Ridgefield, CT: Art, Culture and Open Space

The New York Times | Aug 13, 2021 

In this lake-dappled town in Fairfield County, the arts are the ‘engine that drives our community.’ But the charming Main Street may be the biggest lure.

Few people embody the romance of Manhattan more than Daniel C. Levine and Bryan Perri. Mr. Levine began acting on Broadway in the mid-1990s, appearing in hits like “Les Misérables” and “Mamma Mia!” Mr. Perri, a Broadway music director and conductor, led the orchestra for “Wicked” for five years and is now attached to the Alanis Morissette musical “Jagged Little Pill.”

Yet the couple, who are married, found magic in the air some 60 miles northeast of Times Square — in Ridgefield, Conn., the arts-centric town that butts up against Westchester County in New York.

In 2016, they took up permanent residence in Mr. Levine’s weekend house in Ridgefield, a 1942 cottage that once belonged to Jolie Gabor, the mother of Zsa Zsa, Eva and Magda Gabor. “It’s set upon a hill in a clearing in the woods,” Mr. Levine said, adding that the condition required them to “renovate the hell out of it.”

Three years ago, he helped found ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) of Connecticut, a fount of classics like “Evita” and “Godspell,” as well as new productions.

This lake-dappled town of 25,000 in Fairfield County also has its own contemporary-art museum (the Aldrich), history museum (Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center), nonprofit first-run cinema (Prospector Theater), symphony orchestra and dance conservatory.