Award-winning author Stephen King was the first main event, entertaining fans at a VIP reception at the Mark Twain House & Museum before moving on to the Bushnell for a sold-out crowd who couldn’t wait to hear the contemporary suspense and science fiction scribe talk at the Twain-sponsored program.
So what would his day in Hartford pan out to if it were one of his signature scary stories?
“There’s been nothing scary yet here,” said the 65-year-old as he prepared to greet the VIP’ers who were wined and dined as they met the author. “If anything I feel bad because all these people paid money to see me but I have nothing to give them.”
About 200 people attended the private reception including many who came from New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and beyond.
“We are supporters of the Mark Twain House and huge fans of Stephen King so we decided to come up to Connecticut for this,” explained Alan Lorden, who with his wife Renee, traveled from North Carolina for the program and reception.
King, a huge Mark Twain fan, stayed at the Marriott Downtown Thursday night, had a private tour of the Mark Twain House on Friday and then boarded his private jet for the trip to his home in Maine.
As King told tales at the Bushnell, pop star Justin Bieber had 13,000 people waiting for him to take the stage at this “Believe” tour. The 19-year-old made a less-than-best first impression on the 13,000 people in the XL Center when his scheduled 8:30 p.m. appearance didn’t materialize until 9:50 p.m. But for most of the crowd, it was worth the wait as the teen/tween heart-throb belted out hit after hit with staging that included pyrotechnics, a cherry picker sweep of the crowd and more winks and eye-battings than could be counted.
Perhaps the most envied people in town Thursday were the staff at downtown restaurant Salute.
Owner/partner Jimmy Cosgrove and his staff catered the King reception which means the heavy lifters over there, including owner/partner Andy Rizzo and catering manager Sean Jarvis got their own meet-and-greet with the author.
And “The Biebs?” Guess where he went for lunch?
Seems Dale “Daleo” Kirshnitz there took the reservation call for a private lunch for Bieber and his entourage and the restaurant sprung into action. A rear room was “privatized” by putting up a makeshift curtain made of tablecloths. Bieber was brought in through a rear door so as not to have to walk through the crowded main dining room and according to everyone; he was polite, gracious, kind and a good tipper.
“He had Bolognese and sparkling water” reported “Rose the Waitress” Sczuret who was assigned the Bieber table. “When Dale told me it was Justin Bieber coming for lunch I didn’t believe him,” she said. “But he was very nice,” she said about the pop star. “And he left a 20 percent tip.”