Ridgefield happenings: Astronomy, Evita, and Jazz, Funk and Blues weekend

A look what's coming up in town:

‘Evita’ to run at ACT in October

ACT of Connecticut (A Contemporary Theater) will produce the acclaimed Broadway musical Evita from Oct. 4 to Oct. 28.

Artistic Director Daniel C. Levine has assembled an all-star, professional equity cast including Julia Estrada as Eva Peron and Ryan K. Bailer as her husband, Juan Peron.

Performances Oct. 4-28 are Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.

For more information, visit actofct.org.

Flower arrangements

Flowers 101 and Floral Design (Thursday, Sept. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m., Veterans Park School) is a new class in Ridgefield Continuing Education for people who love flowers and design.

The class will cover the principles of floral design and the overall creative expression that flower arranging brings. As part of this interactive course, participants will get to design their own one of a kind arrangements to take home at the end of class.

Tuition is $31. A flower and vase fee of $10-15 per project is payable to the instructor at class. Advance registration required. Senior discount available. Visit ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Last look at Jupiter

The Discovery Center at Ridgefield and New Pond Farm Observatory, 101 Marchant Road, West Redding, are offering a public astronomy program on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m.

Participants should bring bug spray and a flashlight for the walk to the observatory. The program is $4 for members, with a maximum of $16 per family. For non-members, the charge is $6, with a maximum of $24 per family. Registration is required and can be done at ridgefielddiscovery.org/) or by calling 203-438-1063. If the skies appear cloudy, check the website after 4 p.m. for program status.

Guitar lessons

Introduction to acoustic guitar is a class available through Ridgefield Continuing Education.

Participants need to bring a playable acoustic guitar. Visit ridgefieldschools.org/music.htm for list of other items to bring.

The class for continuing beginners (new people with a little experience and people continuing from last winter and spring) meets on Mondays, Sept. 24; Oct. 1, 15, 22, 29; Nov. 5, 19 and 26 (no class Oct. 8 or Nov.). The class for new beginners meets on Wednesdays, Sept. 26; Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24; Nov. 7 and 14 (no class Oct. 31). Classes meet from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at East Ridge Middle School and costs $149.

Advanced registration required. Ridgefield senior discount available. Visit ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for information.

Jesse Lee ‘Rally Day’ to be held Sept. 9

Jesse Lee Memorial Church begins its fall schedule Sunday, Sept. 9, by inviting back its vacation Bible school students, while also kicking off a contemporary sermon series based on Broadway musicals.

Jesse Lee’s “Rally Day” invites visitors and members alike to begin or renew their Christian journey through weekly services and daily service. Beginning Sept. 9, the full-choir traditional service in the sanctuary will be held at 9 a.m., followed by the contemporary worship service in the Carriage House at 10:30 a.m.

For more information about Rally Day and all of the church offerings this fall, go to jesseleechurch.com or call 203-438-8791.

Lounsbury House events

The Lounsbury House will host a senior lunch Monday, Sept. 24, from 12 to 2 p.m. Guests will be treated to a three-course catered lunch and a special cultural performance.  

Lounsbury House offers this senior luncheon free of charge thanks to support from the Ridgefield Thrift Shop and the Denise and Michael Kellen Foundation. Contact Belinda Lasky at 203-438-6962 or belinda@lounsburyhouse.org to register.  

Lounsbury House will also participate in Ridgefield’s Jazz, Funk & Blues Weekend by hosting a “Outdoor Jazz Cafe” featuring the Ridgefield High School Jazz Band. The even will be held on Sunday, Sept. 16, from 2 to 4 p.m. with lawn games, food trucks, and an afternoon concert.

More information is available at LounsburyHouse.org.

Movement classes

Tai Chi and other movement classes start soon through Ridgefield Continuing Education.  These classes help relieve stress, increase strength and flexibility, improve balance, coordination and circulation and can be practiced by anyone.

Tai Chi meets on Wednesdays, Sept. 26 through Nov. 14 (seven sessions, no class Oct. 31, $84, East Ridge Middle School). Beginning Tai Chi meets from 6:30 to 7:20 p.m. and Tai Chi Intermediate meets from 5:30 to 6:20 p.m.  

The Five Tibetans meets Tuesday, Oct. 2, 9, 16, and 23 from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m., $48,  Venus Building.

Details at ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 to register.

‘Passport to the Arts’ program begins Oct. 1

The Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra has launched a “Passport to the Arts” program that will allow residents to attend performances at five arts organizations in town — RSO, ACT of CT, Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield Theater Barn and Ridgefield Chorale — between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31.

The project is being administered by the RSO, but with the involvement and support of the other four non-profits as well.  

For more information, visit ridgefieldsymphony.org.

Photography workshops

Photography workshops start soon through Ridgefield Continuing Education. Beginning Digital Photography covers the basics of how your camera works and what is necessary to create a good exposure and will ensure that you get the kind of pictures you want (Wednesdays, Sept. 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17 and 24, 7 to 9 p.m., $109).

Intro to Photoshop Elements covers the basic tools and techniques that will fix the average photo’s most common problems: color, contrast, brightness and sharpness correction, and cropping (Tuesdays, Sept. 25, Oct. 2 and 9 from 7 to 9 p.m., $119). Next level classes in photography and photoshop elements are also available.

Senior discount available. Advanced registration required. Visit ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for information.

Project Grand Slam to kick off Jazz, Funk and Blues weekend

Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam will kick off Jazz, Funk & Blues Weekend with a special CHIRP concert in Ballard Park Thursday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m.

Project Grand Slam is a jazz-rock fusion band from New York City.

Rain venue is the Ridgefield Playhouse.

For the full schedule, including brunches, dinner specials, and restaurant performances, visit jazzfunk.org.

RSO opens new season

The Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra’s new season begins with “Ignition” Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Anne S. Richardson Auditorium at Ridgefield High School.

Music Director Yuga Cohler is at the helm for his first full season and has selected some of the most marvelous pieces ever written for orchestra. The season’s subscription concerts will also feature acclaimed soloists and the superb musicians of the RSO.

“Ignition” includes Beethoven’s energetic Symphony No. 1 and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, one of his best-known, most popular and accessible works.

The October concert is followed on Dec. 1 by “Love Letter.”

To purchase tickets, visit ridgefieldsymphony.org or call 203-438-3889.

Bible study open house

Community Bible Study is holding an open house on Monday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m., at the Ridgefield Baptist Church, to kick off its new fall study of the Gospel of Mark.

The group meets each Monday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the church. Further studies later in the year include the book of Job and Philippians.

Anyone interested in exploring the Bible is invited to attend the open house.

For more information or to register for the class, go to RidgefieldEve.cbsclass.org or call 203-431-9491.

Afro-Cuban jazz
artist at library

New York City-based Afro-Cuban jazz artist Dayramir Gonzalez will give a talk at the library Friday, Sept. 14, at 4 p.m. about his Cuban roots and his journey as a musician. At 7 p.m. that same day, he will be joined by his quintet (acoustic piano, bass, drums, congas and percussion) for a concert which melds rock, pop, jazz, and Afro-Cuban styles.

The lecture and concert are free. Register separately for each event at ridgefieldlibrary.org or call 203-438-2282 for more information.

This program is part of the Ridgefield Jazz, Funk & Blues Weekend, a four-day event from Sept. 13 through Sept. 16. For more information, visit jazzfunk.org.

Recycling program
at the library

Zoologist Jim Knox will be at the Ridgefield Library Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m. to profile his work with species survival plans and wild species reintroductions in Connecticut and beyond. Attendees will learn how 21st Century science is extending the reach and achievements of field conservationists and how Fairfield County citizens can become involved in recovery efforts to protect the planet’s most imperiled and majestic creatures.

Register at ridgefieldlibrary.org or call 203-438-2282 for more information.

Sagamore Hill field trip

The Ridgefield Historical Society will host a fall field trip to Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, home of Theodore Roosevelt and his family, on Saturday, Oct. 13, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This all-day event includes transportation, a guided tour of the 23-room house, which underwent a three-year renovation in 2013, and lunch in the town of Huntington.

For more information about membership, visit ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org/member or call 203-438-5821. Cost is $60 for members and $70 for non-members. To sign up, call 203-438-5821 or email ridgefieldhistory@sbcglobal.net.

Attendees, who will meet at the south parking lot of Pond’s Edge Professional Park (901 Ethan Allen Highway), are asked to arrive a little early to leave time to park and board the bus which leaves at 7:30 a.m.

RSO Music Director Yuga Cohler