WESTPORT, Conn. – Learn exotic styles of dance, catch performances by award-winning musicians, take the family to the circus and see a movie — or seven — all outdoors this summer at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts.
The pavilion’s 39th summer season, which kicks off Sunday, will offer more than 50 nights of free entertainment over 10 weeks, said Carleigh Welsh, marketing and communications director of the pavilion.
“We are over-the-top excited for this season,” she said. “We have some incredible artists and talent stacked up.”
Starting off the season is a performance by a 1960s tribute band, The Sixties Show. Unlike most tribute bands, The Sixties Show doesn’t focus on a single musical group but rather pays homage to a whole decade of music. Its band members, Welsh said, have played or recorded with musicians such as Elton John, Billy Joel, Pete Townsend, The Who and Paul McCarthy.
To take people back to the '60s, Welsh said the band uses authentic-era instruments.
One of Welsh’s favorites in the upcoming season is the RiverSwing series — seven free nights on which a preconcert dance lesson is offered in the style of music about to be performed. These lessons, about 30 minutes long, are led by professional instructors, Welsh said. Although the series made its debut last season, Welsh said a dance floor will be added this year.
The RiverSwing series kicks off June 30 with a lesson on Bhangra, a Punjabi style of music and dance. A concert by DJ Rekha, an international DJ, will follow.
Other styles of dance to be highlighted include belly dance, a northern Brazilian dance called forró, swing, country-western, tango and Irish dance.
“People have so much fun with it,” said Welsh. “I’m dying to try the belly dance myself.”
A pavilion first, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus is in July. This family-friendly show is one of the few ticketed events, and helps raise funds to underwrite the Levitt’s free nights, Welsh said.
Other highlights include the Children’s Series, with kid and adult friendly performances on Wednesday nights; the return of the pop-punk group Hank & Cupcakes; performances by new bands, including a doowop group called In Harmony, and Carousel, an indie/alternative electro-pop band. And movies will be shown Monday nights, beginning July 30.
“Every year, the lineup gets better and better,” Welsh said. “I think this year is particularly stellar.”
For a complete calendar of events, visit the Levitt Pavilion website.