New Theatre to Open in Branford – Article by Karen Isaacs

A new theater is about to open in the Stony Creek section of Branford. Legacy Theatre has been in the works since 2011 when Keely Baisden Knudsen and Stephanie Stiefel Williams incorporated the Legacy Theatre. But it wasn’t until 2013 that it purchased what is usually referred to as the Puppet House Theatre in Stony Creek. Now, the new theater is about to open its doors, though it has been offering some limited productions and presentations at other venues. Of course, in the midst of the construction, Covid 19 arrived. According to Knudsen, who is the artistic director, there was… read more

Bushnell Sets Dates for 10 B’way Shows

Spring is in the air and vaccination shots are in the arm. Could this mean a touch of normalcy is in the offing? Yes, as Hartford’s Bushnell Theater Broadway series has just announced a season of shows starting this fall. “Escape to Margaritaville” – To shake off the dust of quarantine, what better medicine could you get than a visit to the Caribbean sunshine with that tropical favorite Jimmy Buffett and his enticing “Escape to Margaritaville” from October 12 to 17, 2021. Don a flowered shirt and flip-flops and dip your margarita glass in rainbow sprinkles, orange zest and sugar,… read more

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 Othello The Tempest A View From the Bridge Frank Rizzo Luv – by Murray Schisgal I saw the original production. Reread it. Holds… read more

Which production of a play and a musical do you remember best ?

Critics’ Roundtable We asked members of the CT Critics Circle to talk what production of a play or musical they remember best..” Below are the edited responses Karen Isaacs: So many to choose from. High on the list would be the original cast of Camelot and The Boy From Oz with Hugh Jackman – the show isn’t great BUT his performance was and the energy was electric. The City Center’s Encores production of Chicago, which went to Broadway was another amazing show. Plus, Come from Away. In Connecticut, high on the list would be A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and… read more

A Festival of New Ten Minute Plays & Musicals

The historic Sharon Playhouse in Sharon, CT has launched a festival of new ten minute plays and musicals: Sharon Playhouse Writers Playground. The Writers Playground is committed to giving the talented writers, performers, directors and technicians in the Northwest Corner of Connecticut as well as the neighboring communities in New York and Massachusetts a platform to showcase their talents in their own backyard and see their visions realized. The Playhouse also hopes to empower all people of any age and background to use their voice to tell diverse stories of self-expression and creativity. Submissions will be accepted from writers in… read more

What are Our Critic’s Favorite Shows?

Critics’ Roundtable We asked members of the CT Critics Circle to talk about their most memorable night in a Connecticut theatre and what production of a play or musical they remember best. Below are the edited responses. What was the most memorable night in a Connecticut theater for you? Why was it so memorable? Stuart Brown: 1996 Goodspeed production of Sweeney Todd. When Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway to commercial and critical success, it had, I believe, the largest set every to grace a Broadway stage.  How, then, could this show go from mammoth staging to the picture postcard sized… read more

Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical Review – Sydney Reynolds

Editor’s Note: Sydney is one of the Connecticut college students participating in the CT Critics Circle (CCC) Mentor Program. The purpose of this program is to bring young perspectives and voices into the CCC as well as a broad range of ethnicities and backgrounds. With live theater on hold, members of the CCC have been branching out to live streaming productions such as this one. In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We sit, watch, and review. While we do toil over our words, there is no sweat produced, no vocal chords strained, or wigs in need… read more

Theatre Firsts

Critics’ Roundtable We asked members of the Ct Critics Circle to talk about their first experiences with theater and what “turned them on to it.” Below are the edited responses. Participants include: TOM HOLEHAN – Stratford Town Crier, WPKN-FM; KAREN ISAACS – berkshiresfinearts.com, Shore Publications, 2ontheaisle.wordpress.com; BONNIE K. GOLDBERG – Middletown Press; NANCY SASSO JANIS – onstageblog.com, Naugatuck Patch; TIM LEININGER – Journal Inquirer, One Man’s Opinion; ZANDER OPPER – www.talkinbroadway.com; FRANK RIZZO – Variety, ShowRiz.com; SUSAN GRANGER – SSG Syndicate; KANTHALINA ANDREUS – CT Critics Mentorship Program. What was the first theatrical production you remember seeing? Bonnie Goldberg: When… read more

Still Time to Stream Three Enjoyable Productions

By Karen Isaacs – You still have time to stream three holiday productions – one is a classic, one a new adaptation of a classic and the third, a moving piece about WWI. All Is Calm – The Christmas Truce of 1914 Through Jan. 10 Playhouse on Park moved their scheduled production of this work with music from the theater itself, to outdoors, filming it at Auerfarm in Bloomfield. The show, which runs just over an hour tells the story of the British and German soldiers who during WWI met in “no man’s land” to celebrate a short Christmas truce.… read more