Monday, July 27, 2009

July Goes Out Like a Lion (Arts-wise)

Tuesday July 28:
That's guitarist and vocalist Mark DeAngelis (a member of the faculty of UCONN teaching business law) who performs with the Gallant Sons of Erin, an ensemble that performs music and stories dealing with Irish immigrant soldiers and their experiences in the American Civil War. Joined by his brother Dave (banjo, vocals) and Todd Bryda (vocals, bodhran), he'll be on the South Green at 7 p.m. in a free concert co-sponsored by the Middlesex County Historical Society and the Middletown Commission on the Arts. The band, which (on occasion) also includes other DeAngelis family members and friends, bases its repertoire on the research members have done on Company K of the Irish Brigade's 28th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. In case of rain, the concert moves indoors to South Congregational Church.

"Cinefare in Middletown" comes to the end of its 4-Tuesday run with the last in the series of "Frank Capra Directs Hollywood's Leading Men" at 7:30 p.m. in the Goldsmith Family Cinema in the Center for Flm Studies at Wesleyan. Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, Eleanor Parker, Carolyn Jones, Keenan Wynn and the ever sardonic Thelma Ritter star in "Hole in the Head", the 1959 Capra comedy about a Miami Beach hotelier (Sinatra) whose wealthy older brother (Robinson) is tired of helping him through his financial and personal issues. There's a subplot about development of a theme park (virtually unheard of in Florida in the days before DisneyWorld) and other issues but, mostly, this is a light comedy and will have you whistling the tune "High Hopes" as you head home. Tom Santopietro, author of "Sinatra in Hollywood", will introduce the movie and also will be available for a Q & A following the screening. For more information about the movie and restaurant discounts/transportation before the showing, go to

Wednesday July 29:
Celebrate the work created the children attending the 2009 Kids Arts programs from 5 - 7 p.m. in The Buttonwood Tree. The different presenters include members of the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" class and "Artists of the Future" as well as the staff of Kid Current, the summer newspaper. It's impressive what these young people create during the 5-week daily program. The event is free and open to the public.

The "Music at the Mansion" series, held on the back lawn of the Wadsworth Mansion at the Long Hill Estate concludes with its opening show (originally scheduled for July 1 and postponed due to rain.) Eight to the Bar, the Connecticut-based "swing & blues" sextet, is known for its exciting "live" shows and impeccable musicianship. The grounds open at 5:30 p.m. for those who wish to stake out a good spot and have a leisurely picnic supper. The band "hits" at 6:30 - for more information, call 347-1064. To check out the band, go to

Thursday July 30:
North End Nights concludes its July run with a breakdancing class taught by Byran Giles at 5:30 p.m. in the Green Street Arts Center followed by a 6:45 concert featuring guitarist's Melvin Sparks Trio with Bill Carbone (drums) and Matthew O. (organ) in the Luis Lopez Herb Garden. To find out more about these free events and "discount passes to North End businesses, go to

Middletown Teen Theater, a 4-week "theater camp" experience, comes to an exciting conclusion with a production of Disney's "Beauty & The Beast" Thursday through Sunday August 2 in the Auditorium of the Performing Arts at Middletown High School, LaRosa Lane. Staff members include Marco Gaylord (executive director), Ali Brandt (artistic and program director), Aaron Sinicrope (music director), Stella Demand (choreographer), Spencer Bazzano (assistant director), Jeanine Westbrook (vocal coach), Michael Gosselin (technical director), Larry Gaechter (set designer), Kim Everson (assistant technical director) and Tomas Viragdula (junior counselor.) Cast members range in age from 9 to 17 and, as you will see, there's a whole slew of them (73 children signed on for the summer.) Performances are 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. The final dress rehearsal is open to the public as a "freeview" on Wednesday night. For ticket information, go to


Anonymous said...

I think it would be great if the Performing Arts at MHS would collaborate with the Gilbert and Sullivan folks to co-produce next year's theater camp performance. The collaboration would help two struggling performance arts organizations stay alive, and it would introduce Middletown youth to the brilliance of G&S. In fact, wouldn't it be fab if ARTFARM and G&S collaborated on "Gilbert and Sullivan in the Grove"?

MJS said...

There is a lot of children's theater going on around Middletown this summer! This Saturday at 5 pm IDS and MAPA are debuting their production of "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown!". Many children from Middletown and neighboring communities are participating. Call IDS for more info.

What a wonderful community to have so many offering for our kids!

Anonymous said...

And don't forget... Oddfellows Playhouse and Middletown Commission on the Arts presents the Children's Circus of Middletown on Friday, July 31st at 5pm. This features approximately 200 local children performing their skills (some newly earned and some who have been working hard for years).

Come support these talented young children as you sit in the sun at Spencer School and listen to the live circus band!

Anonymous said...

East Hampton's YPCCA (Young People's Center for Creative Arts)Program is also presenting their musical this Thursday through Sat evenings (7:00P.M.)and Sunday afternooon (2:00P.M.). Tickets are available at the door and online at
"Jesus Christ Superstar" will be performed by teens from all over Middlesex County and beyond.
This amazing program, running more than 25 yrs., will not disappoint!
Staff there brings out the very best in their performers as seen last week at their Parents Night talent show.
Be sure to make room for all the entertainment around the area provided by so many talented young people and very dedicated staff.

Anonymous said...

Last evenings opening performance for Beauty and the Beast was astonishing, given that these kids have only had four weeks to pull this production together you would never know it.
The singing and acting was as professional as any Broadway play and all should be commended for their hard work and dedication to the arts.
With a thirteen piece orchestra playing in the pit the audience was wowed by a plethora of talent, I encourage all to go and support the Teen Theater this weekend and enjoy the show.