lymestock Music Festival down on the banks of the Lieutenant River.

Big bubbles were the order of the day at the Children’s Museum booth and Jolee Caldwell of Ivoryton clearly excelled at the task.

The range and quality of vintage cars on display at the Lyme-Old Lions Classic Car Show were nothing short of amazing —

… as were the ladies collecting the fees! Hard at work are, from left to right, Bev Pikna, Lesley Chick at the cash register, and Marianne Szreders.  All funds raised at the Car Show are used to fund scholarships awarded annually to Lyme-Old Lyme High School seniors.

A magician entertained in the Hartmann Education Center …

… and the ladies of Lyme Garden Club had all sorts of goodies for sale!

The Mystic Aquarium stand was a very popular feature and there were so many more.
Day slowly turned into night and then the whole event …

Photo by Katy Klarnet.

…ended with a bang!

So now, to conclude, all we can say is, oh, what a day … and night!

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Robert F. Schumann Artist’s Trail Dedicated in Evocative Ceremony at Florence Griswold Museum

Ford Schumann cuts the ribbon indicating the official opening of the Artist’s Trail named in honor of his father, Robert F. Schumann, at the Florence Griswold Museum. Other dignitaries gathered to witness the ceremony are from left to right, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, former Museum Director Jeffrey Andersen, Ford’s brother David Schumann, and current Museum Director Becky Beaulieu (with arms raised.) All photos by Suzanne Thompson.

OLD LYME — Several hundred Florence Griswold Museum patrons, board members, invited guests, state and local dignitaries, staff, volunteers and members of the public gathered in perfect weather at the Museum Monday morning to celebrate the opening of the Robert F. Schumann Artists’ Trail.

The dignitaries at the event pose for a photo. From left to right, David Osborne of Wells Fargo Bank; Tim Crowley of the Robert F. Schumann Foundation; Becky Beaulieu, Director of the Florence Griswold Museum; Kathleen Van Der Aue, State Board of Directors for the Connecticut Audubon Society; David Schumann; Fred Cote, Director of Finance at the Florence Griswold Museum; Ford Schumann (David and Ford Schumann are sons of Robert F. Schumann in whose honor the Artist’s Trail is named), and Patrick Comins of the Connecticut Audubon Society.

The event allowed all the guests to be among the first to experience the natural, artistic, and historic highlights of the Museum’s site via this new, half-mile, ADA-accessible pathway.

The Artists’ Trail has 242 trees, 452 shrubs, 1,705 bulbs, 2,642 groundcovers, and 8,808 meadow grasses.

There are 21 bird boxes that provide habitat for Big Brown Bats, Little Brown Bats, Barred Owls, Eastern Screech Owls, Wood Ducks, American Kestrels, Songbirds, Eastern Bluebirds, Great Blue Herons, and Ospreys.  It was noted that most of the structures are at capacity already!

Guests had the opportunity to meet landscape architects Stimson Associates and the Mountain View landscaping team, participate in a creative activity, and also enjoy refreshments on the veranda.

In 2017, the Robert F. Schumann Foundation awarded the Museum a $1 million dollar grant for the implementation of a new vision for the 12-acre property.

Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects studied archival photographs, paintings by the Lyme Art Colonists, and previous research from archeological digs onsite to create a Master Landscape Plan, including the Artists’ Trail.

Late in 2018, Mountain View Landscape broke ground along the riverbank to prepare a rainwater garden. They also installed 19th-century repurposed granite to create tiered access to the hillside.

Since mid-March the crew has been working steadily to cut paths that will become four distinct walks (riverfront, garden, hedgerow, and woodland) that highlight the ecology of migratory bird habitats and native plans as well as locations of historical significance to the Griswold family and the Lyme Art Colony.

They outlined the footprint of the original studio of Impressionist artist Childe Hassam with granite blocks, designated the historic orchard with black locust posts, and built an overlook on the Lieutenant River.

Two members of “Three’s a Charm,” Sue Mead and Kipp Sturgeon, entertained the visitors on the grounds of the Museum during the event.

And so much more …

Behind-the-scenes, staff has been working on way-finding and interpretive materials that will help guide visitors through the natural, artistic, and historic highlights of the Museum site.

Dobie D’oench of Higganum, a 2016  graduate of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and now a member of the Lyme Art Association, paints en plein air during the event, evoking memories of how the artists of yesteryear used to paint on the grounds of what was then Miss Florence’s boarding house.

Robert F. Schumann was a devoted trustee and patron of the Museum for nearly two decades.

The Museum seeks to honor Schumann’s legacy as an avid birder, conservationist, and philanthropist by dedicating the Artists’ Trail in his honor.

Editor’s Note: For a further description of the event, visit this link to read an article by Mary Biekert of The Day titled, ‘Florence Griswold Museum celebrates opening of Artists’ Trail,’ and published July 22 on TheDay.com.  

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2019 Summer Senior Studio Exhibition on View at Lyme Academy Through Aug. 8

“Vanitas Under Stained Glass’ by McKenzie Graham is a signature work in the 2019 Summer Senior Studio Exhibition that opens tonight at Lyme Academy.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven hosts an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. this evening in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery for its 2019 Summer Senior Studio Exhibition.  All are welcome.

The seniors whose work is featured in the exhibition have completed accelerated studies for a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Post-Baccalaureate degree and will graduate in August 2019. This will be the final exhibition of student portfolios submitted for degrees before the Lyme Academy ceases to be a degree-granting college subsequent to the University of New Haven’s withdrawal.

The Senior Studio experience at the College allows students to refine their vision and develop a skill set in order to create a body of work that exemplifies their individual interests, talents, and artistic sensibilities.

The 2019 Senior Studio Exhibition reflects the culmination of this project.  Students will be present at the opening reception and available to discuss their work.

The exhibition will be on view in the gallery through Aug. 8.  Admission is free Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The sponsor of the exhibition is Saybrook Point Inn/Fresh Salt.

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is located at 84 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.

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Newly-Independent Lyme Academy Plans Its Re-Birth With Exciting Schedule of Fall Classes

File photo of the Chandler Academic Center at the now independent and renamed Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

As of the end of last month, the renamed Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme became an independent entity once again with all ties to the University of New Haven (UNH) severed. Moreover, contrary to a number of rumors circulating around town, the Academy is not about to close, but rather is entering an exciting new phase in its evolution.

On Thursday, the Lyme Academy Board of Trustees Chairman Steven Tagliatela and the newly-appointed Interim Director of the Academy, Frank Burns, met with The Day to discuss the future of the institution. Also present was Kim Monson, an instructor of sculpture, anatomy and drawing at the school, who has been deeply involved in plans to retain the institution as a viable concern.

Lyme Academy College alumna and instructor Kim Monson who has been intimately involved in efforts to keep the Academy as a fully operational institution and is now designing the fall programs.

Monson was authorized to speak to LymeLine.com after the meeting to share an overview of its content. She explained that the overarching message that Tagliatella gave was that the Academy is most definitely not about to shutter its doors, nor to become a generic “Art Center.” She explained that the upcoming academic year is being treated in many ways as a ‘rebuilding’ year during which the Academy will determine the optimum way to move forward. A new program of serious art classes will begin in late September and Monson stressed there is also a strong desire to re-engage the local community in terms of its role as both students and donors.

A vibrant summer program is currently running at the Academy (visit this link for details) and the curriculum is currently being finalized for regular ‘core’ classes to start in late September. These will all adhere firmly to the original mission of the school as defined by its founder, the late Elisabeth Gordon Chandler, who believed passionately in what Monson describes as “observational training.”

Designed by Monson, these core classes comprising six hours per week for six weeks will be offered in Drawing, Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking. They will be modeled on the format followed by the Arts Student’s League in which students work with a model for the first part of the class followed by time with their instructor when he/she gives feedback.  Monson commented that this is the format followed by Lyme Academy College when she studied there as an undergraduate.

There will also be a Portfolio Prep course held over weekends between late September and November for students aged 14 and up.  Classes will include Art of the Cast (Drawing), The Skull- Sculpture), and Shades of Gray (Value Painting.)

Finally, a number of Masterclasses are planned in subjects including Animal Sculpture and Stone Carving.

Publicity postcard for the upcoming 2019 Senior Studio Summer Exhibition, which opens with a reception, July 19.

Marketing will be key to the success of the Academy’s re-birth and an agency is in the process of being hired.  This agency will be responsible for creating a new, engaging website and all ongoing marketing operations related to the fall classes.

Several of the current faculty are being retained by UNH including Randy Melick, Nancy Gladwell and Roland Becerra, who all predate the UNH take-over. The Academy is looking to retain an MFA-qualified faculty in general.

Monson’s enthusiasm for these new programs is palpable — on a personal basis, she said that she is thrilled to see the Academy “return to its roots.” She also mentioned that there are plans to upgrade the academy’s digital studio — a move she feels will enhance the Academy’s already outstanding art teaching spaces even further. Monson added that partnerships with other art colleges are still being explored.

In terms of the wider spectrum of facilities, Monson described the objective as being “how to best utilize the campus … in order to fulfill Elisabeth’s mission.” The townhouses built across the street from the Academy have been returned to the developer with the expiry of the current lease and the administrative space in the Chandler building will be offered for rent.

The Academy’s Board of Trustees will serve as an active board once again rather than in the advisory capacity in which they acted under UNH’s tenure. Monson paraphrased Tagliatella in describing how the board now felt about their task going forward, saying it was as if, “a weight had been lifted.” After a year of uncertainty about where the academy was going, the path forward is now clear, and perhaps more importantly, Monson noted, the message from the meeting was that there is an overwhelming determination to achieve success.

The first event being held under this new administration is the Opening Reception for the 2019 Summer Senior Studio Exhibition next Friday, July 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery at the Academy.The public is welcome to attend and view the work of the 29 graduating students, who have completed an accelerated program in order to complete their BFA’s while the College still held its accreditation.

Editor’s Note: Visit this link to read an article by Mary Biekert of The Day, who was present at the meeting with Lyme Academy officials, and describes its content in more detail. The article was published on theday.com yesterday and printed in The Day today.

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Exhibition of Artwork by Christian Brechneff on View at Cooley Gallery

This “Bat Flower” is one of the paintings by Christian Peltenburg-Breshneff, which will be on display at The Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme.

Over the past three decades, Christian Peltenburg-Brechneff of Lyme has traveled the world to visit some of the most glorious private gardens to paint en plein air.

He has created a luscious visual record of 28 of them in a charming, gift-sized book of watercolors and gouaches. Into the Garden chronicles this long-term pilgrimage of a visionary painter, opening these exquisite private gardens to the public for the very first time.

The Cooley Gallery at 25 Lyme Street is hosting an exhibition of paintings from the book and additional works.  An Opening Reception for the exhibition will be held Saturday, July 6, from 4 to 7 p.m. and Brechneff will be on hand to sign copies of Into the Garden.

All are welcome.

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Former Lyme Pastor Takes Top Honors at NY Book Festival Awards, Also Wins ‘Mom’s Choice Foundation’ Gold Medal

Award-winning author Steve Burt displays two of his acclaimed books.

LYME — Retired pastor Steve Burt, who served the First Congregational Church of Lyme from 2007 through 2012, has won the Mom’s Choice Foundation’s gold medal for Young Adult Fiction for his novel about a girl who helps gargoyles in Wells, Maine. The Bookseller’s Daughter also won the grand prize at the 2019 New York Book Festival Awards.

Burt was profiled in Connecticut Magazine as “The Sinister Minister” after winning the Bram Stoker Award, the world’s top horror writing prize. His most recent novel, The Bookseller’s Daughter, continues his mission to encourage young adults and adults alike not only to accept the unbelievable, but to love it.
 
It started with his FreeKs trilogy—FreeK Camp, FreeK Show, and FreeK Week—which won 24 awards. The thrillers bring 11 “different” teens to the Bridgton/Sebago Lake area to a “special” camp that will help them develop their psychic and paranormal abilities in a safe setting.
Atlanta levitates. Charlie has precognitive dreams. Caroline communicates with earthbound spirits who need her help. Harley travels out-of-body by astral projection. Together with their friends and an odd trio of mentors—three former circus sideshow performers—the teens quickly develop their gifts under pressure, unravel mysteries, and confront villains. Maine’s western mountains and lakes have never been so much fun.
 
Now the Rev. Dr. Burt has given readers The Bookseller’s Daughter, his 26th book, a mystery/thriller about Keegan, a 17-year-old who works at Annie’s Book Stop in Wells, Maine. After the theft of a rare Wells-related Civil War memoir from another local bookstore, Keegan is approached by a hooded figure seeking her help locating a graveyard. (Fact: tiny 7 x 8-mile Wells really does boast an amazing 201 cemeteries.)
The visitor is after the forgotten 202nd, which may contain the remains of a gargoyle. The quest will date back to the Civil War and World War 1, ending in the backwoods of southern Maine. It’s a risky partnership that could cost Keegan not only her own life but the lives of her mother and her best friend.
 
Burt’s books can be found online at Amazon. Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million.
More information about Burt’s other books can be found on his website at www.SteveBurtBooks.com.
Dr. Burt will be signing at Books in Boothbay, Maine’s largest gathering of authors, on July 27.
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Mamma Mia! Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse, Runs Through July 28

Mamma Mia! cast members (from left to right) Cooper Grodin, Dane Agostinis, Stephanie Gomerez and Billy Clark Taylor rehearse a scene from the show now playing at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

IVORYTON – The Ivoryton Playhouse has been transformed from an historic New England theatre to a Mediterranean island, filled with the music universally loved for over 40 years!

Over 60 million people worldwide have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good show.  Set on a Greek island paradise, the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, creating an unforgettable show.

On the eve of her wedding, Sophie reads her mom’s diary, only to discover that the father she has never met, could be one of three men. The wedding invitation brings Sophie’s three dads to the Greek Isles in search of the life that could have been with Sophie’s mother, Donna.

The show is filled with laughter, heart and 22 hit songs including “Super Trouper”, “Lay All Your Love on Me”, “Dancing Queen”, “Knowing Me, Knowing You”, “Take a Chance on Me”, “Thank You for the Music”, “Money, Money, Money”, “The Winner Takes It All”, “Voulez-Vous”, “SOS” and the title track.

The three leading ladies of Mamma Mia!, from left to right, Carly Callahan, Laiona Michelle and Jessie Alagna sing a number in the show now playing at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

As of 2018, the show has productions in London’s West End, where it is the seventh longest-running show in West End history, as well as various international productions. Its Broadway incarnation closed in September 2015 after a 14-year run, making it the ninth longest-running show in Broadway history.

Get swept away by the infectious music, uplifting story, and dazzling dance numbers that have made Mamma Mia! a worldwide phenomenon.

The production stars Laiona Michelle* as Donna. Laiona was seen on Broadway as Nanna in Amazing Grace and in The First National Tour of The Book of Mormon.  Most recently she starred as the legendary jazz icon in the world premiere of Little Girl Blue – The Nina Simone Musical.  Joining her as her best buddies and the other two members of the band are Jessie Alagna* as Rosie and Carly Callahan as Tanya.

Callahan was last seen here in The Fantasticks and The Ivoryton Playhouse ChristmasHour. This is Alagna’s debut in Ivoryton.

Cooper Grodin*, Dane Agostinis* and Billy Clark Taylor* take on the roles of the dads and Stephanie Gomerez and Jack Kay play the young lovers, Sophie and Sky.

Evan Benjamin, Kelley Davies, Nico DiPrimio, Mark Gilchrist, Nicholas Gonzalez, Nigel Hall, Aliah James, Amanda Lupacchino, Melissa McLean, Ana Yi Puig, Carolina Santos Read*, Nathan Russo, Cameron Khalil Stokes, and Audrey Wilson complete this talented and energetic cast.

The production is directed and choreographed by J.R. Bruno and musical directed by David Madore with set design by Glenn Bassett, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Saylor.

Mamma Mia runs through July 28. 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.

Additional matinee performances are on Saturday, July 6, and July 20, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $55 for adults; $50 for seniors; $25 for students and $20 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.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

Photographer: Jonathan Steele

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