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.
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.
Muted browns and wistful pale blues stretched across artist Patricia Barkman’s canvas. Her oils and brush strokes caught fading sunlight and shadows lengthening across Taunton Lake, reaching for the far shore where bare trees stood waiting for spring. The artist has been working on her latest winter scene, a view of the shoreline as seen from the frozen lake.
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.
This year New Milford’s TheatreWorks has chosen to open their 2014 season with an old favorite from the Sixties: Neil Simon’s "Barefoot in the Park." This was made into a hilarious movie, starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford as the young newlyweds bravely starting off their married life in a sixth-floor walk-up brownstone apartment on East 48th Street in Manhattan. TW New Milford is offering performances though one more weekend, until March 16. Director Tom Libonate has done a fine job of bringing this show back to life, so that it does not seem at all dated, despite the central importance of a Princess model telephone that requires frequent repair service, or the references to the outrageously high rent of $145 a month. Jessica Alex and Daniel Willey put their own personal stamp on the roles of newlyweds Corie and Paul Bratter, and they are backed by four veterans of the local theater scene. The group also gets to play in one of the best sets recently seen.
Newtown resident C.J. Golden, the author of Tao of the Defiant Woman and Tao Girls Rule, will be at C.H. Booth Library on Monday, March 24, at 7 pm, for a book talk and presentation about her newest book. "Reflections From Beyond: Sharing A Message of Hope, Peace, and Kindness" was released in February, and is a book that carries a message given to her from an unexpected source, in an unexpected way. Serendipity plays a big part of most people’s lives, Ms Golden believes, and messages are always being shared; not everyone is aware or heeds the messages, however. For Ms Golden, the message for "Reflections From Beyond" came to her when she was not even looking to write another book. “The book came to me,” she said.