December 18, 2014

‘Magic of Christmas’ Now on Show at Florence Griswold Museum, Events Galore Through Holiday Season

Palettes_on_treeThe perennially popular “Magic of Christmas” exhibition is now open at the Florence Griswold Museum on Lyme St. in Old Lyme.  For more than a century visitors to Miss Florence’s house and the quaint village of Old Lyme, Conn. have found the perfect destination to rekindle their holiday and creative spirit.

This year, the Museum will unveil ‘The Skaters’ by Miriam Barer — a generous gift of the Tamsky family — and host several new activities and budget-friendly discount packages along with the ”Magic of Christmas” exhibition, which runs through Jan. 4, 2015.

A holiday activity list for Museum visitors should include a ‘selfie’ in front of one of the three unique and iconic trees (use #FloGrisTree) dressed in more than 150 painted palettes in a variety of styles and scenes in the Krieble Gallery.

Enjoy a stroll through the historic late-Georgian style Griswold House decorated as it was in 1910 and stop in for a Sunday ‘Joy in the Making’ with hands-on arts and crafts.

It’s also possible to spend a day with the Snow Queen on Saturday, Dec. 13, and celebrate Miss Florence’s birthday at a party with cake and crafting on Sunday, Dec. 28.

Nationally acclaimed illustrator Tim O'Brien painted this creative new palette for this year's tree.

Nationally acclaimed illustrator Tim O’Brien painted this creative new palette for this year’s tree.

For over a decade, visitors from across the region have admired the painted palettes on Miss Florence’s Artist Trees in the Krieble Gallery. This year 12 palettes will be added to the collection of pieces created by more than 140 noted artists from across the country who have donated works; an effort that alludes to the door and wall panels artists painted throughout Miss Florence’s boardinghouse over a century ago.

'The Skaters' by Miriam Barer

‘The Skaters’ by Miriam Barer

The Museum is proud to unveil ‘The Skaters’ by Miriam Barer, a generous gift of the Tamsky Family that will be displayed in the historic Griswold House.  Also on display in the Griswold House will be Three Fantasy Trees – one a nod to Tonalist art, one celebrates Impressionism, and the other captures the spirit of the painting “The Skaters.”

Painted in 1943 and inspired by the novel outdoor rink at New York’s newly-completed Rockefeller Center, Barer captures the energy of the city during the holiday season in ‘The Skaters.’  The New Haven-born Barer trained at the Yale School of Fine Arts, where she learned the ancient technique of egg tempera painting, using pigments she ground by hand. ‘The Skaters’ relies on this method, borrowed from early Italian painting, but the artist updates the composition with swooping angles and rippling silhouettes that announce the vitality of the contemporary American Scene. This painting captures the delight of winter.

Other events at the Museum through out the holiday season are as follows:

Christmas Time Teas

Tuesdays through Saturdays at 3 p.m. from Dec. 5-20

Museum visitors can relax and celebrate the holiday season at one of the afternoon Christmastime Teas featuring delicious scones with clotted cream, tea sandwiches and cookies prepared by Gourmet Galley, a local caterer known for delicious flavors and impeccable presentations. Savor a cup of “Miss Florence’s Tea” which is a special blended tea from Sundial Gardens. Reservations are required. Call 860-434-5541 x. 111. Cost is $35 (members $30). The fee includes admission to the Museum and a 10% discount to the Museum Shop, which is filled with a carefully curated array of gifts and treasures.

Art Bar Happy Hour: Decorate Glass Ornaments

On Dec. 9 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

This popular evening event takes a holiday twist. Gather your friends, enjoy a glass of wine and create a gift-worthy masterpiece. This event is for guests 21 and over and is a great excuse to have a girl’s night while creating gift-worthy piece of art with the assistance of the museum’s talented instructors. For reservations call 860-434-5542 or visit

Girls Night Out Special

December 5 – January 4, 2015

To extend a Museum visit or night out at the Florence Griswold Art Bar Happy Hour, walk across the road to the Old Lyme Inn for a holiday meal featuring traditional comfort food with a modern twist.  Built circa 1856 and once part of a 300-acre-estate, The Old Lyme Inn’s bar and restaurant feature a full menu and holiday inspired cocktails including the Miss. Florence’s Chocolate Martini for $8 and a specialty FloGris Bailey’s Coffee for $6. The Inn’s SideDoor Jazz club features live music and was voted “Best Live Jazz” by Connecticut  Magazine. For details and the discount code visit

Joy in the Making: A Creative Approach to the Holidays

Sundays, Dec. 7, 14, 21, 28 and Jan. 4 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Sunday visitors of all ages are invited to make mirth and more during these fun-filled holiday craft workshops.  Come delight in several creative projects relating to the spirit of the season and the decorations on view.  Workshop included with museum admission.

“O Artist Tree,” An Old Lyme Escape for Ye

December 5 – January 4, 2015

The historic Bee & Thistle Inn has designed a relaxing escape for two in time for the holidays. Spend the day exploring The Florence Griswold Museum and shopping in Old Lyme and enjoy a perfect retreat and dinner for two. The winter package includes two night’s accommodations and gourmet breakfast each morning, Champagne and chocolates upon arrival, a one hour Swedish couples massage, dinner for two at the Chestnut Grille and lounge and two passes to the Florence Griswold Museum. Midweek package starts at $600 and weekend packages are $750.  For details and reservations visit

Meet the Snow Queen: Crafting and Tea Party

Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Children of all ages will love this daylong crafting and tea party, enjoying sweet treats and celebrating with the Snow Queen who will share stories and song before posing for pictures every hour on the half hour from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Included with museum admission. And children 12 and under are always free.

Baking Chez Moi Book Talk & Signing

On Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.

Called a “culinary guru” by The New York Times, Dorie Greenspan is a celebrated author of nine cookbooks including Around My French Table and Baking: From My Home to Yours. Dorie will discuss and sign her latest book, Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere, a collection of simple desserts from French home cooks and chefs. Talk included with museum admission and cookbooks will be available for purchase.

Miss Florence’s Birthday Bash

On Dec. 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Museum will host a hands-on-creative celebration of Miss Florence’s Christmas Day birthday in its Hartman Education Center.  Guests will enjoy birthday cake and fun celebratory activities to honor the woman who started it all. Miss. Florence would be 164 this year, but age is just a number. Included with museum admission.

Ode to the New Year: Harp Music by Faith Leitner

On Wednesday, Dec. 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Come and hear harpist Faith Leitner play Miss. Florence’s favorite instrument, a relaxing way to begin New Year’s Eve celebrations. Included with museum admission.

Life Stories in Art

Oct. 3-Jan. 25

Together, these three exhibitions highlight the contributions of three important women artists in Connecticut in three different media over the course of three centuries. The Museum’s Krieble Gallery will feature more than 70 works by 19th century painter Mary Rogers Williams; 20th century sculptor Mary Knollenberg; and contemporary glass artist Kari Russell-Pool. Although separate exhibitions, they each carry the theme “Life Stories in Art” and serve as an exploration of these women’s individual journeys of sacrifice, self-discovery, and balancing multiple roles in the pursuit of their art.

The Florence Griswold Museum’s Krieble Gallery and Griswold House are open Tuesday – Saturday, 10-5 and Sunday, 1-5 and will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day,. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students and free to visitors 12 and under. Admission includes access to exhibitions, the historic Florence Griswold House, and the rest of the Museum’s grounds.

Founded in 1936, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is a center for American art and history accredited by the American Association of Museums.  Located in a stately Late Georgian mansion designed by Samuel Belcher and built in 1817, the Museum and its grounds served in the early years of the twentieth century as the center for the Lyme Art Colony, one of America’s most famous art colonies.

Today, the Florence Griswold Museum is complimented by the contemporary architecture of the award-winning Krieble Gallery and together stand as one of the only places in America where visitors can walk through a landscape setting, view paintings of those landscapes and experience first-hand where a colony of prominent American artists lived and worked. The recipient of a Trip Advisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence and ranked as the number one attraction in Old Lyme, the Florence Griswold Museum has been called “Giverny in Connecticut” by the Wall Street Journal, and a “must-see” by the Boston Globe.

With an eye toward the integration of art, history and landscape in all of its program plans, the Museum has spent the last 10 years redefining itself as a central part of community life –building an education center for hands-on experiential programs, constructing an award-winning exhibition gallery for its collections, and completing a thorough restoration of the Griswold House as a boardinghouse for artists, c. 1910.

Visit for more information, including history, events and hours of operation.


Sing – or Listen to – the Messiah with ECS Chorus, Orchestra, Dec. 20

The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Chorus, accompanied by members of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Eastern Connecticut Chorus Conductor, Mark Singleton, presents a ‘Messiah Sing’ on Saturday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m. at Harkness Chapel on the Connecticut College campus.  The concert will feature Handel’s Messiah Christmas Portion.

Singers are encouraged to come and join the group in song.  Bring your own score, if you have it.  However, all are welcome to enjoy the glorious music.

Tickets are $15.

For more information, email or call 860.443.2876.


Con Brio Presents ‘Star-Spangled’ Christmas Concert in Old Lyme This Afternoon

Ransom Bruce

Ransom Bruce

Con Brio, the shoreline’s renowned all-auditioned chorus, will present its annual Christmas concert on Dec. 12 and 14, at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme.  Directed by Dr. Stephen Bruce with keyboardist, Assistant Director Susan Saltus, the choir is joined by the Con Brio Festival Orchestra and soloists, Adele Paxton, Karli Gilbertson, Ransom Bruce and Greg Flower.  Con Brio’s Christmas Concerts have become an eagerly awaited, joyous holiday event.

This year is the 200th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”  Con Brio will sing a very special arrangement written by Connecticut native Dudley Buck (1839-1909), one of the most successful American composers of the post-Civil War era.  The audience will have a chance to join in singing our national anthem.

The concert continues with two very different approaches to Christmas themes.  Schubert’s rarely performed Magnificat in C Major, drawing from the classical mass tradition, uses Mary’s text expressing joy and thanksgiving.  Astonishingly, Schubert composed this piece over a period of 10 days when he was only 18-years-old.  Stroope’s Cantus Natalis offers a powerful contemporary celebration of Jesus’ birth, with a fourth movement reminiscent of Orff’s Carmina Burana in its rhythmic dynamism.  Stroope’s shorter piece, “Winter,” thrilled an earlier Con Brio audience and this piece is certain to do the same.

The second half of the concert includes two of the most popular motets of the twentieth century, Franz Beibl’s Ave Maria and Distler’s Wachet Auf.  Beibl’s piece, an amalgam of early chant and contemporary choral writing, soared to popularity when it was recently recorded by Chanticleer.  Distler’s piece uses the well-known chorale tune (Sleepers, Wake) to construct a piece wholly different from the original.  Con Brio will then, as is now a tradition, spread out around the wonderful space of Christ the King to perform a 10-part motet by Giovanni Gabrieli.


The audience will be invited to sing along with a Hanukah favorite, Hanerot Halalu and some favorite Christmas carols.  The concert concludes with a rousing Christmas spiritual, Oh Jerusalem and a powerful arrangement of We Saw Three Ships.Con Brio Presents A Star-Spangled Christmas with Con Brio – Dec. 12 and 14

Buy your tickets early from any Con Brio member, online at, or by calling 860 526 5399.  Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for students.  The Dec. 12 concert begins at 8 p.m., the 14th at 3 p.m., at Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Road, Old Lyme, CT.


See ‘The Carol of the Bells’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through Dec. 21

Jenna Berloni and R. Bruce Connelly*

Jenna Berloni and R. Bruce Connelly*

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to Dublin to visit Paddy and the gang at Bell’s Pub.  But what is going on here?  Guinness and Irish Stew are gone and tapas and red wine are on the menu??  Oh Paddy, did the crock of gold that the leprechauns gave you go to your head?

An original holiday production for the whole family, written and directed by Ivoryton Playhouse Executive Director, Jacqueline Hubbard, The Carol of the Bells – the sequel to The Bells of Dublin – opens tonight at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Hubbard comments, “An Irish pub, great music and Christmas – the winning trifecta for a fun filled, family holiday show.  We had such a terrific time with Paddy Bell and his family last Christmas I couldn’t resist bringing him back again this year.  So, if you enjoyed The Bells of Dublin, come back and see what trouble Paddy gets into this year.  And if you missed it last year, no worries; when the curtain goes up and we’re in Paddy’s pub, everyone is family!”

Norm Rutty and Michael McDermott*

Norm Rutty and Michael McDermott*

This funny and fantastic tale is filled with songs you know and songs you wish you did – with a band of local musicians directed by Melanie Guerin, who also arranged much of the music. The cast includes many Playhouse favorites – R. Bruce Connelly*, Michael McDermott*, Ted Philips and Norm Rutty from the local band Save the Train, Jenna Berloni, Nancy and David Cardone,  Olivia Harry,  Larry Lewis, Maggie McGlone Jennings, Michael Hotkowski, Holly Price and Celeste Cumming.  The set for this production is designed by Dan Nischan, costumes by Breeana Korcak and lights by Marcus Abbott.

Experience the true magic of the season Dublin style with this original Christmas musical – for two weeks only.

The Bells of Dublin Part Two: The Carol of the Bells runs through Dec. 21.  Performance times are Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.  Evening performances are ThursdayFriday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.  There is also a Wednesday matinee on Dec. 17.  Tickets are $32 for adults, $30 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)  The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*member of Actors Equity


Musical Masterworks Offers Concert This Afternoon Featuring Jacobsen, Cords

Violinist Colin Jacobsen plays in this weekend's Musical masterworks' concerts. Photo by Sarah Small.

Violinist Colin Jacobsen plays in this weekend’s Musical Masterworks’ concerts.
Photo by Sarah Small.

Musical Masterworks will continue its series of chamber music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme with concerts on Saturday, December 6 at 5 pm and Sunday, December 7 at 3 pm.  Featured performers will include violinist Colin Jacobsen and violist Nicholas Cords.

Edward Arron will host this weekend's musical masterworks program

Edward Arron will host this weekend’s musical masterworks program

Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron will perform on cello and serve as host for the concerts.

The program will include an arrangement for string trio of J.S. Bach’s famousGoldberg Variations, originally written for keyboard; and 17th century composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s Passacaglia for solo violin.

Violinist Colin Jacobsen has won numerous awards including a recent Avery Fisher Career Grant.  He tours often with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and is equally acclaimed as a composer.  He and violist Nicholas Cords founded the ground breaking string quartet, Brooklyn Rider, an ensemble that is credited with recreating the 300 year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st century ensemble.   They will be joined by Edward Arron, an artist known as one of the finest cellists performing today.

Tickets are $35 with $5 student tickets available.  Visit or call 860-434-2252

The First Congregational Church is located at 2 Ferry Rd. in Old Lyme, CT 06371.


Commission a Poem to Support ‘Reach Out and Read CT’

Tish Rabe

Tish Rabe

Tish Rabe, the best-selling author of over 160 children’s books including the popular Dr. Seuss, Cat In the Hat Learning Library, is partnering with Reach Out and Read Connecticut in support of their mission – to prepare disadvantaged children for academic success.  Rabe is generously donating her time and her talents to create customized poems that celebrate the special moments in life including anything from the birth of a child to a retirement.

These poems are available for the public to purchase for $50 with 100% of the proceeds going to Reach Out and Read Connecticut.  The poems are called “Magical Milestones” and can be purchased at  The partners hope to raise $10,000 during the holiday season.

“I’m having fun creating original poems for families that they can enjoy for years to come.” said Ms. Rabe, a resident of Mystic, CT.  “I am a passionate supporter of early childhood literacy and know how important it is to get a free book into the hands of every low-income child in Connecticut.  I am happy to do whatever I can to make that happen.”

Focusing on low-income families, Reach Out and Read is a national organization that partners with medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children as well as support healthy brain and social/emotional development.  Reach Out and Read is far more than a book give-a-way program.  By leveraging the unique relationship between parents and medical providers, the program is able to positively change parental behavior and increase parent involvement in their children’s lives – a critical lever linked to the educational, emotional, physical, and social health of children.

“The Reach Out and Read model provides parents with personalized, age-appropriate advice about books and reading at every well-child visit from 6 months to 5 years, along with the gift of a new developmentally and culturally appropriate books.  Books are used by the medical provider at the beginning of the visit during developmental surveillance, and as a vehicle to offer concrete guidance to parents.  Armed with this guidance, parents make reading aloud a part of their daily routines,” said Dr. Catherine Wiley, Connecticut Medical Director for Reach Out and Read Connecticut.

She continues, “Among the many anticipatory guidance items medical providers have on their checklist, Reach Out and Read has the best evidence base.  Reach Out and Read is the only anticipatory guidance activity proven to promote child development.  When you participate in Reach Out and Read, you address a critical need with a successful model.  Children served by Reach Out and Read are read to more often, have better expressive and receptive language skills and are better prepared for success in school.”  Dr. Wiley, who practices at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, brought Reach Out and Read to Connecticut in the early 90’s and continues to champion the program.

“We are thrilled to be working with Rabe on this new endeavor and to have her as part of our Connecticut Advisory Board,” said Christine Garber, Connecticut Executive Director for Reach Out and Read.  “Her “Love You, Hug You, Read to You” book is fabulous and has been well received by our medical providers and families.  We are privileged to have such a creative and enthusiastic person supporting our mission.”

There are 70 Reach Out and Read programs throughout Connecticut predominately at community health centers, clinics and hospitals.  Their team of nearly 300 medical providers distribute close to 70,000 new children’s books each year.  Nearly 40,000 children and families receive the Reach Out and Read model in Connecticut.

“Research shows that if you partner with parents and intervene in the first five years of life, you can dramatically improve the early literacy skills of a child, putting them on the track for success in school and in life,” said Garber.  “Childhood development experts tell us that the most important thing that parents can do to prepare their children to succeed in school is to read aloud to them every day. “

The Reach Out and Read model is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the program has one of the strongest records of research support of any primary care intervention.  In a significant milestone earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a policy statement which, for the first time ever, formally recommends that pediatricians incorporate into every well-child visit both books and advice about reading, referencing Reach Out and Read as an effective intervention.  This is a significant step for both the organization and early literacy efforts.

Nationally, Reach Out and Read doctors and nurses distribute over 6.5 million books to more than 4 million children and their families annually at 5,000 pediatric practices, hospitals, clinics and health centers in all 50 states.  More than 20,000 medical providers nationwide currently participate in Reach Out and Read.

For more information, visit and


Two Exhibitions ~ Deck the Walls, Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty ~ on View at Lyme Art Association

The signature painting (above) for 'Deck the Walls' this year is ' Symphony of Light in Mountain and Trees' in oil by Faripour Forouhar.

The signature painting (above) for ‘Deck the Walls’ this year is ‘ Symphony of Light in Mountain and Trees’ in oil by Faripour Forouhar.

An opening reception for the Lyme Art Association’s annual Deck the Walls holiday show was held Friday evening.  Over 100 original works of art by member artists are on display and priced to sell as holiday gifts.  Also on view is Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty, a special exhibition of paintings showcasing the natural splendor of the Lyme-Old Lyme landscape.  Both exhibitions are on view through Jan. 3, 2015.

Joseph Newman, Executive Director of the Lyme Art Association, notes, “The Deck the Walls exhibition offers patrons and art lovers from throughout Connecticut and New England an opportunity to view and buy exceptional representational art at prices which make meaningful gift-giving easy.” He continues, “And this year, we’re thrilled to add Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty, an exceptional showcase of the local landscape created during a two-day ‘paint-out’ hosted by the Lyme Land Conservation Trust earlier this autumn.”

Lyme Art Association Member Artists of all levels (Individual, Associate and Elected) are invited to enter the Deck the Walls juried exhibition.

The Lyme Art Association is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and is located at 90 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, at the corner of Halls Road.

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Lyme Art Association is located in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within Old Lyme’s Historic District.

Admission is free with contributions appreciated. For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit


Cooley Gallery Kicks Off Season with Annual Holiday Exhibition

Let the holiday season begin!

The Cooley Gallery has announcd the opening of their annual holiday exhibition All Paintings Great and Small featuring historic and contemporary works of art 12″ in size or smaller.  For many in the area this annual exhibition, in its 27th year, has become an undisputed kick-off to the holiday season with a celebratory opening the Thursday before Thanksgiving.

More than 60 artists from around New England, with a concentration of works by artists in Connecticut, participate in this annual show.  Many well-known artists return to The Cooley Gallery in addition to several newly discovered talents showing for the first time.

As in years past, All Paintings Great and Small offers a wide range of subjects and media carefully chosen by the staff at the gallery.  Jeff Cooley notes, “Everyone gets involved in everything around here but especially with this exhibition: suggesting artists and choosing their favorites.  Lorre Broom, our gallery manager, orchestrates the logistics and Nancy Pinney, our website guru, makes sure the images are perfect and gets it all posted in time for people to get a start on their holiday shopping.”

Among the historic and contemporary paintings there will also be unique items in other media like fine jewelry by Linda Kindler Priest and Katharine Walker, sculptures by Michael McLaughlin and Dan Potter, and glasswork by Ludwig F. Ostfeld and Mundy Hepburn.

Three of the four galleries at 25 Lyme Street are hung “salon-style” with multiples from floor to ceiling, and a wealth of varied artwork.  Prices range from the low hundreds on up giving collectors at all levels a chance to acquire some truly wonderful original works of art.

The other exhibition in the back gallery features recent acquisitions, paintings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The show begins on Nov. 21 at The Cooley Gallery, 25 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT with an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m.  All Paintings Great and Small runs through January 11, 2014.

Located in downtown Old Lyme, The Cooley Gallery makes it an ideal spot to enjoy among the best of American art while celebrating the season with a great New England tradition.

Founded in 1981 and located in the heart of historic Old Lyme, the Cooley Gallery specializes in fine American paintings from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, and select contemporary artists.

Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Call (860) 434-8807 or visit for additional information.


‘Say Goodnight, Gracie’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Features George Burns’ Life, Laughter, Love

Bruce Connelly plays the indomitable George Burns. (Photographer: Rose Picarelli)

Bruce Connelly plays the indomitable George Burns in ‘Say Goodnight, Gracie.’  (Photographer: Rose Picarelli)

Ivoryton favorite Bruce Connelly is currently performing at the Playhouse in the hit Broadway show, Say Goodnight, Gracie.  This tour de force invites you to spend an hilarious, heart-warming evening in the uplifting company of the world’s favorite and funniest centenarian, George Burns, who spanned 100 years of American entertainment history.

Say Goodnight, Gracie was Broadway’s third longest running solo performance show and nominated for a 2003 Tony Award for Best Play and won the 2003-04 National Broadway Theatre Award also for Best Play.

In Say Goodnight, Gracie, George Burns looks back upon his impoverished, plucky youth on the lower East Side of New York … his disastrous but tenacious career in Vaudeville … the momentous day when he met a talented, young Irish girl named Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen … their instant chemistry, with his flawless timing a perfect mate to her dizzy delivery … his wooing of her, their marriage and their rise to the pinnacles of Vaudeville, movies, radio and television.

Gracie’s demise forced George to start from square one in life and in his career, in which he eventually achieved an equal level of success as a solo raconteur and Academy Award-winning actor.

Say Goodnight, Gracie was written by multiple Tony Award-winning playwright Rupert Holmes, whose Broadway credits include the Tony Award-winning musical The Mystery Of Edwin Drood and who is also creator and writer of the nostalgic Emmy Award-winning comedy series Remember WENN.

Connelly* appeared most recently at the Ivoryton Playhouse as Jim in the summer production All Shook Up.  Notable roles include Barney Cashman in Last Of The Red Hot Lovers, Max Bialystock in The Producers, Felix Unger in The Odd Couple, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Finian in Finian’s Rainbow.

Since 1993, Connelly has played Barkley, Jim Henson’s Muppet dog on Sesame Street for which he has been honored 15 times by the National Academy of Television and Radio at the Daytime Emmy Awards.

Say Goodnight, Gracie is a tender, funny, life-affirming love story … a personal guided tour through an American century in the company of George Burns, a man who laughingly lived and loved each day for all it had to offer, until he finally went “gently into that good night” to forever reunite with his beloved Gracie.

Say Goodnight, Gracie runs through Sunday, Nov. 16.  Directed by Michael McDermott, the set design is by Dan Nischan, lighting by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Kari Crowther.

Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.  Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity
Sponsored by Clark Corporation and Essex Meadows


Holiday Show & Sale in Old Lyme

A group of local artists and crafters is hosting their popular 9th Annual Holiday Show tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 11 Smith Neck Rd. ( off Rte. 156, opposite the Nearly New Shop )  Admission is free and all are welcome.

Jewelry, felted bags, pottery, cards and more will be for sale at competitive prices.

The artists and crafters involved include Betsey Copp, Ashby Carlisle, Stephanie Kenny, Tracey McMahon, Karen Stevenson and Lina Tuck.

For more information, call 860-434- 2691 or email


Margules of Old Lyme Wins Major Award at Mystic Art Show

Howard Margules' award-winning photo titled, "The Metropolitan Museum of  Art."

Howard Margules’ award-winning photo titled, “The Metropolitan Museum of Art.”

Old Lyme resident Howard Margules recently won an Honorable Mention for the photo shown above in the prestigious Mystic Arts Center’s Photo Show 36.  A total of seven Honorable Mentions were awarded from an entry of 24o photos.  Margules also had a second image juried into the show.

The judge  wrote about Margules’ photo, “… [the] timed exposure ‘Metropolitan Museum of Art’ shows us the ephermeralness of life as museum-goers mill about amongst the art and architecture.  It’s evocative of contemporary photographer Mathew Pillsbury”s work.”

Margules has dabbled in photography for a number of years, but his interest peaked when he had an opportunity to live in China for five years.  He recalls, “Every day offered some unique visual experience,  which I sought to capture.”

He continues, “I favor portrait photography, and prefer to shoot candid, unposed subjects because I believe they produce a more authentic rendition.  Sometimes I will have my wife stand in front of the subject and pretend I am shooting her in order to capture what I am looking for.”

Asked who he admires most in the photographic world, Margules responds, “I admire the great street photographers especially Cartier-Bresson and look to his work for inspiration.  Like him, I strive to capture the “decisive moment.”

Margules is a member of both the Coastal Camera and Connecticut Valley Camera Clubs.  He has won numerous awards in both Connecticut and China. His images have been displayed in numerous juried shows in Connecticut, including the ‘Mystic Photo Show’ and ‘Images.’

Margules serves as a volunteer photographer for Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.


Popular Sale by Lyme Artists Continues Today at Lyme Public Hall

The signature piece of artwork, titled, 'Boathouse,' for the sale.

The signature piece of artwork for the sale by Angie Falstrom, titled, ‘Boathouse.’

The Lyme Artists Sale will be held this year at the Lyme Public Hall on Saturday, Nov. 1 (note the change in opening day this year to Saturday this year) and Sunday, Nov. 2.  Saturday hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a reception at 4 p.m., to which all are welcome.  Sunday hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Eight Lyme artists are featured:  Steven Evankow, stone bird baths; Angie Falstrom, watercolors; Judy Friday, paintings, weaving; Don Gerber, woodturning; Ann Lightfoot, jewelry; Diana Lord, paintings, pressed botanicals; Lina Tuck, felted bags; Tina West, handknitting; plus yarn, cards, calendars and more.

This annual event is sponsored by the Lyme Public Hall and is open to the public. The Hall is located at 249 Hamburg Road (Rt. 156) in Lyme.

For more information, contact Angie Falstrom at 860-434-3194.


Clarification: Deadline for Annual Land Trust Photo Contest Extended to Dec. 1

2013 Land Trust Photo Contest winner by Hank Golet.

2013 Land Trust Photo Contest winner by Hank Golet.

Amateur photographers, no matter where they live, may submit photographs of the scenic countryside, wildlife, plants, and cultural and historic features in the towns of East Haddam, Essex, Lyme, Old Lyme, and Salem.
Submissions are being accepted up to Dec. 1. Contest rules are available online at . Entry forms for the contest will be available after September 1 by email only at
A panel of three judges will award cash prizes in the following five categories:Landscape/Waterscape ~ Plants ~ Wildlife ~ Cultural/Historic ~ Youth (photographs of any of the above subjects by photographers aged 14 and younger).Additionally, a special John G. Mitchell Memorial Award will go to the photograph determined to best promote and support biodiversity and the environment.
The Contest judges are William Burt, a naturalist and wildlife photographer acclaimed for his beautiful books; and Amy Kurtz Lansing, an accomplished art historian and curator at the Florence Griswold Museum. New to the panel of judges is Skip Broom, a respected, award-winning local photographer and antique house restoration housewright. Broom replaces the much-appreciated retiring judge, Rudy Muller, who volunteered with the Photo Contest for many years.
All entered photographs, plus all winning photos, will be displayed and celebrated in a public reception in March 2015.
Organizers of the contest, East Haddam Land Trust, Essex Land Trust, Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Old Lyme Land Trust, and the Salem Land Trust, and encourage amateur photographers to join the fun and share wonderful photos from these southern Connecticut towns.Previous Land Trusts Photo Contest winning photos, viewable at, highlight the beauty of these towns and the pressing need to preserve the environments within these towns.

Old Lyme’s Christiano Featured in Essex Art Show

 Catherine Christiano, Cottages White Sands Beach #7, oil on panel, 8 x 11 inches, 2014.

Catherine Christiano, Cottages White Sands Beach #7, oil on panel, 8 x 11 inches, 2014.

Old Lyme artist Catherine Christiano is featured in a three person show at Art Essex Gallery that opens with a public reception Saturday, Nov. 1, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Catherine Christiano, Imagine Peace, oil on newspaper on panel, 11 7/8 x 19 1/2 inches, 2013. Photo credit Paul Mutino.

Catherine Christiano, Imagine Peace, oil on newspaper on panel, 11 7/8 x 19 1/2 inches, 2013. Photo credit Paul Mutino.

She is exhibiting postcard sized oil paintings of the beach communities of Old Lyme, small landscapes, and compelling detailed still lifes painted on newspaper.

Paul Schulenbug, “Sunlight Through Trees”, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches.

Paul Schulenbug, “Sunlight Through Trees”, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches.

Also in this exhibition are Cape Cod artist Paul Schulenburg’s meditative oils of everyday scenes that evoke the work of Edward Hopper.

Karen Woods, “Streak”, oil on panel, 8 x 8 inches, 2014.

Karen Woods, “Streak”, oil on panel, 8 x 8 inches, 2014.

The third artist exhibiting is Karen Woods from Boise, Idaho, whose provocative streetscapes viewed through the windshield will be on display.

The exhibition will be on view through Nov. 22.  Art Essex Gallery is located at 10 Main Street in Essex.

For more information, visit


Musical Masterworks Announces 2014-15 Season, Opening Concert Today Features Works by Mozart, Schumann

Jeewon Park

Jeewon Park

Musical Masterworks will present its 24th season of chamber music concerts at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, beginning this weekend,  Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25 and 26, and continuing through May. Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron has designed a season featuring award winning musicians from all over the world, with a diverse selection of music from composers ranging from Bach and Mozart to Igor Stravinsky and Estonian minimalist composer Arvo Part.

The following is a list of the 2014-2015 season dates and highlights. All concerts are held on Saturdays at 5 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Rd., Old Lyme, CT, and repeated on the following Sunday at 3 p.m. at the same location.

October 25 & 26, 2014: Pianist Jeewon Park, violinist Tessa Lark, and cellist Edward Arron will perform works of Mozart, Schumann, and Kodaly.

December 6 & &, 2014: Violinist Colin Jacobsen, violist Nicholas Cords, and cellist Edward Arron will perform an arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations and other works.

February 14 & 15, 2015: Pianist Gilles Vonsattel, clarinetist Todd Palmer, violinist Bella Hristova, and cellist Edward Arron will perform works of Debussy, Weber, Beethoven, and Stravinsky.

Tessa Lark

Tessa Lark

March 14 & 15, 2015: Pianist Adam Neiman, violinist Maria Bachman, violist Hsin-Yun Huang, and cellist Edward Arron will perform the great Piano Quartets of Schubert, Saint Saens, and Dvorak. All audience members are invited to a post-concert discussion with the musicians following the Sunday, March 15 concert.

May 2 & 3, 2015: Pianist Reiko Aizawa, violinists Jesse Mills and Hye-Jin Kim; violist/violinist Ara Gregorian, violist Max Mandel, and cellist Edward Arron will perform works of Mendelssohn, Turina, Arvo Part, and Ernest Chausson.

In addition, Musical Masterworks will present a Young People’s Concert on Saturday, March 14 at 11:30 at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. The program will feature a musical version of Jean De Brunhoff’s classic children’s tale The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant.

Subscriptions to the 24th season of Musical Masterworks are available for $150 for the five concert series. Individual tickets are $35, with $5 student tickets available at the door. For more information or a season brochure, please call 860-434-2252 or visit


See a “Ballet Spooktacular” at The Kate Today

Halloween_Spooktacular__Anna_with_veilTreat children of all ages to family-friendly Halloween fun with Eastern CT Ballet’s “Ballet Spooktacular,” at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, “The Kate,” in Old Saybrook. Special effects and bewitching costumes set the stage for spirited performances of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Dancing Bones, and Halloween Waltz.

Children are invited to wear their costumes to parade on stage, trick-or-treat throughout the decorated theater and pose for spellbinding photos with the dancers.

Performances will take place on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18 and 19 at 11:30 am and 3:30 pm.

Tickets to the Ballet Spooktacular are $16 for adults and $10 for children (age 12 and under) and are available through The Kate box office at 860-510-0453.


LAA Hosts ‘Incredible India’ Cultural Expo & Marketplace, Gala Tonight

PosterIn honor of the Lyme Art Association’s (LAA) 100th anniversary, the Lyme Art Association presents Incredible India!, an expo and gala celebrating the culture of India. This exceptional event to benefit the LAA has two components: A Cultural Expo and Marketplace in the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 18, followed by a Benefit Gala in the evening.

“For anyone looking for an interesting, exotic, and genuinely authentic experience, I can assure you that our ‘Incredible India’ event is exactly that!” says LAA’s Director of Development Gary Parrington, adding, “The Association has a long tradition of lavish themed galas dating back to the Association’s founding a hundred years ago.”

The Cultural Expo and Marketplace will be a fun-filled afternoon for the entire family to discover and experience the culture and charm of India. Vendors will display art, photographs, shawls, brassware, and other fine marketplace items from India. There will also be Indian food vendors, and musicians to entertain visitors. The Cultural Expo and Marketplace runs from noon until 3 p.m. and is open to the public, free of charge.

The Benefit Gala, which takes place from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., will be an extraordinary experience including select items from the Expo, a palm reader, Henna hand painter, a unique India gift for every guest, and the opportunity to bid in an auction for travel packages to India.

The Presenting Sponsor for ‘Incredible India’ is Air India in collaboration with the Government of India’s Ministry of Tourism. The Premier Media Sponsor for the expo and gala is ‘The Day.’

For additional information on ‘Incredible India’ and to make a reservation for the Benefit Gala, visit or contact LAA’s Director of Development Gary Parrington at

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community.

The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated.

Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit


Opening Reception for William Burt Photo Exhibit at Old Lyme Library Tonight

Signature photo by William Burt for his exhibition opening Friday at the Old Lyme Library of a Purple Gallinule feasting in Palm Beach County, Fla.,

Signature photo by William Burt for his exhibition opening Friday at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library of a Purple Gallinule feasting in Palm Beach County, Fla.,

The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library presents an opening reception for ‘William Burt: New Photographs & Old’ on Friday, Oct. 17,  from 5 to 7 p.m. A Gallery Talk will take place at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

The show samples Burt’s photography of the familiar wetland scenes as well as the rare and elusive birds and their downy young. Most photographs selected were made locally within the Connecticut River estuary, but included also are one each respectively from Florida, North Dakota, and Saskatchewan.

William Burt is a naturalist, photographer and writer with a passion for wild places and elusive birds – especially marshes, and the shy birds within.  His photographs and stories are seen in major U.S. publications and he is the author of three books: Shadowbirds (1994); Rare & Elusive Birds of North America (2001); and Marshes: The Disappearing Edens (2007).

He lectures often, and his traveling exhibitions have shown at some 35 museums across the U.S. and Canada. Museum quality archival pigment prints will be for sale by the artist at A portion of the proceeds go to benefit the Library.

The Library is located at 2 Library Ln., off Lyme St. in Old Lyme. Winter hours are Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m; Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, call 860-434-1684 or visit to register on the Events calendar.


Author Benn Makes Inaugural Presentation in Newly Opened Lyme Library Building Tonight

The_Rest_Is_Silence_cvr-330-expLocal author and Lyme resident James Benn will speak about The Rest is Silence, his ninth novel in the Billy Boyle WWII mystery series on Friday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Lyme Public Library.  A book signing and reception will follow the program. Copies of the The Rest is Silence will be available for purchase.

The popularity and praise for the Billy Boyle series have grown with each new title. The Rest is Silence has received rave reviews from publications such as Suspense Magazine, Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly. The titles are popular not only for their plots, but for bringing to light lesser-known historical events and issues that occurred during WWII.

The program is free and open to the public. The Library is located at 482 Hamburg Road in Lyme.

For more information, call 860-434-2272.


Internationally-Acclaimed Puppeteer Dan Butterworth Presents at Lyme Academy College Tonight

Dan Butterworth

Dan Butterworth

Dan Butterworth will make the next ‘Inside My Studio’ presentation at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven next Thursday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m.  Butterworth’s presentation will be preceded by a reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine and soft drinks at 6 p.m.

In what promises to be a fascinating evening, Butterworth will demonstrate through a Powerpoint presentation and using the marionettes themselves how his intricately hand carved puppets dance and whirl from the stage, through the air, and right out into the audience, moving to a stream of infectious world music. Butterworth is famed for combining a plethora of puppet styles and genres and then building them until the whole stage becomes one huge moving carnival creature.

Supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts since 1979, Butterworth and his puppets have performed in movies, operas, classical music festivals and TV specials. Butterworth’s magical celebrations have been staged from the big city of New York to the Inuit villages of Alaska.

Butterworth Marionettes’ ability to travel to the remotest locations allows for an unusual creative interplay rarely found in typical theater organizations. His troupe has toured throughout the world, performing in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and all of the US and Canada.

Admission is $10 per person and reservations are strongly advised.  Reservations can be made by contacting Ann de Selding at 860.434.3571 ext. 117 or