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West Side Story At the Ivoryton Playhouse

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City in the breathtaking musical, WEST SIDE STORY which opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 5th. With book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the original 1957 Broadway production ran for over 700 performances before going on tour and garnered 6 Tony nominations.

The story is set in the Upper West Side of New York City in the mid-1950s and explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. When, Tony, a Jet, falls in love with Maria, a Shark, the young lovers struggle to keep their love alive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice. The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre when it was first produced; WEST SIDE STORY remains one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.

The film version starring Natalie Wood, Russ Tamblyn, Richard Beymer and Rita Moreno won 10 Academy Awards and in 2009, Karen Olivo won a Tony for her portrayal of Anita in the Broadway revival.

Stephen Mir returns to Ivoryton to play the role of Tony and Mia Pinero makes her Ivoryton debut in the role of Maria.

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Mike Morris, with set design by Dan Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Cipollina. Executive Producers are Michael A. Dattilo and Frank Perrotti

Tonight, Tonight, won’t be just any night!  Don’t miss the experience of this show live on stage at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

WEST SIDE STORY opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 5th  and runs through July 30th, 2017. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at  www.ivorytonplayhouse.org 

(Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.


Hershey Felder Returns to Hartford Stage in Our Great Tchaikovsky
Limited Engagement! -- Only 11 Performances –August 19-27

Hartford Stage will present Our Great Tchaikovsky, a celebration of the famed Russian composer, written and performed by internationally acclaimed pianist, actor and playwright Hershey Felder, for a limited one-week engagement -- August 19 through 27.

The Chicago Sun Times raved, “The quadruple threat performer Hershey Felder is an actor, singer, pianist and writer, and all of the first order.” After its record-breaking world premiere at the San Diego Repertory Theatre, the San Diego Union-Tribune called it, “A powerful, emotional experience well worth seeing.”

Our Great Tchaikovsky marks Felder’s return to Hartford Stage. His previous productions include George Gershwin Alone in 2004 and Monsieur Chopin in 2006. Most recently, he adapted and directed The Pianist of Willesden Lane in 2015.

With direction by longtime collaborator Trevor Hay (Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin), Our Great Tchaikovsky celebrates Russia’s most beloved and mysterious composer in a timebending story of culture and politics.

Among Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s masterworks included in the show are the ballets Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker; concerto pieces Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto no. 1 and Rococo Variations for Cello; the opera Eugene Onegin; orchestral pieces Romeo and Juliet, the 1812 Overture and Marche Slav; and Symphony No. 6, Pathétique.

Just nine days after Tchaikovsky conducted the premiere of Pathétique in St. Petersburg, he died suddenly at the age of 53. Our Great Tchaikovsky explores the mystery surrounding his death while paying homage to the composer and his music.

Felder has played over 4,500 performances of his self-created solo productions at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres and has consistently broken box office records.

Maestro, Felder’s tribute to the life and work of composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein, was recognized as a Top 10 Play and Musical by TIME magazine last year. His other shows include: George Gershwin Alone (Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre, West End’s Duchess Theatre); Monsieur Chopin; Beethoven; Franz Liszt in Musik; and Lincoln: An American Story. Future productions include the new musical, Chosen by G-d, for which he is writing music, book and lyrics.


Award-winning Contemporary Drama “Grounded” at Westport Country Playhouse from July 11 – 29

The 2016 Lucille Lortel Award-winning play, “Grounded,” a contemporary drama about a US Air Force fighter pilot who is grounded by an unexpected pregnancy, will be staged at Westport Country Playhouse, from July 11 through July 29. 

Written by George Brant, the play also earned a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and was short-listed for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.  Playing the role of The Pilot in the solo production is Elizabeth Stahlmann, a recent graduate of Yale School of Drama. Director is Liz Diamond, chair of Yale School of Drama’s Directing department and resident director at Yale Repertory Theatre. 

“With the quiet stealth and precision of a Predator drone, George Brant's ‘Grounded’ examines up close the moral cost of modern warfare,” said Diamond. “At the heart of the play is the Pilot, a vibrant, gutsy young woman whose spirit is shattered by her experience at the controls of a military drone.  This role requires an actor with all the ‘right stuff’ of a fighter pilot and more - tremendous emotional range, warmth, and wit - Elizabeth Stahlmann, our Pilot, has it all.”

In “Grounded,” an ace F-16 fighter pilot finds her world flipped from top gun to top mom when an unexpected pregnancy results in her being grounded.  Reassigned to the “chair force” as a drone pilot near Las Vegas, the realities of war and suburban comfort collide.  The story offers a glimpse into one soldier’s struggle to define herself in the modern world.

“Grounded” has received over 100 productions in 18 different countries and has been translated into nine languages.  Named a “Top 10 London Play of 2013” by both  The Guardian and Evening Standard, “Grounded” has been commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera to be adapted into an opera with music by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori, and is being developed into a feature film starring Anne Hathaway. 

Elizabeth Stahlmann, who portrays The Pilot, appeared at Yale University in “Clybourne Park” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  In New York, she has performed with The Acting Company. Regional theater credits include Guthrie Theater, Provincetown’s Tennessee Williams Festival, and Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.

Playwright George Brant’s plays include “Grounded,” “Elephant’s Graveyard,” “Marie and Rosetta,” “Into the Breeches!,” “Grizzly Mama,” “Good on Paper,” “The Mourners’ Bench,” “Salvage,” “Three Voyages of the Lobotomobile,” “Any Other Name,” “Defiant,” “Dark Room,” “Miracle: A Tragedy,” “Ashes,” “NOK,” “The Lonesome Hoboes,” “All Talk,” “One Hand Clapping,” “The Royal Historian of Oz,” “Lovely Letters,” “Three Men in a Boat,” “Borglum! The Mount Rushmore Musical,” “Tights on a Wire,” and “Night of the Mime.”

In addition to the Lucille Lortel and Fringe First awards for “Grounded,” Brant’s scripts have received an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, and the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center, among others. Writing fellowships include the James A. Michener Center for Writers, the McCarter Theatre Sallie B. Goodman Artist's Retreat, the MacDowell Colony, as well as commissions from the Metropolitan Opera, Trinity Repertory Company, and Cleveland Play House. Brant received his MFA in Writing from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. 

Director Liz Diamond has taught at Yale School of Drama and served as a resident director of Yale Repertory Theatre since 1992. She has served as the chair of the Directing department since 2004. She has been awarded an Obie Award and Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Direction. Among the more than 50 productions she has directed at Yale Rep and nationally are many US and world premieres. Productions of classical and modern works include Shakespeare's “The Winter's Tale,” Shaw's “Mrs. Warren's Profession,” and Pinter's “Betrayal”. She has also directed major new translations of Molière's “The  School for Wives,” and Strindberg's “Miss Julie.”

Ms. Diamond has directed documentary theater projects in collaboration with Anna Deavere Smith at the Institute for the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard University, the Yale School of Medicine, and the Lincoln Center Institute. She has taught directing at La MaMa Umbria, the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and the Shanghai Theatre Academy. After completing her MFA at Columbia University in 1983, Ms. Diamond worked as a freelance director and served as the resident director at New Dramatists in New York. In 1978, while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Diamond cofounded the Projet de Théâtre Rurale Voltaïque, which grew into the Atelier de Théâtre Burkinabe and still thrives today.

The design team includes Riccardo Hernandez, scenic design, who also designed the Off-Broadway production of “Grounded”; Jennifer Moeller, costume design; Solomon Weisbard, lighting design; and Kate Marvin, sound design.

“Grounded” Production Sponsors are Judy and Scott Phares.  Production Partners are Johnna G. Torsone and John McKeon.

Performance schedule is Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.  Special series feature Taste of Tuesday, LGBT Night OUT, Opening Night, Sunday Symposium, Open Captions, Thursday TalkBack, Together at the Table Family Dinner, Playhouse Happy Hour, and Backstage Pass. Single tickets start at $30; buy early for best prices.

 For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).


LONG WHARF THEATRE ANNOUNCES 2017-18 SEASON

Long Wharf Theatre (Gordon Edelstein, Artistic Director; Joshua Borenstein, Managing Director) announces its 53rd season: a riotous farce, an uplifting musical, a quest for enlightenment, and stories of love, empathy, and friendship.

 Subscriptions are currently available. For more information, visit longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282.

The season will begin with the Obie Award-winning hit Small Mouth Sounds, August 30 to September 24, 2017 on Stage II. Bess Wohl’s play takes place in a particularly unique milieu, following the lives of six runaways who embark on a silent retreat. “Small Mouth Sounds is a wonderful new play about seekers,” Edelstein said.

Long Wharf Theatre continues its commitment to new work with the world premiere romance Fireflies, written by Tony Award nominee Matthew Barber. The production will take place from October 11 through November 5, 2017 on the Mainstage. “Fireflies is a story about overcoming judgment and fear in order to create a real human connection. It’s a universal story,” Edelstein said.

Chaim Potok’s classic novel The Chosen will be seen in a stunning adaptation by Aaron Posner. The Chosen, a story of fathers and sons in 1940s Brooklyn, will take place on the Mainstage from November 22 through December 17, 2017. “This is a beautiful story about the complicated relationship between parents and their children and how a friendship grows,” Edelstein said.

Noted playwright Julia Cho received some of her earliest accolades for her work at Long Wharf Theatre. She returns with her newest play, a thrilling exercise in empathy called Office Hour, performed January 17 through February 11, 2018 on Stage II. “This will be the provocation of the year. Julia’s play is about the world we live in now. There will be a lot to talk about,” Edelstein said.

Sherlock Holmes is on the case in Baskerville, a farce that has “slain” audiences all over the country. Tony Award-nominee Ken Ludwig’s comic masterpiece will run from February 28 through March 25, 2018 on the Mainstage. “Baskerville is both a homage to Sherlock Holmes and a send up at the same time. It is a really funny, crazy comedy. I think people will love it,” Edelstein said.

The season will conclude with a glorious gospel musical Crowns, written by Regina Taylor, and presented in a co-production the McCarter Theatre. “Crowns tells the story of African-American women in and around their church, with joyous music at the heart of the piece,” Edelstein said.

 For more information or to purchase tickets, visit longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282.


Camp for Kids

Mark your calendars for 2017 Kate’s Camp for Kids summer sessions: July 10-August 11, 2017 at The Kate in Old Saybrook, CT. Launched in 2013, the state-licensed camp is a collaboration between the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Community Music School that offers a diverse range of activities focused on four art disciplines:  music, theater, visual art, and dance. 

A unique summer arts day program for children ages 5 -- 10 years old, Kate’s Camp for Kids focuses on families seeking to nurture their children’s creative potential through the arts.  Each camp session culminates in a performance for family and friends.

Abigail Nickell, Executive Director of Community Music School shared “as we enter our fifth season of this incredible program and collaborative partnership with The Kate, we’re excited to expand the program to include an additional week of musical theatre offerings.” Brett Elliott, Executive Director of the Kate, agreed “it is amazing to see our children’s programming grow and expand over the years.  The collaboration with Community Music School has been a great experience to both of our organizations and for the children who participate in the camp programs.  This quality arts education program is a great asset to the shoreline community.”

The week-long sessions offer a diverse range of activities on a rotating basis, ensuring a fresh experience for even the most frequent camper:  Session 1: July10-14, 2017 – SWAMPED!;  Session 2:  July 17-21, 2017 – It’s A Jungle Out There!;  Session 3: July 24-28, 2017 – Write Me A Song, Dr. Suess; Session 4: July 31-August 4, 2017 – Circus, Circus; Session 5:  August 7-11, 2017 – GOAL!.

You may register online at http://community-music-school.org/kates-camp-for-kids, by phone at 860-767-0026, or in person at Community Music School, 90 Main Street (Spencer’s Corner), Centerbrook, CT 06409


Connecticut Cabaret Theatre -- The Cemetery Club  

May 19th thru June 24th, 2017

Three Jewish widows meet once a month for tea before going to visit their husbands’ graves. Ida played by Barbara Horn, is sweet tempered and ready to begin a new life, Lucille, played by Karen Gagliardi, is a feisty embodiment of the girl who just wants to have fun, and Doris, played by Tracy Costa, is straitlaced and judgmental, particularly when Sam, (Russell Fish) the butcher and an eligible widower, enters the picture with Mildred (Bonnie Sprague). Doris is appalled when she discovers that Ida is dating again and loudly protests that she's being disrespectful to her late husband, while Lucille is more than a bit jealous that Ida snagged a good man before she could. Doris and Lucille are determined to squash the budding romance between Sam and Ida. Thus the conflict begins, and the years of friendship and sisterly love are put to the test.
 Directed by Kris McMurray, The Cemetery Club is a story filled with lighthearted banter, laughs, and moments where you won't be able to hold back the tears.

 The Cemetery Club runs every Friday and Saturday at 8:00pm from May 19th thru June 24th, 2017.  Doors open at 7:15pm. Tickets are now on sale. ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS are accepted. To purchase tickets, please call the box office at 860-829-1248. Reservations are recommended. Ticket price $30.00 (plus tax). For more information, visit our website: www.ctcabaret.com The Connecticut Cabaret Theatre is located at 31 Webster Square Road, just off Route 9 (exit 22: Mill Street) and the Berlin Turnpike. Visit the website for detailed directions. The theatre’s motto is “BRING YOUR OWN”. Presented cabaret-style, patrons are welcome to bring whatever they like to eat or drink with them. They also can enjoy a dessert bar that has a variety of treats to purchase.  


YALE REPERTORY THEATRE ANNOUNCES 2017-18 SEASON
 
AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE
By Henrik Ibsen
Translated from the Norwegian by Paul Walsh
Directed by James Bundy
 
NATIVE SON
By Nambi E. Kelley
Adapted from the Novel by Richard Wright
Directed by Seret Scott
 
World Premiere
FIELD GUIDE
Created by Rude Mechs
Commissioned by Yale Rep
 
FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS, PARTS 1, 2 & 3
By Suzan-Lori Parks
Directed by Liz Diamond
 
KISS
By Guillermo Calderón
Directed by Evan Yionoulis

 
YALE REPERTORY THEATRE (James Bundy, Artistic Director; Victoria Nolan, Managing Director), the multiple Tony Award-winning theatre dedicated to the production of new plays and bold interpretations of classic works, has announced its 2017–18 Season.
 
 Artistic Director James Bundy said, “I am delighted that we can look forward to a season of such scope and complexity, bringing internationally acclaimed artists and field leaders to New Haven, and offering Yale Rep audiences opportunities to witness vital perspectives on the world, particularly its literature, history, and politics.”
 
The season opens with An Enemy of the People (October 6–October 28), the political masterpiece by Henrik Ibsen, newly translated from the Norwegian by Paul Walsh, directed by James Bundy.
 
Nambi E. Kelley will make her Yale Rep debut with her critically-acclaimed play, Native Son (November 24–December 16), adapted from Richard Wright's iconic novel, directed by Seret Scott.
 
Rude Mechs, the Austin-based theatre collective whose work has been presented previously as part of Yale Rep's annual No Boundaries performance series, will debut Field Guide (January 26–February 17), a subversively funny riff on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.
 
Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3 (March 16–April 7) reunites Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks and Resident Director Liz Diamond, who collaborated on Yale Rep’s world premieres of The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World and The America Play.
 
 Resident Director Evan Yionoulis, who most recently staged Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, returns with Kiss (April 27–May 19), a new play by Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón, hailed by The New Yorker as “a true genius of the theatre.”
 

The events for Yale Rep’s annual No Boundaries performance series will be announced at a later date


 


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