For the second year in a row, Katie Sailer has nabbed the top prize in the youth division of Wilton Arts Council’s photography exhibition, “Focus ‘14.” The 16th annual juried photography presentation by the council is on view at Wilton Library through March 29. Katie’s winning entry, “Effervescence,” is a self-portrait with a twist: she took the photo after submerging herself underwater and took the picture from below the water’s surface. Newtown was also represented in the awards circle this year by Maggie Breault, who placed third in the youth division with her entry, “Rockscape.”
You grow up with high expectations when your dad, a wacky but monumentally respected international musical star lists your religion on your birth certificate as "musician." But today, at age 44, Dweezil Zappa is living the destiny his father Frank pinned on him so many years ago - carrying on the Zappa legacy in a stellar tribute ensemble while at the same time passing on some of his more spiritual wisdom about music and guitar playing to enthralled followers who eagerly sign up to take his pre-concert master classes. This spring, Zappa is shelving his Zappa Plays Zappa tour in favor of joining this year's outing of the Experience Hendrix Tour, which jams into the Waterbury Palace Theater March 29.
Say the name George Mattegat around town and you’ll likely get a different response from every person you meet, from those who know him as a former bus driver, Shriner, volunteer firefighter, animal control officer, Nunnawauk board member, or Labor Day Parade organizer, among other roles he has played. The same goes for his wife Carol, who has been a Police Commissioner, Ambulance Association member, Newtown VNA volunteer, and Edmond Town Hall Mural Committee organizer, among her multiple town roles. Sadly, for many of those acquaintances, an opportunity to address health concerns has created a need for the Mattegats to relocate to sunny Florida. But not before their many friends say a final, more formal farewell. LeReine Frampton, a longtime family friend, is throwing the migrating couple a going away party at her local restaurant on Thursday, March 27.
Winner of one of those MacArthur “genius” awards, and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Sarah Ruhl, who turns forty this year, is one of America’s most prolific and successful playwrights. Her works are performed on Broadway, at repertory theaters from Yale to Berkeley, and, frequently, on local amateur stages as well. The Clean House, which received a lot of attention when it premiered at Yale, and is currently being offered at Ridgefield Theater Barn. Directed by Julie Bell Petrak, who gets very good performances from her five person cast, the publicity for the play does it a disservice by describing it as a comedy about a Brazilian cleaning woman who longs to be a stand up comedian, and so would rather tell jokes than clean the house. The local production is good, but don't let its advance publicity fool you: this is a serious work.
The Lions Low Vision Centers of Fairfield and New Haven Counties (LLVC) recently delivered a free Eye-Pal Solo reading device to Adrienne Ralles, 82, a Nunnawauk Meadows resident with macular degeneration. The device “reads aloud” to the sight impaired. heart disease and arthritis. Devices such as the Eye-Pal Solo are provided by the LLVC at no cost to the recipients after referral to LLVC by an eye care professional. Most clients are people who, having sustained a significant vision loss, must find new ways to do necessary and favorite activities.
Most elementary school-age students, when asked what they want to do for their birthday, opt for gatherings with friends. Paintball. Movie and pizza. Going to a sporting event. When Joseph Doherty started thinking about his 11th birthday, he decided to go for a swim. A quick one. “Jo-Jo,” as he is known, didn’t host an indoor pool party last Saturday for his birthday. Jo-Jo participated in a Special Olympics Connecticut (SOCT) Penguin Plunge. He woke up early, went with his mother and some friends for a ride to Compo Beach in Westport, and joined nearly 250 other hardy souls to run into Long Island Sound. He did it, he said this week, because he wanted to do something for others. Between asking relatives and friends for donations and other efforts, Jo-Jo has raised more than $1,000.
Midwestern Connecticut Council of Alcoholism (MCCA) will honor Greg Williams and The Non-Profit Development Corporation of Danbury at its annual awards dinner on March 20. Mr Williams, a Newtown native currently living in Danbury, will be honored as Man of the Year for his work in producing "The Anonymous People," an 84-minute, independent documentary about the 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery. “I’m very humbled and flattered that somebody wants to recognize my work,” said Mr Williams. “The MCCA has been an incredible agency in supporting people in recovery ... It shocked me, to hear I was getting this award,” he said. The making of the documentary was not about getting an award, though, said Mr Williams, and being the recipient of the Man of the Year Award leaves him conflicted. “This is not about Greg Williams. It’s about the men and women of the decade, who are people who will forever affect change,” he stressed.