Taste of Fairfield Winter Fest: great way to chase away the Winter blues

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Looking for something to do this coming weekend?  There will be no football on Sunday and if you are looking for something different then The Taste Of Fairfield-Winter Fest may be the perfect way to take care of the winter blues. The event is on Sunday January 26th from 1 pm to 4p.m.

Taste of Fairfield-Winter Fest  is a great event that brings together in one place restaurants, wineries, distillers, craft brewers and markets.  Samples of their products will be available to taste for all attendees.   I attended the fall Taste of Fairfield event a few months back and had a great time.

The focus of this event will be on comfort food, party food and other great food and beverages you might serve at your own party.   The Fest is indoors at the beautiful Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield Ct.  This is a great party space and in addition to the food there will be live music bowling, stand-up comedy and even roving entertainment. A special VIP ticket can be purchased to have early access to the event and to the Lenox Jewelers VIP lounge from noon to 1 PM. VIP ticket holders may enter the $500 Lenox Jewelers prize giveaway.

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In addition to fine and comfort cuisine, craft cocktails, wine, craft beer, and sweets, there will be fun for the whole family in the four-lane bowling alley and with the comedians from Fairfield Comedy Club who will perform at 1:30 PM. AR Workshop sponsors an interactive kids’ craft area with a terrific take-home craft.  Sounds like a great afternoon!

Tickets:  $50 in advance.  $100 for VIP tickets which includes open bar and access to the private lounge. Parking is free!  Two dozen restaurants and business will be serving tastes and sips of there wares.  The event benefits the local efforts of charity partner Operation Hope of Fairfield.

Taste of Fairfield -Winter Fest is a production of Town Vibe, the publisher of great local magazines in Fairfield, Westchester, and Litchfield Counties.

for tickets and info

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/taste-of-fairfield-winterfest-2020-tickets-77923847325

 

Taste Of Fairfield-Winter Fest

Brooklawn Country Club

500 Algonquin Road Fairfield Ct.

 

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Dylan Lauren sweetens the Bedford Playhouse with her book and sweets!

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On January 20th, 2020 the Bedford Playhouse hosted Dylan Lauren, entrepreneur and CEO of Dylan’s Candy Bar.    Dylan  is a Westchester resident and is the daughter of famed designer, Ralph Lauren.  When she was 6 years of age, Dylan dreamed of opening her own candy store as she was inspired by the film “Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory”.  In 2001 Dylan’s dream was realized when she opened “Dylan’s Candy Bar” in New York City.   Dylan’s Candy Bar offers the largest selection of candies and candy related gift items from around the world and has become a destination for both residents and tourists.

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Dylan also has written a book about her experiences in “Unwrap Your Sweet Life”.  In her appearance at the playhouse attendees filled the main theater to greet Dylan.  She was interviewed by moderator and filmmaker Dyllan McGee and discussed her life, her business and book.   Audience members were able to participate in a Q & A session after the discussion.

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The event continued with  a meet and greet with the Dylan Lauren and attendees were given an autographed copy of her book.   The fun continued in the cafe where a mini version of Dylan’s Candy Bar was set up and attendees were able to sample some sweet treats.  What a great event!

This event is just one of the many fun events at the Playhouse.   The Bedford Playhouse is more than just a cinema, it provides a vibrant cultural and social space for members of the community.  Stayed tuned to I On The Valley for more events coming to the Bedford Playhouse.  You can also check out their website (link below), or better yet become a playhouse member.  See you at the movies!

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So wonderful to meet Dylan Lauren at such a great venue

 

The Bedford Playhouse

633 Old Post Rd, Bedford, NY 10506

web  https://bedfordplayhouse.org

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Lend Me A Tenor: the Tony award winning comedy will have you laughing all night

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A hilarious mad cap comedy is now on stage at the Westchester Broadway Theatre. Lend Me A Tenor is a departure from the main stage musicals that have made the WBT famous.   Lend me a Tenor was first produced on the  West End (London) in 1986  and on Broadway  in 1989.  The play was nominated for nine Tony awards, and won two.    It also was nominated for six Drama Desk awards and won four.  Now this comedy is on stage until January 24th.  It is truly in the style of modern British comedy with exaggerated acting, physical comedy, over the top characters and a clever set that is a vital part of the story.

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Buckle your seat belts as you may just fall out of your seat from laughing too hard!   The play is set in a hotel suite in Cleveland Ohio in 1934.  An internationally famous opera tenor, Tito Merelli is coming to Cleveland to perform the famous role of Pagliacci the clown.   His anticipated arrival is a huge event for the local theater which is betting their season on this perfomance.  Merelli is quite the ladies man and when he arrives we discover that the women in the play are all trying to seduce him.   Act One soon gets turned on his head as Merelli mixes too many sleeping pills and wine.  The theater manager  fearing that his star is dead asks his assistant Max to don the make up and costume of Pagliacci and assume his role that very evening on stage.

The stage is an integral part of the comedy.  The stage is one large hotel suite with a partial wall that divides the bedroom from the sitting area.  The audience can see all the action in both rooms but the characters cannot.   There are also 5 doors that exit the room, two to closets, one to the bathroom and two to the corridor.  These doors are part of this very over the top physical comedy as the actors race in and out of the doors.   Act Two turns the whole story on its head.  Is Merelli the tenor really dead?  Or just in a deep sleep.  Is there room for two operatic  clowns in this comedy?  You will have to see to find out.

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Starring: Joey Sorge as Tito, J.D. Daw as Max, Molly McCaskill as Maggie, Hannah Jane McMurray as Diana, Sam Seferian as the Bellhop, Tregoney Shepherd as Julia and Kathy Voytko as Maria

Excellent direction by Harry Bouvy, Set Design by Steve Loftus, Lighting by Andrew Gmoser, Sound by Mark Zuckerman, Costumes by Keith Nielsen, Wigs by Gerard Kelly, Victor Lukas is the PSM, Duane McDevitt is the ASM/male standby. Lisa Tiso is the Producer.

The play runs through January 26th 2020 and is a must see.    WBT is running a special for this production that you can access by calling the theater.  Buy a ticket and WBT  will  treat you to their delicious 3-course served dinner with a selection of entrees for FREE!

Enjoy the show, with dinner, for the regular show-only price of $57
Valid for performances on Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings and Sunday Matinees.

Call the Box Office at 914-592-2222  and ask for the DINNER DEAL!

WESTCHESTER BROADWAY THEATER

One Broadway Plaza Elmsford NY

https://www.broadwaytheatre.com

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OKO: Japanese inspired cuisine from award winning Chef Brian Lewis opening in Rye

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Celebrated chef and Westchester native, Brian Lewis is opening a new restaurant in Rye.  OKO , featuring Japanese inspired cuisine and Nigiri sushi , is set to open in  at 29 Purchase Street in Rye on  Wednesday December 18, 2019.  The opening of OKO is a welcome addition to the vibrant Rye dining scene.

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Chef Lewis has two other restaurants, The Cottage and OKO, both located in Westport. His restaurants in Westport have received the coveted “Excellent” rating from the New York Times. Lewis was also honored in 2018 as a semi-finalist for the James Beard Awards’ Best Chef: Northeast in 2018.  He first received national recognition as the opening Executive Chef of actor Richard Gere’s The Bedford Post Inn, a Relais & Chateaux property that featured two destination restaurants, The Barn and The Farmhouse.

 

Named in honor of okonomiyaki, or “OKO,” is  a savory pancake filled with seasonally-inspired ingredients.  Lewis first introduced this Japanese inspired dish to the menu at The Cottage several years back.

 

We were excited to attend a media only event to experience the new venue and its exciting menu.  The food  at OKO includes several styles of Japanese-influenced cuisine, including Sushi Nigiri, Sashimi and Temaki (hand rolls), as well as vegetable tempura, seasonally inspired salads and vegetable dishes, okonomiyaki, homemade tofu, hand-cut soba, Bento Boxes and meat dishes from the tepinyaki grill.  A traditional Omakase menu will also be available at the Chef’s Table, offering a spontaneous, multi-course menu of the chef’s choosing, as well as a “Chef’s Selection” offering of Nigiri Sushi, Sashimi or Chirashi Sashimi.   We can report the food presentation at the event was delightful and tasted delicious.

OKO has a full bar with Sake available by bottle and tap, American, Euro and Japanese beer, as well as matcha and wine.  Interesting and innovative cocktails are available and we sampled the flavorful Ginger Ninja.

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The restaurant accepts reservations via OpenTable.com, or by contacting the restaurant at 914-481-8660.

For more information

www.okokitchen.com.

OKO
29 Purchase Street Rye New York

 

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The Marvelous Wonderettes: the off Broadway hit now at the Ridgefield Theater Barn

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The fun musical comedy “The Marvelous  Wonderettes” is now on stage at the Ridgefield Theater Barn.  The musical which was written and created by Roger Bean first opened off Broadway in 2008 and was revived in 2016 and has been produced in cities all over the U.S. and in Canada.   The  show uses  well known pop songs from the 1950s and 1960s as a way to tell its story.  The songs are recognizable pop hits from that era to which the audience can easily relate.

Act One takes place in 1958 where we meet our cast, Cindy Lou, Missy,Betty Jean and Suzy.  At the last moment they are called upon to perform at their senior prom as a replacement. The girls save the day and entertain their classmates in four-part harmony.  The songs are fun, light and instantly recognizable as the girls deliver their own versions of “Mr. Sandman”, “Lollipop”, “Sugartime”, “Dream Lover” “Stupid Cupid” and many more.   The play becomes interactive as the audience themselves is asked to pick the prom queen and ballots are collected from audience members.  Costume design by Brenda D. Renfroe really capture clothing style of the period.

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Act Two is 10 years later in 1968 and the world of the Marvelous Wonderettes has changed.  They are back at their high school for their reunion.  Though the girls are back on stage we find their relationship to each other has changed over the years.  Again the cast entertains the reunion with a list of 1960s classic hits including “Heatwave”, “It’s In His Kiss”, “Son of a Preacher Man”, “Leader of the Pack” and more.  The songs are woven into the story and help tell the tale.

The show is fun and light hearted and entertained the audience without a slow moment. The talented cast includes  Rena Gavigan (Missy), Sarah Giggar (Cindy Lou), Lauren Nicole Sherwood (Suzy), and Tarah Margaret Vega (Betty Jean).  Music is live and provided by a band on stage including Benjamin McCormack (musical director), Nathan Huvard, Sabrina Mason, Jordan Tulley, and Kyle Camerato.    The production is directed by Foster Evans Reese who starred in “Fences” at the Barn back in 2018.

The production runs through January 4, 2020.  The Barn is an intimate small setting and the audience sits at tables.  Doors open at  6 and attendees can bring their own food and drink to enjoy prior to showtime.  A small bar is also open in the theater lobby.

for tickets and information:

https://ridgefieldtheaterbarn.org/

Ridgefield Theater Barn

37 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield CT 06877

For information, call 203.431.9850

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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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