Thursday, March 31, 2016

Chamberlain Road Hit-and-Run Kills Resident

From the MPD.
On Thursday, March 31, 2016 at approximately 2:15pm a dark blue SUV was traveling east bound on Chamberlain Road. Barbra Eddinger (age 61) was at her mailbox in the area of 278 Chamberlain Road when the SUV crossed the center line and entered the west bound lane, The SUV struck Ms. Eddinger.

The operator of the dark blue SUV is possibly a white male with dark hair or a dark hat. The SUV fled the scene. The SUV should have damage to the left front area.

Ms. Eddinger was transported to Middlesex Hospital where she later succumb to her injuries.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or has information regarding the crash is urged to contact the Middletown Police Department, 860-638-4060.

Letter from Pamela Tatge, Director, Center for the Arts

Pamela Tatge, Director, Center for the Arts
Photo by Sandy Aldieri, Perception Photography

Dear Friends of the Center for the Arts,

It is astonishing to me that Friday April 1 is my last day at Wesleyan University, after nearly seventeen years. I wanted to send you a note to thank you for being patrons of the Center for the Arts. There is simply no way we can ever welcome artists to Wesleyan without the presence of an engaged and committed audience. You have no idea how wonderful it was for me to look out at you from the Crowell Concert Hall or CFA Theater stage, or to see you at an opening in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. I knew that you were there to join me in celebrating what the arts can tell us about other cultures and other worlds; how they can help us to make sense of the world in which we live; and how they can make us feel both the exhilaration and the sadness of what it means to be alive. I want to thank you, in particular, for the times you bought a ticket to a performance by an artist whom you didn’t know but, because we at the CFA felt it was an important artist or group, you took the risk.

In these last days at my desk overlooking the CFA Courtyard, I am reflecting on so many great moments when we shared such joy and excitement not only for visiting and faculty artists, but also when we marveled together at the virtuosity and creative power of Wesleyan students and all that they have to offer us.

I will miss my Wesleyan and Middletown families greatly, but as an alum and parent of a member of the class of 2016, I know that I will return often and continue to experience the arts as only Wesleyan can present them. I also want to take the opportunity to introduce Laura Paul, Interim Director of the Center for the Arts, who will lead the CFA in its next chapter. Together we have been planning a 2016–17 season of performances and exhibitions that I know you will enjoy.

If, by any chance, you are free this Friday, April 1, I will be in Crowell Concert Hall at 8pm to introduce the great Wu Man and the Shanghai Quartet. I would love the chance to say goodbye and thank you in person; if not, I hope you will come to visit me this summer at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts (if you missed the announcement in January, I’m going there to be their new Executive Director)!

Thank you again for your generous support of the Center for the Arts.


Pamela Tatge
Director, Center for the Arts

April 1-3 at The Buttonwood Tree

This Weekend at The Buttonwood Tree
The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center
605 Main Street / PO Box 71, Middletown, CT 06457 / 860.347.4957  

A fantastic weekend ahead - and that's no April Fools' joke! 

Friday, April 1
8 pm $15
The coconuts Comedy Rocks! 
This special show is an all originals Coconuts show.
New England’s Legendary Comedy Rock Band
Johnny Eagle (vocals, blues harp, kazoo, percussion), Joe Beetz (guitar, vocals), Sal Monella (bass guitar, vocals, trumpet)

Saturday, April 2
1-4:30 pm
International Beat Poetry Festival
6:30 pm $15, $12 Students
Master Class with Danny Green Trio

Danny Greene at the piano

Before his performance at 8:00pm, Danny will be conducting a master class at 6:30.
The Danny Green Trio presents a master class on playing Brazilian rhythms in the jazz context. Familiar styles such as samba and bossa nova will be covered, as well as less familiar styles including baião and maracatu. The trio will demonstrate and discuss the nuances of each style, starting with the basic rhythmic patterns and moving into more advanced variations. Attendees are encouraged to participate. While this master class is intended for musicians, non-musicians are welcome to attend.

8:00 pm $12, $10 Students
Danny Green Trio 
Danny Green trio
Hailed as “one of the important up-and-comers on the scene today” by All About Jazz, award-winning pianist/composer Danny Green has distinguished himself with his beautifully articulated touch and deep affinity for Brazilian music. The Southern California native has wowed critics and audiences alike with a growing portfolio of fresh and engaging jazz piano sounds.
Green’s stellar trio, featuring bassist Justin Grinnell and drummer Julien Cantelm, is on tour to promote the release of Altered Narratives, an album of vivid and gorgeous music that blends of Brazilian, jazz, and classical elements. The Trio has performed and recorded with several notables in the Brazilian Jazz community including guitarist Chico Pinheiro, saxophonist Harvey Wainapel, and vocalist Claudia Villela. Music educators as well as touring musicians, the Trio performs and conducts master classes across the country.
Sunday, April 3
7:00 pm $5
Great Make Believe Society Improv Show
The Great Make Believe Society
The Great Make Believe Society is proud to host monthly improvised theater shows full of spontaneity and light-hearted funny! Join us for a lively night of laughs you will feel in your gut the next morning. First Sundays of the month!


Rep. Lesser To Be At Dunkin Donuts Saturday

From the Office of Matt Lesser
Representative Matthew Lesser (D-Middletown) will be holding office hours to meet with his constituents on Saturday.

All residents are encouraged to attend and share any ideas or concerns they have about state government.

WHAT: Representative Matthew Lesser to hold office hours                                                  

DATE: Saturday, April 2

TIME: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

WHERE: Dunkin Donuts, 648 South Main Street

Wesleyan College Of The Environment Program, Tues. April 5, RSVP for Free Lunch

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

April Improv at Buttonwood Tree featuring Winnipeg

Joining us this month is Hartford-area WINNIPEG. Listen, I don't know why they're called that. Why don't you ask them?!

Some of CT's best improvisers are hitting up the Buttonwod playspace for this month's show. Be sure to plant yourself at their feet while they tickle you. (Figuratively.)

The Great Make Believe Society is proud to host monthly improvised theater shows full of spontaneity and light-hearted funny! Join us for a lively night of laughs you will feel in your gut the next morning.

April 3rd 7PM
Cost: $5 suggested donation. All are Welcome.

The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center
606 Main Street, Middletown CT
Parking: Unmetered parking on Main Street, at It’s Only Natural Market and at municipal lot one block south of TBT

​Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ KENT!!

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ KENT!!

Gender:  Male
Breed:  Domestic Short Hair

Color:  Grey Tabby
Age:  3 years

 I'm a laid back, sweet and affectionate boy who loves to be pet and loves attention. I really would prefer a home where it's quiet so that I can fully enjoy my cat naps. I wasn't feeling great when I first came in and it was discovered that I have diabetes, but I don't give anyone trouble when I get my insulin twice a day. The diabetic food I eat is actually pretty tasty and I am told that it's high quality so that will help my immune system since I also have FIV (don't worry, you can't catch this and it's really hard for other cats to catch it as well). I really want a home to call my own. Please adopt me!

Special Needs / No Dogs / No Children / FIV 
(to learn more about FIV, visit

Phone: (860) 344-9043
Email: ​​​


Monday, March 28, 2016

Poet Elizabeth Thomas to Give Workshop at Russell Library

Poet Elizabeth Thomas
On Tuesday, March 29 at 7:00pm, poet Elizabeth Thomas will give a creative writing workshop focused on the mother/daughter relationship. 

Elizabeth Thomas is a widely published poet, performer, teacher and advocate of the arts. The author of two poetry collections and one book on writing for youth and teachers, she has read her work throughout the United States. In 2009, Thomas served as the Poet-in-Residence at the United Arab Emirates University outside of Dubai. She’s been a member of three Connecticut National Poetry Slam teams and in 1998 was a member of the U.S. team that performed in Sweden.

Drop-in, no registration. 
Sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until You've Got It -- The Colonel Carries On #24

by A. Shortfinger-Vulgarian

Epigraph: “See, see de insolance of de Foot-boy English.” (1677) --OED

James Joyce hated quotation marks, calling them “short slices of death.” No, wait, that was the bad guy in the movie “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” and he was talking about sleep.

Brits call quotation marks “inverted commas” (oddly sexual) and Joyce called them “perverted commas” (oddly sexual and also third-grade).

Friday, March 25, 2016

Cat Tales Courtesy Posting ~ BEAUTY needs a home quickly ~ Contact owner for details!!


Gender:  Female
Breed:  DSH
Color:  Dilute Torti
Age:  3 years old

My name is Beauty - what a purrfect name for me isn't it?  I'm super friendly, I love people and I am a lap cat. I LOVE to play - I can't resist a balled up piece of paper or a string.  I am FIV/FeLV negative, spayed, and current on shots. I am looking for a home with another cat or someone who will play with me!  Will that be you?
Please contact Todd at for any/all questions!!
NOTE:  This is a courtesy posting. This cat is not fostered by Cat Tales. Contact the owner directly for more information.

Shakespeare Film Series with Richard Alleva at the Russell Library

"Shakespeare and Laurence Olivier" is the subject for the film screening and discussion with Richard Alleva on Saturday, March 26 at 1:00pm. in The Hubbard Room at Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. 
During the first 15 years of the “talkies”, static camerawork, pompous acting and waxworks staging delivered the Bard’s plays dead on arrival to bored audiences. Then a young actor, Laurence Olivier, returning to wartime Britain after a brief, meteoric career in Hollywood, was tasked by Winston Churchill to take Shakespeare’s patriotic play, Henry V, and turn it into a spectacle that would be both effective propaganda and great art. Shakespeare on screen has never been the same since.
Commonweal Magazine’s film critic, Richard Alleva, will show scenes from all three of Olivier’s adaptations –Henry V, Hamlet, and Richard III—and discuss the techniques that made them both memorable and groundbreaking. The afternoon will conclude with a long excerpt from Othello, Olivier’s most controversial performance, acclaimed in Britain as the greatest performance of the Moor in a century, and denounced in America as grotesque and racist.
The film series is part of the Shakespeare 400 Passport in partnership with ArtFarm.
Drop-in, no registration. 
This series is funded by The Friends of the Russell Library.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Katie Bull Group Project at The Buttonwood

Singer, songwriter, improvisor, and poet Katie Bull will be in Middletown this Friday night to perform in the cozy performance space of The Buttonwood Tree, 605 Main Street.  She and the Katie Bull Group Project will present the entirety of her new CD, "All Hot Bodies Radiate" (Ashkokan Indie). The 13-song, 65-minute collection features all original material save for a lovely reading of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "If I Loved You" and a somewhat off-center reading of "Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead." The musicians on the CD are the ones who'll be onstage and they include Landon Knoblock (piano, electronics, vocals), Jeff Lederer (tenor and soprano saxophone), plus the very active rhythm section of bassist Joe Fonda (pictured above with Ms. Bull) and drummer George Schuller.

The album, Ms. Bull's 5th as a leader or a co-leader, blends poetry, wordless vocals, "free jazz", swing, folk and so much more. The musicians swirl, wail. rock, and add so much support. The variety of sounds the quintet creates is quite impressive and the music often moves in unexpected directions. Knoblock's keyboard is inventive and forceful while the saxophone work of Lederer can go just about anywhere at any time.

The music starts at 8 p.m.  For more information, go to To find out more about Ms. Bull and her many projects, go to Here's the Katie Bull Group Project in action from last summer's Monday Night Jazz Series in Hartford's Bushnell Park:

(A version of this post appears on

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

High School Students Make Most of “Experience College Day” at MxCC

Nearly 200 local high school students “took over” Middlesex Community College today so they could truly experience life as a college student for a day.  The students came from 11 area high schools and spent the day in lecture halls and labs, walking throughout the 38-acre campus, enjoying lunch in Chapman Hall, and taking part in presentations in the beautiful Pavilion, which features floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook a large deck and campus woods.  The “Experience College Day” event allowed potential students to talk to current students and faculty, and get a much more personal look inside all the College offers.  As an added benefit, MxCC waived the application fee for any student who submitted a completed application to the College during the event.

The event was held during MxCC’s spring break so the high school students could explore the campus without interrupting any ongoing academic work.  MxCC faculty volunteered their time to return to campus during break and present sample half-hour lectures to students on subjects including biology, bio-technology, business, early childhood education, engineering, manufacturing, fine arts, new media, and veterinary technology.  MxCC students also participated as guides to help high school students navigate the campus, share their experiences, and answer questions.  Additionally, MxCC staff was on hand to help with application forms, to provide information about financial aid, and to explain academic and other support services and campus life.

“This event goes much further than a traditional open house or campus tour as the high schoolers really are treated as college students for a day,” explained Gayle Barrett, MxCC’s director of admissions.  “They get to see what our classrooms look like, experience some of the wonderful technology we use every day, and take a look inside some of our impressive labs.  We are so glad our area high schools support this event, and we hope many of these students choose MxCC as the first step in their academic careers.”