The next major series of exhibits at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield opens Sunday; it’s all about painting. An Art Trail launches this evening Thursday, Nov. 12, in Bridgeport and a new exhibit is opening at the Carriage Barn Arts Center. There’s a showcase of interior design in Southport as well. And this weekend features many other performing and visual arts events:

Film festival

The New Haven International Film Festival opens today, Nov. 12, at Gateway Community College in New Haven and will run through Saturday evening with 125+ (shorts and features) films from more than two dozen countries, plus workshops, panels, keynote speakers and parties. A block of films will deal with important social issues; this year, Women and Empowerment is a highlight, along with Human Trafficking, Social Justice, Equal Rights, ERA, LGBTQQ, and Fair Trade.

Gateway Community College entry is at George Street and Church Street; free parking is available in the college’s Temple Street Garage (validate parking stubs at the college security desk). For more information and the most up-to-date film schedule, visit ctfilmfest.com.

Bridgeport Art Trail

The “Park City” will host the seventh annual Bridgeport Art Trail Thursday, Nov. 12, through Sunday, Nov. 15, with open studios and galleries throughout the city. Among the events planned are workshops, studio sales, gallery tours, performance space concerts and hands-on learning. Most are free.

City Lights Gallery is the lead organization, joined by several anchor locations including the American Fabric Arts Building, hosting its 10th annual Open Studios showcase Saturday and Sunday, 10-5, 1069 Connecticut Avenue Building 4; the Bridgeport Innovation Center, the historic Arcade Mall, Read’s Artspace, 305 Knowlton, and the NEST Arts Factory. Many other galleries are participating, as are Bridgeport’s concert halls and theaters including the Klein Memorial Auditorium (celebrating its 75th anniversary), the Downtown Cabaret Theatre and the Bijou Theatre.

New this Year is the BAT Shuttle Bus, connecting all studio sites. For complete details of the weekend events, visit bridgeport-art-trail.org.

Rooms with a View

Home for the Holidays is the theme for the 2015 weekend design event at the Southport Congregational Church, 524 Pequot Avenue, opening Friday, Nov. 13. Rooms with A View features 12 small vignettes of interior design by leading designers in a show that was founded by Albert Hadley.

The opening night gala (tickets begin at $125) includes gourmet fare, live and silent auctions, a raw bar, and specialty cocktails; for tickets, visit southportucc.org.

Show hours are 10 to 5 on Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 on Sunday; general show admission is $20 in advance or $25 at the door. There are special events including a Holiday Fashion Show and Tea, a Champagne Tour, and a Gingerbread House Decorating event. In addition to the room vignettes, there are The Shops at Rooms with a View, with more than 30 specialty vendors from around the country.

For more information, visit the website or call 203-255-4538.

Artisans Boutique

The Westport Historical Society at 25 Avery Place will host a “One of A Kind” boutique including jewelry, ceramics, scarves and handbags by Westport area artisans, kicking off Friday, Nov. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m., with wine, cheese and music in the Sheffer Gallery. The boutique will continue on Saturday from 10 to 5 p.m.

A portion of proceeds will go to the Westport Historical Society; for more information, visit westporthistory.org or call 203-222-1424.

The Hit Men!

The Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge, will present The Hit Men, former stars of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons Gerry Polci and Lee Shapiro, on Friday, Nov. 13, at 8. They toured and recorded with Frankie Valli (singing the lead vocals on Oh What a Night) and will be performing hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Tickets are $55; for reservations, visit ridgefieldplayhouse.org or call 203-438-5795.

For the Birds

A new exhibit at the Waveny Park Carriage Barn Arts Center that showcases the work of old and new artist members will open Saturday, Nov. 14, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. For the Birds includes paintings, drawings, sculpture and photographs as well as poetry by Mary Anne Case, Bevi Bullwinkel, Cannon Garber and Christina Klumb, whose book art was made with Nina Miller.

The show includes 26 guest artists who present birds in a wide variety of media. Sculptor Mimi McMennamin is represented with Owl, a stone sculpture; a live barred owl is expected to make an appearance at a Dec. 2 Owl Prowl being planned by the arts center and the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. That event will conclude with an owl walk in Waveny Park.

For more information, visit carriagebarn.org or call 203-972-1895.

Gospel Concert

Chris Coogan and the Good News Gospel Choir will perform a benefit concert on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 5 p.m. at the Calvary Baptist Church, 22 Concord Street, Norwalk. Funds raised during the concert will support the church’s community outreach programs, including feeding the hungry during the holiday season. Special guest performers will include members of the Stevens Memorial United Methodist Church Choir from South Salem, N.Y.

General admission is $20, $15 for seniors; families of three or more, $30 admission. For more information, visit goodnewschoir.org.

MONOTHON

The Center for Contemporary Printmaking 17th annual MONOTHON fund-raiser will take place Saturday, Nov. 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Lillian August Flagship Store, 32 Knight Street, Norwalk. The event features both silent and live auctions of one-of-a-kind artists’ prints, hors d’oeuvres and an open bar with a signature “MONOtini.”

Tickets are $50 per person in advance, $60 at the door.  The MONOTHON supports the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Mathews Park, 299 West Avenue, Norwalk. For reservations, email [email protected] or call 203-899-7999.

Mamma Mia Night!

Summer Theatre of New Canaan will bring in cast members from one of Broadway’s longest-running shows, Mamma Mia, for Mamma Mia Night! on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 at the new HALO Studios, 45 Grove Street, New Canaan. Melody Meitrott Libonati, founding artistic director for the summer theater, describes the evening as a “club theatre” experience, with interactive performances, audience dancing and singing.

Two of the actors (and Mamma Mia alumni) performing will be Christopher Hudson Myers and Rachel MacIsaac of Norwalk, who are married and teach at the Performing Arts Conservatory of New Canaan.

The evening will include a silent auction, drinks and desserts. Tickets are $65 in advance (at stonc.org or by phone, 203-894-4634) or $80 at the door.

Musicals in Concert

The Downtown Cabaret Theatre’s Main Stage Theatre division will present a one-night-only performance of Musicals in Concert: Chess on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 at the the theater at 263 Golden Hill Street in Bridgeport. Proceeds from the production will support the 40th anniversary season of the Downtown Cabaret Theatre organization.

Tickets are $25 and may be reserved by calling 203-576-1636, option 0, or visit mycabaret.org. Upcoming Main Stage productions will be Fiddler on the Roof, Dec. 4-20, The Great Gatsby, Feb. 12-21, Evita, March 11-26, and American Idiot, April 29-May 15.

Awadagin Pratt

Pianist Awadagin Pratt will perform a recital on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Greenwich Library’s Cole Auditorium, 101 West Putnam Avenue, presented by The Schubert Club. His program will include works by Brahms, J.S. Bach, and Liszt.

Tickets are $40, $30, and $15 for students from 6 to 18 years; for reservations, visit schubertclub.org or call 203-966-5520.

Symphonic Winds

The Connecticut Symphonic Winds, featuring 75 musicians, will present A Latin Fantasy on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 at Roger Ludlowe Middle School, 689 Unquowa Road, Fairfield. The concert program will be highlighted by Richard Meyer’s Pablo!, performed with a slide show of works by Pablo Picasso.

The ensemble’s concerts are performed free, conducted by music director Charles Brian DePaul, former assistant to the Boston Symphony’s Erich Leinsdorf. The next performance will be Celebrate the Holiday Season with the Connecticut Symphonic Winds on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 1 at Roger Ludlowe Middle School. For more information, visit ctsymphonicwinds.org.

Helium still rises

The Helium Brothers band is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015 and will continue the festivities with an appearance at Voices Café at the Unitarian Church in Westport, 10 Lyons Plains Road, on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 8. The group came of age in the heyday of singer-songwriter pop rock in the 70s, performing covers and originals.

The Helium Brothers’ roots in Connecticut included clubs in New Haven and Fairfield County and extended to a national tour in 1979. They played their 40th reunion show at Toad’s Place in New Haven earlier this year, with four of the five original band members: Oscar Hills, Kim Oler, Paul Fargeorge and Andy “A.J.” Gundell. Fiddler Kenny Kosek will join the originals for the Nov. 14 show.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, at voicescafe.org/buy-tickets/ or by calling 203-227-7205 x14. Seating is cabaret-style.

Comprovedy!

The Naugatuck Valley’s new Sterling Lion Theater Company and CYRiously Funny Productions at the Strand Theatre, 165 Main Street in Seymour, will present a night of stand-up comedy and improv on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 8.

Doors open at 7:30 and early-bird tickets are $15 at sterlinglion.org or $17 at the door ($15 with a food bank donation). This show is recommended for age 18+. For more information, visit sterlinglion.org or call 860-792-6739.

The [email protected]

Saturday night is the night: The Klein Memorial Auditorium will celebrate its 75th anniversary with an evening of performances by the many companies that use the Bridgeport theater, including the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, New England Ballet, Fairfield County Children’s Choir, Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras, the after-school program ASK, the All Stars Project of Bridgeport and jazz musician Joel Martin.

Also included are appearances by Mayor Bill Finch, George Mintz, president of the Bridgeport Chapter of the NAACP, Kathleen Maher, executive director of the Barnum Museum, a segment about Fairfield Theatre Company, representatives from the Barnum Festival, and others.

Paul Shaffer, longtime bandleader of Late Night with David Letterman, will emcee. The performance begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are $75, $40, $25 and $15; for reservations, visit theklein.org or call 800-424-0160.

Beethoven’s 10th?

The Stamford Symphony Orchestra will present Principally Beethoven on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 8 and Sunday, Nov. 15, at 3 at the Palace Theatre, 61 Atlantic Street, Stamford. On the program is Symphony No. 10 in E-flat Major, assembled by musicologist Barry Cooper from sketches left by the composer. Also on the program are Harabalos Stafylakis’s Brittle Fracture and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor with guest soloist Yevgeny Sudbin.

Tickets start at $22 and include a free Behind the Baton lecture one hour before the performance by guest conductor Kevin Rhodes. On Sundays, children under 18 are admitted free with an adult and there is a free interactive MusiKids program on Sunday at 2.

For reservations, visit stamfordsymphony.org or call 203-325-4466.

The von Trapps

Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp will perform at Danbury’s historic Palace Theatre at 165 Main Street on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 8. The great grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp perform an eclectic show that includes melodicas and ukuleles, lyrics in 10 languages, and twinges of Appalachia and Portlandia.

Opening for the von Trapps will be The Band Dakota, a trio of Latina sisters.

Tickets are $30; for reservations, visit thepalacedanbury.com or call 203-794-9944.

Setting the table

Setting the Table for the Holidays: Edward’s Table, featuring tabletop guru Edward Lent will take place Sunday, Nov. 15, at 2 at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Avenue, Norwalk. He’ll share table setting and entertaining ideas for the holidays. Tickets are $35; for reservations, call 203-838-9799 x4.

New at the Aldrich

Painting in Four Takes, a series of solo exhibitions, will open on Sunday, Nov. 15, at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, 258 Main Street, Ridgefield. The series, on view from Nov. 15 through April 3, will mark the first time in  more than 20 years that The Aldrich has dedicated all of its galleries to paintings.

Aldrich curator Amy Smith-Stewart explains that “The four artists selected span generations, methods, and intentions, but all are deeply entrenched in what painting is and can be in the image-dominated atmosphere of our 21st Century.” The separate shows are: Steve DiBenedetto: Evidence of Everything; Hayal Pozanti: Deep Learning; Julia Rommel: Two Italians, Six Lifeguards; and Ruth Root: Old, Odd and Oval.

The free opening reception will take place from 2 to 5 on Sunday. For more information, visit aldrichart.org or call 203-438-4519.

Brothers in Art

Wilton’s Chris Brubeck, artist-in-residence with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, will perform a World War II-inspired work with his co-composer French jazz musician Guillaume Saint-James, in NHSO concerts on Nov. 12 in New Haven and Nov. 15 in Wilton.

Brothers in Arts is the work, which will be performed with symphony, along with Aaron Copland’s Quiet City.

Thursday’s concert starts at 7:30 at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven; Sunday’s concert will begin at 3 in the Clune Center at Wilton High School, Route 7. For tickets, visit newhavensymphony.org.

Astrophotography

Photojournalist Stan Honda will show some of his recent astronomy images and discuss how to research and plan astronomy photos without a telescope on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 3:30 at the Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich. The lecture is presented by the Astronomical Society of Greenwich and is free to museum members, by donation to others. For more information, visit astrogreenwich.org.

And coming up…

The Broadway Method Academy will host a benefit concert, Broadway Sings!, on Monday, Nov. 16, 5:30-9:30 p.m., at Fairfield Theatre Company’s Warehouse, 70 Sanford Street. The evening will include a cash bar, silent auction and performance by academy students and Broadway cast members as well as two-time Tony Award-winner Judy Kaye. For more information, call 203-675-3526.

 

The Westport Country Playhouse Script-in-Hand Playreading on Monday, Nov. 16, at 7 will be Dracula, directed by Anne Keefe. Cast members include Matthew Amendt, Boyd Gaines, Ryan Garbayo, Jack Gilpin, Kristen Hahn, Bethany Jillard, Aaron Krohn and Mark Shanahan. For tickets, visit westportplayhouse.org or call 203-227-4177.

 

Ex-NBA star Chris Herren will talk about addiction and recovery at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public; to reserve tickets, visit ridgefieldplayhouse.org or call 203-438-5795.

 

The Young Women’s League of New Canaan will open its Holiday Boutique at Waveny House with a preview party on Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Boutique Day is Thursday, Nov. 19, 9 to 4. For preview tickets and information, visit ywlnewcanaan.org/holidayboutique.

 

All-Ireland button accordionist Patty Furlong will join the P.V. O’Donnell Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann Irish music session on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7:45 at St. Gabriel’s Parish Hall, 26 Broadway, Milford. Musicians, dancers, singers and guests are welcomed. Furlong played with The Chieftains and was an original member of Cherish the Ladies; her current band is Coolmagort. For information, call Tim Quinn at 203-257-8737.