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Checking Out the Arts Scene in Greenwich

Highlights of community programs: St. Catherine's Players; Greenwich Symphony; Greenwich Reads Together; Go fly a kite and a World AIDS exhibit.

Among the myriad of arts treasures in Greenwich are two very community-based groups – and the Greenwich Symphony.

For nearly three months each year leading up to two weekends of performances, the all volunteer St. Catherine’s Players prepares its annual music production. If you missed, Hello, Dolly! this month – you missed a real treat with Ed Krumeich and Maida Lowin as the leads. Mark your calendar now so you won’t miss the 2012 production next March.

Another community treasure is the .

This past weekend, the GSO fourth concerts of the season featured the Hungarian husband and wife duo of violinist Barnabas Kelemen and violist Katalin Kokas. Their performance of Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat major for Violin, Viola and Orchestra, K.364, was energetic, emotional and entertaining.

Some GSO patrons were treated to another performance during a post-concert reception held Sunday evening  by GSO President Mary Radcliffe and her husband Dick. Barnabas and Katalin were joined by Katalin’s sister, celiist Dora Kokas and second violinist Gabor Homoki, a student of Barnabas. The four comprise the Barnabas Kelemen Quartet which performed Opus 13 from Mendelsohn’s Concert No. 2.

Their performance (see video) was a warmup for a recital they gave on Monday at the Hungarian Consulate in New York City.

The GSO has one pair of concerts remaining in its season – featuring Greenwich resident and former principal English horn player of the New York Philharmonic Thomas Stacy – on April 16 and 17. For more information log on to the GSO’s website www.greenwichsym.org/

Singers' Circle

On Thursday night, check out the Greenwich High School Student Activities Singers' Circle. It's billed as an evening of student performers and songwriters. It's all free and will be held 7 p.m. at the Arcadia Coffee Company on Arcadia Road in Old Greenwich.

Time for Shakespeare

It’s not too late to join a free seven-week primer on Shakespeare’s Coriolanus that begins tonight/Wednesday at 7 o’clock in the Cole Auditorium of

Each hour-long session will be conducted by Shakespearean expert Bob Smith, who has hosted these annual lecture programs for years.

Free copies of the play will be given to attendees.

For more information, call Matthew Sgritta at (203) 622-7972.

 Speaking of the ever popular Greenwich Library check out the extensive programming planned in conjunction with Greenwich Reads Together, a community-wide reading experience with all of Greenwich in reading the same book - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Zusak will speak at the Cole Auditorium at Greenwich Library on Monday, March 28 at 7 p.m. Zusak is described as one of today’s most innovative and poetic novelists. Zusak’s impetus for The Book Thief was derived from the stories he grew up hearing about his mother’s childhood in Nazi Germany. She told him of bombings in Munich and her first person accounts of Jewish people being marched to concentration camps. These unforgettable images lent Zusak the backdrop for a story idea that blossomed into a novel defining mankind’s capability for great kindness and great cruelty.

A separate session with Zusak geared specifically for teens will take place at 4 p.m. March 28 in the Greenwich Library Meeting Room.

Children ages 2-6 can board the Greenwich Alliance for Education’s Storymobile to make their own books or bookmarks from 3:30-5:00 p.m. at Greenwich Library’s West Putnam Avenue entrance. 

All events are free and open to the public, but tickets are required for the evening session. Pick up free, unassigned seating tickets at the Welcome Desk starting at 9:30 a.m. Monday, March 28, with a limit of four tickets  per person.

Transform an old book into a new work of art as Max does in The Book Thief. Join Katie Stevenson on Saturday, March 26 at 1 p.m. in the Meeting Room to learn how to create a personalized altered book. Using techniques such as sanding, gluing, cutting and tearing, students in grades 6 and up will produce a one-of-a-kind creation. Required registration may be made by calling Teen Services Librarian Margaret Walsh at (203) 622-7915.

 The threat of war and disaster are constants of The Book Thief.  The Greenwich Red Cross will provide three basic steps to prepare for a disaster on Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m. in the Meeting Room at Greenwich Library. Learn how to prepare a family disaster plan, build a disaster supply kit, and shelter in place. For more information, call (203) 869-8444, ext. 130.

Max Vandenberg draws pictures and writes stories during his time in hiding. Create a scrapbook or journal to save those special treasures, photos and thoughts on Saturday, April 9 at 1 p.m. in the Meeting Room at Greenwich Library. Select your cover paper, pages and decorate the book to make it your own. Arrive early, as space and materials limit the program to 30 children in grades K-3. For more information, call (203) 622-7940.

The Friends of Greenwich Library will show two films in the Cole Auditorium to celebrate Greenwich Reads Together. Both films start at 8 p.m. doors open at 7:40 p.m.

On Friday, April 1, screen Life is Beautiful (Italy-1997) with Roberto Begnini and Nicoletta Braschi. Directed by Roberto Begnini. A Chaplinesque fable about the power of imagination set against the stark reality of World War II Europe and the concentration camps. On Friday, April 8, view The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (UK-USA) with Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis and Rupert Friend. Directed by Mark Herman. A unique perspective on how prejudice, hatred and violence affect innocent children in wartime. A Jewish boy and a camp commandant’s son see their lives intertwine. For more information, call Wayne Campbell at (203) 622-7922.

The power of words is a major theme in The Book Thief. Former Greenwich Superintendent of Schools and Senior Vice President, Scholastic Inc. Ernie Fleishman will moderate a panel that will examine the future of the printed book and the impact of technology on reading on Tuesday, April 12 at 7 p.m. in the Cole Auditorium. Panelists will include Margery Mayer, Jason Kaufman, Peter Meyers and Eleanor Lipman, all leaders in their respective fields. 

Mayer, president of Scholastic Education, is an expert in 21st century learning and the development of research-based educational technology programs. Kaufman is the executive editor at Doubleday Publishing who  has collaborated with Dan Brown on Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code. Meyers, a technology consultant, co-founded one of the first online multi-media textbook ventures and led a number of projects on transforming print to digital. Lipman has published nine books, including The Family Man, My Last Grievance and Then She Found Me (adapted into a 2008 film starring Helen Hunt and Bette Midler). Co-sponsored by the and Greenwich Library. For more information, please call (203) 862-6750.

Members of the community are invited to share their feedback in small discussion groups. Greenwich Pen Women, a branch of the National League of American Pen Women, will provide leaders for book discussion groups of all ages, from teens through seniors.

will offer the Thursday Evening Book Club will meet on Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room at Cos Cob Library. Byram Shubert Library Book Club is open to adults on Tuesday, April 12 at 3:45 p.m. in the Community Room at .

Several discussion groups are available for teens. Greenwich Library will host a discussion group for ages 12 and up on Tuesday, April 5 at 7 p.m. in the Meeting Room. Cos Cob Library will host a discussion group for grades 6 and up on Friday, April 8 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at Cos Cob Library. Byram Shubert Library will host a discussion group for tweens ages 12 and up on Wednesday, April 6, 3:15 p.m. in the Community Room at . Refreshments will be served at all teen discussion groups.

Students in grades 6, 7 and 8 are invited to participate in Middle School Book Club on Thursday, March 31 at 4:30 p.m. to discuss The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen in the Meeting Room at Greenwich Library. This award-winning book tells the story of Hannah, a 12-year-old girl transported back to a 1940's Polish village. There she experiences the very horrors that had embarrassed and annoyed her when her elders related their Holocaust experiences. Registration is required. To register, visit the 2nd floor Reference Desk near Teen Central to pick up a copy of the book. For more information, please contact Teen Services Librarian Margaret Walsh at (203) 622-7915 or mwalsh@greenwichlibrary.org.

Greenwich Library will host Junior Book Club for students in grades 4-6 on Thursday, April 7 at 4:30 p.m. in the Meeting Room.  Participants will read Best Friends Forever: a World War II Scrapbook by Beverly Patt. When Dottie and her Japanese-American family are relocated to an internment camp, Louise begins a scrapbook which documents the experience.  Pre-registration required, limit 20 participants. Register in person in the Children’s Room beginning March 4. For more information, call (203) 622-7940.

Copies of The Book Thief are available to borrow at Greenwich Library and may also be purchased at local bookstores including Diane’s Books and Just Books. 

Visit www.greenwichlibrary.org/GreenwichReadsTogether.aspx for details on programs, discussion groups and information about the book and author, reviews, interviews and discussion guides.

 

Kites and snowflakes ???

Hopefully the weather will cooperate Saturday, March 26, when it’s up, up, and away with the annual Kite Flying Festival sponsored by the Greenwich Arts Council and the Town of Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation.

A longtime Greenwich tradition that also involves McDonalds and , participants are encouraged to bring kites of all shapes and sizes, made of paper, plastic or fabric – actually, anything that will fly. Each flyer will receive a certificate to McDonalds, and be eligible for a drawing for gift certificates from Smart Kids’ Toys. It all happens at Greenwich Point at noon. (The raindate is 1:30 p.m., Sunday, March 27.)

For more information, call the Greenwich Arts Council at (203) 862-6750, log on to the website at www.greenwicharts.org, or call the Department of Parks and Recreation at (203) 622-6485.

World Vision Experience: AIDS

A virtual art exhibit World Vision Experience: AIDS comes to Greenwich on Sunday for a weeklong showing.

in partnership with ,, and a variety of other inter-faith and community partners is hosting the World Vision Experience: AIDS exhibit which has already visited more than 130 cities since it began touring in 2007. The free, multimedia, interactive exhibit is open to the public.

The World Vision Experience: AIDS allows visitors to step into the lives of children affected by HIV and AIDS in the hardest-hit region of the world: Sub-Saharan Africa, where about 22 million people are infected with HIV or AIDS. Visitors walk through a replica of an African village and experience the effects of the pandemic in a real way as they listen to a personal audio track relating the story of one of four children. 

The exhibit is one of many events occurring in the Greenwich area centered on AIDS education. Other events include: a visit by Maya Angelou on April 2, a youth rally with guest speaker Zach Hunter and an inter-faith AIDS prayer vigil including a speech by World Vision’s Princess Zulu.

Viewing at Christ Church Greenwich
254 E. Putnam Ave., is available 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., March 27 to 30; 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., March 31 to April 2, and 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., April 3.

For information, contact Louisa Greene at (203) 550-2697 or louisasgreene@yahoo.com.

Princess Kasune Zulu March 25, 2011 at 02:31 AM
Looking forward to be there, loving the excitement from all the partnership and the Greenwich Community, for Step Into Africa. Most importantly the lives that will be changed. Princess Kasune Zulu

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