A Puerto Rican celebration, a hot air balloon festival and Hike to the Mic among our top 10 things to do the week starting August 21
Here are Le Courant’s artistic picks for the 10 best things to do the week of August 21-27:
Summer is a time to travel and see family. On stages in Connecticut at the end of August, two plays about awkward but engrossing family reunions — one involving a bike trip, the other a backyard barbecue. At the Goodspeed Airport Festival, you can watch people dive out of planes and ride in hot air balloons.
Globetrotting singer and songwriter Lorde from New Zealand comes to Mohegan Sun. Magnificent Midwestern pop group Wilco is heading east again, to the Westville Music Bowl.
As for large summer gatherings, a dozen musical groups play at Talcott Mountain’s Heublein Tower for Hike to the Mic, and nearly as many gather for the Ghostface Killah show at Toad’s Place, a Connecticut mental health benefit. .
Crowds. The exterior. Families bickering. Music coming from everywhere. It looks like summer.
Ghostface Killah, a member of the Wu Tang Clan, is not alone on his tour for life. The August 21 show at Toad’s Place in New Haven starts at 4 p.m. and features at least eight acts: Duece Bug, The LIE Show, Smifhouse Records, Mr King + Heavy Set, Don Blake, Aul Purpis, Alex Anonny, Ghostface Killah de of course and maybe even more. All for $34 ($29 in advance). It’s a Connecticut mental health benefit. toadsplace.com.
The Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade begins August 21 at 11 a.m. at the corner of Warwarme Street and Wethersfield Avenue in Hartford. The parade ends in Bushnell Park at 1 p.m., for the start of the Puerto Rican Day Festival. There are live performances in the park by Charlie Aponte y su Orquesta, Richard “El Flaquito” and Rika Swing; Suvanna y su Grupo Son d Barrio; Joseph Romaldo; Hip Hop Jibarito and more. hartfordprparade.com.
The acclaimed drama “4000 Miles” is from Amy Herzog, a graduate of the Yale (now Geffen) School of Drama whose plays “Mary Jane” and “Belleville” both had their world premieres at the Yale Repertory Theater. “4000 Miles” is over ten years old but still resonates strongly for that era. It’s about a young man who has cycled across the country to stay with his rather isolated grandmother in her New York City apartment. From August 23 to September 24 at the Westport Country Playhouse. Performances are Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m., plus a matinee at 2 p.m. on August 31. $40-$60. westportplayhouse.org.
Hole in the Wall Theater continues to choose progressive and avant-garde projects. Robert O’Hara’s “Barbecue” is a gripping, gritty family drama with several serious twists. From August 26 to September 10. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. $25, $20 students and seniors. hitw.org.
Two bands who embrace the word “psychedelic,” Willis from Nashville and headliners Magic City Hippies from, uh, Magic City, are at the Space Ballroom in Hamden. $20. spaceballroom.com.
Our picks of activities and places to visit this weekend
Legendary New Zealand singer, songwriter and superstar Lorde’s eco tour has been postponed to April and finally arrives at the Mohegan Sun Arena on August 25 at 7:30 p.m. The tour is named after his third album, released last year along with an EP. of some of the same songs translated into the Polynesian language Te Reo Māori. Lorde also published a book about visiting Antarctica last year. $125, $99, $69 and $49. mohegansun.com.
Roots and jammy band Dispatch – founded in Vermont in the mid-90s, based in Boston since then, split from 2004-2011 and actively returned since then with a new album released last year, are at the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater from Bridgeport, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. with a like-minded band of similar vintage, Maryland Rockers OAR $25-$198.50. livenation.com.
Hike to the Mic is a festival at the end of a walking trail. The Hilly Drive is Worth It: August 27-28 from 10am-sunset at Heublein Tower, Talcott Mountain, 1 Summit Ridge Dr., Simsbury.
Performers include Will Evans, Junior Mack Band, One Time Weekend, Atlas Gray, Penniless Wild, The New Mosaic, The Meadows Brothers, The KC Sisters, POSSM, JK’s Orbit plus a Sunday morning jazz session hosted by Chris Casey . Muralist Corey Pane will paint live during the festival. There are also food vendors and a raffle. The proceeds of the festival support the renovation of the Heublein tower. rosedale1920.com.
The Goodspeed Airport Festival is another kind of city festival, promising skydiving demonstrations and tethered hot air balloon rides, alongside the usual vendors and food trucks. August 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Goodspeed Airport and Seaplane Base, 15 Lumberyard Road, East Haddam. goodspeedairport.com.
American icons Wilco, still led by the inimitable Jeff Tweedy, are at the Westville Music Bowl in New Haven. Built to flip opens. westvillemusicbowl.com.
Christopher Arnott can be reached at [email protected].