Memories & Reflections on Straford’s American Shakespeare Theatre

It was an audacious idea and its ending was equally spectacular. The American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford is no more, consumed by fire. While its beginning was auspicious, perhaps the seeds of the problems that would haunt theater were also present. In 1950, Lawrence Langer had the vision and proclaimed that a theater patterned to some extent on the Old Globe would be built on the banks of the Housatonic River. It would be the third Shakespeare theater/festival in towns named Stratford. Besides the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford on Avon, there was a successful festival in Stratford, Ontario. Langer… read more

Melia Bensussen Named New Artistic Director at Hartford Stage

Melia Bensussen has been named the next Artistic Director of the Tony Award-winning theatre. She will assume the role in June. Ms. Bensussen will be the sixth artistic director, as well as the first woman, to lead the theatre in its 55-year history. She succeeds Darko Tresnjak, who has served as Artistic Director since 2011 and will depart Hartford Stage at the close of the 2018-19 season, Michael Wilson (1998-2011), Mark Lamos (1981-1998), Paul Weidner (1968-1981), and Jacques Cartier (1963-1968). In addition to her highly-regarded work, Hartford Stage leaders were impressed by Bensussen’s passion for reinterpreting classics and directing new… read more

A Memory About the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre

Naugatuck Patch Theatre Reviewer Nancy Sasso Janis shares some memories about the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre, affectionately known at the Shakespeare Theatre. Dedicated to the memory of my father, Austin N. Sasso It was the norm when I was in high school in Stratford to attend at least one Shakespeare play every year at the American Shakespeare Theatre and no one misses this theater more than me. – From Nancy Sasso Janis’ review of THE COMEDY OF ERRORS at Hartford Stage Early Sunday morning, I was heartbroken to read that the beloved Shakespeare Theatre was gone forever. A treasure has… read more

Goodspeed Debuting 14th Festival of New Musicals

What better way to dispel the frigid cold and darkness of the winter months than a visit to The Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals in East Haddam. For the 14th year, Goodspeed is offering up a splendid weekend of theatrical treasures for your edification and entertainment, from Friday, January 18 to Sunday, January 20. Without the need for skis, sleds or skates, you can travel swiftly and smoothly, without fear of spills, to see the latest in musical magic. Students from the Hartt School of Music and the Boston Conservatory of Music will present a trio of staged readings beginning… read more

Ivoryton Playhouse Announces 2019 Season

The 2019 Ivoryton Playhouse season opens on March 20, 2019. For tickets and information, visit www.ivorytonplayhouse.org or call (860) 767-7318. BURT & ME Book by Larry McKenna, Lyrics by Hal David, Music by Burt Bacharach Wednesday, March 20th – Sunday, April 7, 2019 If you fell in love to the music of Burt Bacharach, then you won’t want to miss this nostalgic romantic musical comedy. Joe and Lacey were high school sweethearts who drifted apart when they attended different colleges after graduation. Years later, their paths cross again as Joe devises a clever plan to win Lacey back… with the… read more

“In the Heights” to Open 2019 Westport Season

Westport Country Playhouse announces its upcoming 2019 season, featuring five productions, playing April 23 through November 23, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos. The Connecticut professional theater’s lineup includes two musicals, two dramas, and a comedy. 2019 season tickets are now on sale. Single tickets for 2019 productions will go on sale in March. “I am happy to announce our first show of the season will be ‘Hamilton’ creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘In the Heights,’ winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score,” said Lamos. “With an infectious score featuring a blend of hip-hop, salsa, merengue, and… read more

“In the Heights” to Open 2019 Westport Season

Westport Country Playhouse announces its upcoming 2019 season, featuring five productions, playing April 23 through November 23, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos. The Connecticut professional theater’s lineup includes two musicals, two dramas, and a comedy. 2019 season tickets are now on sale. Single tickets for 2019 productions will go on sale in March. “I am happy to announce our first show of the season will be ‘Hamilton’ creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘In the Heights,’ winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score,” said Lamos. “With an infectious score featuring a blend of hip-hop, salsa, merengue, and… read more

CT Critics Circle Facebook Page

The Connecticut Critics Circle has a new Facebook page. The CCC Twitter account became live in January of 2018.   The Connecticut Critics Circle Facebook page is an easy online spot to see links to all of the current reviews written by the members of the CCC. Links to reviews that appear on the CCC website are posted, as well as links to reviews that appear on other sites. Recent posts include an introduction to the 27 members of the CCC with photos, as well as some Connecticut theater news and photos. Stuart Brown, CCC President and member since 2012,… read more

“Presidents & Broadway” Radio Program

To celebrate the arrival of the national tour of Hamilton at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts (December 11 – 30), the Broadway music radio program, “On Broadway,” will feature an all-Presidential themed show on Sunday, December 9 from 5:30-6:30pm on WRTC-FM, 89.3. The program can also be heard online at www.wrtcfm.com. “Alexander Hamilton may not have reached the Presidency,” said long time host Stuart Brown, “but a number of characters in the musical Hamilton such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe did ascend to our nation’s highest office.” “The most well-known Presidential musical is probably 1776,… read more

Yale Cabaret Celebrates 50 Years of Bold Theater

New Haven’s Yale Cabaret is a gift to the theater community and has been offering inspired and challenging works for over five decades. With a goal of eighteen shows this school year, overseen by co-artistic directors Latiana “LT” Gourzong and Molly FitzMaurice and managing director Armando Huipe, Cab 51 promises, according to the playbill, to “cultivate surprise, embrace divergence, practice compassion and share joy.” Tucked in a flexible downstairs space on the Yale campus, at 217 Park Street, students from the Yale School of Drama shine a spotlight on work composed by colleagues, find plays that invite presentation or adapt… read more