Is musical theater the vehicle for portraying society’s deeper, darker issues and transforming a message from taboo to topical? The Brookfield Theatre of the Arts (TBTA) production of "Next to Normal," a musical with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, proves that it is exactly the venue for such a conveyance. Exposing the experience of mental illness, this production takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster allowing them to experience the “mountains” that are lost in a fog of pharmaceuticals administered to those in anguish. Once again, under the bold direction of Michael Burnett, TBTA has produced a musical that informs, enlightens, and moves the audience by way of dramatic, powerful performances, lovely voices, and a stirring live rock band. Performances continue weekends through July 26.
What’s not to love about a warm breezy summer evening, a picnic in the park, and songs so familiar and divine you could sing along? There is everything to love about the Musicals at Richter’s production of "Anything Goes," with music and lyrics by the sublime Cole Porter, and book by Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsay, and Russel Crouse. This musical has stood the test of time and continues to entertain and delight. Performances wrapped this past weekend, with the final show offered Saturday, July 12.
The public is invited to join Newtown Parks & Recreation Department staff and supporters on Saturday, July 26, at 11 am, at Dickinson Park for a Dickinson Memorial Playground (FunSpace II) grand opening celebration. “We are very excited to be moving forward with our playground celebration,” Parks and Recreation Director Amy Mangold told Park and Recreation Commission members Tuesday night, July 8. The day will be a celebration of a “creative and fun” play area that has “come to its full fruition due to hundreds of donations” following 12/14, she said.
After enduring rain squalls and pesky mechanical problems while dodging overly enthusiastic photographers and bugs that hit his facemask like bullets, Newtown Resident Frank Buonanno finally settled back into his life as a semiretired classic car restoration expert. But for nine days in late June, he spent most of each day tightly gripping the wheel of his 1915 Hudson as it careened from Ogunquit, Maine, to The Villages, Fla., in the 2014 Great Race. This was Mr Buonanno’s fourth Great Race adventure behind the wheel of a vintage auto competing against the clock and dozens of other drivers — and his third piloting the Hudson, which has been meticulously restored at his Black Horse Garage in Bridgeport.
Continuing its monthly series of one free movie, Edmond Town Hall will screen Captain America: The Winter Soldier on Saturday, July 12, at 7:20 pm. Tickets are free courtesy of Ingersoll Auto of Danbury. The film starring Chris Evens, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, and Anthony Mackie, et al, is being featured daily, July 11–16, at the theater within the historic building at 45 Main Street. The modern world holds many challenges for this marvel superhero who, after decades in suspended animation, finds himself confronting a complex society that no longer understands his old school idealism. A society where the lines between friend and foe are insanely blurred. A place where an old enemy can patiently wait and plot his revenge in this action-packed sci-fi adventure.
Members of Newtown Kindness, a nonprofit group that formed to honor the memory of one of the children who died 12/14, is spreading the spirit of “giftivism.” A group of Newtown Kindness members gathered on Saturday, June 28, at Sand Hill Plaza to distribute free lemonade-making kits to children who will make lemonade and then give it away. The project is known as Charlotte’s Lemonade Stand. This is the second summer the lemonade stand kits are being given away. The program debuted in July 2013. Newtown Kindness was formed in the memory of Charlotte Bacon. The organization’s mission is to promote kindness as a guiding principle of humanity. Aaron Carlson, who heads Newtown Kindness, said, “This is about giving.”
On Sunday, June 29, at Curtis Packaging in Sandy Hook, members of the public at a reception viewed a sculpture commemorating those who were killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting on 12/14. The stained-glass sculpture fashioned by artist Lucy Lyon of New Mexico was commissioned by local businessman Don Droppo, Sr. The artwork simply is known as Sandy Hook Memorial. The 21-inch-tall symbolic glass sculpture has a 26-by-30-inch base. The finely detailed sculpture shows a library scene including tiny stained glass books which line six shelves surrounding 20 tiny glass chairs. The shelves represent the educators who died, and the chairs symbolize the children who were killed. At the reception, Mr Droppo said that when directional light strikes the cast-glass sculpture in a certain way, the beauty of its stained glass is stunning.