Blues, Views, BBQ this weekend

Robert Randolph & The Family Band will perform at the Main Stage at Levitt Pavilion as part of the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival Sept. 5 and 6 in Westport. For information, visit bluesviewsBBQ.com.

Inspired art

Suzanne Benton of Ridgefield, the internationally known artist, will show some new work, From Paintings in Proust, at the Ridgefield Library from Sept. 3 to Oct. 9. She’ll give an illustrated ARTalk on Sunday, Sept. 20, from 2 to 3 p.m. about her two-year travel odyssey studying the paints and painters that Marcel Proust referenced in his novel, In Search of Lost Time. A reception will follow in the library’s Lower Level Gallery.

The library is at 472 Main Street; for more information, visit ridgefieldlibrary.org or call 203-438-2282.

Library book fair

The Mark Twain Library Book Fair opens Friday morning, Sept. 4, at 9 a.m. and continues through Labor Day at the Redding Community Center at 37 Lonetown Road (Route 107), behind the Redding Elementary School. Hours are 9 to 4 Friday, with $15 admission for the first hour, with tickets distributed beginning at 7 a.m. On Saturday and Sunday, hours are 10 to 4 and on Monday, Labor Day, 9 to 4.

For more information, visit marktwainlibrary.org or call 203-938-2545.

All things Greek

Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church will present its 35th Labor Day Weekend celebration of Greek food, music and culture from Friday, Sept. 4, through Monday, Sept. 7. Hours are noon to 10 p.m., Friday through Sunday, and noon to 8 on Monday.

The church is at 480 Racebrook Road in Orange. Admission is free and the festival goes on rain or shine. For more information, visit saintbarbara.org or call 203-795-1347.

The Octagon House

The City of Danbury announced plans this summer to preserve the singular Octagon House on Spring Street, which had fallen into disrepair after a bank foreclosure. Inspired by that effort, Western Connecticut State University in Danbury has planned a special exhibit highlighting the 160-year-old Octagon House and Orson Squire Fowler, whose 1848 book inspired its construction.

The display will include Fowler’s book, The Octagon House: A Home for All, as well as his book on another of his passions, Self-Instruction in Phrenology and Physiology.

The exhibit opens Friday, Sept. 4, and continues through Dec. 1 in the first floor of the Ruth Haas Library, on the university’s Midtown Campus, 181 White Street, Danbury. For more information, call 203-837-8486.

‘Seasons’ opens Sept. 4

The Keeler Tavern Museum’s Carriage Barn at 132 Main Street, Ridgefield, will host a one-woman show of paintings by Ann Kromer of Ridgefield, opening Friday. There will be a reception for Seasons, her gardenscapes and landscapes, most done en plein air in New England, on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m.

The exhibit continues through Sept. 13. After the reception, show hours will be Wednesday to Friday and Sunday, 11 to 4, and Saturday, 10 to 1. A portion of the artist’s sales will go toward the restoration of the historic Carriage Barn, which was designed and built by renowned architect Cass Gilbert in 1910. For more information, visit keelertavernmuseum.org or call 203-438-5485.

First Fridays!

The September First Fridays: A Contemporary Cocktail Party + WARE at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield will be a supersized event to kick off the almost-fall season.

There’ll be music on the front terrace, the 13-piece Tim Currie’s Motown Band from Norwalk, a contemporary cocktail party, guided tours of the Circumstance exhibitions and shopping opportunities with WARE, the museum’s roving store offering crafted items for people and their homes. There’s a $10 charge for music on the front terrace and donations suggested for beer and wine. New Haven’s Fryborg food truck will be selling freshly made french fries and gourmet grilled sandwiches.

The museum is at 258 Main Street; for more information, visit aldrichart.org or call 203-438-4519.

Bus Stop opens

The Town Players will open a production of William Inge’s Bus Stop on Friday, Sept. 4, at the Little Theatre, 18 Orchard Hill Road, Newtown. A traditional champagne reception with the cast and crew will follow the 8 p.m. performance.

Shows continue Fridays and Saturdays at 8 through Sept. 26, with two Sunday matinees at 2 on Sept. 13 and 20. Tickets are $22, $18 for matinees, and $10 for children 10 and younger. For reservations, email [email protected] or call 203-270-9144.

Blues, Views, BBQ

A weekend of “smokin’ food, music and fun” will begin Saturday, Sept. 5, at 11 on the grounds of the Westport Library, 20 Jesup Road. The Blues, Views & BBQ Festival has two parts: the Jesup Jam with local performers, amusements, a BBQ marketplace, food and drinks, chef demos, and competitions, and Levitt Pavilion Live, with Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Anders Osborne, Dumpstaphunk, Joe Louis Walker, Matt Schofield, Alexis P. Suter and many others. Hours at the Levitt are noon to 9:30 Saturday and 11:15 to 8:15 Sunday.

Tickets are $10 at the gate for the Jesup Jam and $85 for Levitt Live (which includes the Jesup Jam). For more information, visit bluesviewsbbq.com.

Roomful of Blues

The horn-heavy, blues-based R&B band Roomful of Blues will return to the Fairfield Theatre Company’s StageOne on Saturday, Sept. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The band got its start in Westerly, R.I., and has been led by Duke Robillard and Al Copley ever since.

Tickets are $42; for reservations, visit fairfieldtheatre.org or call 203-259-1036.

CORNucopia

Historic Hudson Valley will present a weekend celebration, CORNucopia, Saturday through Monday, Sept. 5-7, from 10 to 5 each day at Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. There will be corn-centric food and interactive, corn-related activities, music, dancing and games. Captain Lawrence Brewery will offer draft beers and draft root beer and Blue Pig of Croton-on-Hudson will feature sweet corn ice cream.

Guests will be able to tour the 18th-Century manor house and grist mill and there will be a kid-sized “mini-maize-maze.” Tickets are available online at hudsonvalley.org: $16 for adults, $12 for seniors and $8 for children 3-17 (free under 3); they’re $2 more when purchase on site. For information, visit hudsonvalley.org or call 914-366-6900.

Labor Day concert

The Danbury Brass Band, led by Alan Raph, will perform a Labor Day concert on Sunday, Sept. 6, at 3 p.m. on the grounds of Richter House, 100 Aunt Hack Road, Danbury.

Visitors are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, a picnic, if the weather is fine. In case of rain, the concert will be indoors in the Richter House salon. Admission is by free-will donation and parking is in the Richter golf course lot. For more information, call 203-798-6319.

Newtown parade

The Town of Newtown will have its 54th  annual Labor Day Parade, an event that is volunteer-organized and includes local businesses’ floats, fancy cars, members of the police and fire departments, musicians, politicians, school groups, sports teams and more. It’s considered the largest in the state.

Start time is 10 a.m. and the route proceeds down Main Street from Hanover Road to Glover Avenue, over Glover Avenue to Queen Street to Church Hill Road to the Hawley Elementary School. For more information, visit newtownctlabordayparade.org.

And coming up…

Many choral groups are recruiting for their 2015-16 seasons; the details may be found in this week’s Trying Out calendar in this section. There are also auditions for area theater companies’ upcoming productions and opportunities for artists to enter their work for fall shows.

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The Lifetime Learners Institute at Norwalk Community College invites people over age 50 to participate in the fall schedule of daytime, non-credit classes, starting in mid-September. Subjects include health, music, history, art, politics, travel, literature, science, culture, genealogy, philosophy, current events, computers, etc. For a course catalog and more information, visit lifetimelearners.org or call 203-857-3330.

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Penny Pearlman of Westport, author of the award-winning Pretty Smart: Lessons from our Miss Americas, will talk about the history of the pageant on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 6:30 at the Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place. Sharalyn Donlan, Miss Connecticut 2009, and Morgan Amarone, Miss Connecticut 2011, will share their experiences participating in the Miss America pageant. Reservations are required, with a $10 donation; call 203-222-1424. For more information, visit westporthistory.org.

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