The Fatherhood Manologues – Review by Howard Frydman

The beautiful Hamlet of Bloomfield has certainly had a treasure-trove of talent walk the halls of its schools – everyone from Tony Award Winner Actress/Singer Anika Noni Rose to Pro Football player and Super Bowl Champ Dwight Freeney (both originally from Bloomfield)– today we add to these illustrious BHS alumni – their current BHS Principal and Bloomfield resident- Jesse White III. Mr. White along with the following fellow cast of fathers – Abdul-Rahmann I. Muhammad, Demetrius Chamblee, and Malik S. Champlain will be on stage participating in a four-performance engagement of the “Fatherhood Manologues,” a storytelling event featuring four fathers… read more

Sunday Concert Series at Legacy Theatre – Karen Isaacs

You might not recognize their names – unless you are Broadway musical fan – but you have seen them in films and on TV. Between them, the six performers for the Legacy Theatre’s Sunday Broadway Concert Series that begins Sunday, Feb. 26, have acquired numerous Tony nominations (and awards), plus too many nominations and awards from the other major Broadway awards groups (Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk) to count. Plus, Grammy and Emmy nominations and awards from major critic groups in cities around the US. Colin Sheehan, producer of the series for the Legacy Theatre has put together these series… read more

Goodspeed Musicals 17th Annual Festival of New Musicals – Bonnie Goldberg

Hallelujah! You are just in time to attend Goodspeed Musical’s 17th Annual Festival of New Musicals the weekend of March 17-19 and what a wonderful opportunity for theater lovers everywhere. Goodspeed Musicals will devote Friday, Saturday and Sunday to celebrate the newest stars in the firmament across the country and bring their brilliance to East Haddam for a glorious weekend. The highlight of the trio of days will be staged readings of three all new musicals performed by the talented students of The Hartt School, Boston Conservatory at Berkeley and Montclair State University. The readings are enhanced by a series… read more

Indecent – Review by Tom Holehan

Back in 2015, Yale Repertory Theatre presented the world premiere of Paula Vogel’s “Indecent” in a stellar production that moved to Broadway where it won critical raves and Tony nominations. Approaching Playhouse on Park’s new production of Vogel’s masterwork I worried that the small but plucky theatre troupe had taken on more than they could handle. My worries soon dissipated. This is one of POP’s very best productions in their 14-year season. Based on the controversial obscenity trial of an American production of Sholem Asch’s classic “The God of Vengeance”, this is easily Paula Vogel’s finest work since her 1998… read more

A Look Back at 2022 – My Favorite Shows by Karen Isaacs

Here’s my list of the best Connecticut productions I saw this year. Instead of ranking them, I’ve just listed what I found particularly noteworthy. Playhouse on Park in West Hartford is another smaller theater that scored with a high-energy production of Five Guys Named Moe. It was glorious. Sunset Blvd received a terrific production at MTC in Norwalk. Director Kevin Connors has a way of taking big shows and making them work in his small, intimate theater. Kiss My Aztec! ended Hartford Stage’s 2021-22 season. It is a new musical that uses humor to look at the time when the… read more

New Plays & Musicals in CT To Help You Celebrate the Holidays – Karen Isaacs

Connecticut theater-goers have some new choices for holiday theater, concerts and dance, beyond the usual mixture of A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life and The Nutcracker. Goodspeed has a brand-new musical, Christmas in Connecticut, based on the film of the same name. The 1945 rom-com film that starred Barbara Stanwyck isn’t one of the Hollywood Christmas films most people remember, though it was a box office hit. The heroine, Liz Lane is a well-known expert on marriage, cooking and homemaking. When she’s asked to prepare a Christmas dinner for a WWII hero, there are just a few problems: she… read more

Ivoryton Playhouse’s 2023 Season Announced

The Ivoryton Playhouse just announced their 2023 season. Here’s a brief review: THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA McBRIDE – Opening April 6, 2023 – by Matthew Lopez is a wildly entertaining story filled with drag queens and an Elvis impersonator, snappy zingers and dance worthy numbers. A show that will challenge your assumptions with extraordinary humor and depth. ON GOLDEN POND – Opening May 18, 2023 – The movie was a big hit for one of the Playhouse’s most famous alums – Katharine Hepburn – and the play is a beautifully crafted love story about generations of a family struggling to… read more

A Phantom Remembrance – by Stuart Brown

Last month it was announced that The Phantom of the Opera will close on Broadway on February 18, 2023 after 35 years and 13,925 performances. In January 1988, I was certain the show was going to be a huge hit before it opened on Broadway and bet a sizeable chunk of my department budget on this hunch. At the time, I was living in New York City and was employed as the Associate Director of Student Activities at Barnard College (part of Columbia University). I ran a discount ticket booth for the campus, selling hundreds of tickets via a program… read more

Connecticut Theaters Are Still Struggling, but “cautiously optimistic” about Fall Productions – Karen Isaacs

Carpenters are building sets, actors are learning lines, dancers are rehearsing routines, and the front-of-house people are preparing. The fall theater scene in Connecticut is starting. For some of Connecticut’s professional theaters, it is the start of a new year, and for others, it is the finishing of a season that began in the spring. It will include everything from hard-hitting comedy/drama such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to Tony-winning musicals – 42nd Street, Fun Home and Sunset Blvd and everything in between. In fact, two shows – the Great Gatsby and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? are getting… read more

Mr. Holland’s Opus at Maine’s Ogunquit Playhouse – by Stuart Brown

One of the leading summer theaters in the country is The Ogunquit Playhouse in the town of Ogunquit, Maine. According to the history of the theater, “it was the first, and remains the only, summer theatre from the summer stock era built exclusively as a seasonal theatre.” Opening in 1933, he theater is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2015, the listing was raised to National Level of Significance “in consideration of the significant contributions made by its founder Walter J. Hartwig and the Playhouse to Performing Arts Education throughout the nation.” This summer’s productions have already… read more