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See Cleopatra, Help Urban Oaks, Hear Poetry, Piano Music and More

Enrich your life, October 13 – 19, 2011

Cleopatra Screens Free at West Hartford Public Library

Cecil B. DeMille's 1934 film Cleopatra screens October 19 at West Hartford's Noah Webster Library. The screening is part of the library's 1930s Film Wednesday series. Claudette Colbert stars in the Cecil B. DeMille production.

Admission is free. Screening time is 2 p.m. sharp. No late entry. The library is at 20 South Main Street, West Hartford. For more information, phone 860-561-6990 or visit www.westhartfordlibrary.org

Fundraiser for Urban Oaks

When a vehicle crashed through the wall of the Urban Oaks Organic Farm in New Britain in mid-September, volunteers and board members came to the rescue. Among them was Terry Walters, the Avon-based cookbook author, who has organized a fundraiser for the farm. The October 19 event is at Flatbread restaurant in Canton. Live music and raffle items from restaurant gift certificates to gift baskets figure into the evening. For each pizza sold, Flatbread will donate $3 to Urban Oaks.

The fundraiser runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Flatbread is at 110 Albany Avenue, Canton. For restaurant information, phone 860-693-3314.

Poems of Praise at Hill-Stead

A poetical evening is planned on October 16 at Farmington's Hill-Stead Museum. It begins with Writing Poems of Praise, a workshop lead by Gray Jacobik. Participants gain an understanding of what goes into a poem of praise, they practice exercises to write one, and learn how to bring this traditional sub-genre into the present. The workshop is followed by a potluck supper and the play A Poetic Duel Turned Duet by poet Rennie McQuilken. The play finds Edna St. Vincent Millay (played by Norah Pollard) sparring with e e cummings (played by McQuilken) in what begins as a competitive duel and ends as a love duet.

The workshop runs from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. followed by the potluck and the play, which run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Admission, which includes the workshop, potluck, and play, is $35. Registration is required. For reservations, phone 860-677-4787 ext 134 or email poetry@hillstead.org.

Free Piano Concert at Simsbury Library

Solo pianist and accompaniest Jerry Traunig is featured in a free concert October 16 at the Simsbury Public Library. Traunig's repertoire includes standards, ragtime, novelties, show tunes, and classical music. A graduate of West Hartford's Hartt College of Music, he has performed from New England to Italy.

The concert runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The Simsbury Public Library is at 725 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury. For more information, visit www.simsburylibrary.info or call 860-658-7663.

Split Bill at Roaring Brook

Three Hartford-area musicians perform October 15 at the Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton. Singer-songwriter, guitar instrumentalist and blues player Stan Sullivan celebrates 50 years of playing and 25 years of volunteering at Roaring Brook Concerts. Sullivan has opened shows for Richard Thompson, Cheryl Wheeler, Greg Brown, and John Hammond. Songwriter and guitarist Jim Mercik, a member of the Congo Square Ramblers, has accompanied Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Eric Andersen, and Bruce Pratt, among others. Accompanying him is percussionist Abu Alvin Carter.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Concert time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $17 at the door. Roaring Brook Nature Center is at 70 Gracey Road, Canton. Visit www.roaringbrookconcerts.org.

Suffield Players Present Wait Until Dark

The Suffield Players present a stage version of Frederick Knott's Wait Until Dark. Best known for the movie version starring Audrey Hepburn, Knott's thriller features a blind housewife who becomes the target of three criminals who are searching for some missing heroin. Robert Lunde directs.

Performances run October 13 through 15, 21 through 23, and 28 and 29. Performances take place at Mapleton Hall, 1305 Mapleton Ave., Suffield. For more information, visit www.suffieldplayers.org or phone 800-289-6148.

Guitarist Returns to Windsor Arts Center

Thoughtful and sometimes hilarious songs are on the bill when multi-instrumentalist David LaFleur returns to the Windsor Arts Center in Windsor for an October 20 concert. Alternating between guitar, mandolin, dobro, and dulcimer, LaFleur mixes a dry wit and a dynamic stage presence with musical genres including folk, Appalachian, blues, and bluegrass. 

Concert time is 6:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $10 at the door. The Windsor Art Center is at the corner of Central and Mechanic streets in Windsor. For more information, visit www.windsorartcenter.org or call 860-688-2528.

Ben Vereen Joins HSO Pops for Steppin' Out Live

Ben Vereen, the legendary dancer, singer and star of stage and screen, joins the Hartford Symphony Pops on October 15 for Steppin' Out Live With Ben Vereen. The performance takes place at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford. Vereen, the star of Pippin, Jesus Christ Superstar, and more, performs music from his latest album, also titled Steppin' Out Live With Ben Vereen. Among the list of show tunes and standards are Mr. Bojangles, Something's Coming, Defying Gravity, and Life's Just a Bowl of Cherries.

Concert time is 8 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $67.50. Student tickets are $10. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 860-244-2999 or visit www.hartfordsymphony.org

TheaterWorks Presents The Motherf_____r With the Hat

The New Yorker calls Stephen Adly Guirgis' play The Motherf___r With the Hat "exciting, incisive, cruel and very, very funny . . . a hip, harsh romance about people grasping for confirmation of their existence . . . always looking for a fix whether it's drugs, alcohol, sex, love, or health food." Hartford's TheaterWorks presents a production of Guirgis' play with performances running October 14 through December 4. Tazewell Thompson directs.

Tickets cost $50. Call for group rates. TheaterWorks is at 233 Pearl St., Hartford. For more information, visit www.theaterworkshartford.org or call 860-527-7838.

Kuan Conducts Mahler's Titan 

Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1, which is nicknamed the Titan, and Ludwig von Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 in Bb Major make up the program when Hartford Symphony Orchestra music director presents a Masterworks Series concert. The event, to be held at the Belding Theater at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, features 21-year-old guest pianist and Uzbekistan native Behzod Abduraimov.

Concert dates are October 20 through 23. Tickets range in price from $35.50 to $70.50. Student tickets are $10. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 860-244-2999 or visit  www.hartfordsymphony.org. The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts is at 166 Capitol Ave., Hartford. For tickets and more information, visit www.bushnell.org or call the box office at 860-987-5900

Harvest Days at Old Sturbridge Village

In the years before grocery stores and all-night supermarkets, a good harvest meant the difference between life and death to early Americans. Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, celebrates harvest traditions on October 15 and 16. The program of activities includes an ox-powered cider mill (in action on Saturday only), hands-on crafts, a tour of a root cellar, and voluntary participation in old-time harvest activities including threshing and winnowing grain, shelling corn and beans, churning butter, and putting an herb garden "to bed" for the winter.

Old Sturbridge Village is at 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, Mass. For more information, visit www.osv.org or call 800-SEE-1830.

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