A Knight, a Lady and a Pacifist Bull

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'Ferdinand' Is One Sweet Bull

It takes a strong creature to go against the cheering masses, to swim against the tide of social expectation, to be an individual and stand up for principle – especially if you’re a bull in a ring and there’s a red cape nearby. 

Enter Ferdinand, the Gandhi of bovines, onto Jorgensen’s stage in two shows Sunday, March 13. The story, as created by Ferdinand the Bull author Munro Leaf and adapted musically here by award-winning playwright Karen Zacarias, is about a bull who prefers picking flowers over joining Spain’s national blood sport. He finds a kindred spirit in Danilo, a young nobleman whose father wants him to be the lord of the ring. But Danilo rebels, as sons often do, and bonds with Ferdinand in fighting for a just cause. You’ll want to yell Olé!

This production of the beloved children’s storybook is done by Childsplay of Tempe, AZ, and is sponsored by Bank of America. Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts is on the UConn campus. Shows are at 1 and 3 p.m. Tickets are $11 for children, $13 for adults. Call 860-486-4226, or visit jorgensen.uconn.edu.

Last Weekend for Young Artists in Tolland

Advanced artists from  for the second of two weekends this Saturday and Sunday, March 12-13, at the , 22 Tolland Green. The free show, from noon to 4 p.m. each day, will showcase works based on teen art issues and ideas in media that include oil, pastel, charcoal, watercolor, acrylics, colored pencil and ink. These seniors have taken advanced placement studio art courses at Tolland High, and many of them will be majoring in art at college next year. For information, call the non-profit Arts of Tolland at 860-871-7405.

Butterfliez and Catz at the Lutz

Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester is demystifying the butterfly and the cat for young patrons this week.

Thursday, March 10, kids ages 3-5 can learn in hour-long sessions how caterpillars start as eggs, become very hungry and then emerge as beautiful butterflies. Sessions are at 10 a.m. and noon and cost $13 for members and $15 for non-members. On Thursday at 4 p.m., kids ages 5-10 can study the caterpillar more closely, for the same fee.

On Friday, March 11, 2- and 3-year-olds with a caregiver, of course, can take a half-hour class on the Monarch butterfly, read a butterfly story and make a craft to take home. Cost is $10 for members, $12 for non-members.

On Tuesday, March 15, cats, also graceful but more prone to coughing up hairballs than butterflies are, will be the subject of study for 5- to 10-year-olds at the Lutz. Children will learn about what cats think, why they like catnip and string, why their eyes shine in the dark, why they scratch the furniture and, yes, what’s up with those hairballs. Making a toy is part of the session from 4 to 5 p.m., which will cost $13 for members, $15 for non-members. Call the museum at 860-643-0949 to register or visit them online at www.lutzmuseum.org.

Janet J and Her Number Ones

Are you more of an R&B and hot dance fan? If you can wait until Wednesday, March 16, catch a different greatest hits tour, this one featuring Janet Jackson on her “Number Ones: Up Close and Personal” show at Mohegan Sun Arena. Jackson will perform hot singles from her 2009 second hits album, such as “Make Me,” – no, she says it’s not about her late brother – “Control” and “Discipline.” (She does come from a strict family.) The hits she’ll be singing earned distinctions on Billboard Hot 100, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Dance Club Songs, Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks and world charts such as Oricon and the South African Singles Chart.

The tour may be called “Up Close and Personal,” but don’t expect a wardrobe malfunction. The show is at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $56 to $385. For information, visit http://www.mohegansun.com/entertainment/?page=2& or call 888-777-7922.

The King’s Singers: Gold on the Streets

The King’s Singers, who are the gold standard of men’s a cappella and who for decades have handsomely lived up to their regal name in concert halls around the globe, will appear at Jorgensen on Thursday, March 17, at 7:30 p.m.

At this engagement, just before the tour travels to Europe for the spring and summer, The King’s Singers will perform a program of London street songs, starting with the commissioned work of Steve Martland, drawing on traditional English children’s street rhymes sung through the ages, and splicing in works from the 15th to 20th centuries, composed by the likes of Thomas Ravenscroft, John Ireland, Herbert Howells and, yes, King Henry VIII himself.

The second half will feature pieces with close harmonies that will draw from folk, spirituals, evergreen standards and pop, including music by the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, the Beach Boys and songs from the new album Swimming over London, the follow-up album to the Grammy-winning Simple Gifts.

These six men have not forgotten their British choirboy roots from singing in the best cathedrals. Have a listen.

Tickets are $30 and $28, with discounts available. Call 860-486-4226, or visit jorgensen.uconn.edu. The concert is sponsored by 88.5 FM WFCR/WNNZ 640 AM.

Sir Elton is Back 

He’s here. Two months ago, you cursed your slow Internet service as you angled to buy the best Elton John tickets. Well, now it’s all worth it. Friday night, March 11, Sir Elton makes his greatest hits tour stop at Mohegan Sun Arena.

This is the guy who gave the piano new life with hits such as "Your Song," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Candle in the Wind." The Elton John who sold more than 200 million records, garnered seven consecutive No. 1 albums in the U.S., slews of Top 40 hits, six Grammys, an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Tony. This tour celebrates the No. 1 chart hits and classic album tracks from his 50-year career.

And, guess what? You can still get seats for $125 or $185, the Mohegan Sun box office reports. Visit http://www.mohegansun.com/entertainment/?page=2& or call 888-777-7922. Show’s at 8.


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