Lumagica at Harvest Moon: a holiday light show to brighten your holidays!

The path leads you to a magical holiday light experience

A very special holiday light show is now on display right in our backyard.  Harvest Moon Orchard in North Salem has partnered with Lumagica to create an amazing outdoor lighting experience.  The orchard has been transformed into a mystical holiday forest filled with over 500,000 LED lights.  It has to be experienced! 

Starting at the base of the orchard, guests follow a lit path  uphill through the trees.  The apple trees are filled with lights.  At each turn you will marvel at lit stars, lighted forest creatures and more.  Even the mature hardwood and evergreen trees are bathed in multi colored LED spot lights.  Soft music (not holiday tunes) floats through the air as you continue on through the beautifully lit orchard.

At the top of the hill a beautiful stone patio hosts decorated Christmas trees, gingerbread men and wooden soldiers.  Hot drinks and adult beverages are offered for sale.  This is a great spot to take in the lights around you and enjoy this unique experience.  It’s also a great spot for a holiday photo!

The path then winds its way down the hill through more unique light displays with something new to see at every turn.  As you reach the bottom you exit through a tunnel of multi colored lights.   Back at the base, guests can warm themselves by the fire pit, or even purchase fresh pizza right out of the oven.  More beverages are for sale including the orchard’s famous Hardscrabble hard cider.  We encourage you to pick up a bag of cider donuts as you linger at the farmstand and look back at the magically lit hill behind you.   Dress warm, and since you will be walking, proper foot wear is suggested. 

LUMAGICA, renowned for their world-class light installations featured throughout Europe. This will be the biggest holiday light park in all of Westchester and Putnam counties,   Don’t miss it !  The show does require reservations and you will need to choose your time slot. 

The perfect way to experience the holidays is with Lumagica at Harvest Moon!

For more information     https://harvestmoonfarmandorchard.com/lumagica-light-show

Harvest Moon Orchard

130 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem, NY 10560

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Happy Holidays!!

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Doubt: A Parable. The award winning drama now at Westport Country Playhouse

A thought provoking one act play “Doubt: A Parable” is now on stage at the fantastic Westport Country Playhouse.  After a two year absence it was so great to see a play at this famous venue known for its high quality productions.

Doubt is a potent drama that keeps the audience riveted to the actors on stage during the entire performance.  Set in a Catholic Church in the Bronx, NY in 1964 the play opens with a sermon from the parish priest, Father Flynn (Eric Bryant) who preaches the concept of doubt and uncertainty.  After his sermon we meet Sister Aloysius (Betsy Aidem), a strict conservative nun who runs the school.  Her mission is to maintain order in the school which she does by always remaining vigilant.    Sister Aloysius then meets with young Sister James (Kersten Anderson)  who not only does she criticize, but reveals her fears and suspicions about the world outside the church, as well as some within its walls.

Sister Aloysius believes that Father Flynn has had an inappropriate relationship with the school’s first and only African American student, Donald Muller.  Though she has no proof, only doubt she finally confronts Father Flynn about her theory.  A struggle of wills then ensues between Sister Aloysius, Father Flynn, Sister James and the boy’s mother, Mrs. Muller (Sharina Martin).  Each character adds to the narrative their own interpretation of the incident which only adds uncertainty and doubt to what really happened.  Was it an innocent meeting or something nefarious? Each side tries to gain the sympathy of the audience. Sister Aloyius and her desire to rid her church of a bad seed, and Father Flynn who portrays himself as an innocent victim in the nun’s accusations.

The play raises questions to the audience about truth, certainty and morality.  Which side do you believe? But in the end it answers none of these allowing each audience member to wrestle with the facts as presented to reach their own conclusion. The discussion of the play and its implications continues long after you leave the theater.

The play was filled with strong, passionate performances and was brilliantly directed by Daniel Kennedy. We were thrilled to see live theater back at Westport and encourage you not to miss this play.  Doubt was the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play.

Covid protocols are in effect for the protection of the audience and staff and proof of vaccination is required.   The play runs through November 20, 2021

Westport Country Playhouse

25 Powers Court

Westport Ct

Tickets >>https://www.westportplayhouse.org/show/doubt/

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Falsettoland: Live theater returns to the stage at the Music Theater of Connecticut in Norwalk

The Music Theater of Connecticut in Norwalk is back with its Mainstage production of the off-Broadway musical, “Falsettoland”.  It was a full house on opening night and the audience was thrilled to be back at the theater to enjoy once again another terrific production.  

The musical has no spoken words and instead the story is told by the cast singing one song after another in the one and a half hour performance.  The voices of the cast are clear, and the sound system dialed in so that it was easy for the audience to follow along with the story.

The setting of the story is New York City in 1981.  The city is changing and the mysterious AIDS virus is just beginning to gain attention in the news.  The audience is introduced to the first of the cast, Mendel the psychiatrist and his patient Marvin and then his lesbian neighbors Dr. Charlotte and Cordelia, a caterer.  Mendel is counseling Marvin who is fighting with his ex-wife Trina  about his coming out as a gay man, and the issues involving planning their son’s Bar Mitzvah.   The story is layered with the tale of Jason (the son) and his coming of age, and Marvin and his relationship with Whizzer his ex-lover.  The backdrop of these two layers is the lesson of the importance of family and friends while the specter of the AIDS virus hangs over head.

Act One also introduces Trina (Marvin’s ex wife) and Whizzer (Marvin’s Ex lover) to the audience.  Reminding us that this is set in the 1980s, we see Marvin and Whizzer playing racquetball, and Trina working out in her matching exercise outfit to the latest fitness moves.   The songs of the first act such as “Miracle of Judaism”, “Watching Jason”, “Racquetball” and “Everyone Hates His Parents” are fun and light .

The mood of the much shorter Act Two turns more somber.  The arguing over what food to serve and who to invite to the Bar Mitzvah are overshadowed by Whizzer’s suddenly being stricken with AIDS.   Young Jason in light of the developments decides to cancel the Bar Mitzvah.  He truly does come of age and maturity as he makes the decision to go on with the party in some glitzy venue, but by bringing it to Whizzer’s hospital room.  The importance of family and friendships shed light and positivity in the face of the darkening mood of the looming epidemic.

Falsettoland is a story that is both bittersweet and inspirational and is reflected in the musical score and in the performance of the highly talented cast.  A thought provoking show that is a must see.  This was another brilliant  production directed by multi award winner KEVIN CONNORS (Director, Executive Artistic Director, & Co-Founder of MTC). 

The very talented cast includes Jeff Gurner (Mendel), Dan Sklar (Marvin), Avi Sklar (Jason), Max Meyers (Whizzer), Corinne  C. Broadbent (Trina), Jessie Janet Richards (Dr. Charlotte),Elissa  DeMaria (Cordelia).  The audience responded to their heartwarming performance with a standing ovation. Actors are professional and members of  Members of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.  Musical Direction by David John Madore.

Covid-19 protocols are in place and include wearing of masks, and proof of vaccination.

Performances are Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm through November 20, 2021.

Music Theater Of Connecticut

509 Westport Ave, Norwalk, CT

https://www.musictheatreofct.com/falsettoland

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Greenwich Concours, the ultimate local car event returns October 22-24th

The ultimate car show in our area returns!  The Greenwich Concours D’ Elegance returns October 23-24.  The event takes place at the beautiful Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.  The waterside park overlooking Greenwich Harbor is the perfect backdrop for the beautiful cars that will be displayed on the showfield.  Thirteen Featured Classes, plus four Post-War, one Pre-War and Contemporary Supercar and Muscle/Performance categories will make up the 20 judged classes for this year’s Greenwich Concours d’Elegance.  This is the 25th anniversary of this show.

Each of the 20 classes of cars  on the field will include eight cars, allowing the judges to focus closely on each vehicle and examining its design, style and elegance in order to select this year’s winners.

This year’s special classes include Ford vs. GM, 100 Years of Duesenberg, Right Coast Rods, Lancia, 75 Years of Allard and a first-ever SUV class. The 2021 Featured Classes for motorcycles will be Moto Guzzi and Indian.

A stand-out in the 100 Years of Duesenberg class is a 1921 Straight Eight, later known as the Model A, which was the first passenger car to bear the Duesenberg name and the first Duesenberg sold.

The popular Lancia Post- and Pre-War class lineups include a 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S. The Spider America was launched in 1954 and over the course of two years only 240 examples were produced. This Lancia Aurelia B24S is one of only 181 original left-hand-drive examples.

This year’s concours will be different from the past.  Previously Saturday featured American makes on the  show field and International marques on Sunday.   In 2021, Saturday will be a unique  day with the “Festival of Fun” .  There will be the “Concours d’Lemons”,  Radwood favorites from the 80s and 90s, and Porschella by Carpark featuring modified Porsches.  There will also be a range of hands on activities and the Hagerty Youth Program.

On Sunday both American and International marques will be displayed on the show field to be judged and enjoyed.  If you are a car fan, you cannot miss either day.

  Greenwich   Concours D”Elegance For tickets and more information:   https://www.greenwichconcours.com

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About the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance: Founded in 1996, Greenwich Concours d’Elegance is a three-day premier motoring event held October 22-24, 2021, in Greenwich, Conn. Now part of Hagerty, the 2021 event celebrates tradition while integrating new elements, each created to engage the next generation. Exclusive gatherings, luxury shopping, ride and drives, new vehicle experiences and entertaining seminars surround Friday’s Grand Tour and Saturday’s Radwood, Concours d’Lemons and Porschella events. Sunday’s nationally recognized Greenwich Concours d’Elegance celebrates historically significant vehicles along the town’s picturesque harbor front. Each year the event supports local charities as a part of Hagerty’s larger giving strategy.   About Hagerty: Hagerty is a specialty insurance provider focused on the global automotive enthusiast market and an automotive enthusiast brand offering integrated membership products and programs. Hagerty is home to Hagerty Drivers Club, Hagerty DriveShare, Hagerty Valuation Tools, Hagerty Media, Hagerty Drivers Club magazine, MotorsportReg, Hagerty Garage + Social, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, the Concours d’Elegance of America, the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, the California Mille, Motorworks Revival and more. For more information, visit www.hagerty.com.

Music Theater of Connecticut presents “New Voices”, a series of new plays from contemporary playwrights starting 10/11/21

The Music Theater of Connecticut in Norwalk will be presenting a series of theatrical readings for one night only.  Each date will feature a different and unique play written by contemporary playwrights.  The first of the “New Voices” series of plays is  “I” by Jeff Talbott.  The play will be read live to the audience on Monday October 11 at 7pm.

A summary of the play is as follows:  Sarah is having a rough time, but she’s trying to shake it. Things start looking up when she meets a nice guy named Jake, and together they hope to find some of that happiness we’ve heard so much about. Part Twilight Zone and part love story, i is a gentle, unsettling and mysterious new play set in the near future about the threads that tie us and the confounding allure of “what if?”

Currently MTC plans for other one night readings in the New Voices series with dates set for performances in November, December, and both January and February 2022.  We are excited to see that  Mainstage productions will be returning in November.

We are so happy to see live productions return to the stage at MTC in Norwalk.  This is a great intimate theater that always provides quality entertainment.

For tickets and information:   https://www.musictheatreofct.com/newvoices

Music Theater of Connecticut

509 Westport Avenue  Norwalk Ct.

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Ridgefield Independent Film Festival continues this weekend with great independent films

The Ridgefield Independent Film Festival is in full swing with more unique films and panel discussions on Saturday 10/9 and Sunday 10/10.    This great local film festival kicked off Thursday evening with a screening of “ A Fine Line” by local film maker Joanna James.  The subject of the documentary is the struggles of women in the culinary and restaurant world.  With only 7% of head chefs in the US being women, it told the tale of several chefs and their struggles to succeed in a male dominated industry.  Ms. James also included the story of her mother Val, who against impossible financial odds was able to flourish in the restaurant business.  The movie was preceded by a reception at the Keeler Tavern garden in Ridgefield and featured foods from local restaurants.  This kind of experience you just cannot get from a streaming service. 

Friday night 10/8, we joined a full house to enjoy several short films highlighting the talents of indie filmmakers. The theme was “ Psych Night”  and the seven short films that included sci-fi, horror, humor and  the  dramatic and moving “Return” which is an indie film from Mexico.

Saturday continues with more short films and the wraps up the evening with the narrative film, “How to Stop a Recurring Dream”.   Sunday’s films will be both shown at the Ridgefield Library and feature 3 short films, and a narrative feature, “Authenticity”. 

Independent film festivals are the platform that allow young creative film makers to display their creations.  It also gives the movie audience  a fresh array of films that cannot be experienced elsewhere.  Tired of the same genre of movies that is in every theater?  Then support your local artists and local film festivals.  It will open a new world for you.

See you at the movies!

For tickets and info

https://www.riffct.org

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Audrains Motor Week: The ultimate collector car experience returns to Newport

The height of the East Coast collector car scene has arrived once again. Billed as “A celebration of all things history, sport and luxury, Audrain’s Newport Concours D’Elegance will once again bring a new level of  excitement to the car collecting world. After a hiatus last year due to Covid-19, the Audrain’s Motor Week is back!  We were thrilled to spend three amazing days in Newport back in 2019 enjoying at atmosphere of fine autos, history, food, and camaraderie.  Attendees can spend their  days enjoying fine dining pop-ups, exhibitions of rare and exciting automobiles, seminars, shopping, tennis, golf and sailing along the Newport coast. Then, once the sun goes down, experience exclusive concerts, galas and VIP parties hosted in the mansions that  populate America’s original luxury capital.

The concours will be presented by the Audrain Automobile Museum in Newport R.I. which opened in 2014 and has been growing since . Even with years of successful events, Audrain’s wanted to bring a truly great concours to the area. A world class Concours & Motor Week event was so successful in 2019, that it has returned and promises to be even better.  This is If you are a car fan or know someone who is, then this is the event not to miss.

The show field on Concours day.

The four days of the Concours will feature not only amazing collector cars from all over the country, but car collector seminars including  Jay Leno, Donald Osborne (collector and author) and so many more. There is a VIP gala, Cars and Coffee, and The Concours Village and of course the Audrains Museum right in the heart of Newport on Bellevue Avenue. The Gathering at Rough Point is a lawn party featuring rare autos and motorcycles in a spectacular setting and more. The collection of food, cocktails and cars is on the Doris Duke estate overlooking the ocean.

Jay Leno hosting a seminar on the Ford GT

The four-day program concludes with a centerpiece event, the Concours d’Elegance, which will feature a world-class collection of over a billion dollars worth of rare and vintage cars. Sunday’s Concours d’Elegance is the crown jewel of Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week. Concours Chairman, Donald Osborne, has assembled a terrific selection of judges from around the globe. The Concours classes span the decades from early 1900 to 1970 with a focus on cars that pay homage to the theme of history, sport, and luxury.  The festival runs September 30th to October 3rd.

for information and tickets:   https://www.audrainconcours.com

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Turtle Invitational Car Show returns to Bedford on 9/25-26 with a stellar line up of classic cars.

The Turtle Invitational has returned to Bedford NY for 2021.  A group of passionate enthusiasts come together for a weekend of camaraderie, cars, motorcycles, cocktails, and conversations. A stunning roster of classic vehicles fill the show field.

Sunday’s show will start at 10:00 am, with the Turtle Invitational gates opening at 7:30 am for the arrival of show cars and motorcycles, followed by judging, lunch, and the celebratory after-party featuring Veuve Cliquot champagne.

The show field is reserved for pre-registered invited and accepted cars and motorcycles. These cars and motorcycles are hand selected and approved by the Board based on their rarity, beauty, and historical significance. Only cars that have been pre-selected (in advance) by the board will be granted access to the show field and are eligible to be judged and partake in the awards ceremony.

Non-Registered Cars and General Spectators: If your vehicle is not accepted for the show field in 2021, you are welcome to bring your car or motorcycle and enjoy the event. We will be providing non-registered classic vehicle parking at an adjacent meadow contiguous to the show field. Hagerty Youth Judges will pick one car from the non-registered field that will be invited to the podium for a special award. There is a $20 gate fee for all spectators (including those with classic vehicles that are not registered for the show field). Cash and credit cards for spectator fees and lunch tickets on-site at the gate. Kids under 15 are free. The organizers ask that all attendees also consider a tax-deductible donation to the Pray Family Foundation. Finally, given the generosity of Danbury Porsche/Audi, there is a designated parking area on the south side of the show field reserved for any spectators that arrive in a Porsche, Audi, or VW.

Honoree: Turtle Garage is proud to announce the Turtle Invitational 2021 Honored Guest and recipient of the Golden Turtle Award will be the legendary Bob Sharp.

For more information   https://turtleinvitational.com/

For information on the Malcolm Pray Achievement Center

https://www.prayachievementcenter.org/

Ridgefield Independent Film Festival returns with a slate of great indie films. October 7-10

The Ridgefield Independent Film Festival returns October 7th, 2021 with a full slate of indie films.  This is a great event to have right in our backyard.  We attended the Festival two years ago and enjoyed some great films such as “Say Her Name, The Life and Death of Sandra Bland”, “High Resolution” and a wonderful assortment of short features that showcased the talents of young independent film makers. The festival’s mission is to make the world a better place through the sharing of stories via cinema.

Ridgefield resident Joanna James’ award winning documentary feature, “A Fine Line” will open Ridgefield Independent Film Festival’s RIFF 2021 at Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center’s Garden House with a catered reception featuring the talents of Fairfield County Chefs: Sarah Bouissou, Barbara Nevins, Jes Bengtson, Silvia Baldini, Anna Llanos, and Chrissy Tracey. The reception will be followed by a screening of the film and a panel discussion. Thursday, October 7th at 6pm. “ A Fine Line”w explores why less than 7 percent of head chefs/restaurant owners are women, when traditionally women have influenced the greatest male chefs in the kitchen.

  Tickets are now on sale https://www.riffct.org/film-guide-2021/a-fine-line

The tasty event is sponsored by Dough Wines and will benefit Joanna’s non-profit MAPP https://mappimpact.org/about which empowers women to lead through mentorship and advocacy, and the annual Ridgefield High School filmmaker lab to mentor students in creating their first film. Tickets to this event are $35 which includes the reception – beginning at 6pm, the film screening – at 7pm, and the post screening panel discussion. Film enthusiasts may choose to purchase an ALL ACCESS pass for just $100 which allows access to all RIFF screenings and events which, in addition to this event, includes 30 more films, Psych Night and the Saturday night Marquee Film and After Party, as well as virtual screenings. Parking is available at the First Congregational Church. This is a limited capacity event, so get your tickets today!

There are 30 films in the Festival starting on Thursday October 7th and ending on Sunday October 10th

See film guide here > https://www.riffct.org/film-guide-2021

Please note that all in-person attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination for Covid-19 with corresponding I.D.  Facemasks will also be required.

Tickets are now on sale for all RIFF events and can be accessed through RIFFs website https://www.riffct.org

Ridgefield Independent Film Festival Festival was founded in 2015 by local playwright and filmmaker, Joanne Hudson and started in May of 2016 at seven venues throughout Ridgefield, CT; screening 72 films from 26 countries. Since then (under Festival Directors: Megan Smith Harris, Jill Mango and Sean Murphy and, since 2018, the leadership of Executive Director, Geoffrey Morris) the festival has attracted the likes of celebrities Allison Williams, Paul Dano and Jeffrey Tambor, as well as talented local and international filmmakers. This year’s festival will be an intimate and highly curated festival with the same independent spirit in which it began: in the hopes of making the world a more compassionate place through the sharing of stories through cinema.

See you at the movies!

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Kokimo’s Restaurant and Beach Bar: Escape to the islands in nearby Old Lyme Ct.

Tropical cocktails, white sand beach equals the perfect day.

Imagine a white sand beach, waves breaking on the shore, and palm trees gently swaying in the ocean breeze. It is so easy to  believe you are in the Caribbean.  This slice of paradise awaits you at Kokimo’s in nearby Old Lyme, Ct.

This restaurant is the perfect destination as Kokimo’s sits directly on the beach facing the waters of Long Island Sound.   Go for lunch, dinner or you can enjoy the entire day.  Kokimo’s has three distinct areas, the cozy inside dining/bar room, the semi enclosed bar with large windows looking out over the water, and the beach itself. The beach area includes tables and umbrellas for dining as well as chairs around  a fire pit.    Closer to the water are several cabanas ( for rent and reservation only) which are shaded from the sun and are furnished with comfy couches and a coffee table.  Perfect for enjoying cocktails and taking in the beach vibe.  There are also lounge chairs (also for rent) that directly face the water. Palm trees have been planted in the sand which complete the Caribbean feel.  Cocktail service is available from the attentive and friendly staff.   We made sure to reserve a  cabana which enhanced our experience at Kokimo’s. 

The cocktail program at Kokimo’s is as impressive as they are delicious.  Taking inspiration from the lyrics of the iconic Beach Boys hit, “Kokimo”, the menu includes such creative libations as “Off the Florida Keys”, “Jamaica” “Bahamas” and “That Monserrat Mystique.  Some other of our island favorites include the Hartford Hurricane, The Koko Mojito, and the Soundview Rum Punch.  

Dining selections are perfect for seaside dining.  Salads, small plates and sandwiches are all available.  Consistent with Kokimo’s theme is menu stocked with plenty of seafood selections.   We ordered from the raw bar which served up a delicious platter of jumbo shrimp and lobster meat over ice.  Local oysters were a must order and we sampled three local varieties, “Moonstone, “Mystic” and “Nectar”.  These local oysters were fresh, delicious, and had the requisite hint of brine.

The lobster roll was tasty and the soft buttery roll was filled with fresh lobster claw meat.  Perfect choice.  The Tuna Steak was expertly prepared and the was the perfect entrée for a lunch on the beach. There are plenty of other options, and for the vegetarian in your party, there is salad and a delicious veggie burger.

After lunch a dip in the water was needed and the sand is soft and not rocky like some Sound beaches.  After a walk down the beach searching for that perfect sea shell, we returned to our cabana for a late afternoon treat of a basket of fried clams and French fries.  Another round of tropical cocktails were also in order.

The island vibe you crave is just a car drive away.  No plane ticket, no airport, and no passport needed. Escape to the white sand, palm trees, and cool breezes at Kokimo’s and get your island vibe going.  Kokimo’s is open all year.   Check their website for fun daily specials. 

Kokimo’s Restaurant and Beach Bar

88 Hartford Ave Old Lyme Ct. 

Website>>>  https://kokomosrestaurant.com/

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