A healthier choice! Gluten-fee banana bread

A healthier banana bread from the Twice-Baked Twins.

Banana bread didn’t become completely popular until the 1960s. Suddenly everyone started baking banana bread, including our Mom, Aunti Lou and Aunt Tally. There was always a banana bread debate in this family! Aunti Lou’s was a cake and much sweeter. She made it in a tube pan and it Always rose ...

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What to watch this weekend: May 17-19

What’s on your family’s movie menu this week?  Choosing what films to offer is a lot like planning what meals to serve. The choices on television can make it easy to savor something at the same time you nourish the mind and heart. This weekend, cable stations offer a range of nutritious movies ...

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New Milford production of ‘Seascape’ a must-see

‘Seascape’ at TheatreWorks New Milford.

Who’s afraid of Edward Albee? Certainly not anyone attending the current production of his “Seascape” at TheatreWorks in New Milford. Here is a definitive production, directed by Chesley Plemmons whose critical insight and deep appreciation of the play as well as a flair for the dramatic moment ...

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May 9: Anglers’ information — Latest fishing reports from Connecticut DEEP

A Seeforellen strain brown trout.

INLAND REPORT TROUT Rivers & streams ‐ C Flows in most areas are currently below typical spring levels (see box on page 4), but with the rain this week and more forecast for the weekend, stream flows in many areas should improve. Trout fishing was generally good last week, with reports from ...

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Westport Playhouse opens with superb ‘Dining Room’

Because playwright A. R. Gurney’s “The Dining Room” has been performed so many times by so many groups, including college, community, and regional theaters, one doesn’t expect to be shocked by the look of it. Yet at Westport Country Play, under the stellar direction of Mark Lamos, with the brilliant set design by Michael Yeargan accented by Stephen Strawbridge’s lighting, John Gromada’s sound, and Jane Greenwood’s costumes, first sight of this play stops you in your tracks and takes your breath away. Gone are the polished mahogany tables and silver-laden services that graced so many a stage productions of this play. Instead, there’s a ghostly look about the room and everything in it. It’s as if the room had been frozen in time — a very long time ago. Considering that the play is about the demise of the privileged WASP, this play is more real than ever and the setting leaves no doubt about it. Gurney wrote in the playbill that he had first envisioned the play being “performed behind a velvet rope as if in a museum of antiquities... of a long-lost culture.” In Westport’s presentation, the scenes unfold as distant memories visualized. A great deal of this has to do with the entire set, including the dining room chairs and table, being painted a graveyard bluish-gray color. It is as stunning as it is haunting. More importantly, it is quite telling of a culture disappearing from the American scene and specifically about generations of an American family’s traditions going the way of the dinosaur. Adding to the sense of a vanishing breed, along with its servants and treasured traditions, the director has the versatile cast drink invisible cups of coffee, carry non-existent trays, and eat and drink foods and cocktails left to the imagination. Six extremely gifted actors play some 50 roles in this production. They include Heidi Armbruster, Chris Henry Coffey, Keira Naughton, Jake Robards, Charles Socarides, and Jennifer Van Dyck. (Yes, Keira Naughton is the daughter of James Naughton and Jake Robards is the son of Jason Robards.) As the actors take on roles from juvenile to senior, we see how important that room, the dining room, was to WASP families. They had cocktails at 5 and dinner at 7 in this coveted room. Youngsters couldn’t wait to be old enough to sit at the dining room table and everything from romantic interludes to requests for money happened in this room. It is only in the final scene when a crisp white linen table cloth, priceless china, sparkling crystal, polished silverware and an elegant floral centerpiece grace the dulled-with-age table. Then the two candles flanking the flowers are extinguished, showing for one brief moment the glory of a privileged American family, which like the candles eventually die out. A superb production, Westport’s empty “Dining Room” is full of history. It plays through May 18. Box office: 203-227-4177. Joanne Greco Rochman is an active member in The American Theatre Critics Association, and covers art and culture in a blog for CBS and CBS-CT. She welcomes comments. Contact: jgrochman@gmail.com

Because playwright A. R. Gurney’s “The Dining Room” has been performed so many times by so many groups, including college, community, and regional theaters, one doesn’t expect to be shocked by the look of it. Yet at Westport Country Play, under the stellar direction of Mark Lamos, with the ...

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Love is All You Need: Romantic comedy surprise

As we look ahead to the summer movie season — with a parade of blockbusters scheduled for theaters — the Reel Dad checks out the nutritional value of some smaller films that open soon. This week’s pick is Love Is All You Need, a romantic comedy from Denmark starring Pierce Brosnan.   When ...

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Weekend ‘star turns’ to watch at home

What’s on your family’s movie menu this week?  Choosing what films to offer is a lot like planning what meals to serve. And all the choices on television make it easy to savor something at the same time you nourish the mind and heart.  This week, cable offers a range of nutritious movies. Here ...

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