Celebrity gossip and sightings in and around Connecticut, July 2022

July's celebrity news included an appearance by the first lady, a famous designer opening a “mini department store" and several individuals with Connecticut ties in the running for Emmys. 

Here are some of the Hollywood sightings and murmurings that happened in and around Connecticut in July: 

Jill Biden cools off with cone from New Haven creamery during CT visit
New Haven

First Lady Jill Biden joins Gov. Ned Lamont and New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker for an ice cream stop at Arethusa Farm in New Haven.

First Lady Jill Biden joins Gov. Ned Lamont and New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker for an ice cream stop at Arethusa Farm in New Haven.

Ned Lamont/Twitter

First Lady Jill Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona stopped in New Haven for a quick snack on their way to the next stop on a three-state tour of summer learning programs during July.

The two joined Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker for a sweet treat at Arethusa Farm, considered the best ice cream in Connecticut by Food & Wine Magazine.

Biden went with one of the creamery’s fresh waffle cones, filled with a few scoops of toasted almond coconut ice cream. Lamont went for a milkshake.

- Daniel Figueroa IV

Christian Siriano unveils The Collective West store to celebrity guests
Westport

Debra Messing and Christian Siriano attend as Christian Siriano celebrates the opening of THE COLLECTIVE WEST on July 12, 2022 in Westport, Connecticut. 

Debra Messing and Christian Siriano attend as Christian Siriano celebrates the opening of THE COLLECTIVE WEST on July 12, 2022 in Westport, Connecticut. 

Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Christian Siria

The opening of Christian Siriano's Westport store, The Collective West, in July featured a host of celebrity guests from New York, including actresses Debra Messing, Laura Linney and Katie Holmes, as well as model Coco Rocha.

Billed as a “mini department store,” The Collective West features “clothing exclusive to the store,” according to Vogue, as well as accessories, interior furnishings and art Christian Siriano began making during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Siriano's store also features local designers, such as home furnishings shop Swoon Westport, Josh Levkoff Jewelry and menswear from brand Future Lovers of Tomorrow designed by Kyle Smith (Siriano’s boyfriend).

- Nicole Funaro 

Luke Bryan shares emotional moment with two fans at Hartford show
Hartford

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 08: Luke Bryan performs onstage during the 2016 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 8, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 08: Luke Bryan performs onstage during the 2016 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 8, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Luke Bryan helped two young fans honor their late father during a concert at Hartford’s Xfinity Theatre at the end of July.

While performing his 2013 hit, “Drink a Beer” for his "Raised Up Right Tour," the country singer spotted two young fans holding up a shirt that said, “Our Dad died. Can we sing Drink a Beer together?” a TikTok video of the moment showed. 

“These boys have been holding this shirt up all night since I walked out on stage tonight,” he said raising up the neon T-shirt for the audience to see.

- Abby Weiss

Leonard Bernstein movie ‘Maestro’ starring Bradley Cooper films in Fairfield
Fairfield

Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan are seen on the set of "Maestro" on July 05, 2022 in New York City. 

Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan are seen on the set of "Maestro" on July 05, 2022 in New York City. 

Jason Howard/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Fairfield was the latest site to be used for the forthcoming flick, “Maestro,” according to Mark Barnhart, the town’s director of community and economic development.

The Netflix film stars Bradley Cooper as music composer Leonard Bernstein in a biographical movie based on the composer’s life; Cooper is also serving as the film's director. - Nicole Funaro

Kayleigh McEnany reports from New Canaan
New Canaan

Kaylee McEnany of Fox News at Waveny Park in New Canaan on the 4th of July, where she was reporting on the fireworks, poses with SKY Mercede, owner of Forever Sweet Bakery in Norwalk who supplied cupcakes and cookies at the event.

Kaylee McEnany of Fox News at Waveny Park in New Canaan on the 4th of July, where she was reporting on the fireworks, poses with SKY Mercede, owner of Forever Sweet Bakery in Norwalk who supplied cupcakes and cookies at the event.

Contributed photo / Frances Mercede

Former White House press secretary, political commentator and Fox News contributor Kayleigh McEnany was seen at Waveny Park in New Canaan, where she was reporting on the Fourth of July fireworks.

- Susie Costaregni

Twin ‘Bachelorette’ contestants from Brookfield eliminated
Brookfield

THE BACHELORETTE -  Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia's two-shot at love takes flight! A whopping 32 men arrive to the mansion with the hopes of wooing the ladies with their charm, but they'll soon realize it's going to take more than dashing good looks and a memorable entrance to win the heart of one of these Bachelorettes. Rachel and Gabby have put their breakups in the rearview and are ready to find their person — even if that means breaking all the rules on night one. 

THE BACHELORETTE -  Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia's two-shot at love takes flight! A whopping 32 men arrive to the mansion with the hopes of wooing the ladies with their charm, but they'll soon realize it's going to take more than dashing good looks and a memorable entrance to win the heart of one of these Bachelorettes. Rachel and Gabby have put their breakups in the rearview and are ready to find their person — even if that means breaking all the rules on night one. 

Craig Sjodin/ABC / Contributed Photo

Among the trio dismissed from the season premiere of "Bachelorette" this July were Brookfield natives and twins Joey and Justin Young. 

The Quinnipiac University graduates said they have the same jobs, working in medical advertising, though they work at separate companies. Following their conversation with the Youngs, co-'Bachelorette' Gabby Widney said the twins weren’t “working for her romantically” and that she “can’t build a very strong bond with either of the twins.” Co-'Bachelorette' Rachel Recchia said she also felt it was “hard to form a connection” and she was “not into it.” - Nicole Funaro 

Several Emmy nominations have CT ties

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - MAY 14: (Top Row L-R) Charlie Heaton, Maya Hawke, Jamie Campbell Bower, Shawn Levy, Matthew Modine, Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer, Cara Buono, Brett Gelman, Charlie Heaton, Joseph Quinn, David Harbour, Dan Cohen, Joe Keery (Bottom Row L-R) Caleb Mclaughlin, Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Bela Bajaria, Millie Bobby Brown, Sadie Sink, Gaten Matarazzo, Natalia Dyer, Priah Ferguson, Emily Morris, and Eduardo Franco attend Netflix's "Stranger Things" Season 4 New York Premiere at Netflix Brooklyn on May 14, 2022 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - MAY 14: (Top Row L-R) Charlie Heaton, Maya Hawke, Jamie Campbell Bower, Shawn Levy, Matthew Modine, Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer, Cara Buono, Brett Gelman, Charlie Heaton, Joseph Quinn, David Harbour, Dan Cohen, Joe Keery (Bottom Row L-R) Caleb Mclaughlin, Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Bela Bajaria, Millie Bobby Brown, Sadie Sink, Gaten Matarazzo, Natalia Dyer, Priah Ferguson, Emily Morris, and Eduardo Franco attend Netflix's "Stranger Things" Season 4 New York Premiere at Netflix Brooklyn on May 14, 2022 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Theo Wargo/Getty Images

From Netflix's “Stranger Things" to Apple TV's "Severance," a few Emmy nominees have one thing in common at this year's awards show — they have ties to Connecticut.

The fourth season of Netflix sci-fi series "Stranger Things" received 13 nominations, including outstanding drama series. Actor Gaten Matarazzo who plays Dustin on the show, got his start in New London where he was born.

Waterbury native Sheryl Lee Ralph was nominated for her first Emmy for her role as Barbara Howard in ABC's "Abbott Elementary," which received a total of seven nominations.

Christopher Walken, a longtime Wilton resident, is an actor on Apple TV's "Severance." The series is Emmy-nominated for Best Drama alongside shows like "Euphoria," "Ozark" and "Squid Games." - Jailene Cuevas 

Instagram star Leo Kelly has a Shirley Temple in CT
Greenwich

Instagram star and TV personality Leo Kelly of @TheShirleyTempleKing fame was at Happy Monkey on Greenwich Avenue with chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Instagram star and TV personality Leo Kelly of @TheShirleyTempleKing fame was at Happy Monkey on Greenwich Avenue with chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Contributed photo / Tommy Kelly

Instagram star and TV personality Leo Kelly of @TheShirleyTempleKing fame was at Happy Monkey on Greenwich Avenue with chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten in the middle of July reviewing the menu and having a Shirley Temple.

The popular 8-year-old, a Fairfield native and son of Lisa and Tom Kelly, has earned over 217,000 Instagram followers and his own line of beverages with his review of Shirley Temple drinks from different restaurants.

- Susie Costaregni

Comedian Mike Feeney roasts Connecticut in viral TikTok video

Comedian Mike Feeney roasts the Nutmeg State in a viral TikTok video.

Comedian Mike Feeney roasts the Nutmeg State in a viral TikTok video.

Mike Feeney/TikTok

In “Welcome to Connecticut,” comedian Mike Feeney takes down the state in what one commenter described as "the most accurate CT slander video I've ever seen." In the video, one version of Feeney welcomes another as a new resident. 

The video opens with Feeney apologizing for being late due to traffic on the “95/91 merger,” thinking there was an accident but realizing it was due to “six food trucks and a polluted wharf” (referring to New Haven’s Long Wharf ) before proclaiming “we’re a commuter state that’s horrible at commuting.”

The video has been seen nearly two million times on TikTok alone and has more than 200,000 likes and 13,000 shares. - Daniel Figueroa IV

NBA 2K23 to feature UConn’s Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi on 'WNBA Edition' cover

WNBA champions and UConn legends Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird are sharing the cover of this year's edition of NBA 2K23. 

"It really is an incredible feeling to see your hard work memorialized on the cover of a game like NBA 2K23," Taurasi said in a release. "There are so many kids that dream of pursuing a professional basketball career, and they can now also dream of being on the NBA 2K cover, whether they want to play in the NBA or WNBA." - Andrew DaRosa

Bravo's 'Southern Charm' stars announce stop at Mohegan Sun
Uncasville

Craig Conover, Austen Kroll and Shep Rose are pictured in a 2018 episode of "Southern Charm."

Craig Conover, Austen Kroll and Shep Rose are pictured in a 2018 episode of "Southern Charm."

Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via

Craig Conover and Austen Kroll, stars of Bravo's "Southern Charm," announced they will make an appearance this month at Mohegan Sun's novelle nightclub as part of its "Toast with the Host" series.

Conover and Kroll, longtime cast members on the Charleston-based reality show, will be behind the bar at the club Aug. 12 at 9 p.m. Guests will enjoy a "one-of-a-kind, interactive, meet and greet experience," according to Mohegan Sun, along with specialty cocktails. - Leeanne Griffin

Ron Darling dines in Westport
Westport

Former Mets baseball player and current commentator Ron Darling chats at the Champion a Champion Golf Classic at Tamarack Country Club in Greenwich, Conn. Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. This past week, Darling was seen dining with his wife, Joanna, at Gabriele’s of Westport. They live in Rowayton.

Former Mets baseball player and current commentator Ron Darling chats at the Champion a Champion Golf Classic at Tamarack Country Club in Greenwich, Conn. Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. This past week, Darling was seen dining with his wife, Joanna, at Gabriele’s of Westport. They live in Rowayton.

File photo / Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Ron Darling, who lives in Rowayton, was seen dining with his wife at Gabriele’s of Westport at Powers Court in July.

- Susie Costaregni

Greenwich Wine + Food gala to honor famed chef Jacques Pépin
Greenwich

UNSPECIFIED - OCTOBER 10: In this screengrab Goldbelly presents Cook from the Book with Jacques Pépin as part of NYCWFF Goes Virtual presented by Capital One on October 10, 2020 in UNSPECIFIED, United States. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

UNSPECIFIED - OCTOBER 10: In this screengrab Goldbelly presents Cook from the Book with Jacques Pépin as part of NYCWFF Goes Virtual presented by Capital One on October 10, 2020 in UNSPECIFIED, United States. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

Getty Images/Getty Images for NYCWFF

The GWF 10th Anniversary Celebrity Chef Gala will be held at Abigail Kirsch at The Loading Dock in Stamford and will honor legendary chef Jacques Pépin for his lifetime of achievement, according to a July announcement.

Chefs will prepare their own Pépin-inspired four-course meal in front of guests at their table, while also participating in special programming to celebrate Pépin’s decades of contributions to the culinary world. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase tables for groups of 10 and select their preferred chef in the coming weeks. - Leeanne Griffin

Bernie Williams dines in Greenwich
Greenwich

Former New York Yankees center fielder and musician Bernie Williams, a Westchester County, N.Y. resident, was seen dining at Caren St. Phillip’s restaurant, Cobber North, at the Griffith E. Harris golf course on King Street in Greenwich last week.

Former New York Yankees center fielder and musician Bernie Williams, a Westchester County, N.Y. resident, was seen dining at Caren St. Phillip’s restaurant, Cobber North, at the Griffith E. Harris golf course on King Street in Greenwich last week.

Contributed photo / Cobber North

Former New York Yankees center fielder and musician Bernie Williams, was seen dining at Caren St. Phillip’s restaurant, Cobber North, at the Griffith E. Harris golf course on King Street in Greenwich in July.

- Susie Costaregni

Paul Newman documentary premieres on HBO Max

3rd February 1958: American actor Paul Newman with his wife, actress Joanne Woodward.
3rd February 1958: American actor Paul Newman with his wife, actress Joanne Woodward.
Alan Meek/Getty Images

Six-part documentary, “Paul and Joanne: A Biography of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward,” looks into the lives and careers of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, including their dedication to art, philanthropy and each other.

The couple lived in Westport and has a legacy of philanthropy in Connecticut, including the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which aims to provide a camp experience for children living with serious illness. - Jailene Cuevas 

Lara Spencer shops in Greenwich
Greenwich

TV personality Lara Spencer attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on Feb. 28, 2016, in Hollywood, Calif. This week she was seen shopping on Greenwich Avenue.

TV personality Lara Spencer attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on Feb. 28, 2016, in Hollywood, Calif. This week she was seen shopping on Greenwich Avenue.

File photo / Jason Merritt / Getty Images

“Good Morning America” co-host Lara Spencer, who lives in Greenwich, was seen shopping at Zara on Greenwich Avenue in late July. - Susie Costaregni

 

 

'American Ninja Warrior’ to feature finalist from Cheshire
Cheshire

AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR -- “Semifinals 1” Episode 1406 -- Pictured: Jay Lewis -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR -- “Semifinals 1” Episode 1406 -- Pictured: Jay Lewis -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

NBCUniversal / Contributed Photo

Cheshire native and soon-to-be Syracuse University student Jay Lewis is headed to Las Vegas to be a finalist on NBC's "American Ninja Warrior."

The 18-year-old competitor made his ninja debut on the obstacle course game show in 2018 for its “American Ninja Warrior Junior” edition. He also competed in the semifinals of the adult version on Aug. 9, 2021.

The National Finals of "American Ninja Warrior" kick off on Aug. 15 on NBC.  - Jailene Cuevas 

TerrifiCon hosts comic book writers, actors at Mohegan Sun
Uncasville

US actor Tim Daly poses during a photocall for the TV show "Madam secretary" as part of the 58nd Monte-Carlo Television Festival on June 17, 2018 in Monaco. / AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
US actor Tim Daly poses during a photocall for the TV show "Madam secretary" as part of the 58nd Monte-Carlo Television Festival on June 17, 2018 in Monaco. / AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
VALERY HACHE / AFP/Getty Images

Famous faces participated in the 2022 TerrifiCon at the end of July, including actors Tim Daly (from "Superman: The Animated Series" and "The Sopranos,") Adrianne Palicki (from "John Wick" and "The Orville",) Peter Macon and Jessica Szohr (from "The Orville,") Joe Pantoliano (from "The Sopranos" and "The Goonies",) Phil LaMarr (from "Futurama" and "Justice League",) Susan Eisenberg (from "Justice League" and "Star Wars: Force Unleased) and Marty Grabstein (from "Courage The Cowardly Dog").

Comic book creators and artists including John Romita Jr. (from "Spider-Man, "X-Men" and "Superman,") Garth Ennis (from "The Boys" and "The Punisher") and Esad Ribić (from "Thor,") were also in attendance, among several others. - Joseph Tucci

'The Devil Wears Prada,' by Westport resident makes musicial debut
Westport

"The Devil Wears Prada, The Musical" hosted a welcome press event at Chicago’s James M. Nederlander Theatre on July 12 ahead of the musical’s world premiere on July 19. 

"The Devil Wears Prada, The Musical" hosted a welcome press event at Chicago’s James M. Nederlander Theatre on July 12 ahead of the musical’s world premiere on July 19. 

Amy Boyle/©AMY BOYLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Westport resident Lauren Weisberger’s book, “The Devil Wears Prada,” has been turned into a musical featuring music from Elton John.

According to a press release, "The Devil Wears Prada: The Musical" is a "glamorous and hilarious story about finding your place and discovering what matters most." The musical is based on Weisberger's best-selling 2003 novel and the 2006 movie starring Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt. - Jailene Cuevas

‘The Voice’ contestants from Newtown perform at Yard Goats game
Hartford

Blind Auditions Episode 2102 -- Pictured: Jim and Sasha Allen 

Blind Auditions Episode 2102 -- Pictured: Jim and Sasha Allen 

NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Newtown natives and NBC “The Voice” competitors, Jim and Sasha Allen, performed at the Hartford Yard Goats game Thursday, July 14.

Sasha Allen was the first trans person to make it past the battle rounds and the third trans person to be on “The Voice,” according to his Instagram post. - Jailene Cuevas

Yale professor competes on 'Jeopardy!'
New Haven

Yale professor Alfred Guy on Jeopardy! with host Ken Jennings. 

Yale professor Alfred Guy on Jeopardy! with host Ken Jennings. 

Alfred Guy / contributed

Alfred Guy, Yale University's director of undergraduate writing and tutoring and Yale College’s director of writing, competed in "Jeopardy!" mid-July. 

Guy’s stint on the show, however, capped at one episode, as the Yale professor came in third place.

After the first “Jeopardy!” round, Guy finished with -$200, but came back to conclude the “Double Jeopardy!” round with $5,500, falling behind returning champion Matt Mierswa’s $25,600 and fellow competitor Alison Trebley’s $12,200. - Nicole Funaro and Joseph Tucci

Paul Simon and Edie Brickell sell New Canaan estate
New Canaan

Paul Simon performs during the Greenwich Town Party at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in 2012.

Paul Simon performs during the Greenwich Town Party at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in 2012.

Hearst Connecticut Media

Singer-songwriters Paul Simon and Edie Brickell sold their New Canaan estate for $10.8 million. According to Zillow, the sale was finalized as of July 1.

Simon and Brickell purchased the home in April 2002 for $16.5 million, according to town property records, marking a $5.7 million loss on its sale. Zillow home details show that the New Canaan home was first put up for sale in 2019 for $13.9 million and was later removed from the market in August 2020. It was placed back on the market in November 2020 for $11.9 million, and by March 2021, the home's price was increased to an even $12 million before selling in July 2022. - Nicole Funaro

Hartford native stars in Amazon’s ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’
Hartford

Here's the 411 on 'The Summer I Turned Pretty' S2: 'The Summer I Turned Pretty' is coming back for season 2! here's what we know about when 'The Summer I Turn Pretty' comes back, news, and its release date.
Here's the 411 on 'The Summer I Turned Pretty' S2: 'The Summer I Turned Pretty' is coming back for season 2! here's what we know about when 'The Summer I Turn Pretty' comes back, news, and its release date.
Craig Barritt - Getty Images

The new Amazon Prime Video drama show and adaptation of Jenny Han’s “The Summer I Turned Pretty” has been making headlines as its first season gains popularity.

Helping bring Han’s story to life is Connecticut native Christopher Briney, 24, who plays one of the main characters, Conrad.

The actor and director was born in Hartford where “he lived for most of his life,” according to his website. He attended the Waterbury Arts Magnet School, where he took an acting class that sparked his passion for acting. - Jailene Cuevas

Grateful Dead, Foo Fighters among subjects of CT artist’s concert posters
West Hartford

AJ Masthay standing in front of some of his prints.

AJ Masthay standing in front of some of his prints.

Contributed by AJ Masthay

West Hartford poster artist AJ Masthay has made a career of making art for some of the biggest touring bands including Black Sabbath, Grateful Dead, Foo Fighters and Dead & Company, for whom he recently produced 2022 tour posters.

Masthay is a life-long Connecticut resident operating out of his workshop in West Hartford called, “The Furnace.”

Additionally, a one-of-a-kind guitar designed by Masthay and played in concert by Bob Weir of Dead & Company during its last outing fetched $300,000 at a charity auction, with proceeds going to the voting registration non-profit HeadCount and environmental organization REVERB. - Andrew DaRosa