So You Want To Be A Critic? Let Me Say A Few Words First…

HARTFORD — The word of professional arts criticism and writing has had a seismic change in the last decade with traditional media print platforms downsizing the role of reviewer, indeed its arts coverage. But there’s hope — and even opportunity — for writers who are savvy enough to navigate a new media terrain. Those who adapt, write well and take an entrepreneurial approach can find new inroads — and even a career, where none existed before. Arts writer Frank Rizzo has seen this media landscape change as dramatically as the shows he’s covered for 40 years as arts writer and… read more

Before ‘Hamilton,’ There Was ‘In the Heights’ — Now Re-Issued

Ten years ago, Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail and many others from the creative team behind Hamilton had their first Broadway hit with their Tony and Grammy Award-winning In the Heights. The pleasure of that musical — which began as a student production when Miranda was a sophomore at Wesleyan University in Middletown and later developed at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford — was splendidly on display this summer at West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park. To celebrate the show’s 10th anniversary, Ghostlight Records is releasing a three-LP soundtrack exclusively through Barnes & Noble, marking the first time the… read more

Where National Theatre Live! Films Are Playing In Connecticut…A Guide

Frustrated at not knowing exactly where National Theatre Live films are playing in Connecticut: when and where and what? Me, too. So with the help of my husband Bill Kux  I’m going to try to have a master list of what the films are and where they are playing posted on this website —  as best we can. So hopefully now you can just check in here to find out about these remarkable films, presented live from London (usually matinee shows here; evening shows there with the time difference) or as “encore” presentations.   KATHARINE HEPBURN CULTURAL ARTS CENTER, OLD SAYBROOK “Julie” – Sept.6… read more

Brian Murray, Veteran Actor, Dead at 80

The following is my interview with Brian Murray when he was at Hartford Stage performing in Noel Coward’s “A Song at Twilight” in 2014. (The production also played Westport Country Playhouse). According to his Facebook posts, Murray has passed on.. He was 80. By FRANK RIZZO Arguably, Noel Coward’s most famous play is the witty still-in-love divorce comedy, “Private Lives.” But the playwright’s own private life was that of a discreet gay British gentleman, a subject he explored indirectly in his late-in-life play, “A Song at Twilight,” now playing at Hartford Stage through March 16. But Coward didn’t base the 1966… read more

ACT of CT Present Broadway Unplugged & Broadway Star Event!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bryan Perri and ACT of CT Present Broadway Unplugged  Come Hang Out with Broadway Star Elizabeth Stanley on August 24 at 8PM!  Ridgefield, Conn. (August 15, 2018) – Bryan Perri, ACT of Connecticut’s resident Music Supervisor and Broadway Music Director, is bringing his favorite Broadway singers, songs, and stories to his hometown of Ridgefield!  Mr. Perri, the music director and conductor of Wicked at the Gershwin Theater, has invited his Broadway friends to help him present an ongoing series of one-of-a-kind evenings of great conversation, behind-the-scenes stories, and—of course—extraordinary music. Perri has chosen, in his own words, “people of incredible talent, who are incredibly… read more

WONDERFUL MUSICALS OFFERED FOR SUMMER FUN

If your hair is shellacked to an inch of an Egyptian pyramid and piled high like a Dairy Queen ice cream cone, you are clearly sporting a beehive hairdo. No need to visit your stylist because Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury is offering a grand musical tour of the 1960’s, with historical commentary, until Sunday, August 19, “Beehive The 60’s Musical.” Come swing and sing with Amy Bentley, Brittany Mulcahy, Chelsea Dacey, Samantha Rae Bass, Erin West Reed and Patricia Paganucci as they play teenyboppers in a swirl of pastel prettiness. All your favorites from the past, like Brenda Lee… read more

‘This Ain’t No Disco’ Spotlights Studio 54, Mudd Club With Connecticut Talent

For many, New York in 1979 was a wild, out-of-control place. The city had barely survived bankruptcy, crime was at record levels and garbage was piling up on sidewalks. Nightclubs like glamorous Studio 54 and later counter-culture Mudd Club reflected that sense of anything-goes while at the same time offering themselves as a glorious refuge, a welcoming place to hide — or thrive, and even as a little piece of heaven. That sense of fantasy, family and freedom are themes that reverberate in the world premiere of a new musical opening this week at off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater. “This Ain’t Not… read more

In ‘Georgie,’ Ed Dixon Looks At The Man Behind the Mask

A friend of actor-writer Ed Dixon came up to him after a reading of a new solo work he had just written and performed and said flatly: “You can’t tell this story.” Dixon was stunned but then thought, “But It happened to me and it’s my story.” At first the work Georgie, seemed straight-forward and innocuous enough. It was a solo show about Dixon’s years-long friendship with two-time Tony Award-winning actor George Rose. It was filled with amusing and slightly bitchy backstage theatrical anecdotes with Dixon doing a spot-on imitation of the British character actor who was murdered in 1988… read more

Peter Dinklage Takes On Cyrano. What Would Cersei Think?

Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister — one of the most popular characters on HBO’s hit fantasy series Game of Thrones — is taking on another fascinating character with physical challenges: Cyrano. Dinklage, 49, stars in Cyrano, the new musical that his wife Erica Schmidt is directing at Goodspeed Musicals’ Norma Terris Theatre in Chester from her adaptation based on Edmond Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergerac. Also starring Haley Bennett (The Girl on the Train, The Magnificent Seven) as Roxanne, the play is a “developmental production” (meaning not ready for critics) and runs Aug. 3 to Sept. 9. For this production, it’s not about the… read more

How Do You Keep a Hyena Clean? ‘Lion King’ Costumer Tells All

How do you keep a hyena clean? Very carefully, laughs Gregory Young, wardrobe supervisor for the 350 costumes that travel with the tour of The Lion King, which plays Hartford’s Bushnell Aug. 1-19. Half the costumes can be washed, he says, but for the unique fabrics and materials of the other costumes designed by director Julie Taymor, he turns to a local dry cleaner, French Cleaners of West Hartford. (And because the tour has played Hartford several times before, the cleaner is well versed in his costume challenges.) “This is the most unique show I’ve worked on,” Young says. “With other… read more