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There’s Something Funny About Stafford

Coventry artist opens an ongoing exhibit in Hartford. There are comedy Nights in Stafford, Manchester and at Foxwoods. On Sunday, antiques are on tap in Tolland,

Steve Diamond of Mansfield will host three other comics in a family-rated Comedy Night on Saturday, Feb. 5, in Stafford’s popular Old Town Hall venue. Diamond, a retired English teacher from E.O. Smith, used humor in the classroom, but it was E.O. senior Rob Gagnon who inspired him to try standup himself.

“I was in my 50s, and here was this 17-year-old kid doing standup,” Diamond recalls.

Gagnon performed as a teenager at Eastern Connecticut State University and across the street from his school at what was then Café Earth. He is now in his mid-20s and making a go of a career in comedy in Austin, Texas.

“It’s just so brave, and he’s still at it,” Diamond says.

Diamond has appeared at UConn, the Vanilla Bean, Willi Brew and the old Capitol Theater in Willimantic. He will be joined on the Stafford stage by Howie Mason from Madison, Rodney Norman of Stafford (who also has a comedy club in Utah) and Kelly Morse of Rhode Island.

“I saw all three of these people on You Tube and they made me laugh, which isn’t easy to do. I usually appreciate comics quietly,” Diamond says.

The comedy starts at 8 p.m. at the Ben Muzio Town House (aka Old Town Hall), 221 East Street near the junction of Routes 19 and 319. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students. For information, call 860-684-9500.

Coventry Artist in Hartford Show

Coventry artist Jane Penfield, a musician who draws and paints, will show her work at Charter Oak Cultural Center in an exhibit that opens Thursday, Feb. 3, and runs through March 25. Penfield, whose double life includes leadership positions advocating for the arts with the Greater Hartford Arts Council, and in the past, for the professional choir Concora, captures pastoral New England and foreign vistas along with the essence of people, pets and farm animals. Her works are in watercolor, oil and pastels.

A consummate cook and gardener, Penfield says on her website (janepenfieldart.com), “Art and music are the ways I make sense of life.”

Opening reception for the exhibit is tonight 5:30-7:30. The cultural center, at 21 Charter Oak Ave., Hartford, is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For information, call 860-249-1207.

Jay Mohr at Foxwoods

Jay Mohr, the star of the hit TV show “Gary Unmarried” and creator of “Last Comic Standing,” will appear at COMIX at Foxwoods Saturday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. Mohr, who refers to himself as a 16-year-old kid who likes to make people laugh, has returned to the standup circuit.

As one who produced and hosted “Last Comic Standing” for six seasons, he should be at home. “Thank you for letting me take you for over an hour as far away from where you parked your car as possible,” he recently blogged to fans. 

Mohr’s highlights also include appearing in the film “Jerry Maguire,” and hosting Fox Sports Net’s “NFL This Morning.” His second book, No Wonder My Parents Drank, is soon to be released. Show content is for adult audiences. Tickets are $39.50-59.50. For information, go to www.foxwoods.com.

Brad Williams at the Funny Bone

Brad Williams, a small man with a big sense of humor, will appear tonight through Saturday, Feb. 3-5, at the Hartford Funny Bone at the Buckland Hills mall in Manchester. Williams was born with Achondroplastic dwarfism, and he draws on that subject in his act. He has toured for years, joking about his condition and making audiences comfortable with it. Williams also has appeared on “The Mind of Mencia” on Comedy Central.

Tickets are $15 Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and $17 Friday and Saturday for shows at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Dinner is available. For tickets and information, visithttp://hartfordfunnybone.com/.

Tolland Antiques Show at Age 45

Antiques never get too old. So, the 45th Annual Tolland Antiques Show is just developing a fine patina. The benefit for the Tolland Historical Society, held Sunday, Feb. 6, will showcase museum-quality 18th and 19th century American furniture, textiles, rugs, art, red ware and early iron. Dealers from throughout New England and the East Coast participate.

The show goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Tolland Middle School, the former high school. Admission is $8. For early buyers, 8:30-10:30 a.m., admission is $15. For more information, call 860-870-9599, contact show director Kathy Bach at 860-872-7716 or visitwww.tollandhistorical.org. A slideshow from the 2010 show can be seen at http://www.tollandhistorical.org/antiquesshow.

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