More than a dozen times—that's how often Treehouse Comedy Productions has been voted the "Best Comedy Showcase" by the readers of Fairfield County Weekly. As the first full-time comedy showcase in Connecticut, Treehouse Comedy Productions has curated stunning selections of world-class standups for more than three decades. The heavy hitters in the Treehouse family tree include Rosie O'Donnell, Jon Stewart, Bill Mahar, Chris Rock, Gilbert Gottfried, and Jerry Seinfeld, who once bid farewell to standup at Treehouse gig just before his TV show, That's So Jerry!, became a hit. With roving locations at area restaurants, casinos, and bars, the arbiters of spit-takes continue to cull the sharpest cut-ups in the country for weekly showcases.
• "The Passion of the Italian Baroque: La Seconda Prattica from Monteverdi to Vivaldi" on Thursday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m. • "The Dark Lady" on Monday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m. • "Rose of the Compass: Travels from West to East" on Thursday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m. • "The Light of Spain in Music" on Friday, July 22, at 7:30 p.m.
A three-day lineup stocked with jazz legends and emerging talents blasts through more time signatures than a clock’s checkbook to usher in the 16th incarnation of the Litchfield Jazz Festival. The Springs Center stage kicks off Friday with genre luminaries The Clayton Brothers, whose silky sounds light a fire under the crowd that fellow Grammy nominees Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue stoke with brassy flares. Saturday hosts a veritable who’s-who of mind-blowing musicians with NEA Jazz Master grant winner Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band blasting buttery sounds after a Ray Charles tribute featuring Davell Crawford belts harmonies more memorable than “Happy Birthday” sung in Klingon. A collection of performers worthy of a Gatsbyan soiree closes out the festival on Sunday, with a hip-swinging finale from Jimmy Heath.
The pop-punk pranksters of Bowling for Soup make fun music, funny music, and nothing in between. With their millions-selling catalog of irascible pop nuggets, Bowling for Soup proves why the class clown always gets the girl. Since the goofball quartet broke out of Texas onto the international scene in the mid '90s, they've collected a loyal fan base with their knack for infectious hooks. Best known for hits such as the Grammy-nominated “Girl All the Bad Guys Want” and “1985," the human Alfred E. Neumans continue to fuel invisible pogo sticks with their recent efforts Sorry for Partyin’ and Fishin’ for Woos.
After his daytime gig as a financial planner in Manhattan, Eli Newsom returns to his theatrical roots as artistic director of Bridgeport Theatre Company, a nonprofit founded by a band of Connecticut-based artists in 2010. Eli harnesses more than 15 years of performing and teaching expertise into each season's productions, which range from acclaimed dramatic fare to beloved musicals. The company’s ace staffers strive to bring each script to life with local actors and designers, and the BTC New Works program annually highlights the work of local playwrights, actors, and directors. In addition to its local cast and crew, each production depends on the aid of 25–50 volunteers, who lend a hand with countless tasks such as set construction, ushering, and haunting the theater dressed in a phantom costume.
The storied performers of Journey delight fans with powerful guitar, catchy hooks, and virtuosic singing. Lead singer Arnel Pineda's octave-smashing range combines with guitarist Neal Schon's monumental chords and the musical teamwork of Ross Valory's bass, Jonathan Cain's keyboard, and Deen Castronovo's drums, creating tuneful tapestries that inspire ears like a stirring soliloquy from a bald eagle. Touring in support of its new album, Eclipse, the band is able to draw upon an aural arsenal that includes hits such as "Don’t Stop Believin'," "Any Way You Want It," and "Faithfully." The power balladeers of Foreigner and Night Ranger supplement the sonic revelry with their own swelling melodies and heart-inflating emotion. The concert takes place at the open-air Comcast Theatre, with Groupon holders welcome to sit, stand, or mime anywhere on the expansive lawn. Chair and blanket policies vary from concert to concert, so guests should call ahead to determine what items can be toted along.