The Band and its members — Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, and Levon Helm — are often referred to as one of the most influential American acts coming out of the late 1960s and early ‘70s. But educator, musician and biographer Craig Harris will be the first one to remind folks that four of The Band’s five talented members hailed from Canada before they were enlisted to back folkie Bob Dylan as he made his historical transition from acoustic to electric in 1966. In a recent interview with The Newtown Bee — ahead of his September 24 Booth Library talk highlighting his new book, "The Band: Pioneers of Americana Music" — Mr Harris explained that if it wasn’t for Dylan making that unexpected and controversial stylistic shift, his pioneering quintet may have never made it into the history books and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The year before the Sandy Hook tragedy propelled Newtown into the hearts and minds of people across the globe, resident and finance industry expert Hayden Bates set out to bring a broader range of world-class artists in to play in the intimate Edmond Town Hall Theater, in part to to raise funds to improve the classic Main Street venue. Eight shows into his self-promoted “Live at Edmond Town Hall” concert series, Bates’s efforts have come full circle as he prepares to welcome the eclectic singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek for a headline set Saturday, September 20. Among the songs the former Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon frontman is expected to perform is a ballad he wrote, that was inspired by the events of 12/14.
The public is invited to celebrate under decorative lights with a glass of wine at the Smokey Topaz and Art in Residence (AIR) pop-up galleries on Friday, September 19. Enjoy food and music between 6 and 9 pm during the galleries’ opening reception at 104 Church Hill Road. The galleries are part of the inaugural Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity (SHOP) ArtWalk, an ongoing event that welcomes residents to view various artists and mediums on display throughout Sandy Hook Center. Join hosts Bob and Rosemary Rau of AIR Art Gallery and SHOP Marketing Coordinator Melissa Lopata for food samples compliments of Cover Two Sports Bar & Grill, and peruse paintings, sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, and more for sale. Temporary exhibitions at the adjacent gallery spaces opened on September 6, and each offers a collection of works by local and Connecticut artists.
Stray Kats Theatre Company and Third Eye Productions have joined forces to produce and perform John Patrick Shanley’s "Doubt" at Newtown Meeting House and quite simply: it is a stunner. The play, under the direction of Don Striano, in his debut effort, drives home a a message of unattainable certainty in an atmosphere of doubt and the pervasive damage that can cause. Performances of the limited run production, which is also a Newtown Arts Festival event, continue through September 20.
The idea that he might one day hike the entire Appalachian Trail, a trek of just under 2,200 miles when traversed from Georgia to Maine, first entered Alex Neufeld’s head the summer after his freshman year at Newtown High School. On a high adventure trip with Venture Crew 70 to Maine, he encountered a hiker at the top of Mount Katahdin who was finishing up the Appalachian Trail. “I decided it was something I wanted to do,” said Alex, after visiting with that hiker. He grew up in a household that did a lot of family hikes and camping, and his experiences in Venture Crew gave him more experience with the outdoors.
LittleBits are small Lego-like building blocks kicked up to a new level. The ½-inch to 1½-inch plastic pieces are pre-engineered electronic modules, each with a specific function, and snapping one to the other through the use of tiny, but powerful, magnets. Developed by interactive artist and engineer Ayeh Bdeir, the mission of littleBits, her company, is “To put the power of electronics in the hands of everyone.” C.H. Booth Library is doing its part to put the power of electronics in the hands of residents, with its recent purchase of a littleBits kit....
When last we left Newtown entrepreneur and baker Stephanie Schneiderman, she was packing to run away to Hollywood. And while she had no dreams of making it big on the big screen, she did make the acquaintance of dozens of Hollywood stars who turned out for a pre-Emmy Awards red carpet event where they stuffed swag bags with selected gifts including boxes of Ms Schneiderman’s Biscotti, Etc cookies. Ms Schneiderman was one of just a few dozen companies providing items for the television awards showcase event on August 23 in Los Angeles.
“They described the event as something like a celebrity trade show,” she said. Ms Schneiderman was told that each celebrity attending the gifting event would receive at least one sample of Biscotti Etc products, which turned out to be the case.
These early September days have achieved that rare temperate equilibrium where neither air conditioners nor furnaces have anything to offer comfort aficionados like our cats. Thermometer readouts oscillate ever-so-slightly from high 60s to low 70s in the lulls between weather fronts, and we throw open windows on all sides of the house so it may breathe deeply with every shifting breeze.
Art lovers perused more than a dozen demonstrations, exhibits and pop-up galleries while music lovers braved sizzling temperatures to enjoy a Beatles tribute band Saturday, September 6, as the 2014 Newtown Arts Festival sprang to life with overlapping events sponsored by Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity. While Art In Residence Galley operators Rosemary and Rob Rau welcomed visitors to their pop-up gallery at 100 Church Hill Road (Suite 104, the former SHACK location), others put their final touches on temporary exhibitions at a number of nearby locations. Meanwhile, about 100 families and fans gathered alongside the Pootatuck River to hear Ticket To Ride play two sets of popular tunes spanning the history of the Beatles. The concert was the penultimate of the inaugural Choose Love Concert Series.