What Plays and Musicals Would You Like to See Revived in CT

This month’s Connecticut Critics Roundtable, asked the critics two questions:
Which five plays would you like to see a Connecticut theater revive?
Which five musicals would you like to see a Connecticut theater revive?

Participants were: Brooks Applebaum, Stuart Brown, Bonnie Goldberg, Tom Holehan, Karen Isaacs, Nancy Sasso Janis, Tim Leininger, Zander Opper, Frank Rizzo.
Which five plays would you like to see a Connecticut theater revive?

Nancy Sasso Janis
The Night of the Iguana
Our Town
The Tempest
A View From the Bridge

Frank Rizzo
Luv – by Murray Schisgal I saw the original production. Reread it. Holds up beautifully. . 3 actor cast, single set,
Moonchildren – Just curious to see how this once- beloved play holds up
The Designated Mourner by Wallace Shawn. Chilling. Mike Nichols did film version.
Edward Albee’s All Over
Les Blancs by Lorainne Hansberry

Tim Leininger
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Barefoot in the Park
The Iceman Cometh

Tom Holehan
The Importance Of Being Earnest….only because it’s my favorite comedy of all time.
The Children’s Hour…a re-imagined version would be welcome.
Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf…..with a really strong cast.
Our Country’s Good….Hartford Stage’s 1988 premiere was so memorable.
The Heiress…pitch perfect period piece!

Stuart Brown
Sleuth – A superb murder mystery with a surprise that takes the breath away from the audience. Even though I personally know the twist, the show has not been done that much, if at all, in CT for years. There is a whole new generation ready for it. Also, very small cast so it could easily be done in the state.

Deathtrap – Another murder mystery with a comedic touch as well as surprise twist. As with Sleuth, I can’t remember when the show was revived in CT. Another show with a very small cast and one set. Thrills, chills, and fun.

Brooks Applebaum
Three Days of Rain (perfect for TheaterWorks);

The Chinese Lady (cancelled at Long Wharf because of COVID);
Fences or anything by August Wilson!

Karen Isaacs

National Health – Peter Nichols. – Actually there are several Nichols plays I would like to see again that Long Wharf did the in 1970s and 80s.
Sisters Rosenweig – Wendy Wassertein. One of Wasserstein’s best plays; an insightful look at the sister relationship.
The Middle Ages – AR Gurney – The first Gurney play I saw – at the Hartman Theater in Stamford. It introduced to a playwright I considered underrated.
Copenhagen – Michael Frayn – New Haven’s Arts & Ideas Festival brought the London production to the US; I found it fascinating.
Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel

I did not include any “classics” although there are a number of Shakespeare, Moliere, Ibsen, Strindberg , Wilde and others I would like to see. I also omitted major 20th century British and American playwrights that are regularly produced – Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, August Wilson, Noel Coward to name a few.

Zander Opper
Other Desert Cities
The Beauty Queen of Leenane
The Little Foxes
The Lisbon Traviata

Which five musicals would you like to see a Connecticut theater revive?

Karen Isaacs
Barnum – A musical that makes you tap your feet and grin ear to ear.
James Joyce’s The Dead – Some may not think a musical, but it was a wonderful theatricalization of the classic story with music from the period.

Oh What a Lovely War
– I was amazed no one revised this satiric revue during the commemoration of WWI. I still remember Long Wharf’s production.

The Secret Garden
–a beautiful score
Jelly’s Last Jam – the life of Jelly Roll Morton. I thoroughly enjoyed it on Broadway. It deserves to be revived.

For musicals, I did not consider even lesser known works of the major musical theater people from Jerome Kern through Kander & Ebb, Stephen Schwartz, Sondheim, Maury Yeston through Jason Robert Brown and others. Certainly there are shows by each of these I would love to see revived.

Stuart Brown
Over Here! – This 1979 musical starred the two surviving Andrew Sisters, Patty and Maxene, and had a tuneful, entertaining score by the Sherman Brothers. It takes place during WWII and would be perfect for the Goodspeed Opera House.

Enter Laughing – The 2008 York Theater production, which was a musical version of the 1963 comedy that starred Alan Arkin and was based on the based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Carl Reiner, was perfectly cast and very funny. There is a small cast, small pit band, limited scenery and props so it could easily be done by many of the state’s regional theaters.

The Other Josh Cohen – This somewhat silly, quirky show was highly entertaining and had a successful Off-Broadway run. Again, a small cast, that also doubles as the on-stage band, one set, makes this a very do-able production for an enterprising CT theater.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman – One of my favorite cast albums. Silly plot, but would love to hear the songs performed live.

Brooks Applebaum
Company (again, perfect for TheaterWorks)
Guys and Dolls
The Most Happy Fella
Mack and Mabel
The Goodbye Girl

Tom Holehan
The Grass Harp….a lost musical that flopped on Broadway with Barbara Cook, but the score is bliss. Goodspeed, are you listening?
Ragtime….every season would be nice.
Raisin….have never seen it anywhere since its Broadway debut in 1973 when it won 9 Tony Awards including “Best Musical”.
Ballroom…Michael Bennett’s underrated follow-up to A CHORUS LINE.
Funny Girl…everyone is afraid to do it while Streisand is still alive, apparently.

Frank Rizzo
An all-black version of Follies
The Grass Harp – Lovely music; needs delicate, imaginative touch
Two Gentlemen of Verona – (The show that beat Follies for the Tony.)
Little Me – Funny, fantastic score.
Purlie – Terrific score; not sure if text is OK for these times.

Tim Leininger

Candide (which I hope Darko’s production is still on at Goodspeed)
Show Boat
Wonderful Town
Funny Girl
A Little Night Music

Nancy Sasso Janis
Funny Girl
Singin’ in the Rain
Sunday in the Park with George
A Little Night Music

Zander Opper
I Do! I Do!
The King and I

Bonnie Goldberg
Into the Woods
Come From Away

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