Jazz singer/pianist Chris Coogan

MILFORD — The Milford Fine Arts Council Performance Coffeehouse, at the Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Ave., is proud to present jazz singer/pianist Chris Coogan Friday, Jan. 29. Coogan is a jazz and gospel musician who has played with such artists as Ben E. King, Bette Midler, Donna Summer, Kristen Chenoweth, Dave Liebman and Darlene Love.

Coogan is a multi-talented entertainer who, as a composer, performer, teacher, choir director and producer, is rooted in the jazz and gospel traditions. Coogan performs original and traditional music as a pianist and singer, as the leader of a jazz group, and as director of the Good News Gospel Choir. In addition, he teaches jazz piano and leads gospel workshops throughout the country to help reinvigorate church and community choirs.

As a composer, he won the John Lennon Songwriting Competition for jazz and has produced 7 albums featuring his original jazz and gospel songs. He has performed at The Silvermine Tavern in Fairfield County, Blue Note in Manhattan and the Montreaux Jazz Festival.

“I see myself as a catalyst who uses the medium of music to bring people together” Coogan said. “It’s my passion to help people find joy in making music and singing from their souls”.

Tickets are $10. The show starts at 8 p.m., doors will open at 7:30. Relax and see a great live show in a friendly, intimate environment - all for less than the cost of a movie! Enjoy a glass of wine or a beer and light refreshments for a nominal charge. Coffee is always free. For tickets, call 203-878-6647 or visit www.milfordarts.org. Reservations are highly recommended, as Coffeehouse events sell out quickly.

Milford Library author visit

MILFORD — Author Barbara Burnett will be on hand at the Milford Public Library, Saturday, Jan. 9, at 1 p.m., to talk about her newest book “Belle and the Pastor.” The novel is set in a small town in Connecticut. The power of the spoken word is brought home with a vengeance to Pastor Paul Young, his family, and his church when a troubled teen accuses him of rape.

Burnett grew up in Connecticut, where she raised her six children and earned a B.A. in psychology while in her 50s. After the death of her husband, she moved to Florida to pursue her dream of sitting by the pool and writing the great American novel. The result is “Belle and the Pastor.”

Burnett taught CCD classes at St. Mary’s Church and drove a Winkle school bus in Milford. She was also active at the Consolata Missionary House.

“Friday Night Movies” Series continues in Stratford

STRATFORD — The Stratford Library will continue its monthly film series in 2010 with “Friday Night Movies” beginning Friday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. The series will offer free showings of recent, popular films. Movies are shown uncut on widescreen in the Stratford Library Lovell Room. Complimentary snacks will be served at the series which continues through June 2010. For more information call the library at 203.385.4162 or visit: www.stratfordlibrary.org. Scheduled for Jan. 15 is “The Hangover” (Rated R, 96 minutes, 2009). When three friends finally come to after a raucous night of bachelor-party revelry, they find a baby in the closet and a tiger in the bathroom. But they can’t seem to locate their best friend who’s supposed to be tying the knot.


WOODBRIDGE — Eliza Khokhar, 10-year-old pianist, will perform in concert as part of the Classical Music Series at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven. Set for Sunday, Jan. 10, at 2 p.m., in the JCC Vine Auditorium, 360 Amity Road, the concert will be preceded by a special preview performance for young audiences at 1:30 pm. This will include an interactive session with the audience and the performer, led by Peter Hereld, who has arranged the program.

Eliza was born in Stamford and is currently a resident of Trumbull, where she is a fifth-grader and an elected student council member at Daniels Farm School. A TAG (Trumbull Academically Gifted) student, Eliza was her school’s Spelling Bee winner in third and fourth grades. She was also honored by Johns Hopkins University in May, 2009, for over-achieving the SCAT test scores in Math and Verbal for their 2009 Talent Search.

Eliza began studying piano at age five. At the age of seven, she met Patricia Neznek, a member of the CT Piano Teachers’ Association in New Haven, the Schubert Club, and the National Guild for Piano Teachers. Under her instruction, Eliza won the CSMTA Piano Taped Audition competition for two consecutive years, as well as several other prestigious awards. She has been performing solo piano concerts throughout the tri-state area since May of 2009. Her other talents include playing the violin and competitive figure skating, for which she has won numerous medals.

Eliza’s concert program features thirteen short pieces, including Chopin’s “Minute” Waltz, Schumann’s Traumerei, and other works by Bach, Mozart, Clementi, Beethoven, Schubert, Gounod and Klose. The concert is open to the community, free of charge. For more information, call the JCC at 203-387-2522, extension 206.

Art exhibit

ORANGE — Case Memorial Library is showcasing the art of husband and wife artists Ron and Erin Garney, of North Haven, during the month of January. There will be an opening reception Jan. 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. The show will be up for a month. Erin Garney is the art teacher at Race Brook School in Orange and has a degree in Illustration from the Hartford Art School and a Masters in Art Education from SCSU. Ron is an artist for Marvel Comics. He has been drawing comics for over 20 years. He is currently working on “Wolverine.” He is also a graduate from SCSU. Erin works primarily in oils and watercolors while Ron works mostly in pencil and ink with some colored on the computer. Library hours are: Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

Eastbound Theatre

MILFORD — Eastbound Theatre presents “Love, Sex And The Irs” by William Van Zandt and Jane Millmore, Feb. 5 to 21.

Jon’s plans may be doomed from the start. In a misguided attempt to save money, he has been filing his tax return with his male roommate, Leslie, listed as his wife. But now Mr. Spinner of the IRS has literally knocked on his door, and Jon is facing a prison sentence. Since everyone in his life can be named as an accomplice, each of them are roped into one last-ditch scheme to get the IRS off their backs.

“Love, Sex and the IRS” was the first comedy written by the team of Millmore and Van Zandt, who originated two of the roles. The duo would later go on to pen such laugh riots as “Do Not Disturb,” “Confessions of a Dirty Blonde” and their latest, “You’ve Got Hate Mail.”

“Love, Sex and the IRS” will be performed Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. For more information call 203-882-0969 or visit www.milfordarts.org.

Exhibit by Orange artist

NEW HAVEN — Chestnut Fine Foods, 1012 State St., will be exhibiting recent paintings in watercolor and gouache by Rosemary Benivegna from Jan. 8 to March 4. An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Benivegna, an Orange resident, is drawn to assemblages of overlapping structures, landscapes with rich and sometimes unexpected colors and candid glimpses of people in urban settings.

Paintings may be viewed during the restaurant’s business hours - Mon to Fri from 9 to 7 PM, Sat from 9 to 5 PM; closed Sundays.

Square One Theatre’s 20th Anniversary Season

STRATFORD — Celebrating the milestone of its 20th Anniversary, Square One Theatre’s 2009-2010 Season will feature A.R. Gurney’s funny and touching “Love Letters”; and Helen Edmundson’s stirring and riveting Irish drama, “The Clearing.”

The season continues Friday, Feb. 5, through Saturday, Feb. 20, with the funny and touching theatrical gem “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney, Square One’s favorite playwright. This is a special Valentine to Square One theatergoers featuring favorite award-winning actors Peggy Nelson and Pat Leo. Love Letters covers a lifetime of correspondence between two people who grew up together, went their separate ways, but continued to share confidences.

The season concludes with “The Clearing” by Helen Edmundson, scheduled Friday, May 15, to Saturday, May 29. This stirring Irish drama is set in 17th century with romance, passion and treachery enhancing this riveting work right up to its breathless final curtain. It is the story of Madeleine, an insufferably valiant Irishwoman married to Robert, a weak-willed Englishman. The time is just after the English Civil War, when followers of Oliver Cromwell, flush from their victory over the crown, exacted revenge on those who remained loyal to the throne.

For ticket reservations and/or information call 203-375-8778 or visit www.squareonetheatre.com.

Square One Theatre, 2422 Main St., is wheelchair accessible and offers its patrons hearing-assisted listening devices.