Classical Guitarist at Suffield Library; Maple Sugaring Days Galore; Max Ophuls Films at Atheneum

Enrich your life, March 3 –9, 2011

Acclaimed New York-based classical guitarist John Lehmann-Haupt performs a free concert on March 9 at Suffield's Kent Memorial Library. Lehmann-Haupt, who has played guitar since he was 5 years old, has performed throughout the Northeast and in the homes of New Yorkers including Donald Trump, Tom Brokaw, and Madeleine Albright. For twelve years, he was resident guitarist at Windows on the World atop the World Trade Center.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Kent Memorial Library is at 50 North Main St., Suffield. For more information, visit www.suffield-library.org or call 860-668-3896.

Maple Weekends at Old Sturbridge Village

How do you know it's almost spring? The taps are on the maple trees. Maple mania has taken hold at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Mass. On each weekend in March, visitors are greeted by the sweet smell of wood smoke mixed with maple syrup as historians demonstrate maple-sugar making at the village's "Sugar Camp." Visitors can watch the sugar-making process – from tapping trees to "sugaring off" – and learn why maple sugar was more commonly used than maple syrup in early New England. Interpreters cook period foods made with maple sugar at the Village's Freeman Farm, and historians discuss how maple sugar became a part of the Abolitionist movement. The importance of maple in Native American culture is demonstrated with the help of Indian "Doctress" Molly Geet, who presents Sogalikiosos: Maple Sugar Moon Stories and Fur Mittens and Wooden Snowshoes: Algonkian Winter Fashions.

Demonstrations run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March weekends. Admission is $20 adults; $18 seniors, $7 children ages 3 to 17; and free to children under 3. Old Sturbridge Village is at 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, Mass. For more information, visit www.osv.org or call 800-SEE-1830.

Maple Day at Stanley-Whitman

Farmington's Stanley-Whitman House celebrates Maple Day on March 6. Bret Hodorski demonstrates how to make maple candies and "sugar on snow," and talks about how to make maple butter and maple jelly. Maple-themed crafts and games are available for children and families, and the staff at the 1720 historic house shows what Colonial folk did during the blustery days of March.

Maple Day runs from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Drop-ins are welcome. Admission is $5; $4 museum members. The Stanley-Whitman House is at 37 High St., Farmington. For more information, visit www. stanleywhitman.org or call 860-677-9222.

Maple Sugaring at Roaring Brook

Canton's Roaring Brook Nature Center hosts Maple Sugaring in Your Own Back Yard, an annual demonstration of the how-to's of making maple syrup. The one-hour event teaches participants the entire process – from identifying the tree to tasting the final product.

The event is March 6 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $6, adults; $4 adult members; and $3, children; $2 young members. No registration required. Roaring Brook Nature Center is at 70 Gracey Road, Canton. Visitwww.roaringbrookconcerts.org.

Roaring Brook Presents Pete Huttlinger

Direct from Nashville, guitarist Pete Huttlinger plays a March 5 show at Canton's Roaring Brook Nature Center. John Denver's former sideman is as adept at jazz and pop as he is at finger-picking and country. Expect a show loaded with surprises – from Gershwin's I Got Rhythm and Sting's Fields of Gold to Celtic jigs, Stevie Wonder's Superstition and Denver's Take Me Home Country Roads. Huttlinger, who has performed at venues including the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall, has toured as accompanist and solo opening act with Leann Rimes and John Oates.

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. Visitwww.roaringbrookconcerts.org.

Concora's Rite of Swing

Concora, Connecticut's premiere professional choir, invites music lovers to attend the Rite of Swing, an evening of dancing, dinner, live jazz and more to benefit the group. The stylish gala includes dinner, wine and dessert provided by the Farmington Club, performances by jazz pianist Walter Gwardyak and the New England Jazz Ensemble with guest Rob Zappulla, and live and silent auctions. Proceeds help fund Concora's musical events and community outreach programs.

Tickets range from $75 to $250. Call 860-293-0567. 

Hartt School Oklahoma 

Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains . . . You can probably sing the tune yourself, but it might be better to hear it done by students of West Hartford's Hartt School who perform the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical classic from March 3 through 6 at the University of Hartford's Millard Auditorium. Music theater majors Andrew McMath of Simsbury and Danielle Westhead of Mt. Laurel, N.J., star as romantic leads Curley and Laurey. McMath, who recently had an emergency appendectomy, has recovered just in time for the show to go on. 

Oklahoma runs from March 3 through 6 at the Millard Auditorium in the Fuller Music Building on the campus of the University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford. Tickets cost $20 ($2 discounts are available for seniors, students, University of Hartford alumni, and educators). For tickets and more information, contact the University of Hartford box office at 860-768-4228 or follow the link online at www.harttweb.hartford.edu/events/details.

 He Makes 'Em Laugh

Award-winning comedy writer, author and playwright Alan Zweibel visits West Hartford's Mandell Jewish Community Center on March 12 as part of the center's 2010-2011 Jewish Book Festival. Zwiebel, who has written for TV's Saturday Night Live, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Monk, and other shows, shares video career highlights and behind-the-scenes TV moments, and he speaks about his new book,Clothing Optional. Preceding Zweibel's appearance is Jazz & Java in the Living Room with musician Josh Hatcher and Friends.

Jazz & Java begins at 7 p.m. with Zweibel going on at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $30 per person. Visit www.mandelljcc.org or call 860-231-6316. The Mandell Jewish Community Center is at 335 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford. 

Classical Music by Women at Concert Pro Femina

An evening of classical music works all composed by women makes up the program for Concert Pro Femina, a March 5 event that is part of the 11th annual Hartford Festival of Women Composers. Highlights of the concert, to be held at the United Church of Christ in West Hartford, include Suzanne Corey-Sahlin, principal violist of the Ridgefield Symphony and the Norwalk Symphony, playing two movements of a sonata by Rebecca Clarke with pianist Gerald Steichen, conductor of the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra; and festival conductor Gilda Lyons performing her own unaccompanied vocal work based on the poetry of Anne Sexton. Also in the lineup are a women's chamber choir, solo works for piano and trumpet, and vocal works.

The concert is March 5 at the United Church of Christ, 134 Flagg Road, West Hartford. Starting time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10 or $5. A reception follows the performance. For tickets or more information, visitwww.womencomposersfestivalhartford.com.

Blue Valentine at Cinestudio

Two of the most interesting young actors working today – Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams – square off in the somber romance-gone-wrong duet Blue Valentine. Derek Cianfrance co-wrote and directed this Sundance Film Festival feature, which shifts back and forth in time between a couple's charming courtship and the dissolution of their marriage. The headline on David Edelstein's review of the film in New York magazine read: "It's the dense, high-wire performances of Williams and Gosling that power Blue Valentine."

The film plays March 9 throgh 12 at Cinestudio in Hartford. Cinestudio is on the campus of Trinity College, 300 Summit St., Hartford. For more information, visit www.cinestudio.org or call 860-297-2463.

Films of Max Ophuls at Wadsworth Atheneum

Cineastes, here is a rare opportunity: Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum, in celebration of its current exhibition Monet's Water Lilies: An Artist's Obsession, screens three films by the great melancholic German-born director Max Ophuls. In a rapturous 2002 piece  in the New Yorker, critic Anthony Lane wrote, "If you love movies, then Ophuls is an undisputed heavyweight." On screen in the Atheneum's theater on March 5 and 6, at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. respectively, are: 1955's Lola Montes, Ophuls' final film, which tells the tragic story of a courtesan and showgirl (Martine Carol) who was once the lover of great men and is now the star attraction in a circus whose ringmaster (Peter Ustinov) recounts her scandalous adventures; 1953's The Earrings of Madame De . . . about the wife of a wealthy general who pays off debts by selling a pair of earrings given to her by her husband; and 1952's Le Plaisir, three stories of pleasure told from three different perspectives.

The screenings are in the theater at the Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main St., Hartford. For more information, visit www.wadsworthatheneum.org or call 860-278-2670.


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