Observing the Arts: Back in Black, Mark Twain House hosts Michael Ian Black

Comedian Michael Ian Black will weave witty tales at the Mark Twain House in Hartford on Tuesday.
Black was a founder of the sketch comedy troupe The State while he was at New York University. He has gone on to do many other projects, including contributing to VH1’s “I Love” series, chronicling the decades of the 1970s through the 1990s. He starred in the film “Wet Hot American Summer,” was the voice behind the Pets.com sock puppet, and recently co-authored the book “America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom” with Meghan McCain.
“An Evening with Michael Ian Black” will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Mark Twain Museum Center, 351 Farmington Ave., Hartford. Tickets are $35; $30 for members. Call (860) 280-3130 for tickets.
NEW SHOWS: Excision will be at The Dome at the Oakdale in Wallingford on March 13. All tickets are general admission and are $25. Visit oakdale.com or ticketmaster.com.
Scotty McCreery will bring his country twang to the Oakdale on April 10. Tickets are $65, $35, and $25. Visit www.oakdale.com or www.ticketmaster.com for tickets or more information.
The Vans Warped Tour will be at the Comcast Theatre in Hartford on July 14. Acts will be announced at a later date. All tickets are general admission, and cost $31.50, $26.50, or $19. Visit livenation.com.
PULITZER PLAY: Playhouse on Park in West Hartford is currently showcasing the Pulitzer prize-winning play “Driving Miss Daisy.”
The Alfred Uhry play is the story of an unlikely friendship between an elderly Jewish woman and her soft-spoken African-American chauffeur in the 1940s South. Directed by Stevie Zimmerman, the production stars Waltrudis Buck, Marvin Bell, and Bristol Pomeroy.
The play runs through Dec. 23 at Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford. Tickets range from $22.50 to $32.50. Call (860) 523-5900 ext. 10. Visit www.PlayhouseOnPark.org.
SHOW ADDED: Jason Aldean will perform at Mohegan Sun Arena on March 1. The show was added immediately after a Feb. 28 show by Aldean sold out. The 2013 “Night Train” tour will feature special guests Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett. Tickets are $95.50 and $75.50.
Aldean’s fifth studio album, “Night Train,” was released to mass critical and fan praise. The album has already produced a record-breaking, multi-week no. 1 single with “Take a Little Ride” and comes on the heels of the top-selling country album of last year, “My Kinda Party.”
Tickets are available via phone at 800-745-3000, visit any Ticketmaster outlet or log on to Ticketmaster.com..
For more information on other shows at Mohegan Sun, visit www.mohegansun.com or call 888-226-7711 ext. 27163.
RECREATING FLOYD: The Machine, a Pink Floyd tribute band, will perform a special acoustic show at Infinity Hall in Norfolk on Dec. 22.
The Machine has carried on Pink Floyd’s legacy for more than 25 years. Their live show features a cross-section of the 16-album repertoire that the classic rock group amassed during its 30-year tenure as pioneers of experimental rock.
The Machine has performed all over the world, and on occasion performs Pink Floyd albums in their entirety. The group has been hailed for its “chilling accuracy” by Rolling Stone.
The members of The Machine include founding members Joe Pascarell on guitar and vocals and Tahrah Cohen on drums, as well as bassist Ryan Ball and keyboardist Scott Chasolen. Pascarell will be leaving the band at the end of this year to pursue other interests so this is the last show by the band with him in the area.
Tickets are $34 and $49. For more information, visit www.infinityhall.com.
UPCOMING HOLIDAY EVENTS: “The Rat Pack is Back: The Christmas Show” will be at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Shubert Theater in New Haven.
The performance is set on a 1960s Vegas night when four show business legends — Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and Joey Bishop — converge for the first time in one of their famous “Summit at the Sands” hotel shows.
A live orchestra will back the performers. Tickets range from $15 to $75. The Shubert is located at 247 College St. in New Haven. Call (800) 228-6622 or visit www.shubert.com.
“The Sound of Christmas” with Empire Brass will be at 8 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Warner Theatre. The group will be joined by the granddaughter of the legendary Maria and Baron von Trapp, whose story inspired “The Sound of Music.” For more information, visit www.warnertheatre.org.
A holiday concert with Melissa Manchester will be at 8 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Warner Theatre. For more information, visit www.warnertheatre.org.
Kenny Rogers will perform Christmas songs and hits when he stops at Foxwoods’ MGM Grand Theater at 8 p.m. Dec. 21. Special guest at the performance will be Billy Dean. Fans can expect to hear heartfelt performances by Rogers of traditional and original holiday songs such as “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let it Snow!,” “Silent Night,” “White Christmas,” and “Mary, Did You Know,” with the help of local choirs and children. Rogers will also perform many of his classic hits. For more information, log on to www.foxwoods.com.
Aerial feats and circus performers will perform to music in the “Holiday Cirque Spectacular,” set for Dec. 22 at Hartford’s Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. The Hartford Symphony will team up with Cirque de la Symphonie for two performances, 3 and  7 p.m. Dec. 22.
For tickets, call 860-244-2999 or visit www.bushnell.org.

Send your entertainment news and arts happenings to kellmcguire@yahoo.com.

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