7 Days: Big White Clouds At The Heirloom (See Saturday)
Thursday, June 2
Oscar Hammerstein I left Prussia for New York in 1864, where he worked sweeping the floor of a tobacco factory. He learned a thing or two about making cigars in the process, and went on to make a ton of money in cigar manufacturing. He used this money to build theaters all over Manhattan, including one in Longacre Square which went on to become Times Square, and the Manhattan Opera House on 34th St., which we now call the Hammerstein Ballroom. Oscar had two sons, Arthur and Willie, who kept theater in the family business long enough for Willie's son Oscar Hammerstein II to become one of the most renowned songwriters and playwrights of all time. His grandson Oscar Andrew Hammerstein (pictured) now teaches theater history at Columbia. He wrote a book about his family's legacy called The Hammersteins: A Musical Theatre Family, and he'll be at the Friends of The Ferguson's 30th Book & Author Luncheon today at the Italian Center in Stamford to talk about it, along with New York Times bestselling novelist Barbara Delinsky and Rachel Simon, author of the memoir Riding the Bus with My Sister. The Italian Center, 1620 Newfield Ave., Stamford. $40-$50. (203) 351-8275, www.friendsoffergusonlibrary.org.
Friday, June 3
BEYOND RUDE — JUST BAD
While their legacy doesn't quite place them in the first tier of second-wave ska, Bad Manners certainly embody ska's capacity for pure manic ridiculousness. Led by the overweight, showboating singer Buster Bloodvessel, Bad Manners rose to infamy in the early '80s, during the height of the U.K.'s ska revival, boosted by their skanked-up versions of rock'n'roll and R&B chestnuts and their own goofball original novelty tunes, not to mention by Bloodvessel's penchant for wild performances — dressing up in colorful costumes, serenading a blow-up doll, painting his shaved head to resemble a huge zit and, on one occasion in the band's heyday, mooning the camera on an Italian TV show while under the impression the Pope was tuning in. With a few breakups and reformations under their collective belt, a slew of reissues of their '80s albums underway, a recent pledge made to play anywhere in the world but the U.K., and a new dedication to health-consciousness from a frontman who once proudly tagged himself a “fatty,” Bad Manners are back on the road in the U.S., playing at Fairfield Theatre Company tonight. Fairfield Theatre Company StageOne, 70 Sanford St., Fairfield. 7:30 p.m. $35, $30 members. (203) 259-1036, www.fairfieldtheatre.org.
Saturday, June 4
Matinee shows are an often forgotten part of rock ‘n' roll as of late, but the Heirloom Arts Theatre is bringing it back today at 2 p.m. when Big White Clouds roll into town from Boston. The band released their debut self-titled LP last December, and they're already doing well enough to headline a show in their neighboring state. They're recommended for fans of Sufajn Stevens, Bright Eyes and other sensative but quirky rockers, and they'll be warming the room up for the sure-to-be-sweaty Adrenalin O.D. reunion show later in the evening (see full story on pg. 19). Armory and the Uproar, Trevor Jude Smith, Nuncunt (heh, heh) are also on the bill. Heirloom Arts Theatre, 155 Main St., Danbury. 2 p.m. $5. (203) 300-5270, www.heirloomarts.org.
Sunday, June 5
Genuine, old timey jug band music goes through a revival every now and then, but there's little to no hope it'll ever be cool again on any kind of large scale (and no, Mumford and Sons and The Avett Brothers don't count. They're too… clean, and… pretty). Maybe that's why we like the genre so much. The Other Corner Jug Band, based out out Wilton, plays tonight at Two Boots as part of the Sunday Spring Music Series, and with an ideal cover charge of zero dollars, we think it's gonna be a a show worth checking out. Support your local jug band. Two Boots, 281 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport. 6:30 p.m. Free. (203) 331-1377, www.twobootsbridgeport.com.
Monday, June 6
RIDGEFIELD IN KRALL'S THRALL
Serious music fans know there's often a noticeable discrepancy between the most commercially successful artists and the most gifted, technically skillful artists, but Diana Krall is one of those rarities with one foot firmly in each of those two camps. She's one of the finest interpreters of song working today, posessing a rich voice and a capacity for phrasing that places her in the decades-long line of great jazz vocalists. And rather than resting upon the Great American Songbook for material, she's built a repertoire for her own time, with a raft of songs by contemporary songwriters and even some originals (some featuring lyrics by her husband, Elvis Costello — who wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall in that household for a day?). Krall has gradually blossomed into the kind of superstar no one in a record company boardroom would have predicted, and she's out on a brief tour right now, stopping tonight at the Ridgefield Playhouse. Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Rd., Ridgefield. 8 p.m. $95-$110. (203) 438-5795, www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org.
Tuesday, June 7
Fans of the movie Catch Me If You Can, have we got a book for you. Much like the tale of Frank Abagnale Jr., the real life story of Clark Rockefeller, a.k.a. Christian Gerhartsreiter, a.k.a. Christopher Mountbatten Chichester, a.k.a. Christopher Crowe is filled with adventure, twists and turns, and events that are too strange to be anything but true. But this one has more local connections (the fake Rockefeller lived and scammed in Greenwich for years) and is fresher in the public consciousness (he was charged with the murder of one John Sohus on March 15th of this year). “Rockefeller” had a 12-year marriage to a businesswoman who really believed she'd married a Rockefeller, and then made the mistake of kidnapping his own daughter, causing the house of cards to fall. Vanity Fair contributing editor Mark Seal (pictured) spent two years interviewing over 200 people to write his book The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter, and Seal will be at the Greenwich Library's AuthorsLive Series tonight to discuss. Greenwich Library, 101 W Putnam Ave., Greenwich. 7 p.m. Free. (203) 637-0707, www.justbooks.org.
Wednesday, June 8
FROM RUSSIA WITH FILM FOOTAGE
Hardly anyone has any cause to use the word “perestroika” anymore, but it was an international buzzword in the late '80s, during the sea change in the Soviet world that eventually led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Perestroika meant a host of reforms and restructuring within the government of the U.S.S.R., including multi-candidate (if not multi-party) elections, efforts to clean up the notorious scandal- and corruption-plagued government, and finally allowing private business ownership. Conventional wisdom determined terms like “perestroika” and “glasnost” (“openness,” basically) became moot in the aftermath of the Soviet Union's 1991 disbanding, but as history has shown, the kind of democracy, free market and freedom of expression that followed over the next 20 years have been particularly Russian, fraught with uncertainty and laden by the centuries of existing Russian history. Robin Hessman's 2010 documentary My Perestroika shows the personal angle of these changes, tracing the lives of five Muscovites, part of the last generation of Russians to grow up under Soviet rule, and the successes, disappointments and daily routines of their own existences in contemporary Russia. The film is screening at the Avon Theatre tonight, followed by a question-and-answer session with Yelena Klompus, the World Languages and Literacy Librarian at Stamford's Ferguson Library and herself a native of Moscow. Avon Theatre, 272 Bedford St., Stamford. 7:30 p.m. $10, $8 students/seniors, $5 members, Carte Blanche members free. (203) 967-3660, www.avontheatre.org
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