“I’M CONNECTICUT” PAYS HOMAGE TO LOVE AND TO OUR STATE


BONNIE GOLDBERG

As exciting, romantic or sexy states go, Connecticut wouldn’t rank at the top of the continental 48 and especially not if you add in Alaska and Hawaii. Connecticut is known as the Insurance Capitol of the World, thanks to Hartford, and also the Land of Steady Habits, The Constitution State and The Nutmeg State. Connecticut doesn’t enjoy the glamour of its neighbor to the south and west, New York, or the mystic of its northern bordering Massachusetts with its rich political history.

 

Yet do not give up hope.  Connecticut born playwright Mike Reiss is coming to your rescue with a prideful play, a world premiere comedy, “I’m Connecticut,” enjoying its first ever light of day at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre at Jorgensen Auditorium on the campus of the University of Connecticut until Saturday, December 10.

 

“I’m Connecticut” tells the charming tale of a nice guy named Marc, played with spirit and sincerity by Harris Doran, who while born in Simsbury, has transplanted himself to the Big Apple. His lack of success with women he blames on geography.: He comes from a boring state.

 

With clever dialogue and amazing visual effects, we follow Marc’s quest for love, much as we would Don Quixote’s search for the Impossible Dream. After an unsuccessful, substitute disastrous, speed dating event, Marc meets Diane (Maggie Sulka), a Georgia peach who has come north for adventure.

 

A secondary love story blooms when Diane’s mom Polly, a delightful Joyce DeWitt of “Three’s Company” fame, meets Marc’s grandfather, a spry Jerry Adler, best known for “The Sopranos” and “Rescue Me.” The speed dating manager (Darrell Hollens) and Marc’s work buddy Kyle (Michael John Improta) run interference in this lively game of love mating directed by Paul Mullins as head football coach.

 

 Mike Reiss, the Aetna 2011 Writing Fellow at UCONN, wrote this comedy only one year ago.  He is no stranger to the world of humor, having written scripts for “The Simpsons” for twenty years, co-wrote “The Simpsons Movie,” “Horton Hears a Who!,” “ Ice Age,” and “Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” the screenplay for “My Life in Ruins,” fourteen children’s books, as well as writing for “It’s Gerry Shandling’s Show,” “ALF” and “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.”

 

A native of Connecticut, Reiss is uniquely suited to pen a romantic tale about our state and infuse it, just like he does his hero Marc, with pride, enthusiasm and patriotic spirit.

 

For tickets ($6-29), call the CT Rep at 860-486-4226 or online at www.crt.uconn.edu. Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

 

Root for your home team, in this case Marc and the entire Nutmeg state, as we cheer him on to find boasting rights and true love, all in seventy-five fun-filled minutes.

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