SopranosCon: a convention for fans of the hit HBO show The Sopranos, November 23-24th

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Though the ground breaking HBO series “The Sopranos” aired its final season years ago, the show still has thousands of loyal fans.   On Saturday November 23rd and November 24th the Meadowlands Convention Center will be host to  Sopranos Con, a convention for all things Sopranos.  The two day convention is billed as an event “By the fans, for the fans”.

The two day event is filled will give loyal fans of the series a full taste of their favorite show.   Over 40 members of the cast will be in attendance at the event including Dominic Chianese (Uncle Junior), Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts),  Vincent Pastore (Sal “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero),  Tony Darrow (Larry Boy Barese) and so many more.

There will be autograph sessions with cast members, trivia contest,  screenings, vendor tables, stand up comedians, cannoli eating contest, tours of sites used in the filming and so much more.   There will also be an additional VIP experience– Red Carpet  in the Meadowlands Expo Lobby, a special VIP Cocktail Hour Meet and Greet, Large Cast Q & A hosted by Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz (Authors of Sopranos Sessions) as well as performances by Dominic Chianese (Uncle Junior) with Danny Bacher, and Alabama 3.  As well there is a special  VIP After Party at  Satin Dolls aka The Original Bada Bing! (requires additional ticket  or packages)

This is looking to be the ultimate Sopranos fan event.  Do not miss it.

For Tickets and information https://www.sopranoscon.com/

 

 

Don Juan: a modern and relevant telling of this classic play now at the Westport Country Playhouse

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The classic story of Don Juan is now on stage at the famous Westport Country Playhouse.  Most of us have heard about the legendary lover and seducer, Don Juan, but his tale written by the  Playwright Molière (1622-1673) is very different.  This translation by Brendan Pelsue, and adaptation and direction by David Kennedy will forever change the way you think about the character Don Juan

This is a thoroughly modern and avant garde production of this classic tale.  In a world where more value is put on the cult of personality and moral integrity is cast aside, this staging of Don Juan is both relevant and compelling.

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You have never seen Don Juan like this before in this modern-dress production of the satirical, classic comic tale. As he moves through the play  the notorious seducer leaves behind a trail of broken hearts,unpaid bills, and scandals.  He cares little for the destruction he brings on his debtors, or the women he leaves behind.  He allows Sganarelle, his loyal servant  to clean up his messes.  During the play Don Juan seduces one woman after another.  He cares not for them or their feeling as long as he can satisfy his own ego and personal cravings.  He wears a light suit of gold indicating though he is a “noble” it is all gilded and beneath the veneer he is a shallow narcissist.  He even wears a shirt of black and gold that spells out “Narcissist” but only backward so only he can be read in a mirror.

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His man servant Sganarelle acts not only as his fixer and his buffer from all that is unpleasant, but serves as his moral conscience.  It is Sganarelle that implores him to see the damage he does by his behavior and to repent.  Don Juan ignores his pleas and reminds him he has years to live before he will even consider changing his immoral ways.

“When I originally proposed that we produce ‘Don Juan,’ I thought 2019 was the perfect time to revive this acerbically comic tale of an undisciplined, thin-skinned narcissist who blazes a path of destruction through the world, upending institutions and social norms, destabilizing everything, offending all decency and morality, and leaving a trail of wreckage in his wake. I can’t ever imagine why,” said  David Kennedy, the director.

In Act Two Don Juan has an encounter with the ghost from his wicked past in the form of a statue of a man he once killed.  It is here we find Don Juan, dressed not as a playboy but more like a modern politician that he must finally confront his own lack of morality.  You must wait to the dramatic conclusion to see his fate.

Don Juan is  played by Nick Westrate (2012 Drama Desk award winner, numerous Broadway, Off-Broadway roles),  Sganarelle, Don Juan’s sidekick, played by Bhavesh Patel (Broadway’s “The Nap,” “Present Laughter” opposite Kevin Klein; Lincoln Center Theater’s “War Horse”). Philip Goodwin portrays Don Juan’s father Don Louis (Broadway’s “Tartuffe,” “The School for Scandal,” “The Diary of Anne Frank”).

Other cast members are Jordan Bellow as Don Carlos (New York theater’s “Interior”; regional theater’s “A Raisin in the Sun”; television’s “Gotham”); Paul DeBoy as Mr. Gusman/Statue  (Broadway’s “Mamma Mia!”; television’s ““Leviathan”); Carson Elrod as Pierrot/Dimanche (Westport Country Playhouse’s “Bedroom Farce,” “How the Other Half Loves,” and others; Broadway’s “Peter and the Starcatcher”); Suzy Jane Hunt as Dona Elvira (Broadways’ “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Dead Accounts”; television’s “The Americans”); Bobby Roman as Don Alonzo (film credits “The Challenger,” “Tapestry,” “One Night in Brooklyn”); Ariana Venturi as Charlotte (five seasons at Berkshire Theatre Festival; Alya Feinburg in season two of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”); and Claudia Logan as Mathurine/The Ghost (HBO’s “Random Acts of Flyness,” “The Deuce”; Netflix’s “Tales of the City”).

The creative team includes Marsha Ginsberg, scenic design, and Sam Vawter, associate scenic design; Katherine Roth, costume design; Matthew Richards, lighting design; Fitz Patton, original music and sound design; Michael Rossmy, fight director and intimacy coach ; Karin White, props supervisor; Dana Tanner-Kennedy,  Tara Rubin Casting, Laura Schutzel  and Claire Burke, CSA; and Shane Schnetzler, production stage manager.

This is a thought provoking and finely crafted production that will have you discussing the performance long after the curtain has come down.  See Don Juan now through November 23rd.

for tickets and information >>>>>https://www.westportplayhouse.org

Westport Country Playhouse

25 Powers Court  Westport Ct

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Steel Magnolias: a funny and touching play now on stage at Music Theatre of Connecticut

 

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The play Steel Magnolias is now on stage at the Music Theatre of Connecticut (MTC).  This touching comedy/drama is based on the real life experience of Robert Harling whose sister Susan died from complications of Type 1 diabetes.  Hoping to cope with his loss he wrote a short story about the event which later he transformed into a play in 1987.  The play was adapted into a successful film in 1989 with an all star cast.    MTC has now brought this warm play to its stage in Norwalk, Ct.

Steel Magnolias is set in a small town in Louisiana in the  late 1980s.  The play takes place entirely in the beauty salon owned by Truvy (Raissa Katona Bennett).   As in many small towns the salon is the center of life and gossip in town.  It is also where a small group of good friends gather each week to talk and to support each other.   Here we find this group of strong women on the eve of Shelby’s( Andrea Lynn Green ) wedding.  We are introduced to Annelle (Rachel Rival) the newcomer to town with a unknown past who is hired to work in the salon.  We see her morph from quiet stranger, to born again Christian.  M’Lynn (Kaia Monroe) is Shelby’s mother who is preparing for the wedding, Cynthia Hannah is Clariee who is the widow of the former town mayor, and she trades good natured barbs with Ouiser  (Kristi Carnahan).

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As Act One leads up to the wedding, we learn about these strong characters and their relationship with each other.  The dialogue is fast and funny as the women exchange sarcastic one liners with each other and keep the pace of the play moving along briskly.

These six women are the “steel magnolias”.   Southern women  who seemingly pretty and petty on the outside but strong enough inside to survive the challenges they face.  Although a comedy for most of the play, the sadness of Shelby’s illness as a result of her diabetes and pregnancy brings these strong characters even closer despite their differences.  Act Two deals more with Shelby’s illness and her decline and how these women deal with the situation.   Humor still prevails in Act Two despite the sadness.

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Raissa Katona Bennett and Andrea Lynn Green

It is the powerful bonds of friendship and family that the audience takes away from this play.  It is funny and entertaining, but touching and heart warming as well.   Director Pamela Hill has done a wonderful job in bringing these characters to  life.  She has done  great work with the actors in this ensemble.

Steel Magnolias runs November 8th -24th 2019.  Show times are Friday evenings at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm , Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets are $35-65 .

As with all the productions at MTC, the acting and directing is first rate, and this is yet another performance you should not miss.

Music Theater of Connecticut

509 Westport Avenue   Norwalk Ct     

https://www.musictheatreofct.com/steelmagnolias

 

 

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Fall Literary Lunch at The Inn at Pound Ridge on November 12th with Daniel Leader founder of Bread Alone

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A very special event is coming to The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean‑Georges as they welcome Daniel Leader for their November Literary Luncheon.

First inspired by his time in Paris as a young man, Daniel Leader has pursued  quality bread ever since. One of the first champions of artisanal bread baking in the United States. Leader went on to create  Bread Alone.. This iconic  bakery quickly became known for its signature techniques and was soon one of the country’s most beloved artisan bread companies. Bread Alone has locations in Boiceville (Catskills), Woodstock, Kingston, Rhinebeck  and sells its great products through Hudson Valley farmers markets and select retailers. Now, in his new cookbook, LIVING BREAD: Tradition and Innovation in Artisan Bread Making (October 15, 2019, $40, Avery), Leader offers accomplished profiles of some of the most knowledgeable, skilled, and innovative craftspeople working in bread today, with more than 60 recipes that contain expert advice — the simple secrets that the best professional bakers know — for achieving professional results at home.

Mr. Leader  will be talking to lunch attendees about his new book Living Bread: TRADITION and INNOVATION in Artisan Bread Making and will partner with Jean‑Georges for a three-course luncheon.

When>   November 12, 2019 at 11:30am

Where> The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges  

                258 Westchester Avenue Pound Ridge NY

Cost >$108 per person (inclusive of tax & gratuity)

Books will be available for purchase

Please call The Inn at Pound Ridge at 914-764-1400 to make a reservation.

 

 

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week returns November 4th-17th.

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Hudson Valley Restaurant week, presented by Valley Table Magazine is back again! Starting Monday November 4th , 2019 and it runs  through Sunday November 17 ,2019.   This event involves over 200 participating restaurants in the Hudson Valley which offer diners special three-course price fixe dinner menus for $32.95 (not including beverage, tax and gratuity). Many of these fine restaurants also offer 3-course price fixe lunches for $22.95 (not including beverage, tax and gratuity).  There will over 100  restaurants participating in Westchester County alone.

This is an amazing opportunity to try new restaurants, or revisit some old favorites at a reasonable price. There are no tickets or coupons to buy and the process is easy ! Go to the Valley Table website and scroll down and view the participating restaurants, then choose a restaurant (or more), call the restaurant to make a reservation and then enjoy!  It is advised that you make reservations as this is a very popular event.

Many of the restaurants will have the Restaurant Week Menu  on their own websites.  Each restaurant offers selections off that special menu for you to enjoy the discount and experience new eateries.

You really should not miss this special time get out and dine at some of the fantastic restaurants we have here in the Hudson Valley!
Website   https://www.valleytable.com/hvrw

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“An American in Paris” dances into the Westchester Broadway Theater

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An outstanding score, intricate dance routines, authentic costumes and great acting all add up to a sensational  show right here in Westchester.  The musical,  An American in Paris has danced its way onto the Westchester Broadway Theatre stage. The Broadway musical adapted from the 1951 film of the same name and starred Gene Kelly, was the winner of numerous awards including 4  Tony Awards.  With numerous dance numbers, fine direction, and music score by the legendary  Gershwin brothers, An American in Paris is a hit.

The story takes place immediately after World War II and Jerry Mulligan (Brandon Haagenson), an American G.I. who meets a beautiful French girl on the streets of Paris.  From this chance encounter he decides he will stay in Paris after the war to pursue his dreams of being an artist.  He makes his way to a cafe where he meets Adam Hochberg, another American  veteran and pianist, whose becomes the narrator of the story.. Trying to assist a fellow countryman, Adam helps Jerry find a place to live and helps him get started in Paris. Henri Baurel, the son of wealthy French industrialists, enters to rehearse the nightclub act he is putting together with Adam.  Henri is practicing in secret because his dreams of being an entertainer would be frowned upon by his successful parents.

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Adam takes Jerry to the ballet where he decides to sketch the dancers in auditions.  Here he meets Milo Davenport, a rich American who is smitten by Jerry and wants to help his budding artistic career.  At the audition, Adam meets the mystery girl Lise Dassin (Deanna Doyle) and so taken by her that he wants to compose ballet music for her.   It is the money and persuasion of Milo Davenport that leads to Adam being hired to compose the score to a ballet, Lise to be its principal dancer and for Jerry to be art director.

But as the group works together we find there is a love triangle occurring between Jerry, Lise and Henri. Indeed Lise herself is hiding a deep secret about her past from both Adam and Jerry that will not be revealed until Act Two.  It is a play about love, passion, self discovery  and following your heart whether it be romance or your art.

An American In Paris has all the components of a great musical.  A fine story with a compelling plot and interesting characters, memorable music from two icons of American music, and great dance numbers. If you love dance, then this play is for you.  While the set is very basic  for such a big production, yet  it allows the performers and choreographed dance sequences to command the stage.  The evening is filled with dance numbers including tap, jazz, ball room and even ballet.  The cast for this production is huge with 25 actors on stage.  A brilliant job by Director and Choreographer Richard Stafford.  With only a short rehearsal time prior to opening night, the stage was filled with swirling dancers who dazzled the audience with carefully crafted and synchronized steps.  The score is memorable and familiar with both classical music pieces as well as such famous tunes as “I’ve got Rhythym”, and “An American in Paris”.

There were great performances all around from this talented cast, many who have Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional and National Tours.   Bandon Haagenson takes on the role made famous by the great dancer, Gene Kelly and his performance is fantastic including but not certainly not limited to his amazing tap dancing.   Deanna Doyle gives a wonderful perfomance as Lise, the French girl and ballet dancer and she is quite charming.  Her versatility on stage in her numerous dance routines was very impressive.  Rounding out the excellent cast is Erika Amato playing Madame Baurel,  Tommaso Antico as Adam , and Jonathan Young as Henri.  Lauren Sprague last seen at WBT in A Chorus Line, was superb as Milo.   Credit goes to the wonderful ensemble cast of singers and dancers who lit up the WBT stage with their lively performance.

Keith Nielsen, the Costume Designer for the production, truly captured  the unique and stylish look of 1940s fashion.

If you can’t visit Paris this fall, let the City of Light come to you with this finely crafted production of “An American in Paris”.  Now through November 24th 2019.

For Tickets and information https://www.broadwaytheatre.com

Westchester Broadway Theater

One Broadway Plaza  Elmsford NY

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Feeding Westchester hosts”An Evening of Good Taste” on October 24th to benefit the hungry

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Feeding Westchester’s annual “An Evening in Good Taste,” a night of delectable bites from more than 30 top restaurants and shops, networking with other Feeding Westchester supporters and raising funds for @FeedingWestchester’s initiative to help end hunger in Westchester County. Help feed our 200,000 Westchester neighbors struggling with hunger, including 60,000 children by purchasing tickets to this event.

The event runs from 7pm to 9:30 pm.

Participating restaurants include:

Abigail Kirsch Catering Relationships .Caperberry Events at the C.V. Rich Mansion, Chutney Masala, City Perch Kitchen & Bar, Crabtree Kittle House, DoughNation Pizza Truck Great American BBQ, L’inizio, La Bocca Ristorante ,La Provence.,Ladle of Love, Longford’s Ice Cream, Lulu Cake Boutique, Moderne Barn, North End Tavern, PopoJito,RiverMarket Bar & Kitchen, Royal Palace, Saltaire Oyster Bar, Sambal, Sonora, The DESSERTIST, The Rare Bit, Tredici NORTH,Xaviars Restaurant Group.  Plus craft beer wine and spirits.

For Tickets and information:

https://feedingwestchester.org/event/aeigt/

Feeding Westchester/An Evening of Good Taste

133 Westchester Avenue
White Plains, 
NY 

 

 

Mlima’s Tale: a powerful and moving drama of the illegal ivory trade now at the Westport Country Playhouse

 

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A powerful, moving and thought provoking play is now on stage at the Westport Country PlayhouseMlima’s Tale is a compelling drama written by two time Pulitizer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and directed by Mark Lamos.  The play was featured Off-Broadway in 2018 and this is its first production since then and cannot be missed.

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The story of Mlima’s Tale is  of a famous and beloved Kenyan elephant named Mlima who lives in a protected national park, but is still being hunted by poachers involved in the illegal ivory trade.   The story follows the hunting of Mlima and the transport of the precious tusks of this animal to Vietnam and finally on to China.  Along the way the elements of human greed, corruption, and crime are exposed as part of this illicit trade.

The author brings not only great respect to the elephants and their plight, but humanizes them during the performance.  We hear the voices of the elephants as they run through the brush to escape the poachers, and as they cry out for loved ones.  It is traumatic tale that grabs the audience and does not let them go. Jermaine Rowe plays Mlima and his words and body language give a voice to this wonderful animal.  After the hunt Mr. Rowe takes on the part of the soul or the spirit of Mlima as the tusks are being transported.  He follow along the trade route and  physically touches each of the persons involved in the trade and marks them with the sign of their crime with white chalk.

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The message of “Mlima’s Tale” is straight forward, clear and direct. This is like no other drama I have ever seen on stage.  The set is simple and allows the actors and the story to drive the message.  The back screen of the stage is lit with changing images as well as  written quotes that convey the inhumanity of how we share this planet with other beings, and harvest them as if they had no soul.   This unique approach to story telling is quite compelling and I found myself riveted to the action on stage during the performance.  The somberness of the subject matter, the creative story telling, and the projected imagery of the written quotes constantly has the audience contemplating the seriousness of the elephant’s plight, and that of all exploited animals.    The play is 90 minutes long with no intermission.  There is no usual break to reflect on what is happening to in the play, but rather the audience is drawn into the story until its conclusion.  Like all his work, director Mark Lamos has done a brilliant job with this unique drama.

The other  three cast members  have the task of playing multiple roles including Kenyan hunters, corrupt officials, Kenyan park rangers, ivory traders, an American ship captain, Vietnamese port officials, and even a wealthy Chinese woman looking to buy an ivory trinket for her luxury flat.  Jeannean Farmer, Adit Dileep and Carl Hendrick Louis are up to the task of the many characters they play. Each has an impressive resume of Broadway, Off Broadway, and television roles and they provide a fine performance.

This is a rare play that is unique in its presentation but powerful in its delivery and its message.  Do not miss it.

for tickets and information >>https://www.westportplayhouse.org/mlimastale

Westport Country Playhouse

25 Powers Court

Westport Ct     (203) 227-4177

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Taste of Fairfield:A great event for foodies on Sunday October 13th

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Looking for something to do this coming weekend?  If you are looking for something different then the Taste Of Fairfield may be the perfect way to take spend your day . The event is on Sunday October 13th  from 1pm to 4pm.  Taste of Fairfield is a production of Town Vibe, the publisher of magazines in Fairfield, Westchester, and Litchfield Counties.

Taste of Fairfield  is a great event that brings together in one place restaurants, wineries, distillers, craft brewers and markets. It takes place in a tented  patio area of the elegant Delamar Hotel in Southport, Ct.  Samples of products from all the vendors will be available to taste for all attendees.   I attended the Taste of Fairfield event  last year and had a great time!

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Foodies and their families can enjoy tastes and sips from more than 35 restaurants and specialty markets from the Fairfield area. In addition to fine cuisine, craft cocktails, wine, craft beer, and sweets, there will be live music from local favorite Ellis Island, and returning special guest: psychic medium and “Domestic Diva” chef Lisa Marie Rollieri from “Angel Speaks,” giving “Angel Readings.” There will be a few pop-up shop vendors selling gifts, jewelry, décor and beauty products. Fairfield Moms is presenting the kids area with sweet treats and food, a bounce house, entertainment, a take-home craft from AR Workshop, face-painting, and more.

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Taste of Fairfield takes place rain or shine, from 1 PM to 4 PM, and new this year— a special VIP Preview hour from noon to 1 PM for VIP ticket holders which includes valet parking. The event benefits and showcases charity partner Norma Pfreim Breast Center, celebrating their 20th year.

PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS : Artisan, Atria Senior Living, Brick Walk Tavern, Cylinder Vodka Inc, Diageo, Fairfield Craft Ales, Fifth State Distillery, Forza Ristorante, Fred06825, Geronimo Tequila Bar & Southwest Grill, Hub & Spoke, Josh Wines, Kindred Spirits & Wine, Links Drinks Transfusion, Litchfield Distillery, Lobstercraft, Maplewood Senior Living, Nordic Fish, Old Post Tavern, Pizza Truck Company, Playa Bowls of Fairfield, Poppy’s Cheesecake, Puerto Vallarta, Reed’s, Rive Bistro, Sono Baking Company, Sturges Ridge, The Blind Rhino, The Little Pub, Totó Mediterranean Restaurant, Two Roads Brewing, Whiskey Barrel

TICKET PRICES

$55 Adults ($65 at door)
$20 Students 21 & under
FREE Kids 10 & under
$100 VIP ($130 at door) Special VIP Preview hour 12-1 PM with Valet Parking. Limited VIP tickets!

tickets>>https://www.eventbrite.com/e/taste-of-fairfield-2019-tickets-63433064002

This event  sold out last year so don’t wait!

Taste of Fairfield  presented by TownVibe

Delamar Southport   (right off I-95 north)

275 Old Post Road

Southport, CT 06890

 

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Audrain’s Newport Concours d’Elegance: a new world class car event comes to Newport October 3rd to 6th

 

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Billed as “A celebration of all things history, sport and luxury, Audrain’s Newport Concours D’Elegance will bring a new level of  excitement to the car collecting world.  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.

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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 of this caliber has never been executed in Newport, Rhode Island.  This is your opportunity to experience what is billed to be a truly magnificent event.

The four days of the Concours will feature not only amazing collector cars from near and afar, but a concert with John Legend, a VIP gala, Cars and Coffee, The Concours Village,  Seminars, The Gathering at Rough Point ( a lawn party featuring rare autos and motorcycles in a spectacular setting) and more.

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.

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

 

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