Category Archives: Biz Buzz

Bethel Man Preserves Precious Memories Through Film Restoration, Transfers & DVD Creation

 

BETHEL, CT — We all have them laying around the house— old VHS home movies, Sony Handycam home movies, 8 mm film, 16mm film, and more. The evolution of technology has left many of us with our home movies in older formats that we can no longer play. Enter John Robertson, Bethel, Conn. resident, and expert memory preserver.

Robertson is the founder of Create My DVD and has been the sole employee since 2003. He said it’s the personal attention to detail that sets him apart from the big box stores.

“I separate my business from the drop-off Costco and Walgreens stores by giving you personal service, attention to detail and will try to work with you if you’re on a budget.”

Robertson explained that many times old tapes or film can be difficult to transfer and many people don’t have a VCR or other devices to play the recordings in the older formats.

“Sometimes I spend hours on getting you the best transfer possible,” Robertson said. “In fact, if my customers had sent these type of tapes to Costco or Walgreens, the picture and sound quality would have come out awful, if at all.”

Robertson’s clients don’t want to hang onto boxes of films or VHS, but they do want to save their memories on a digital format.

“Our customers love our film transfer service because the final product is usually much better than they were expecting. Such results only come from experience, time and professional film transfer hardware. The professional 8mm to DVD converter was originally designed for use in Hollywood by the Movie Academy Film Archive, and now, Create my DVD uses that same professional film unit to convert your reels,” he shared.

One customer said that Robertson’s work, helping to preserve the memory of her father was “priceless.”

“My father was killed in an accident in 1982 and to me those 10 seconds of him playing with me as a baby are priceless. I can’t believe how clear the film was restored to upon the conversion and how vibrant you made the color.”

Another happy customer said, “My Dad is still talking about how it’s the best gift he has had in a very long time and is genuinely so very happy and thrilled with the gift. I haven’t seen him this happy about a gift EVER! Hats off to you John, you’re the MAN!”

As a married father of four and a local small business owner, Robertson said he hopes that people will support local businesses who take the time needed, pay attention to detail and have the experience necessary to preserve such precious, priceless memories.

For more information, visit CreateMyDvd.com, call (203) 744-4383 or email sales@createmydvd.com.

Photo: World’s Fair 1967, from a client that brought Create My DVD 2,000+ slides for restoration.  John Robertson converted these to digital and corrected the faded color. 

Photo credit: R. Hyncik

#Danbury #CTKids Invited to Children’s Musical Theater Open House This Saturday, Feb. 9th

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DANBURY, CT— Award-winning theater instructor Wendy Mitchell will lead children in a fun, educational, cultural theater program this spring in Danbury. Local children ages 3-10 are welcome to come to meet the instructors and check out the class this Saturday. Wendy’s classes won TownVibe’s “Best of” award in 2017 for best music and art classes for kids.

Wendy’s theater classes are run through the GDICF Theatre Troupe, based out of the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury. Children ages 3-10 years old, along with their parents, are invited to come to the Open House on Saturday, Feb. 9th from 10-11:30 a.m. at the club, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury.

The Open House includes free face painting with Miss Angie of Poprox Productions, theater games, snacks, and FUN. Plays are written and directed by Wendy Mitchell, a theater instructor with over 20 years of teaching experience. Miss Wendy studied Child Development at Post University and has her Head Teacher Certification in Early Childhood Education through the state of Connecticut. Her love of kids is apparent in the energy and excitement she brings to each of her events.

Shows are co-directed by Angie DeLorenzo. Miss Angie studied drama and poetry at Keble College at the University of Oxford in the U.K. She received her B.A. in English Literature from Arizona State University, has over eight years of experience working with children in educational and recreational settings and is a talented face painter as well. Her drama experience includes theatrical performances in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Hairspray, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, The Pirates of Penzance and more.

The spring session of theater classes runs from Saturday,. Feb. 16 – Saturday, Apr. 13 from 10-11:30 a.m. each Saturday. Classes are geared towards younger kids age 3-8 with youth ages 8-10 serving as mentors and leaders for the younger ones. This is a low-pressure, high fun class and each session teaches kids to give back to the community at the show by donating toys, food, clothing and more for those in need. All skill levels are welcome.

R.S.V.P. to Wendy Mitchell by calling or texting (203) 501-7424, or by emailing wendyannmitchell@live.com.

For more information, photos and videos, visit the GDICF Theatre Troupe‘s Facebook page.

About GDICF Children’s Theater TroupeGDICF Youth Theatre Troupe provides quality educational musical theater classes for children and youth ages 3-12-years-old. From cultural music & movement classes, to educational shows that bring people of all ages a positive message through the art of theater, the GDICF Theater Troupe teaches youth self-confidence, team building and community service while learning music and theater skills. The interactive shows include humor, song, dance and a whole lot of fun!

Get Your Tickets to Fun: ‘Ho-Ho-Holy Night’ Theater Show is Sat., Nov. 3

DANBURY, CT — Break out your ugly Christmas sweaters and get ready to enjoy an entertaining night of theater, trivia, games and fun on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at Rogers Park Middle School, Danbury, Conn., that will have you ho-ho-ho-ing your way right into the holiday season!​

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The show is sponsored by Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home​, Catoonah St., Ridgefield, St. Peter School, Danbury and McCollam Insurance, Inc. in Bethel.
The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation is proud to present Christmas Bingo: It’s a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a Catholic parish that needs money and a new bingo fundraising program that is staffed by one of the funniest women in the parish— Mrs. Mary Margaret O’Brien.

Vicki Quade, creator of the smash hit Late Nite Catechism, invites you to get into the Christmas spirit with her entertaining new show Christmas Bingo: It’s a Ho-Ho-Holy Night. Brush up on your Yuletide trivia, because with this uniquely interactive show, you’ll be playing for actual prizes. Bingo caller Mrs. Mary Margaret O’Brien will have you in stitches as she tackles the wackiest myths and most outrageous facts about Christmas, including jolly old St. Nick’s origins and where candy canes come from.

This comedic theatrical production is presented by Nuns 4 Fun, a Chicago-based theater company, in conjunction with the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation, a 501 (c) 3. Tickets are $30 and a portion of the proceeds goes to support the philanthropic and cultural work that the GDICF does in the Greater Danbury area.

Tickets may be purchased online on Eventbrite– https://www.eventbrite.com/e/its-a-ho-ho-holy-night-tickets-50933449318, or with a credit card or in person by cash or check at the door on the night of the show, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018.

The play will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) at Rogers Park Middle School, Danbury, Conn. To purchase tickets online go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/its-a-ho-ho-holy-night-tickets-50933449318.

Questions? Email Katie Gehan at kilclogher1@aol.com or call the club at (203) 739-0010.

Review from Chicago Reader:
“Vicki Quade has made a career out of Catholic comedy (Late Night Catechism, Bible Bingo), and she’s in top form here as Mrs. Mary Margaret O’Brien, a former nun who now heads up the archdiocese’s new bingo fund-raising department. Wearing an appropriately kitschy “Happiness Is Playing Bingo” T-shirt, Quade nonetheless plays her character as the sort of stern taskmaster remembered and perhaps beloved by Catholic audience members, quick to send disobedient bingo players—this includes you—to stand with their noses to the chalkboard. Or donate a dollar to the church’s pagan-baby fund. Quade delivers little-known Christmas facts with an effective deadpan, bingo helps keep the audience engaged, and the comical throwback prizes include Bing Crosby records and, for the Jewish set, a little Barbra Streisand.” —Marissa Oberlander

About the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation:
The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation (GDICF) offers weekly Irish language classes at the beginning and intermediate levels; weekly fiddle and whistle classes at the beginning and intermediate levels; weekly céilí and set dancing classes; monthly seisiún; a 1-day traditional acoustic Irish music festival; and an annual 3-day Irish Festival (the Danbury Irish Festival) with a full program of traditional Irish cultural entertainment. The dance group supports numerous céilís around the New York and CT area.

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

11th Annual Raspberry Festival is Sept. 15 & 16 at Sherman’s White Silo Winery

Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 11.43.16 PMSHERMAN, CT— The White Silo Farm & Winery is hosting their 11th annual Raspberry Festival, September 15th, and 16th from 12-5 p.m. They will be serving 6 small plates of food and desserts prepared with farm-grown raspberries.

Enjoy Chocolate Ganache Pie with Raspberries, Raspberry Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Monte Cristo Crepes with Raspberry Sauce, Raspberry Elderberry Sorbet, Victorian Sponge Cake, and Mixed Green Salad with Roasted Pecans, Blue Cheese, and Raspberry Vinaigrette, which are all scheduled to be on the menu. There is a $5 charge per plate of food.

There will be live music featuring Martin Meyer on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. and Blue Yodels on Sunday from 1-4 p.m.  Free farm winery and field tours will be held throughout the day.  This is a child and dog-friendly event. Admission to the event is free.

The White Silo Winery is located at 32 Route 37 E, Sherman, CT. Questions? Call 860-355-0271 or 917-699-7355. eric@whitesilowinery.com. www.whitesilowinery.com\

Article by Eric Gorman

Photo by Daveob via Flickr Creative Commons

Experience the Sights & Sounds of the Emerald Isle at the 2018 Danbury Irish Festival

 

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DANBURY, CT — The 2018 Danbury Irish Festival is bigger and better than ever in 2018 at a brand new location, 65 Sand Pit Rd., Danbury. It will be an indoor/outdoor event that will take place rain or shine! With live Irish music all weekend long, Irish dance, cultural activities, Irish food and beer and a children’s area with non-stop entertainment, it’s sure to be a weekend jam-packed with fun for all ages!

The festival takes place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Sept. 21, 22 and 23, 2018 and is presented by the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation, the Men’s and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, committee members, and volunteers.

The brainchild of Gerry Curran, former President of the Danbury Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish Festival began in 1995 at Rogers Park in Danbury with the help of Sharon Higgins. Twenty-one years ago, Curran had the dream to bring an Irish music and culture festival to Danbury to raise money to benefit the Irish Club. The festival offers Irish food, fellowship, and fun for people of all ages.

John Feeney, an Irish Gaelic language instructor, heads up the cultural tent which showcases a broad range of Irish heritage and gives festival-goers an up-close experience of Irish traditional music, Gaelic language, history, dance, genealogy, film, theater, and literature through live performances, displays, lectures, and workshops.

Wendy Mitchell heads up the Children’s Tent and has organized a wide variety entertainment and activities for children. The Children’s Tent headline entertainer is Danny Diamond who will present a magic show at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 followed by balloon twisting. The Magic of Danny Diamond magic is sponsored by Gold Sponsor Wooster School, a co-ed day school located on Miry Brook Road by the Danbury Airport. Balloon twisting is sponsored by Silver Sponsor Pour Me Cafe & Wine Bar, a new food, coffee and wine hot spot located in the heart of Danbury on Main Street.

The Children’s Tent is sponsored by Gold Sponsor Wooster School, Silver Sponsor Pour Me Cafe & Wine Bar, Bronze Sponsors Peterson Chiropractic and Poprox Productions, who will be face painting and Festival Friends Ridgefield Playhouse, Service Unlimited, Danbury Palace Theater, Absolute Limousine, Eddie’s Pizza & Pasta, Arbonne by Nicole Coleman, Charmio’s, Groovy Brew Organic Body Scrubs, and Lucy Super 7 Studios.

Shop in the Irish Village and get your holiday shopping done early! Peruse gifts, jewelry, Irish instruments, and other authentic, unique gift ideas from the Irish vendors who will sell their wares.

All weekend long there will be displays on Women of the Easter Rising, Book of Kells, Irish crochet, Irish language and classes, Irish family histories, genealogy, Irish blessings, Irish literature, history of the potato famine, Irish traditional music history and classes and much more.

The Greater Danbury Irish Festival will be held at 65 Sand Pit Road, Danbury, on the beautiful grounds of the Portuguese Cultural Center. This year’s festival is sponsored by Gold Sponsors Clancy Relocation & Logistics, McKenney Mechanical HVAC/R Solutions; Silver Sponsors Union Savings Bank, Savings Bank of Danbury, McCollam Insurance Agency, Senator Michael McLachlan, and Westchester Modular Homes; Bronze Sponsors Pembroke Pumping, Mulvaney Mechanical,  Ashurst Academy of Irish Dance, Belardinelli Services, LLC, Councilman Phil Curran & Maggie Curran, Law Offices of Lawrence M. Riefberg, LLC, South Street Self Storage, Hull Funeral Home, Earthmovers and Levine Automotive.

Click here for more information.

Entertainment on the Main Stage (inside):

Friday, Sept. 21, 2018:

  • Ceili Dancing on the Main Stage
  • Green Gates (in the Cultural Tent) 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018:

  • The Traveling Danburys 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.
  • Steve O’Tree and Friends – 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Thorne Academy of Irish Dance – 2:45 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Keltic Kick – 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Cunningham Brothers – 4:45 – 5:45 p.m.
  • Ashurst Irish Dance 5:45 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Celtic Cross Pipe & Drums – 6:30 – 7:15 p.m.
  • Highland Rovers – 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Humble Hooligans– 8:45 – 10:00 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018:

  • Ringrose & Freeman – 12:00 – 1:15 p.m
  • Doherty-Petri School of  Irish Dance – 1:30 – 2:15 p.m.
  • Jeff Conlon – 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.
  • Doherty-Petri School of  Irish Dance – 3:45 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Tiperrary Knights – 4:45 – 6:00 p.m.

Cultural Tent Entertainment Schedule (outside):

~ Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 ~

  • 5:30 – 6:30 PM: Céilí Set Dancing Workshop – Brian Reynolds (inside, on the main stage)
  • 7:00 – 10.00 PM: Céilí (Irish Social Dancing) – Green Gates Céilí Band (inside, on the main stage)

~ Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 ~

  • 1:00 – 2:00 PM: Uilleann Piper – Chris Finnegan, Irish Speaker
  • 2:00 – 3:00 PM: Owen McDonnell – Presentation on McDonnell family history
  • 3:00 – 4:00 PM: Harp Performance – Regina Delaney
  • 4:00 – 5:00 PM: Harp Workshop – Regina Delaney, learn to play the harp
  • 7:00 – 10:00 PM: Irish Traditional Music Seisiún  – Nora Hanley starts with a performance and then rolls into an open seisiún

~ Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 ~

  • 1:00 – 2:00 PM: Traditional Irish Music (guitar & flute, voice) – Chicks-n-Sync
  • 2:00 –  3:00 PM: Traditional Irish Music (fiddle, tin whistle, flute) – Fiddleuisce GDICC musicians
  • 3:00 – 3:30 PM: Traditional Irish Singalong – Fiddleuisce and John Feeney
  • 3:30 – 4:30 PM: Harp Performance – Regina Delaney
  • 4:30 – 5:30 PM: Traditional Irish Music (Irish lute, guitar, voice) – Aindriú Ó’Ciardha
  • Several Historical Figures from Irish History will be roaming the festival grounds – Liz Popiel.
  • Displays on: Celtic Art, Book of Kells, Irish Crochet, Irish Language and Classes, Irish Family Histories, Genealogy, Irish Blessings, Irish Dance, Irish Literature, Irish Traditional Music History, World Meeting of Families in Ireland 2018 and Classes, and more.

Children’s Tent Schedule (outside):

~ SATURDAY, SEPT. 22, 2018, 12-6pm ~

  • Face Painting with Miss Angie from PopRox Productions, 12-6pm
  • Shriner’s Clowns: Saturday, Sept. 22, 11am-2pm
  • Costume Parade led by Celtic Cross bagpiper, Saturday, Sept, 22, 1:30pm
  • The Magic of Danny Diamond, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2-3pm

~ SUNDAY, SEPT. 23, 2018, 12-6pm ~

  • Face Painting with Miss Angie of PopRox Productions 
  • Bubble Zone
  • Kid’s Karaoke
  • Kid’s Crafts
  • Carnival Games
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Make & Shake a Shamrock
  • Thumbprint Rainbows
  • Irish Village
  • Kid’s Crafts & and MORE!

Raffle Tickets:

  • Tickets are $5 each
  • First Prize is $2,000
  • Second Prize is $1,000
  • Third Prize $500
  • Call Sharon O’Rourke at 203-470-7570 for tickets

For more information, click here, email danburyirishfest@gmail.com or call the club at 203-501-7424.

Photo by Wendy Ann Mitchell

Unleash Your Inner Author at Westport Writer’s Workshop

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WESTPORT, CT — If you’ve ever thought about writing a memoir, screenplay or best-selling mystery, young adult or women’s fiction novel, now’s the time to fulfill your dream! The Westport Writer’s Workshop, a nonprofit community group dedicated to the instruction of the craft of writing, is hosting several workshops this summer for aspiring writers of all ages and skill levels.

Led by a highly trained team of professionals in the industry, the class offerings are varied and the small class size ensures writers receive the time and attention they need. Most classes max out at seven participants.  Workshops are designed to spark your imagination while focusing on the positive to help you discover and develop your own unique voice.

Class offerings are as follows:

For a full schedule, click here.

Can’t join the classes but still want to support the Westport Writers Workshop? Support them with a tax-deductible gift. Make an online donation by clicking here.

Questions? Call(203) 227-3250 or email info@westportwritersworkshop.com.

Local Gymnasts Win Big at Xcel Gold State Championships

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BROOKFIELD, CT — A Brookfield gymnastics studio has lots to be proud of after four out of their five Xcel Gold State gymnasts placed in the championships held at Killingly High School on April 21 and 22, 2018.

Kratos Gymnastics, owned by Ashley and Mihael Anton, had four of their gymnasts on the Xcel Gold Team compete. In their first season of the Xcel Gold level, everyone qualified to the CT State Championships and medaled in their individual age groups.

  • Izabella Dobkowski, of Danbury, placed fourth on the floor exercise.
  • Ella Penna, of Sherman, came in ninth place on balance beam and second place on the floor exercise.
  • Mila Kuilan, of Danbury, came in fifth place on balance beam, fourth place on vault and uneven bars and all-around, and came in first place CT State Champion on floor exercise.
  •  Madison Larkin, of New Milford, came in ninth place on vault, second place on floor, and 1st place CT State Champion on uneven bars, balance beam, and all around.
Out of the overall approximate 300 gymnasts who competed, Madison Larkin placed fifth all around which earned her one on of only seven spots granted on the CT Xcel Gold Regional Team. This team will compete at the 2018 Xcel Gold Region 6 Regional Championships taking place at Shrewsbury High School, in Shrewsbury MA. on May 19.
At the Regional Championships, the top seven gymnasts in Xcel Gold from CT, NY, MA, NH, VT and ME will compete representing their State for the title of Region 6 Regional Champion.

 

Congratulations to the entire team on their accomplishments.

2018 CT Farmer’s Markets Take Root on May 12

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FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT — Spring has sprung, summer is just around the corner, and with it is the thought of fresh, local produce. Farmers and market organizers across Connecticut are gearing up to share their local produce, dairy, bread, cheese and more with hungry locavores at weekly farmer’s markets this summer.

The first market in the Fairfield and Litchfield County areas will be on Saturday, May 12, 2018 in New Milford. Opening day vendors include the following:

Many of the markets have live music, children’s entertainment, special events and guest speakers. Be sure to bring your own bags, as well as cash or check, as many of the markets do not accept credit cards. Check your local market’s page for detailed information.

Happy shopping!

 

Local Farmer’s Markets in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties

Bethel: 

  • Bethel Farmer’s Market (Stony Hill), Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm, June 28 – Christmas
    Rte. 6, Fairfield Cty Extension Service Bldg, 67 Stony Hill Rd, opposite Stony Hill Inn, 
    bethelfarmersmarket.org.
  • No plans have been announced yet for the Downtown Municipal Center Farmer’s Market, which, according to a Board Member, has not been held “in several years.”

Brookfield: 

  • Brookfield Farmer’s Market, Fridays, 3 – 6:00 pm, July 10 – October 23, Town Hall, 100 Pocono Rd., Facebook

Danbury: 

  • Danbury Farmer’s Market, Saturdays, 10 am – 2 pm, June 22 – October 21
    Danbury Green, 
    SNAP doubled, Website

Monroe: 

  • Monroe Farmer’s Market, Fridays, 3 pm – 6 pm, Monroe Town Green, Corner of Fan Hill Road & Rte. 111, monroefarmersmarket.org. The Monroe Farmers’ Market is open from June 22–October 26, 2018.

New Fairfield:

New Milford:

  • New Milford Farmers Market, Saturdays, 9 am – 12 pm, May 12 – November 18, Town Green, Main Street, newmilfordfarmersmarket.com. Saturday, May 12 is opening day for 2018.

Newtown/Sandy Hook:

  • Newtown Farmer’s Market, Tuesdays, 2 pm – 6:30 pm, June – October, Fairfield Hills Campus at Wasserman Way, Facebook

Redding/Georgetown:

  • Georgetown  Held every Sunday from late June to the end of October, Sundays, 10 am – 2 pm, June 17 – TBA, 4 Old Mill Road, Redding, Facebook

Ridgefield:

Southbury:

  • The Southbury Farmer’s Market opens in late June and runs through mid-October on Thursdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  It is held at Town Hall, 501 Main St. S.
    Southbury. Click here for more info.

For a full list of markets across the state, visit CT Nofa’s website by clicking here.

Photo by Matt via Flickr Creative Commons

Do you know of a market we missed? Email it to ctbuzznews@gmail.com.

 

Local Comics Headline at Ridgefield Playhouse 

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By Aline Weiller

RIDGEFIELD, CT — Christine O’Leary has always been funny. But, it wasn’t until she won a stand-up contest in Maine that she quit her day job to pursue a career in comedy. O’Leary is now an award-winning stand-up comedian, professional host and coach for budding comics enrolled in her workshop at The Ridgefield Playhouse. Her spring semester students will take center stage at “Christine O’Leary’s Comedy Graduation Showcase” on Monday, April 30 at 7:30 (doors open at 6:30) at the Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield. General Admission tickets are on sale now ($20 each); orders can be placed online (Comedy Graduation Showcase | The Ridgefield Playhouse), called into the Ridgefield Playhouse box office at (203) 438-5795, or purchased in person the night of the show, space permitting.

O’Leary has taught nearly 30 sold-out comedy classes at her post at the Playhouse, with many repeat students, who take an 8-week program to develop a tight, economized, 5-minute set — the first increment of time given to new stand-ups at comedy clubs. The students bring weekly material to “Rip and Read” in class to determine winning content, then video conference one-on-one with O’Leary to finalize their material and hone their set. After two months, they’re ready for an audience.


“Comedy is a way to tell the truth, solve a problem and sell the material with a feeling. I love and live to share with people the greatest ‘high’ and joy I know — standing up and getting paid in laughs! Anyone can do this; there’s enough for everyone. For me, stand up is liberation and freedom. You can ‘up your game’ in life whether your a parent or a podiatrist,” said O’Leary, Founder, Team Green Light Comedy.

O’Leary’s stand up class has been a staple at The Ridgefield Playhouse since 2013. Her Assistant is fellow comic, Sue Ellen Landwehr, who has also performed locally. The April 30th lineup includes amateur comedians: Angel Fredricks, Will Bergen, Judy Eckert, Frank Fuhrman, Stephanie Griffin, Jerry Kuyper, Matthew MacGregor, Michael Mast, Micky Pasquerella, George Reynolds, Ben Robertson, Marcela Rodrigues, Eric Schwartz, Michael Zeitz, and Aline Weiller. They include doulas and designers, wealth managers and writers, students and salespeople, electrical engineers and bankers, teachers and beyond.


“You’ll never see anything like it…they’ll be born as comics before your eyes,” O’Leary added.

Christine O’Leary has worked with headlining comedians to include Gilbert Gottfried, Joy Behar, Chevy Chase, Sinbad, Tracey Morgan, Robert Klein, Margaret Cho, and Janeane Garofalo. She takes her Team Green Light Comedy comrades to area shows and also hosts and performs at companies, colleges, and charitable, club and pride events nearby and nationally. She can be contacted via christine@christineoleary.com and on all social media platforms.

The Ridgefield Playhouse is a not for profit 501 (c) (3) whose mission is to present a variety of performing arts to the community and the surrounding area that they can enjoy and experience at a varied price point. The Playhouse presents national and local acts and is the cultural hub for the town of Ridgefield. For details regarding “Christine O’Leary’s Comedy Graduation Showcase” tickets and classes, visitwww.ridgefieldplayhouse.org.

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PHOTO: Comedian Christine O’Leary and her students gear up for their “Comedy Graduation Showcase” at the Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield on Monday, April 30th at 7:30. General Admission tickets $20) are on sale now, are available via www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org, but calling (203) 438-5795, or can be purchased in person on the night of the show, space permitting.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sue Ellen Landwehr

Local DIY Pizza Business Brings Families Together for Make-Your-Own Dinner

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RIDGEFIELD, CT — After making and tasting thousands of different types and styles of pizza, a husband and wife duo launched their Ridgefield-based DIY pizza-making company called PIY, Pizza It Yourself, to the delight of families across Fairfield County. Ed Winstanley, from Westchester County, and his wife Grace Winstanley, from the Victoria, British Columbia, originally met at IBM and started a staffing business based in New York City 10 years ago.

“We ate copious amounts pizza while living in NYC before moving to Ridgefield,” Grace said. “We’re obsessed with pizza but with a big family and staffing business, we knew it wasn’t realistic to open a restaurant. Hello Fresh and Blue Apron appeared on the scene but we didn’t see anyone addressing our favorite meal so we started packing up dough, cheeses, and sauce for our neighbors to try out. We loved that the credit was given to the chef at home— neighborhood kids saying that their Mom’s pizza is ‘the best.” Families were enjoying the experience together and wanting more pizza!”

The couple moved to Ridgefield in 2013 after looking for a “family-friendly” town in Fairfield or Westchester County.

“When we first drove through Ridgefield and met some of the locals, it was instant, we fell in love and knew we’d found our new hometown,” Grace said.

Ed who used to work in IT and currently owns a staffing business has prior experience working at a pizzeria with his brother who had a pizzeria in Vermont. Eventually, the brothers moved closer to home and Will took over Il Sorriso in Irvington, New York. Ed experimented making pizza at home until he perfected the recipes and techniques.

“My brother and I talked about pizza recipes on a regular basis and when he came over for lunch one day, he was blown away that I had made a perfect pizza in a regular kitchen oven. It was that moment we knew pizza at home could be very special,” Ed shared.

The couple said what makes their pizza so special is not only the incredibly fresh, clean and delicious dough and ingredients but the experience of making artisanal pizza at home with family and friends.

“We love bringing people together over a delicious, easy to prepare a meal. Families are busy and we’re hoping to bring back a better version of Pizza Friday sans shopping or prep work. Recent studies show the benefit of families eating together, from improved relationships to lower symptoms of depression and drug use. We hope to make a difference by strengthening the family bond, the fabric of our society,” Grace stated.

In addition to bringing family and friends together for a delicious, healthy meal, PIY also does all they can to support the local community by doing fundraisers for organizations and nonprofits.

Grace Winstanley said that the couple loves hearing about their customers’ passion for pizza night. “We enjoy hearing about their new pizza traditions— how they look forward to pizza night and how dinner is prepared with and by their kids. We have 10-year-olds who love making pizza for the family and now the parents can ask, ‘What’s for dinner?'”

PIY currently delivers fresh ingredients to families in Ridgefield, Danbury, Bethel, and Redding. For more information visit www.pizzapiy.com.

Photo by Grace Winstanley