Thursday, June 30, 2016

FUN is Improv at The Buttonwood Tree (July 3)

Great Make Believe Society Improv Show

July 3 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm | $5

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! 7pm

The Tile Project

Members of The Buttonwood Tree are mounting a fundraising campaign that will bring a beautiful visual art installation to the foyer of The Buttonwood Tree. A 46”x 58” space on the wall will be filled with a ceramic tile mini mural of an artist’s interpretation of both the mission and Buttonwood Tree logo. The area holds a total of 154 tile squares used in the artwork. Each tile, sold for $50.00, represents an investment in the extraordinary performances, connections, and good will found at The Buttonwood Tree every single day.

Names will be engraved on a bronze plaque that will hang alongside the finished piece. The tile work will hang in the lobby for a period of two years or more before being retired to another location in the facility.

Purchasers of tiles will also be invited to a special reception where the work will be unveiled for the first time and be given an opportunity to meet with the artist as he/she discusses the work.

Be part of the Tile Project HERE


The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center
605 Main Street / PO Box 71, Middletown, CT 06457
CLICK TO GO TO WEBSITE: / 860.347.4957 


The City of Middletown Fireworks Festival is Saturday, July 2 beginning at 5 p.m. Performing this year are the City's Music Ambassadors. Starting things off at 5 p.m. will be The Rust'd Keys featuring Music Ambassador Dave Downs. Next up at 6:15 p.m. will be Music Ambassador Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem. Then, at 7:30 p.m. the band is the Jay Hoggard Quartet featuring Music Ambassador Jay Hoggard. The Middletown Symphonic Band will be providing patriotic music from approximately 8:30 p.m. through the fireworks.
Come early for a good seat to view the fireworks and enjoy the activities. Seating sites are along the riverfront in Harbor Park and in front of City Hall at 245 deKoven Drive, and there will be plenty of food vendors at both locations.
For more information, please contact the Mayor's Office at 860.638.4801 or the City Arts Office at 860.638.4510.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Cat Tales Summer Fill-A-Truck Challenge Event​!!! 7/16 ~ Walmart Cromwell ~9a-3p

Cat Tales Summer Fill-A-Truck Challenge Event​!!!

​WHAT:  Cat Tales Summer Fill-A-Truck Challenge! Cat Tales is asking for donations of paper towels, disinfectant wipes, bleach, dry & canned food to help feed homeless cats & kittens in our community

WHEN:  Saturday, July 16, 2016 between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Walmart of Cromwell, 161 Berlin Road, Cromwell, CT

We will have Cat Tales Volunteers on hand to give you a brief wishlist of items we are in desperate need of, as well as helping promote Cat Tales by purchasing some magnets, etc (dog & cat!), or just to learn a little about who we are and what we do for our community!  Our wishlist is basically below:

As always, if you have questions, 
please email 
or call 860.344.9043.  Thank you!

Hope to see you there!

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ MARMALADE!!

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week




Breed:Domestic Short Hair


Age:       Almost 2 years old

I am a very friendly and affectionate kitty. I love to greet visitors to my foster home and I love it when they pet me and give me attention. I also enjoy relaxing on the recliner with my foster parents. Sometimes, we even take little cat naps together. Won't you please come to meet & visit me, so you can see what a sweetheart I am?  

No Dogs, please

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The System Is Not Broken, But the Illusion of Its Existence Has Been Punctured -- The Colonel Carries On #37

By Chip Reader
Epigraph: “An alcoholic I know cut his drinking by half. Now he goes to A meetings.”

“Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't." -Richard Bach, writer (b. 1936)

“Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.” --Jean-Paul Sartre, writer and philosopher (1905-1980)

“Here’s a bit of good advice: win free tickets, and keep winning free tickets.” --Merry Groghairs

Thursday, June 23, 2016

This Weekend at the Buttonwood Tree! (June 24-25)


June 24 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm | $10

Presenting jazz tap like you've never seen before!
Jazz standards, contemporary R&B and some original compositions. Drummer Jocelyn Pleasant is joined by tap dancer Corey Hutchins, with Orice Jenkins & Matt Dwonszyk.

Watch Medusa's "Rhythm Stories" below!

Allysen Callery Record Release Show

June 25 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm | $10

Callery is a singer-songwriter and Rhode Island native whose delicate, austere sound has been compared to classic British folk artists like Sandy Denny and Vashti Bunyan. She will also be joined with special guest sets by talented Connecticut singer-songwriters:

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

Exercise Your Mind, Body and Spirit at Russell Library This Summer

Watch for our Flamingo "Russell" to get clues as to what people are reading!
Russell Library’s Summer Reading Program for Adults, Teens and Children is underway! In addition to reading books and writing reviews and winning prizes, patrons may also wish to participate in the multitude of programs available this summer.  

You can sit down and color anytime you are in the library, of course, but you may wish to discover Adult Coloring with others in an introductory program. Coloring is a trend as adults rediscover a childhood pastime and embrace this relaxing creative outlet. Some may enjoy the craft’s therapeutic benefits. Others see sitting down with a box of crayons and a coloring book as an alternative to watching a flickering screen. Tuesday, July 12, 6:30-8:00pm, and July 20th, 2:00-3:30pm.

Yoga In the Courtyard with Jeff Hush is open to all ages, and will take place July 30 and August 20 from 11:00am – noon. Besides being beneficial to your body, yoga help to quiet the mind and calm the spirit. It’s particularly wonderful when done outside on a nice day. In case of rain, we’ll meet in the Hubbard Room. 

Origami is being introduced to children, teens and adults at different times throughout the summer. This ancient Japanese art of folding paper is a way of exercising spatial reasoning as well as developing fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Look on our children’s calendar for Tuesdays July 5 and 19 at 6:30pm, adults on August 9th at 6:30 and teens on August 23rd with our Otakus group.  

It’s never too late to register for the Adult Summer Reading Program at the circulation desk with your library card! Downtown Middletown gift cards will be awarded weekly. All participants have a chance at the Grand Finale Prize of a Kindle Fire 6HD at the conclusion of the program in August. The rules are simple: write a brief book review (limit of 2 reviews per week) for our “Dive Into Reading” and to enter the drawing. Book reviews may be occasionally posted to our Facebook page. Check us out on Facebook and get clues as to what “Russell” –our library Flamingo—is reading!

Pitch Perfect: Free Film on Foss Hill Saturday, 8:30 PM

The Mayoral Youth Cabinet will be presenting Pitch Perfect as the first, free to all, film on Foss Hill this summer.  Foss Hill, for those who don't know, is at the center of Wesleyan's campus, and the focus of major sledding on snowy Winter days.

WHAT: Films on Foss Presents - Pitch Perfect

WHEN: Saturday, June 25, 8:30 PM

COST: Absolutely free

WHAT TO EXPECT: Free popcorn and water

WHAT TO BRING: Picnic foods, snacks, blankets, chairs, bug repellant


July 9: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

July 23: Inside Out

August 6: One of the following, depending on votes:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
The Incredibles
Princess Bride
Star Wars: New Hope

Canoe & Kayak Paddle -- July 2 on the “Floating Meadows”

The Jonah Center invites kayakers and canoeists to a group paddle in Middletown’s Floating Meadows – a 1000 acre freshwater tidal marshland -- on Saturday, July 2, from 12 noon until 2:30 p.m. Paddlers will launch from the City of Middletown’s new Phil Salafia Canoe and Kayak Launch at 181 Johnson Street, travel down the Coginchaug River for a short distance to the Mattabesset River, and from there paddle on the Mattabesset River upstream toward Cromwell. Water level in these rivers is currently low, but the trip is timed to coincide with high tide.

Group activities will include searching for and removing invasive water chestnut plants, which pose a potential, serious threat to the health of local ponds and waterways. Margot Burns from the RiverCOG (the regional planning agency) will be with us to assist in this effort. Paddlers will also learn about the CT Turtle Atlas as a way to help monitor and protect turtle populations. Photos of turtles taken with cameras or smartphones using location services and submitted via the app iNaturalist will help scientists document the need for measures to protect all turtles whose numbers are in serious decline.

Paddlers need to provide their own boats and lifejackets, as well as water and snacks (if desired). Pre-registration is not required, but participants will be asked to sign a liability waiver and photo use permission slip. The Jonah Center requests a donation of $10 from each participant.

For more information, contact John Hall at 860-398-3771.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Colonel Endorses Brexit -- Stop the Presses Special Report

Middletown, Conn (June 22). Colonel T. H. Clapping, beloved local blogger with literally dozens of readers, said today “If I were British, I would vote ‘Go.’”

Clapping said he has sent Boris Johnson, former mayor of London and prominent Breleaver, several slogans, including “Stay British: Vote Go,” “Tell Brussels Where to Go: Vote Go,” “Keep Calm and Vote Go,” and “Don’t Euro, Go Happy” for use in the referendum campaign ending with a vote tomorrow on whether the U.K. should withdraw from the European Union (EU).

“It’s in the U.S. interest to detach Britain from Europe as much as possible,” Clapping said. "I was impressed with a speech I heard on the Internet by a fellow who said his wife was a 'Goer,'" he added.

“If the U.K. gets out of the EU I’d let England, Northern Ireland, and Wales become states of the U.S. if they so desired. Scotland I’m not so sure about; it gives me paws. I think I’d rather have Quebec -- the Quebeckers aren’t so excitable,” he said.

“As for the ‘republican form of government’ requirement in the U.S. Constitution, I’d let Her Majesty appoint a governor general in each of the new three states, squint, and call them republics,” he said, and clarified that he, not Her Majesty, would do the squinting. "It wouldn't comport with Her Majesty's dignity," he said. "She's ninety, God bless her."

At press time it wasn't clear how many British voters, if any, would be influenced by the Colonel's last-minute endorsement of the "Go" position. Nor could Boris Johnson be reached for comment, but his answering machine played a selection of quotations from his past, including the following:

My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive.

The dreadful truth is that when people come to see their MP they have run out of better ideas.
My friends, I have discovered that there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters..

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ GIDEON! Also FILL-A-TRUCK EVENT!!!

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week!!

Breed:Domestic Med Hair
Color:Grey & White
Age: 2 years old

I am such a sweet boy who loves to be pet and loves attention. ​I'd let you pet me all day! I'd be good with children 10 or older. I'd love ​to snuggle in your warm bed 
​with you​ or to ​just ​lay on the couch ​next to you. I​t makes me so happy when you talk to me quietly and spend 
time with me. Please come to meet me, and adopt me​ today!

Web: http://www.Cat
Phone:  (860) 344-9043


Summer Fill-A-Truck Challenge Event

WHAT:  Cat Tales Summer Fill-A-Truck Challenge! Cat Tales is asking for donations of paper towels, disinfectant wipes, bleach, dry & canned food to help feed homeless cats & kittens in our community
WHEN:  Saturday, July 16, 2016 between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
WHERE:  Walmart of Cromwell, 161 Berlin Road, Cromwell, CT


Monday, June 20, 2016

Report: Mayor Drew "Seriously Considering" Run for Governor

(updated 9:15pm with info on Malloy press conference)

If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency in November, conventional wisdom says she's likely to tap Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy for a high level post. Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman would take over the job, but is considered unlikely to run in 2018. 

But Mayor Dan Drew just might.

The Republican-American newspaper, which covers New Haven and Litchfield counties, caught up with Drew in New Milford on Saturday at a meeting of the Connecticut Council of Democratic Mayors, which he chairs. (Drew grew up in New Milford.) 

The brief article is here, behind's paywall.  Drew discussed CCDM's mission to "affect politics on the local level," but reporter Susan Tuz also quoted him as saying he was "seriously considering a run for governor."

Drew, age 37, was elected Mayor in 2011, and re-elected by large margins in 2013 and 2015.  He graduated from UConn as political science major, worked as a journalist, and recently earned a master's degree in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University.

Drew has been a vocal supporter of Governor Malloy, who will be in Middletown Tuesday to announce plans to remove signal lights and solve traffic problems on Route 9. A recent Quinnipiac poll recorded Malloy's approval rating at a record low 24%.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Readers' Theater Monday June 20th at Russell Library

Monday, June 20th at 7:00 pm, Readers' Theater will present: The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord by Scott Carter at the Russell Library.

Brought together in a blistering battles of wits, this whip-smart comedy examines what happens when great men of history are forced to repeat it.

"If religion and comedy had a baby, this would be it." -- Huffington Post

Readers' Theater is sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library. 

The One-Day War and Its Aftermath -- The Colonel Carries On #36

By Richelle Nico-Case

Epigraph: “What is the sound of one hand clapping? Before enlightenment, whoosh, whoosh. After enlightenment, whoosh, whoosh.”

Quiz: What very popular song of a prior decade included the line “One eye will be taken for an eye”? One clue will appear somewhere below.

“Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.” -William Butler Yeats, writer, Nobel laureate (1865-1939)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Saturday: "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" at Middlesex Community College


Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 6pm
Second annual "Blackbird" Benefit Concert for the Stephanie Nelson Memorial Scholarship Fund
Middlesex Community College, Chapman Hall, 100 Training Hill Road, Middletown, Connecticut
Price: $25 includes reception with food starting at 6pm before the show at 7pm

For advance tickets, please call (860) 882-9415. Tickets will also be available at the door.

An "all-star band" will be performing The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (1967) in its entirety at the second annual "Blackbird" Benefit Concert for the Stephanie Nelson Memorial Scholarship Fund. Funds raised will go towards Middlesex Community College students, with a preference given to students with a desire to work as an intern at Wesleyan University in the field of broadcast communications or multimedia.

The "all-star" band will include drummer Andy Chatfield and bassist Mark Crino (of Stanley Maxwell); guitarist Jeff Howard (a founding member of The McLovins); lead vocalist Julie Corbalis; keyboard player Glen Nelson (of Spaghetti Cake and High Adventure); guitarist Shawn Persinger (of The Future Heavies, Prester John, 11twelve13, The Luck Pushers, and Boud Deun); lead vocalist Sarah LeMieux; backup vocalist Samantha Hatch; Shona Kerr on backup vocals, harmonica, accordion, bassoon, and kazoo; Jacob Graham on percussion; Jennifer Berman on flute; Catherine Rousseau on clarinet and saxophone; Dan Fecteau on violin; Charles Crain on clarinet, bass clarinet, and baritone saxophone; Janet Rosen on oboe; Eli Uttley-Rosado on trombone; Wesleyan graduate music student Bridgid Bergin on viola; Grace Neild on cello; Samantha Turley on harp; Kevin Lam on French horn; Bennett Mazzola on clarinet and saxophone; Andy Caruk on trumpet; and Walter Gibson on tuba.

"When I'm Sixty Four" will be dedicated in memory of clarinetist Thomas Labadorf.

Click here to join this event on Facebook.

The second set will feature selections from The Beatles' "White Album" (1968).

Watch the video of the performance of The Beatles' "White Album" from the first annual concert in 2015 on YouTube here.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

This weekend at The Buttonwood Tree! (June 17-18)

Omar Tamez Fantasia Quartet

June 17 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm | $12


Presenting new music for chamber ensemble.
Improvisation, composition, Jazz and as the name of the band said; fantasy in every corner will be the quintessence of the night.
Check out the musicians by clicking the links below!
Guillermo Gregorio (Argentina): clarinet
Angelica Sanchez (USA): piano
Joe Fonda (USA): bass
Omar Tamez (Mexico): guitar and miscellaneous instruments.

Soul Harmony Benefit Show

June 18 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm | $10

Artists Supporting Artists and The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center are casting for The Soul Harmony Show (TSHS) on June 18, 2016, 8-10pm Middletown CT. TSHS is an open mic for professional and amateur artists of all types no matter what genre or craft.

We have showcased spoken-word poetry, comedy, acting monologues, dance, ASL, singers, songwriters and even encouraged people to randomly improv a performance between mixed arts and artists.

This is a great networking event. As a professional we encourage you to go outside the box here and try out new material in front of an audience of artists. For amateurs, come in feel the vibe and fear nothing there’s no judgment here… Find a mentor and for everyone inspiration is in the freedom of expression.

Prior to the event we will be hosting an Artist Flea Market from 2-7pm showcasing art for all budgets. Visual artists interested in showcasing their works are invited to reply and be part of ARTISTS SUPPORTING ARTISTS as we engage the community.


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

Cat Tales ~ Fill-A-Truck Challenge Event ~ Cromwell Walmart SAT 7/16 from 9a-3p ~ JOIN US!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Jazz Up Close "Spanning Generations"

Pianist, composer, educator, and author Noah Baerman hosts the Jazz Up Close series at the Russell Library in Middletown approximately four times a year.  This Thursday (June 16) as part of the "Spanning Generations Up Close", Noah and bassist Henry Lugo will perform with guest artist guitarist  Monnette Sudler, the Philadelphia, PA native and still a resident.

Here's how the pianist described his guest in his promotional material. "Forty years after recording "Time for a Change", her debut as a bandleader for SteepleChase Records, Monnette Sudler is still a potent force in music. Adept at straight-ahead jazz, avant-garde music and R&B, she has collaborated with a comparably diverse cast of musicians, including Grover Washington, Jr., Hugh Masekela, Sam Rivers, 'Philly” Joe Jones, Kenny Barron, Khan Jamal, Cedar Walton, Shirley Scott, Byard Lancaster, Steve Turre, Sunny Murray, and rapper Erik Honesty (Ms. Sudler’s son). Her current projects include Sisters in Poetry (in collaboration with poet Trapeta B. Mason), the Ladies Night Out quartet, and the Monnette Sudler World Music Ensemble featuring Liberian vocalist Fatu Gayflor, as well as serving as the organizer of the annual Philadelphia Guitar Summit. Ms. Sudler is a graduate of Temple University and is active as an educator, having recently authored the instructional book "Motif Mojo Jazz Guitar."

Ms. Sudler has issued six CDs since her debut, the latest being 2012's collaboration with Ladies Night Out titled "First Born."  The album is a delightful blend of vocals and instrumentals, with a clean sound  all around and several gospel-flavored tracks.  

If you are a regular attendee of these concerts, you know that the artists take time to answer questions from the audience.  It's .amazing what one can learn and how the artists give a glimpse into the creative process.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. and takes place in the Hubbard Room.  As always at the Library, the show is free and open to the public. For more information, go to
To learn more about the guitarist, go to

Here's a view of the guitarist at play from 2010:

(This post also appears on