Aligning with the goals of Wilton’s Economic Development Commission (EDC), a new promotional event  is aiming to bring more patrons — including residents from surrounding towns — to Wilton businesses.

Culture Crawl CT” will feature a three-night theatrical experience, organized through a unique partnership with the Wilton Playshop, Westport Country Playhouse and ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) of Connecticut in Ridgefield.

Alison Smith, who serves as an EDC commissioner, developed the concept and led the planning for the event.

Smith told GOOD Morning Wilton, “The goal was to bring outside visitors into Wilton and to gain visibility for [Wilton’s] culture and business community.”

Smith called the event “a positive action being done locally in support of Wilton.”

“The idea is to bring together Ridgefield, Wilton and Westport [residents] to share our cross-cultural activities and bring out-of-town residents to come and partake from our businesses and restaurants,” Smith said at a recent EDC meeting.

Tickets are on sale now for $120. In addition to admission to three shows — Jesus Christ Superstar, Next to Normal and Evita — tickets include a wine and snack reception before each show; discounts or special pre-fixe menus for pre-theater dining at nearby restaurants; and a “swag bag” with gift items and coupons from a variety of local area merchants.  (Smith offered GMW a glimpse of some of those gift items — and they’re substantial.)

All performances take place between March 24 and May 6. Ticket buyers may choose from Thursday, Friday or Saturday event options, as follows:

Thursday Package:

  • March 24: Jesus Christ Superstar, ACT of CT
  • April 7: Next To Normal, Westport Country Playhouse
  • May 5: Evita, Wilton Playshop
Friday Package:
  • March 25: Jesus Christ Superstar, ACT of CT
  • April 8: Next To Normal, Westport Country Playhouse
  • May 6: Evita, Wilton Playshop
Saturday Package:
  • April 16: Jesus Christ Superstar, ACT of CT
  • April 23: Next To Normal, Westport Country Playhouse
  • April 30: Evita, Wilton Playshop

Participating merchants are listed on the Culture Crawl website‘s homepage. They include Bailey’s BackyardBangkok Republic, Blue Star Bazaar, The Little Pub, Mexica, and Village Market, just to name a few.

Smith says more restaurants and merchants are being added daily.

Tickets are only available for purchase on the Culture Crawl website, and may not be purchased at the local theaters.

Current season-ticket holders at any of the theaters can purchase tickets for Culture Crawl performances  at the other venues at an adjusted price by contacting event organizers on the Culture Crawl website.

Initial Response

Smith says reaction to the event plans has been positive. In fact, Smith says she has already been contacted by other organizations seeking to do something similar, such as a Culture Crawl comedy club series, other arts, or kids’ events.

“We have been really well received across the community,” Smith said.

Early ticket sales are also encouraging.

“We have had a good amount of sales in the first two days,” Smith said. “We are about 25% sold as of today, [Feb. 3].”

About The Shows

Details about the venues and performances may be found on the Culture Crawl website. A press release provided the following information:

“The 2009 Tony Award®-winning musical and winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, lifts the veil on family loss and the individual responses to crisis and endurance, while pushing the boundaries of contemporary musical theater and will be directed by the director/choreographer of the Playhouse’s 2019 hit, In the Heights.”

Evita is a rock-concept musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. It concentrates on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentine President Juan Perón. The story follows Evita’s early life, rise to power, charity work, and death.”

Jesus Christ Superstar is a sung-through rock opera with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice… the work interprets the psychology of Jesus and other characters, with much of the plot centered on Judas, who is dissatisfied with the direction in which Jesus is steering his disciples.”

Note: the Culture Crawl website advises ticket buyers that no refunds will be offered and to check the COVID policy of each theater before purchase.

[Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to clarify the event’s sponsorship. The EDC is not an official sponsor of Culture Crawl CT. While the event was originally conceived as an EDC event, Smith recently learned official sponsorship would not be feasible.]