- Written by Terri Garlick
The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, a unique open-air summer festival located along the banks of the Saugatuck River in downtown Westport, will present its 38th summer season beginning Sunday, June 26th and running through Sunday, August 28th. Almost 60 nights of FREE entertainment will light up Westport for nine non-stop weeks. The Pavilion presents a vibrant range of music, featuring established and award-winning artists as well as emerging ones, from local bands to national and international acts, as well as a mix of other live performing arts including dance and comedy.
Summer ‘11 includes highly anticipated Pavilion debuts for South Africa rock phenoms Civil Twilight (Aug 27), NYC bust-out pop punk duo Hank & Cupcakes (July 16), Fairfield County’s own roots rockers The Alternate Routes (July 9), folk sensations Buskin & Batteau (July 23) and vaunted swing banjoist Cynthia Sayer and Her Sparks Fly Band (July 3). Artists and acts returning by popular demand include Latin guitar world fusion group Incendio (July 24), Vegas veteran Early Clover (July 15), Andalusion treasures The Val Ramos Flamenco Ensemble (July 14), Gypsy Jazz legend Frank Vignola (Aug 14), and the laudedConnecticut Ballet (July 26). Outstanding children’s shows include the return of world class illusionist The Magic of Lyn (July 6), as well as the Pavilion debut of string band Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem (July 27), and 4-time Grammy nominees Trout Fishing in America (July 20).
Throughout the season, look for the Pavilion’s RiverSwing Series, special evenings on which a free pre- concert dance lesson, led by professional instructors, is offered in the style of the music that’s about to be enjoyed – yes, there’s a dance floor! Includes Hector del Curto Tango (Aug 4) and Gas House Gorillas (July 30). In addition, each summer the Pavilion produces three to five ticketed events which help underwrite our close to sixty FREE performances. The Pavilion’s Stars on Tour Concert Series will welcome “America’s favorite little big band” Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to the stage on Sunday, July 10th. The Summer Gala will feature 3-time Grammy Award winners with An Evening with The Doobie Brothers on Thursday, July 28th. Tickets are on sale now. And keep an eye out for more upcoming Stars-on-Tour fundraising events throughout the summer and this fall.
At the Pavilion, certain nights feature different genres to ensure a range of top-quality programs for different ages and tastes. In general, nightly themes and START-TIMES are as follows (the online calendar should be checked to see if there are any surprises!): Sundays – Jazz & Big Band : 7PM Mondays – Movie Nights: Select Mondays at Sundown Tuesdays – Wild Cards: anything goes, including Dance, Comedy and More : 8PM Wednesdays – Children’s & Family Series : 7PM Thursdays – Classical, Cabaret, Broadway and Beyond : 8PM Fridays – Party Bands and Pop : 8PM Saturdays – Blues/Folk/Rock/ World : 8PM Selected performances have rain locations.
The public is invited to bring picnics, blankets and folding chairs to enhance their Pavilion experience. The park opens for pre-show picnicking approximately 60 minutes before showtime. There is also an on-site concession with snacks and ice cream.
The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts welcomes over 50,000 patrons each summer. The Pavilion is dedicated to providing FREE ACCESS to the performing arts, presenting a dynamic constellation of established and emerging artists, and cultivating a space where people of all ages and backgrounds are ALL and always invited to enjoy the arts, enjoy nature, and enjoy each other!