Bunny by the Darien Library Garden

A few weeks ago, the Library planted its first vegetable garden. Since then we've spotted a new friend who is *very* interested in our little garden plot...

June 2014 Local Theatre Shows

Marlene S. Gaylinn
Marlene S. Gaylinn

Marlene S. Gaylinn shares her reviews on local theatre in Connecticut and New York in the Marchedition of her newsletter, On CT & NY Theatre. This month's shows are:

Read Gaylinn's reviews.

  • "American Ballet Theater" at Metropolitan Opera House. Plays till June 28th
  • "Mary Poppins" at Westchester B'way Theatre. Plays till July 27th
  • "Sing for your Shakespeare" at Westport Country Playhouse. Plays till June 28th.

A Bonus review:

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA

The sky was clear, the stars were bright, and it was a perfect opening night for “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” at Norwalk’s Pinkney Park.  This seldom-performed comedy, said to be one of Shakespeare’s earliest works is mainly about love and loyalty.  The plot is a bit convoluted so it would be wise to read the Program’s Synopsis before the show begins.

In short, two close buddies from Verona, “Proteus” (Ben Chase) and “Valentine” (Nicholas Urda) are coming of age and thinking about their future.  Proteus is sure that he’s in love with “Julia” (Medina Senchore) and is busy writing her love letters while his comic servant, “Speed,” (Matthew Dalton Lynch), cautions him about the nature of love.  Meanwhile, Valentine bid Proteus farewell and is off to Milan in his quest for new adventures.  Along the way, Valentine falls in love with Sylvia (Katie Wieland).  As luck would have it, Proteus is sent to Milan, and while there, he falls in love with Sylvia too.  If you find your way through the forest of love and loyalty, there are enough conflicts between the two men, the two women, the fathers, and even the servants to form a Gordian knot. And, like all fairytales everything neatly untangles in the end.

The clever stage set, by Brian Prather, features two, giant, volumes of Shakespeare.  One of the books lies flat and acts like a platform while its pages are used as steps.  The upright, volume, opened to the play, “The Two Gentlemen of Varona” serves as a backdrop.  The actors, clad in rich and colorful costumes by Grier Coleman, carry cardboard signs, pieces of architecture, trees and other props giving the overall impression of a child’s pop-up book.  The mood lighting by Harrick Goldman and sound design by Shannon Slaton is perfect. Every word can easily be heard.

Director Claire Shannon Kelly should be congratulated for seizing every opportunity to make this obscure comedy come alive.  The use of recorded, classical music is particularly effective.  As one member of our party declared, the lively interludes reminded her of the “Bugs Bunny” cartoons she loved as a child.  It’s very hard to single out any of the leading cast members. Nicholas Urda, Ben Chase, Medina Senghore and Katie Wieland are right in character and give outstanding performances. The hard-working supporting cast and crew deserve extra applause too. 

Tune your eyes and ears to Matthew Dalton Lynch’s interpretation of the clownish “Speed.”  We loved his rubber-limbed antics and major speech illustrating how love is blind.  The long pause, just before the word, “blind,” is sure to invite audience response while the popular phrase sinks in.

Another amusing highlight is “Launce”(Tom Pecinka) the servant to Proteus, who is accompanied by his dog, “Crab.” Crab is really Oliver, a 65-pound, adorable dog  (look for his trainer who sits in the front wearing a white cap).  The love for a pet is sweetly portrayed when Pecinka laments over the trouble his dog is always causing.  However, his love for Crab is so strong that the clown is willing to take full blame for wherever his dog makes a deposit. Oliver looks up with innocent expressions and plays his part well too.

Bring the whole family, come early and picnic in the park.  Blanket and low chairs have separate areas.  Flashlights and jackets come in handy. Bugs are not very annoying.

Plays to June 29 – Oudoors @ 7:30 pm.  Street Parking. Free/Donation requested.

Play: Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well & Living In Paris

The poster
The poster

May 2nd, 3rd, 9th, and 10th at 8 p.m.
May 4th at 2 p.m.

Darien Arts Center, 2 Renshaw Road in Darien

The famous French singer-songwriter Jacques Brel would have been 85 years old this month. To celebrate his life and talent, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, a show described as a cabaret style revue, will be performed for two weekends in the DAC Weatherstone Studio in May. 

Each song is a story unto itself and woven together to shape the fabric of the human experience and a full range of emotions. Some songs will make you laugh; some will make you cry and all will make you think. The Belgian born, French resident, Jacques Brel, wrote the original music and lyrics and they were translated and adapted for English speaking audiences by Eric Blau and Mort Shuman. It is being presented with special permission by Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Learn more and purchase tickets

Darien Collectors' Car Show

This 1961 356 Porsche Roadster will be in the 2014 Darien Collectors’ Car Show. The car  won the “People's Choice” award at the first show seven years ago. (c)AutoPhotos 2012, Ed Hyman
This 1961 356 Porsche Roadster will be in the 2014 Darien Collectors’ Car Show. The car won the “People's Choice” award at the first show seven years ago. (c)AutoPhotos 2012, Ed Hyman

The 9th Annual Darien Collector’s Car Show will be held at Tilley Pond Park at the corner of Lakeside and West Avenues in Darien, CT, on Father’s Day, June 15th, 2014, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Over 120 premium vintage and modern, high-performance cars will be on display. All ages welcome for this fun Father’s Day event. Admission is $5.00. Children under 6 are free. The Darien Lion’s Club will be selling hot dogs and hamburgers. Free parking available in the commuter parking lots. The rain date is June 22nd. More information at: dariencollectorscarshow.com and tel: 203-912-8720. All net proceeds will benefit At Home in Darien, a nonprofit 501(c)3, which helps Darien seniors remain in their homes and community as they age.

Show sponsors are: Darien BMW, Collectors Car Garage in Bedford Hills, GPNY in Mt Kisco and Automotive Restorations Inc. in Stratford.

March 2014 Local Theatre Shows

Marlene S. Gaylinn
Marlene S. Gaylinn

Marlene S. Gaylinn shares her reviews on local theatre in Connecticut and New York in the Marchedition of her newsletter, On CT & NY Theatre. This month's shows are:

Read Gaylinn's reviews.

  • "Ragtime" at Westchester Broadway Theatre. Plays till May 4th
  • "400 Miles" at Long Wharf Theatre. Plays till March 16th

Romantic Comedy Opens This Weekend

Sarah and Joe rehearsing.
Sarah and Joe rehearsing.

Friday, March 14, 21, 28 at 8 pm

Saturday, March 15, 22, 29 at 8 pm

Sunday, March 16 and 23 at 2 pm

Sirens, a comedy about marriage written by Deborah Zoe Laufer, opens this weekend through Darien Arts Center Stage on Friday, March 14th at 8 pm.  It tells the story of a husband’s reawakening as he struggles with a mid-life and mid-marriage crisis through the process of celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary. With both wise and funny dialogue, the characters ring true and strike a chord for anyone who has been in a relationship that has stood the test of time. This play was acknowledged as “the Festival’s smash hit” at the 2010 Humana Festival of New American Plays and has never before been produced in this area.

It is being directed by Carin Zakes, who has an established reputation for excellence with the support of Mario Fuentes as Assistant Director and Maggie Pangrazio as Producer. Regina Elliott, James Kamensky, Joseph Maker and Sarah Smegal provide the acting talent with zeal and professionalism.

Performances will be held at the Darien Arts Center Weatherstone Studio, behind town hall at 2 Renshaw Road on Friday and Saturday March 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29 at 8 pm and on Sunday, March 16 and 23 at 2 pm.  On Saturday, March 15, the cast and director will offer an informal “talk back” after the show.  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by going online at Darienarts.org or by calling the box office at 203-655-5414.

DAC Stage Audition for Sirens

Picture yourself on stage!
Picture yourself on stage!

DAC Stage will hold auditions for Sirens, by Deborah Zoe Laufer, on January 7 and 8th from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the DAC Visual Arts Studio at 2 Renshaw Road. Call backs, if required, will be held on January 9th at 7:00 p.m. Carin Zakes to direct.

Play Description

This delightful new play was a hit at the 2010 Humana Festival of New American plays as it explores the poignancy of a once passionate relationship that has lost its sizzle. When Sam fell in love with Rose he wrote her a song that has been covered by every recording artist and translated to every language. And for twenty-five years, Sam has been looking for the creative spark that this first flush of love had inspired in him – to no avail. And while on a cruise to celebrate the anniversary of their marriage, Sam hears the most sublime music ever heard, jumps overboard, and winds up with a Siren. And there on her island he must struggle with the terrors of middle age, the tortures of creative failure, and the desire to live in his past rather than face his uncertain future. And he must find a way to get home and win his wife back. You can find more information about the play at http://www.samuelfrench.com/p/2254/sirens

The cast will consist of:

  • Rose, in her 40s or 50s
  • Sam, in his 40s or 50s
  • The Siren, in her 20s, who also plays waitress and a travel agent and is a contemporary version of mythical siren
  • Richard, a man in his 20s who will play a man in his 40s to 50s

During the audition you will be asked to read scenes from the play. Sides will be provided.

Performances Dates

March 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29 at 8:00 p.m.

March 16 & 23 at 2:00 p.m. in the DAC Weatherstone Studio.

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