Spotlight on the arts, entertainment

MILFORD >> Nite Spot Nights presents Natalie Douglas, “The Nat Pack,” at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 4 at 40 Railroad Ave. S.

Doors open at 7:15 p.m.

Douglas’ cabaret entertainment is sponsored by the Milford Arts Council, in association with Pantochino Productions Inc.

Douglas performs the songs of Nat “King” Cole, Stevie Wonder, Sammy Davis Jr., Joe Williams and more.

Douglas is a Nightlife, two-time Backstage Bistro and seven-time MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Award winner and recipient of the Donald F. Smith & Margaret Whiting awards from the Mabel Mercer Foundation.

Her portrait hangs on the legendary Birdland Jazz Club Wall of Fame.

She released a third album, “Human Heart,” released in March 2016, and is an actor.

Patrons may bring their own food and beverages.

Tickets are $30 and available at or by calling 203-878-6647, Tuesdays-Fridays 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

MILFORD >> Husband and wife actors Frank J. Smith and Diane Smith will perform “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 5, at the Milford Library, 57 New Haven Ave.

The performance was postponed from February because of a snowstorm.

Doors will open at 1:30 for the free performance.

The play centers on Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, as they sit side by side and read the notes, letters and cards - in which more than nearly 50 years, they discuss their hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, victories and defeats - that have passed between them throughout their separated lives.

It was a 1990 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

• Diane Smith has appeared in productions with Square One Theatre in Stratford, Westport Community Theatre, and Milford’s Eastbound Theater. She has twice won ACT/CONN Best Actress award and has directed several productions for the Westport Community Theater and Eastbound Theater.

• Frank Smith has appeared in productions at Eastbound Theater, Westport Community Theater and Stratford’s Square One Theatre, where he most recently starred in “Mass Appeal.”

The Friends of the Milford Library will lead a discussion following the play. The public may bring a copy of their favorite love letter to share and to leave behind on a memory board.

For more information, call the library at 203-783-3292 or go to

MILFORD >> The Milford Camera Club welcomes photographers of any age interested in the art of photography.

Meetings are at the Margaret Egan Center, 35 Mathew St. at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays from September until late May.

On March 8, the club will present and judge the New England Camera Club Council Spring Competition. On March 22, there will be a local competition of digital images and prints by Milford members.

For information, go to or call Josh Goldin at 203-804-3058.

Visitors and members under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

MILFORD >> Milford Library, 57 New Haven Ave., will present Cynthia Parzych, a writer, book publisher, editor and professional chef who lives in Glastonbury.

She will be at the library at 7 p.m. March 8 to speak and sign her book, “Connecticut Made,” about local businesses, craftspeople and artisans.

“The research and writing of this book sent me, a Connecticut native, on a nostalgic journey of rediscovery. In my presentation, I’ll talk about the spiritual ‘road trip’ I found myself on to produce this book,” Parzych said in a press release.

MILFORD >> The Sommers Rosenthal Family Band will perform on Friday, March 17 at 8 p.m. at the Milford Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Ave. S.

The band led by patriarch Phil Rosenthal, former lead singer of The Seldom Scene, plays an eclectic mix of folk, bluegrass and jazz stylings, with vocal trios and instrumental solos.

Lead vocals are split between Rosenthal and daughter, Naomi Sommers. Son, Daniel Rosenthal adds bluegrass trumpet solos, as well as harmony vocals, bass and other stringed instrument accompaniment.

Rosenthal’s wife, Beth Sommers, adds harmony vocals.

The band’s repertoire includes songs written by each member, as well as new arrangements of traditional American folk and bluegrass tunes. On the new album, “Down the Road,” the group revisits several classic bluegrass songs written by Phil Rosenthal in the 1970s and ‘80s.

Rosenthal is a songwriter whose works have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe and Nick Cave. He has performed with Emmylou Harris, Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Ricky Skaggs, Jonathan Edwards and Bill Monroe.

Naomi Sommers’ recording career began at age 5, for her father’s albums of children’s music albums. Daniel Rosenthal is a trumpeter and composer. He is a member of the Grammy-nominated jazz and Latin group, the Either/Orchestra and has performed and recorded with Ethiopian musicians Mulatu Atstatke and Mahmoud Ahmed.

For more about the band, go to

Tickets are $20, $15 for MAC members and $5 at the door for students. For buy tickets, go to or call the council at 203-878-6647, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.

NEW HAVEN >> NOplays will present “HERSTORY 2: WE RISE,” two evenings of new plays celebrating unsung heroines at 7 p.m. March 10, 11 at the Silk Road Art Gallery, 83 Audubon St.

The project is the second incarnation of the HERSTORY Festival. The aim is to shed light on the untold stories of women in the country, in history and onstage.

It shows the struggles and triumphs of Native American women, such as civil rights activist Anna Mae Aquash; groundbreakers such as Ida Lupino, who became one of Hollywood’s first female directors; and immigrants who dreamed of touching the stars, such as astronaut Kalpana Chawla.

The plays are part of 365 Women a Year, an international play-writing coalition with more than 200 women who have signed on to write one-acts about extraordinary women in history.

The New Haven performance will be followed by a Q & A with the writers, actors, directors and organizers.

There will be a raffle with prizes including gift cards to Cloud 9 Day Spa, Rainbow Gardens and the Canvas Patch. There is a $10 suggested donation for entry. Tickets are avail ble at the door. For more information about NOplays, go to

ORANGE >> Betsy Ratner, abstract mixed media artist and Susan Seseske Wolanic, watercolorist and graphic designer, will be exhibiting their works, “Wisps of Air,” in March at Case Memorial Library, 176 Tyler City Road.

The opening reception is 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 9. Go to

MILFORD >> Argentine Tango Boot Camp, with instructors Dale Ellison and Jorge “Gem” Duras, will be held for beginners 2:30-5:30 p.m. March 18 at the Milford Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Ave. S.

Cost is $50. RSVP at, 203-584-4480.

Ellison will be visiting from Charleston, S.C., to join Duras for a weekend of Argentine tango in Connecticut and New York City.

The afternoon boot camp will review the fundamentals, the basic figures, turns and signature patterns of Argentine tango such as “ochos” and “ganchos.” Singles are welcome, pre-registration is recommended.

That night, there will be a tango social at the MAC, “milonga,” with a performance by the instructors.

FAIRFIELD >> Steve Scales & Friends will be featured in a benefit concert March 18 for the Autism Project at the Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University.

The event kicks off with a mix and mingle, open bar and food stations at 6:30 p.m., followed by the concert in the Kelley Theatre at 8 p.m. The evening caps off at 10 p.m. with the Black Box After Party, which includes dessert and drinks plus a meet & greet with the band.

Scales, of Milford and formerly with Talking Heads, has assembled a group of artists, with special performances by Grammy-nominated Nona Hendryx, formerly with Labelle and Talking Heads, and Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club.

Other musicians include guitarist Andy Abel of Twisted Vine, drummer Benny Gramm, bass Dave Livolsi and keyboard Scott Beckham. Lead vocalist is Keith Fluitt, who has worked with such artists as Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson and Ashford & Simpson.

Tickets are $125. To order, go to or call 203-365-8522, ext. 216.

Concert-only tickets are $40, online or at the door. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Magic Moments is the main funding source for The Kennedy Center Autism Project, which helps more than 500 local children with autism spectrum disorders and their families. The funds help The Kennedy Center provide comprehensive programs at affordable rates for all families in the community. It precedes National Autism Awareness Month, which is in April.

MILFORD >> Students at Jonathan Law High School, 20 Lansdale Ave., will present the musical “Bye Bye Birdie.”

Performances will be at 7 p.m. March 31, and 2 and 7 p.m. April 1. Tickets are $12 for general admission and $7 for senior citizens, children and students with a valid ID. During the matinee, senior citizens are admitted for free.

The play: It is 1960. Agent and songwriter Albert Peterson finds himself in trouble when rock ‘n’ roll superstar Conrad Birdie is drafted into the army. Albert’s secretary and sweetheart, Rose “Rosie” Alvarez, comes up with a last publicity stunt to have Conrad Birdie perform a song to one lucky girl before he is sent overseas. They choose Kim MacAfee, a 15-year-old from Sweet Apple, Ohio, much to the dismay of her newly pinned boyfriend, Hugo.

The cast of 24 includes JonPaul Amaro as Albert Peterson, Margaux Acorda as Rose Alvarez, Maddie Baldieri as Kim MacAfee, Justin Amaro as Conrad Birdie, Carlos Acosta as Mr. MacAfee, Ally Maccio as Mrs. MacAfee, and Chloe Bee Erickson as Mrs. Mae Peterson.

For more information, contact the director, Christina Kalafut, at

MILFORD >> Eastbound Theatre, a division of the Milford Arts Council, announces auditions for “4,000 Miles,” by Amy Herzog, directed by Nancy A. Herman.

Performances will be June 2-18.

Auditions will be held at 7 p.m. April 5, 6 at the Milford Arts Center, 40 Railroad Ave. S. Actors unable to attend those times may contact the producer, Michael Shavel, at for an alternate time.

Actors interested in reviewing the script may contact the director at

The play chronicles the sometimes difficult but always loving relationship between Leo and his grandmother, Vera.

Feeling alone and alienated after suffering a major loss while on a cross-country bicycle trip, Leo shows up at her apartment. Over the weeks that follow these roommates infuriate, bewilder, and eventually come to understand one another.

Roles available: Leo, man, 21; Vera, feisty grandmother, 91; Bec, college student, 21; Leo’s ex-girlfriend Amanda, 19, Chinese-American art student.

Contact the director at with questions. For more information, contact MAC at 203-878-6647.

Artwork accepted for ‘Waterscapes’

MILFORD >> Artwork is sought for “Waterscapes,” a maritime/marine “pop-up” exhibit, set for April 8,9 at Milford Yacht Club, 131 Trumbull Ave., sponsored by the Milford Arts Council.

Work will be received 9-11 a.m. April 8. It must be taken home 1-5 p.m. April 9.

It may include ships, sailing, beach, coastal wildlife or the sea.

A reception, with awards, will be 5:30-7 p.m. April 8.

Winners will be displayed at the MAC Center for the Arts until May 31.

For more information, call MAC at 203-878-6647 or visit

MILFORD >> Milford Arts Council’s Firehouse Art Gallery is accepting applications for its artist in residence.

The residency was created to support aspiring or professional artists with temporary, low-cost housing and studio space. The apartment will be available June 1. The deadline for applications is April 7.

The 750-square-foot residence includes studio space, one bedroom, with a living/dining area, a kitchen and bath. There is off-street parking, a large terrace and a bicycle rack.

The monthly cost, which includes heat, hot water and electricity, is $850 (with deposit of $850). The “artist in residence” is expected to be active in the maintenance and management of the gallery and workshop.

Download an application at or contact the Milford Arts Council at 203-878-6647 or email

MILFORD >> The Milford Arts Council presents Open Mic Nites every second Wednesday 7-10 p.m. through May 10.

Registration starts at 6 p.m.

They are open to performing arts: singers, musicians, comedians, poets, magicians.

There is a audience fee of $5; performer admission is free.

Events are held at the Milford Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Ave. S. For more information, call 203-878-6647 or go to