Food Trucks And Fireworks
The Riverfront Food Truck Festival gets a head start on Hartford’s Fourth of July celebration, setting up July 12 to 14 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, 300 Columbus Blvd., Hartford. Food vendors include Bear's Smokehouse BBQ, Ben & Jerry's, Bricins Festival Foods, Chompers, Ice Cream Time, Boothbay Lobster Company, Dee's Flavors, Brazilian Gula Grill, New Haven Pizza Truck, Poutine Gourmet, Request A Chef and Quick Bites. The fireworks start booming at 9 p.m. Saturday. riverfront.org.
The multigenre pop culture convention ConnectiCon returns to the Connecticut Convention Center and other various locations in Hartford July 12 to 15, featuring all the usual fun and entertainment: exhibitors, gaming tournaments, video screenings of anime and major motion pictures, panels, workshops and demonstrations, and a dealers room and artist colony. Cosplay events include a craftsmanship contest, a dating game and a lip sync battle.
Hours at the convention center are Thursday (badge pickup only) from 2 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours at the Hartford Marriott Downtown — where there will be tabletop role-playing and board games, miniatures wargaming, cosplay rest and repair and craftsmanship — are Thursday 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Day rates are $40 for Friday; $50 for Saturday; $30 for Sunday. More events and information: connecticon.org
Editor’s note: The following event has been canceled.
Pizza & Beer Fest
Savoy Pizzeria and Craft Bar takes its show on the road to Rosedale Farms in Simsbury for a pizza and beer fest on July 15 anytime between 1 and 4 p.m. Tickets ($59) include a tasting glass, 2 ounce pours of local craft brews, plenty of Savoy fair, yard games, and music from the Shiny Lapel Trio Band. Cash bar available for wine and cocktails. 21-plus only. Designated driver tickets $30. eventbrite.com
Jazz In The Park
Hammond B-3 maestro Dr. Lonnie Smith opened his 2018 record “All In My Mind” with a simmering and soulful read on Wayne Shorter’s classic composition “Juju.” A little later the band slides into Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover,” which allows the drummer to play those exquisite press rolls and that smooth-and-funky march beat. The B-3 can chew up a lot of musical space, but Smith has a velvety touch, allowing drummer Johnathan Blake and guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg to shine equally in his trio setting. Smith can play with a percussive thrust or a gentle airy feel. Smith plays with a full spectrum of color, with deep low end and singing high notes. He’s a master interpreter, too, moving from Thelonious Monk to Jimi Hendrix to Beck to John Coltrane with a jazz/soul/boogaloo saunter. He’s said that he wants his music to reflect the richness of life.
See Dr. Lonnie Smith’s trio at the Hartford Jazz Society’s free 2018 Paul Brown Monday Night Jazz series, with opener the Eli Williams Blues Jazz Project at Bushnell Park, in downtown Hartford, on Monday, July 16, first act starts at 6 p.m. A jam session follows at Black-Eyed Sally’s. More information here.
Pianist Of Willesden Lane
“The Pianist of Willesden Lane” plays on. Mona Golabek is bringing her one-woman show — about her mother Lisa Jura’s 1938 childhood escape from Nazi-ruled Austria to England — back to Hartford Stage. The show played the theater as part of the 2015-16 season and now returns as a special summer engagement July 12 to 22.
A Courant review of the play in 2015 said that “Golabek brings a warmth and sweetness to the stage, a genuine love and admiration for the woman she is portraying. (In the program notes, she calls her mother, who died in 1997, "my best friend.") She recites Lisa Jura's story clearly and efficiently. The real emotion of the piece lies in her piano playing, which is transcendent.”
Performances are Tuesday at 7 p.m.; Wednesday at 2 and 7 p.m.; Thursday at 7 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $90. 860-527-5151 and hartfordstage.org.
The smiling trumpeter and bandleader joins the Hartford Symphony Orchestra at the Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center on July 13 at 7:30 p.m. for “Here’s Doc! Celebrating 60 Years in Show Business,” where he’ll take on American songbook standards and big-band classics, and maybe tell a few stories. Assistant conductor Adam Boyles presides. Tickets, starting at $25, at hartfordsymphony.org and 860-987-5900.