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"Assassins" at Yale Rep -- Sondheim's Best Musical?

By Karen Isaacs

Assassins, the Stephen Sondheim & John Weidman musical that opens at the Yale Rep on Friday, March 17, may not be familiar to the casual theater goer. But for director James Bundy, it is a show that he has wanted to direct for many years.

One reason, Bundy said, is that he felt it would resonate with the audience.

Assassins is staged as a revue; the characters are the men and women who made successful and unsuccessful attempts on the lives of US Presidents.

“I was particularly drawn to it when we were planning this season because of the tenor of national politics, which are driven in part by the kind of anger and resentment, as well as the pursuit of fame and celebrity, that is so prevalent in our contemporary political culture,” Bundy explained. He added that when he scheduled the piece last spring, he had no idea who would be the Presidential nominees or who would be the winner of the election, but he felt the idea of the show would still be relevant.

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The Consummate Artist

paul Mullins

Paul Mullins

Originally published on Pillow Talking Blog (Stephanie Lyons-Keeley and Wayne Keeley)

Paul Mullins is a consummate artist. His list of both acting and directorial credits reads like a “Who’s Who” of the Theatre Hall of Fame. He has acted and/or directed in everything from Shakespeare to The Whore and Mr. Moore. Just a sampling of his sterling credentials, Mr. Mullins played the title role to rave reviews in Shakespeare’s Richard III at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and then returned a decade later to direct a production of Richard III which was lauded as “Powerful and enthralling.”

Paul took time out of his busy schedule to chat with Pillow Talking about acting, directing, regional theatre, and his latest endeavor, directing Georges Feydeau’s farce An Absolute Turkey at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT).

PT: Thank you for granting us this interview. We are looking forward to seeing your play at CRT (Connecticut Repertory Theatre). So let’s start with the standard type of opening question. How did you initially get involved with theatre?

PM: Wow. No one has asked me that in a long time. I’ll make it brief. I’m from Houston, Texas. From the time I was ten I knew I was going to be a doctor. I graduated high school and went to college and I was in the middle of a biology/chemistry degree. I found it unfulfilling. Someone said, “Why don’t you audition for this play they are doing here at school?” (laughs). And I said, “That would be silly since I’ve never done anything like that.” But I did. I auditioned for the play and they cast me in it and I sort of never looked back. Well, I looked back for a while and actually got the degree. But I didn’t look back much further than that. I went to drama school at SMU [Southern Methodist University] and then I went to New York and made my living as an actor for the first half of this career and still do. I fell into directing because I was working at a theatre in Florida. The artistic director said, “You’re not coming back anymore because I was getting jobs that paid me better.” I said, “I’d love to come back but maybe you would let me direct a play,” and she did. And then I started doing that. And that’s how I ended up in this spot.

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Articles of Interest:

Local writer publishes book of plays

 

Blogs and Websites of Interest

Blogs about Connecticut theater, movie reviews, and the arts.

OnStage - Theater Opinion & Discussion

Pillow Talking Blog

Zander Opper

Joe's Views -- Joe Meyers' Blog

Artes Magazine -- fine art, architecture, design and theater

Back Stage Buzz - current and archived interviews with CT artists

bonniegoldberg.blogspot.com

cttheater.blogspot.com

susangranger.com -- movie reviews

CT Arts Connection

WMNR Fine Arts Radio (Rosalind Friedman's Review)

www.courant.com/curtain (Frank Rizzo reviews)

www.reflectionsinthelight (Lauren Yarger reviews)

www.nytheaterscene.com (Irene Backalenick/David Rosenberg reviews)

Stu On Broadway -- Reviws and comments

Two on the Aisle -- NYC and Connecticut Theater News and Reviews

www.ny-cttheaterscene.com

Howard's Blog

 

Commentary

War Stories

By Bonnie Goldberg

Unbelievably, in January 2014, almost 50,000 homeless veterans were identified in this country, almost 10% of the entire homeless population. Most of these are male, are single and suffer from a variety of ailments, from mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many have served time in jails. Almost half of them are Hispanic or African-American. They are clearly in need of socialization, health care, rehabilitation, job training and a safe place to live.

Knowing all of these concerns and wising to make a difference, Peter Van Heerden, the Executive Director for the Arts at Fairfield University’s Quick Center, had a vision. He wanted to focus a spotlight on the problem and encourage a greater connection with this virtually forgotten segment of society. We have long acknowledged the bravery and courage of firemen and police who risk their lives on a daily basis to protect and serve. How much further up on the ladder of sacrifice are our soldiers who go to war all over the world to guard and guarantee our freedoms?


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