The Numbers Tell the Story for Fall Connecticut Theater – Karen Isaacs

One, two, three, six and 22. A math puzzle? No – just a list of what happening in Connecticut theaters through the start of the holiday season. Here’s what the numbers all mean. One – A renovated theater reopens. TheaterWorks in Hartford which has produced three shows at the Hartford Atheneum will show off its renovated home on Pearl Street in October. The lobby has been enlarged, better and more convenient restrooms, an elevator, new seating and lots of improvements backstage will greet theatergoers and performers. Two – Two new artistic directors are taking the helm at two of our… read more

Bill Berloni is champion for animal actors – Brooks Appelbaum

Bill Berloni has kind eyes, a steady presence and a calm voice. It isn’t difficult to imagine a shy or traumatized dog, large or small, trusting him at first sight. Berloni is a nationally-known humane trainer of animals used on stage, television and in film. His business, William Berloni Theatrical Animals, has been successful for 30 years, and he is the only trainer to earn a special Tony award. Berloni’s latest project is “Because of Winn Dixie,” directed by John Rando and running at Goodspeed Musicals through Sept. 5. The production stars Bowdie as the titular gentle giant (“a poodle… read more

Yale Summer Cabaret is Full “Swing” – Bonnie Goldberg

Danilo Gambini is part of a triumvirate that includes Jecamiah M. Ybanez and Estefani Castro, the three fearless leaders, the trio of Artistic Directors, who are responsible for this summer’s Yale Cabaret. Titled ”Verano,” which means summer in Spanish, they have fashioned a four part line up of shows where they encourage you, the audience, to laugh, to cry and to fall in love. Now, at the half way mark in the season, you are invited to join a playground in the park to romp on a swing with the animal characters in Brazilian writer Jorge Amado’s whimsical children’s novel… read more

The Narrative of Disabled Performers Needs to Change by Noah Golden

On June 9th, Ali Stroker won a Tony Award, making her the first wheelchair-user to win a prize at the top event for honoring Broadway talent. She is only one of a handful of disabled actors to win a major acting award in the US across any media (following Phyllis Frelich, Marlee Matlin, Harold Russell, and Christopher Reeve). She was also the first person in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway, making her debut in the 2015 “Spring Awakening” revival. Her Tony win is, of course, not just a huge personal achievement for the 32-year-old performer but a win for… read more

Great Theater Doesn’t Take a Vacation in Connecticut by Karen Isaacs

Connecticut theater doesn’t take a summer vacation. While some of the major companies – Yale Rep, Long Wharf and Hartford Stage take a summer break, others go on all year and still others present a summer only season. Long gone are the days of the “straw hat circuit” of productions that toured a variety of summer theaters in New England offering light comedies often starring B-list or aging Hollywood and TV names. Now you can see world premieres with leading performers as well as classic musicals, dramas and plays. You can sit outdoors or under a covering or in traditional… read more

Connecticut Critics Give ‘A Flea in Her Ear,’ ‘Music Man’ Top Honors

EAST HADDAM — The classic French farce “A Flea in Her Ear” at the Westport Country Playhouse and a nostalgic revival of “The Music Man” at Goodspeed Musicals took top honors at the Monday, June 3rd Connecticut Critics Circle Awards. The event, which celebrates the work from the state’s professional theaters during the ’18-’19 season, was held at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam. This year the awards were spread out to many productions throughout the state, though Hartford Stage’s “The Engagement Party” earned the most taking four for outstanding director, actor, set and lighting. Awards for outstanding actor… read more

Michael Yeargan Named 2019 Tom Killen Award Recipient

Michael Yeargan, two-time Tony Award-winning set designer and co-chair of the design program at Yale School of Drama, will be the 2019 recipient of the Connecticut Critics Circle’s annual Tom Killen Award, recognizing his long service and achievement to theater in the state, New York and internationally. The award will be presented June 3 at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam at the 29th annual event celebrating and honoring the state’s outstanding professional theater. The event, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., is free and open to the public. Yeargan is professor in the practice of design at the… read more

Goodspeed Musicals will host the 29th Connecticut Critics Circle Awards

Goodspeed Musicals will host the 29th Connecticut Critics Circle’s annual at its Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam on Monday, June 3, 2019. The annual event celebrates and honors the state’s outstanding professional theater. The 90-minute event, scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. that night, is free and open to the public. Nominees for the awards will be made public in mid-May. Winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony. “Our annual awards show is the only event in the state which brings the theater community together,” stated Stuart Brown, President of the organization. “It can be… read more

‘Twelfth Night,’ ‘The Music Man’ Top Connecticut Critics Circle Nominations

Yale Repertory Theatre’s Afro-futuristic “Twelfth Night” and Goodspeed Musical’s nostalgic “The Music Man” lead the shows nominated for the 29th annual Connecticut Critics Circle Awards. The awards event, which celebrates the best in professional theater in the state, will be held Monday, June 3 at 7 p.m. at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam. Jennifer Cody, who stars in “Mamma Mia!” at Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s Nutmeg Summer Series next month, will preside over the show which is free and open to the public. “Twelfth Night” earned nine nominations, including outstanding play production, projections, sound, lighting, costumes, director, two featured… read more

‘Mamma Mia!”’s Jennifer Cody To Host Connecticut Critics Circle Awards

EAST HADDAM — Theater, film and television actor Jennifer Cody, will be the m.c. of the 29th annual Connecticut Critics Circle Awards June 3, at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, this year’s hosting theater. The 7 p.m. event, which is free and open to the public, honors outstanding work by the state’s professional theater during the 2018-19 season. Among the honorees will be Tony Award-winning set designer Michael Yeargan who will be the recipient of this years’s Tom Killen Award, which pays tribute to longtime excellence and service on behalf of Connecticut theater. Cody will be starring in… read more