A Trio of Performances at the Gary the Olivia Theatre in Bethlehem

On the grounds of the Abbey of Regina Laudis in the quite town of Bethlehem Connecticut the Clay and Wattles Theatre Company has planned two exciting performances this summer at the Gary the Oliva Theatre located on 249 Flanders Road.

The first show is “The Trip to the Bountiful that will take place from June 12 through June 21 with Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m.

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The Trip to Bountiful” finds a perfect home here, on the grounds of the working farm run by the Benedictine nuns at the Abbey. The roofed, open air theater was built with the vision of former actress and now Benedictine Nun, Mother Dolores Hart, and the generous support of Oscar winning actress Patricia Neal, and has a rich history. The June 12 opening night performance of “The Trip to Bountiful” at The Gary-The Olivia Theater will include a reception during intermission featuring local wines and cheeses.

The musical for the 2015 season is the Tony Award winning “Man of La Mancha.” It is the unforgettable story of the “mad” knight, Don Quixote, as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition. It will play from August 1-16 at The Gary-The Olivia Theater, with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm.

A third performance, a Concert/Fundraiser for Clay & Wattles Theater company at The Gary-The Olivia Theater entitled “From Rags To Riches” will take place on Saturday, September 19 from 3-6 pm with special guest artists performing scenes, songs and dances from your favorite American Musicals and a dramatic reading from Mother Dolores Hart. The concert will be followed by a wine, cheese and chocolate reception with a meet and greet the performers.
The new season offers subscriptions for groups and individuals, and special rates for seniors. For ticket information and more details on the Clay & Wattles Theater company’s 2015 season, visit www.thegarytheolivia.com, or call 203-273-5669, or email info@thegarytheolivia.com.

Catch the BIG ONE at the Riverton Fishing Derby on the Farmington River

April 11, the official opening of the fishing season in the Nutmeg State is the day when fly-fishing aficionados from near and far flock to the Annual Riverton Fishing Derby in the Riverton section of Barkhamsted, located in the beautiful Litchfield Hills.

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The day starts before daybreak with a hearty breakfast beginning at 4 a.m. at the Riverton Fire Department on 3 Riverton Rd. in the center of town. Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be available at the Riverton General Store located in the center of town in a mid.-19th century building that is the hub of activity for this village. Green mountain coffee, made to order sandwiches, homemade soups, chili, salad and pastries are just some of the things offered here. For more information on Riverton General Store www.rivertongeneralstore.com.

This exciting Litchfield Hills event takes place on April 11th on the West branch of the Farmington River, a Nationally designated “Wild and Scenic” river that is known to host an abundance of rainbow, brown and brook trout. As a matter of fact, on Friday afternoon before this event, over 100 fish are purchased and released into the Farmington River adding even more incentive to catch the “big one.” The contest, complete with prizes, begins at 6 a.m. and lasts for about four hours, ending at 10 a.m. and it’s all-free; and there is no registration or fee required.

The public is always welcome to attend this event and to cheer on their favorite fisherman. Last year some 500 enthusiasts participated in the derby. An even bigger crowd is expected this year. Prizes include items donated by local merchants as well as by Orvis, and Cabela’s. The coveted grand prize is a village chair of Riverton donated by the Hitchcock Chair Company. The Hitchcock Chair Company Store is located in Riverton and stocks an excellent selection of this classic hand stenciled furniture. For information about the Hitchcock Chair Company visit www.hitchcockchair.com.

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A bit further upriver a section of the flowing waters especially stocked for the occasion, is set aside for the “Kid’ Derby”. Any tot under 16 who is able to hold a fishing pole, can join in the fun. Special prizes are awarded to kids.

To find out more about the Fishing Derby and other events in Riverton, visit http://rivertonct.com.

The easiest way of getting a fishing license is to visit the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s online sportsmen licensing at https://ct.outdoorcentral.net/InternetSales. Fishing licenses are also available from town clerks and this website has a complete listing of town clerks and businesses that sell fishing licenses. The website also has a weekly fishing report that runs from opening day through the end of November. The report is a summary of fresh and saltwater fishing activity in the state as reported by tackle stores around the state.

For more information on Litchfield Hills, where to stay, dine and what to see and do visit www.litchfieldhills.com.

Dust and Shadow at Sharon Historical Society

The Sharon Historical Society located on 18 Main Street in the quaint village of Sharon Connecticut in the northern Litchfield Hills has curated a new art show, Dust and Shadow: Paintings by Judy Albright.

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Dust and Shadow features pastel still life and landscape paintings by local artist Judy Albright. Albright is intrigued by the “spaces between and behind objects” and often features the shadows of objects in her work. A quote from The Odes of Horace ,”Pulvis et umbra sumus. (We are but dust and shadow.)” inspired the focus of this exhibition. The exhibition is through March 7, 2015.

Albright teaches classes in drawing and painting at the Northlight Art Center in Sharon, CT. To see more of her work or for a schedule of classes visit www.judyalbrightart.com.

The Sharon Historical Society is open Wed. – Fri. 12 noon – 4 p.m. and Sat. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information visit http://sharonhist.org.

For event information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Curator for a day in Litchfield Hills and more

February is a busy month at the Litchfield History Museum. On February 22 for example, at 3pm a lecture, The Colonial Revival as Collective Memory and Consumer has been scheduled. The lecture will be presented by Thomas Denenberg, director of the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT. The development of a culture of consumption in the decades that bracketed the turn of the twentieth century created unprecedented opportunity for the dissemination of images, objects, and texts that engendered historical consciousness in the United States. Antiquarian activities, the province of social outliers, the wealthy, or the creative such as the painter Edward Lamson Henry (1841-1919), became normative behavior in the new middle-class America.

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Gathering, collecting, and sorting historical material culture, once an end unto itself in the nineteenth century, gave way to the creation of a widespread aesthetic that prized idealized “native” forms. Entrepreneurial individuals, including the minister-turned antimodern colporteur Wallace Nutting (1861-1941), employed the very modern platforms of advertising, publishing, department stores, and mail order merchandising to encourage and fulfill middle-class desires for objects and myths that answered contemporary social needs in an era of rapid economic and geographic change.

Often termed “the” Colonial Revival—an aesthetic assumed to be, monolithic, sui generis, and whole upon arrival, this illustrated lecture will look at the phenomenon as a complex and carefully constructed collective memory that matured over time. This program is free for members and $5 for non members. Register at registration@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org.

If you have ever wondered what it’s really like to be a curator at a history museum, you are invited to shadow the curator of the societies collections on February 26 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Participants will study artifacts from the Historical Society’s collections, get a behind-the-scenes peek at object storage, a hands-on experience with some of a curator’s day-to-day work, and assemble a hypothetical exhibit. Please register for this program by Tuesday, February 24. Non-members are required to pay the registration fee in advance of the event. Your registration will not be considered complete until we have received payment and the cost is $10 for members; $15 for non-members. Register at registration@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org.

For more ideas about what to do and see in Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com

Mardi Gras 2015 at The New England Carousel Museum

Madri Gras also known as Fat Tuesday, refers to events of the Carnival celebrations beginning on or after Epiphany or King’s Day culminating on the day before ash Wednesday. Traditionally, this celebration reflects the practice of eating rich foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, but today, there are many related popular events associated with this including parades, wearing masks and costumes.

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The New England Carousel Museum on 95 Riverside Ave. in Bristol Connecticut is hosting a Louisiana-style evening on February 7, 2015 from 7 pm – 11 pm. This festive evening promises to chase away the winter doldrums and features music and dancing in the magnificent Museum ballroom. Along with a 50/50 raffle and live entertainment, there will be wine and bourbon tastings, BYOB and food a plenty! The evening festivities will culminate in the crowning of a king and queen of the ball.

Tickets are on sale at the Carousel Museum or you may order them by mail or phone. RSVP by February 1, 2015 by calling (860) 585-5411. The cost is $50 per person and pre-paid tables of 8 may be reserved. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact The New England Carousel Museum at (860) 585-5411 or email info@thecarouselmuseum.org.

November Fun Naturally at White Memorial Foundation

White Memorial Foundation located just off Rte. 202 on Whites Wood Road in Litchfield has planned a fun filled November for nature lovers.

photo credit: White Memorial
photo credit: White Memorial

On November 5 take a brisk walk with Gerri Griswold then relax with a super healthy meal. The objective is to share recipes, learn how to use herbs and spices to create wonderfully delicious meals that will keep you focused on your goal and to use this beautiful property to help you become the very best you can be. As for the featured dish of the night it is a Hearty Vegetarian Chili, Mesclun Greens with Oranges, Avocado, and Toasted Almonds, and Fresh Fruit. Make sure you dress for the weather and pack a flashlight! And, don’t forget to bring your own place setting! This event starts at 6:00 P.M., at the A.B. Ceder Room, Members: $15.00 Non-members: $25.00. Limited to 20 people! Pre-registration and prepayment are required.

On November 8, stop by Point Folly on the grounds of the Foundation anytime between 9 am and 12 pm to do some birdwatching with the new Education Director Carrie Szwed and don’t forget your binoculars to spot winter migrants and arrivals at this free event.

On November 15, get your paintbrush ready for a class with world renowned botanical artist Betsy Rogers-Knox! This is a great opportunity to learn techniques of botanical illustration from a pro. The class is for all levels of experience. All supplies are included. Ages 12 and up. 1:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M., A. B. Ceder Room, Members: $35.00 Non-members: $45.00, Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

If you give a “Hoot” then the felting workshop with Robin McCahill should be on your calendar for November 22 from 10 am – 4 pm. This is a perfect opportunity to create a handmade gift for a loved one (or to keep yourself!). Using soft wool and a special barbed felting needle, sculpt a night time owl of your choice. This one day workshop will enable you to finish your bird in time to adorn your home for the holidays. Learn some of the nocturnal habits of the famed owls while you work. All materials included! Members: $55.00, Non-members: $65.00, Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

On November 23, there will be an afternoon Green Man Concert with with Michael McDermott and Friends Benefit Concert Supporting The White Memorial Conservation Center. he Green Man is a mysterious, eerie figure depicted mainly in medieval European stonework, believed to represent an ancient vegetation deity. It is nearly always depicted as a “foliate head,” that is, a face made of leaves and vines. Sometimes it appears as a human face peering out from leaves, other times with animal features. This joyful afternoon with ridiculously talented purveyor of joy, Michael McDermott and his band “Cead Mile Failte” Gaelic for “A Hundred Thousand Welcomes”, will include music by Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Irish singer / songwriter Luka Bloom, and many more. What a splendid way to spend the Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving! 100% of the proceeds from this concert benefit the Conservation Center. 2:00 P.M., Carriage House, Members: $15.00 Non-members: $20.00, Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

To finish the month, on November 29, take a walk with Gerri Griswold along the Cranberry Pond Trail and cap off the walk with a cup of hot coffee and a thick wedge of Crimson Pie swimming in a pool of thick ginger crème anglaise! Meet in the Museum. 2:00 P.M., We’ll drive over to the trail head together. FREE…Donations will be accepted to help defray the Conservation Center’s programming expenses.

For more information about White Memorial Foundation visit http://www.whitememorialcc.org. For information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com