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Roundup: Taste, Playhouse, Cops …

It may be Westport’s best culinary event of the year.

The 17th annual “Taste of Westport” sold out quicker than ever this spring. Last night, hundreds of residents packed the Inn at Longshore, to enjoy food and drinks from more than 2 dozen restaurants and vendors — plus bid on an enormous silent auction, and buy raffle tickets.

It was all for a great cause: CLASP, the Westport-based organization serving adults with autism and developmental disabilities throughout Fairfield County.

The Inn went all out making it a special night. So did a host of groups that supported the Taste of Westport.

Special appreciation goes to the staffs who kept the treats coming all night:

A small part of the large Taste of Westport crowd. (Photo/Dan Woog)


Westport Country Playhouse artistic director Mark Lamos sent this email yesterday:

“Dear Subscribers and Donors –

“Thank you for your continued support during my 15 years with the Playhouse. Because I value the relationship we have, I wanted personally to inform you, before it is announced to the press tomorrow, that I will be leaving the Playhouse in January 2024.

“The pandemic, though challenging and globally tragic, also proved positive — for me — in many ways.

“While working tirelessly to sustain the Playhouse during this period of extreme uncertainty, I was also relieved of the burdens, excitement, and anxiety of producing and directing. I began to sense another way of living my life now. Though staff, trustees, and I worked diligently to keep the Playhouse functioning during 2 difficult years, the pandemic’s exigencies allowed me to spend more time at home with my husband Jerry, and to experience new-found quotidian joy: taking long daily walks, listening to more music, reading for hours a day, investing in our home, and taking care of an aging, beloved dog.

“The racial reckoning that awakened our country also had a profound, transformative effect on my feelings about how and why we make theater now. And I realized I’d need time to take the advice of 2 formidable female friends who insisted I create a new artistic challenge for myself. That project has begun but needs my full attention. And so after some thoughtful times over the holidays, last January 15 I felt the time had come to exercise the clause in my contract that allows me to leave upon 12 months’ notice.

“During my 15 seasons at this historic theater, I worked hard to raise its already formidable artistic standards as much as possible through my collaboration with some truly world class American theater artists. I sought to bring a wider range of voices to our stage in the most physically beautiful productions our budgets allowed. I took special pleasure in investing in the work of Black, Latinx, and AAPI artists, bringing the voices of many marginalized communities to our stage.

“And it’s been a real joy working with our amazing staff over the years, people who realized dreams and met goals, especially our Associate Producer/Director of Production David Dreyfoos, without whom the above — and so much else — would have been impossible. I’ll really miss them. I especially look forward to working with them all closely as I direct the upcoming production Dial M For Murder. I hope that you will join me during the run and celebrate all the wonderful memories we have made here, at the Playhouse.”

Mark Lamos


Westport Police made 3 custodial arrests between May 3 and 10.

One was for domestic violence, following an incident at a local business.

Another arrest was for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and failure to drive in the proper lane, after a head-on collision on Compo Road South.

The third was for violation of home improvement requirements, when a non-licensed contractor did not complete work.

Police also issued these citations:

Every contractor in the state must have one of these.


Speaking of the Westport Police:

Their newest K-9, Brute, just received a Kevlar bullet-resistant vest

The donation came from Responder Wellness, a non-profit that provides equipment and wellness services to first responders.

Brute, his bullet-resistant vest, his handlers and donors.


Kai Ross is a star on the Staples High School water polo team.

His star now shines a bit brighter: He’s just been named to the USA Water Polo national youth team.

The 6-6, 248-pound center competes in San Diego this weekend, then heads back to California for the US men’s senior nationals in July.

He has had several college scholarship offers. But he’s young — not yet 18 — so he’ll take a gap year after graduating next month. He’ll likely spend the fall with a California club, then head to Spain, Italy or Croatia to play in the spring.

Kai Ross


If you tried to email Luisa Francoeur yesterday about the model schooner she’s selling — my apologies. Her address was incorrect.

Here’s her email that really works: Sail away!

Luisa Francouer’s schooner.


Crispin Cioe has been busy.

Last week the Westporter — who has played sax with James Brown, the Rolling Stones, Solomon Burke, Darlene Love, Tom Waits, Ray Charles, Robert Palmer, Bronski Beat, the Ohio Players, Usher and many others — jammed with Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Mark Naftalin at the Westport Woman’s Club art show.

On May 19 (6:30 p.m.), his latest project is unveiled at the Westport Library.

For the past decade he’s been co-producing a documentary film (with Westport director Larry Locke called “Heaven Stood Still: The Incarnations of Willy DeVille.”

Cioe performed with singer/songwriter DeVille often in the 1980s, on tours and festivals in Europe and US.

DeVille (né Billy Borsey) grew up in Stamford, where he led teenage bands. After England and San Francisco, he landed in New York in the mid-’70s with his band Mink DeVille, at the newly opened CBGB. He had a solo career from the ’80s until he died in 2009, at 59.

DeVille is one of the greatest “lost” artist in pop music history. Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Tom Waits, Boz Skaggs and Southside Johnny all cite him as a revered influence.

The film reflects his music and troubled life in detail. It includes interviews with Ben E. King, Chris Frantz, and J. Geils Band singer Peter Wolf.

The May 19 showing is free; click here to register. It will be followed by a Q&A monitored by Cioe, with Chris Frantz, and writers Nick Flynn and John Eskow.


Speaking of sounds: The Westport School of Music introduces listeners to the music and culture of India and Iraq this Saturday (May 13, 1 p.m., MoCA Westport).

The free concert features violinist Ameen Modad, who hid for 2 years and composed music secretly while Iraq was controlled by ISIS, and tabla player Nilanjan Bhowmik and his wife Dipita Chakraborty, a soprano. The couple will share stories and perform poems set to music by Nobel Prize-winning poet Tagore.


Wakeman Town Farm announced a 5-session A Child’s Pose yoga class on Saturday mornings, for youngsters 1 1/2 to 5 years old.

“Partner poses will strengthen and soothe both child and their grownup,” WTF says. Click here for more details, and to register.

Also at the Farm, and for kids: weekday afternoon “animal socials.”

Youngsters can snuggle, hold, brush and watch goats and lambs play.

It’s suitable for all ages; tickets required for anyone over the age of 1. Click here to select a date, register, and learn more.


Westporter Lewis Goldman died Tuesday, at home. He was 93 years old.

He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, and earned degrees from City College of New York and Brooklyn Law School. During the Korean War, he served in the Army.

His family describes Lew as “a sweet, brilliant man, with a wicked sense of humor and a deep passion for learning.

He is survived by his wife Hedda; daughters Melissa of New York City and Amy of Novato, California; son David (Margo) of Santa Monica, California, and grandchildren Morgan Chapman, Andrew Goldman, and Alexa Goldman).

The family wishes thanks Karen Whittington, John Pounds, and others who cared for Lew in recent years.

A private burial took place at Temple Israel Cemetery. To share a condolence message, click here. Memorial contributions may be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center.


Cathy Malkin thought this tree at the Winslow Park entrance might make an interesting “Westport … Naturally” feature.

She’s right!

(Photo/Cathy Malkin)


And finally … though Crispin Cioe’s next gig involves a movie he co-produced (story above), we can’t forget his music.

Here are a few selections, from our Westport neighbor:


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