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Tavern Nights at Noah Webster; Celtic Music for St. Patty's at the Stanley-Whitman House; Erelli and Arbo Make Hay at Roaring Brook

Enrich your life, March 10 – 16, 2011

Experience hospitality in the style of the 18th century as West Hartford's presents the continuation of its Tavern Night series. One of the museum's most popular adult programs, the evenings feature home-cooked fare, traditional beverages, tavern games such as Skittles, Captain's Mistress, and Shove Ha'penny, and early American music. On March 11, the menu is corned beef with soda bread, cabbage, vegetables and Irish shortbread, with musical entertainment by Rick Spencer. On March 12, the same Irish-inspired menu is featured with music by Cece Borjeson and Ruth George.

Seatings are at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Reservations are required. (Vegetarian options are available by reservation only.) Tickets, which include the dinner, two complimentary drinks, live music and games, cost $35 per person; $25 for members. For more information and reservations, visit www.noahwebsterhouse.org or call 860-521-5362 ext. 10. The Noah Webster House is at 227 South Main St., West Hartford.

Celtic Music for St. Patty's at the Stanley-Whitman House

On March 12, Farmington's Stanley-Whitman House welcomes one and all for its third annual St. Patrick's Day concert. Held in the Makeshift Theater at Farmington's neighboring Hill-Stead Museum, the concert features the Celtic band Cead Mile Failte (Gaelic for 100,000 Welcomes) featuring vocallist Michael McDermott.

Concert time is 7 p.m. Tickets cost $15 per person and include a beverage ticket for a glass of wine, beer or soda. For reservations, call the Stanley-Whitman House at 860-677-9222 ext. 305. The Makeshift Theater is at the Hill-Stead Museum, 35 Mountain Road, Farmington.

Erelli and Arbo Make Hay at Roaring Brook

Two singular singer/songwriter talents — Mark Erelli and Rani Arbo — periodically team up as the Haymakers. The two longtime friends play a March 12 concert at Canton's Roaring Brook Nature Center. Multi-instrumentalist Erelli has shared stages with John Hiatt, Gillian Welch and Dave Alvin. Fiddler Arbo is the founder of Salamander Crossing and Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem. She has toured with Joan Baez.

Concert time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $18 in advance; $20 at the door. Roaring Brook Nature Center is at 70 Gracey Road, Canton. Visit www.roaringbrookconcerts.org.

More Free Movies — Now in Cushioned Seats

Yes, the seats in Kent Memorial Library's theater have been upgraded to the cushy kind, and that means the schedule of free movies has resumed. On March 11, it's Unstoppable, with Denzel Washington and Chris Pine starring in an action drama about a runaway train. Rated PG-13.

Show time is 2 p.m. Admission is free. No food or drink allowed. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Kent Memorial Library is at 50 North Main St., Suffield. For more information, visit www.suffield-library.org or call 860-668-3896.

Strings Are the Thing at Windsor Art Center

Irish and American fiddle tunes, blues, rags, swing jazz, Hispanic tunes from the old Southwest, and a few exotic originals are all on the playllist when the Lost Acres String Band presents an all-instrumental concert March 13 at the Windsor Art Center. The band members, all residents of Connecticut, include Gordon Swift on violin, his brother Jon Swift on upright bass, and Thom Sayers on guitar.

Starting time is 2 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 emailinfo@windsorartcenter.org.

Sir John Rocks the Mohegan

How many Elton John top hits can you name? The British music icon has 29 consecutive Top 40 hits. Add those to his 35 gold and 25 platinum albums, and record sales that top 250 million worldwide. Sir John and his band return to the Mohegan Sun casino for a March 11 show. 

Concert time is 8 p.m. in in the Mohegan Sun Arena. Tickets are a whopping $125 or $185. Mohegan Sun is at 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville. For more information, visit www.mohegansun.com or call 888-777-7922.

HSO Salutes Jazz Giants

The music of saxophone legend John Coltrane and jazz singer Johnny Hartman are the subject of a musical salute when the Hartford Symphony Orchestra continues its Jazz and Strings Series on March 11. The program, conceived and directed by HSO principal timpanist Gene Bozzi, features guest saxophonist Wayne Escoffery and vocalist Giacomo Gates performing selections from the classic 1963 album  John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman.

“This is my favorite ‘turn down the lights with a glass of vino’ album," says HSO jazz and strings artistic director Gene Bozzi. "I felt that the romantic, dark mood of the songs would lend themselves perfectly to a string orchestra. This concert will offer a new dimension of sound to the jazz lovers who are familiar with this landmark album, and perhaps introduce a new generation to these beautiful arrangements.” Tunes include You Are Too Beautiful, Lush Life, and Autumn Serenade. Also on the playlist for the evening are favorites including Giant Stepsand My Favorite Things. Joining the guest musicians are HSO drummer Bozzi, bassist Rick Rozie, and frequent HSO pianist and arranger Walter Gwardyak, along with members of the HSO string section.

Concert time is 8 p.m. at the Theater for the Performing Arts at the Learning Corridor, 359 Washington St., Hartford. Tickets cost $20 or $40 in advance; $25 and $45 at the door; student tickets, $10. Free parking is available in the Learning Corridor parking garage, and a post-concert happy hour will be held at J Restaurant & Bar. To purchase tickets, visit www.hartfordsymphony.org or call 860-244-2999.

Restored Leopard at Cinestudio

When the 1963 Italian film The Leopard opened, New York Times critic Bosley Crowther wrote, "The film that Luchino Visconti and his star, Burt Lancaster, have made from Giuseppe di Lampedusa's fine novel ... is a stunning visualization of a mood of melancholy and nostalgia at the passing of an age." Audiences have the chance to see the film just as Crowther experienced it when a fully restored 35-millimeter print of The Leopard arrives at Cinestudio in Hartford.

Screenings are March 13 through 15. Cinestudio is on the campus of Trinity College, 300 Summit St., Hartford. For more information, visitwww.cinestudio.org or call 860-297-2463.

Twain & Rockwell, Viewed Side-by-Side

The work of two masters are brought together for the first time in American Storytellers: Norman Rockwell & Mark Twain, a major exhibition opening this week at Hartford's Mark Twain House & Museum. The show, which includes prints, lithographs, oil paintings, and excerpts from Twain's writings, is designed to explore the individual visions of these most American of artists — and the links between them. “Both Rockwell and Twain gave an idealized picture of American childhood,” says Patti Philippon, chief curator at the museum, who has meshed the elements of the exhibition into a creative whole. “Both men are woven into the fabric of American life.”

The exhibition runs from March 11 through Sept. 6. Regular admission fees apply; $16 adults, $14 seniors, and $10 children. The show may also be viewed by visitors who pay the $6 museum-only fee. The Mark Twain House & Museum is at 351 Farmington Ave., Hartford. For more information, visitwww.marktwainhouse.org or call 860-247-0998.

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