Tag Archives: John Videler

Saugatuck El’s “Willy Wonka”: Scrumpdiddlyumptious!

This month, Greens Farms Elementary School staged its first-ever musical.

Now it’s time for Saugatuck El’s (star) turn.

When the curtain rises on “Willy Wonka” this Friday and Saturday (March 29 and 30), it will be the culmination of a true community effort.

It takes a special kind of person to stage an elementary school show. Second grade teacher Katie Bloom was just back from maternity leave. But she’s a theater veteran — from age 8 through Hofstra University — and hey, there’s a special kind of people known as “show people.”

In less than a month Bloom helped form the Saugatuck Theater Club. Casting began. Anyone who tried out was promised at least a small part.

She hoped for enough children to fill every role. She got 120.

That number was impressive. The talent: even more so.

Some of the “Willy Wonka” leads.

The 3 rounds of callbacks demonstrated, Bloom says, how much the SES students wanted the program.

Bloom was aided by an army of parents. Jen Berniker, Miriam Young and Carole Chinn led the charge. Working with principal Beth Messler, they created a Movie Night fundraiser.

John and Pam Nunziato — parents of one of the leads — own a branding and design firm. They created Wonka and STC logos, developed projection backdrops (parents took up a collection to buy the screen), signage, Wonka Bars and a playbill.

The “Willy Wonka” Imagination Room.

The Caricato family donated printing costs. The Greelys spent hours making enormous sets. Melissa Crouch Chang designed and sewed costumes for every cast member (including 60 Oompa Loompas).

Other parents supervised rehearsals, worked backstage or simply spread the word.

Middle school youngsters helped with choreography, stage management, lighting and sound.

Professional photographer/SES dad John Videler gifted every cast member with a head shot.

Then there was Saugatuck El mom Megan Bolan. A Broadway performer, teacher and choreographer, she worked with the cast on major numbers.

The entire school got in the spirit. Guess what book they chose for their annual “One Book, Two Schools” event? And thanks to the art department, “candy art” now blankets the halls.

“This has engaged faculty, students and parents,” says principal Messler. “It’s created new opportunities for our community to connect with one another. It’s been a one-of-a-kind experience.”

The show is just under an hour (very kid-friendly!).

Of course, there will be chocolate. Doors open 45 minutes early, so theater-goers can visit the candy shop (featuring hand-made Wonka Bars, commissioned by a local chocolatier).

Five lucky winners at each show will open their bars to find a golden ticket. One gets a scrumpdiddlyumptious grand prize.

So what will the Saugatuck Theater Club do for an encore?

I have no idea. But they’re already making plans for next year.

(“Willy Wonka” will be performed Friday, March 29 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 30 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 each; click here to order.)

Pic Of The Day #261

Downtown Westport. And yes, those clouds are real. (Photo/John Videler)

Pic Of The Day #4

Westport train station. (Photo copyright John Videler)

A View Of The Bridge

It’s been a while. It will be a while more. But Westporters are still talking about plans to “repeal and replace” the William Cribari (aka Bridge Street) Bridge.

The subject is as controversial as ever.

But here’s one thing we can all agree on:

This photo from John Videler’s drone is magnificent.

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/John Videler)

Photo Challenge #113

Some photo challenges can be figured out by current Westporters, and those who lived here many years ago. The anchor by Ned Dimes Marina — installed in 1958 — was a great example, 3 weeks ago.

But you need to live here now — or have visited in the past 2 summers — to know last week’s image. John Videler’s shot showed the tile ramp at the “new” Levitt Pavilion, leading down to the lawn. If you’ve never seen it, be sure to stop by next summer — it’s a beauty! (Click here for the photo.)

Congratulations to Eileen Lavigne Flug, Marc Hartog, Cheryl McKenna, Nancy Wilson, Seth Braunstein, Fred Rubin and Seth Goltzer. If there was a prize, you’d get a season’s pass to the Levitt. Oh, wait — it’s free for everyone!

Today’s photo challenge was inspired by tonight’s Academy Awards. Here’s a hint:  It has nothing to do with the Oscars.

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

If you think you know where in Westport you’d find this beauty, click “Comments” below. Winners won’t get a prize that looks anything like this.

They’ll get something better: Their name on “06880,” next Sunday.

Photo Challenge #112

“06880” readers really know their onions.

Well, their coal, anyway.

Last week’s photo challenge showed an old coal bin, on a couple of yards of rail track.

It’s right on the Saugatuck River, behind Saugatuck Sweets. Gault Energy put it there when Saugatuck Center was being redeveloped (in part by their company) several years ago. It pays homage to the long-ago days when boats brought coal up the river to Gault’s headquarters. The coal made part of its journey by rail, before being delivered to Westport customers. Click here for the photo.

Seth Schachter answered correctly, within 4 minutes of the posting. He was followed quickly by William Adler, Daniel Cummings, Virginia Tienken, Robert Mitchell, Peter Flatow, Jamie Roth, Linda Amos, Seth Goltzer, Josh Moritz and Brandon Malin. Congratulations to all (and thanks to Saugatuck Sweets, whose treats are the reason so many folks are down by the river in the first place).

This week’s photo challenge comes courtesy of John Videler. Coincidentally, he grew up right across the river from where the Gault coal bin now sits.

But his image shows a different place entirely. If you know where it is, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/John Videler)

(Photo/John Videler)

 

While You Were Away…

You might not get to Compo Beach much these days — particularly on a chilly December weekday.

But 2 of Westport’s most talented photographers headed there this morning. Here’s what they found:

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

(Photo/John Videler)

(Photo/John Videler)

Click on or hover over the images to enlarge.

Fantastic Fall Foliage

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/John Videler)

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/John Videler)

Imperial Avenue and Gault Park is in the foreground. Downtown is in the background.

And the wonders of Westport are well on display.

Levitt Pavilion Drones On

The Levitt Pavilion kicks off another 50 nights of free concerts tomorrow (Sunday, June 26) with the Eagles’ tribute Desert Highway Band.

Free tickets are all sold for that event. The rest of the summer, you can just stroll on in.

If you can’t make it tomorrow — or just want a unique view of Westport’s riverside outdoor amphitheater — check out John Videler’s drone shot:

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/John Videler)

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/John Videler)

 

Skating From The Sky

One of the coolest places in town just got even cooler.

John Videler shot this fantastic drone footage of the Longshore Ice Rink:

It’s a view of the rink — and part of the rest of Longshore, and the Sound — that we’ve never seen.

But if you want to enjoy the ice from ground level, you better hurry.

It closes next month.