Lots of plays opening
Cast members Julie Thaxter-Gourlay, Larry D. Gabbard and Maureen Cummings rehearse a scene for the Town Players of New Canaan production of Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities, which will have its Connecticut premiere at the Powerhouse Performing Arts Center in Waveny Park, New Canaan. Opening night is Feb. 5 and the show runs three weekends. For tickets, call 203-966-7371.
Other Desert Cities
The Town Players of New Canaan will stage the Connecticut premiere of Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities, which was a finalist for the 2012 Putlitzer Prize for Drama and received five Tony nominations, including Best Play. Opening night is Friday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m.; performances run through Feb. 20, Friday and Saturday at 8, with 2:30 matinees on Sundays, Feb. 7 and 14.
Julie Thaxter-Gourlay has the pivotal role of Brooke Wyeth, the daughter whose book becomes the center of the story. She is joined by Maureen Cummings as the matriach Polly Wyeth and Larry D. Gabbard as Trip Wyeth, the family’s youngest son. Will Jeffries takes the role of Lyman Wyeth, the father, and Nancy Sinacori will play the alcoholic sister, Silda Grauman. Tom Butterworth directs.
Performances take place at the Powerhouse Performing Arts Center in Waveny Park, New Canaan; for tickets, visit tpnc.org or call 203-966-7371.
The Wilton Library will present February Awakenings — Five Artists, opening Friday, Feb. 5, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The artists — Shannon Cruickshank, Elizabeth Emerson, Trish Nelson, Karen Siegel and Margaret VIckers — are all known for their use of color.
Many of the works are for sale and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the library; the exhibit runs through Saturday, Feb. 27. The library is at 137 Old Ridgefield Road; for more information, visit wiltonlibrary.org or call 203-762-3950.
Center Stage Theatre in Shelton will present the musical Hairspray, directed by Mia Scarpa, opening Friday evening, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. Performances will run Fridays and Saturdays at 8 through Feb. 20, with 2 p.m. matinees on Sundays, Feb. 7, 14 and 21, and a performance at 7 on Thursday, Feb. 18.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students. The theater is at 54 Grove Street and reservations may be made at centerstageshelton.org or call 203-225-6079.
The Harvey Girls
Lauralton Hall’s student-directed play for 2016 is The Harvey Girls by Julie Jensen, abou the famous Harvey House waitresses. Performances will take place Friday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6, at 2 and 7 p.m., with a snow date of Sunday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m.
Tickets ($10 general admission; $7 for students, seniors) will be available at the door, at Lauralton Hall’s Claven Auditorium, 200 High Street, Milford. Refreshments will be sold at intermission.
The Aldrich Museum’s first First Fridays contemporary cocktail party of 2016 will take place Friday evening, Feb. 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. with music by the Connecticut-based band Oh, Cassius! The evening includes light fare and wine and museum guide-led tours of the Painting in Four Takes exhibitions. Admission is $20; for information, visit aldrichart.org or call 203-438-4519.
Eastbound Theatre, a division of the Milford Arts Council, will present the memoir Hollywood Arms by Carrie Hamilton and her mother Carol Burnett Feb. 5-21 at the arts council, 40 Railroad Avenue South, Milford. Chris Peterson directs.
Shows take place Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 2; tickets are $20, $18 for seniors and $5 for students under 18. For reservations, visit milfordarts.org or call 203-878-6647.
The sounds of dancing feet will fill Stamford’s Palace Theatre with the national tour of the musical 42nd Street on Friday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 6, at 2 p.m. The show is directed by co-author Mark Bramble and choreographed by Randy Skinner, the team who staged the 2001 Tony Award-winning Best Revival.
The theater at 61 Atlantic Street; for tickets, $75 to $40, visit palacestamford.org or call 203-325-4466.
Music for Youth
The Brown-Canelakis Duo will perform a Free Young Persons’ Concert, presented by Music for Youth, on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 2 at the Pequot Library, 720 Pequot Avenue, Southport. The duo comprised of cellist Nicholas Canellakis and pianist/composer Michael Brown play original compositions as well as modern masterpieces and classics from the standard repertory.
A master class for solo or duo advance piano and cello students will be offered after the performance. Space is limited and there is a $30 registration fee. For more information, email or call 203-254-0123.
The Fairfield County Children’s Choir’s most popular annual event, the Brilliantly Broadway Concert and Auction, on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. at the Klein Memorial Auditorium, 910 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport. The children’s choirs, featuring many soloists, will perform songs from West Side Story, Newsies, Matilda and Hairspray. They’ll be accompanied by the Fairfield County Children’s Choir Orchestra.
The evening will begin at 5:30 with a silent auction in the theater lobby. Tickets are $15 and $20 and available at theklein.org or call 1-800-424-0160.
JACKS, a jazz-rock fusion of Connecticut musicians, will gather for one night for the benefit of The Kennedy Center Children’s Services on Saturday, Feb. 6, at StageOne, Fairfield Theatre Company, 70 Sanford Street. Headlined by Steve Scales at percussion, formerly of the Talking Heads, the group includes Rohn Lawrence, guitar; Dave Livolsi, bass; Timmy Maia, vocals; Trevor Somerville, drums; and Lenny Underwood, keyboard. The Talking Heads/Tom Tom Club’s Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth will join the group for a Special Encore Performance.
The evening starts with a Pre-Party at 7 p.m. in the Art/Place Gallery on-site, followed by the show at 8:30; tickets are $100 per person. To reserve, visit thekennedycenterinc.org or call 203-365-8522.
Hot & Cool
Jazz pianist Fred Hersch will perform in the Hot & Cool: Jazz at the Brubeck Room series at the Wilton Library on Saturday, Feb. 6, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. A Grammy Award-nominated pianist, composer and bandleader, he was, in 2006, the first artist in the 75-year history of New York’s Village Vanguard to play a weeklong engagement as a solo pianist.
A $10 donation is suggested; advance registration is strongly recommended. Pre-registrants are asked to arrive by 7:20. The library is at 137 Old Ridgefield Road; for information, visit wiltonlibrary.org or call 203-762-3950.
The Ridgefield Playhouse Film Society Documentary Film Series will present Jen Marlowe’s film Witness Bahrain on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 7:30. Marlowe recorded what happened in the two years after the Arab Spring; for a time she hid at the home of human rights defender Nabeel Rajab who was imprisoned for Tweets he sent.
Both Marlowe and Rajab will attend the screening, hosted by Ira Joe Fisher. Tickets are $10, $7.50 for seniors and $5 for students. For information, visit ridgefieldplayhouse.org or call 203-438-5795.
First in Flight
Author Susan Brinchman and educator Andy Kosch will talk about Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight on Sunday, Feb. 7, at 2 at the Stratford Library, 2203 Main Street. Brinchman will be part of the program via Skype; Kosch will be there in person. For information, visit stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4162.
Young Artists 2016
The Katonah Museum of Art annually turns itself over to aspiring young artists who not only create art for the Young Artists Show but also work with museum and art professionals to organize, publicize, curate and mount their own exhibition. Young Artists 2016 will open Sunday, Feb. 7, and be on view through Feb. 21. Museum hours are noon to 5 on Sundays and 10 to 5, Tuesdays through Saturdays.
The museum is at 134 Jay Street/Route 22 in Katonah, N.Y. For more information, visit katonahmuseum.org or call 914-232-9555.
The First Congregational Church of Greenwich at 108 Sound Beach Avenue will open its First Music and Arts Series with a concert by the Trident Ensemble — A Hidden Song on Sunday, Feb. 7, at 4. The nine vocalists plan a program that “gives voice to the voiceless and reveals the secrets of the soul.” Tickets are $20, available at the door; all school-aged youth are admitted free. The concerts will continue on Sunday afternoons, Feb. 14, 21 and 28. For information, visit fccog.org or call 203-637-1791.
And coming up…
The next Script-in-Hand play reading at the Westport Country Playhouse will be Scotland Road by Jeffrey Hatcher, a mystery/thriller, on Monday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. For tickets ($20), visit westportplayhouse.org or call 203-227-4177.
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Rob McWilliams of Wilton, a native of Scotland and hiking enthusiast, will present A Walk Across Scotland for the Appalachian Mountain Club, Tuesday, Feb. 9, at St. Thomas Church, 95 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel. Appetizers will be served at 6:30 and the presentation will begin at 7:30. No reservations are necessary; pay $8 at the door and bring a dessert to share if possible. For more information, visit ct-amc.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on McWilliams and other hiking adventures, visit robmcwilliams.wordpress.com or find his online column, Taking a Hike, at arts.hersamacorn.com.
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Tuesday, Feb. 9, is Mardi Gras. For a the sound of New Orleans, visit the Ridgefield Playhouse to hear Soul Brass Band and Funky Dawgz, whose performance is part of the Emerging Artist Series. The music starts at 8; tickets are $25. For reservations, visit ridgefieldplayhouse.org or call 203-438-5795.
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The Fairfield County Arts Association will host a presentation by Amy Oestreicher at its next meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 7 at Roger Ludlowe Middle School, Team Room 292, 689 Unquowa Road, Fairfield. She’ll show some of her art and talk about how art enabled her to heal and live a happy, healthy life. Membership is $30 per year; for information, visit fairfieldcountyarts.com or call 203-259-8026.