3/5-3/7: Boxing, Grunge and Guinness

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It's Oscar weekend, with the world of entertainment celebrating the best of cinema.  And of course, there are plenty of places in Connecticut where you can see the nominated films then watch the big show. You can check those out by clicking here, but if you want an Oscar-free weekend read on.

SOLO STYLINGS: Looking for a little romance this weekend? Head to the Bushnell in Hartford to enjoy the signature sound of pianist Jim Brickman. Brickman's "Evening of Romance" will feature plenty of solo piano melodies sure to set the tone for the rest of the night. Brickman will perform music from his latest album, "Beautiful World," including favorites "Valentine", "Angel Eyes," and "If You Believe." There are shows on Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m., and Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. Tickets are $35-$55.

LAUGH TRACKS: You've got two chances to get your chuckle on this weekend. Stand-up comic Rich Vos has a pair of shows. Friday night, The Last Comic Standing alum will take the mic along with Stan Stankos and Steve Lazarus at Marisa's Ristorante in Trumbull. Tickets for the 8:30 p.m. show are $19.50. Then on Saturday, Vos will be joined by Dom Fig and Nore Davis at Mohegan Sun Cabaret. Tickets for the 9 p.m. sets are $22. Both shows are presented by Treehouse Comedy.

MOGUL AT MOHEGAN: Talk about living the good life.  Jay-Z's got his own clothing line, his own record label, part ownership of an NBA team, he's married to Beyonce and, Oh yeah, he's one of the most successful recording artists of all time.  With last year's mega-uber-hit "Empire State of Mind," Z (yeah, we're on a last-initial basis) overtook Elvis as the solo artist with the most number 1 albums. On Friday, he's taking over Mohegan Sun along with Young Jeezy and Trey Songz (we're thinking that's the most z's ever assembled in one concert program). Tickets are $80 and $120. Show is at 8 p.m.

CHAINED MELODY: They were on the forefront of the Grunge movement in the '90s, but Alice in Chains looked to be a thing of the past following the death of singer Layne Staley. But the band has recently reformed with a new singer, pushed by guitarist Jerry Cantrell. The band is touring right now to promote their latest effort, "Black Gives Way to Blue." Saturday night, Alice in Chains is hitting the stage at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. Tickets are $30-$55. Show is at 8 p.m.

ROTTING PINATAS:  On the heels of bands like Alice in Chains, dozens of hard rock groups sprouted up. Not many were as successful in the '90s as Detroit's "Sponge." With hits like "Plowed" and "Molly (16 Candles)," it was hard not to hear the band on the radio. The band has spent the last decade or so touring the world, and this Sunday night, they're landing in Connecticut at the Wolf Den in Mohegan Sun. The show is free, and starts at 7 p.m.

THE SWEET SCIENCE:  World-class boxing is back in Connecticut this weekend. HBO Boxing After Dark will be at Mohegan Sun Arena Saturday (yeah, we know, it's a big weekend for Mohegan). Don King Productions is presenting the evening of fisticuffs, featuring two world champions. WBC Super Lightweight champ Devon Alexander "The Great" will face IBF Junior Welterweight champ Juan Urango. Both Alexander and Urango are up-and-comers with only two losses between them. Tickets for the fight range from $35 to $175. The action gets underway at 5:30 p.m.

OH DANNY BOY: Get into the St. Patrick's Day spirit on Saturday night with an evening of Irish culture, all to support a great cause. "Get Your Irish Up for MS" is a night of Irish music, dancing, drinking and eating to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter. The event at the Farmington Marriott includes a Pour Your Own Guinness station, and expert knowledge on the finer points of Jameson & Bushmills Irish Whiskey. There's an Irish-inspired buffet, live Irish Music and even some Irish step-dancing. Tickets are $75. Show is from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

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