Tag Archives: Remarkable Theater

Remarkable Theater Sets Summer Schedule

Summer is here.

Which means — for the 3rd summer in a row — the Remarkable Theater is too.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

The Imperial Avenue drive-in has just released its July and August schedule. There’s something for everyone, from “Jaws” to “Casablanca” to “Caddyshack.”

Check out the offerings belong. Then head to www.RemarkableTheater.com for times and tickets.

 July 4: Jaws (1975): When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community off Long Island, it’s up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down. Rated PG.

July 6: Casablanca (1942): A cynical expatriate American café owner struggles to decide whether or not to help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape the Nazis in French Morocco. Rated PG.

July 11: Caddyshack (1980): An exclusive golf course has to deal with a brash new member and a destructive dancing gopher. Rated R.

July 13: There’s Something About Mary (1998): A man gets a chance to meet up with his dream girl from high school—even though his date with her back then was a complete disaster. Rated R.

July 18: Dirty Dancing (1987): Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle. Rated PG-13.

July 20: Scream (1996): A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game. Rated R.

July 27: Grease (1978): Good girl Sandy Olsson and greaser Danny Zuko fell in love over the summer. When they unexpectedly discover they are now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance? Rated PG-13.

Aug. 1: The Sandlot (1993): In the summer of 1962, a new kid in town is taken under the wing of a young baseball prodigy and his rowdy team, resulting in many adventures. Rated PG.

Aug. 3: Mamma Mia (2008): The story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father is told using hit songs by the popular 1970s group ABBA. Rated PG-13.

Aug. 8: Paddington 2 (2017)”: Paddington, now happily settled with the Brown family, picks up a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday—only for it to be stolen. Rated PG.

Aug. 10: Goodbye Columbus (1969): An intelligent graduate and working-class army veteran has an affair and clashes with a nouveau riche young woman, who does not care about birth control or the use of any other precautions to avoid pregnancy. Rated R.

Aug. 17: Girls Trip (2017): Four best friends take on a work trip to the annual Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. Rated R.

Aug 24: Stand By Me (1986): After the death of one of his friends, a writer recounts a childhood journey with his friends to find the body of a missing boy. Rated R.

“Stand By Me”

Roundup: Affordable Housing; Car Thefts, Traffic, Tax …

The Planning and Zoning Commission adopted a 5-year affordable housing plan last night. The bipartisan vote was 5-0, with 2 abstentions.

Highlights include:

Creating a new affordable community designed specifically for families.

• The formation of a town-funded Affordable Housing Trust Fund to direct resources towards future development of affordable housing.

• The immediate development of location specific plans for town-owned land to meaningfully expand and/or renovate existing rental housing/structures to create affordable housing, and potentially partner with nonprofits engaged in this work.

• Allocation of the approximately $1,700,000 in the town’s Real Property Fund to acquire land for future development of affordable housing.

• The deed restriction of existing town-owned rental properties so that they are affordable and remain affordable to renters.

• The adoption of a new zoning district at Powell Place to ensure that existing deeply affordable housing (40% State Median Income or less) can be more intensively redeveloped with flexible parking requirements reflecting the availability of public lots nearby.

There is much more in the 5-year plan. Click here for a full “06880” report.

Part of the 5-year affordable housing plan envisions a “model pocket neighborhood/cottage commons” design. (Courtesy of Ross Chapin AIA)

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You’d think by now everyone would have gotten the message.

Nope. Here’s the latest Groundhog Day news from the Westport Police Department:

On Saturday, several cars were broken into. All were unlocked. Go figure.

This often happens at night. However, these crimes occurred in late afternoon and early evening.

The WPD once again reminds Westporters to lock your cars and bring your keys or fobs inside. And never leave valuables — cash purses, wallets, electronics — in your car.

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The Police Department also offers this advice, for the June 30th fireworks:

Spectators should arrive early. Traffic delays are inevitable.

Compo Beach closes at 4 p.m. Only vehicles with fireworks passes can remain.  Parks & Recreation staff will collect passes. The beach should reopen to ticket holders by 5 p.m.

Vehicles with tickets can access the beach through South Compo Road only. Hillspoint Road south of Greens Farms Road will be open to residents who live south of that intersection.

Firework attendees should display their ticket prominently on the dashboard. It will be collected at the parking gate.

All ticket holders must be inside Compo Beach by 9 p.m.  No beach traffic will be allowed south of the Minute Man monument after that time.

Vehicles without tickets will not be allowed any further toward Compo Beach than the Minute Man.

Uber, Lyft or taxi users will be directed straight past the Minute Man, on Compo Road South. They can be dropped off at Soundview Drive. Return service will not be available until after 11 p.m., due to 1-way traffic leaving the beach.

When the fireworks end, there will be 2 lanes of 1-way traffic only on Compo Beach Road and South Compo, to the intersection of Greens Farms Road. Residents of that area returning from elsewhere should expect a delay of 1 hour or so.

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The fun doesn’t end with the fireworks. On Saturday, July 9, Westport Sunrise Rotary’s Great Duck Race returns. There’s a new location — Jesup Green — but the same family fun.

The day begins with a 10 a.m. Fun Fair in the Westport Library parking lot. Activities include a Nerdy Derby, face painting and bubble machines.

At 1 p.m. on Jesup Green, 3,000 plastic ducks will slide down a 160-foot sluice course. Each wears a number, matching a $20 raffle ticket. The first 10 ducks down the course win money for their ticket holders. First place is $5,000. Second place wins $1,000. The next 8 finishers get $500 each.

The event is a major Sunrise Rotary fundraiser. Proceeds support charitable endeavors in this area, the state and around the world.

Click here for tickets, and to learn more about Sunrise Rotary. 

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When Dick Lowenstein received his 2022-23 tax bill yesterday, he was surprised to see that the gross assessment had risen on his 2 vehicles. The dollar amounts were not huge, but the percentages were: 29% higher for his 2002 Lexus, 11% for his 2014 Honda CRV.

He called tax assessor Paul Friia. The immediate response: Gross assessment is based on standard information provided to the assessor. “Presumably, because of supply shortages, new car production has been delayed. Many people are instead buying used cars, which has driven up their value,” Dick reports.

I wonder what this Maserati will be assessed at next year. (Photo/Jerry Kuyper)

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Yesterday’s rain postponed the Remarkable Theater showing of “Caddyshack.” The new date is Monday, July 11 (8:30 p.m.; gates open at 7:30 p.m.).

Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Our “Westport … Naturally” feature is open to everyone. We run photos of anything “natural” in town: animals, birds, flowers, trees — you name it. If it lives, we want to showcase it.

We are especially interested in images from young readers. Today we welcome 15-year-old Benji Porosoff, who captured this scene:

(Photo/Benji Porosoff)

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And finally … on this day in 1969, the Stonewall riots began in New York. The uprising — sparked by a police raid on the Stonewall Inn gay bar — is considered the start of the LGBTQ rights movement.

Ten years later, Diana Ross commissioned Chic founder (and current Westporter) Nile Rodgers to create material for her new album. One song was inspired after he saw drag queens dressed as Diana Ross at a New York club. It is now considered an anthem of the LGBTQ community.

(“06880” is supported solely by readers. Please click here to contribute.)

Roundup: Rally Speaker, Cavalry Road Bridge, Wafu Brawl …

Tomorrow’s reproductive rights “Rally Against Regression” includes a high-profile speaker: Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz. The event begins at 11 a.m. Sunday, at the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.

Last month — in anticipation of yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling outlawing Roe v. Wade — Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed a bill protecting medical providers, and patients seeking abortion care here who travel from states that outlaw it. The legislation — the first in the US — expands abortion access in the state, by expanding the practitioners eligible to perform certain types of care.

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Cavalry Road residents were up in arms recently. The long-running bridge replacement ended with a surprise: industrial-looking guardrails and a chain link fence suddenly appeared. Neighbors claimed they had not seen those in any previous plans. They appealed to officials in both Westport and Weston.

Late yesterday, Weston town administrator Jonathan Luiz said:

“The new bridge is open to traffic!

“We understand that Westport and Weston residents have concerns about the bridge. Staffs from both Weston and Westport have collated the concerns that were communicated to us in person, via email and by phone. The list was shared with the project engineer/designer who has already begun to examine each of the issues.

“At the advice of the Weston Police Chief and the Westport Police Chief, the Weston Public Works staff has performed stop sign related work near the bridge. Specifically, they have reset stop signs, repainted white stop bars on the ground, and cut back vegetation near a particular stop sign. A speed monitoring sign has also been placed near the bridge by Westport Police.

“Weston invites the public to attend a virtual meeting on Wednesday, July 6 at 7:30 p.m. for the purpose of discussing the concerns that have been raised to date. The Weston First Selectwoman, Weston Town Administrator, Westport staff, and the project engineer/designer will be in attendance. The meeting will be held via Zoom. To join via internet, use this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84296566039 To join via phone, dial: 646-558- 8656. The Webinar ID is 842 9656 6039.”

That’s a start, for sure. But I don’t see any reference to “guardrails” or a chain link fence anywhere in the Weston town administrator’s response.

Buckle up for that July 6 meeting.

Guardrail and fencing on the Cavalry Road bridge.

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As yesterday’s “06880” noted, Chris Bousquet’s “Gloria” — an ode to Alan Sterling’s oyster boat — is the theme song for a CPTV/PBS documentary about oystering in Connecticut.

The film airs just as the craft is in its final stages of disintegration. Gloria has floated — and broken apart — in Gray’s Creek, ever since owner Alan Sterling’s death nearly 8 years ago.

Bruce McFadden regularly paddles past. The other day, he snapped this sad — and perhaps final — shot:

(Photo/Bruce McFadden)

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Wafu is technically just over the town line, in Southport. But the Post Road restaurant has many Westport fans. They’re drawn by — as its website says – “the warmth of our hospitality and our pride in offering you an elegant combination of traditional Asian recipes and innovative sophisticated dishes.”

But it just got tougher to order a sake or Kirin with your meal.

Its liquor license has been suspended by the state Consumer Protection Commission. The action came after a “brawl” there last Sunday. At least 10 shots were fired, and one person was hit.

That was not an isolated instance. The day before, a patron was assaulted there. In March, 10 minors were served alcohol. A couple of weeks before that, the fire marshal closed Wafu, due to overcrowding. And in February a bouncer allegedly pepper-sprayed 6 guests.

WTF, Wafu? (Hat tip: Chris Grimm)

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Alan Fiore — the on-fire 2021 Staples High School graduate studying at Berklee College of Music — has just released his newest song.

“Locked Up” is an indie pop/rock tune, inspired by artists like Sarah and the Sunday, COIN, Why Don’t We and Jeremy Zucker.

Click here for a “Locked Up” link. Click here for the musician/producer’s website.

Alan Fiore

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Up next at the Remarkable Theater: “Caddyshack.”

The 1980 classic — starring our much loved (seriously!) late neighbor Rodney Dangerfield — screens at 8:30 p.m. Monday (June 27); gates open for tailgating at 7:30. Click here for tickets.

Fore!

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This stunning Northern catalpa sits at the entrance to Marion Road, off the Post Road near Norwalk. It’s a great way to celebrate “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo/Mike Vitelli)

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And finally … in honor of Monday’s showing of “Caddyshack” at the Remarkable Theatre:

(Alright — just a reminder that “06880” relies completely on reader support. Please click here to donate.)

Roundup: Remarkable Staples Video, WTF Food Rescue, WFM Young Shoots …

The Staples High School Class of 2022 is now part of history.

But tonight they live on — on the big screen.

The Remarkable Theatre screens a 60-minute film — created by the theater’s Staples interns — highlighting the graduating class.

There are interviews with nearly 2 dozen seniors, plus footage contributed by other students. It was produced over the past 2 weeks, so it is definitely timely.

Gates open at 8 p.m. tonight, for tailgating. The film begins at 8:45. Tickets are $20 per person or $50 per car, whichever is cheaper — with no limit on the number of passengers. Click here to purchase, and for more details.

Eamon Brannigan is one of the stars of the Class of 2022 Senior Night film.

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If you’re a good gardener, you grow your own food.

If you’re a very good (and lucky!) gardener, you’ve got way more than  you need.

But there’s only so much lettuce, peas and zucchini you can give to your friends.

So chew on this: Wakeman Town Farm has partnered with Westport Grow-a-Row and Food Rescue US-Fairfield County on a new produce donation drop off site.

Bring your abundance to WTF’s farm stand any Saturday, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.; coolers are set up there. Your fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs will help people struggling with food insecurity, throughout Fairfield County.

Questions? Email Haley@foodrescue.us. Follow @grow.a.row_westport on Instagram for updates.

The drop-off spot is hard to miss.

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And speaking of gardens:

Westport Farmers’ Market‘s 6th annual Young Shoots Photography Contest. Snap!

There are 3 age categories: 5-9 years old, 10-14 and 15-18. Any photo taken at one of the Thursday Farmers’ Markets is eligible. Judging is by a panel of local artists, and the public.

The contest runs from a week from this tomorrow (June 23) through July 31. Winners — who earn a $100 cash, WFM swag and a gift card for a MoCA Westport class — will be celebrated at Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, with catering by Sugar & Olives.

Ann Burmeister — Farmers’ Market board member and Who Grows Your Food photographer — will help youngsters as they take shots at the Market tomorrow. A WFM team member will be on hand throughout the contest to answer questions.

Click here to submit photos, and for more information.

“Starstem” by Calista Finkelstein was a previous “Young Shoots” winner in the 8-10 category.

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Yesterday’s obituary of longtime Westport volunteer Tom Hofstetter included incorrect information about a memorial service at Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club. The family will hold a private burial only; there is no service.

ThomasHofstetter

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On June 30, nearly everyone in Westport will watch the July 4th fireworks. (I know, I know …)

But if pyrotechnics aren’t your thing, you’ve got an artistic option.

The opening reception for MoCA’s new exhibition — “Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse” — is set for that night (6 to 8 p.m.; free).

The show explores how “female artists, utilizing textiles as their medium, subvert the social expectation of crafting by lambasting this soft medium with political and social awareness.”

It focuses on flags, as a symbol of solidarity for women of the suffrage movement, and an emblem of protest. Flags in “Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse” were assembled using mixed media and the fiber arts to ignite positive social change.

So — with those flags — there is a connection to Independence Day after all.

The exhibition runs through September 4. Click here for more information.

The MoCA exhibition logo is based on the original colors of the suffragist movement.

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Another opening, another show:

Amy Simon Fine Art (123 Main Street), hosts an opening reception this Saturday (June 25, 3 to 5 p.m.) for the new “Visual Alchemy” show. Artists include Barry Katz, David Skillicorn and Louise P. Sloane.

Untitled #11– encaustic over plaster. (Barry Katz)

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It’s not true that Benjamin Franklin wanted a wild turkey — not an eagle — to be America’s national symbol.

The actual story: In a letter to his daughter, he criticized the original eagle design for the Great Seal, saying it looked like a turkey.

Well, after a long period away, wild turkeys have returned to Westport. The other day, Carol Cederbaum saw 3 of them roosting on her back deck. She got this shot a female, before they spotted her behind the window.

Is it a handsome “Westport … Naturally” subject, or not? You be the judge.

(Photo/Carol Cederbaum)

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And finally … in the past week we’ve given shout-outs to Staples grads, and Brian Wilson. Here’s one more — together — as the Class of 2022 gets ready for their “Senior Night” at the Remarkable Theater (story above):

(“06880” relies entirely on reader support. If you like these Roundups, please donate here.)

Roundup: Lacrosse, Blood Drive, Dog Licenses …

Tyler Clark’s dramatic goal 3:45 into overtime gave Staples’ boys lacrosse team a 9-8 victory over Ridgefield in last night’s state tournament semifinal.

The victory vaults the Wreckers — ranked #2 in the state L (large schools) division — into the final. They’ll face perennial powerhouse Darien, ranked 1st and 16-9 victors over Fairfield Prep in the other semi.

Coach Will Koshansky’s Staples squad is shooting for their first-ever state crown. The game is set for 3 p.m. this Sunday (June 12), at Sacred Heart University.

Tyler Clark’s winning goal for Staples, in yesterday’s state tournament semifinal. (Photo/Chris Greer, courtesy of The Ruden Report).

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The next Joseph J. Clinton VFW Post 399 Red Cross Blood Drive is Tuesday (June 14, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). It’s sponsored by the Charley With A Y Foundation, in memory of Marine lance corporal Charles M. Rochlin USMC.

Click here for an appointment, or call 800-733-2767, Use this sponsor code: VFWWestport.

LCPL Charley Rochlin

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Allison Russell is the latest performer signed to the Levitt Pavilion’s “Stars on Tours” series.

The Grammy-nominate artist/activist/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/founding member of Our Native Daughters and Birds of Chicago Allison Russell will appear on Sunday, August 21.

Allison made history at the 2022 Juno Awards as the first Black artist to win for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year.

The record was named the #2 Best Album of the Year by the New York Times after its release in 2021, and Allison’s song “Nightflyer” made Barack Obama’s annual list of favorites.

The member pre-sale is live now. The public sale begins tomorrow (June 10) at noon.

Allison Russell

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Congratulations to Music Theatre of Connecticut.

They’ve been nominated for 11 Connecticut Critics Circle awards. Four are for the musical “Falsettoland” — and 2 have a Westport connection. The father-son team of Dan and Ari Sklar are up for “Outstanding actor, musical” and “Outstanding debut.” Both live here.

Though based in Norwalk, MTC has strong Westport roots. Broadway actors Mia Gentile and Jacob Heimer, plus noted songwriter Justin Paul, all performed there often.

Dan Sklar

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Speaking of theater: Summer is almost here. Which means the Westport Country Playhouse annual gala is not far away.

The event returns live — after a 2-year COVID hiatus — on September 17. The guest artist is Renée Elise Goldsberry: the original Tony Award-winning Angelica Schuyler from “Hamilton.” She’ll perform a high energy concert of Broadway, pop and soul.

Ticket details will be announced soon. t’s sure to sell out quickly.

Renee Elise Goldsberry

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June is dog license month.

Licenses good from July 1 to June 30, 2023, may be obtained online from the Town Clerk’s department, starting now. All dogs over 6 months old must be licensed.

Click here to license your dog online (desktop only; no mobile devices allowed). Have your spay/neuter and rabies certificates available to upload as a PDF. If these are not available, contact your veterinary office to obtain digital copies.

Paper applications accompanied by a check payment are also accepted. Mail or the drop box at the rear of Town Hall are preferred methods of delivery. Dog licenses can be processed in the Town Clerk’s offfice for those who need in person assistance.

Mail the application, payment, and required certificates (all certificates will be returned with license), and a self-addressed stamped return envelope to: Westport Town Clerk, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06881. Click here to download the application. Visit Westportct.gov/dogs for all information related to dog licenses in Westport.

For more information, call 203-341-1110 or visit Westportct.gov/dogs.

“Before we play: Send in my license, please!” (Photo/Amy Schneider)

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“Senior Night” at the Remarkable Theater has been moved to has been moved to June 22 (8 p.m.). It’s a special showing of a 70-minute video, highlighting the Class of 2022’s unique 4 years at Staples High School.

Click here for tickets.

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Speaking of animals: The Gorham Island swan has not abandoned her nest. She was spotted sitting pretty yesterday morning, enjoying the sunshine and her motherly duties.

(Photo/Mary Stewart)

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Today there are 2 of these “Westport … Naturally” rabbits.

Tomorrow there will be many more. Naturally.

(Photo/Mark Mathias)

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And finally … did you know that the inspiration for songwriter Paul Vance’s classic “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” came from his 2-year-old daughter?

Neither did I, until I read his obituary. He died May 30 in Florida, at 92.

I also did not know that singer Brian Hyland — who recorded the #1 song — was just 16 at the time. Go figure

(“06880” relies entirely on donations. Please click here to support this site.)

Roundup: Beach Rules, Gun Violence, Dog Poop …

The cost of a Westport beach sticker for out-of-towners — $775 — has been the subject of heated debate, everywhere from the pages of “06880” to the halls of the State Capitol.

This past wee, radio listeners around the state heard about it.

“Ethan & Lou” discussed it on their i95 show. in typical 2-radio-host-trying-to-engage-listeners style.

The station put a variation of the riff on their website too. In the context of complaints about Connecticut’s “rocky (not sandy)” beaches, they mentioned both the expense of Compo, and the many rules posted on the town website. (Hey, guys: The rules are posted at the beach, too.)

The website complains: “No Alcohol!? Can’t bring my dog? Can’t listen to music? No hooch, no pooch and no Scooch? Sounds un-American.”

Of course, alcohol is permitted on South Beach (unlike most state beaches). The “music” ban refers to “amplified music, including bands and DJs” (though they seem to be okay, upon request to Parks & Rec). As for “Scooch” — well, at least it rhymes.

Click here for the full story — including a link to the “Ethan & Lou” segment.

There are definitely lots of rules at Compo Beach.

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The Remarkable Theater continues to be a remarkable resource for Westport.

This Tuesday (June 7, 8 p.m.), they’ll screen a special show for the soon-to-graduate Staples High Class of 2022.

The 71-minute video includes never-before-seen footage of their 4 yeas at school.

Tickets are only $5. Click here to reserve a spot; then pile your friends into a car and head to the Imperial Avenue parking lot!

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Yesterday was National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The timing — coming after a slew of mass shootings — was propitious. But in a cascade of bad news, the day itself might have been missed by many.

One Westporter, however, marked the occasion on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge:

(Photo/Dina Upton)

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“06880” has posted photos previously of 1 or 2 plastic poop bags left in otherwise pristine parks, or on people’s lawns and driveways.

But this image — sent by David Brant, executive director of Aspetuck Land Trust which oversees (among many other properties) Haskins Preserve — seems almost perverse. The sign about dog waste — and that there is no “Poop Fairy” — are literally inches away.

Is it a “Candid Camera” stunt? Part of an elaborate psychology experiment?

Or are Westporters just dumping on us?

Whatever the reason: It’s not funny.

Whoever you are: Shame on you.

And just remember: Whatever goes around, comes around.

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The Staples High School baseball team plays in the state “LL” (extra large schools) quarterfinals today (Trumbull High School, 2 p.m.).

But win or lose, they’re already champions.

On Thursday — the day after their 2nd-round upset of higher-ranked Amity-Woodbridge — the Wreckers collected thousands of dollars of cleats, bats and other equipment.

They donated it to Bluefish Travel Baseball, a program in Bridgeport.

The 2022 Staples High School varsity baseball team. (Photo/John Videler for Videler Photography)

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A recent pre-Memorial Day story about a Westport connection to an American soldier saved by a German guard during World War II was fascinating.

But Tom Feeley — who recounted the tale — had misremembered the name of the soldier, whom he met and befriended at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399.

Tom called him “Mike Brody.” His name was actually Samuel Meyer Brody.

And — because this is “06880,” where “Westport meets the world” — there is another local tie. Sam Brody was longtime resident and RTM member Dick Lowenstein’s 3rd cousin.

Here is a photo of Sam (left) and Dick at the Senior Center. Sam died the next year, at 96. Click here for a full obituary.

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Lifelong Westporter and former firefighter Stanley Prackup died on Wednesday. He was 87.

One of 8 children, he graduated from Staples High School in 1953. He played baseball there, and was a sharpshooter in its Rifle Club.

Stanley enlisted in the Navy after high school, and served on the USS Valcour and Intrepid.  He was awarded the Navy Good Conduct Medal.

After the navy he attended the University of Connecticut.

He was a postal carrier for several years before joining the Westport Fire Department. He served as a firefighter for 20 years, until 1988. He also owned his own landscaping business.

Stanley and his wife Joan built a home here, and lived in it for over 40 years. Devoted to his religion, he was happiest in his garden, and spending time with family and friends.

He was predeceased by his brothers, Frank, Michael and George, and sisters Rose, Barbara and Alice.

Stanley is survived by his wife of 58 years, Joan Prackup; daughters Brenda Prackup, Linda Prackup-Desautels and Sandra Prackup; grandson Luke Desautels; sister Virginia Fiordelisi, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

A memorial mass will be held Monday (June 6, 10 a.m., St Luke Church), followed by interment at Assumption Cemetery on Greens Farms Road. Click here for a livestream of the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Cancer Research Institute.

Stanley Prackup

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Ordinarily this bad parking job at the Taylor Lot near the Westport Library would not be “06880”-worthy.

But the car has been there since at least early last week.

With the window open, people have left angry messages for the owner.

If it’s yours, please claim it. If there’s a problem, please contact the police!

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David Fiore sends today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo, noting: “As seen from our kitchen window at breakfast. A chippy enjoying the view, having his own breakfast on our weeping cherry tree berries.”

(Photo/David Fiore)

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And finally … speaking of chipmunks:

Your “06880” Pride Guide

June is Pride Month.

But it’s not just for people who identify as LGBTQ (or IA+)*. All allies — and there are many in the Westport community — are invited to join the fun (and serious stuff).

The main event is the June 12 celebration at Jesup Green. But there’s much more too, including:

June 2: To Wong Foo, Thanks Julie Newmar! (Remarkable Theater, 8:30 p.m.)

In the 1995 comedy with Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo, 3 New York drag queens on their way to Hollywood for a beauty pageant are stranded in a small Midwestern town — and show residents that looking different doesn’t mean they don’t have humanity in common.

For more information and tickets, click here.

June 3: Bedford Middle School, Coleytown Middle School, and Staples High School Pride Day Celebrations

Bedford and Coleytown make history, by hosting Connecticut’s first middle school Pride Day celebrations. Hosted by the Westport Public Schools Pride Coalition, it features the debut of a new Staples and middle school mentorship program led by Staples faculty and coalition chair, Kayla Iannetta. Staples’ celebration will build on last year’s inaugural event.

June 4: All 4 Drag and Drag for A ll (MoCA Westport, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.)

A fun, family-friendly drag experience; all ages invited and welcome. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for cocktail hour (with a cash bar); the show begins at 6:30, with 4 great entertainers.

Headliner Desmond Napoles (stage name: Desmond is Amazing) is a 15-year old award-winning New York City LGBTQ advocate, performer, model, public speaker and fashion designer.

For more information and tickets, click here. https://bit.ly/3sfvTsu.

Desmond is Amazing

 June 8: How to Survive a Plague (Remarkable Theater, 8:30 p.m.)

This 2012 documentary about the early years of the AIDS epidemic, and the efforts of activist groups, was culled from over 700 hours of archived footage: news coverage, interviews, and videos of demonstrations and meetings.

For more information and tickets, click here.

June 12: Westport Pride Celebration (Jesup Green, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.)

The 2nd annual community-wide event includes music and other great performances, speakers, local clergy, a proclamation from 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, and a pride flag flying over it all.

Plus: children’s art activities, face painting, hair and makeup, pride merchandise and swag, and educational materials on hand.

Showing the flag at last year’s Westport Pride celebration. (Photo/Kerry Long)

June 12: Pride Eucharist (Christ and Holy Trinity Churh, 5 p.m.)

A come-as-you-are in-person service of scripture, song, prayer and Holy Eucharist in the Christ & Holy Trinity Courtyard (Branson Hall if it’s cold or raining.)  For more information, click here.

June 15: Pride Spirit Day (Westport elementary schools)

The elementary schools focus on families, and the many different ways they can be. Students learn about important LGBTQ+ figures from read-alouds and bulletin boards. Outside the buildings, chalk drawings and messages spread love and the message that everyone deserves to be proud of who they are.

June 17: Pride Cabaret Night (Westport Library, 6:30 p.m.)

An evening of music, performing arts and comedy, hosted by comedienne and activist Mina Hartong.

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

June – August: Summer of Love | Merchants of Pride – Various Locations

All summer long, merchants offer pride-themed items, events and more. NOTE: These offers begin June 1. Don’t click the links, or visit the stores or restaurants, until Tuesday!

A Splash of Pink: Shopping Night (Wednesday, June 1, 5 to 8 p.m.). Light bites, and a rainbow bar of cocktails. A portion of the evening’s sales will be donated to Westport Pride.

Allium Eatery: A portion of  proceeds from the sale of “Fields of Love” will benefit Westport Pride. This change will change periodically throughout the summer so the culinary team can create innovative dishes. It is called “Fields of Love” to honor “embracing diversity and the beauty of all ingredients, just as we all should with the LGBTQ+ community.” June 1 through August 31.

Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti: A portion of proceeds from the sale of the newly created AZALEA cocktail (vodka, lemonade, strawberry shrub, bubbles) will be donated to Westport Pride. 

Don Memo/Kawa Ni/The Whelk: Signature cocktail for the month of June.

Middlemarch: Partners with Jeweled Coquette to create a special limited edition Bon-Bon necklace. The designer followed the original pride flag design from 1978. Stones are jade, sunstone, opal, chalcedony, quartz and serpentine. Necklaces are hand-knotted on 20″ silk, with a 15K gold filled spring ring closure. Orders can be placed online or at the store. Retail price is $200; 20% donated to Westport Pride. Offer good June 1-30.

Sono1420: Limited edition PRIDE bottle of SONO1420 vodka.

WEST: 20% off all Aviator Nation apparel for month of June. A portion of proceeds donated to Westport Pride.

Whoop Handstitch: A limited edition with “PROUD” stitched in rainbow thread on a white sweatshirt; also, a gray cashmere sweater with “LOVE IS LOVE” with rainbow thread. The sweatshirt retails for $95; $20 will be donated to Westport Pride. The sweater retails for $185, with $50 donated to Westport Pride. June 1 through August 31.

Finally, there’s this: Throughout June, Jillian Elder will offer special Wesptort- and Pride-themed t-shirts. hoodies, mugs, tumblers and tote bags. 10% of all sales will be donated to Westport Pride. Click here to order.

*The acronym stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual or agender; the “plus” sign indicates other sexual orientations people may identify as or with. 

 

Roundup: Buffalo, EMS, Flower Moon …

First Selectman Jen Tooker says:

“The scene in Buffalo this past weekend was horrifying, and I send my deepest condolences to all those affected.

“Along with help from TEAM Westport, our law enforcement colleagues, our houses of worship and our extensive non-profit organizations, we continue to strive to ensure that this community is a place where residents, business owners and visitors feel safe, supported, and have a sense of belonging.

“This important work is ongoing, and there is still progress to be made. As first selectwoman, I want to personally re-state my commitment to these efforts in Westport. Thank you for your support on this journey.”

Nine of the 10 victims of the mass execution in Buffalo.

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This is Emergency Medical Services Week.

It’s long overdue.

Westport EMS deputy director Marc Hartog knows this has been an exceptionally tough couple of years.

“The EMTs and paramedics of Westport EMS continue to rise to the challenge every day, and play a crucial role in maintaining the health of our community.” he says.

“Relieving pain and suffering, caring for sick and injured patients, saving lives is just part of the experience of responding to the public’s calls for help. EMS providers, whether paid or volunteer, take on many crucial roles every day: healthcare professional; emergency manager; social worker; crisis counselor; consoler; caregiver.”.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker adds “EMS Week is a chance for our town to recognize the service and sacrifice exhibited by our EMS personnel over the past year, and to express our gratitude for all they continue to do, day in and day out, for our community.”

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker with an EMS Week proclamation. (From left): Police Chief Foti Koskinas, EMS crew chiefs Larry Kleinman and Rick Baumblatt, EMS deputy director Marc Hartog, EMS crew chief Eric Hebert, Deputy Police Chief/EMS director Sam Arciola.

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Sunday’s Super Flower Blood Moon/lunar eclipse was very cool.

It was also not easy to photograph.

Many Westporters tried. You sent your shots to “06880.” Thank you!

We did not have a Best Images contest. But if we did, the winner would be Nancy Lally.

Check them out below. You’ll be over the moon.

(Photos/Nancy Lally)

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Nearly everyone who owns a convertible loves to show it off.

Here’s your chance to impress the entire town.

Organizers of the Memorial Day parade need a few open-tops for the May 30 event. They’re used to transport dignitaries, like veterans (including the grand marshal).

If you’ve got a convertible to lend, contact Deborah Detmer at the Parks & Recreation office: 203-341-5091; ddetmer@westportct.gov.

It doesn’t get more classic than this. (Photo/Ted Horowitz)

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After 2 online-only years, 2022’s “Booked for the Evening” with TV producer/ screenwriter/ author/CEO Shona Rhimes will be the most financially successful in the event’s 20 year history.

And anyone, anywhere can add to the fundraising.

Tickets for the virtual livestream (June 1, 8 p.m.). are still available. Click here to purchase, and for more information.

Shonda Rhimes

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By day, it’s the Farmers’ Market. At night, it’s the Remarkable Theater.

On May 27, the Imperial Avenue parking lot — home to both — hosts a special film showing.

“Biggest Little Farm” — the award-winning 2018 documentary about the 8-year quest of a couple to trade city living for 200 acres of barren farmland (and a dream) — is set for May 27. Sustainable Westport co-sponsors the event.

Tickets to this family-friendly event are $25 per vehicle. Tailgating (with food from the Market the day before?) starts at 6 p.m. The screening is at 8. Bees Knees — a popular WFM vendor — will selling their signature frozen pops.

For more information and tickets, click here.

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The next Artists Collective of Westport pop-up show is May 26-29 (2 to 6 p.m. each day; the Westport Country Playhouse barn). There’s an opening reception May 25 (6 to 8 p.m.), and artists’ talks on Sunday, May 29 (4 p.m.).

Participating artists include some very familiar names: Peg Benison, Louise Cadoux, Jeanine Esposito, Jane Fleischner, Rebecca Fuchs, Holly Hawthorne, Katya Lebrija, Lynn Untermeyer Miller, Steve Parton, Nancy Reinker, Debbie Smith, Cindy Wagner and Lee Walther.

To learn more about this great Collective, click below.

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The other day, Connecticut Public Radio aired an interesting story headlined “How Medical Aid in Dying May Change the Way We Live.”

one of the guests is Lynda Bluestein. A longtime member and former board chair of Westport’s Unitarian Church, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now she’s working hard to get “medical Aid in dying” legislation passed in the state.

Westport’s State Senator Will Haskell and State Representative Jonathan Steinberg were very public supporters of a recent bill attempting — for the 16th time — to get Connecticut legislation passed. Once again, the bill did not make it out of the Judiciary Committee.

Click here for more details, and to listen.

Lynda Shannon Bluestein (Photo courtesy of The CT Mirror)

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Saturday’s fundraiser for AWARE — the great, generous non-profit (Assisting Women with Actions, Resources and Education) — was postponed a day by rain.

Attendees had a wonderful time. And if you’re not “aware” of how much they do for women and children in the area, click here.

Enjoying the AWARE event (from left): Erica Davis, Amy Saperstein, Allegra Gatti Zemel, Michele Glassman, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Mafe Cala, Stephanie Tobin.

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Andy Gundell has been nominated for a regional Emmy Award, in Original Composition and Arrangement. It is for music from a Black Lives Matter program that streamed online in February 2021 from the Unitarian Church in Westport. Gundell is a 13-time Emmy winner already.

The program — “Revealing History–How We Got Here, Why It Matters” — was produced by the church’s Women’s Group. It is a powerful multi-media tribute to the BLM movement, and the history of racial injustice in America. Click here for a link.

Andy Gundell

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows birds of a feather flocking together, at Compo Beach near the kayak launch.

It won’t be long before they’re joined — at least, not far from the rocks — by crowds of humans, flocking together too.

(Photo/JD Dworkow)

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And finally … if you’re on the fence about lending your convertible for the Memorial Day parade (see story above), this might inspire you:

 

 

 

Roundup: Transit $$, Farmers’ Market, The Universe …

Last night, the Representative Town Meeting voted 30-1 to restore $133,000 the Board of Finance had cut, to Wheels2U Westport’s 2022-23 budget.

Wheels2U Westport, is the Westport Transit District’s on-demand, group ride shuttle service. It takes riders from their door to the Saugatuck and Greens Farms train station platforms, and from the stations to their jobs and other places in Westport.

The restoration will keep Wheels2U operating through June 30, 2023.

Peter Gold, Westport Transit District director (and an RTM member), said he and his colleagues received over 200 letters from “all segments of Westport’s population” in support of restoring the funds.

For more information about Wheels2U, click here. For more information about the Westport Transit District’s services for the elderly and people with disabilities, click here,

A Wheels2U bus.

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If you’re starved for good news, listen up: The Westport Farmers’ Market returns to the Imperial Avenue parking lot on Thursday, May 12.

Favorite farmers return, including Fort Hill, Riverbank, Ox Hollow, Calf + Clover Creamery, Beaver Brook, Herbal Deva, Muddy Feet Flower Farm, Two Guys from Woodbridge, Bee Love Project, Horseshoe, Deeply Rooted, Popp’s, Rose’s Berry, Seacoast Mushroom, Lost Ruby and Woodland. There are a few surprises too, says director Lori Cochran-Dougall.

Prepared food vendors include fresh faces alongside those you have come to rely on for your weekly shopping and entertaining needs, including Boxcar Cantina, NitNoi Provisions, Farmers and Cooks, Simply Local, Herbaceous Catering, Badass Bagels and Parlor Pizza, among others.

After 2 years, dining returns 🙂 . Music again fills the air , kids’ activities take center stage, and chef and other demonstrations are back as well

A 10 a.m. mindful opening will be led by Pause + Purpose. A toast follows at noon, with Cross Culture Kombucha.

The market runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday, through November 10. For more information, including a full list of vendors and programs, click here.  find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, too!

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What a sweet way to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month!

1st Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker presented the town’s official proclamation on Sunday, before an excited group of Asian American and Pacific Islander Westport families — at Saugatuck Sweets.

2nd Selectwoman Andrea Moore, Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein and RTM member Sal Liccione joined in.

To celebrate the month, Saugatuck Sweets is lighting their Westport and Fairfield stores yellow.

Happy AAPI Heritage Month at Saugatuck Sweets!

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Staples High School’s AWARE Club is not only aware of the world.

They’re doing something to help.

The acronym stands for Assisting Women through Actions, Resources & Education. It’s affiliated with local and national AWARE organizations.

The teenagers are supporting refugees their age from Ukraine and Afghanistan, who will arrive in Connecticut this summer. They’re collecting new beach towels and water bottles, so their peers can have a bit of enjoyment.

The towels and bottles can be dropped off from now through May 11. There’s a bin by the front door at 14 High Point Road (off Long Lots).

Teens who would like to join Staples’ AWARE Club — or volunteer at the “Tapas & Twilight” May 14 AWARE fundraiser, to benefit the Women’s Mentoring Network — should email info@awarect.org.

 

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The Martin Luther King Day presentation by noted author Heather McGhee — postponed from January — has been rescheduled. It’s now set for May 18 (7 p.m., Westport Library).

Her book “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together,” spent 10 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was longlisted for the National Book Award. Her 2020 TED talk “Racism Has a Cost for Everyone” reached 1 million views in just 2 months.

The MLK Day program also includes a recital by the Bridgeport Boys Choir, and a dance by the Regional Center for the Arts.

Click here to register for the free program in the Library’s Trefz Forum, or via livestream, and to purchase a copy of “The Sum of Us.”

The event is sponsored by the Westport Library, Westport Country Playhouse, TEAM Westport, Westport/Weston Interfaith Council, and Westport/Weston Interfaith Clergy.

Dr. Heather McGhee

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Westport Sunrise Rotary’s Great Duck Race returns for its 13th running on July 9. The location is new: Jesup Green.

On Sunday, the Rotarians tried out their new design. The Westport Fire Department provided the water; AJ Penna donated the front loader, to dump the ducks. In case you missed it:

The test will help the event run smoothly. Meanwhile, tickets are already on sale from any Sunrise Rotarian or online. $10,000 in prizes will be awarded — and all proceeds go to charity.

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The Housatonic Museum of Art is out of this world.

Actually, it’s just a few minutes away in Bridgeport. But they’re hosting :How Beautiful, The Universe …” — a free exhibition of 20 astrophotography prints — in association with the Westport Astronomical Society.

The Museum is on the 3rd floor of Beacon Hall. It’s open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (until 7 p.m. on Thursday).

Next Monday (May 9, 7 p.m.) there’s a special viewing and talk on the art and science of astrophotography. Right after, there’s guided use of telescopes and moon viewing in the Housatonic Community College courtyard.

Families are welcome. To reserve a seat, click here.

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Thursday is forecast to be beautiful. Which means it’s perfect for a drive-in movie.

The Remarkable Theater screens “The Hangover” with Bradley Cooper, at the Imperial Avenue lot. Tailgating begins a half-hour earlier than usual, at 6:30 p.m.; the film is at 8.

The next day (Friday, May 6) is Family Night: “Dumbo.” The length — 1 hour, 4 minutes — is perfect for young kids.

Saturday (May 7) is Mothers Day Eve. Celebrate with “Mermaids.” starring Cher and Winona Ryder — the cult mother-daughter classic.

Click here for tickets and more information.

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June is LGBTQ Pride Month. June 3 is the day it will be celebrated in Westport schools.

Westport Pride — the townwide organization — is offering “Don’t Hide Your Pride” shirts for the month, and the day. The ones with the WPS logo are fundraisers for the  fundraise for the Westport Public Schools Pride Coalition, which includes Staples High, and Bedford and Coleytown Middle Schools.

Click here to order. The deadline is May 10. Shirts can be picked up at Nice Threads in Westport on June 1.

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Nashville trio South for Winter headlines the Unitarian Church’s Voices Café this Saturday (May 7, 8 p.m., in-person and livestream).

South for Winter blends acoustic duets with folk and bluesy ballads, combining cello, guitar, mandolin and harmonies in what’s been called “a genre-bending ‘impeccable sound.'”

Voices Café and South for Winter share a commitment to social justice. A portion of the concert proceeds benefit community organizations under the Unitarian Church in Westport’s social justice programs, including anti-racism, identity and equity, immigration and refugee efforts, and projects serving under-resourced communities.

Groups of 4 or more can reserve table space. General admission is $25 per person; livestream tickets are also available. For more information and tickets, click here.

South for Winter

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Nature can be brutal. This crab learned that the hard way the other day at Compo Beach. Today’s “Westport … Naturally” food-chain photo comes courtesy of Nancy Lally, who saw similar scenes all along the shore.

(Photo/Nancy Lally)

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And finally … Naomi Judd — with Wynonna, the older half of the famed mother-daughter country music duo the Judds — died Saturday hear Nashville. She was 76.

Naomi’s other daughter, actress Ashley Judd, said, “We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness.”

The Judds had 14 Number 1 hits. They racked up 9 Country Music Association Awards. and 5 Grammys. Click here for a full obituary.

Drive-In Announces Remarkable Lineup

The curtain has risen on the first 2 months of the Remarkable Theater’s 2022 season.

The Imperial Avenue drive-in opens tomorrow (Friday, April 29) with “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.”

“The Sting” — with longtime Westporter Paul Newman (and sometime WEston neighbor Robert Redford) — follows on Saturday (April 30).

Both shows are at 7:30 p.m. Gates open at 6:30, for tailgating.

Robert Redford and Paul Newman in “The Sting.” It doesn’t get more classic than this .

But wait! There’s more!

The Remarkable Theater has lots more in store.

Between now and June 30, they’ll screen:

  • “The Hangover”
  • “Dumbo”
  • “Mermaids”
  • “Singin’ in the Rain”
  • “Flashdance”
  • “Luca”
  • “The Secret Life of Pets”
  • “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once”
  • “The Incredibles”
  • “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar”
  • “The Goonies”
  • “How to Survive a Plague”
  • “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”
  • “Caddyshack”

Theater officials encourage early purchases. Many films sell out. Click here to reserve tickets, for the full schedule and more information.

They’re also looking for volunteers. To help (and see a film for free), click on the website, then scroll waaaaaay down to the end, after all the films. It’s in pink, on the right.