West Hartford Community Theater – by Stuart Brown

In our continuing series on spotlighting community theaters in Connecticut, I recently spoke with Roxanne Drolet, a Board member of the West Hartford Community Theater – https://www.westhartfordtheater.org/. Their upcoming production of The Drowsy Chaperone begins on November 4, 2023. Tell me about West Hartford Community Theater. Why was the company started? • West Hartford Community Theater was started in 2007 by Bruce LaRoche and Maria Librio Judge, two West Hartford residents who were both alumni of Conard High School. They saw the need and the room for a true community theater in West Hartford, one that would open the stage… read more

The 12 – A Different Goodspeed Musical – by Stuart Brown

The musical The 12, currently playing at the Goodspeed Opera House through October 29, is a very different show that audience members have come to expect from the venerable regional theater. The show, a new production, is not a comedy, but a serious, dramatic musical presentation that centers around the 12 Apostles of Christ and their reactions and actions after his death. “There is part of our audience that wants serious, more in-depth material,” according to Dan McMahon, Director of Marketing at the theater. “This is a show that addresses that segment while at the same time helping us appeal… read more

The Flying DeLorean & Other Notable Automobiles on Broadway – by Stuart Brown

Back to the Future – the Musical has been a big hit in London. The show opened last month in New York to mixed reviews. However, everyone – from critics to audience members – agrees that the star of the show is the flying DeLorean. That got me thinking about other shows where an automobile was one of the stars. Here are a few. How many have you seen? Which musicals would you add? Grease – opened on February 14, 1972 My first Broadway show without parental accompaniment. Grease is still one of my all-time favorite shows and cast recordings.… read more

On Cedar Street – a New Musical at Berkshire Theatre Co. – Review by Karen Isaacs

Maybe I’m just a pushover for a gentle romance., but I was delighted with On Cedar Street. You will hear more of the new musical On Cedar Street, which is having its world premiere at the Berkshire Theatre Company through Sept. 2 Why? First of all, because it has top-notch people involved, the book is by Emily Mann, a Tony Award winner; music by composers Lucy Simon (The Secret Garden), co-composer Carmel Dean (music director for multiple Broadway shows); and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead (Jelly’s Last Jam, Working). It’s directed by Susan H. Schulman, whose list of Broadway musical credits… read more

Bandstand – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

War is never easy or, in many opinions, a necessary solution to problems. Fighting over a little red truck in a sand box is a far cry from countries amassing guns, tanks and weapons of mass destruction. Yet at this moment in time there are conflicts from drug wars in Mexico and Columbia to terrorist attacks from Algeria and Nigeria to Chad and Sudan to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And when war is finally over, the returning soldiers find life has changed irrevocably since they left. To enter the minds and hearts of the soldiers returning home from World War… read more

Summer Theater in Connecticut & the Berkshires Offer Variety – Karen Isaac

Summer once meant shows performed in actual barns by talented and young kids. Or tours led by well-known movie and TV stars whose popularity had diminished. Not anymore. Today, you can choose from musicals, plays, and comedies, Theater in Connecticut doesn’t slow down when summer begins. Would you like to be outside under the stars? In a tent? Or would you prefer an air-conditioned space? Close to home or exploring the countryside? Connecticut theaters let you choose. In addition, you can easily combine your theatergoing with concerts and day or overnight trips that let you enjoy our beautiful state. Want… read more

CT Critics Give “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “42nd Street” Top Honors at 31st Awards Ceremony

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HARTFORD — A powerful production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” at the Yale Repertory Theatre and an exuberant production of “42nd Street” at Goodspeed Musicals took top honors at the 31st annual Connecticut Critics Circle Awards (ctcritics.org) held on Monday, June 26. The event, which celebrates the work from the state’s professional theaters during the 2022 – 2023 season, was held at TheaterWorks Hartford in downtown Hartford. This year the awards were spread out to many productions throughout the state, though Goodspeed Musicals’ “42nd Street” earned the most taking five for best musical, outstanding choreography, best featured actor, costumes… read more

9 to 5 – the Musical – Review by Tom Holehan

The movie-to-stage-musical phenomena hasn’t experienced unbridled success. For every hit like “Hairspray” or “The Producers”, you have losers like “Rocky”, “Ghost”, “Almost Famous” and “Mrs. Doubtfire”. Add to that motley crew of titles “9 to 5”, the 1980 film comedy starring Jane Fonda, Lilly Tomlin and Dolly Parton that became a Broadway musical in 2008. With book by Patricia Resnick (slavishly following the film script she co-wrote with Collin Higgins) and music/lyrics by Parton, this is truly a musical that never had to be. But there it is now at Bridgeport’s Downtown Cabaret Theatre where the crowd on opening night… read more

Webster’s Bitch – Review by Tom Holehan

By some theatrical twist of fate I’ve seen no less than three world premiere plays in less than a month. One we won’t discuss further (looking at you Legacy Theatre!), one was a real find (Barrington Stage Company’s “The Happiest Man on Earth”) and the latest is Jacqueline Bircher’s provocative “Webster’s Bitch”, currently finishing out its debut at Playhouse on Park in West Hartford. While far from a perfect work, this workplace dramedy has something on its mind and doesn’t mind saying it. Set in the Stamford, Connecticut offices of Webster’s Dictionary, a pair of diligent lexicographers, Gwen (Mia Wurgaft)… read more

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “42nd Street” Top 2023 Connecticut Critics Circle Nominations

Click here on the READ MORE link below to RSVP to the CT Critics Award Ceremony. It is open and free to the public. Yale Repertory Theatre’s staging of the Edward Albee classic, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and Goodspeed Opera House’s spirited production of “42nd Street” lead the shows nominated for the 31st annual Connecticut Critics Circle Awards. The awards event, which celebrates the best in professional theater in the state, will be held Monday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m. at TheaterWorks Hartford in downtown Hartford. “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” earned six nominations, including outstanding play production, director,… read more