Greenwich Concours d’elegance: The regions premier car event returns to Greenwich June 3-5 2022

A Lancia on the show field at the 2021 Greenwich Concours

The Greenwich Concours d’Elegance will be returning to Greenwich Ct. on June 3-5th  2022. The concours is one of the premier auto events in the Northeast.  Car enthusiasts will enjoy the fantastic display of cars at the beautiful location of Roger Sherman Baldwin Park which overlooks Greenwich Harbor.

Hagerty who now presents the concours , is excited to announce that author, driver, entrepreneur and motorsports innovator Judy Stropus will serve as Grand Marshal for the 2022 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance.

Last October saw the concours return after a hiatus due to Covid.  The traditional date of June was moved to October and the 2021 Concours marked a clear evolution in the show.  Saturday was a fun day which featured the hilarious “Concours d’Lemons,  RADwood which was a collection of 1980s and 1990s cars (usually not seen at Concours events) and Porschella which featured a lineup of modified Porsches.  The atmosphere on Saturday was relaxed and there were lots of interactive events including ride and drives in classic cars, driving simulators, and slot car races.  Fun for everyone.

A special Right Coast Hod Rod class on the field

Sunday was a classic concours show with both international and domestic built brands.  The show field was filled with exciting, award worthy cars.  There were special classes on display including “Right Coast” hot rods, Ford vs. GM,  an impressive lineup of Allard cars, and Lancia.  Cars from the brass era to the 1970s were featured on the show field and there was something for every car enthusiast to witness.

One of the many Allards at the 2021 Concours

The Best in Show trophy was awarded to a 1927 Mercedes-Benz Model K displayed by Michael and Joannie Rich.  It had to be difficult for the judges as so many great cars were present.

Best in Show at 2021 Greenwich Concours

The 2022 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance features over 140 historic vehicles in 18 classes, including Cadillac Eldorado, Chrysler Letter Cars, Vintage Pick-ups and more. All tickets for Sunday’s Concours d’Elegance include admission to Saturday’s Cars & Community.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information on the Concours.  See you in Greenwich!

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The New York International Auto Show returns through April 24th 2022

The new VW all electric ID. Buzz

The New York International Auto Show has returned to the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, now through April 24th 2022.  After a two year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic, the show is back and welcoming visitors.  This year’s show emphasizes EVs (electric vehicles).  Numerous companies are showcasing their EVs and some have integrated indoor tracks inside the center.  You can experience the ride and acceleration of EVs from Ford and Hyundai as both have set up their own indoor EV test track inside for the very first time.  

There is also new product launches and a standout was the return of the iconic Volkswagen bus.  The bus has been reborn as an EV and has many of the styling cues that made it such a famous vehicle in the 1960s and the 1970s.  A European production model was on display and fans here in the U.S. are eager for its arrival on our shores.

Auto shows are known for their concept cars which show the direction a manufacturer is headed in the near future.  Kia had a colorful display to showcase its EV 9 concept car.  Chrysler hinted at the future with the Airflow EV which may be available by the 2024 model year and promises an impressive mileage range on a full battery charge. Fiat is returning as well with an EV version of the fun Fiat 500.

Kia EV 9 Concept Car

There also of plenty of conventional gasoline powered cars of all flavors with attractive offerings from Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan and Toyota.

Visitors can visit the lower level where there are a variety of exhibits including testing out electric bikes.  The big hit is a large test track where several companies (VW, Kia, Vinfast, Nissan and more) will drive you around the track impressing you with the acceleration and handling of their EVs.   Outside Jeep has set up once again it great outdoor course which allows you to experience the off road prowess of these legendary vehicles. 

Indoor test track for Electric Vehicles

Always a fun event, don’t miss the 2022 edition of the New York International Auto Show.

New York International Auto Show

at the Jacob Javits Center, NYC ‘

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Next to Normal: Westport Country Playhouse stages a remarkable version of the Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning musical

Behind the perfect lawn, landscaping and the painted red door of the ideal suburban house lives a normal family.  Or does the façade instead mask something else entirely?

This is the question behind the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning musical “Next to Normal” which is now on stage at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Ct.  This historic theater which is known for its high quality productions, astounded the audience with their interpretation of this Broadway hit. 

This contemporary musical with its rock/pop score takes on the delicate subject of mental health.  This is certainly a different topic for musical theater.  The six member cast tells the story of what seems to be a “normal”, successful suburban family.  But we soon find out the household has deep issues.  The family is composed of the father (architect), the wife (suburban housewife), the teenage daughter (who is driven to be perfect and to attract her parents love), and the son who we discover passed away as a baby 16 years ago.   The wife, Diana has been struggling for years since the death of her son.  Her struggle with bipolar disorder is a terrible strain on the family.  Traditional therapies of medicine do not seem to work and the family makes the difficult decision to have Diana try electric therapy.  And while the treatment seems to work at first, Diana loses part of her memory.  Her husband Dan wants her to put away the memory of their son and move on.  The family wants to be normal, and will even accept being “next to normal”.  But the son (Gabe) keeps appearing on stage, not as a baby, but as a teenager which complicates Diana’s struggle to heal.    The story takes the audience on a journey of discovery of these very real characters and their struggles.  In the end there is a glimpse of hope that a person and their loved ones can heal, and lead a better life.  

The musical opened on Broadway in April 2009. It was nominated for eleven Tony Awards that year and won three. It also won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama becoming the eighth musical in history to receive the honor. The original cast was white and this production has a diverse multi racial cast which makes the show more relevant to a wider audience.  The cast is lead by Dar.Lee.See.Ah as Diana. Wilson Jermaine Heredia as Dan, Ashley LaLonde as Natalie, Daniel Maldonado as Gabe,  Gian Perez as Henry, and Katie Thompson in the dual roles as Dr. Madden and Dr. Fine.

The two hour plus musical is filled with over 40 songs that tell the story of this family and their struggles.  It is part serious drama, part rock show, part musical theater and 100 percent stunning.  The set design and lighting design is an essential part of telling the story and Westport Country Playhouse lives up to its usual high standards. While the entire gives outstanding performances, and they harmonize well, the highlight of the evening is the vocal performance of Dar.Lee.See.Ah.  Her singing and acting brought the capacity crowd to its feet.  She is a vocal tour de force.

The play is directed beautifully by Marcos Santana who also directed and choreographed the brilliant version of  “In The Heights” which we attended at the Playhouse in  2019.  He has also choreographed two shows on Broadway as well.   

While and interesting topic for musical theater, Next to Normal is the kind of show that pauses you to think about the lives that go on behind seemingly normal doors.  It also gives hope when life is darkest and lifts you up with a musical score full of  energy.  A show not to be missed.  True Broadway quality right in our own area.

Next to Normal is onstage through April 24th.

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Jesus Christ Superstar: an edgy, updated and dramatic remake of the 70s Broadway classic. Now at ACT of Ct. in Ridgefield

The classic 1970s Broadway hit “Jesus Christ Superstar” is now on stage at ACT of Connecticut in Ridgefield.  The famous rock opera penned by Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics), was a sensation when it opened in 1971.  David C. Levine, artistic director of ACT explained prior to the show that the story of the last days of Jesus are well known and the show has been performed many times with the setting being biblical times. This production has been fast forwarded and instead is set in a dark dystopian future where tyrants oppress the lives of their citizens.   The production is moody, thought provoking and downright edgy.  Mr. Levine tells the audience this will be like no other production of Jesus Christ Superstar you have seen and he is right.

The stage is set with metal railings and stairs, corrugated metal walls and boxes and debris in various shapes.  Everything is painted shades of muted gray which is very effective in setting the mood and the somber tone.  In the background the audience can see a cross constructed from building girders.  It is quite evident this show is not set in Biblical times.

This production draws heavily from Margaret Atwood’s book A Handmaid’s Tale and its television adaptation.  The villains of this production are those who are attempting to control society by oppression and the suppression of free thinking and ideas. Jesus and his disciples are seen as rebels who need to be suppressed. The tale is dark much like A Handmaid’s Tale but it is not without hope and light. The two hour performance had the audience’s eyes riveted to the performers the entire evening.

The music of Jesus Christ Superstar is classic in its own right with a score of 1970’s rock inspired songs which lifts the audience up and carries it along through the performance. 

There are wonderful performances from the large cast who breathe energy into the famous score with their fantastic harmonies.  Brett Stoelker as Jesus has a fine voice and amazed the audience with his vocals including some of his sustained high notes.  Tony nominated Caitlin Kinnunen as Mary gave a warm and wonderful performance that resonated with the audience.  The rest of the excellent cast includes, Avionce Hoyles as Judas, Chris Balestriere, Corinne Broadbent, Reggie Bromell, Susie Carroll, Ben Cherington, Randy Donaldson, Courtney Long, Marlena Hilderly Lopez, Kelly MacMillan, Michael McGuirk, Val Moranto, Ariel Neydavoud, Andrew Stevens Purdy, Isaac Ryckeghem, Sonya Venugopal, Cole Wachman, and Caitlin Witty.

This is a unique production which showcases the amazing creative energy of the team at ACT.  The transformation of this classic Broadway show into a relevant, provocative and modern tale is a something not to be missed.

 Directed by David C. Levine with choreography by Sara Brians, music direction by Jeffrey Campos, music supervision by ACT of CT’s Grammy nominated Bryan Perri, scenic design by Jack Mehler, costume design by Claudia Stefany, and lighting design by Penny Jacobus. 

Come see innovative Broadway quality performances right in your backyard.

Shows run through April 17, 2022.

For tickets and information

Act of Connecticut

36 Old Quarry Road Ridgefield Ct

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