Despite its 90-person capacity, the Vanilla Bean Cafe (corner of Rtes. 44, 169, and 97, Pomfret, 860/928-1562, www.vanillabeancafe.com , 7 a.m.–8 p.m., Wed.–Thu.; 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Fri.; 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Sat.; 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Sun.) plays host to nationally known folk acts such as Brooks Williams and Dar Williams, as well as up-and-comers from throughout New England. On Saturdays, an informal jam session follows the scheduled performer.
A restored century-old vaudeville theater in the heart of Putnam’s antiques district, Bradley Playhouse (30 Front St./Rte. 44, Putnam, 860/928-7887, www.bradleyplayhouse.org , shows $15 adults, $12 students and seniors, musicals $17 adults, $14 students and seniors) plays host to amateur drama and musicals.