Tag Archives: Suzanne Sheridan

Roundup: Lynsey & The Library, Supper & Soul, Fiscal Firecrackers …


Lynsey Addario has been in the news a lot lately. The 1991 Staples High School graduate and Pulitzer Prize winning/MacArthur fellow photojournalist has taken harrowing photos of Ukraine, for the New York Times. Earlier this week, she gave an insightful interview to Katie Couric.

Lynsey has been doing great work for years. And in January — several weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine — the Westport Library featured a special exhibit of her photos.

“Veiled Rebellion: Women of Afghanistan” began with a 2009 assignment from National Geographic.

Cultural and societal taboos make it extremely difficult to photograph women in that conservative country. But Lynsey persevered, gaining trust and shooting remarkable, intimate images. They cover home, work, religious and recreational life.

The exhibit is on display in the entrance gallery through June 15. They’re just part of the 34 photos that Lynsey donated to the Westport Public Art Collections.

Lynsey Addario’s “Veiled Rebellion” exhibit at the Westport Library.


And speaking of Lynsey Addario: Here is a photo she took yesterday, at President Volodymyr Zelensky’s press conference in Kyiv.

A good picture tells 1,000 words. This one speaks volumes.

President Volodymyr Zelensky, at his press conference yesterday in Kyiv. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)


Tyler Hicks — Lynsey’s New York Times colleague, and a 1988 Staples graduate — continues to capture compelling photos as well.

This was shot yesterday in Dachne, a village near Odessa. Bombs at midday killed one person there.

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for The New York Times)


One more sign we’re emerging from the pandemic: The Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce and Westport Library are bringing back “Supper & Soul.”

The first dinner and concert event in 2 years is set for Saturday, May 7. Cris Jacobs — a Blues Views & BBQ favorite — presents a concert in the Library Forum, following dinners at various restaurants throughout downtown.

Participating downtown restaurants are 190 Main, Amis, Arezzo, Basso, Capuli, De Tapas, Don Memo, Manna Toast, Spotted Horse, Wafu and Walrus Alley.

One ticket buys a 3-course meal at any of 11 participating restaurants, plus the concert — and happy hour-priced drinks afterwards, at any of those restaurants.

Tickets are $90 per person; concert-only tickets are $40. For more information and tickets, click here.


Money. It’s what makes Westport (and the world) go round.

Want to be entertained, educated and empowered about it?

Check out Galia Gichon’s new podcast: “The Fiscal Firecrackers.” The 20-year finance industry veteran, with an MBA in finance — and a Westport mom — has teamed up with comedic actress Susan Yeagley (Jessica Wicks on “Parks and Recreation”) and Jill Leiderman (a producer with Jon Stewart, David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel).

It’s available wherever you get your podcasts.


Punk is coming to MoCA.

In fact, “Punk Coming” is the name of the local museum’s next exhibition. A diverse group of photographers, filmmakers and artists whose work defined the punk era in 1976 New York City, as well as contemporary works heavily influenced by the movement, kicks off with an opening reception on March 26 (6 p.m.)

The show runs through June 5. It features over 30 artists with additional programming, events and concerts throughout the spring.


Suzanne Sheridan grew up on protest music.

On Saturday, March 12 her Westport-based Suzanne Sheridan Band performs at the Unitarian Church’s Voices Café (and via livestream), . They’re dedicating the concert to “the freedom-loving people of Ukraine.”

On the bill: favorite songs from the likes of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and others.

All proceeds will go to Save the Children, to provide food, water, clothing, medical supplies, emergency assistance and toys to Ukrainian refugees entering Poland, Romania and Lithuania. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Suzanne Sheridan


Artist/author/naturalist James Prosek spent years trespassing on the Aspetuck Reservoir.

On April 6 (7 p.m., Westport Library), he turns that experience into this year’s Aspetuck Land Trust Caryl and Edna Haskins Lecture. In “Trespassing and Conservation,” Prosek will talk about how growing up near the reservoir shaped his appreciation of the natural work, his career, and his art. Click here for tickets, and more information.

James Prosek


Tomorrow’s rally in support of Ukraine (Saturday, March 5, 11 a.m. Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge), includes a silent auction of 3 native hand-embroidered shirts.

Proceeds will go to 2 aid organizations: Save the Children, and the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. A QR code will be available to help with the bidding.

One of the 3 Ukrainian shirts.


There’s nothing like a comedy/drama about midlife crises and aging parents.

Westport Country Playhouse’s next Script in Hand play reading tackles those subjects. “Dot” is set for Monday, March 14 (7 p.m., live) and on-demand streaming (March 17 through 20).

Script in Hand shows offer intimate storytelling. Professional actors bring words to life, without sets or costumes.

The Playhouse describes “Dot”:

In their West Philadelphia home the Shealy family, headed by proud, lovable matriarch Dot, is ready to celebrate the Christmas holiday. But the family must grapple with more than exchanging presents as Dot’s memory is beginning to slip.

While her 3 grown children reunite, each with their own personal challenges to attend to, they must also struggle with how to best care for their mom as she faces the difficulties ahead.

For tickets and more information click here, call 203-227-4177 or email boxoffice@westportplayhouse.org.

“Dot” playwright Colman Domingo


Longtime Westporter Elizabeth Izzo Petretta died peacefully at home on Monday. She was 85.

Born in Caserta, Italy to Luigi and Maria Izzo, she and her family moved to Westport in the 1950’s. That’s where she married her beloved husband, Rocco Petretta.

With Elizabeth’s support, Rocco’s Restaurant was established in 1975 on the Post Road. She worked there for many years.

She enjoyed cooking for her family and friends, sewing and crocheting. She especially loved spending time in her garden. She loved to take care of others, always with a smile. She was her happiest when she was with her family.

Her faith was extremely important to her. She was a lifelong parishioner and volunteer at Assumption Church.

She is survived by her husband Rocco and their daughters Emily (Vinny) Engongoro and Michelle Hankey; grandchildren Christopher Engongoro, Chloe and Olivia Hankey; siblings: Angelina (Joseph) Carusone of Verona, Italy, Josephine Bertoldo of Meriden, Antonia Prentice of Monroe, Anthony (Margie) Izzo, of Tar Heel, North Carolina, Jospeh Izzo and Ann Izzo of Westport, and her many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated this Saturday (March 5, 10 a.m. at Assumption Church. Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society. Condolences for the family may be left online.

Elzabeth Petretta


On Tuesday, a flock of robins visited Elisabeth Keane’s yard, off South Compo.

“They did not faze the woodpecker who is here every day,” she reports, as she sends along today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Elisabeth Keane)


And finally … on this day in 1837, the city of Chicago was incorporated.

Levitt Announces June Slate

When Staples principal Stafford Thomas took the Levitt Pavilion stage at Saturday’s annual Pops Concert, he announced: “We’re baaaack!

He meant that his high school’s singers, orchestras and bands were back performing live, outdoors.

Saturday night at the Levitt Pavilion. (Photo/Dan Woog)

But it was a reopening of the famed summer entertainment center too. After sitting dark during the very dark pandemic year of 2020, the Levitt has announced its June calendar.

Get ready for:

Charles Turner & Uptown Swing (Sunday, June 20, 7 p.m.): Jazz vocals, vibrant swing, vrituosic bebop and vital blues.

Treehouse Comedy (Tuesday, June 22, 7 p.m.): Sit down in your lawn chair for great standup.

Aztec Two-Step 2.0: Rex Fowler, Dodie Pettit & Friends (Thursday, June 24 , 7:30 p.m.): The long-running, beloved band’s latest incarnation, based right here in Westport. 2- and 3-part harmonies, multi-instrumental arrangements and dazzling guitar work. Special guest: Chris Coogan on keyboards.

P.J. Facifico: Full Band Show (Friday, June 25, 7:30 p.m.): The band’s debut single, “Coming Up For Air,” premiered on “Grey’s Anatomy,” and shot to #1 on iTunes’ Singer/Songwriter chart.

Binky Griptite Orchestra (Sunday, June 27, 7 p.m.): Binky was a founding member of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. He’s played with Janet Jackson and Amy Winehouse, and hosts WFUV’s popular Saturday night Boogie Down dance party. Now Binky is heavy into 1940s rhythm ‘n’ blues.

Binky Griptite

The  Suzanne Sheridan Band (Tuesday, June 30, 7 p.m.): The singer-songwriter and guitarist channels Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Carole King, Carly Simon, Gordon Lightfoot and more. She tours internationally, from her Westport base.

Joanie Leeds: Children’s Series Launch (Wednesday, June 30, 7 p.m.): The 2021 Grammy winner for Best Children’s Album returns with an all-new show. She’s inspired by Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, Ruth Bade Ginsburg  and more.

All above shows are free. To reserve a ticket, click here; then click on the show you want to see, for a link to options for a 2-, 4- or 6-person pod.

Ticketed benefits include Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers (June 14, sold out), and The Lone Bellow (Friday, August 6; click here for details and tickets).

Click here for more information on the Levitt Pavilion’s June schedule. The July calendar will be announced soon.

The Levitt Pavilion June season opens soon. (Drone photo/Dave Curtis, HDFA Photography.com)

In Historic Times, Documenting Family Histories

A few years ago, Jeri Johnson’s husband Ed was dying. She had one request: Could someone document his life story?

The Legacy Project could.

The brainchild of longtime Westporters Suzanne Sheridan and Rozanne Gates, it’s a chance to do something we always talk about but seldom find time for: document our lives, for our families and all who will follow.

Thanks to his wife’s determination — and the talents of Suzanne and Rozanne —  Ed told his life story. His children and grandchildren now have a fuller understanding of how he became the man he was.

Others can learn about him too. The book the Legacy Project USA created — “A Tale of Courage in Red, White, and Blue” — is now in the Weston Library.

Suzanne Sheridan and Rozanne Gates

For more than a decade, the Legacy Project has documented other local residents’ stories too, including Dick Pauker (businessman, sculptor and an original founder of the Westport Arts Center); Colleen Plantinga (mother of Prill Boyle, prominent member of the Westport Garden Club and Saugatuck Congregational Church), and Sally Sellars (whose husband Howard Lathrop designed the new Museum of Contemporary Art).

The Legacy Project offers many options. Life stories can be documented and preserved as audio or video recordings, photo albums or authored biographies.

As many people stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic now understand, many things we’ve always done in person can now be done by phone, or remotely. That’s true of Legacy Project USA interviews too.

In these self-isolating days, we’re finding time to go through those long-delayed projects. We’re also realizing that when life is precious, documenting our histories becomes more important than ever.

Suddenly, The Legacy Project is at the top of our to-do lists.

(For more information, click here or call 203-222-1441.)

“Concerts and Cocktails” Come To The River

Chris Coogan, Suzanne Sheridan and Mark Krueger are 3 very talented people.

Chris Coogan

Chris and Suzanne — both Westporters — have been musical buddies for 20 years.

Mark lives in Branford, and has an art studio in Wallingford. But he wanted to start a gallery here. He asked his friend Suzanne to help him figure out the ins and outs of our town’s cultural life.

She was happy to help. He opened X.po.zur Gallery at 263 Riverside Avenue a year ago. His out-of-the-box exhibits have gained notice and praise.

Mark’s passion is bringing community together around art in all forms — including music and photography.

Suzanne is a noted photographer, as well as musician. Her recent X.po.zur photo show “The Wisdom Goddess Project” — featuring remarkable women — was a huge hit. (It’s now at the Weston Senior Center.)

As the gallery hummed — and she thought about Mark’s community-building concept — Suzanne came up with a new idea: concerts and cocktails on the river.

She loved the chance of collaborating with Chris to headline a jazz show.

This Thursday (April 11, 6 to 8 p.m.) she’ll perform American songbook standards. She’ll be joined by John Mobilio and Greg DeTroy.

On Thursday, May 9, Chris and Ben Dean play gypsy jazz.

It takes place in an art gallery, on the river. There’s wine and hors d’oeuvres.

“Sounds” like Mark knew what he was doing when he asked Suzanne to help him understand Westport’s cultural bones.

(For tickets and more information, click here.)


This Old (Out)House

“06880” readers have been following the Westport Historical Society’s quest to identify a series of old houses — photographed through a 1930s WPA project — prior to an exhibit documenting the changing face of local homes.

This may not be an old house worth saving. It’s actually an outbuilding.

Sue Gold

Okay, okay — it was an outhouse.

We know exactly where, too: Suzanne Sheridan’s property, on North Avenue just north of Coleytown Road.

But Susan Gold — the Historical Society president — is happy to try to save it from being torn down.

Okay, that’s not what she’s trying to do. She was actually being photographed by  Suzanne, to promote her other gig (teaching yoga).

Hey, I thought it was funny.

Bathroom humor, if you will.

Showing Pat Robertson Some Love

The other day, a viewer asked Pat Robertson if it was okay to “like” Facebook photos of same-sex couples.

The “700 Club” host/failed presidential candidate/former Southern Baptist minister crawled out of his cave long enough to reply that Facebook needs a “vomit” button for such pictures.

“You’ve got a couple of same-sex guys kissing, do you like that?” he rumbled.

“Well, that makes me want to throw up. To me I would punch ‘vomit,’ not ‘like,’ but they don’t give you that option on Facebook.”

Then he chuckled, at the absurdity of this wacky 21st-century world. (Click here or below to see Rev. Robertson’s full answer.)

That did not sit well with another religious figure. Rev. Debra Haffner — co-founder and president of the Religious Institute, the Westport-based multifaith organization advocating for sexual health, education and justice in faith communities and society — set up a Tumblr page filled with love, not hate.

“Such comments make it sound as if Rev. Robertson has never seen the love and the joy on the faces of same-sex couples,” the page — called “Show Pat Love!” — says.

The Tumblr invites users to share same-sex couple photos — and promises to forward a link to all submissions to Rev. Robertson’s attention.

Dozens of photos have already been posted. There are male couples, and female couples; white, black, Hispanic, Asian and biracial couples; couples with kids, and couples with dogs; couples posing in churches and temples, atop mountains and on beaches.

In other words: same-sex couples doing just what opposite-sex couples do on their wedding days.

One of the 1st couples to be featured is Suzanne Sheridan and Rozanne Gates. The longtime Westporters posted a joyful shot from their wedding ceremony at the Unitarian Church.

Suzanne Sheridan and Rozanne Gates

The minister is Rev. Frank Hall. Also officiating: Rev. Barbara Fast, of the Danbury Unitarian Church.

Interestingly, Debra Haffner is associated with the Unitarians  too. When she’s not running the Religious Institute, she serves as a community minister at the Westport church.

Where, clearly, there is plenty of love to go around.

And enough to spare, even for a grumpy old man living out a different century in a Virginia cave.

(Click here for the “Show Pat Love!” Tumblr.)