Popular for its monthly Poetry & Beer series, the lovably scruffy Acoustic Cafe (2926 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport, 203/335-3655, www.acousticcafe.com ) is also a venue for live folk, blues, jazz, and bluegrass, plus the occasional rock show.
The Downtown Cabaret Theatre (263 Golden Hill, Bridgeport, 203/576-1636, www.dtcab.com ) stages musical productions from Hair to Heidi.
Or grab a nightcap at Southport Brewing Company (2600 Post Rd., Fairfield, 203/256-2337), a mellow brewpub in which homemade beer takes center stage.
Barnum would be proud of the celebration launched in his honor every June. The Barnum Festival (203/367-8495 or 866/867-8495, www.barnumfestival.com , July) fills downtown Bridgeport  with fireworks, parades, and circus performers.
A long-running church festival takes advantage of Fairfield’s  leafy goodness with the annual Dogwood Festival (203/259-5596, http://web.me.com/greenfieldhillchurch , mid-May), which includes a bake-off and craft tables.