The Weir Farm National Historic Site, Connecticut’s only National Park, will open its 2015 season with two days of special access to the Weir House, Weir Studio and Young Studio. The home of American Impressionist J. Alden Weir, Weir Farm is marking its 25th anniversary this year; a special exhibit of 25 paintings by artists-in-residence will also open.
The site will be accessible only by shuttle bus on the weekend, with free park and ride service running continuously from 10 to 4 each day from the Branchville Elementary School, 40 Florida Road, Ridgefield. For more information about the park and activities, visit nps.gov/wefa or call 203-834-1896.
Singer/songwriter Suzanne Sheridan and musical guests will perform an evening of the music of James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt as part of the Coffeehouse at the Wheelers series at the Westport Historical Society. “Sweet Baby James and The Stone Poney” will take place Friday, April 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. and reservations are suggested.
The suggested donation is $15 and more information is available at the historical society at 25 Avery Place, 203-222-1424.
The University of Bridgeport and VDAY will present Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, featuring 28 women performers of all backgrounds, this weekend at Littlefield Recital Hall in the Arnold Bernhard Center, 84 Iranistan Avenue, Bridgeport.
Tickets are $10, with shows at 7 on Friday, April 17, and Saturday, April 18, and at noon on Sunday, April 19. For reservations, call 203-334-6154.
The Levins will visit the Milford Arts Council’s Performance Coffeehouse on Friday evening, April 17, at 8 at 40 Railroad Avenue South, Milford. The harmony-driven duo, Ira and Julia Levin, have just released a new CD, Trust.
Admission is $20; for reservations, call 203-878-6647 or visit milfordarts.org. Doors open at 7:30 and refreshments will be available.
Bluegrass combo Dave and Emma Hart, father and daughter, will lead a celebration of traditional Americana music in the sanctuary of the Stamford Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 20 Forest Street, on Friday, April 17, at 8.
Tickets will be $20 at the door, and include wine and cheese. For reservations, visit uustamford.org.
The Wilton Spring Antiques Show to benefit the Wilton Historical Society will take place Saturday, April 18, from 10 to 5, and Sunday, April 19, from 11 to 4. More than 45 dealers will offer antiques, fine art, mid-century design, garden antiques and decorative accessories.
The show includes a café on both days and admission is $10 with unlimited re-entry at the Wilton High School Field House on Route 7. For more information, visit barnstar.com or call 845-876-0616.
The Aspetuck Land Trust has announced free Family Playdates on Saturdays at 8 a.m., beginning April 18, at The Natural Playground at the Schine Preserve, 1 Glendinning Place off Route 57 in Westport. The playground has areas for tower climbing, fort building, trail walking, nature collages, stick stacking, pine cone doll play and other activity; it’s aimed for preschool and elementary age children.
For more information, visit aspetucklandtrust.org
The Best of Times
The Fairfield Garden Club is celebrating 100 years with a Garden Club of America Flower Show, The Best of Times, this weekend at the Burr Homestead, 739 Old Post Road, Fairfield. There will be more than 100 floral interpretations of the theme as well as horticulture exhibits and photography, conservation and garden history and design displays.
Admission is free on Saturday, April 18, from 10 to 4, and Sunday, April 19, from 10 to 3. For more information, visit fairfieldgardenclub.org.
Dave Tognalli from the Connecticut Orchid Society will give a presentation on the history and care of orchids on Saturday, April 18, at 10:30 a.m. at the Kellogg Environmental Center at 500 Hawthorne Avenue in Derby. Following the program, he’ll take questions on specific concerns.
The program is free, with pre-registration requested to [email protected] or by phone, 203-734-2513.
The Westport Historical Society plans more of its Saugatuck history walks this spring, including one on Saturday, April 18, from 4 to 5 p.m. The walk begins from the train station where rail service was launched in 1848, with much of the work done by Irish and Italian laborers, who established their homes nearby.
To sign up for this tour (others are on May 16 and June 6), call 203-222-1424; the cost is $10, $5 for those 12 and younger. The group will meet on the New York-bound side of the station.
New play festival
Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven will have its first Contemporary American Voices Festival of new play readings on Saturday and Sunday, April 18 and 19, starting at 2 p.m. The festival will include a panel discussion on how new plays are created. For a schedule, visit longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282.
Connecticut Ballet will close its 33rd season with Brett Raphael’s new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, set to the familiar Mendelssohn score. There will be performances on Saturday, April 18, at 7:30 and Sunday, April 19, at 2 at the Palace Theatre, 61 Atlantic Street, Stamford. An additional performance will be at The Bushnell in Hartford on Sunday, April 26, at 2. Among the young dancers in this professional production are several from the New England Academy of Dance in New Canaan.
There is a special “Kids under 12 go FREE” offer for the Sunday matinees and the principal dancers will take part in a meet-and-greet in the lobby following all performances. For Stamford tickets, visit palacestamford.org or call 203-325-4466; for the Hartford performance, visit bushnell.org or call 860-987-5900. For more information about the ballet, visit connecticutballet.com.
Assisted Living: The Musical®, subtitled “Sex Drugs and Gettin’ Old,” will be performed by its authors Rick Compton and Betsy Bennet at the Palace Danbury on Saturday, April 18. The 80-minute show pokes fun at the joys and pains of old age with songs like “Help, I’ve Fallen For You and I Can’t Get Up.”
The show starts at 7 and all tickets are $30; for reservations, visit thepalacedanbury.com or call 203-794-9944. The theater is at 165 Main Street, with parking available behind the theater.
The Small Town Theatre Company will produce a staged reading of Orphans on Friday and Saturday, April 17-18, at 8 at the Katonah Village Library, 26 Bedford Road, Katonah, N.Y. The reading will be repeated Thursday, April 23, and Saturday, April 25, at 8 at the Hergenhan Center in Armonk, N.Y.
General admission is $15; for more information, visit smalltowntheatre.com.
Liszt Piano Concerto
Russian-American pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine will perform Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, April 18, at 8 and Sunday, April 19, at 4 at the Dickerman Hollister Auditorium at Greenwich High School, Hillside Road. Also on the program are the Gluck-Mottl Ballet Suite No. 1 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 1.
A free pre-concert lecture will be given one hour before each performance; tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for students. For information, call 203-869-2664 or visit greenwichsym.org.
John Patrick Shanley’s Tony Award-nominated romance Outside Mullingar will be staged by the Hudson Stage Company beginning Friday, April 17, at Whippoorwill Hall Theatre at the North Castle Library, Kent Place, Armonk, N.Y. Weekend performances run through May 2, with evening shows at 8 and matinees on Sundays, April 19 and 26, at 3; there will also be a matinee on Saturday, May 2, at 3.
Reserved seating is $35, $30 for seniors and students; visit hudsonstage.com.
Young actors who study at The Actors’ Studio of Westchester will perform the musical You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown as their inaugural production, led by director Debbie Feinstein of South Salem, N.Y., this weekend. Bruce Sacks is musical director.
There will be performances on Saturday, April 18, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 19, at 2 p.m. at the Schoolhouse Theater, 3 Owens Road in Croton, Falls, N.Y. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors; for reservations, email [email protected]
The DNKL Tibetan Buddhist Center at 30 Putnam Park Road in Redding will have an open house on Sunday, April 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. Guests are invited to meet the resident monks, take a tour of the newly expanded temple and try some authentic Tibetan tea. There will be books signings and music, gifts and more.
For more information, email [email protected] or call 203-664-1574.
Try to Remember IV
Leading professional performers from Fairfield County will perform Try to Remember IV on Sunday, April 19, at 2 at the Westport Center for Senior Activities, 21 Imperial Avenue. Nick Stevens will be emcee, with Chris Coogan of Weston as musical director. Among those taking the stage will be Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon, Carole Schweid, Bill Hall and his daughter Emily Hall, and Jim Naughton.
For ticket availability, call 203-341-5099.
Va Va Vroom!
The Carriage Barn Arts Center/New Canaan Society for the Arts will present Va Va Vroom! The Art of the Vehicle featuring contemporary paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures by 35 artists, as well as vintage advertising posters, motor cycles and car models. The show has been curated by Marianne Brunson Frisch and honors the history of the 19th Century Carriage Barn in Waveny Park.
There will be an opening reception on Sunday, April 19, from 3 to 5 p.m. and a symposium is planned on Thursday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m. featuring collectors and artists. Workshops for children ages 7-12 will be offered Sundays, April 26 and May 3, from 2 to 3:30. The Monaco Grand Prix Fundraiser for the New Canaan Society for the Arts, which operates the arts center, on Saturday, May 16, 7 p.m.
For information on all events, visit carriagebarn.org or call 203-972-1895.
The Sanctuary Series at South Salem Presbyterian Church will continue on Sunday, April 19, at 3 with Bach specialist Anthony Newman performing J.S. Bach’s The ‘Goldberg’ Variations and the Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue in his own piano arrangement.
Tickets at the door are $50 for preferred seating, $30 general, and $20 student; there are discounts for tickets purchased in advance. Visit thesanctuaryseries.org.
Newly appointed principal conductor, the violinist Jaime Laredo, will join the Westchester Philharmonic for a concert of works spanning the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods on Sunday, April 19, at 3 at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y. It will be a conductor-less program with Laredo at the front of the orchestra, sharing this role with concertmaster Robert Chausow, principal oboist Melanie Feld and violinists Robin Bushman and Sander Strenger.
For tickets $30-$97, call 914-682-3707 x10 or visit westchesterphil.org.
And coming up…
The Wilton Chamber of Commerce’s A Taste of Wilton will take place Monday, April 20, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road/Route 7. Local chefs, mixologists and restaurateurs will provide the tastings and there will be wine and special cocktails. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door; they’re available at the Wilton Chamber of Commerce, The Village Market, and the Wilton Historical Society.
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Greenwich Voices, An Audio Snapshot of Life in Greenwich in the Year of Its 375th Anniversary, a project by conceptual artists and guest curators Karina Skvirsky and Leselot van der Heijden, will open at the Greenwich Historical Society on Wednesday, April 22, and continue through Aug. 30. Hours at the Storehouse Gallery, 39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 4. For information, visit greenwichhistory.org.
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Western Connecticut State University’s 20th annual Jazz Fest will take place Thursday, April 23, through Saturday, April 25, featuring concert performances by National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Kenny Barron and Jimmy Heath. The opening concert featuring WestConn faculty and select students will be on Thursday Barron and the WCSU Jazz Orchestra will play on Friday, and The Jimmy Heath Big Band will play on Saturday. All concerts are at 7 at the Concert Hall of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the Westside Campus, 43 Lake Avenue Extension in Danbury. For ticket information, call 203-837-TIXX or visit wcsu.edu/tickets