Wednesday, December 08, 2021

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Arts and Leisure

Director: Library Visitors Increased Since Reopening

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In a review of the impact on the Westport Library since the June 23 reopening, Bill Harmer, executive director, told the Westport Rotary Club today the number of visitors has increased by almost 50%. Harmer said the library averaged 1,100 visitors per day in 2018 and bolted to 1,600 recently. He added, “One of my gratifying observations — we’ve never seen so many teens using the library.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Granger at the Movies: ‘Blinded by the Light,’ ‘Scary Stories …’ ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

“Blinded by the Light” is a heartwarming, intergenerational dramedy about a Pakistani/British teen who falls in love with Bruce Springsteen’s music, Gurinder Chadha (“Bend It like Beckham”) delivers one of the last — and best — cinematic gifts of the summer.

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Settling in the tiny, working-class town of Luton, Javed Khan’s (Viveik Kalra) family were among the first Pakistanis on the block, inciting anti-immigrant racism from National Front fascists that continues on a daily basis. And when Javed’s stern father (Kulvinder Ghir) loses his job in 1987, things only get worse.

One day, a Sikh pal (Aaron Phagura) gives him cassette tapes of “Born in the U.S.A.” and “Darkness on the Edge of Town.” Suddenly, listening to Springsteen’s lyrics, Javed realizes he’s not alone in his confusion about identity, romance and yearning to escape. Basically, Javed’s world changes!

Javed yearns to be a writer but no one takes him seriously until, one day, in high school, an English teacher (Hayley Atwell) reads some of his work. That opens yet another door, one that leads him to Asbury Park, New Jersey, to visit the birthplace/home of The Boss.

Honoring Our Heritage: 2 Elliot Lane

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The owners of the house at 2 Elliot Lane, off Lyons Plains Road, are the newest recipients of a Westport Historical Society (WHS) historical plaque. Bob Weingarten (r), WHS plaque historian, presented the plaque, signifying the Burr-Sherwood House, circa 1790, to Jeff Dorta (l) and Jerald T.Bruno and their youngest son, Matthew, 15, a rising freshman at Staples High School. Their older son Charlie Dorta-Bruno, 18, will be a senior at Staples. The house was in the Sherwood family until 1919 The current owners acquired it in 2015 and performed extensive renovations while maintaining the historic architectural integrity. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Bob LeRose on the Blues and Healing

By James Lomuscio

The day after his 54th birthday, Bob LeRose sat in his Norwalk restaurant Bobby Q’s and talked about miracles.

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Bob LeRose at his Norwalk restaurant. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“I made another one,” he said.

Two years ago, LeRose had a 20-pound, cancerous tumor that had been deemed inoperable removed from his thigh.

“I’m sharing it, talking about it now; I’ve had seven surgeries in eight years,” he recalled about trips to Sloan Kettering in New York City, Montefiore Hospital in Bronx, New York and immunotherapy sessions in Austria.

Packed House for Dennis DeYoung and Music of Styx

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Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx drew a packed crowd tonight at the Levitt Pavilion. The rock band from Chicago formed in 1972 and became famous for its albums released in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Of their eight top 10 singles, seven were written and sung by founding member and former lead singer DeYoung, including their No. 1 chart topper, “Babe.” The ticketed event supports the Levitt’s more than 50 free nights of summer entertainment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

Historical Society Opens Two New Exhibits

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The Westport Historical Society tonight hosted a reception for two new exhibits. One, “Vision & Dignity: The Art of George Hand Wright, is a retrospective that examines the work and life of the Pennsylvania-born artist who moved his home and studio to the then-sleepy farm town of Westport in 1908. Pictured is Edward F. Gerber, lead exhibit sponsor and a George Hand Wright collector who resides in the Cross Highway house where George Hand Wright lived until he died in 1951. The other exhibit, “Taking the Cure,” casts a lens on the social management of mental illness from the dawn of psychiatric care in the 19th century through the 1960s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com