Brookfield's HamletHub Wed, 04 Aug 2021 04:41:26 -0400 Shop Connecticut Grown During National Farmers Market Week!

Governor Ned Lamont is urging Connecticut residents to support local farmers during National Farmers Market Week – which runs from August 1 to 7, 2021 – by purchasing locally grown products designated with the Connecticut Grown logo and visiting some of the more than 90 certified farmers markets statewide.

A list of every certified farmers' market in Connecticut can be found online at An interactive map of farmers' markets is also available at

Now in its 22nd year, National Farmers Market Week highlights the vital role that farmers' markets play in the nation’s food system. The COVID-19 pandemic made it clear that local food systems with short supply chains are resilient, and farmers' markets keep communities connected while addressing food insecurity by offering programs for the most vulnerable residents to access fresh, nutritious, local foods.

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture administers the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), which assists seniors over the age of 60 and women, infants, and children who meet certain eligibility guidelines with assistance to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, cut herbs, and honey. These individuals can redeem vouchers at certified farmers’ markets or farm stands throughout the state. Many farmers’ markets also participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, with some offering doubling benefits. Nationwide, SNAP benefits redeemed at farmers’ markets increased by 50% over 2019. It is estimated that for every dollar of nutrition incentives spent on farm direct purchases it results in a contribution of up to three dollars to the U.S. economy.

While farmers' markets fuel local economies, they also provide one of the only low-barrier entry points for new farmers and food entrepreneurs. There are 3.5 times as many U.S. farmers over the age of 65 as there are under 35. For young and beginning farmers, direct marketing through Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) and farmers’ markets make up the majority of their income.

Connecticut’s agriculture industry generates an impact of $4 billion on the state’s economy and fosters more than 21,000 jobs. There are more than 200 certified farmers or farm stands selling fruits, vegetables, and honey with nearly 750 farmers selling all types of Connecticut Grown farm products, including meat, dairy, shellfish, flowers, and fiber at markets in more than 50% of the state’s municipalities.


]]> (Gov. Ned Lamont) Life Mon, 02 Aug 2021 13:13:19 -0400
Local Charity Announces $6 Million in Grant Awards

The Inner-City Foundation for Charity & Education will award $6 million in grants, the charity announced today, providing grants to 43 local Fairfield County programs. The charity announced its plans to dissolve and to distribute its considerable 

“We wish we could have gone back and given funds to everyone we have supported over the years – about 200 grantees over 30 years,” said Executive Director Karen Barry Schwarz, “but that was not feasible. We looked at those grantees that we regularly supported over the last 10 years or so and chose carefully from a large group of proposals. We’re delighted that our donors’ funds will be doing good in Fairfield County for many years to come, and in some cases, in perpetuity.”

 The Fairfield County programs that will each receive a portion of the $6 million in funds from The Inner-City Foundation for Charity & Education in its dissolution include the following:

All Saints Catholic School
Bridgeport Caribe Youth Leaders
Bridgeport Neighborhoods Together
Bridgeport Rescue Mission
Building One Community
Cardinal Shehan Center
Caroline House
Carver Foundation of Norwalk
Catholic Academy of Bridgeport
Catholic Academy of Stamford
Catholic Charities of Fairfield County Immigration Services
Catholic Charities of Fairfield County Morning Glory Kitchen
Center for Family Justice
Circle of Care for Families of Children with Cancer
Domestic Violence Crisis Center
Domus Foundation
Family ReEntry
Foundations in Education
Future 5
Homes with Hope
Junior Achievement of Greater Fairfield County
Kids in Crisis
Kolbe Cathedral High School
Malta House
Mercy Learning Center
New Covenant Center
Open Door Shelter
Pacific House
Sacred Heart University
Shelter of the Cross/Renewal House
St. Catherine Center for Special Needs
St. Joseph Parenting Center
Stamford Public Education Foundation
Sterling House Community Center
Thomas Merton Center
Tiny Miracles Foundation
Today's Students Tomorrow's Teachers
Women's Center of Greater Danbury

In a closing statement to donors, Executive Director Karen Barry Schwarz added, “For almost three decades, The Inner-City Foundation, with your help, has helped to feed the hungry, house the homeless, and educate those living in poverty in Fairfield County, granting $38 million to 200 local programs over the last 30 years. It has been our distinct honor, and our mission, to help families in need, helping to construct with them a path to a better future.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting us, and our friends in need, over all these years. We hope you will continue the good work we began together.”


]]> (KBSchwarz) Charities Mon, 02 Aug 2021 11:17:10 -0400
Lamont Announces Deployment of More Than $16 Million To Support Local Special Education COVID-19 Recovery Efforts

Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Acting Commissioner of Education Charlene Russell-Tucker today visited Regional School District 17 in Higganum to highlight the more than $16 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief II (ESSER II) funds that are being made available to assist 170 school districts across Connecticut with delivering special education services to more than 80,000 students during the 2021-22 school year.

“These funds are an important way to provide needed resources to special education programs throughout Connecticut and ensure that all of our students have equal access to the education they deserve,” Governor Lamont said.


ESSER funding is critical to re-engaging all students and supporting learning acceleration with the different and unique needs of students in mind, such as students with disabilities. The Connecticut State Department of Education is using its ESSER II state set-aside to supplement local special education COVID-19 recovery efforts through several initiatives piloted last school year by several districts, including Regional School District 17. The district is also innovating and expanding capacity by engaging stakeholders to address the needs of students with disabilities using their local ESSER II funds. During the 2021-22 school year, four main initiatives will be coordinated by the Connecticut State Department of Education’s Bureau of Special Education (BSE) to assist in providing services to students with disabilities and their families. These include:

  1. Addressing Delayed, Interrupted, Suspended or Inaccessible Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Supports and Services: Up to $13 million in funds will assist districts with addressing delayed, interrupted, suspended, or inaccessible IEP supports and services for students with IEPs in each school district.
  2. Special Education Evaluations: Up to $1 million in funds will increase the capacity of state’s six Regional Educational Service Centers (RESC) to assist school districts in conducting special education evaluations, which will benefit approximately 240 students, as well as planning and placement teams.
  3. Supplementary Tutoring and Reading Instruction: Up to $2 million in funds will assist 170 districts with supporting supplementary tutoring and reading instruction to address the needs of 3,092 students with an IEP and a primary disability category of SLD/dyslexia in alignment with the reading goals in the student’s current IEP.
  4. Individualized In-Home Support for High Needs Students: Up to $272,000 in funds will provide for 8,000 hours of individualized in-home support through partnership with the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services to provide 1:1 in-home assistance and support for up to 200 students with high needs.

Governor Lamont and Acting Commissioner Russell-Tucker also visited the site of Haddam-Killingworth Recreation Department’s summer camp, located on the campus of Regional School District 17’s high school. The Haddam-Killingworth Recreation Department is one of 235 programs statewide that are receiving grants through the Connecticut State Department of Education’s set-aside of COVID-19 recovery funds to deliver affordable high-quality educational and recreational opportunities this summer.

In total, the grants have already expanded access to enrichment experiences for more than 50,000 students in Connecticut, with an emphasis on children and communities most impacted by the pandemic. Many summer programs continue to have open enrollment, and families still have time to find many financially accessible options on their area.

]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Politics Mon, 02 Aug 2021 10:51:18 -0400
Mass Food Distribution in Danbury Every Saturday in August

United Way of Western Connecticut and the Connecticut Food Bank partner with the City of Danbury and Danbury Public Schools to host mass food drive-thru distribution every Saturday in August from 10 am to 1 pm at Danbury High School.

Danbury High School (43 Clapboard Ridge Road) will host a drive-thru food distribution every Saturday in August beginning on August 7. Area residents can drive-up from 10 am – 1 pm to receive a box of fresh produce from the CT Food Bank/Foodshare program.

This food distribution is spearheaded by United Way of Western CT who has partnered with the CT Food Bank/Foodshare to bring this drive-thru opportunity to Danbury residents. The CT Food Bank is committed to providing nutritious food to people in need throughout the state. To learn more about where to find CT Food Bank pantries and drive-thru distributions, click here.

Walnut Hill Community Church has generously provided logistical and volunteer support for this event.

In addition to the food drive, Danbury High will also host mobile vaccination clinics to provide residents the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Clinics will be provided throughout the month by Griffin Health, RVNAhealth, and CHC, Inc.

Interested in volunteering? Sign-up to help out this August by clicking here

This food distribution is not limited to Danbury residents. This is a free program. No registration or documentation is required. Walk-ups will also be accepted.

Visit for more information.

]]> (City of Danbury) Neighbors Mon, 02 Aug 2021 06:47:00 -0400
Phillip Phillips returns to The Ridgefield Playhouse with two outdoor shows on August 7!

Phillip Phillips, the winner of the 11th season of American Idol in 2012 and singer of widely-acclaimed songs including “Home”, “Gone, Gone, Gone", and “Magnetic", is performing outdoors under the Tent at  The Ridgefield Playhouse on August 7th at 4:00 and 7:30 PM. Tickets for the 4:00 PM show are on sale by phone [203-438-5797] and reservations for the 7:30 PM concert are purchased by phone and online here.

Playing some of his hit songs, hidden gems, and newest tracks alongside him are guitarist Errol Cooney and cello player Dave Eggar. “We have such a blast playing with one another, it's just really free and easy,” Phillip told me on a Zoom interview last week. “We just have fun. It’s live music!” 

Born on September 20th, 1990 in Albany, Georgia, Phillip Phillips fell in love with writing and playing music early at the age of 14. “I would just constantly play guitar. I took my guitar to school almost every day on the bus and I would play,” he explained. “Musically, Angus Young from AC/DC was my hero,” he said, citing Dave Matthews and Damien Rice as idols as well.

In 2009, it was evident that Phillip’s interest in music was taking a turn into becoming a blooming career when he appeared in local Georgian venues and contests, eventually winning a singing competition called “Albany Star” in 2010. 

As Phillip Phillips walked in front of American Idol judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler for his initial audition on the show in 2012, Steven Tyler whispered to Jennifer Lopez, “I got a funny feeling about this.” It turns out that he was right with Phillip wowing the judges with songs “Superstition” and “Thriller,” catapulting him forward in the competition. Many spectacular performances later, Phillip found himself in the Top 3. Singing “We’ve Got Tonight” by Bob Seger, Phillip Phillips sealed himself as the indisputable winner of the show. “It was crazy and it changed my life completely. I didn’t know what to expect, I just loved playing music,” he reminisced. “I am just very blessed and a very lucky person.” 

When I asked him how other people can accomplish their goals like he did, he told me, “You really have to work hard and you can’t get lazy.” He says, “It’s all about learning.” Before finishing his answer, he delighted me by adding, “You have to stay humble as well.”

Two albums and many songs later, Phillip Phillips is still very much enthusiastic about living his dream of being a musician. “What inspires me to write music is just real life, you know, good, bad, sad, and happy,” Phillip voiced to me in our discussion. “These new songs that I have been writing have become some of my favorites. “The song called  Rescue You I really love… I think it’s a step forward in my career.” Now a dad, Phillip laughed and said, “[My son] likes them so I am taking that as a win.” 

If you are near Ridgefield, Connecticut, available, and looking for a great time on Saturday, August 7th, get your tickets to Phillip Phillips’ shows at the Ridgefield Playhouse at 4:00 and 7:30 PM. 

“The show is going to be great, everybody come on down,” Phillip says.

 I will be in attendance that day and I as well hope to see you all there for what will become two fantastic shows.


Phillip Phillips - Magnetic

]]> (Max Porter) Events Sun, 01 Aug 2021 11:55:48 -0400
Candlewood Lake Authority Presence at the Boat Launches

If you’ve used the State of CT or municipal launches on Candlewood this summer, you may have been greeted by Candlewood Lake Authority staff prior to launching. This year, two new CLA initiatives at the launches have been rolled out; one to help prevent invasive species and the other to help keep boaters safe.

Through a CT DEEP grant, the Candlewood Lake Authority has introduced the brand new Lake Steward Program! The Stewards greet boaters at the public boat ramps and offer to perform an invasive species inspection of their vessel and trailer. In the course of the quick inspection, one steward gathers anonymized data to help inform future invasive species prevention efforts, while the other inspects the boat and trailer for invasive species. The CLA hopes to grow this program in the coming years to provide even more coverage!

The CLA Marine Patrol has also been offering safety inspections at ramps to boaters wishing to launch this summer. By educating boaters that they need enough life vests, the required safety equipment and any required safe boating certifications prior to launching, it creates a safer boating environment for all who wish to enjoy a day on Candlewood Lake.

Before Heading Out on Candlewood Lake
Please ensure that you...
]]> (Candlewood Lake Authority) Life Fri, 30 Jul 2021 10:25:56 -0400
José Feliciano Headlines Concert Celebrating Connecticut's New, Tougher Human Trafficking Law at Ridgefield Playhouse on Aug. 14

Celebratory Concert Headlining José Feliciano on August 14 at The Ridgefield Playhouse

To mark the passage of the new state law that better protects victims of human trafficking in Connecticut, as well as highlight continued efforts by organizations around the state to focus greater attention to this pervasive problem, Traffick Jam Live, a Connecticut-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is hosting a special concert featuring Grammy Award-winning singer/guitarist José Feliciano of Weston and special guest Vaneese Thomas at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Saturday, Aug. 14.

The concert will work to raise money -- and awareness -- about human trafficking, which affects communities large and small, including many here in Connecticut. Since 2008, more than 1,000 children have been referred to the Department of Children and Families in Connecticut as possible victims of child trafficking.

Between the two performances several Connecticut based anti-human trafficking nonprofits (PEHT, LOVE 146 and TJL) will share some vital information about human sex trafficking right here in our own communities. The presentation takeaways include: tips on “Red Flags” to look for to spot early indications of “grooming” techniques of traffickers; a protective look at how social media can provide traffickers access to our young daughters.

State Sen. Will Haskell will join them on stage and comment about the importance of the recently signed anti-human trafficking law.

Traffick Jam Live is a Connecticut-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit aimed at collaboratively disrupting human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking of girls under the age of 18, in the United States. It was launched by Ridgefield resident Bo Beatty in 2016.

Traffick Jam Live shines a spotlight on the shadows of human trafficking through concert and event productions that inform audiences on vital human trafficking awareness information.  For starters, if you see something, say something by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733. Traffick Jam Live is also collaboratively developing a tactical hand signal for girls to alert “trained eyes” when they are with their trafficker on an airplane, a hotel lobby or any public facility with monitored security cameras. 

"Sadly, most Americans have no idea how prevalent sex trafficking is right here in our own communities," states Beatty.

The new law, which passed earlier this summer, has been hailed by advocates working to end human trafficking. Traffickers charged in Connecticut will find it harder to avoid prosecution and victims of trafficking will now have an easier time getting their convictions vacated if the crimes they committed were done while being trafficked.

Advocates say these measures, and others included in the law, reflect a greater understanding and awareness of the problem, as well as the long-term consequences trafficking has on its victims. On a recent online zoom presentation hosted by Greenwich-based Partnership to End Human Trafficking (PEHT), the group praised the new law and the significant efforts of advocates over several years to get it passed and signed. 

“This new Connecticut State law is a major accomplishment,” said Erin Williamson, vice president of Global Programs and Strategy at New Haven-based LOVE146.

One of Williamson's and LOVE146's concerns are the predatory traffickers' enhanced social media access to vulnerable young girls anywhere in Connecticut.

The average age of entry into human sex trafficking is 12 to 14 years old, according to many anti-trafficking agencies. And the U.S. Department of State, in its "2021 Trafficking In Persons Report,” indicates that 28 percent of sex trafficking victims in the United States (more than 1 in 4) are girls under the age of 18.

Concert organizers are hoping the community comes out to enjoy some great music and do their part in disrupting human trafficking. The concert opens at 7 p.m. with a performance by Thomas and her ensemble.

"I'm honored to be a part of it. It's such an important issue," said Thomas, who has sung with Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Celine Dion, to name a few.  "I don't think people really know ... they know the large picture, the big picture of what human trafficking is about. But they don't see it in a personal sense. That it could be right next door to them. That it could be right in their neighborhood. I'd like to draw attention to that aspect and have people be aware of what is going on around them."

She will be followed by the presentation and then the headliner -- Jose Feliciano -- will take the stage. Feliciano, a longtime Weston resident, headlined the Grand Opening of the Ridgefield Playhouse in 2000 and is returning once again to lend his talents to a worthy cause. 

In a joint statement, both José and wife Susan Feliciano stated, “Unless we, as a people, are really aware of this perversion —  a thing as diabolical as Human Trafficking — it will continue to permeate the underbelly of our society. I must admit, not until I was invited to perform this concert in support of Traffick Jam Live,  did we, Susan and I, grasp the scope of the dilemma. We need to become more fully aware and dedicated to do whatever we can, whatever it takes, to rid this scourge in order to protect the most vulnerable among us. Together, let’s work towards eradicating Human Trafficking in all its forms.”  The venues Gold Circle tickets also include post event VIP “meet and greet” with Feliciano after the concert.

To help provide complimentary concert tickets to Connecticut human trafficking survivors and employees and volunteers of CT’s anti-trafficking nonprofits, visit “donate” page, make a donation, and enter “Comp Tix” in the comments field.  Join in and let’s JAM human trafficking together.

Tickets are available at and here

-- For more information about Traffick Jam Live, please visit

Vaneese Thomas opens the Traffick Jam Live Aug 14 ...

]]> (Bo Beatty) Charities Fri, 30 Jul 2021 07:07:30 -0400
Connecticut’s Minimum Wage Is Scheduled To Increase on Sunday

Governor Ned Lamont is reminding Connecticut residents that – as a result of legislation he enacted two years ago scheduling several increases in the minimum wage over a five-year period – the minimum wage in the state will increase from the current rate of $12.00 per hour to $13.00 per hour beginning on Sunday, August 1, 2021.

“Nobody working a full-time job should live in poverty,” Governor Lamont said. “For too long, while the nation’s economy grew, the income of the lowest earning workers has stayed flat, making already existing pay disparities even worse and preventing hardworking families from obtaining financial security. This is a fair, modest increase, and the money earned by workers will go right back into our own economy, supporting local businesses and our communities.”

“Every single worker in Connecticut deserves dignity,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “This progress towards Connecticut’s $15 an hour minimum wage will lift our state up and ensure that nobody working a full-time job lives in poverty. I join Governor Lamont in applauding this milestone for working families in Connecticut, and I share his continued commitment to the hardworking women and men of our state.”

Signed into law by Governor Lamont in 2019, Public Act 19-4 requires the minimum wage to increase five times over a five-year period, from the then-rate of $10.10 to:

  • $11.00 on October 1, 2019;
  • $12.00 on September 1, 2020;
  • $13.00 on August 1, 2021;
  • $14.00 on July 1, 2022; and
  • $15.00 on June 1, 2023.

Ultimately, beginning on January 1, 2024, that same public act requires the minimum wage to become indexed to the employment cost index, which is calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor, and for the first time in Connecticut the rate will grow according to economic indicators.

]]> (Gov. Ned Lamont) Politics Thu, 29 Jul 2021 09:43:58 -0400
Brookfield Police Welcome Officer Travis Kullgren to Department

Congratulations to Brookfield’s newest Police Officer, Travis Kullgren, and Session 371 of the Connecticut Police Academy on their graduation. After 6 months of training at the Connecticut Police Academy, he will begin a 12-week Field Training program.
Travis grew up locally in New Milford. While he was in high school, he was a part of the Newtown Police Explorers. He graduated from New Milford high school in 2016 and chose a path of military service. Less than a month after graduating high school Travis was shipped off to boot camp for the Marine Corps. After four honorable years, several overseas missions, and an immense amount of training, Travis returned home seeking a career in law enforcement. Travis was sworn into the Brookfield Police Department on January 4th, 2021. LT. David Kullgren of the Newtown Police Department had the honor of pinning on his badge.
Visit Brookfield Police Department on Facebook here for additional photos and information.
From left to right- Major Puglisi, Chief Viadero (Newtown), Officer Kullgren, Chief Purcell, Captain Frengs, Officer Heller
]]> (Brookfield Police) Public safety Wed, 28 Jul 2021 13:50:10 -0400
Brookfield Burn Heads to National World Series!

After winning the CT State Babe Ruth Championship, these girls swept the competition at the Regional Tournament. They are New England Regional Champions!
This is the first time in program history, a softball team has made it this far! These girls have worked so hard through a pandemic, wearing masks, winter clinics, and a rigorous season. [Courtesy Go Fund Me Page].
The young athletes are headed to Port St. Lucie on Tuesday, Jan 27th where they will compete against some of the best teams in the country. 
Join in and follow this group to watch Brookfield Burn play softball at The Babe Ruth World Series 10U! Learn more about the tournament here.
You can support the team as they head to the Softball World Series in Florida by visiting their Go Fund Me Page. 
*Image courtesy Brookfield Burns Facebook pages.
]]> (HH) Neighbors Wed, 28 Jul 2021 13:20:46 -0400
Brookfield GOP Endorses Candidates


Brookfield GOP Endorses Candidates

for the November 2021 Municipal Election

The Brookfield Republicans met the evening of Tuesday, July 20th for a Caucus at the Whisconier Middle School to officially endorse their slate of Candidates to run in the November 2021 Municipal Election. 

Candidates were interviewed over a 3-month period by the Vacancy Committee. A full slate of Candidates was recommended for the Caucus by the Brookfield Republican Town Committee (BRTC) at a vote on July 6, 2021. 

Last night’s Caucus vote by a very excited crowd, officially endorsed the full slate of 22 Candidates. 

Headlining the slate is Tara Carr, a 25-yr retired Lieutenant Colonel new to politics, running for First Selectman and Harry Shaker, current Selectman. 

This is the first time in the history of the BRTC that a total of 9 (nine) women will be running for office. 


The Brookfield Republican Candidates for 2021 are:

First Selectman - Tara Carr

Selectman - Harry Shaker* 

Board of Finance - 4-year term 

             Dan Devorsetz* 

             Andrew Koehm

             Amelia Manalaphy

            Glenn Rooney* current Board of Finance Chairman

Board of Finance - 2-year term

             Thomas D’Avanzo

            Brianna Ruocco*

Board of Education - 4-year term          

            Gwen Arment

            Sharon E. Butow

           Joy Greenstein*

Planning Commission - 4-year term

            Michael DelValle

            John Mara

            Linda Taylor*

Zoning Commission - 4-year term

            Gary Goetz

            Darryel Pratt

            Anne Vogel

Zoning Commission - 2-year term

            Bishendra M. Komar

Zoning Board of Appeals - 4-year term

            Alan Donnelly

            Karl Hinger

            Janet LaForgia

Board of Assessment Appeals - 4-year term

            Jeff Bronn*

*Indicates Incumbent       

The Leadership team and Vacancy Committee would like to thank their members and supporters for their enthusiastic participation and commitment to the current town committee and to the Republican voters in Brookfield.  

CONTACT: George Blass (203-241-4759); Rose DeMarco (203-297-4710)

]]> (Rose DeMarco) Politics Wed, 28 Jul 2021 13:07:12 -0400
The Ridgefield Playhouse Adds Two New Shows with Colin Jost on Sunday, August 15

Colin Jost new show at The Ridgefield Playhouse on Sunday, August 15 is on sale for Playhouse members NOW

Show times 4:30PM and 7:30PM

Public on-sale Friday, July 30 at 10am!

Purchase tickets HERE.

Don’t miss this evening of stand-up from the award-winning, co-anchor of “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live!

Please note that the 7:30 pm show is a rescheduled performance - tickets from Colin Jost's April 20, 2020 show will be honored. The 4:30 pm performance is a brand new show. Tickets are available for both shows.

Back after a sold out show in 2019, the “SNL Weekend Update” host is back with an all new show! Jost serves as a head writer for “Saturday Night Live.” He started writing for “SNL” in 2005 and has been co-anchor of “Weekend Update” since 2014.

Jost co-hosted the special editions of “Weekend Update” that aired on MSNBC during the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions as well as the primetime “Weekend Update Summer Edition” in 2017. In 2018, Jost and co-anchor Michael Che hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Additionally, Jost wrote and starred in the Paramount/Netflix film “Staten Island Summer,” based on his days as a lifeguard. He has won four Writers Guild Awards, a Peabody Award and has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards for his writing on “SNL.” Jost graduated from Harvard University and is from Staten Island, N.Y.

Purchase tickets HERE.

Colin Jost - One Star Review

]]> (The Ridgefield Playhouse) Events Tue, 27 Jul 2021 10:22:56 -0400
ACT of Connecticut Announces 2021–2022 Season

The grand moment you've been waiting for... ACT of Connecticut's Season Announcement

After a year of limitations due to COVID-19, the popular ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) of Connecticut is fully opening its doors to live audiences and is thrilled to announce its upcoming 2021–2022 season. The season features four spectacular shows: Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Nickel Mines, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Rent

ACT of CT Artistic Director, Daniel C. Levine says, “We could not be more excited to be ‘back at it’ with a full season of shows. While we’re proud of the work that we’ve produced over this past year, there is nothing like performing in front of a live (and full!) audience. Next season’s shows are incredibly exciting and there is truly something for everyone. The talent that we have coming to Ridgefield this season is not to be believed, and we just can’t wait to welcome our patrons back to ACT of CT for a full season of stunning productions!”

ACT of CT’s 2021–2022 season:

SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE – The Songs of Leiber and Stoller

One of Broadway’s most enduring hits, Smokey Joe’s Cafe is a celebration of legendary songwriting team Leiber and Stoller, who virtually invented Rock & Roll. This high-energy show features nearly 40 of the greatest songs ever recorded, including “Jailhouse Rock,” "Stand By Me,” “Yakety Yak,” “Hound Dog,” “On Broadway,” “Spanish Harlem” and many more. Smokey Joe’s Cafe is a fun-filled night of electrifying 50’s Rock & Roll that will leave you flying high! This production’s Director / Choreographer will be Smokey Joe’s Cafe’s original west-end production cast member, Stephanie Pope Lofgren. 

Words and Music by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

Performance dates: September 30–October 24, 2021


This new musical is centered around the infamous 2006 Lancaster, Pennsylvania Amish schoolhouse shooting in which a lone gunman shot ten girls (five fatally) before taking his own life. A breathtaking piece of theater, it combines spoken dialogue, movement and original music to explore multiple viewpoints and perspectives from that fateful morning. Nickel Mines is a living memorial to the young girls who lost their lives and a powerful exploration of community, perseverance and ultimately, hope. Nickel Mines will be Directed and Choreographed by Andrew Palermo and is presented in association with Anita Donofrio. 

Conceived by Andrew Palermo

Written by Andrew Palermo and Shannon Stoeke

Music and Lyrics by Dan Dyer

Performance dates: January 20–January 30, 2022 (10 performances only).

ACT of CT is the first professional theater to premiere this fascinating, elegant and moving new musical. Due to Covid-19, “Nickel Mines” (which was originally scheduled for March 19–29, 2020) was canceled just days before opening. ACT of CT is ecstatic to be able to bring back this important and powerful new musical as part of its 2021–2022 season. 


This timeless rock opera follows the last week of Jesus Christ’s life as seen through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. The story, told entirely through song, explores the personal relationships and struggles between Jesus, Judas, Mary, his disciples and the Roman Empire. The iconic 70's rock score contains such well-known songs as “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” and “Gethsemane.” A true global phenomenon, Jesus Christ Superstar has been wowing audiences for 50 years. This production will be directed by ACT of CT’s Artistic Director, Daniel C. Levine.

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Lyrics by Tim Rice

Performance dates: March 24–April 17, 2022


Rent is a show about falling in love, following your dreams, and finding your voice! Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Rent has become a pop-cultural phenomenon. The story follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side. In this groundbreaking musical, these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves and conflicts and learn that there is “no day but today!"

Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson

Performance dates: May 26–June 19, 2022 

Subscriptions for the 2021–2022 season are available now by visiting or by calling the ACT of CT Box Office at 475-215-5497. Visit ACT of CT website to learn more about the exclusive season subscriber benefits.

About ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) of Connecticut

ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) of Connecticut is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) professional Equity theatre located in Ridgefield, CT. Founded in 2018 by Katie Diamond, Daniel C. Levine and Bryan Perri, ACT of CT presents limited engagement runs of well-known musicals, as well as world-premiere productions by the next generation of writers and composers. In addition to fully produced mainstage productions, ACT of CT’s programming also includes a New Works Series, a Broadway Unplugged Series and an extensive theater education program. With its 182 seats and turntable stage, the theater offers an intimate, unique and immersive theatrical experience for its patrons. Given its proximity to New York City, ACT of CT has access to top theatre talent and professionals and, in just three seasons, has become one of the most well-known and highly respected regional theatres in our area. ACT of CT is dedicated to inspiring, creating and nurturing a culturally diverse and equitable environment for its staff, creative teams, cast, musicians, crew members and audiences, and is committed to achieving a diverse workforce and to maintain an inclusive and discrimination-free environment.

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Brookfield Resident Max Porter's Revelations from Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming

Connecticut Service Group Travels to Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming to Connect, Build, and Learn

Despite the beating sun and long hours causing us terrible sunburn and exhaustion, we persevered. We kept going because we knew the end result of this mission. It was not to recreate a nice basketball court for kids at this school to play on at its core, it was to help recreate bonds that have progressively been broken over the years between Native Americans and those that don’t share that background. 

Sitting in central Wyoming, a four-and-a-half-hour drive northeast of Salt Lake City, Utah, sits an expansive 3 ½ million square mile reservation called the Wind River Indian Reservation. 27,088 people call this place home and I was lucky enough to call it that as well from June 28th to July 3rd, 2021. Twelve people, including me, traveled here as members of a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization dedicated to uniting communities through basketball called Full Court Peace. Every day, the 12 of us left a small town called Lander, Wyoming and ventured onto the reservation in a great white van full of paint cans, brushes, tape, and crack filler to chip away at painting and repairing a basketball court at Wyoming Indian Middle School. 

I was also in Cuba in March of 2018 for a Full Court Peace trip. Being in a third world country, I witnessed crippling poverty and the absence of hope and chances for development and improvement. Traveling to Wind River Reservation, which is in one of the most economically developed and prosperous countries in the world, I didn’t expect to find the same hardships. It turns out that I was wrong. Here, 40% of people don’t have running water; WiFi is virtually nonexistent among households; homes are made out of anything that the people can get their hands on; and unemployment is around 80%. Addiction rates near 50%; the crime rate is five to seven times the national average; and 71% of the reservation’s citizens are obese. I witnessed these statistics in action. 

The things that these people live with and that I saw are consequences of the embarrassing, disgraceful, and inhumane treatment of Native Americans across the country for centuries by the United States government. Not only is the background of how Native Americans have been forced to live on reservations disgusting and a cause of the circumstances that these people find themselves in today, the unfair principles, laws, and logistics that the United States government founded these lands on and that have stuck since are as well. Much of the despair on reservations like Wind River stems from the presence of communal land. Forbes said it best, “residents can’t get clear title to the land where their home sits, one reason for the abundance of mobile homes on reservations. This makes it hard for Native Americans to establish credit and borrow money to improve their homes.” This doesn’t only apply to homes, businesses are hard to create and therefore jobs are difficult to find. Similar situations exist across South America, Africa, and inner cities in the United States. Reform to privatize reservation land must go through the United States government’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. This body is unlikely to mass-privatize reservation land as this monopoly positively benefits the government’s revenue. Without serious reform and the deescalation of the ongoing presence of the United States government on Native American land, the horrendous statistics on Wind River Reservation and other places where Native Americans live together will only grow and the relationships between Indians and outsiders will continue to crumble.

Reflecting on my experience on the Wind River Native American Reservation and the status of this country’s original inhabitants today, I still do find some solace and hope. Before getting on the main road to head back to the airport in Salt Lake City after we had finished improving the basketball court, we first stopped at a Native-owned restaurant. The president and founder of Full Court Peace, Mike Evans, was in the restaurant ordering food while we were in the van. Looking around, he saw that multiple Native diners were staring at him in a disgruntled manner. Witnessing this behavior, someone in the restaurant that Mike knew spoke out and said, “He is with us.” Instantly, the faces of annoyance disappeared and grateful smiles arrived.

Uniting this country and stitching divides between people and entire groups is not as difficult as we make it out to be. It takes simple gestures like showing initiative to want to unite communities, to learn from others, and to connect with others to chip away at accomplishing this feat. Divide is everywhere and between almost everything and we can all do our part to make an impact regarding this serious threat.

Learn more about Full Court Peace here.

Check out Max Porter's series of Podcasts HERE.

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Brookfield's 8th Annual Sunset Sizzler 5K Benefits High School Athletics

8th Annual Sunset Sizzler 5K at Brookfield High School on Friday, August 13

This USATF certified 5K will begin/end at Brookfield High School (BHS), 45 Long Meadow Hill Road Brookfield. The race is hosted by BHS All Sports Booster Club and benefits the high school athletic program and every sports team. 

Guaranteed race shirts for first 200 entrants.  Size preference is not guaranteed for registrations after July 22nd

Prizes to top overall male and female finisher and medals to top 3 Male and Female in eight age groups. 

Race Day Schedule

  • Registration check in opens - 6:00 pm - Note: There shall be no race day registrations, entry is via advance online registration only.
  • Race Starts - 7:00 pm

 Entry fees (Advance entries only)

  • Adult - $25
  • Student - $20

Proceeds from the Sunset Sizzler 5K benefit all BHS sports teams.

Please note: you must pre-register online by August 12. 

Register ONLINE here.

Race Start time: 7PM

Bib pickup begins at 6PM

USATF Certified Course

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