CT Theaters Offer Holiday Options – Karen Isaacs

Are you anticipating the holiday rush with pleasure? Or are you already feeling stressed? No matter your answer, A Christmas Survival Guide at Ivoryton Playhouse is just the ticket. Artistic Director Jacqui Hubbard was looking for something different as a holiday offering and found this intimate revue that has had a had a successful off-Broadway run and been performed around the country. “I was looking for something funny but meaningful,” Hubbard said. “Traditional but modern.” She thinks this revue featuring a cast of five is a treat for the whole family and will make the holiday fun. The premise of… read more

Actress Janet Dacal leads The Band’s Visit

EDITOR’S NOTE: The national tour of “The Band’s Visit” will be performing at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts through November 21. In 2016, when Goodspeed Musicals sponsored a gala in honor of the extraordinary actress Chita Rivera, I had the opportunity to meet Janet Dacal, who was one of the lead actors in the musical “Bye Bye Birdie” being produced at Goodspeed. As luck would have it, Janet and I sat next to each other. Right away we started shifting between English to Spanish. She asked, “Are you Cuban?” My accent gave me away. A few minutes later… read more

Goodspeed Musicals Announces 2022 Season

Goodspeed Musicals has announced four exciting productions for the Tony Award-winning theatre’s 2022 season. Now in her second season as Goodspeed’s Artistic Director, Donna Lynn Hilton shared, “It is truly thrilling to announce a new Goodspeed season filled with engaging and moving musicals that will appeal to our loyal audiences and attract new theatregoers to the Goodspeed experience. We begin with an intimate production of a classic musical that is both engrossing and familiar, then the long awaited world premiere musical from a story loved by multiple generations, continue with a new production of a tap dance extravaganza and finish… read more

Interview with Matthew Lopez by CT Critics Member Bessy Reyna

For many years, Matthew Lopez has been a Latino playwright whose many plays were produced in Hartford Stage and TheaterWorks. Each time one of his plays is presented, he has been generous enough with his time to grant me an interview or to meet with me. Hartford, in particular, has nurtured his talent, not only producing his plays but also having received the support of the Aetna Playwrights program in 2012, providing him with a residency to continue working on his plays. Both the Aetna Playwrights program in 2012, and productions of his play, have, according to Lopez, given him… read more

Young Critics Mentor Program – Nancy Sasso Janis (reprinted from The Waterbury-Republican)

The program is structured to train college students to become theater critics. It partners a current member of the Critics Circle with a college student who is interested in learning to write professional-quality theater reviews. Mentoring young critics was the brainchild of Dr. Brooks Appelbaum, a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle since 2015, who now teaches in the First Year Writing Program, the First Year Seminar Program and the Drama Program at Quinnipiac University. She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and earned her Ph.D. in English literature from Cornell. Two purposes of the program are to usher… read more

Berkshire Stages Offer Live Theatre – Tom Holehan

Live theatre? Remember that? As venues across the country struggle to reopen for in-person performances, I was delighted by a recent trip to the Berkshires where some of the area theatres are currently welcoming audiences back. A day trip to nearby Massachusetts is not only scenic but a cultural oasis! After a 15 month delay how great that the first live performance I managed to catch was a revival of one of my favorite plays of all time. Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy of manners, “The Importance of Being Earnest”, is always worth a visit even when it’s under the lesser… read more

Hartford Stage Announces In-Person 2021-2022 Season

Melia Bensussen, Artistic Director of Hartford Stage, announced plans to reopen the theatre to in-person performances for the 2021/2022 Season beginning in October 2021. The theater will produce a 5-play Mainstage season plus a holiday performance. “I am thrilled to be able to welcome our community back to Hartford Stage to a season filled with joy and theatricality. Our intermission is over! There is much to celebrate as we raise the curtain and invite everyone to join us for a season of plays that will re-connect us to each other. I cannot wait to see everyone in person again. ¡Me… read more

Latino Playwrights Taking Over Hartford In June! – by Bessy Reyna

Get ready for a Latino cultural invasion when both TheaterWorks and Hartford Stage present “works in progress” by Latino playwrights as part of their upcoming programs. At TheaterWorks, we will have the opportunity to watch “Moonlighters” a new and very exciting work by Hartford’s Cindy Martinez. It is streaming now through June 25. The show is directed by Jenn Thompson, who directed the hit “Bye, Bye Birdie ” at Goodspeed Musicals in 2016 and The Call and A Doll’s House Part 2 at TheaterWorks. Martinez’s play is the fourth one selected as part of the series to be presented as… read more

CT Critics Circle 2021-2022 Mentor Program

The purpose of this program is to: 1. bring young perspectives and voices into the CCC 2. bring in young critics from a broad range of ethnicities and backgrounds. Criteria to apply: Applicants must be currently matriculated undergraduates at a Connecticut college/university. Applicants need to have some experience writing reviews or essays, which could include theater-related writing, a book review or critical essay, a piece on popular culture, or music (concert or album review). 1. The CCC Mentor program is structured to train currently matriculated college students to become theater critics. Interested students complete the attached application, with June 1st… read more