Once upon a time at the bistro…
Storytelling brunches in Danbury
By Linda A. Thompson-Odum firstname.lastname@example.org
Starting this January, the Inn at Danbury will offer a new family-friendly activity. In the Alphorn Bistro, innkeepers Bob and Alexandra (Alex) Graf will host a storytelling brunch series for at least two Sundays each month, which will feature some of the state’s best-known word artists.
“I got the idea when we went to the Center Sandwich Fair,” Alex said. “We went inside the Corner House Inn to have a beer in the pub. I saw a flyer about their storytelling dinners on Thursday nights.”
Alex talked with the inn’s owner and learned the dinners were a big hit in the area. Then she got in touch with storyteller Lauretta Phillips, who lives in Andover. When Phillips seemed excited by the idea of the Inn at Danbury hosting a storytelling event, the idea really took off.
The Grafs wanted to plan their events at a time when it was easier for families to attend. They also didn’t want to cause a conflict with the existing Center Sandwich program. Since fans of the bistro had been asking them to start a Sunday brunch service, they decided to combine the two. Alex said the family has always enjoyed storytellers.
“When we lived in Utah, every Saturday evening we would listen to Garrison Keillor [host of NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion]. We would either listen as a family or have friends over, but we always listened to his Lake Wobegon stories.”
The storytelling brunches begin on Sunday, Jan. 11, with Cora Ciampi of Weare, who has been a professional storyteller for more than 20 years. She often works in tandem with Phillips, who is her sister. The pair recorded the CD Sisters, Too: Down the Path at Grandma’s. Phillips will perform at the brunch two weeks later, on Sunday, Jan. 25.
Other storytellers include Angela Klingler (world folktales, fables, fairytales, myths and legends), Sharon Wood (19th-century American history), Peter Brodeur a.k.a. Beardedturtle (Native American legends), Leeny Del Seamonds (Latino, original and multicultural stories), and Patricia Darcy (healing stories, folk tales and personal stories with hope and humor). A complete list of dates and performers is on the inn’s Web site.
Guests may select the brunch menu of traditional egg and breakfast items ($12.50 per person) or a lunch menu ($14.50 per person). The meal will begin at 12:15 p.m. and the storytelling will follow at 12:45 p.m.