Conversation with: Terrence Mann

by Tim Leininger There are few people in the world who can legitimately be defined as Broadway Royalty. Terrence Mann is one of those people. Having starred in 14 Broadway shows and originating such iconic roles on the Great White Way as Rum Tum Tugger in “Cats,” Javert in “Les Miserables,” and the Beast in “Beauty and the Beast,” he was an inspiration to me when I studied acting, as well as to many other up and coming actors. Mann has returned to the University of Connecticut for his second season as artistic director of its Summer Nutmeg Series, three… read more

Bonnie Goldberg converses with Sarna Lapine about Goodspeed’s newest musical, “You Are Here”

Sarna Lapine never aspired to be an actor or a playwright. This is despite the fact that she loves theater, literature and reading. She does love to analyze texts and is excited about the way to take conversations and bring them to life. It’s not so surprising that Sarna Lapine has become a director, one who is sought after. For her apprenticeship, she served as associate director on Broadway for Bartlett Sher and she hasn’t looked back since. Recently Sarna undertook her most ambitious project ever, overseeing a “really fabulous American play I always wanted to direct.” “.Photograph 51” was… read more

TheaterWorks announces its 2018-2019 Season

HARTFORD, CT – May 13, 2018 Producing Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero announced today that TheaterWorks 2018-2019 Season will include The River by Jez Butterworth, A Doll’s House, Part 2 by Lucas Hnath, Fully Committed by Becky Mode, and Actually by Anna Zeigler.  The fifth and final production will be announced shortly. Rob said “I’m excited by the adventure this season – our renovation season – presents. It comes with challenges but we think it also offers great opportunities, creatively. Part of the season will be produced in different space and we’re looking forward to the challenges that brings us and our audience. We’ll share the… read more


Berry Gordy tried his hand at boxing, owning a record store, working on an auto assembly line and being a soldier in the Korean War and, fortunately for the American music scene, really wasn’t happy with any of those career choices. He went on to become an American record executive, a songwriter, film producer, television producer and the founder of Motown Records, and, in the process, becoming one of the highest earning African-American business owners for decades. In 1959, in Detroit, he took a family loan of $800 and bought a house at 2648 West Grand Boulevard and converted the… read more

Matthew Lopez Creating A Legend In Hartford

I first interviewed Matthew Lopez in 2015, when Hartford Stage was about to produce his play Reverberation . His two previous plays The Whipping Man, which quickly became one of the most produced plays nationally and which received the Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards for an off-Broadway production. In 2013, his play Somewhere had a reading during the Festival Brand/New presented by Hartford Stage, and a full staging in 2014. Each one of those plays deals with very different issues, like slavery and freedom (Whipping Man);  a theater loving Puerto Rican family about to be evicted (Somewhere)  or a gay… read more

At First Performance of ‘My Fair Lady’ In New Haven, Drama Was Offstage

The snow was coming down. The turntables didn’t turn. The star refused to perform. The cast was dismissed, thinking that that night’s show would not go on. Yet “My Fair Lady” opened improbably, triumphantly, to its first paying audience on that Saturday, Feb. 4, 1956, at the Shubert Theater here, making the night the stuff of theater legend. The out-of-town circuit for shows destined for Broadway — and its pressure cooker atmosphere — has largely been replaced with the more measured pace of readings, workshops and developmental productions at regional theaters and presenting houses. The latest, highly anticipated revival of… read more

The World Premiere of The Flamingo Kid, a New Musical, Closes Hartford Stage 2018-19 Season

The 2018-19 season closes with the world premiere of the musical The Flamingo Kid (May 9 – June 2, 2019), based on the 1984 box-office hit film co-written and directed by the late Garry Marshall that helped make Matt Dillon a household name. The stage musical will be directed by Tresnjak (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Anastasia) and feature book and lyrics by Robert L. Freedman (2014 Tony Award-Winner for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) and music by Scott Frankel (Grey Gardens, War Paint on Broadway). The Flamingo Kid will be Freedman’s first musical since A… read more

Interview with Jacqui Hubbard, Executive Director, of the Ivoryton Playhouse

It takes a lot of time, talent and perseverance to put on a show (and a sense of humor doesn’t hurt), but what if the onerous task of producing not just one but seven shows in a single season falls on your shoulders? Would you, like Ayn Rand’s Atlas, shrug, let the weight fall from those shoulders? Well, Jacquelyn Hubbard is not one to shrug, and she hasn’t for close to two decades as she has boarded plays and musicals at the historic Ivoryton Playhouse, where, as the Playhouse’s executive/artistic director, she is hip-deep in the details of creating the… read more

Meet Dawn Loveland Navarro, Director of Lynn Nottage’s INTIMATE APPAREL at Playhouse on Park

INTIMATE APPAREL already has a lot going for it, with a script by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, but what drew Dawn Loveland Navarro to direct it was the fully developed female lead characters. Esther (played by Darlene Hope) is a “fully 3D female character,” Navarro said, something you don’t often get to see on stage. Esther is a turn-of-the-century African-American seamstress who earns her living by creating lingerie for other women to attract their men – something Esther hasn’t had in her own life. She loves creating the intimate apparel for the other women, but longs for a… read more

Meet Sharon McNight Starring as Sophie Tucker at Seven Angels Theatre

Sharon McNight stars at Seven Angels Theatre in the show she wrote about Sophie Tucker, Connecticut’s own Red Hot Mama, who enjoyed fame from her Burlesque days to Broadway and beyond. We asked her to discuss the star and this role of a lifetime. CTAC: How were you first drawn to write this show about Sophie Tucker? SM: The man who first signed me to a recording contract had a dream that he saw me playing her on the Broadway stage.    I believe in omens and dreams Interview continues here   read more