Ah, fall, when the leaves are coming off the trees and the politicians are coming off the bus. What better season to plunk down your pesos to hear what the most popular pundits have to say. Bill O'Reilly, outspoken host of Fox News' “The O'Reilly Factor,” and Dennis Miller, Emmy-winning personality of HBO's “Dennis Miller Live,” will visit Mohegan Sun Arena this Saturday, Oct. 29, on their “Bolder & Fresher” Tour. It's yours to decide who's bolder and who's fresher.
O'Reilly has a deep journalistic background, having been a reporter and news anchor in cities such as Dallas, Boston and New York. But his broadcast roots are in Scranton, PA. He hosted the first version of Inside Edition and held news posts at CBC and ABC. But he got liftoff while at “The O'Reilly Factor.” He appeared Tuesday on the Today Show, to support his new book, Killing Lincoln, already No. 1 on The New York Times Bestseller List.
Miller's HBO show ran for nine years and he won five Emmys for it. He also wrote and starred in “Raw Weed,” a cable comedy special that, along with six other HBO standup specials, is featured on a recent DVD set. Miller, an entertaining ranter if ever there was one, has appeared frequently on various TV talk shows as a political expert.
Chinese National Acrobats Defy Gravity
For the first time in this country, the National Acrobats of The People's Republic of China will leap, juggle, contort and strike a perfect balance over and over on Jorgensen's stage Saturday, Nov. 5, at 8 p.m.
“Limber” doesn't describe these bodies. Is there an adjective for a 360-degree back bend, while balanced on another acrobat and performed with the grace of a prima ballet dancer? Direct from Beijing, this troupe's performance includes martial arts, traditional music, touches of opera and ballet, and illusion.
This is the first group of national performers established by the government of the People's Republic of China back in 1950. It has toured in Europe, Asia, Central America, Africa and Australia, and now, in 2011, it comes to the United States and Canada for the first time.
Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts is located on the UConn campus in Storrs. Tickets are $30, $27 and $25, with some discounts. For information, call 860-486-4226 or visit the theater Web site.
'Drowsy Chaperone' at LTM
Wanna spoof the old Broadway musical so popular in the Jazz Age? Start with a follies showgirl and pack of gangsters, mix in dream sequences and big production numbers, and spice it up with a ditzy chorine. Even better, do it as a musical within a comedy, all told through the sensitivities of Man in Chair, who dozes off listening to his favorite cast recording. Voilà! You've got the Broadway hit “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
For the first time on a local Connecticut stage, the Tony Award-winning show will open Friday, Nov. 4, for a three-weekend run at Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall. The book is by Bob Martin and Don McKellar, with music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. Todd Santa Maria directs and choreographs this production.
The show runs Nov. 4-6, 10-13 and 18-20. Curtain is at 8 p.m. except for a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $24-29, and $22-27 for seniors and students. On Veteran's Day, Friday, Nov. 11, veterans can purchase 2-for-1 tickets. For information, call 860-647-9824, visit the theater Web site or the Cheney Hall box office weekdays.
Willie Nelson at Foxwoods
Stop your blue eyes from crying in the rain and go hear country icon Willie Nelson on Saturday night, Oct. 29, at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods. Nelson has written more than 2,500 songs, but more important has touched the rural heart in all of us. In his five decades of performing, he has delivered his own brand of Americana, on the musical stage and on film. His social consciousness has yielded plenty of support for causes like Farm Aid.
The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30-$50. For information, call 1-800-200-2882 or visit the Foxwoods entertainment site.
Wates and DeRosa, with Coffee
The Stafford Arts Commission Coffee House brings back Rupert Wates, a British-born acoustic folk artist with a Gordon Lightfoot ease with melody and lyrics, Sunday, Oct. 30, at 8 p.m. Opening at 7 p.m. is Patti DeRosa, an eclectic singer and guitarist that Motif Magazine nominated as Best Female Vocalist of 2010.
Last year Wates composed “Joe's Cafe,” 15 original narrative songs taken from true stories in American history. The San Francisco Fringe Festival named it the Best Music Revue.
DeRosa weaves in and out of rock, folk, jazz and funk in comfort and with a storyteller's love of diversity and detail.
The popular free coffeehouse series, courtesy of the Stafford Arts Commission, runs through April on the last Sunday of the month (except for December).
It is held at the Old Town Hall on Route 19, near its junction with Route 319, opposite the Mill Town Store. Refreshments are available. For more information, call 860-684-9500 or 860-684-5211.
50 Years of UConn Faculty Art
In honor of the UConn School of Fine Arts 50th anniversary, the Benton Museum will showcase the work of faculty from that era in what it calls a “visual time capsule.” The show entitled “In Retrospect: Art Department Faculty Emeriti” will display works of various styles and media by a half century of UConn faculty from throughout the country.
The opening reception will be Sunday, Oct. 30, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The exhibit will run through Dec. 18.
For information, call 860-486-4520 or visit the Benton site.
Phantom on Film, with Organ
A silent film classic doesn't have to be silent. You can see Lon Chaney in the 1925 movie, “The Phantom of the Opera,” appropriately accompanied by organ Friday, Oct. 28, at the Christ Church School of the Arts in Norwich. Organist Robert Humphreville will augment the drama of the silent but scary cinema action at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are free but a $5 donation is recommended. The school is located at 78 Washington St. in downtown Norwich. For information, call 860-425-0663 or visit the Phantom event Web site.