3/19-3/21: Hip-Hop, Chowder and Madea

JUMP AROUND:  Back in the '90s, House of Pain stormed onto the music scene with their hip-hop anthem "Jump Around." The trio promptly spent the rest of the decade failing to even come close to the success of their one hit. Front man Everlast made a crossover into the alternarock world with his hit "What It's Like." Now, House of Pain is back for a short St. Patrick's Day series of concerts showcasing their new project, La Coka Nostra. On Friday night, you can see the boys at the Webster Theatre in Hartford. Tickets are $27.50. Show is at 7p.m.

WHERE'S PETER KRISS: He's the former front-man for one of the biggest rock bands of all time. But on Friday night, Ace Frehley is leaving his Kiss brethren behind (but who knows, he might have the makeup) and taking his show on the road to Mohegan SunFrehley will perform a free show at the casino's Wolf Den. Tickets are free, but of course you knew that, having read the previous sentence. And the show is 21 and over (though we're not sure how many under-21 fans Ace would have). Show's at 8 p.m. 

IT'S CHOWDA!: In the mood for some seafood bliss? Head down to East Haddam this weekend for the annual Chowder Cook-Off. Tasters who visit East Haddam Village Saturday will enjoy a delicious lunch featuring a wide selection of hot chowders freshly-made by area chefs. Guests will even receive a commemorative chowder mug! And don't forget to vote for this year's "People's Choice" trophy. It's just $10 to eat, and proceeds will benefit local charities and non-profit organizations.

FAMILY VALUES: It seems that Tyler Perry is everywhere these days. From the Oscars, to the big screen to pretty much every show on TBS, Perry's cast of characters have made him a household name. This weekend, you can see him in his drag persona Madea, in the tour of the new show, "Madea's Big Happy Family" when it comes to the Bushnell in Hartford. The show, which promises to be one of Perry's best ever, runs Friday through Sunday. Click here for show-times and more info.

LEFT BEHIND:  Writer/performer Nilaja Sun's show "No Child" has been a hit off-Broadway and across the nation. This weekend, you can see what all the fuss is about at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven. The one-woman show draws on Sun's first-hand experience as a teaching artist in New York City's public schools, and portrays 16-characters to illuminate the triumphs and tribulations in our education system.  Click here for show-times and ticket-info.

GETTING CARRIED AWAY:  She became one of America's sweethearts when she took home the big prize on American Idol.  Now, a few years later, Carrie Underwood is the undisputed Queen of Country Music. Underwood has five Grammy Awards to her credit and she's also the reigning Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the year.  On Saturday night, her "Play On" tour is making a much anticipated stop at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. Of course, you probably already knew all of that, so we're just typing for our health right now. Show's at 8 p.m. One of our producers was at the Bridegport show. If you want to know what she thought of it, click here.  

ENGAGING EVENING:  Hailing from just over the border in Westfield, Massachusetts, metalcore band Killswitch Engage (whose drummer Justin Foley actually hails from Simsbury) has quite the following here in our fair state. On Sunday night, they're wrapping up their current tour with a stop at The Dome at the Oakdale. Sunday's show almost didn't come to pass, after front-man Howard Jones was forced to leave the tour to attend to personal matters. But a fill-in front-man was found and the show will go on.  Tickets are $29.50. Show is at 7:30 p.m.

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