Comedy legends Steve Martin, Martin Short bring the laughs to CT in this week’s things to do and see


“Jagged Little Pill,” the Broadway musical coming to The Bushnell on its first national tour, isn’t the only thing still rocking from the 1990s this week in Connecticut. The punk-pop band Chisel has reformed and is playing in Hamden, and an “I Love the ‘90s” hip-hop tour is at Mohegan Sun with everyone from Vanilla Ice to Tone Loc.

From the ‘80s, there’s Steve Martin and Martin Short, whose friendship blossomed while making “Three Amigos” in 1986 and who now do comedy tours together. Kool & The Gang, whose string of R&B and disco hits stretched from the early ’70s to the late ’80s, is at the Oakdale. Also from the ’80s — the 1780s, that is — is Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” which the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and Connecticut Lyric Opera are bringing to The Bushnell on Sunday.

As for new works, the lineup for the CT Rock Springfest at Cafe Nine is a nice mix of old and new local acts, and Toto Kisaku is at HartBeat Ensemble’s space doing his harrowing autobiographical piece about what brought him to the U.S. from the Congo just five years ago.

Here are some of the top things to do and see this week in Connecticut arts.

‘Don Giovanni’
The Bushnell,166 Capitol Ave., Hartford

Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and Connecticut Lyric Opera perform Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at The Bushnell’s Belding Theater. $43-$92.

Space Ballroom, 295 Treadwell St., Hamden

Chisel was a fascinating early ‘90s punk band from Washington, D.C., fast and loud but also poppy and smart, with immaculate taste. (They covered songs by Mission of Burma and Wire and toured with Fugazi and Karate). Chisel regularly played Connecticut clubs for a few years. One of its members, Ted Leo, went on to a solid solo career. The Chisel catalog was reissued last year, and the band has regrouped 25 years after their last album “Set You Free.” May 10 at 8 p.m. $20.

Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls with The Interrupters
Oakdale Theatre, 95 S. Turnpike Road, Wallingford

Two bands that reinvigorate punk styles and energies that first erupted in the ‘80s and ‘90s are sharing the bill at an Oakdale dome show. Turner has topped the British charts with his folk-punk excoriations, and the California band The Interrupters plays ska punk like it never went away. May 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Oakdale. $39.50.

CT Rocks Springfest
Cafe Nine, 250 State St., New Haven

A two-part same-day event to raise money for Haven’s Harvest (which redistributes food to help the needy), the CT Rocks Springfest begins at 5 p.m. May 11 with a free Happy Hour show of George Morgio, Luke Rodney, Brian Ebin Parker Wolf and Vicki F. The fest continues at 7:30 p.m. for a $5 admission with Laurel B., Happy Ending!, Old Milk Mooney, Audio Jane and If Not for Dreaming. Some of these acts, like BEPW and Happy Ending!, have been around since the ‘80s. Others, like Old Milk Mooney (aka Daniel Onorato), have only been on the scene for a few years.

FILE - Kevin Hart appears at the premiere of "Me Time" in Los Angeles on Aug. 23, 2022. The satellite radio company announced Wednesday that it has signed Hart and his entertainment company, Hartbeat, to a multi-year deal. As part of the deal, the superstar actor-comedian continue to curate content involving comedy and culture on his Laugh Out Loud Radio channel. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
Kevin Hart is bringing his “Reality Check” comedy tour to Foxwoods Resort Casino on May 11. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Kevin Hart
Foxwoods Resort Casino, 350 Trolley Line Blvd., Mashantucket

Before he was a TV star, a movie star and the creator of his own comedy production company, Hart was a stand-up comic. He’s still doing it, uproariously, with his “Reality Check” comedy tour coming to Foxwoods’ Premier Theater on May 11 at 8 p.m. $76-$425.

Steve Martin and Martin Short
Foxwoods Resort Casino, 350 Trolley Line Blvd., Mashantucket

When Martin and Short first started touring together in 2015, they were just old friends capitalizing on the lasting cult appeal of their first movie together, 1986’s “The Three Amigos.” Since then they’ve done two seasons of “Only Murders in the Building” (with a third due in August), co-hosted “Saturday Night Live” and done plenty of other projects. They’ve kept changing up their live show and are back with Woody Platt & the Bluegrass Gentlemen and pianist Jeff Babko for two shows at Foxwoods’ Premier Theater on May 12 at 7:30 p.m. and May 14 at 5 p.m. $54-$445.50.

‘Requiem for an Electric Chair’
Carriage House Theater, 360 Farmington Ave., Hartford

Congolese theater artist Toto Kisaku suffered for his art. Thrown out of his homeland for doing political theater pieces that angered the government, he fled to the U.S. where he was granted asylum. Kisaku created a solo piece about his detention and exile, which he performed in 2019 for the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven as the festival’s first-ever artist-in-residence. Connecticut arts organizations have continued to support Kisaku. HartBeat is presenting “Requiem for an Electric Chair” for a single performance on May 13 at 7:30 p.m. $25, $20 students & seniors, “no one left behind for lack of funds.”

Hartford Symphony Orchestra
The Bushnell, 166 Capitol Ave., Hartford

This month’s Hartford Symphony Orchestra Masterworks concert is “Mendelssohn Taking Flight,” and it has more than one Mendelssohn: Felix Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto in E minor, OP. 64” and his sister Fanny’s “Overture in C Major.” The symphony also plays a modern piece, Gabriela Lena Frank’s “Elegia Adina.” May 12 and 13 at 8 p.m., May 14 at 3 p.m. $35.50-$68.50.

Kool & The Gang
Oakdale Theatre, 95 South Turnpike Road, Wallingford

For those who’ve held onto their ‘70s leisure suits and shiny shirts, the prospect of hearing Kool & The Gang perform “Ladies Night” and “Jungle Boogie” live is thrilling enough. But the band also covers songs from some of their disco and R&B contemporaries, like The Spinners’ “Rubberband Man” and Average White Band’s “Pick Up the Pieces.” And there are new songs as well. Kool & The Gang has marked its 60th anniversary with a new album, “People Just Want to Have Fun.” May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Oakdale in Wallingford. $35-$254.

‘I Love the ’90s Tour’
Mohegan Sun Arena, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville

The history lesson continues. Just a week after “A Tribute to 50 Years of Hip Hop” tour at Foxwoods, a different Connecticut casino offers a slightly more recent multi-act tour with a heavy hip hop/rap theme. “I Love the ‘90s Tour” features Rob Base, C+C Music Factory, Tone Loc, Vanilla Ice and Young MC on May 13 at 7 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena. $26.50-$36.50.

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