The people representing this week’s arts picks have taken some interesting journeys.

Storyteller Matthew Dicks has been on a quest for immortality. Donny Osmond went from “Puppy Love” to his own variety show and talk show. Ali Siddiq’s comedy success came after a six-year prison sentence. The play-with-music “Crowns” chronicles a Chicago youth’s experience with her relatives in the South. The Lalas have updated the art of burlesque to the 21st century with a rock/blues soundtrack, and Jay Leno stands out for not having deviated in his chosen path for over half a century from hotshot young stand-up to seasoned older stand-up.

Country music star Jason Aldean is also in town, at a crossroads in his mainstream appeal as he seeks to define small-town living amid controversy. Lots of fascinating changes in store on Connecticut stages this week. Here are some of the top things to do and see.

Jason Aldean
Xfinity Theatre, 61 Savitt Way, Hartford

Country star Jason Aldean visits Hartford with a bit of baggage. His latest single, “Try That in a Small Town” (released in May) and especially its video (released this month and no longer airing on CMT) caused concern that it encouraged vigilantism. Aldean has denied the intention (and didn’t write the song, which is credited to Kurt Allison, Tully Kennedy, Kelley Lovelace and Neil Thrasher). His other hits include “My Kinda Party,” “Burnin’ It Down,” “Just Gettin’ Started” and “We Back.” He’s been mentioning the controversy in his live shows, and might again when he plays the Xfinity Theatre on July 30 at 7:30 p.m. as an encore on his “Highway Desperado” tour. $45.50 (lawn) to $310 (VIP package).

‘You’re A Monster, Matthew Dicks’
TheaterWorks Hartford, 233 Pearl St., Hartford

Matthew Dicks is one of the greatest exponents of The Moth storytelling series, having won its GrandSlam championship 10 times. His latest long-form story is about his youthful craving for more youth in the form of immortality and the disdain he receives from his peers for having such a dream. Dicks tells “You’re a Monster, Matthew Dicks” on the TheaterWorks Hartford stage three times, July 30 through Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. $20.

Donny Osmond
Foxwoods, 350 Shoreline Trolley Blvd., Mashantucket

Donny Osmond returns to Connecticut just months after playing the Waterbury Palace. This time, he is at Foxwoods’ Premier Theater on Aug. 3 at 8 p.m. His show covers her entire extraordinary life, from a child pop star to a musical theater star, TV show host and beyond. $40-$50.

Ali Siddiq
Hartford Funny Bone, 194 Buckland Hills Road, Manchester

A busy stand-up who has also found time to release eight comedy albums between 2010 and 2023 and make guest appearances on oodles of cable shows and podcasts, Ali Siddiq likes to tell funny stories based on his real-life experiences, including the six years he spent in prison on a drug charge. Aug. 4 and 5 at both 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. $42-$52.

Ali Siddiq

Photo courtesy of Hartford Funny Bone

Comedian Ali Siddiq is at the Hartford Funny Bone in Manchester for four shows over two nights, Aug. 4 and 5.

Cheney Hall, 177 Hartford Road, Manchester

“Crowns” is a popular play-with-music by Regina Taylor. It is based on the book “Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats” by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry about a Black community in South Carolina and its social rituals as experienced by a visiting Chicago teen. The Little Theatre of Manchester stages it Aug. 4-20, directed by Rae Janeil. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. $23-$35, $13 children, discounts for seniors, students, military and groups.

The Lalas
Mohegan Sun, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville

The Lalas, based in Los Angeles, provide a classic 75-minute burlesque show (both the striptease and the comedy parts) with a blues/rock twist. The ecdysiast troupe performs on Aug. 5 at 9 p.m. $35-$55. (Age 21 and over.)

Death Grips
College Street Music Hall, 238 College St., New Haven

Death Grips is an experimental, groundbreaking and rulebreaking hip-hop band that brings noise rock, punk, electronics and other elements to its sound. Death Grips has apparently never played live in Connecticut before, and given that they can be rather random about when they tour, release records or even stay together as a band, this College Street Music Hall show on Aug. 5 at 8 p.m. is a big deal. $35-$60.

Jay Leno
Foxwoods, 350 Shoreline Trolley Blvd., Mashantucket

There have been several Jay Lenos. There’s the young eager comic who drove from Boston to New York several times a week after work to gain a foothold in the comedy clubs. There’s the short-tempered leather-jacketed live wire who made his name as a guest on David Letterman’s show. There’s the Leno who hosted “The Tonight Show” through several different eras: First, as the main substitute host when Johnny Carson was still around, then as Carson’s successor, then again following the turbulent short run of Conan O’Brien. Now he largely appears on shows about cars and has done some marvelous bouts of reminiscing on podcasts like Mike Maron’s and the SNL-based “Fly on the Wall.” Throughout it all, Leno has continued to be a consummate stand-up comedian, still rattling off one-liners about contemporary grievances. He’s back at Foxwoods’ Premier Theater on Aug. 5 at 8 p.m. $46-$118.

The Webster, 31 Webster St., Hartford

The Nashville-based band Orthodox came up through the straightedge hardcore scene but has always been embraced by the metalcore community as well. The band’s “Learning to Dissolve” album came out last year, and a new single “Soaking Nerves” was released in June. A rancorous show also featuring Chamber, Cell and the Connecticut bands Slugs and Burying Point begins at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 5 at The Webster.  Aug. 5 at 6:30 p.m. $15.

Taste of the Caribbean and Jerk Festival
Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, 300 Columbus Blvd., Hartford

One of the big Riverfront Recapture events of the summer, the eight-hour Taste of the Caribbean and Jerk Festival brings music, drumming, dancing, costumes, special food and drinks and other Caribbean delights to Mortensen Riverfront Plaza on Aug. 5 from 1 to 9 p.m.