February 20, 2019

SECWAC Hosts NYT Columnist Carl Zimmer Tonight to Speak on ‘Deep History of Global Affairs’

NYT columnist Carl Zimmer will speak on “The Deep History of Global Affairs,” Wednesday evening.

The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) hosts Carl Zimmer to speak on “The Deep History of Global Affairs” at 6 p.m. tomorrow evening, Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Crozier Williams Student Center Building, Connecticut College, 270 Mohegan Avenue, New London, CT 06320. (Map here)  Members and guests are encouraged to RSVP via online registration, but walk-ins will be accepted.

Zimmer is a columnist for the New York Times and the author of 13 books about science. His newest book is She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Power, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity (signed copies of which will be available for sale after the presentation).

Today, global affairs are profoundly influenced by mass migrations, conflicts between ethnic populations, and upheavals brought about by trade and technology. To understand the origins of these forces, scholars usually look back to recent history—a few decades back, perhaps, or a few centuries at most. But new advances in sciences are now allowing researchers to unveil the history of global affairs reaching back tens of thousands of years.

Ancient human remains are yielding entire genomes, making it possible to track the rise of our species from a small band of bipedal apes. Researchers are rewriting the deep history of humanity’s spread across the planet, discovering previously unknown collisions between ancient peoples, and the ways in which new ideas have spread around the world.

A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the main event beginning at 6:00 p.m. The presentation is a part of the SECWAC 2018-2019 Speaker Series.

For non-members, tickets ($20) may be purchased at the door; ticket cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership. Attendance is free for SECWAC members (and their guests). Pro-rated half-year membership is introduced in February; half-year membership February through June 2019 is $37.50; $12.50 for young professionals under 35; free for area college and high school students.

Immediately following the presentation, SECWAC meeting attendees have the option for $35 to attend a dinner with the speaker at Connecticut College. Dinner reservations are required via pre-registration and making a payment securely online, calling 860-912-5718, or emailing info@secwac.org (vegetarian option available if reserved in advance).

Zimmer earned a B.A. in English from Yale and worked at Discover, where he served for five years as a senior editor. Since then he has written hundreds of articles for magazines including National Geographic, Scientific American, and The Atlantic. Zimmer’s writing has earned a number of awards from organizations including the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In 2016 he won the 2016 Stephen Jay Gould Prize, awarded by the Society for the Study of Evolution to recognize individuals whose sustained efforts have advanced public understanding of evolutionary science. She Has Her Mother’s Laugh was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book ReviewThe Guardian named it the best science book of 2018. Zimmer is professor adjunct in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, where he teaches writing.

SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.

SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policymakers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at http://secwac.org.


Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Hosts ‘Owl Prowl’ Tomorrow in Old Lyme

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center hosts an Owl Prowl tomorrow evening from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Watch Rock Park Preserve in Old Lyme.

As most birds are settling down for the night, owls are just beginning their day. With a wide array of adaptations for being active when most of us are sleeping, owls are among the most interesting species in the bird world, and there are quite a few species here in Connecticut.

Come learn about and search for these nocturnal hunters with a naturalist from the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center on a night hike through Watch Rock Preserve. Bring a headlamp or flashlight (preferably one with a red light setting) and binoculars, and bundle up!

This event is appropriate for ages 10 and up.

The charge is $5 for members, $10 for non-members.  Registration is requested at this link.


Late Season Thriller Sees Cromwell Defeat Old Lyme by Two Points in Final Seconds

Aedan Using (center) scored 10 points in Monday night’s game against Cromwell.

UPDATED 2/19, 2 p.m.: Sometimes when the stakes are at their highest, the game just doesn’t live up to expectations.  This was not the case Monday night when the only two unbeaten teams in the Shoreline Conference faced each other.

In a thrilling game played in Cromwell’s packed gym, Old Lyme ended up losing the game 50-48, but played the game of the season to date.  Down 13-7 at the end of the first quarter, 22-19 at the half, and still down 11 entering the fourth quarter, the Wildcats clawed back to take the lead with just under a minute to go.  Cromwell quashed the advance however, scoring the final three points in the closing seconds.

The Wildcats join in their traditional huddle at the start of a quarter.

Asked by email how the game had unfolded, coach Kirk Kaczor told LymeLine.com, “We didn’t get off to the greatest of starts with eight turnovers in the first quarter.  Cromwell played great and kept us out of sync.”  He added, “Our kids played hard and they played for each other.  That’s something we emphasize all the time.”

Responding to a question about the devastating end of the game, Kaczor noted, “Down 11 in the fourth quarter, Ray Doll, Quinn Romeo, and Aedan Using made some huge plays for us.  Defensively, as a unit, we made some big stops and took the lead.  I’m proud of the come-back effort.”

He conscluded firmly, “We have to put this game behind us now and focus on Wednesday [the final game of the regular season against Morgan.]

Ray Doll finished with 14 points, Quinn Romeo scored 13 and Aiden Using added 10.

Old Lyme is now 16-3 overall and 16-1 in the Shoreline Conference, in which it will now be seeded #2.

It was all action tonight at the packed Cromwell High School gym when the Old Lyme Wildcats faced the Cromwell Panthers.

Cromwell ends the season unbeaten in the Shoreline Conference and will therefore be top seed. They finish the season 20-0 for the first time in 20 years.


After Victory Over Portland, Wildcat Boys Now Face Critical Challenge Against Cromwell Tonight

Coach Kirk Kaczor, second from right, leads the traditional boy’s basketball team huddle at the start of quarter.

UPDATE: 2/18 at 7:31PM: Old Lyme down 7-13 to Cromwell at end of first quarter.

7:33PM: Old Lyme down 19-22 to Cromwell at half.

8:13PM: Old Lyme down 40-29 at end of third quarter.

On Friday night, Old Lyme chalked up yet another victory with a 54-39 win over Portland at the latter’s home gym.

Wildcat junior Aedan Using led all scorers with 17 points.  Quinn Romeo contributed 11 while Ray Doll scored eight                                                                points and 10 rebounds.

The Wildcats remain unbeaten in the Shoreline Conference and advance to 16-2 in the season.

Tonight the ‘Cats face their biggest challenge of the year to date in the Shoreline Conference when they face Cromwell away. The unbeaten Panthers are not only shooting for their first 20-0 regular season in coach John Pinone’s long career but are also playing for the top seed in the CIAC Division IV tournaments.

The winner of tonight’s game, scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m. at the Jake Salafia Gymnasium at Cromwell High School, will claim the top seed in the Shoreline Conference. Old Lyme is currently ranked second in the CIAC Division V.

The Wildcats face Morgan on Wednesday in the final game of the regular season, which will be played in the Lyme-Old Lyme HS gym.

Go Wildcats!


‘The Kate’ Hosts Dazzling Oscar Night Party, Sunday

An evening of glamour and glitter is promised at the Oscar Night Party at the Kate, March 24.

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) transforms into a glittering, Hollywood-esque venue for its Oscar Night Party on Sunday, Feb. 24, beginning at 7 p.m. at the center located at 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook. This annual red-carpet fund raising event honors the Kate’s 12-time Oscar Nominated, 4-time-winning namesake and makes for an entertaining evening.  Proceeds support quality performing arts and cultural presentations at the Kate throughout the year.

“We always look forward to this event to celebrate Katharine Hepburn’s achievements,” said Brett Elliott, Executive Director. “This year is extra special as we’ll be rooting for our friend and 2017 Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award recipient, Glenn Close, who is nominated for Best Actress for ‘The Wife’.”

Delicious hearty hors d’oeuvres and desserts are provided by Fresh Salt and a cash bar is available throughout the evening as the 91st Academy Awards ceremony airs live in surround sound on the Kate’s big screen. Guests will walk the red carpet, pose for photos, and have the chance to hold a real Oscar, thanks to Devin Carney, state representative and grandson of the late award-winning actor Art Carney. Carney is emcee for the event and a member of the Kate’s board of trustees.

State Rep. Devin Carney holds the Oscar won by his grandfather Art Carney. The Oscar will be on display at the Oscar Party to be held March 24 at the Kate.

An auction and raffle add to the fun of the evening, as well as Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry of Old Saybrook’s “Mystery Red Box” activity. Sixty jewelry boxes wrapped in vibrant red paper and white bows are available for purchase with each box containing a Becker’s gift certificate and one grand prize box holding a beautiful piece of jewelry.

The Oscar Night Party is sponsored by H&R Block of Old Saybrook, Secor Volvo, Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry of Old Saybrook, Comcast, Gulick & Co., Pough Interiors, and Saybrook Point Inn Marina & Spa.

For information and tickets for all shows at the Kate, visit www.thekate.org or call 860-510-0453.

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center.

It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.


Harp Seal Takes Time Out at Point o’ Woods

This harp seal was relaxing at Point o’Woods on Valentine’s Day. Photo by Paul Schiller.

Paul Schiller of Old Lyme spotted this handsome seal basking in the sun at Point o’ Woods on Valentine’s Day. He wisely reported the sighting to the animal rescue team at Mystic Aquarium.

Schiller writes in a Facebook post that the aquarium team identified it as a harp seal.

An article published Feb. 11 in The Day by Lindsay Boyle quoted Mystic Aquarium spokesman Dale Wolbrink, who “said that the Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue Team has responded to three other harp seal sightings in the region since Feb. 1: one on Eastern Point Beach in Groton, one in Niantic and one on Greens Harbor Beach in New London.

All three seals swam back into the water and were deemed healthy, Wolbrink said.

Photo by Paul Schiller.

Schiller’s most recent Facebook post gives this update, “The aquarium staff checked yesterday [Friday, Feb. 15] morning and the seal was already gone. He was likely resting and then returned to the water.”

The article in The Day also gave the following important information, “Wolbrink encouraged residents who encounter seals to call Mystic Aquarium’s 24-hour hotline at (860) 572-5955, ext. 107.

Mystic Aquarium is the only agency authorized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to handle seals in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Fishers Island, N.Y., Wolbrink said.

He offered the following advice:

  • Give seals plenty of space.
  • Keep pets away from seals.
  • Do not pour water on, feed or otherwise attempt to help seals.
  • Take note of whether the seal has physical signs of injury or distress, such as eating sand.

Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation Hosts 7th Annual Trivia Bee, March 15: Have You Entered Your Team Yet??

Time for a night out!

Join with community members, friends, and family for the 7th Annual Trivia Bee held on March 15, at 7 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) auditorium.  Admission is free!

The 2019 Trivia Bee is a unique opportunity to support Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation (LOLEF) while having a terrific time.  There will be raffles and prizes.  Plus, the LOLHS, musical group, Tuesday Afternoons, will provide entertainment.

Teams of four will compete for the Golden Bee Trophy, by testing their knowledge of trivia questions supplied by Trivia Academy.  Last year, students, local business owners, and teachers were among those who formed teams for the competition. So, brush up on your trivia knowledge, get together with some friends or colleagues, and register your team for the Bee! 

And, if you are interested in sponsoring as Region 18 faculty or student team, just visit the LOLEF website and sign up.  All funds raised at the Trivia Bee will be returned to the community in the form of grants for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools and other local non-profit organizations.

Whether as a team demonstrating your far-flung trivia knowledge or as a member of the audience, all are welcome on March 15 at the LOLEF Trivia Bee!

The LOLEF is a charitable organization that provides financial support for educational projects, enrichment programs and innovative initiatives not typically funded by Regional District 18 or other governmental entities. LOEF has awarded grants for educational initiatives benefiting our youngest students to our senior citizens.  You can find out more about the grants that have been awarded, as well as how to apply for a grant, at www.loef.org.


Final Annual Student Exhibition on View at Lyme Academy

‘Childs Gaze’ by Cynthia Celone is the signature work of the Student Exhibition.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts hosts an Opening Reception for the 43rd and final Annual Student Exhibition at Lyme Academy tomorrow evening, Friday, Feb. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m.

All are welcome and admission is free.

The exhibition will be on view through March 23, Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts is located at 84 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT


Presentation on ‘Something Old, Something New’ at Old Lyme Library Tonight

Appropriately timed for Valentine’s Day on Thursday, Taylor McClure, a museum educator at the Connecticut Historical Society, will present, “Something Old, Something New: Connecticut Weddings Through the Ages,” at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m.

McClure will walk attendees down the metaphorical aisle from colonial times to modern times. Did you ever wonder how Nutmeggers have tied the knot over the years, how they celebrated and what they wore?  And how did some of our cherished wedding customs originate?

This program uses Connecticut Historical Society’s extensive collection of wedding clothing, accessories, photographs and prints to examine some of our ideas about what makes a “traditional” wedding. McClure will also explore those traditions to reveal how ideas about marriage have changed through the ages.

Registration would be appreciated for planning purposes.  Click here to register.


Wildcats Boys Continue Spectacular Season

Aedan Using was the leading scorer  with 21 points against Hale Ray last night.

Old Lyme notched another victory last night at Hale Ray winning by 66 points to 47, leaving them undefeated in the Shoreline Conference.

The Wildcats were led by junior Aedan Using, who scored 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Quinn Romeo added 16 points and 6 steals, while

Connor Hogan chipped in with 12.

The Wildcats are now 15-1 overall and 15-0 in the Shoreline Conference.


Rep. Carney, Sen. Formica Host Office Hours This Evening in Old Lyme

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

State Rep. Carney (R-23rd) and State Sen. Paul Formica (R-20th) will offer residents of Lyme and Old Lyme an opportunity to meet with them on Monday, Feb. 11, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Community Room  in a relaxed setting and discuss any legislative or local issues, including the 2019 legislative session.

All residents are encouraged to attend.

Those who are unable to attend but would like to contact Rep. Carney may do so at (800) 842-1423 or by email at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov.


LYSB, LOL Schools Host Important Social Media Awareness Session Tonight for Parents

Does your child have a cell-phone? Then this information session is for you …

Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau and Lyme-Old Lyme Schools co-host an important information session for parents Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 6:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Auditorium.

The presenter will be Trooper Kate Cummings from the CT State Police, who is also a Statewide DARE Coordinator. 

Topics that Cummings will cover during the presentation include: 

  • Current social media trends and adolescent behavior online 
  • What is your digital footprint? 
  • Cell phone abuse 
  • Resources to keep your family safe. 

This program is free and open to the public. It is appropriate for parents and all adults who care about children. 


Talking Transportation: Why 30-30-30 Doesn’t Add Up

How would you like a faster ride on Metro-North?  Who wouldn’t?!  How about a 30-minute ride from Hartford to New Haven, from New Haven to Stamford or from Stamford to Grand Central?

That’s the vision announced by Governor Lamont in his inaugural address.  It’s known as the 30-30-30 plan and sounds good compared to current running times (52 minutes, 55 minutes and 48 minutes respectively.)  But how can such vast improvements be done?  Ask Joe McGee, VP of the Fairfield Business Council, who’s been pitching this idea for years.

So confident was McGee of this concept that his Council recently paid $400,000 to Ty Lin Consulting of San Francisco to study it.  And which railroad expert did Ty Lin hire to spearhead the study?  Joseph Giulietti, former President of Metro-North … recently named as Connecticut’s new Commissioner of Transportation.

Though the Ty Lin study has yet to be released, McGee admits that the 30-30-30 idea is more of a goal than a possibility.  Yet, for as little as $75 to $95 million, Ty Lin thinks significant improvements can be made in speeding up service by accelerating Metro-North’s return to a “state of good repair.”

When he was President of Metro-North, Giulietti said it would take five years to get the railroad back in shape after years of neglect.  Today, Metro-North says a more realistic time frame is 10 years.

By fixing rail ties and overhead power lines to improve speeds on curves, by restoring the fourth track east of Milford and by adding express trains (at a premium fare), McGee claims service will improve quickly, maybe shaving 24 minutes off of the current 103 minute running time from New Haven to Grand Central. That would make it a 79-minute run, but not 60.

But wait.  If this was Giulietti’s idea as a consultant, why didn’t he make that happen when he was running Metro-North?  Or how will he now, as Commissioner of the CDOT, get his old railroad to adopt Ty Lin’s (his) ideas?  I asked, but he isn’t saying.

What seasoned professionals at CDOT have told me is that the Ty Lin ideas will cost billions of dollars and take a decade.  In other words … there’s no quick, cheap fix.

Meantime, Metro-North is planning to add six to 10 minutes of running time to all New Haven line trains for the spring timetable to better reflect the reality of current delays due to work.  For 2018, the railroad had only 88 percent on time performance (OTP).  By extending the train schedule on paper, OTP will go up and riders will have a more dependable, albeit slower, ride.

Lengthening running times, even on paper, “is not acceptable,” says McGee who hopes to release his Ty Lin study in about two weeks, fully expecting huge pushback from the railroad and east-coast consultants beholden to the MTA.

But it’s really the FRA (the Federal Railroad Administration) that’s the biggest block to faster trains.  The slower speeds they required after the 2013 Bridgeport and Spuyten Duyvil derailments won’t be raised until they’re convinced the railroad is safe.

So let the debate begin:  is 30-30-30 possible or just a fantasy?  Did Giulietti create himself a nightmare in proposing as a consultant what he may not be able to deliver as CDOT Commissioner?

Posted with permission of Hearst CT Media

Jim Cameron

About the author: Jim Cameron is founder of The Commuter Action Group, and a member of the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own.  You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com

For a full collection of  “Talking Transportation” columns, visit www.talkingtransportation.blogspot.com


Musical Masterworks Presents Barrière, Schoenberg, Brahms in Concert This Afternoon

Musical Masterworks welcomes back several internationally acclaimed artists, along with a handful of exciting Old Lyme debuts on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3:00 pm. 

Violist Ettore Causa

This concert represents the Musical Masterworks debut of violist Ettore Causa, who will perform alongside veteran Masterworks violinists Jesse Mills and Jennifer Frautschi, violist Nicholas Cords, and cellist Wilhelmina Smith.

This program features two masterpieces for a string sextet: Arnold Schoenberg’s romantic Transfigured Night, based on the poignant poem bearing that title by Richard Dehmel; and Johannes Brahms’s exquisite G Major Sextet.

The concert will begin with a charming duo for two cellos by the French Baroque-era composer, Jean-Baptiste Barrière. 

Violinist Jennifer Frautschi

Join Artistic Director, Edward Arron, one hour before each concert for a pre-concert talk about the lives of these composers.

Musical Masterworks’ season runs through May 2019.  Mini subscriptions include three concerts and are available for $100 each or individual tickets are $40 for adults and $5 for students.

Visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

Musical Masterworks welcomes back several internationally acclaimed artists, along with a handful of exciting Old Lyme debuts on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3:00 pm.  We are delighted to present the Musical Masterworks debut of violist Ettore Causa, alongside beloved MM veteran violinists Jesse Mills and Jennifer Frautschi, violist Nicholas Cords, and cellist Wilhelmina Smith.

This program features two masterpieces for string sextet: Arnold Schoenberg’s uber-romantic Transfigured Night, based on the poignant poem bearing that title by Richard Dehmel; and Johannes Brahms’s exquisite G Major Sextet. The concert will begin with a charming and virtuosic duo for two cellos by the French Baroque-era composer, Jean-Baptiste Barrière. 

Join Artistic Director, Edward Arron, one hour before each concert for a pre-concert talk about the lives of these composers.

Musical Masterworks’ season runs through May 2019.  Mini subscriptions include three concerts and are available for $100 each or individual tickets are $40 for adults and $5 for students. Visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.


Old Lyme Wins Shoreline Gymnastics Title

Lyme-Old Lyme emerged as Shoreline champions yesterday with 124.9 points at the end of the 1st Annual Shoreline Gymnastic Championships. Valley Regional were runners-up with 119.25, and Haddam-Killingworth a distant third with 66.9 points.
Britney Detuzzi of Old Lyme came in 1st place and was named AA Shoreline Champion with 35.5 points. Her full results were 1st in the vault with 9.3 points, 1st on the bars with 8.5, 1st on the beam with 8.6, and 1st on the floor exercises with 9.1.
Maria Denya, also of Old Lyme took 2nd place and was named AA Shoreline Champion with 33.1 points.Her full results were 3rd in the vault with 8.1, 2nd in the bars with 8.1, 1st on the beam with 8.6, and 2nd on the floor exercises with 8.3.
Leah Frantz of Valley Regional gained  3rd Place and was named AA Shoreline Champion with 31.85 points. She came 2nd in the vault with 8.3 points.

Chole Cahill of Old Lyme came third  on the beam with 8.2 points and took third place in the floor exercises with 8.1 points.

Congratulations, Wildcats!

Movement to Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags in CT Gathers Momentum, Petition Started

When we published a piece about Connecticut towns banning single-use plastic bags, we received an overwhelming response on our Facebook post about the article from our readers that they supported the idea of Old Lyme enacting this policy.

We’ve just learned that today two legislators, long-time environmental advocate Rep. Jonathan Steinberg and newcomer Sen. Will Haskell, will stand together at Compo Beach in Westport at 1 p.m. to announce a statewide effort to ban single-use plastic bags in Connecticut. (Attendees will congregate near the cannons)

Connecticut uses more than 400 million single-use plastic bags each year, and many of them wind up in Long Island Sound, the Connecticut River, and waterways across the state. They can have devastating effects on our wildlife and environment, and it’s time to put a stop to their menace.

Rep. Steinberg and Sen. Haskell are working hard to eliminate single-use plastic bags in Connecticut. Join them today so we can show the entire General Assembly that the movement is gaining momentum.

You can also sign a petition to ban single-use plastic bags in our state.


See ‘Anything Goes’ Before it Goes! Today at 2 or 7pm

Philip Sweeney, as Billy Crocker, and Elyza Learned as Reno, play the lead roles in ‘Anything Goes,’ which opens tonight at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

It’s Delightful, It’s Delicious … it’s Anything Goes!

An exciting moment for the ocean liner’s passengers in Anything Goes.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s (LOLHS) spring musical Anything Goes opens tonight: Welcome Aboard!

The full cast of ‘Anything Goes’ in the dress rehearsal earlier this week.

Anything Goes follows nightclub singer Reno Sweeney on her voyage from New York City to England aboard the ocean liner the S.S. American. Reno’s friend Billy Crocker, a stockbroker, has stowed away aboard the ship in pursuit of his love, Hope Harcourt.

‘Anything Goes’ Director and professional opera singer Brian Cheney, second from right, gives some advice to Thomas Pennie (center) who plays Lord Evelyn Oakleigh in the musical.

The only problem is that Hope is already engaged to a rich British man, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.

Rehearsing a scene are from left to right, Margot Paynter (back), Olivia Rugg, who plays Evangeline Harcourt, Liam Clark who approses the role of Eli Whitney, Caroline King (back), the male lead, Billy Crocker, played by Philip Sweeney, Maggie Rommel, Madison Babcock, Sadie Frankel (black/white striped sweater in the back-plays Henrietta T. Dobson), and Hannah Morrison (red shirt-plays Hope Harcourt

The show includes memorable songs by Cole Porter that many audience members will recognize, such as I Get a Kick Out of You, It’s De-Lovely, You’re the Top, and of course, Anything Goes. 

Joining the love triangle is Moonface Martin, Public Enemy #13 who has boarded the boat disguised as a minister, and his sidekick Erma. Together with the help of the dancing sailors and two Chinese gangsters, Reno and Moonface must assist Billy on his mission to win back Hope’s heart.

Anything Goes features choreography by Bethany Haslam of The Dance Center of Old Lyme, set construction by LOLHS Art Department Chair William Allik, costume design by Denise Golden, music direction by LOL Middle School Chorus teacher Laura Gladd, and direction by Brian Cheney.

Although this is Cheney’s first time directing a production at LOLHS, he has been the assistant director to Laura Gladd at LOL Middle School for the past few years as well as directed many other high school and college productions.

Cheney has also been a professional performer for more than 20 years and is an acclaimed opera singer both nationally and internationally. He says, “I think what’s been the most fulfilling thing for me is to be able to give the students a glimpse at what a professional rehearsal process is like.” Cheney adds, “It’s been great being able to support them in that way.”

“Mr. Cheney really lets you as the actor discover who the character is yourself,” says junior Philip Sweeney, who plays Billy Crocker. “Then he’ll just make any changes if there’s any problems.”

“And if you have a question, you know he has an answer for you,” adds senior Elyza Learned, who plays Reno Sweeney. “And if he doesn’t right away, he’ll get back to you.”

In addition to Sweeney and Learned, the musical stars senior Hannah Morrison as Hope Harcourt, junior Jonathan Hamilton as Moonface Martin, and senior Thomas Pennie as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. The show also features senior Liam Clark as Eli Whitney and senior Olivia Rugg as Evangeline Harcourt, and senior Kendall Antoniac as Erma.

“I hope people come see the show because we’ve worked really hard, and it’s also really funny,” says Morrison. “There’s some awesome dancing and our costumes are going to be great and our set is really cool…overall, it’s just going to be a great show!”

“It’s a classically-period, comedic piece so it’s a really funny show,” adds Cheney. “And I believe this is going to be one of the best musical performances the community has seen at the high school.”

Anything Goes opens at LOLHS on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. There are also 7 p.m. performances on Friday, Feb. 8, and Saturday, Feb. 9. Additionally, there is a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets can be purchased at this link or at the door, $12 for students and senior citizens and $15 for adults.

For more information, call the high school at 860-434-1651


Ivoryton Playhouse Hosts Auditions for ‘Godspell, Mama Mia and Cabaret’ Today

The Ivoryton Playhouse will be holding local auditions for Equity and non- Equity actors for the 2019 summer musicals – Godspell, Mama Mia and Cabaret – on Friday, Feb. 8, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ivoryton Playhouse Rehearsal Studio, 22 Main Street in Centerbrook, Conn.

The Playhouse is looking for actors, singers and dancers to fill all roles. Check their website for production dates at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

All auditions are by appointment. Bring a picture and resumé and prepare a song in the style of the show.

For audition appointments, call 860-767-9520, ext.207 or email lizzy@ivorytonplayhouse.org


Old Lyme Library Hosts Author Talk, Book Signing Tonight with Acclaimed Bird Photographer, Writer Kolber

On Thursday, Feb. 7, at 6:30 p.m., the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes (OL-PGN) Library hosts an Author Talk and Book Signing with Stanley M. Kolber, author of, of the birds according to their kinds.

Kolber lives locally and the review of his highly acclaimed book on Amazon.com states, “With artistically rendered photographs and engaging prose, of the birds according to their kinds brings the reader into an avian world throbbing with life, overflowing with beauty. It is a book you will pick up again and again, a companion for moments of reflection and repose.
Not a field guide, not a treatise, it shows one path to greater respect for these birds – to gratitude that, living their lives among us, they are a source of abiding wonder.
of the birds according to their kinds is a balm for the spirit.”

At this event, learn what inspired Kolber’s amazing photos.

Kolber has shared his love of birds, nature and photography by running workshops at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex.  He has exhibited his photographs in New York’s Salmagundi Club and in Connecticut’s Mystic Museum of Art.

Among the highlights of the book are photos he captured while working at his favorite locations here in Southeastern Connecticut, and nearby coastal Rhode Island.

The event will be held in the OL-PGN Library Community Room.  All are welcome and admission is free.

Registration would be appreciated at this link since it allows the library a means of contacting people if there are any changes to the program due to weather, etc.

For more information, visit the library at http://www.oldlyme.lioninc.org or call 869-434-1684.


Public Forum on Proposed Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Budget to be Held Tonight, Regular BOE Meeting Follows

The Region 18 Board of Education hosts a Special Meeting this evening at 6:30 p.m. that includes a Public Forum on its proposed 2019-20 school budget.  The meeting will be held in  the Board of Education Conference Room at Center School and will be followed by a Board of Education Regular Meeting at 7 p.m.  in the same location.

The meeting will be preceded by a Facilities & Finance Committee Meeting in the Central Office Conference Room at 5 p.m.

The public is welcome to attend all these meetings.