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Thursday, April 19 News

Best bets: What to do around Stamford this weekend

STAMFORD -- Entertainment and adventures await. Here are some of the best bets for the weekend and week ahead.

Hot step it

Enjoy a Valentine's Day-themed dance Saturday as presented by Round Hill Country Dances at North Stamford Congregational Church, 31 Cascade Road. The event, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will feature live music by Coney Island Quickstep, as well as a free lesson for new dancers. The entry fee is $15. Call 203-372-3890 or visit http://bit.ly/1ezy1Pq. Farther afield, Connecticut Ballet, which has offices in Stamford and Hartford, will put on "Be My Valentine," at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets start at $45. Visit bushnell.org or call 860-987-5900.

Stellar scenes

The Avon Theatre in Stamford continues its festival of Oscar-nominated films on Saturday with a series of shorts. The fun continues Tuesday. For tickets and times, visit www.avontheatre.org or call 203-967-3660. The Stamford Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Historical Society will host a free screening of "Home of the Brave: When Southbury said No to the Nazis," on Sunday, at 1 p.m. at the center, 1035 Newfield Ave. Call 203-487-0941.

Art on display

Make your way to the galleries of Stamford's Loft Artists Association, where a new show "Under the Big Top" opens with a reception on Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.loftartists.com or call 203-247-2027. Over at the Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery on Friday night, artist Kirsten Reynolds will cut down her installation, "Structo," which has been up since Novemember and create a new work in the gallery. The event will run 6 to 9 p.m. Visit www.flalvarezgallery.com. At the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, a new show also opens this weekend. "Branching Out: Trees Flowers, Blossoms and More" will feature more than 60 original prints from the center's members. Opening reception is set for 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit www.contemprints.org or call 203-899-999.

Selections for the younger set

It's time for the Teddy Bear Tea Party at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. Tickets for the Sunday afternoon event begin are $55 for nonmember adults with an accompanying child ($40 for members). Pre-registration and pre-payment required. Call 203-977-6521. Visit www.stamfordmuseum.org. In Norwalk, Stepping Stones Museum for Children will offer free admission to families of children with special needs from 9 to 11 a.m. Later in the day, youngsters may create artistic works during the Sketching Artifacts program from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. For information on admission, visit www.steppingstonesmuseum.org or call 203-899-0606. The Bruce Museum and the Astronomical Society of Greenwich will present Astronomy Family Day, 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday. Activities and crafts will have you thinking of the stars, and planetarium shows and hands-on demonstrations are expected. Free with museum admission. Visit brucemuseum.org.

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Dramatic moments

The Town Players of New Canaan will put on a reading of "Engagement Rules," a story about love and marriage, for three afternoons, Friday to Sunday, at its Powerhouse Theater at Waveny Park. For tickets, call 203-966-7371 or visit www.tpnc.org. Friday also marks the opening of "Les Miserables" at Curtain Call's Kweskin Theatre in Stamford. For showtimes and tickets, call 203-329-8207 or visit www.curtaincallinc.com. Something a little different is planned Saturday evening at the Norwalk Inn when the Norwalk River Rowing Association features an evening of casino style entertainment, food and refreshments of the "Rat Pack" era. Actress Teri Polo hosts the event. For information and tickets, which start at $125, visit norwalkriverrowing.org.

Comic opportunities

A couple of "Saturday Night Live" alumni will be in the area this weekend. Kevin Nealon, who grew up in Bridgeport, will take the stage at the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck, N.Y., on Friday at 7:30 p.m. (914-698-0098, www.emelin.org). Jim Breuer will be at the Tarrytown Music Hall for an 8 p.m. show Saturday. For tickets, call 877-840-0457 or visit tarrytownmusichall.org.

Musical creations

Steve Earle will perform with Greg Tropper at the Norwalk Concert Hall on Friday at 8 p.m., kicking off a weekend of music. For tickets, call 203-259-1036 or visit www.fairfieldtheatre.org. The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y., is where you will find Moe, which is headlining the Wetlands 25th Anniversary show on Friday. For tickets, visit www.thecapitoltheatre.com. The Stamford Symphony welcomes guest conductor Eckehard Stier and features one of its own, principal cellist Caroline Stinson, for its Saturday and Sunday concerts. An event for children precedes Sunday's performance. For tickets, call 203-325-4466, or visit www.scalive.org.

-- Christina Hennessy

Check out Culture Cache at http://blog.ctnews.com/culturecache/

christina.hennessy@scni.com; 203-964-2241; http://twitter.com/xtinahennessy