Tag Archives: Vivid-Tek

Roundup: Theaters, TVs, Films …

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Westporters know that this is a great community for music.

Now it’s official. The Westport Public Schools are officially a “Best Community for Music Education.” The designation comes from the NAMM Foundation — part of the National Association of Music Merchants.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because this is our 9th “Best Community” honor in a row.

The award is for school districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. School officials answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs.

The schools benefit from partners like the Westport Library, Levitt Pavilion, PTAs, Westport Permanent Art Collections and Westport Arts Advisory Committee.

No word on whether there’s an official ceremony for the award. If so, there will be no shortage of entertainment.

Staples and middle school musicians work hard to put on good shows. (Photo/Inklings)

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Speaking of the arts: White Barn — Lucille Lortel’s famed experimental theater that straddled the Westport-Norwalk line — and the actress/director’s nearby home were demolished a while ago.

Now a number of trees have been cleared too, in preparation for the construction of 15 homes.

Some remaining wetlands won’t be touched, nor will 5 acres around the pond that are now part of the Norwalk Land Trust.

But this is the scene, not far from what was once the White Barn Theater:

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And speaking of the theater (again): The Westport Country Playhouse is still going strong. However, due to COVID, its 4 productions are online this year.

But the stage won’t be completely dark. Three cabaret performances will take place live. The special shows — music and comedy, with limited seating — are benefits for the storied theater.

On June 26, Brad Simmons and Tony Pinkins present Broadway favorites, contemporary covers, classics and more.

Larry Owens’ “Sondheimia” (July 17) explores time, love and ambition through Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics.

Tony Award winner Ali Stroker shares songs from her repertoire on July 24.

Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday (May 14, noon). Click here for information and purchases.

Meanwhile, the Playhouse is partnering with the Connecticut Comedy Festival to present Michael Ian Black. The show is this Saturday (May 15, 7 p.m.) — and while it’s live, it’s outdoors. Attendees should bright chairs, to set up in the parking lot. Food will be available for purchase in the garden.

Black is remembered for the cult classic film “Wet Hot American Summer” and the Netflix series of the same name, as well as his work in the comedy troupe The State. Click here for tickets and more information.

The Westport Country Playhouse offers limited seating for this year’s cabarets.(Photo/Robert Benson)

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The Westport Garden Club’s annual sale — a beloved event since 1928, though canceled last year by COVID — returns this Friday (May 14, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.).

More than 1,000 perennials, including native varieties, will be for sale on Jesup Green. Club members will be on hand to answer questions. Can you dig it?

Getting ready for the sale.

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Speaking of which: The Westport Garden Club’s plant sale is not the only place to ask questions.

This Monday (May 17, 7 p.m., Zoom), Wakeman Town Farm’s Pollinator Pathway talk offers a an opportunity to ask master gardeners: What to plant where? What’s eating my plants? How can I keep them happy?

University of Connecticut advanced master gardener Alice Ely and veggie whisperer/WTF farmer Ryan Brunelle will “field” questions. Click here to register.

Master gardener Ryan Brunelle.

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Digital Eye Strain and Computer Vision Syndrome are real issues. One of Mark Motyl’s young relatives suffers from looking too long and closely at his phone.

The pandemic exacerbated the problem, with remote learning and working, followed by more hours watching TV. Light-emitting pixels damage many eyes.

Motyl offers a solution. He’s the creator of Vivid-Tek — an immersive theater whose components hide in a credenza or bench.

Light from Vivid-Tek’s screens is reflected — not direct. Without sacrificing resolution, it is gentle, tolerable, and more “cinematic.”

Motyl’s screens can be used during the day for remote learning, Zoom calls, exercise classes, gaming and more. When not in use, they disappear into custom furniture.

Vivid-Tek’s showroom is at 1252 Post Road East (the former Splatterbox, near Fortuna’s). For more information click here, call 203-(203) 246-2011, or email info@vivid-tek.com.

Vivid-Tek’s screen and controls can be hidden in a bench.

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Last month, “06880” reported that 2 Bank of America branches — the one next to the Starbucks drive-through, and another further east on the Southport line — had been permanently closed.

But, BOA said, customers could use the main Westport branch — next to Design Within Reach.

Yesterday, I had a non-ATM banking need. I headed downtown.

Nope! Still closed!

That’ll teach me to read “06880.”

That about sums it up.

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Work on the Aquarion water tank opposite Staples High School is moving along. Earlier today, a huge concrete pour was captured by alert “06880” reader — who was probably stuck momentarily in traffic — Seth Schachter.

(Photo/Seth Schachter)

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Speaking of Staples: The boys rugby team is having a great season.

They’ve qualified for one of 16 spots at the national tournament in Kansas City June 17-19 — and are raising $50,000 to cover travel expenses. Click here for more information, and to help.

The 2021 Staples High School boys rugby team.

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Staples High School Class of 2011 graduate (and swim team captain/musician) Margot Bruce is finishing up an MFA in cinema at San Francisco State University. Her thesis project is a film called “Harbor.” But she needs to raise $15,000 to make it.

Margot has launched an Indigogo campaign (click here). Click below for a short video, in which she explains the film’s intriguing themes.

Click below to see Margot’s first-year film. Filmed entirely underwater, it is a metaphor for grieving the loss of a loved one.

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The canal separating Canal Road from Saugatuck Island floods regularly.

But not always.

Other times — like yesterday — it looks like this:

(Photo/Dinkin Fotografik)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo comes from Eve Potts. Even the roadway near her Regents Park condo are beautiful this spring.

(Photo/Eve Potts)

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And finally … on this day in 1989, Ron Wilson died of a brain aneurysm, at 44. You may not know his name — but you sure know his drumming:

The Big Screen, Hidden In Plain Sight

Size matters.

But when you’re not watching your 110-inch in-home theater screen, it looks a little — well, big.

You love that screen for your on-demand movies. If only you had an on-demand screen.

Vivid-Tek is a brilliant, elegant solution. It’s an immersive theater whose components hide in a credenza or bench — which the buyer helps customize.

Just pop the lid, press a button and a 110-inch screen rises up.

Vivd-Tek’s credenza opens up into a wide-screen TV.

This is not some Hollywood mogul’s fantasy. It was created here in Westport, by Westporter Mark Motyl and his partners. You can see it right here too, in a striking new showroom.

Motyl knows big screens, and houses. A former bond trader, he pivoted to home building.

Mark Motyl

The pandemic helped inspire Vivid-Tek. With plenty of time to watch TV shows and movies, Motyl wondered how people’s entertainment needs had changed.

From his home building, he knew that basement theaters are not perfect. They are downstairs, out of the way. The equipment can be complex. Theater seating is inflexible.

Motyl realized that people wanted something accessible. It had to fit in with existing decor. And it could not ruin a wall.

Motyl partnered with well-known Bridgeport cabinet maker Christopoulos Designs and leading tech firms to meld form and function.

Each Vivid-Tek houses a motorized retractable screen, and a top-of-the-line short throw projector. The 4K picture is crisp and clear. Great sound comes from Dolby Atmos speakers.

Vivid-Tek’s screen and controls can also be hidden in a bench.

An Apple 4K TV controls the system. Anything on your phone (or other devices) can be projected onto the screen.

Vivid-Tek turns out to be great for Zoom and other calls too. Families don’t have to crowd around a laptop to talk to Grandma; kids can relax and see everyone on the big screen during distance learning. Motyl’s neighbors’ daughter even had her first piano lesson via Vivid-Tek.

Big-screen TVs are not just for movies. One of the Motyls’ neighbors takes piano lessons via Vivid-Tek technology and design.

Yet the idea would never have happened if Motyl’s bond desk hadn’t moved from midtown Manhattan to Stamford in 2002. That led him to Westport — and eventually, building spec homes.

Just before the transfer, he and his wife Sarah Green — a former professional ballerina who was attending Columbia University — had built a weekend home on Long Island. The project solidified his love for real estate, architecture and design.

The couple, with a young son, looked for a new-build home here, but they all seemed identical. Then they found a teardown on Woody Lane, with a great lot.

Mark continued trading bonds. They had 2 more children. The couple designed their new home to be unique and fun. Mark contracted the work himself.

He enjoyed the work so much, he followed with new construction on Cross Highway and Beachside Avenue.

Mark’s homes are different and handsome. And now — thanks to Vivid-Tek — their owners can enjoy big-screen home entertainment centers on the main floor, hidden in plain sight.

The flagship showroom is at 1252 Post Road East (the former Splatterbox, near Fortuna’s). Customers can reserve a time slot. Virtual presentations are also available. For an appointment or more information, click here, call 203-800-9951 or email info@vivid-tek.com.