“BARNUM” IS HIGH FLYING FUN AT IVORYTON

BONNIE GOLDBERG

The big top beckons, the clowns entice, the acrobats tumble, the dog “Minnie” pirouettes and it is time to run away to the circus. You won’t have to travel too far because the Ivoryton Playhouse has a delightful version of “Barnum” for your family entertainment holiday fun.

Until Sunday, December 19, this colorful musical, with book by Mark Bramble, music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Michael Stewart, will tell the tale of one Phineas Taylor Barnum, that master maestro, king of humbug, prince of flim-flam and sultan of showmanship.  P. T. Barnum knew how to slice baloney and stuff it into six- foot submarine sandwiches like he was serving the finest gourmet meal and his audiences gobbled it up and came back for seconds and thirds.

R. Bruce Connelly embodies the super salesman of sights, wonders and marvels, who could create mystery and magic over Joice Heth (Marianne Hile) whom he billed as the 160 year old nanny for George Washington, Tom Thumb (Justin Boudreau), the 25 inch man he named Captain, Jumbo the Elephant and Jenny Lind (Danielle Cohen) who was his Swedish nightingale and so much more.

All through his schemes and ventures, P. T. Barnum had his long suffering and supportive wife Chairy, a sweet Beverley J. Galpin, faithfully at his side, no matter how wild his ideas or how disasterous the consequences.  Jacqueline Hubbard directs this three rings of circus fun with aplomb and fills the cast with wonderful young people as clowns, jugglers, dancers, gymnasts and aerialists (Michael Viau and Sara Stelzer), all under the banner of ringmaster Scott Wasserman.

For tickets ($30, seniors $28, students $20, children $15), call the Ivoryton Playhouse 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7318 or online at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.  Performances are tonight, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.  An extra treat is the festival of lights that illuminates the village of Ivoryton for the holidays.

Come for a formal introduction to P. T. Barnum, Bridgeport’s favorite son, a showman, an inventor of sideshow spectacles, a politician and the creator of the greatest show on earth, the Barnum and Bailey Circus.

 

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