Go Grape Stomping at Robibero Family Vinyards September 22-23rd

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Looking for a really fun and unique event?  Then go grape stomping at Robibero Family Vineyards at their annual Grape Stomping Festival.  This years festival will take place on Saturday September 22nd and Sunday September 23rd 2018 .  The winery is open from 11 am to 6 pm.

At the event you will be able to take off your shoes and climb into a barrel filled with grapes and stomp away.  It is a great photo opportunity and something you will always remember.  No worries as there will be a station to wash off your feet after your stomping.

Your ticket price in addition to the stomping, a wine tasting of their fabulous wines in the tasting room or you may choose instead of the tasting to have a glass of wine and take home one logo glass.

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Robibero produces premium artisan wines that are handcrafted in small batches.  Some of the wines available are Chardonnay, Reisling, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and some delightful hybrid blends.  All the wine is made on site.  Bottles or cases are available for sale at the tasting room.

There will be live music from 2pm to 5 pm both days.   Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the winery, but space is limited.  Kids under 13  can stomp for free!  Non Drinkers can purchase a stomp only ticket for just $10.

There is also live music both days from 1 to 5 pm, food truck, and a bon fire.

Enjoy a beautiful day in the heart of the Hudson Valley and after the winery check out the shops and great restaurants in nearby downtown New Paltz.

See you there!

Robibero Family Winery

714 Albany Post Road  New Paltz New York           tel:  845-255-9463

http://www.robiberofamilyvineyards.com/Home_Page.html

tickets >>>>   https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grape-stomping-festival-at-robibero-winery-tickets-42648945143

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Grand Opening of the Bedford Playhouse with films,cocktails, live music, meet legends Paul Shaffer,Clive Davis and more!

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Looking for something to do this weekend?  Then look no further than the newly renovated Bedford Playhouse in Bedford Village.

The Playhouse is thrilled to announce the Grand Opening of its eagerly anticipated film, arts and cultural center, featuring state-of-the-art facilities and a vibrant and welcoming café.

Three days of celebration and exciting programming will kick off a new chapter for the beloved landmark after a $6m+ renovation and community effort to save the Playhouse that began back in 2015.  You must see the amazing transformation of the Playhouse into a theater and arts attraction for the region.

Opening weekend events will include parties, family films, “community choice” flicks, wine tastings, live entertainment and some very special guests. In recognition of the first historic Bedford Playhouse Grand Opening in 1947, entry-level tickets to a majority of the community festivities will be priced at $19.47 and include food, drinks and entertainment.

Friday, September 28th – Opening Night + Red Carpet Fun! The debut of two new theaters, The Clive and The Worby, beer & wine tastings, delicious food, film trivia events and a “community choice” screening of Dirty Dancing (…Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner!)

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Saturday, September 29th – Hors D’oeuvres, Cocktails, Live Music, Dancing & Conversation with Paul Shaffer & Clive Davis

Sunday, September 30th – Family Day! Mimosas, muffins and lots of fun: Screenings of Despicable Me, a Sound of Music Sing-A-Long, Storytelling, Sleight-of-Hand, some not-so-ordinary Puppets, Live Music, Special Guests … and Surprises!   See you there !

For Tickets Visit :  https://bedfordplayhouse.org

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Greenwich Wine and Food Festival returns to Greenwich September 21-22nd

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The fantastic Greenwich Wine and Food Festival presented by PepsiCo returns to Roger Sherman Baldwin Park on the harbor in Greenwich Ct., September 21-22, 2018.  The festival is amazing with food, wine, beer, and spirits tastings, celebrity chefs and demonstrations, a casino gaming tent, and capped off by a fantastic outdoor concert.  All this is the beautiful setting of Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.

Friday night will feature a  special dinner with The Opening Night Master Chef Wine Dinner, held at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park on Friday, September 21, will honor Alex Guarnaschelli for her innovation and substantial contributions to the culinary world.

Saturday September 22nd is a fun filled day starting at 12:30 pm with the Grand Tasting Tent with 150 different food and beverage vendors!  It is quite the treat.  It is a great way to sample wine, spirits, beverages and check out the culinary delights from great local restaurants.

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Celebrity chefs abound at the festival with The Celebrity Green Room, presented by Ethan Allen, will host celebrities and culinary experts in a luxury lounge while being interviewed by Serendipity contributing editors Chef Matt Storch and Chef Robin Selden.

12:30-12:50pm – Adam Richman  1:00-1:20pm – Scott Conant 1:30-1:50pm – Alex Guarnaschelli  2:00-2:20pm – Samantha Benjamin (The Dessertist), Kevin Des Chenes (restauranteur and author) and Lindsay Perkins (Lindsay Culinary, LLC)    2:30-2:50pm – Christian Petroni (Fortina, Winner of Next Food Network Star), Bill Taibe (Jesup Hall, Kawa Ni, The Whelk) and Serena Wolf (author and Domesticate-Me.com)  and more!

From 1pm to 6pm there will be two kitchen demonstration stages with celebrity chefs presenting great cooking demos.

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From 4:30 pm to 8:30pm there will be more great activities leading up to concert time!  There will be “The South of The Border” presented by Don Julio featuring the flavors of Mexico.   Bud and Burgers will have burger samples from competing restaurants as well as plenty of Budweiser on tap.   There is also a great “Tailgate Party” during this time with great samples from   featuring samples from Blue Point Brewing Company, Cafe’ Bon, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Filippo Berio, Half Full Brewery, Hoodoo Brown BBQ, Izzi B’s Bakery, Jameson, Kettle One, KOW Steaks, Mike’s Organic Delivery, Pepsi Zero, The Blind Rhino, The Dough Girls, True Color Sparkling Wine, Val’s Putnam Wines & Liquors, Walter’s Hot Dogs and Woodford Reserve.  There is something for everyone!

The festival will end with an outdoor concert.  At 6:30 pm vocalist and multi instrumentalist Caroline Jones will kick off the concert. She has released her first album this year “Bare Feet” and has spent much of 2018 touring with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band.  I have seen her in concert and she is not to be missed!

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At 8:30 pm Tim McGraw will be the main act on stage.  McGraw’s career spans over 20 years and  is considered a top  country music artist. He has numerous Grammy, CMA and AMA awards to his credit.  His crossover into a blend of country and pop music has made him a fan favorite all over the country.

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This event is not to be missed and comes along once a year !  For more information click the link below.

https://serendipitysocial.com/greenwich-wine-food

Greenwich Wine and Food Festival presented by PepsiCo

 

Ridgefield Theater Barn opens its 53rd season with the musical comedy, Urinetown

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The Ridgefield Theater Barn has opened is 53rd season with Urinetown, The Musical.   Urinetown is a satirical musical comedy .  It satirizes the legal system, capitalism social irresponsibility, populism,  bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, and municipal politics  The show also parodies past musicals, and the Broadway musical itself as an art form.

The play opened on Broadway in 2001 and ran for over 900 performances.  It was  the winner of the 2002 Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Original Score.   The music and lyrics were written  by Mark Hollmann,  and the book and lyrics  were penned by Greg Kotis.

This very funny musical now comes to the Ridgefield Theater Barn Stage with performances through September 28th 2018.    This production is directed by Deb Failla with Musical Direction by Lisa Riggs Hobbs. The show features Michael Valinoti, Elyse Jasensky, Chris Balestriere, Monica Harrington, James Hobayan, Bill Warncke, Joe Caputo,  Meaghan Elliot, Shawn Tyler Allen, Rachel Lotstein, Samantha Holomakoff, Rachel Lewis, Duane Lamham, Lesli Allen, Stephen Emerick, and Harry Brendan Garnett.

The Ridgefield Theater Barn is a wonderful intimate venue to enjoy live theater.  Seating is cabaret style at tables and theater goers are encouraged to bring their own food and wine to enjoy prior to the performance.

Don’t miss this hysterical show  before it sells out!  For tickets and more information:

http://ridgefieldtheaterbarn.org

Tickets are $38 and Seniors (62)/Students/Veterans $30

Ridgefield Theater Barn

37 Halpin Lane  •  Ridgefield, CT

 

 

Sunset Wine Party comes to Ridgefield, September 23rd

ridgefield wineOn September 23rd from from 6 pm to 10 pm, get ready to experience a fabulous evening of wine and food in Ridgefield Ct.  at the iconic Lounsbury House.  Attendees to this event will:

Taste over 80 wines presented by Ancona’s Wines & Liquors

Sample decadent food pairings expertly crafted by Executive Chef Giuseppe Castellano from Gallo Ristorante

Experience special wines at the Townvibe Exclusive Tasting Lounge

Listen to great DJ sessions

Learn wine tips from our wine pros during the 20 min Wine Talks

Watch your favorite wines make it to the top ten live ranking with our web app

Step into  the  interactive GIF booths and watch it all blow up on social media!

Enjoy the Wine Garden while you swirl and sip, watch the sunset and have a great time. Win a pair of tickets to this fun happening by contacting me through this website or the I on the Valley Facebook page and state why you wish to attend.

Come on out and celebrate the simple pleasures of life, in a night that will be anything but simple! Cheers!

Sunset Wine Party  presented by Ancona’s

web for info and tickets:  bit.ly/sunsetwineparty

LOUNSBURY HOUSE – RIDGEFIELD CT

316 Main St, Ridgefield, CT

 

Evarito’s: a modern take on authentic Mexican cuisine in SoNo

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SoNo (South Norwalk) is already home to a vibrant dining scene, and it has just been enhanced with the addition of Evarito’s.   The restaurant is the latest offering from the Skal Restaurant Group whose other popular restaurants include Cask Republic (SoNo, Stamford, New Haven) and the Ginger Man (Greenwich).   Having dined at the Cask Republic location in SoNo we were excited to experience this latest restaurant.

Evarito’s menu is Mexican but has been described as “Mexican mash up”.  It has been expertly crafted to blend authentic Mexican dishes with modern culinary trends.  Christian Burns, principal of the Skal Restaurant Group has culled dishes from his travels to Mexico and brought these items to Evarito’s which can be paired with a fine selection of craft cocktails.   We were quite surprised by the interior design of the restaurant.  Instead of the stripped down industrial look of many new Mexican eateries, Everito’s has taken a different path and developed an elegant  yet casual space to dine. It is both refined yet  inviting at the same time. High ceilings, beautiful lighting,  wood floors and tables and  banquettes covered in teal create a warm comfortable space.  The bar is long and impressive with Mexican tile accents.  The tile is repeated again in the large fireplace wall which dominates one side of the room.  Evarito’s is really several different spaces with the large dining room, bar area, open kitchen with raw bar and the spacious outdoor area  on the side of the restaurant.

Drinks are creative and numerous.  There are 7 different margaritas on the menu, several other house special cocktails,  18 varieties of beer (can or bottle) and 12 different wines available in glass or bottle.

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While the drinks are excellent, the main event is the fresh, authentic and uncluttered take on Mexican cuisine.  For starters we tried the Salsa Tour, a fun and unique way to dip your chips with selections such as salsa roja, salsa verde, mole negra,, avocado, and chile de arbol.  Each salsa has a different flavor, texture and heat and are great to share.    The Cactus Salad also made its way to our table and the this healthy mix of grilled cactus, tomato, cheese, fresh avocado and market greens was light and delish.  Nice dish for the veggie lover.

Main dishes are comprised of Tacos ($7-$9), Tostadas ($10-$12), Mexican Plates ($19-$25) and Fajitas al Carbon, prepared on a wood fired grill ($21-$23).    The tacos come two per order and are served on soft gluten free and non-gmo corn tortillas.   We tried the Fish Al Carbon, a delicious combo of grilled fish, pico de gallo, spicy mayo and cactus. This dish was so different then tacos we have had elsewhere and the emphasis on fresh ingredients and authentic recipes was evident in each bite.  Also enjoyed was the tasty Chicken Tacos and the Cauliflower Mole a unique blend of roasted cauliflower, mole, plantains and pickled onions.  This last dish is fantastic for the healthy eater or the vegetarian.

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There are four tostadas on the menu and we loved the Shrimp Tostada featuring fresh shrimp, chipotle and tomato cream, avocado and just enough onion to add some zip.  This fresh seafood dish made my mind wander to some Mexican seaside restaurant as I took each bite.

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Shrimp Tostada

Our final dish was the Shrimp Fajitas which was unlike any fajita I have ever seen or tasted.  The presentation was beautiful with the hand pressed tortillas served in a small ornate wooden box. The main dish was wood fired shrimp, grilled veggies (beets, root vegetables), cilantro cream and salsa roja.  I loved every bite and honestly this was the best fajita I have ever had.  It was that good.

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Shrimp Fajita with sauce on the side and tortillas served in a ornate wood box

Evarito’s is a unique Mexican eatery.  Its fine upscale interior design coupled with its carefully crafted menu that has elevated Mexican cuisine to a new level.  Upon leaving I instantly thought of the great healthy meal we enjoyed and what we will order on our next visit.

 

Evarito’s

14-16 North Main Street  South Norwalk Ct  (SoNo)

https://www.evaritos.com

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Montauk: A two day tour of sun, sea, sights and eats.

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Montauk N.Y. is a very special and unique place. The blue/green ocean water, pristine beaches and fresh air beckon visitors to the tip of Long Island each year.  Unlike the towns to the west (East Hampton,etc.), Montauk has a more relaxed and laid back vibe.  In a recent two day adventure we were able to get a taste of Montauk and not spend a fortune.

There are numerous lodging options in the area, Montauk Manor is where we stayed. See our article here.

After more exploring  the small downtown, we ventured a few short miles east to the very tip of Long Island to Montauk Light House.  The light house authorized by President George Washington in 1792 and completed in 1796.  This remarkable historic landmark has been preserved for us to visit and enjoy its views from the property.   The fee to enter the lighthouse is $11 which gives you access to the point, the historical exhibits at the base of the light, you can climb the winding 137 steps to the very top.  The views are tremendous as you can see Block Island, Rhode Island, Connecticut and way out over the Atlantic. https://montauklighthouse.com

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Beaches and Parks: Montauk is known for its beautiful beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.  Kirk Beach is right in town and features free parking) and you can walk easily into town. Ditch Plains is famous for surfing but  requires a parking permit. Some hotels may offer shuttles. Other  than a food truck there is no services there.  We checked out the beach right in town, at the base of South Edison St where parking is tight but the beach and water were fantastic (the parking is free). You can also easily walk into town, and the Sloppy Tuna bar and restaurant is right on the beach.   We spent the day here, and strolled up to the 2nd floor deck of the Sloppy Tuna for cocktails and to enjoy the awesome view.

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The Sloppy Tuna: on the beach and the deck is the perfect spot for food,drinks and an awesome view

Eats:  there are many dining options in Montauk for you to explore.   Here are two we experienced.  The Sloppy Tuna, a bar/restaurant located right on the beach in town.  The two story building is laid back and could be in any beach town from Montauk to the Keys.  It has an outside bar area where people gather in the afternoon, a large open bar room on the first floor for the late night crowd, and the upstairs eatery and bar with sun deck.  Upstairs is the casual dining area and the deck with panoramic views of the beach and the ocean.   We enjoyed sipping  margaritas and the huge rum filled “Chum Bucket” served in a small plastic bucket.    There is a wide selection of apps and mains, salads and side dishes.

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Drinks and the view from the Sloppy Tuna deck

We sampled the Lobster Roll which was large, fresh and delicious. Served with fries it was the perfect food as you watch the waves crash down on the beach.  You cannot visit Montauk without partaking in this delicacy.   As the sun slowly set and we were cooled by the breeze, we also enjoyed the Grilled Ahi Tuna Steak Sandwich.  This was a thick slice of perfectly cooked tuna on a bun that was delicious and filling.  Not a seafood lover?  Sloppy Tuna has chicken, beef and veggie options as well for everyone in your party.  Add some fun drinks and that view and you have a fun and memorable dining experience. http://www.lisloppytuna.com  Located on the beach 148 S Emerson St.

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Tuna Steak Sandwich

In town is a fun laid back Mexican restaurant, Tacombi.  This casual eatery with locations in Manhattan has recreated a vibe that echoes 1970s era Acapulco Mexico.  Even the sound track wafting through the eatery is 70s rock, though some modern tunes are thrown in .  The interior is basic with painted metal tables and chairs further enhancing the Mexican beach eatery vibe.

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The food is first rate and Tacombi uses the freshest of ingredients when crafting traditional Mexican dishes.  Starters include items such as tuna or avocado tostadas, street corn and rice and beans.    Tacos make up the largest part of the menu with delicious choices ranging from shrimp, chicken, pork, beef to a healthy and light veggie option.  This is a fun laid back restaurant with something for everyone.   Located at 52 Montauk Highway. http://tacombi.com

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Fresh Mexican delights at Tacombi

What is a trip to the beach without some ice cream.  A fixture in Montauk for decades has been John’s Drive In at 677 Montauk Highway.  By the lines at the counter in the evening,  you can see this local stand is a favorite with its fresh soft serve and hard ice cream.   John’s also offers burgers, shakes, and wraps, but we can only report on the creamy smoothness of the soft serve ice cream.

Montauk’s laid back casual atmosphere was just what we needed to charge our batteries. There is a lot to see and do and we only just touched the surface on this special place. In 48 hours we had a lot of fun and hope to return soon.

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Catskills Wine and Food Festival! A new festival with celebrity chefs, great food and great live music. October 6th-7th

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A brand new event featuring food, wine and great live music is coming to the Hudson Valley this fall!  Coming  October 6th-7th,  Catskills Wine and Food Festival is a one-of-kind experience in which guests will be treated to intimate cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs as well as live music, private tastings, a variety of good eats, and an impressive selection of beer, wine, and cider . For the full experience, guests can rent on-site cabins that sleep up to 18 people and stay overnight on the magnificent event grounds, nestled in the beautiful mountains of upstate in New York.

 

This is a very unique event that blends great food, celebrity chefs, craft beer, wine  and a fantastic line up of live music.  All this in a natural setting in the lush natural surroundings of the Hudson Valley.

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Celebrity chefs scheduled to appear:

  • Alex Guarnaschelli, award winning chef, author and Food Network star
  • Marcus Samuelsson, the acclaimed chef behind Red Rooster Harlem Rotisserie and more
  • Michael Chernow of Seamore’s (NYC) and co-founder of The Meatball Shop(NYC)
  • Bobbie Lloyd of the famed Magnolia Bakery
  • Gail Simmons, Top Chef on Bravo network
  • Donatella Arpaia, chef and Food Network host
  • Josh Capon, award winning chef

and more.

Both days will feature live music from the following :

  • Rebecca Perl
  • The Revivalists
  • Moon Taxi
  • Lord Huron

and many more talented performers.

A limited number of general admission two-day passes ($285) and single day tickets ($165) are available at CatskillsFestival.com. These packages include food sampling and wine tastings, access to cooking demonstrations, workshops and live music, access to activities throughout the campground, access to the weekend market — a culinary curation of the Catskills and beyond — and shuttles to and from select hotels in the area. All-access two-day VIP passes ($549) include all general admission events, plus access to a unique VIP Village where VIP attendees can enjoy private dining experiences curated by CWFF celebrity chefs, select open bars, meet & greets with talent, and more!

This is a very special event that can be enjoyed for one day or for both.  So make plans to head to the foothills of the Catskills to immerse yourselves in nature, great food and drink while listening to fantastic live music.

See you there!

For more information:  https://catskillsfestival.com

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Bedford Playhouse to screen First Reformed. Q&A with writer/director Paul Schrader

 

first reformedOn Saturday August 25th at 7pm, the Bedford Playhouse will be screening the drama First Reformed starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried.   Following the film there will be a Q & A session with the films writer and director, Paul Schrader.  This will be a very special evening.

Paul Schrader has a long and distinguished film career starting in the 1970s.  He has written or co-written numerous screenplays including  Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Last Temptation of Christ (all directed by Martin Scorsese).   During his career he has directed  18 feature films including American Gigolo,  Affliction, and his latest film First Reformed.

The film released in 2017 and follows a Protestant minister faced with questions of faith and morality while serving as pastor of a dwindling historical church and deals with some very heavy themes.

This should be a fascinating evening of cinema at the newly restored Bedford Playhouse.  The film starts at 7pm

For more information including great upcoming events visit the Playhouse website.

https://bedfordplayhouse.org

 Bedford Playhouse

633 Old Post Road Bedford New York

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The Understudy: a behind the scenes stage comedy now at Westport Country Playhouse

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A very funny play set backstage at a Broadway theater has opened  at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport Ct.  “The Understudy” written by award winning playwright Theresa Rebeck  is  a clever and very funny comedy that brought laughter and much applause from the opening night audience.  It recently ran off Broadway.

The play opens with a bang as Harry (Eric Bryant) runs down the aisle of the theater and leaps on stage and reminds the audience to silence their cell phones.  We learn quickly he is not a member of the theater but rather an actor and the show has abruptly started even though the stage curtain is still closed.  An effective way of getting the full attention of the audience.

This comedy takes place during practice on a Broadway stage for a serious play based on the works of German novelist Franz Kafka.  As the actors practice their lines, the audience is treated to a play within a play, with the seriousness of the Kafka story contrasting with the comedy of the main play itself.  The Understudy employs three actors, Harry who is the journeyman understudy looking for his big break, Jake (Brett Dalton) who is a movie actor and mid level action film star, and Roxanne (Andrea Sglowski) , a former actress now stage manager whose job during the play is to run this practice.  She has the task of  keeping Jake and Harry from fighting (as Harry dislikes a B  movie actor taking on serious Broadway roles).  Jake has no love for Harry as he sees him unfit to understudy for a “star” like himself.    Jake too is obsessed as to why he is not receiving big dollar contracts for movies and not the $2 million a film he currently  is paid.

We also find that Roxanne and Harry were once engaged and she has no idea he has been cast as the understudy as he has adopted a new name.  That tension and Harry’s constant absurd comments about changing the lines further send the practice into disarray.  Throw into the mix Laura, the stage board operator (unseen during the show) who is stoned and keeps screwing up the sound, lighting and the sets.  This only adds to the calamity on stage.   The play gives the audience a look into the world backstage at a Broadway production and all the issues that arrive that give angst to those in the production, but comedy for the viewer.

Interesting is the playwrights commentary on the current state of American theater.  Instead of staging plays and musicals of integrity, the public and the theater industry itself is obsessed with celebrity and profits , with many plum roles in the theater going to big name movie stars instead of seasoned actors.  This commentary is worthy and timely considering some of the shows making it to the stage today.  A very funny play with great acting, a thoughtful clever script and excellent direction by David Kennedy.

The play runs  one and a half hours and is fast paced and has no intermission.  The play runs through September 1, 2018.

for tickets and information

https://www.westportplayhouse.org

Westport Country Playhouse

25 Powers Court   Westport Ct.

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