McLachlan Brings “Shine On Tour” To CT

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sarahIf you remember Lilith Fair than you surely remember Sarah McLachlan who helped make it all happen. And guess where she will be this weekend?

With a new album and a lot of new attitude Ms. McLachlan Spilled the Beans with Java here.

UConn CoStars Hold Gatsby Party

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gatsby1gatsby2The Jorgensen CoStars at UCONN recently held a Great Gatsby Party at the  “Gatsby Mansion in West Egg” owned by Dr. & Mrs. Robert Moskowitz.

All proceeds will be directed to the UConn Foundation to benefit scholarships for students at the Jorgensen Theater.

Among those at the party were (picture right) Beverly Simms, CoStar Chair; Rodney Rock, Director, Jorgensen, and Jane Moskowitz, Hostess.

 

Also (picture left)  Beverly Sims, Joan McGuigan and Kathy Pepin.

 

 

 

Longtime Dem Joe Harper Celebrated

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harper2Former longtime Democratic state senator and political powerbroker Joe Harper was recently feted at the Hartford Club.

 Harper, who for years was dangerously obese, has been successfully working with Hospital of Special Care on a weight loss program and the event celebrated his renewed health as well.

Harper asked that proceeds from the event benefit the new “Harper Fund for Autism,” which will be used to fund operations at the hospital’s outpatient center for children on the Autism spectrum.

Among the guests were former state senators Steve Casey,harper1 (1) Don DeFronzo. Ken Przybysz, Billy Ciotto,  John Larson, Mike Meotti and  Terry Gerratana.

 

 

“Fiddler On The Roof” At The Goodspeed

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It was a family affair Friday night at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam as Stephen and Abbey Kreinik of Hartford watched their daughter, Barrie, make her Goodspeed debut as Tzeitel in “Fiddler On The Roof.”Goodspeed 2014 021

“She has know since she was a young child that this was what she wanted to do with her life,” said Abbey Kreinik. “’Fiddler on the Roof’ was the first Broadway show we took her to see when she was five years old.”

Barrie holds an MFA in Acting from Brown/Trinity Rep and a BA in Theatre and English from Cornell University.

“This is a dream come true, she grew up going to [The Goodspeed],” said Abbey.

ChoreographerEsseAlso at the show Friday night, choreographer Parker Esse, wife Maria and their 15 year old son Jaden; Henry M. Zachs; and Jef Wolter, Goodspeed board president, and wife Kate of East Haddam.

Goodspeed 2014 011“It’s our third collaboration,” said Esse, of working with director Rob Ruggiero. “We did ‘Carousel’ together two seasons ago and this past season we did ‘The Most Happy Fella.’…We enjoy working together.”

Java wanted to know, besides “Fiddler,” if Barrie has a dream production she’d like to act in.

“My Fair Lady,” she said, without skipping a beat.

Goodspeed 2014 017“Fiddler” opened in previews Friday, June 27, and runs through Sept. 12.

WFSB Tina Martin Leaves Station

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tina1Reporter and former anchor Tina Martin has left WFSB.

Martin, a former weekend anchor and reporter said she and the station have mutually agreed to part ways.

“I have had a tremendous run at WFSB. From general assignment reporter to Tina Around Town features reporter to weekend morning anchor….winning local and national awards along the way,” said Martin in an email statement. ” I appreciate the opportunities I have been given in my 6 years. The viewers have been amazing to me and I thank them for welcoming me into their homes. I can’t go anywhere in the state without people telling me how much they love watching me! For that I am so grateful,” she wrote.

“I look forward to bigger and better. My agent has several irons in the fire all across the country. I look forward to exploring opportunities in my hometown of Boston, NYC and beyond,” she said. “Thanks to my wonderful hardworking colleagues not just at WFSB, but all the other stations as well. Onwards and upwards!!!!”

“I Do” For WFSB Rayner, Better Hours For NBC CT Hanrahan

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raynerThere is good news and more good news in the harahanworld of Hartford area television these days.

Top of the list, well-known NBC CT meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan has snagged a prime time gig with the station, according to his Facebook post.

“After 8 1/2 years of working weekends at NBC I’m moving Monday through Friday starting next week. I’ll be doing the 11am and the 5pm shows. I can’t wait to geek out about weather 5 days a week now.”

Replacing him on weekend evenings is Monica Cryan.

Also over at the West-Hartford based NBC CT, Tara Joyce has joined the station as a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor. The UConn grad already knows the lay of the land since she once work as an intern there before heading out to WFRV-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

And it’s newlywed bliss time over at WFSB where morning reporter Kate Rayner is now a Mrs.

Rayner married John Bernard Leary III on June 13. Doing the officiating was another well-known name, J. Paul Vance Jr.

The nuptials were held at Wesleyan Hills in Middletown and the honeymoon in Mexico.

 

erinconnollyAnd WFSB has also added a reporter. Erin Connolly began her new job there Monday.

Prior to joining WFSB, Erin worked as an anchor/reporter at YNN in Albany, New York.

Hartford Magazine Party Features The Best There Is

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besth2besth1If you were looking for the best there is as far as food, services, music, shopping and more in the Hartford area, all you had to do was head to the Hartford Public Library Friday to find it all.

Books became secondary as Hartford Magazine held its 11th annual “Best of” party featuring winners in dozens of categories who were more than happy to show off their awards and why they were chosen in the annual readers poll.

besth3“We’ve won a lot,” said Munson Chocolates employee Corinne Ferrante about the award the family-owned business in Bolton again snagged for its candy. And to prove the point, Ferrante and co-worker Harrison Poltorak, who work at the Blue Back Square store, were handing out samples of the well-known sweets to the crowd that packed the awards party featuring food, drinks, entertainment and a red carpet welcome.

Also celebrating a win were business partners and restaurateurs Dorjan Puka and David Borselle, whose A’vert Restaurant in West Hartford won “Best French Restaurant.”

“It’s always an honor,” said Borselle about the award as he piled picture-perfect French macarons onto a serving platter for guests to enjoy.

And while winning an award for the restaurant was a coup, Puka’s wife Mira said her hubby would deserve another award as well.

“Best Family Man,” is what he deserves as well,” she said. “He is a wonderful husband and father.”

hartbestAnd speaking of marriage and such, the Ververis Family was doing some celebrating at the party for a couple of reasons.

The family, which owns New Britain’s Capitol Lunch had once again been voted ”Best Hot Dog” in the magazine poll.

“We are honored,” said owner Gus Ververis, who, with his sons,  owns the historic Main Street eatery that has been known for decades for its signature dogs and special sauce.

Son Ignatios was not only celebrating the win and the celebrity that comes with it but something a bit more personal, his upcoming wedding to Ewa Kolodziejczyk.

“We met when I started working at Capitol Lunch,” explained Kolodziejczyk. “He asked me out and I was so embarrassed because I had just come from Poland and couldn’t speak English and didn’t know what to do,” she said smiling.

besth4But love prevailed and she now speaks impeccable English as she prepares for not one, but probably two weddings. The couple is traveling to Poland a few weeks before their wedding here in the United States and chances are there will be some nuptials there for the bride-to-be’s family, with a second ceremony in August in the United States.

“We want to keep everyone happy,” said Ververis. “It’s a challenge with families in two different countries but we want everyone to share.”

For more pictures go here.

Middleton Martini Mania A Shaken/Stirred Blast

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martini1If you were a martini aficionado walking through the doors of The Riverview in Simsbury Thursday, it was like heading into your own kind of heaven.

More than 30 well-known restaurants were there to greet you, each offering a martini delight as they vied for the title “best martini” in the annual “Faith Middleton Food Schmooze Martini competition, hosted each year by the popular NPR personality and foodie.  martini5

“I don’t know where to start,” said Tammy Richards, a Hartford resident who came to the fundraising contest with friends. “I always think of a martini as gin and vermouth and it certainly doesn’t look like any of these.”

For purists, it was not the place to be as mixologists shake or stirred “out of the box” in an effort to come up with the most creative and most tasty martini-like libation possible.

martini6Among the choices there was the caramel and peanut Crackerjack Martini, the quintessential summer watermelon martini, the Smokin’ with James bourbon-laced entry, the ginger-kissed chili Thai martini, the pungent humo de fuego  and the hops-infused vodka creation, The Randy.

The annual event is hosted by Middleton and benefits NPR programming initiatives.

“I just think it’s a nice way to get people out and introduce them to new tastes in a mood that is up,” said Middleton who was sporting some nice jewelry. “There is something about hearing a cocktail shaker that just makes people happy!”

Middleton was doing a little celebrating of her own and it had nothing to do with martinis, not even hermartini2 secret four ingredient recipe that she would only acknowledge contains lime juice and rum.

“We just celebrated our second anniversary together,” said Middleton about her relationship with girlfriend, Amy Gross, former editor-in-chief for Oprah Winfrey’s “O” magazine.

The celebration, Middleton said, included a trip back to Sunset Beach on Shelter Island where the two had their first date.

Also doing some Middleton-related celebrating was Alex Province, a regular guest on her Food Schmooze show, who has now joined the program on a regular basis.

For more pictures go here.

CT Forum’s Richard Sugarman To Step Down

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sugarmansRichard Sugarman, who, with his wife, Doris Sugarman, launched The Connecticut Forum 22 years ago, is stepping down as its founding president.

 

Sugarman, 65, said Friday he will leave his post in June, 2015, to consider “all kinds” of other career directions and opportunities.

 

“This is perfect timing for me,” said Sugarman, adding that he feels the organization has built itself into a stellar Hartford entity. “We have a great transition team in place, I am in the prime of my life and healthy and it is time to pursue other opportunities.”

 

Doris Sugarman will continue as executive director of the organization. Richard Sugarman’s position will not be filled.

 

The Connecticut Forum has become well-known for its lively, seasonal public programs featuring timely topics and well-known personalities, experts, politicians and celebrities discussing issues ranging from politics and world affairs to baseball and “The Simpsons.”

 

Over the years, The forum has featured many high profile guest speakers including former President Bill Clinton, actor Jason Alexander, activist Gloria Steinem, newsman Billy Moyers and former Yankee standout Bucky Dent.

 

The 2014-2015 season schedule includes record-breaking swimmer Diane Nyad, political pundit Karl Rove and author David McCullough.

 

The forum also sponsors a Youth Forum, a voluntary high school program for more than 750 students from 35 schools.

 

“Richard Sugarman’s creativity and vision has made The CT Forum an important cultural institution in Connecticut,” said board chairwoman Bonnie Malley. “He has been an inspirational force and leader in the organization and in the Greater Hartford community. His presence and impact are deep and far reaching.

 

“The board is confident,” she added, “that, under the leadership of Doris Sugarman, supported by a talented, committed staff and a strong board of directors, The Forum will continue to thrive and grow for many years to come.”

 

“My heart will always be with the CT Forum,” Richard Sugarman added. “I love everything we have been able to do together for 22 years, and I’m looking forward to seeing the exciting people, ideas and forum moments that lie ahead for all of us in the next 22 years.”