In the Spotlight

Orange Arts and Culture Council meeting to feature Cat Urbain

ORANGE — Cat Urbain, a local children’s author, will be the featured speaker at the Orange Arts and Culture Council’s Membership Meeting, to be held Tuesday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the upstairs meeting room of Case Memorial Library, located on Tyler City Road.

Urbain is the author of the children’s book, “Manuel and the Lobsterman.” The story takes place in a sleepy town in Maine and revolves around 13-year-old Manuel Menendez. Unhappy, he’d give anything to be back home in New Haven, Connecticut, but once he finds a job working on a lobster boat, he discovers that even a small coastal town can bring unexpected excitement. In a twist of fate, Manuel’s future hinges on an old lobsterman who has a secret that could yield a lot of money if they can make it to a lagoon filled with “black gold.” This fast-paced adventure features two unforgettable characters and a plot that thickens at every turn.

Manuel lives in the Fair Haven section of New Haven and the “Q” Bridge as well as several other area points of interest are mentioned in the book.

In addition to writing children’s books, Urbain teaches creative writing and writes grants for the Hole in the Wall Camps for children with serious illnesses. She has also taught dance in France, worked for Thirteen/WNET, Scholastic Inc., the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the Connecticut Audubon Society and the International Film and TV Workshops. She has a master’s degree in art education from Wesleyan University.

Manuel and the Lobsterman is aimed at middle school students but is also appropriate for good readers in grades four and five. Teachers are encouraged to attend this program. Cat will be available to sign copies of the book.

The program is free and open to all interested persons.

For more information, contact Pat Miller at 203-309-8915.

Film screenings at the Woodbridge Library

WOODBRIDGE — The Woodbridge Library, 10 Newton Road, hosts the following film screenings during the month of Jan..

• After Supper Show: “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” Thursday, Jan. 6, 7 p.m. (Rated [PG-13, 138 minutes). Michael Douglas returns as Gordon Gekko, his Oscar-winning role from Wall Street in 1987. In this sequel, after Gordon Gekko is released from prison, he forges an alliance with his daughter’s fiancé in an effort to reclaim his place at the top of Wall Street. Directed by Oliver Stone, and also starring Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, and Eli Wallach.

• Documentary Feature: “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” Thursday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m. (Rated R, 84 minutes). See one of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of the year! This film examines the life and career of actress and comedian Joan Rivers. The filmmakers had total access to her life and work for an entire year, and the result is a warts-and-all portrait of a foul-mouthed Hollywood survivor. Roger Ebert called it “fascinating” while The New York Times raved it is a “convulsively funny movie.”

• No School Matinee: “Finding Nemo,” Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2 p.m. (Rated G, 100 minutes). Revisit one of the most beloved animated films of recent memory! The fretful Marlin and his young son Nemo become sepa(Rated from each other in the Great Barrier Reef. Nemo, a clown fish, is unexpectedly taken from his home and thrust into a fish tank in a dentist’s office overlooking Sydney Harbor. Buoyed by the companionship of a friendly fish named Dory, Marlin embarks on a dangerous trek and finds himself the unlikely hero. Featuring the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen Degeneres, and Brad Garrett.

• From Page To Screen: “The Town,” Thursday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m. (Rated R, 125 minutes). Ben Affleck directed and stars in this thriller, based on the novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan. Doug MacRay, leader of a Boston bank robber gang, decides he wants to leave town and the life of crime behind when he falls in love with the bank manager briefly taken hostage in their last heist, but he finds the choices he has to make more difficult than he imagined. Also starring Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, and Blake Lively.

• After Supper Show: “Easy A,” Thursday, Jan. 27, 7 p.m. (Rated PG-13, 92 minutes). Any similarities to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter are purely intentional in this critically acclaimed comedy! After a high school girl pretends to lose her virginity with a classmate, her reputation at school changes and her classmates and family react in different ways. Starring Emma Stone, Stanley Tucci, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Thomas Haden Church, and Patricia Clarkson. For more information, call 203-389-3466 or visit

Square One presents ‘Irena’s Vow’

STRATFORD — Square One Theatre Company presents “Irena’s Vow” by Dan Gordon Friday, Feb. 4, through Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Stratford Theatre, 2422 Main St. Through the eyes of a strong-willed Polish woman comes the remarkable true story of Irene Gut Opdyke and the triumphs of the human spirit over devastating tragedy. Nineteen-year-old Irena, promoted to housekeeper in the home of a high-ranking Nazi officer, discovers that the Jewish ghetto is about to be liquidated. Determined to help twelve Jewish workers, she decides to shelter them in the safest place she can think of: the basement of the Nazi officer’s house. Over the next two years, Irena uses her wit, humor and courage to hide her friends until the end of the German occupation. Directed by Tom Holehan. Reserved tickets are $20 or $19 for senior citizens/students. Tickets may be purchased by calling 203-375-8778, online at, or in person at box office 90 minutes prior to performances. For show times visit

‘Through Our Eyes’ at Case Memorial Library

ORANGE — The Case Memorial Library, 176 Tyler City Road, is hosting an art exhibit titled “Through Our Eyes,” featuring paintings in oil, watercolor, and pastel by local artists Sonia Halapin and Sabine Bonnar during the month of January. An artist reception is scheduled for Jan. 13, 5 to 7 p.m.

Library visiting hours are Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, call 203-891-2170.

Paier 2011 Winter Art Show

HAMDEN — The Paier College of Art will exhibit it’s Winter Art Show Jan. 3 to 20. The show will include works by students in a variety of styles and mediums.

Disciplines taught at the college include: Graphic Design, Photography, Interior Design, Fine Art and Illustration. Artwork will be on display at the Paier College campus at 20 Gorham Ave., Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 203-287-3031.

The Paier College of Art is a small, fully accredited art college offering art students a unique learning experience driven by seasoned, working professionals. Paier offers certificate, diploma and BFA degree programs.

Hamden Art League to host Brechin Morgan

HAMDEN — The Hamden Art League will host marine and shoreline painter Brechin Morgan at its first meeting of 2011. Morgan will speak and show slides about his watercolor travel sketchbooks as well as the paintings he created as a result of his 4 ½ year solo sail around the world. He will also speak about his “artist eyes,” his particular vision of the places he has seen and his approach to sketch journaling.

Morgan spent his childhood summers on the Connecticut shore near New London, where he developed a lifelong love of the sea and sailing. After studying painting for 2 years at Silvermine College of Art, he worked as a mural and sign painter making large outdoor murals, many of which are in Fairfield County. In 1998, in order to fulfill a lifelong dream, he bought a 27 foot sailboat and spent the next few years filling 18 sketchbooks with pen and watercolor drawings as he sailed around the world. Brec also paints the New England shoreline in all its moods with many of its working craft and yachts. His paintings may be seen at J. Russell Jinishian Gallery in Fairfield, Gilded Lily Gallery in Milford and Greene Gallery in Guilford, as well as on his website:

The meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 11, in the Social Room of the Miller Memorial Library Senior Center, 2901 Dixwell Ave. Socializing and refreshments are at 7:15 p.m., followed by a brief business meeting and the artist’s presentation from 7:30 to 8:30. The public is welcome. For more information visit,

Traditional Swedish Christmas concert

NEW HAVEN — The Apollo Singing Society and the Scandinavian Women’s Chorus of Connecticut of Hamden in conjunction with the North Star Singers and the Northern Lights Singers of Fairfield present Tjugondedag Knut, Saturday, Jan. 8, 4 p.m., at Bethesday Lutheran Church, 450 Whitney Ave.

Come celebrate the traditional end of Christmas in Sweden with music, a meal and dancing around the Christmas tree.

Soup and sandwich supper with dessert will follow the concert.

Cost is $20 per person for the entire evening, or concert only for $10; 10 and under are free. Reservations required by Jan. 5

For information or reservations call 203-239-2159 or 203-281-1261.

Wall Street Players to perform

HAMDEN — The Unitarian Society of New Haven, 700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden, will host the second in its “Sundays at Four” series Sunday, Jan. 16, at 4 p.m., with a performance by the Wall Street Chamber Players of Olivier Messaien’s Quartet for the End of Time.

The piece was written in 1940 when French composer, organist and ornithologist Olivier Messaien was interned in a German prison camp. He discovered among his fellow prisoners a clarinetist, a violinist, and a violoncellist. The success of a short trio that he wrote for them led Messaien to add seven more movements to the interlude and a piano to the ensemble, creating the Quartet for the End of Time. Messiaen and his friends first performed it for their 5,000 fellow prisoners on Jan. 15, 1941.

The Wall Street Chamber Players is one of the most musically exciting ensembles in Connecticut. A chamber ensemble of mixed strings, winds, and keyboard, it makes its artistic home in New Haven where it has presented concerts at 53 Wall Street and in New Haven area private homes. Members of the group have earned highest critical acclaim as soloists, chamber musicians at the major music festivals of America, and hold teaching posts throughout New England. The Players have also presented master classes at the Educational Center for the Arts and have sponsored an Adult Chamber Music Workshop Weekend at Wesleyan University. The Wall Street Chamber Players include William Braun, piano; Artemis Simerson, violin; Steven Thomas, cello; and Pavel Vinnitsky, clarinet.

Freewill donations will be accepted.

Young Audiences presents Boogie Chillun

HAMDEN — Boogie Chillun will perform at a free family learning and creativity workshop at the Keefe Community Center, 11 Pine St., Hamden on Friday, Jan. 7.

The New Haven-based, six-piece multicultural and multi-talented musical group will present “American Roots Music” — a musical journey through America’s rich music history from Yankee Doodle to hip-hop.

The event is part of a Family Arts Series of culturally diverse programs presented by Hamden-based Young Audiences Arts for Learning Connecticut, a VSA affiliate with the mission to integrate the arts into the lives of all children in educational and community settings throughout the state.

A light supper is included and will be served at 6 p.m., followed by the performance/workshop at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are not required. For more information call 203-230-8101.

The Family Arts Series is part of the PACK (Parents and Community for Kids) project presented in collaboration with the Keefe Community Center. The series is funded by a grant from The Community Foundation of Greater New Haven.

Young Audience Arts for Learning CT is a nonprofit organization celebrating its 31st year of bringing performances, workshops, and residencies to more than 400,000 Connecticut children annually. Young Audiences of CT is an affiliate of VSA — creating a society where all people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts — and is one of 33 regional chapters of Young Audiences Inc. and one of 40 affiliates of VSA.

For more information call 203-230-8101 or online visit

Youth Ensembles Winter Concert

NEW HAVEN — Neighborhood Music School starts the New Year with two concerts by the acclaimed Greater New Haven Youth Ensembles Sunday, Jan. 9, at Yale’s Battell Chapel at the corner of College and Elm Streets in New Haven.

The performances begin at 2:30 p.m. with the Greater New Haven Concert Orchestra, conducted by Marvin Warshaw with wind coach Sue Zoellner-Cross, followed by the Greater New Haven Concert Band, under the direction of Mark Gahm. The Concert Orchestra will present Hungarian Rhapsody for Cello & Orchestra by Popper plus works by Bizet, Respighi, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky, and features 2010 Concerto Competition Winner Sara Scanlon, of Milford, as soloist on cello.

The second concert, beginning at 4 p.m., opens with the Greater New Haven Symphonic Wind Ensemble, also conducted by Mark Gahm. This advanced ensemble will perform works by Dello Joio, Reed, W. Schuman and Shostakovich. The concert concludes with the Greater New Haven Youth Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Netta Hadari, performing Concerto No. 3 in C minor by Beethoven and features 2010 Concerto Competition Winner Lloyd Chen, of Woodbridge, as soloist on violin.

Tickets for the concerts (both concerts included) are $10 for adults, and $5 for seniors and children age 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Neighborhood Music School or at Battell Chapel on the day of the concert. For more information, call 203-624-5189 or visit

Auditions for new middle-and high-school students wanting to join one of the four Greater New Haven Youth Ensembles will be held at Neighborhood Music School Wednesday, Jan. 12, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. For more information and a complete schedule of audition dates, contact the school at 203-624-5189.