NEWS&VIEWS by Jacqueline Bennett

Posts from the “Entertainment” Category

Behind-the-Scenes of “I’m Your Puppet!” Creative Collaboration – Silk City Chorus Barbershop Harmony & UConn Puppet Arts

Posted on January 20, 2015

Article & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   A first ever creative collaboration between two extraordinary and highly regarded groups, the Silk City Chorus barbershoppers and the University of Connecticut Puppet Arts Program, titled “I’m Your Puppet!”, is set to take center stage Saturday night, January 24, in Manchester, Connecticut.                               “This is the first time something like this has been tried by the Barbershop Harmony Society, an international organization. The Silk City Chorus (an 80-man chapter) has been working on the collaboration with Bart Roccoberton, director of the UConn Puppet Arts Program, and students from UConn for a year,” Neal Kellogg, director of marketing and communication for the Silk City Chorus, said during a behind-the-scenes interview…

Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry Reflects Unique Educational Opportunity – Kicks Off 2014 Summer Performances

Posted on June 28, 2014

Story & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett Fascinating, fun and festive – the Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry in Storrs, Connecticut reflects a unique educational opportunity. The University of Connecticut is one of a very few universities in the country to offer a degree in puppet arts. In addition to a bachelor’s of fine arts in the field, UConn offers master’s degrees, MA or MFA. According to the university website, it all began in 1964 with the arrival of Professor Frank Ballard to the theatre department and the ensuing immense popularity of puppetry classes he taught there. Soon a “full length puppet performance” was staged on campus at the Harriet S. Jorgenson Theatre. Today graduates of the program are said to “perform and…

Emmy Winner in the Family – Producer David Doyle Honored

Posted on June 24, 2014

Article by Jacqueline Bennett Producer David Doyle and a team of talented collaborators were honored on June 20 with two Emmys for Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin. The awards for Outstanding Travel Program and Outstanding Directing in a Lifestyle/Culinary/ Travel Program were presented at the 41st Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles, California. Doyle, my niece Jillian’s husband, served as an executive producer for the program. “We are so deeply into what we do, like most people who care about their work we don’t take time to pat ourselves on the back,” Doyle said by phone June 23 from California, “This is an important thing. In our industry, this is a milestone.…

Move Over George Clooney – Derek Hough Is In the House

Posted on May 21, 2014

Commentary by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb  If all women aren’t just a little bit in love with Derek Hough, they should be. Depth, substance, character, talent – and oh yes – good looks. The 29-year-old Hough’s star has been rising ever since he burst onto the scene with ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” dance competition. Mesmerizing describes the dancing talent he displayed on the show and as time went on it became apparent his skills as a choreographer were consistently unmatched. In 2013 he won a Primetime Emmy for choreography and is an overall five-time winner of  the DWTS mirrorball trophy. “You have redefined choreography for your generation, ” a guest judge on DWTS recently told Hough. No matter who he has been paired with,…

Courageous Paralympian Wows “Dancing With The Stars” Audience

Posted on March 19, 2014

Commentary by:Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb Stories about triumph of the human spirit never cease to amaze me. A performance by double amputee Amy Purdy on Monday night’s 2014 season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars” wowed the audience, and was courageous. Without prior knowledge that Purdy was dancing on two prosthetic legs, one would not have had a clue from the way she moved and swayed with dancing pro partner Derek Hough during a routine that earned the team a standing ovation and is sure to inspire others with disabilities. Purdy’s willingness to put herself front and center and dance on television in front of millions of viewers was an astounding act of personal strength. It comes on the heels of her winning a bronze…

New Christmas Tree for Downtown Manchester Replaces ‘Charlie Brown’ Spruce

Posted on December 6, 2013

Write-up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb  The Christmas season was welcomed into downtown Manchester, Connecticut December 5 with the lighting of a new tree donated by Jeff and Dianne Hedrick. A twenty foot Balsam fir, it replaces a once 37 foot Norwegian spruce that had to be removed after Hurricane Sandy hacked several feet off of it last year. However, left without time to find a different tree for the 2012 holiday season the Downtown Manchester Special Services District decided to decorate the sparse tree and it was dubbed a ‘Charlie Brown Tree’ borrowing from the famed Peanuts series. The ‘Charlie Brown Tree’ drew more than the usual attention to the annual event. Arrival of the new tree just over a month ago…

Popularity of Firefighters’ Peach Festival Continues in New Location

Posted on August 24, 2013

Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb In its 64th year, the popularity of the Manchester, Connecticut 8th Utilities District Fire Department Peach Festival continued Friday night, August 23, as festival-goers turned out to enjoy their annual peach shortcake treat in a new location. Traditionally held across from the old firehouse on the corner of Main and Hilliard streets, this year the event was moved up the hill to the new firehouse which serves as the district’s headquarters.  It can be risky business to tamper with tradition and a successful tradition at that, but the move was said to be prompted by a desire to encourage the community to view the headquarters as the volunteer firefighter district prepares to celebrate its 125th anniversary in…