Two of the Top 10 most streamed movies last weekend were holiday films.
And both have strong Westport connections.
“Spirited” (Apple TV+) ranked 7th overall for the weekend. The musical comedy retelling of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” starring Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds (also shown in theaters) was written in part by 2003 Staples High School graduate Justin Paul, and his songwriting partner Benj Pasek (“Dear Evan Hansen,” “La La Land,” “The Greatest Showman”). Justin also served as an executive producer.
Right behind “Spirited,” in 8th place, was “Something From Tiffany’s” (Amazon Prime Video). The rom-com is directed by 2002 Staples grad Daryl Wein (and produced by Reese Witherspoon).
Justin and Daryl were good friends at Staples. They were in Orphenians and Staples Players together — and 20 years ago this weekend, shared the stage for the annual Candlelight Concert. (Hat tip: Kerry Long)
The Greens Farms train station COVID testing site — run since last January by Progressive Diagnostics — closed on Thursday. The move was made to accommodate normal station operations and concessions.
Progressive’s same-day COVID, flu and RSV tests remain available at their Norwalk and Wilton sites. Clients can schedule appointments online, or walk in.
Progressive Diagnostics’ Covid PCR tests detect the presence of viruses even before symptoms begin. Results are delivered the same day. The company also offers telehealth, connecting patients with professionals who can discuss symptoms and provide orders for flu and/or RSV tests.
PS: As Bob Weingarten notes, free COVID tests are available online from the US government. Click here for details.
The ever-changing Winslow Park Animal Hospital front lawn has gone whole hog for the holidays.
Their decorations are a welcome treat for anyone — and by that, I mean “everyone” who waits at the Post Road light between the Westport Country Playhouse and Playhouse Square.
Meanwhile, Jolantha — Weston’s favorite pig — is ready for Christmas too.
She enjoys everything about the holiday.
Except the traditional ham dinner.
Speaking of animals … Mary Hoffman writes from the Compo Beach neighborhood:
This morning we woke up to a very clean, meatless deer leg …
… and a very large wolf looking at us. It is bigger than a typical German shepherd. Dog owners beware!”
Longtime Westporter Dick Rauh is 97 years old.
But you’re never too old to have a Westport Library exhibit.
His botanical paintings are featured in the Sheffer Gallery, from now through February 28. An artist talk and reception, with Rauh and Miggs Burroughs, is set for January 29 (2 p.m.).
“06880” reader Larry Bartimer urges everyone to see the exhibit.
“What an amazing man!” Larry says. “He is the most alert and intelligent 97-year-0ld man I have ever met. He should be celebrated. He kept us captivated at his Library show.”
Hundreds of singers, and orchestra and band members, were the stars of this weekend’s Candlelight Concert at Staples High School.
In a supporting — but very important — role: dozens of red and white poinsettias.
The holiday plants enriched an already wonderful show. Lynn Untermeyer Miller captured a small part of the array, for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.
And finally … Dino Danelli — one of the greatest drummers in rock history — died Thursday in New York. He was 78, and had been in ill health for several years.
Inspired by Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa, he helped make the Rascals one of the first American bands to capitalize on the success of the British Invasion.
The New York Times says Danelli “merged percussive virtuosity with a rock sensibility. Like Ringo Starr of the Beatles, he set the template for the rock drummer archetype: disciplined and precise, but with a flair that drew the crowd’s eye.”
When the Rascals were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, Steven Van Zandt — who played with Danelli — called him “the greatest rock drummer of all time.” Click here for a full obituary.
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