Ozzy ROAR Therapy Dog to Visit Library During Exams

Ozzy
Ozzy

Ozzy, a Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue (ROAR) certified therapy dog will be visiting the Library during extended hours for midterm exams. Ozzy and his owner Anna will be located on the first level of the Library across from the Welcome Desk on Thursday, January 8th and Monday, January 12th from 7-8pm. Ozzy will be availble to help ease the stress and calm the nerves of studying students. If you're in the Library during those times be sure to stop by and say hello to this sweet beast.

December 2014 Local Theatre Shows

Marlene S. Gaylinn
Marlene S. Gaylinn

By Marlene S. Gaylinn, December 2014

CT Critics Circle / ctcritics.org

PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE
Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT

"The Underpants,” which played last season at Long Wharf Theatre, was a hilarious satire about German society. It was so successful that Gordon Edelstein is directing another clever work by multi-talented Steve Martin called,  “Picasso At The Lapin Agile.” 

This comedy takes place in Paris at the beginning of the 20th century, when this lively city was the hub of some of the world’s greatest geniuses.The Lapin Agile, which translated means “nimble rabbit,” was actually one of their meeting places. Supposedly, mingling over a drink for hours allowed the exchange of creative ideas in every field possible.This setting also became the inspiration for Steve Martin who imagined what it must have been like for a variety of eccentrics to meet in one place and crash heads, while tolerating individual personalities.

And so, we are taken back in time for a glimpse of what was in the minds of advanced thinkers about a century ago.The ensemble of characters are:  Albert Einstein (Robbie Tann), Pablo Picasso (Grayson Dejesus), an elderly, customer named, “Gaston” (David Margulies), the friendly and wise bar tender (Tom Rus Farrell), his sexy partner, Germain (Penny Balfour), three women of various stature in society, all played by talented, Dina Shihabi, a strange, futuristic visitor in blue suede shoes (Jake Silbermann), a photographer named, “Sagot”(Ronald Guttman), and finally, a hyperactive  businessman who masquerades as a genius and holds the colorful name,  “Schmendiman” (Jonathan Spivey).

For those who don’t know why the fictitious name “Schmendiman” sounds so amusing, I should point out that is a play on the Yiddish word “schmendrick,” which is often used to downgrade or joke about someone. “He’s a schmendrick!” refers to “A little fool or clown” and implies, that he should know better. And, living up to his character’s name, Spivey  milks his small, comic role to the fullest.

This one-act comedy explores the nature of creativity.  In doing so, Martin assumes that there are all kinds of geniuses and that they can meet on common ground for the purpose of enjoying each other’s company and exchanging ideas. Keep in mind that Martin’s is toying with real characters and a fantasy created by his own genius.

Plays to Dec. 21st Tickets:  203-787-4284

WAR
Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, CT

Don’t let the title throw you because this World Premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre is not about politicians  nor a protest against war.  In fact, there are so many abstract, loose threads about: evolution, comparisons of past and present societies, social classes, racial and family relationships, sibling rivalries, methods of and/or lack of communications between family members, misplaced values, philosophical messages from the dead, etc. etc. that it’s hard to figure out the main theme and understand what this young, black playwright, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, is trying to say.  Even if you refer to your program notes beforehand, you won’t have the slightest hint about what this play is about until the end of Act Two, when a touching letter is translated from German.  Had we started with the letter in Act 1, and worked backwards, perhaps the work might have made more sense and impact.

Act One begins with the cast of humans and ape-like characters laughing symbolically at the audience.  Like the musical “Cabaret,” we assume that the audience is supposed to be a reflection of both the viewer and participant. We then realize that the woman we see highlighted in the hospital bed off to one side, is in a coma.  The apes that she is trying to communicate with in her imagination are apparently guiding her passage in and out of reality.  Are the apes representative of how the Germans viewed black people? Are they her inner conscience?  Do they represent us and/or human evolution from a primitive culture?  Their reason for being is not made clear.

It’s important to know the German word; “mishlingkinder”refers to the mixed-children who were fathered by black soldiers during World War II,  because these children and the grandchildren that followed serve as a background to the play.

Supposedly, this cultural mix accounts for the attitudes among the present generations who have somehow come to live in the United States at the present time. However, this information and particularly how important it is to us, if at all, needs further development.  Play notes are not enough.

Today, children of many cultures are alienated. They are so engrossed in themselves and their toys that they ignore present reality, the passage of time, past history and family relationships – so what’s new about this? There needs to be something more significant to touch us emotionally than just a letter from a dying matriarch. 

As the play stands now, this is still a “work in progress.”Lileana Blain-Cruz directs the hard-working cast of hooting apes and quarreling children. The modern, off-center lines of the set, designed by Mariana Hernandez, is the eye-catching highlight of the entire production.

Plays to Dec. 13th              Tickets 203-432-1234

Write for Rights with Amnesty International

Amnesty International
Amnesty International

Wednesday, December 10 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Join Amnesty International in celebrating Human Rights Day, December 10, 7:30-9:00 in the Harris Room.
At the Write for Rights action we will help Prisoners of Conscience, stand with human rights defenders and put a face on human rights issues. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information call 203-246-8608 or visit our FB @ facebook.com/westportAIgroup

Genealogy Drop-In Help

Will you discover royalty in your family?
Will you discover royalty in your family?

Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 12 noon
On the Second Level

Do you want to get started on your family history? Or do you know exactly where you're getting stuck and need help. Skilled genealogist, Steve Anderson, can help! He can help you find elusive ancestors' military records, census data, birth certificates and more using Ancestry.com Library Edition, Heritage Quest, and FamilySearch. 

To find him, just come to the Second Level and ask the Reference Librarian for Steve! 

Steve is the president of the Middlesex Genealogical Society

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...

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.

The Gift of the Bird Feeder

Find it outside the Holds' area window.
Find it outside the Holds' area window.

This lovely bird feeder is a gift to the Library from Joe and Patty Warren of Wild Birds Unlimited. We're so thankful for this generous gift. Barbara of Readers' Advisory says we'll need to wait a week or so before we'll see birds visiting it.

To see the bird feeder, either come in through the Post Road entrance to the Library and look to the right. Or go into the Holds area behind the Welcome Desk. The bird feeder is visible outside the window. 

What kind of birds do you think we'll see at it this winter? 

Flowers from Kids Care Club

Alan and Sydney
Alan and Sydney

Sydney from Tokeneke School brought in recycled flowers that the Kids Care Club made as "a thank you" to Darien Library. She is pictured with Alan, our Chief Administrative Officer. You can find the flowers at the Welcome Desk and in the Children's Library.

Thank you, Kids Care Club!

Darien Now Provides a Location to Dispose of Unwanted/Expired Drugs

Seal of Darien, CT
Seal of Darien, CT

Get rid of any unwanted, expired or unused drugs now. They can be dropped off FREE with no questions asked! Please, do not bring needles; this program is for meds ONLY.

Citizens looking to dispose of unwanted, excess and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications will be now be able to utilize the safe and secure permanent drop off box located in the lobby of the Darien Police Department at 25 Hecker Ave. The lobby of the Darien Police Headquarters is open to the public 24 hours every day.

The Darien Health Department has partnered with the Darien Police Department to establish a permanent drug collection program in order to reduce the supply of drugs that can potentially harm teens and adults as well as protecting the environment from the improper disposal of these drugs.

For more information, view the flyer.

 

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