Massachusetts and New York metalheads get a sprawling double dose of tough and untamed hard rock as the Eat Your Heart Out Festival 2012 takes two states by storm in one marathon weekend. Touted as one of the “spring festivals worth attending” by Alternative Press, Eat Your Heart Out touts a buoyant lineup of international thrashers, with headlining performances from metallurgists Attack Attack! each night. The first day of the festival takes place at the three-stage live venue of Tuxedo Junction in Danbury, Massachusetts, where 14 hardcore metal and screamo acts such as Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, Our Last Night, and That’s Outrageous blaze through merciless sets that shake eardrums for milk money.
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 Schoolhouse Theater really did start as an elementary school. But in 1983, founder Lee Pope turned it into a visual arts center. And four years later, she invited the New York company Acorn Productions to put on a show in the auditorium. That play did more than pack the house—it also signaled the former school's birth as a haven for community theater.
Since then, The Schoolhouse Theater has developed the second part of its moniker. Theatrical amenities were added and theatrical ghosts politely asked to leave, and in 1998, the building was officially designated as a non-profit, professional regional theater. Along with stateside premieres and revivals of beloved classics, the company has staged productions that have successfully rocketed their way to Off Broadway. And while the space has now moved on from its grade-school days, it continues its educational legacy by hosting classes on topics such as photography and dance.
Hard-rock juggernauts Five Finger Death Punch give audiences four for flinching on their Share The Welt tour, a high-octane evening of nail-driving metal and chugging aural concrete. Since bursting onto the scene in 2007 with its gold-selling debut, The Way of the Fist, Five Finger Death Punch has scaled the charts and the musical food chain, gulping its competition like a possessed Takeru Kobayashi. For the tour in support of its latest effort, American Capitalist, the gang enlists an entire posse of heavy hitters. Massachusetts metal mavens All That Remains, fresh from melting soles on the Vans Warped Tour, bludgeon audiences with an arsenal of hits, and hardcore shredders Hatebreed share unkind words as they haze the speed of sound. Adding power-chord crunch to the show, Fort Wayne’s Rains sprinkles audiences with raw and emotional sonic sleet.
A soulful songstress that dabbles in a mishmash of classic American musical genres, Joan Osborne blipped onto the nation's radar more than 15 years ago with the hit "One of Us" and remains steadfast well into the millennium. Immerse inner ears in an intimate acoustic set featuring Joan's pianist pal Keith Cotton and special guest Jeffry Braun. For this concert, The Ridgefield Playhouse will feature a complimentary preshow hors d'oeuvres spread from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and a full bar stocked with buyable libations. Groups should call ahead to reserve blocks of seats.