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Year in Review - 2014 Norwalk Business


Norwalk Year in Review: Arts & Entertainment

A look back at top stories in arts

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Norwalk, CT | Added on December 24, 2014 At 10:31 AM

We are taking a look back at the top headlines in arts and entertainment in the City of Norwalk. 

Norwalk's historic Wall Street Theater, formerly named the Globe Theatre, has been closed for a decade and this March marked the 100th anniversary of the theater's original construction. State Senator Bob Duff joined Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman and Representative Chris Perone at the theater to support the State's efforts in providing a $1.5 million grant toward the total $7.8 million in project renovation costs.  

"Having a theatre here means more than just a theatre," said Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman. "It means people want to live around the theatre, people want to go out to eat before the theatre, after the theatre and more and more businesses want to grow. Little stores will grow because people are coming downtown. This is a good investment for Norwalk, this is a good investment for the State of Connecticut." 

"We're really looking forward for it to be a place that anyone can go for culture and arts in Norwalk and in Fairfield county," said President of the Wall Street Theater Company Frank Farricker.  

The theater also received aid from Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P). In May, the utility company agreed to purchase the theater's $1.8 million in state historic tax credits to support its ongoing renovations.  

The tax credits will be offered through the state Department of Economic & Community Development's office of Culture and Tourism, with a projected value of approximately $1.81 million. Resale of credits is a common practice among many recipients. 

"We have bought credits that have helped communities throughout the entire state to revitalize these types of neighborhoods that could use just a little bit of extra help," said CL&P President Bill Herdegen.  

"Because of Connecticut Light and Power, we have the ability to restore 100-year-old murals that we uncovered in the theatre that I think most people who would be in our position would understand that we would like to do, but the finances wouldn't be able to do it, but now we can do that," said Wall Street Theater Company President Frank Farricker. 

The Wall Street Theater project is expected to be completed in March 2015.

Another theater found it's home in the City this fall. The Music Theatre of Connecticut opened its doors at its new location on 509 Westport Avenue in Norwalk in September. Actors say the theatre's larger, yet more intimate setting allows them to fully connect with the audience in ways they didn't before. 

"Even if it's a quiet audience, they're fully engaged, listening, smiling, taking it in," said actress Kathy Calahan. "There are tears, laughter, lots of applause, some singing along. I think people love this piece and love this new space." 

"It's still so intimate and you're so close to the action, so they're really involved first-hand with our own emotional journeys as we perform," said actor Eric Scott Kincaid.   

The Norwalk High School Marching Band is used to winning some hardware when competing. But in November, the Marching Bears came home with their biggest win & trophy yet.

The 140-member marching band competed in the U.S. Bands Open Class National Championship for the first time at MetLife Stadium, just two weeks after winning the MAC championship for the third year in a row.

"Our goal is always to be the best band we can be and then the judges can determine what place we come. But it is nice to come home with a 10-foot trophy,"said Chris Rivera, band director at Norwalk High School.

Kaitlyn Turlis, a junior alto saxophone player in the band said, "I feel like all of us just worked a lot harder because we wanted this more than our regular championships because of where it was and the bands that were there."

The band won its class with a score of 97.375, beating out bands from New Jersey (South Brunswick High School placed second with a score of 97.338) and Georgia ( George Walton Academy placed third with a score of 96.813).

The NHS program also received awards for Best Percussion, Best Visual and Best Overall Effect. The win at MetLife Stadium capped off an undefeated season for the Marching Bears. 

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