14 Awesome things to do in Hartford this weekend

Trashion Fashion dress by Katrina Orsini | Photo credit: Sabato Visconti 

Let me paint you a picture.

It’s Monday and I’m in my cubicle mapping out the 7-Day Arts & Culture Guide to be sent out the following afternoon. I’m scrolling through events on our Cultural Calendar and I’m completely frazzled.

Why am I frazzled?

There are too many great events and not enough space in the 7-Day.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good problem to have. It’s like those people who stress out over what to bring on their all-inclusive tropical vacation. They’re analyzing their summer apparel and bathing suits and you’ve adopted a permanent furrowed brow because you don’t remember the last vacation you took and you’d give anything to have that kind of problem. You just want to scream, “But you’re still going on vacation!”

Okay, you’re right; it’s not that good of a problem to have. But you get the idea.

So I went into problem-solving mode and decided to utilize another outlet in which I can feature and promote as many events as I want- our blog.

And here we are.

Keep reading for a list of fourteen theatrical performances, exhibitions, wine-tastings, fashion shows, and circus acts occurring throughout the Greater Hartford region this weekend (04/28-04/30). I can guarantee at least one will catch your eye!

1. Arlene Hutton’s ‘The Last Train to Nibroc’, Playhouse on Park

 In December 1940, an eastbound cross-country train carries the bodies of the great American writers Nathanael West and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Also on board is May, who shares her seat with a charming young flyer, Raleigh. Religious and bookish, May plans to be a missionary. Raleigh has been given a medical discharge and, inspired by West and Fitzgerald, is heading to New York to be a writer. Discovering they are from neighboring Appalachian towns, Raleigh decides to change trains for Kentucky, promising to take May to the next Nibroc Festival. A funny, touching portrait of two people searching for happiness, this simply staged romance played to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Off-Broadway. Performances are Friday (4/28) and Saturday (4/29) at 8:00 PM with a matinee performance on Sunday at 2:00 PM. Get your tickets here!

2. Language, Culture, Communities: 200 Years of Impact by the American School for the Deaf, Connecticut Historical Society

In 1817, the American School for the Deaf (ASD) established the first permanent school for the deaf in the United States. It created a new standardized language—American Sign Language—resulting in a deaf community and culture that continues to advance equality. As a leader in developing educational methods and embracing technology for people who are deaf, ASD has impacted personal lives and American culture, and has formed local, national, and global connections between deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing communities. As ASD celebrates its 200th anniversary, the Connecticut Historical Society is partnering with the school to present an exhibition that explores the school’s rich history and legacy. The exhibition will feature original objects and manuscripts from the school’s early years, as well as photographs and video interviews that illustrate the school’s impact on current students and alumni. This exhibition opens on Friday, Apriul 28th and runs through October 21st. Get more information and museum hours here!

3. Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours, The Mark Twain House & Museum

Filled with haunted history, dark tales, and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing. Participants will hear lots of creepy tales — and learn about Mark Twain’s interest in the supernatural. The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel’s Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel’s My Ghost Story. Tours are available Friday (4/28) and Saturday (4/29) 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM! The tours sell out fast, so be sure to click here or call 860- 247-0998 soon to make your reservations!

4. From the Vine Wine Tasting, Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center

Join Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center in Bristol on Friday, April 28th for a unique wine & spirit tasting featuring light fare, a silent auction, creativity stations, and live music by Silk N’ Steel! Tickets: $50 available here! (Limited Tickets at the Door) For more information or to become an event sponsor contact Doreen Stickney at 860-540-3160 or doreen.stickney@imaginenation.org Imagine Nation is a division of the Boys & Girls Club of Bristol Family Center Event proceeds will benefit programs for children and families at Imagine Nation.

5. Thirty Something!, Connecticut Ballet

Connecticut Ballet will celebrate its 35th anniversary by showcasing its dancers and the range of its repertoire in a triple-bill entitled, Thirty Something!: Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 7:30pm at The Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford.  In honor of the 35th anniversary, all seats will be priced at $35.00 plus theatre surcharges.  To purchase tickets, visit www.bushnell.org or call 860-987-5900.  Following the performance, there will be a talk- back with the dancers.  For further information visit: www.connecticutballet.org.

6. Women’s Theater Festival- Lest We Forget, Hartbeat Ensemble

 Women’s Theater Festival (WTF) is a series of new work by HartBeat’s Ensemble women members. Staged readings spotlight such provocative issues as being a Black woman in America in Lest We Forget and addiction in Greater Hartford in Group! (working title). Lest We Forget was written by Vanessa Butler & Aurelia Clunie. “What do I do with this Black body, this legacy, these stories? What do we bring forward? What do we lay to rest? What do we shout from the mountaintop, lest we forget?” Hartbeat Ensemble is also hosting a free wine & cheese reception before Friday’s showing. Discounts on admission are offered to Students, Seniors & Let’s Go Arts Members. Buy your tickets here!

7. Circus 1903: The Golden Age, The Bushnell

 The producers of the world’s biggest magic show, The Illusionists, have teamed up with award‐winning puppeteers from Warhorse to present a thrilling TURN OF THE CENTURY CIRCUS SPECTACULAR! Sensational puppetry puts Elephants back in the ring as never seen before along with a huge cast of the most unique, amazing and dangerous circus acts from all four corners of the world, from strong men to contortionists, acrobats to musicians, knife throwers, high wire and much more! Discover the golden age of circus this April as CIRCUS 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus sets to captivate audiences of all ages. The show runs Friday (4/28), Saturday (4/29), and Sunday (4/30). Contact the box office or click here for show times!

8. Trashion Fashion Show 2017, Infinity Music Hall

 Trashion Fashion, a local organization on a mission to reduce global waste through creative solutions, will be hosting its seventh annual Trashion Fashion Show on Sunday, April 30th at 6 PM. This event, like all Trashion Fashion events, invites folks to partake in and see how we can find creative and even beautiful uses for the many waste items we find among our daily lives. You’re invited for an evening of Trashion Fashion, live music and dance performances. The Trashion Fashion Show features a choreographed runway with all new designs for 2017. Designers are challenged to create wearable art from materials diverted from the waste stream, in an effort to change the way the world sees waste. Tickets and details can be found here!

9. Academic Artists Association’s 67th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism, Arts Center East

Don’t miss this exception exhibit of representational art. Opening reception is Sunday, April 30th from 1-4 PM. The exhibition lasts through May 19th. Click here for gallery hours and info!

10. Waves: Sound & Light, Sonia Plumb Dance Company

Sonia Plumb Dance Company (SPDC) will present a new concert that Artistic Director Sonia Plumb describes as an “immersion of tantalizing sights and sounds,” featuring repertory inspired by the movement and energy of diverse cultures and settings. There will be one evening performance Saturday, April 29th at 7:30 pm. The company will also perform two student matinees on Thursday, April 27th at 10:00 am and 12:00 pm. All performances are at the Hoffman Auditorium at the University of St. Joseph, 1678 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford. General admission tickets for the evening performance are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors/USJ alumni, and $15 for students. Tickets for the student matinees are $10 each.

11. The Little Prince, Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts

This iconic masterpiece, written by Antoine de St. Exupery, is a tale for all ages. Inventive puppets, live actors, original music and magnificent set design bring to life the heart-warming story of the Little Prince who gains rare and unique insights into love, loss and laughter. Enjoy a Sunday matinee performance from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at 860.486.4226 or stopping by between 10 AM and 5 PM Monday-Friday!

12. The Author’s Table: Darryl Oates- Ink & Blue Notes, Hartford Public Library

Join local artist and author Darryl Oates at Hartford Public Library’s Author’s Table on Sunday, April 30th. He will be discussing his book Ink & Blue Notes with library visitors from 2-5 p.m. This is an intriguing coloring book (20 pages to color) filled with drawings of dazzling depictions of musical performances recommended for ages 12 to 65 and over by seasoned artist Darryl Z. Oates drawn in an impressionistic style with pen and ink for coloring fun! Like great impressionist artists of the past it depicts the bursting social nightlife of a city, Hartford, Connecticut. The Author’s Table is located on the main floor of the Downtown Library.

13. Sunday Music Series: The Fryderyk Chopin Society of Connecticut Presents Ya-Fei Chuang, New Britain Museum of American Art

 Join the Museum in welcoming award winning pianist Ya-Fei Chuang to the Sunday Music Series. Chuang is a lifelong musician, recognized internationally, who has mastered the most challenging solo repertoire and has remained active in the chamber world. Museum hours and details can be located here!

14. Bach!, CONCORA

CONCORA has long been renowned for its masterful and moving performances of choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach. In 2017, the CONCORA presents three glorious choral cantatas with an 18-voice professional choral ensemble and vocal soloists and members of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra: Wir Danken dir, Gott, BWV29; Singet dem Herrn ein Neues Lied, BWV190; and Gloria in excelsis Deo, BWV191. This is CONCORA’s most popular concert of the season – get tickets now!

Join our 2017 United Arts Campaign to help keep events like these alive in our community!

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