By displaying a Lady Liberty, many Branford businesses are raising a torch in support of Branford High School (BHS) Performing Arts, and The Sound is asking readers to vote for their favorite creation. One voter will win two tickets to the BHS spring musical In the Heights, coming to BHS
March 20 to 24.
The Tony award-winning musical's set in a vibrant Manhattan community, where three generations of Latin music mingles with life in the barrio. But it's also "any immigrant's story," said show Co-Director Toni Cartisano, working once again with Co-Director Cathyann Roding.
"There's a great balance within the storytelling?a mix of emotions that are happy, sad. More than anything, it's about family interaction, and the way they were all a family in the community," said Cartisano.
With a nod to the show's immigrant roots, Cartisano came up with the idea of the Statue of Liberty, aka "Lady Liberty," as this year's character for what's become a community tradition, the annual merchant display event. Over the past four years, depending on the BHS musical, merchants have put up pirates, shipped in sailors, been haunted by the Phantom of the Opera, and revived female pharaohs.
Now, more than a dozen Lady Liberty creations stand in shops around town, built with business wares.
On Main Street, check out the ice cream cone torch upheld by Ashley's silver-faced Lady Liberty, or the flame-orange spatula torch topping the menu-made Lady on display at HOME restaurant. See how the NYC Marathon plays a part in SoundRunner's creation. Viewers will smile at the whimsical gathering of, um, personal products upholding Towne Pharmacy's "Lady Liberty," (whose tablet reads, "Give me your tired, your sick, your congested?"). Other Main Street businesses where a unique Lady Liberty raises her torch include an ice cream-themed creation at Ben & Jerry's; a ceramic salute at Fired Up!; a finely draped character, hoisting a silver cake server "torch" at P.S. Fine Stationers; a unique accessories and Americana-bedecked beauty at Totally Awesome Goods; and a candy-loving, kid-sized Lady Liberty at Sweet Creations.
On North Main Street, the head-turning artistic merits of the Lady Liberty upholding a bouquet torch at Cynthia's Flower Shop cannot be denied, while next door, paper-cutting artist extraordinaire Martha Link Walsh has crafted a show-stopping window display with a star-spangled background. Further on, a snappy Lady Liberty stands atop a storage-box base at The Lock Up. Along East Main Street, yards of yarn have gone into crafting The Yarn Basket's Lady Liberty, while antique luggage builds the base beneath a stylish Lady Liberty, swathed in a vintage cheetah fur coat, at Consign & Design Shoreline.
All of the Lady Liberty displays can be viewed-and voted for-through Friday, March 15 here. On Monday, March 18, The Sound will tally readers' votes, declare a favorite Lady Liberty, and give away a pair of BHS In the Heights show tickets to one lucky voter, drawn at random from all votes received.
BHS In the Heights show tickets are on sale now: $18 for adults; $15 for students/seniors; all seats reserved. Order by phone at 203-
315-7998, ext. 2500. Payment is by cash or check only (no credit or debit cards are accepted). Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20; Thursday, March 21; and Friday, March 22, with two shows on Saturday, March 23 at 1 and 8 p.m. and a matinee on Sunday, March 24 at 2 p.m. All shows take place in the BHS auditorium, 185 East Main Street, Branford.