PEPPERMINT PATTI: For nearly half a century, Patti LaBelle has been wowing audiences with her soulful voice. Friday night, she's bringing her act to the Palace Theater in Waterbury. Over the years, LaBelle has created timeless songs that have earned her Grammy Awards and American Music Awards. And as time passes, her legend only grows. Tickets are $78.50, $68.50, and $48.50. The show starts at 8 p.m.
SEASONS OF LOVE: It's no longer on Broadway, but if you've never seen the award-winning musical Rent, now is your chance. Connecticut Repertory Theatre is putting on the wildly popular stage performance at UConn's Harriet. S. Jorgensen Theatre tonight. Rent, based on Puccini's La Boheme, follows a group of avant garde artists living in New York's East Village in the 1990's. Tonight's show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $37. There are also performances Saturday at 2 p.m. and again at 8 p.m.
NOT THE LOSER: When Gen Xers hear the name Beck, they think about quirky rock music. But for older generations, Beck is the last name of one of the world's great rock guitarists. Jeff Beck will take the stage Friday night at Performance Theater at MGM Grand at Foxwoods. Beck is known for his innovative sound that spans genres from rock, to blues, to metal, to jazz and beyond. Tickets for Friday's 8 p.m. show are $25-$50.
RESCUE HUMOR: He was everybody's favorite a**hole. Then he was everybody's favorite animated saber tooth tiger. Now, he's everbody's favorite troubled cable TV firefighter. But above all Denis Leary is a comic. And you can check out his Rescue Me Comedy Tour 2 Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena. Leary will be joined by stand-ups Lenny Clarke and Adam Ferrara, along with music from The Enablers featuring the Rehab Horns. Tickets are $31 to $66. The funny starts at 8 p.m.
NO BULL: And now for something completely different. If the theater isn't your thing, how about a little bull riding? 20 champion bull riders from Connecticut and across the country will strap on their spurs and climb aboard the snorting animals for a competition in Prospect this weekend. And just in case you think the only bulls in Connecticut are the mechanical ones, organizers want you to know 30 'real, live, angry" bulls are being shipped in from Texas for the event. It's being held on the grounds of Senor Pancho's Mexican Restaurant at 280 Cheshire Road in Prospect. Gates open at noon both Saturday and Sunday with the competition getting underway at 2 p.m. each day. Tickets are $20 at the door.
TEAM CONAN: He may be off television until the fall, but you can see Conan O'Brien at Mohegan Sun. The former late-night host brings his "Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television" tour to the casino Sunday. Conan says the show promises to be a night of music, comedy, hugging, and the occasional awkward silence. He'll be joined by his long-time sidekick Andy Richter. Tickets are $45-$65. The show Sunday begins at 9 p.m.
BREATHING FIRE: Fill your weekend with fun in Norwich. There are countless (ok, you can count them) events to fill your time with the city's Riverfest. The festivities kick off Friday with the Norwich Arts Council and independent galleries from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. as they showcase their latest exhibits. Then on Saturday, head over to Norwich Harbor for some dragon boat racing. 20 teams will hit the water from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Then round things out Sunday with a multicultural festival. From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Howard T. Brown Memorial Park, there will be all sorts of performances, kids' activities and food. All the events are free and open to the public.