At Home With Newtown's Amber Edwards, Justin Scott
At a party at the Newtown home of Amber Edwards and Justin Scott, it wouldn’t be surprising to see legendary music director Don Pippin (“A Chorus Line,” “Mame”) at the grand piano, surrounded by stage and TV lighting designer Marilyn Rennagel, Fred Newman (the sound effects guy from NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion”), restauranteur Carole Peck, of Woodbury’s Good News Cafe, and a host of arts-and-leisure-loving friends, old and new.
Their home, on four acres that include a pond and picture-perfect landscaping — their lay-out was featured in the 2014 coffee table book, “The Gardens of Connecticut” — is often a setting for winter solstice soirees, croquet tournaments and the odd lawn party with guests in boaters and all-in-white linens.
Scott is best known as co-writer with one of the top authors in America, Clive Cussler, whose books regularly catapult to No. 1 on the best-seller list in the first week of publication — just as it did recently with their eighth and latest collaboration, “The Gangster.” The paperback of their previous book of the series featuring the detective-adventure hero Isaac Bell, “The Assassin,” just hit the stores too.
Edwards is a filmmaker and producer, who returned in March from the Manchester International Film Festival in England, where she received kudos for her latest documentary, “Vince Giordano: There’s a Future in the Past,” about the contemporary bandleader who plays the music of the Prohibition era and whose music is featured prominently on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” (Edwards, a cabaret performer, sang on the Grammy-winning soundtrack to the series.)
She is also artistic director and producer of Yale Musical Theater of the Air — staged concerts of Broadway musicals featuring a full orchestra of three dozen musicians or more, a rarity in revivals. Herself an alum, the shows use all Yale talent, including grads of several generations, as well as current students and faculty. In the midst of a blizzard last January, she produced “The Music Man,” which starred Tony-nominated actor Reg Rogers, Mark Linn Baker (the film “My Favorite Year”) and Stephen DeRosa (Broadway’s “On the Town”).