By Christopher Arnott
4:30 PM EDT, April 23, 2013
It's a fine fortnight to be a kid at the theater. The Bushnell (166 Capitol Ave., Hartford; 860-987-5900, bushnell.org) has the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater — its canine stars all former strays rescued from shelters, if that does anything to pacify PETA — for two shows Saturday, April 27 at 2:30 & 6:30 p.m. For $19.50-$39.50. On May 3 (at 10:30 a.m. & 6 p.m.) and May 4 (at 10:30 a.m., 2 & 5:30 p.m.) the Bushnell brings in a whole other species of family entertainment: Elmo's Super Heroes, the latest Sesame Street Live tour. That same weekend, the Oakdale (95 South Turnpike Road, Wallingford; 203-265-1501, oakdale.com) welcomes another caped-kid caper, the word-happy Super Why! Live — You've Got the Power! for a single show 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 5.
For grown-ups who remain childish, tribute shows are the ticket. There's the giddy pleasure of The Fab Four — Ultimate Beatles Tribute, a free show 8 p.m. April 25 in the Wolf Den of Mohegan Sun Casino (1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville; 860-226-7711, mohegansun.com). For crass, juvenile cocktail-fueled jackanapes of a similar vintage yet worlds away culture-wise, Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show plays the Waterbury Palace (a hall through which Sesame Street's aforementioned superheroes flew earlier this month) May 2 at 7:30 p.m. (100 East Main St., Waterbury; 203-346-2000, palacetheater.org). Hackett is the son of the legendary Buddy Hackett, and adds non-musical comic relief as Joey Bishop in this boozy rendition of the '60s Vegas club antics of Dean, Frank & Sammy.
The most non-kid-friendly, explicitly adult show in the area right now is, ironically, being staged at the longtime home of the now-defunct Hartford Children's Theatre. The 77-seat Carriage House Theater (360 Farmington Ave., Hartford) is the new home of the social-issue-oriented Hartbeat Ensemble, which has leased the venue into at least 2014. The politically adept and multi-styled troupe's inaugural show in the space has a harrowing subject: sex trafficking in Connecticut. Riding the Turnpike — Myth, Secrecy and Sex on the Berlin Turnpike, has preview performances April 24 & 25, then opens April 26 with a special $50 show with after-party. Tickets for other performances (Wednesdays through Saturdays, through May 18) are $10-$15. Info at hartbeatensemble.org.
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