Good weekend for theater: drama to panto
The Ridgefield Theater Barn will present the comedy Educating Rita, featuring Lynette Victoria and Nick Kaye, opening Friday, Feb. 26, at 8. Performances are presented with cabaret seating; doors open an hour before curtain and guests are invited to bring refreshments to enjoy before the show. Performances run through March 19, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 with Sunday matinees on March 6 and 13 at 2.
Tickets are $24 for adults and $20 for students, seniors and veterans. For reservations, visit ridgefieldtheaterbarn.org.
The Commons of Pensacola by Amanda Peet will open Friday evening, Feb. 26, at 8 at the Wilton Playshop, Lovers Lane. The play is based on the aftermath of the downfall of a mega-financier, whose Ponzi scheme defrauded investors of millions of dollars. It features Nancy Thode as his wife, who has fled to a cheap Florida condo.
Performances are at 8 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 on Sundays, Feb. 28, and March 6. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, with a $5 discount on Thrifty Thursdays, March 3 and 10. For information and reservations, visit wiltonplayshop.org or call 203-762-7629.
The Mighty Soul Drivers will bring the classic soul sounds of Memphis and Muscle Shoals to the Milford Center for the Arts on Friday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20; doors open at 7:30. Snacks, beer and wine will be available, as well as free coffee. Reservations are strongly recommended: visit milfordarts.org or call 203-878-6647. The center is at 40 Railroad Avenue South. For more information about the Mighty Soul Drivers, visit reverbnation.com/mightysouldrivers
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will have its Fairfield County professional premiere on on Friday, Feb. 26, at MTC MainStage, 509 Westport Avenue, Norwalk. The mash-up of Chekhov and smartphones farce will run through March 13, on Fridays at 8, Saturdays at 4 and 8, and Sundays at 2.
Tickets are $35 to $55, with reservations suggested. Visit musictheatreofct.com or call 203-454-3883.
The Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Fairfield, 2325 Burr Street, will host a winter walk in the woods on Saturday, Feb. 27, from 10:30 to noon for all ages. The cost is $2 per person and advance registration is requested to 203-259-6305 x109. Participants are reminded to dress for the weather and to bring binoculars For more information, visit ctaudubon.org/center-at-fairfield
Marian Anderson Day
The Danbury Museum and Historical Society will celebrate famed opera singer Marian Anderson’s birthday with a free open house at the Marian Anderson Studio on the museum grounds at 43 Main Street. Cake will be served at 1; the historic buildings are open for tours from 10 to 3 on Saturdays. The office, exhibit and gift shop are open from 10 to 4, Monday through Saturday. For more information, visit danburymuseum.org or call 203-743-5200.
For Dahl fans
The Downtown Cabaret Children’s Company will present James and the Giant Peach weekends through April 3 at the theater at 263 Golden Hill Street in Bridgeport. Performances take place Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 27-28, at noon; Saturdays and Sundays, March 5-April 3, at noon and 2:30.
The 80-minute show has a 10-minute intermission. Tickets are $23 for adults and $19 for children. For reservations, visit mycabaret.org or call 203-576-1636.
The British Theatre Group of Darien will stage its 24th annual panto production, a benefit for Neighbors Link Stamford, on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 27 and 28, at 3 p.m. at the Darien Town Hall, 2 Renshaw Road. This year’s show is Aladdin, transported to Peking, China.
In panto performances, the audience is encouraged to boo the villain and cheer the hero and interact with the show.
For ticket information, visit neighborslinkstamford.org; doors open at 2:30 and children under 2 may be seated on laps at no charge.
Back, with friends
The Flagpole Radio Café in Newtown will begin its seventh season with a show on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. at Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main Street, with featured guest the jazz ensemble Phil Bowler and Friends. After a year’s hiatus, producer Martin Blanco said the café is happy to return.
Bowler, on bass, is joined by Tony Lombardozzi, guitar, Ron Vincent, drums, and Melissa Newman, vocals.
The evening will include music and comedy performed by members of the Flagpole Radio Café ensemble. Tickeets are $25 for adults, $20 for students; for reservations and more information, visit flagpoleproductions.org or call 203-364-0898.
Madonna and Child
Hudson Stage Company will present a staged reading of Madonna and Child by John Pielmeir, directed by Margaret Perry, on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m. at the Whippoorwill Hall Theatre at the North Castle Library, Kent Place, Armonk, N.Y. A $10 donation at the door is requested; no reservations are required. For more information, visit hudsonstage.com.
Samantha Gillis of Trumbull, the new U.S. pro-am ballroom champion, will be featured with her teacher-partner Marko Urosevic at the Premier Ballroom event on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Holy Trinity Greek Church Community Center, 4070 Park Avenue, Bridgeport. There is general dancing from 7 to midnight, with a dance lesson at 8 and showtime at 9:30.
Reservations are suggested ($17 per person); call 203-374-7308.
The American Chamber Orchestra will perform its Winter Concert featuring Beethoven’s Overture to Fidelio, Summer and Winter from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 8 at the First Presbyterian Church, 2475 Easton Turnpike, Fairfield.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students to age 18, available at americanchamberorchestra.com.
DAC Stage at the Darien Arts Center is producing a staged reading of Mary Jane Schaefer’s play, Shakespeare and the Heart’s Desire, on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m. Mark Graham directs the reading, which is presented in honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
Admission is a suggested donation of $10; no reservations necessary. For more information, visit darienarts.org or call 203-655-8683.
Journey from Leipzig, The Story of a 1713 Viola da Gamba, is the theme for a concert by Ars Antiqua on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 8 at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, 191 South Greeley Ave., Chappaqua, N.Y. The concert will be followed by a buffet with apple strudel, chocolate confections and coffee.
Tickets are $35 and will be available at the door beginning at 7:30. For more information, call 914-238-8015 or visit ars-antiqua.org.
The Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras, comprising six ensembles and 285 student musicians in grades 5-12, will perform a concert on Sunday, Feb. 28, at 3 at The Klein Memorial Auditorium, 910 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport. The program includes the premiere of two works, Beyond the Bridge by Gary Gibson and Title Wave by Dr. Rex Cadwallader.
For more information and tickets, visit gbyo.org.
Author David Denby will talk about his experiences in writing Lit Up: One Reporter, Three Schools, Twenty-Four Books that Can Change Lives on Sunday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m. at the Study at Yale, 1157 Chapel Street, New Haven. An audience Q&A and book signing will follow the talk; admission is free but reservations are required and may be made at wshu.org.
New at Silvermine
New exhibits opening Sunday, Feb. 28, in the Silvermine Galleries in New Canaan are Thunder Umbrella, a group show curated by Chris Joy of “Gorky’s Granddaughter”; Selections from John Altoon’s About Women Portfolio, curated by Silvermine Collections Manager James Reed; and in the Viewing Room, Karen Neems: Spatial Choreography.
There will be an opening reception on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.; all three exhibits run through April 8.
Thunder Umbrella is work by a collection of artists selected by Guild of Artists members who were asked to choose artists who use recognizable objects or icons that subvert the object’s traditional meaning or function. John Altoon (1925-1969) was a prominent avant-garde figure in the Los Angeles art scene in the 1950s and 1960s, whose work was described as a “raucously biomorphic brand of abstract painting.” Finally, Karen Neems manipulates her overhead photographs of static, mundane objects. She is a member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists.
The galleries, at 1037 Silvermine Road, are open Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5, and Sunday, 1 to 5. For more information, visit silvermineart.org or call 203-966-9700.
Evidence of Everything
Raymond Foye, an author, editor, publisher and curator, will join artist Steve DiBenedetto in a conversation on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, 258 Main Street, Ridgefield. DeBenedetto, whose work is in the current exhibition, Evidence of Everything, part of the museum’s Painting in Four Takes shows.
For information, visit aldrichart.org or call 203-438-4519.
British pianist Stephen Hough is the featured artist for the Sunday, Feb. 28, Candlelight Concert at the Wilton Congregational Church. He will play a program of works by Schubert, Franck and Liszt along with his own Piano Sonata III (Trinitas). Hough was the first classical performing artist to win a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (2001) and he has performed with nearly all of the major European and American orchestras. He regularly performs recitals around the world.
The concert will begin at 4 p.m. and tickets will be available at the door: $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and students. Those 16 and younger will be admitted free. For more information, visit wiltoncandlelightconcerts.org.
Red Carpet Gala
Sunday, Feb. 28, is Oscar Night, when the Academy Awards are revealed. The Milford Arts Council will have its own red-carpet event starting at 7 p.m. on Sunday, complete with paparazzi to record the arrival of guests. (Black-tie is suggested.)
There will be a cocktail hour with cash bars featuring wine and martinis; appetizers will be served and are included in the cost of a ticket, which is $30. The awards ceremony will be shown on a 20-foot-long projection screen and there will be silent auctions, a raffle and games. For reservations and information, visit milfordarts.org.
And coming up…
National Theatre Live in HD will come to the Ridgefield Playhouse with the production of Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen on Thursday, March 3, at 2 p.m. Called “the funniest and most entertaining play in London right now,” the play is set in northern England where the local hangman is out of work, with hanging abolished. Tickets are $25, $20 for seniors and $15 for students; for reservations, visit ridgefieldplayhouse.org or call 203-438-5795.
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A Pet Portrait Contest to benefit the Connecticut Humane Society will open on March 5 at the David Emberling Studio in Weston. For a donation of $25, pets will be photographed by appointment; any domestic animals that can be photographed in the studio are eligible. The contest closes March 18. A committee of judges will select winners and all pets photographed will be seen in the 2017 ConnectiPets Calendar. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 203-226-1836.