Thursday, July 30, 2009

Seven Angels Announces Season

Seven Angels Theater in Waterbury's Artistic Director Semina De Laurentis
has announced selctions for the 2009-2010 season:

Breaking Up is Hard to Do
Oct. 1-25
Music by Neil Sedaka; Book by Erick Jackson and Ben H. Winters. This fun-filled musical, currently the newest hit show in Branson, Missouri, features 18 of Sedaka's classic hits.

Song Man, Dance Man
Nov. 5-29
Written and conceived by Jon Peterson. After gracing our stage in 2007 as George M. Cohan, we vowed to have him back and we’re keeping our promise. A tour de force
one-man show about one-man shows, Song Man, Dance Man is a tribute to the great song and dance men who inspired Peterson: Cohan, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Sammy
Davis Jr., Anthony Newley, and Bobby Darin.

The Sunshine Boys
Feb. 25-March 21
By Neil Simon. The comedy to end all comedies. Al Lewis and Willie Clark, are elderly, retired vaudevillians who were once a red-hot beloved comedy team onstage, but
off-stage bickered over trivialities in real life.

The Lady of South Division Street
April 8-May 2
A new comedy by Tom Dudzick. Clara Nowak always thought she was special, ever since the Blessed Virgin Mary materialized in her father’s barber shop in Buffalo!
Now in this comedy from the author of Over the Tavern and Greetings! Clara and her children’s faith is shaken to the very core as an old family legend and a deathbed confession are revealed with heartfelt and hilarious results.

Swing! Swing! Swing!
June 3-27
Conceived and arranged by Brian Pia. The music of the sing, swing and dance decade!

Other special events for this season include many comedy nights with comedians from New York City. Rob Bartlett is back Sept. 26 with an all new comedy show. Others include News Year Eve Comedy Night and Comic Valentine Night that includes chocolates and champagne.

Season Subscribers can also save up to 20% on these special 2009-2010 Special Events and Stage II Productions:
Aug. 1, 2: Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Palace Theater
Sept. 11-27: Stage II Community Production
November: Live Stand-Up Comedy Night
Dec. 11-27: Nuncrackers-A Christmas comedy
Dec. 31: Stand-Up & Count-Down New Year’s Eve Comedy Night
Jan. 8-24: Nunsense. The 25th Anniversary of this classic!
Jan. 30: Italian Comedy Night-A favorite is back.
Feb. 6: The Lustre Kings bring back 50s rock ‘n roll.
Feb. 14: Comic Valentine –Champagne & Chocolates included
July-Rent

For more information call the box office at 203-757-4676, or visit sevenangelstheatre.org

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Casting Set for Championship Season

Casting has been announced for “That Championship Season” next February at Westport Country Playhouse, the first production to be directed by Mark Lamos since he was named artistic director.

Cast members are Robert Clohessy, John Doman, Lou Liberatore, Tom Nelis and Skipp Sudduth. Clohessy was on Broadway in “Pal Joey” and “Twelve Angry Men.” Doman played Deputy Police Commissioner William Rawls on the HBO series, “The Wire,” from 2002 to 2008. Liberatore received Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle award nominations for his performance in “Burn This” on Broadway. Nelis won an Obie Award for his portray of Marshall McLuhan in “The Medium.” Sudduth appeared on Broadway in “South Pacific,” “The Iceman Cometh” and “Twelfth Night,” and was a series regular on television’s “Third Watch.”

“That Championship Season” takes place at a reunion of a high school basketball coach, now retired, and four members of the team that he guided to the state championship 20 years earlier. As the evening progresses, secrets are revealed, loyalties tested and the foundation of their long-held dreams is found to be fraudulent. A play of savage humor and giant passions, “That Championship Season” probes the darker aspects of the American creed of success.

O'Neill Cabaret Conference Begins

The cast of [title of show] - Hunter Bell, Jeff Bowen, Susan Blackwell, Heidi Blickenstaff - in their new show "Untitled" will be followed by "Better: The Songs of Edward Kleban" begnning at 7:30 pm as the Cabaret Conference at the O'Neill Theater Center in Wterford launches.
For a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.theoneill.org/calendar.asp

'A Doll's House' Completes Long Wharf Season Lineup

Long Wharf Theatre will stage a new, contemporary adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic work A Doll’s House as the final play of its 2009-10 season.

Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein will both adapt and direct the play, which is scheduled to be performed April 28-May 23, 2010 on Mainstage.

LONG WHARF THEATRE: 2009-10 SEASON

The Fantasticks

Book and Lyrics by Tom Jones
Music by Harvey Schmidt
Directed by Amanda Denhart
Oct. 7-Nov. 1, Mainstage

Have You Seen Us?
A World Premiere by Athol Fugard
Directed by Gordon Edelstein
Nov. 24- Dec. 20, Mainstage

Lil’s 90th
A World Premiere by Darci Picoult
Directed by Jo Bonney
January 6-February 7, Stage II

Sylvia
By A. R. Gurney
Directed by Eric Ting
February 17-March 14, Mainstage

No Child…written and performed by Nilaja Sun
directed by Hal Brooks
March 17-April 18, Stage II

A Doll’s House
By Henrik Ibsen, Adapted by Gordon Edelstein
Directed by Gordon Edelstein
April 28-May 23, Mainstage

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pop! Completes Yale Rep's 2009-2010 Lineup

Yale Repertory Theatre will present the world premiere of POP!, a new musical with book and lyrics by Maggie-Kate Coleman and music by Anna K. Jacobs, directed by Mark Brokaw, next season.

The musical asks the question,"Who shot Andy Warhol?" The fabulous drag queen Candy Darling hosts a happening whodunit musical in which the famous—and infamous—denizens of Warhol’s legendary Factory all have motives to pull the trigger. But the pop art icon unravels an even bigger mystery as he confronts not only the prime suspects, but also his art and his own greatest creation: himself.

Pop! will be presented Nov. 27-Dec. 19 and completes Yale Repertory Theatre’s 2009-10 season, which also includes:
The Master Builder by Henrik Ibsen
Directed by Evan Yionoulis
University Theatre (222 York Street)
Sept.18-Oct. 10, 2009

Summary: Halvard Solness, a brilliantly successful architect, has willed his unspoken desire into reality at every turn—but not without a price. Now he lives in fear that the next generation will rise up and cast him aside. When Hilda Wangel, a bewitching young woman, arrives to collect on a decade-old debt, she breathes new life into the Solness home but also rekindles painful memories. Will she help him reach the pinnacle, or will she be the one to finally knock the Master Builder from his tower?

Eclipsed by Danai Gurira
Directed by Liesl Tommy
Yale Repertory Theatre (1120 Chapel Street)
Oct. 23-Nov. 14, 2009

Summary: Set in 2003, Eclipsed unearths the wreckage of Liberia’s vicious civil war and celebrates women who navigate the most brutal of circumstances. The “wives” of a rebel commanding officer form a community in a hostile war zone. Their world is transformed by the arrival of two newcomers and the unceremonious return of a former “wife” turned rebel soldier. Each woman finds her own means of survival, but at what cost?

Compulsion by Rinne Groff
Directed by Oskar Eustis
A co-production with The Public Theater and Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Yale Repertory Theatre (1120 Chapel Street)
Feb. 5-27, 2010

Summary: Sid Silver wants nothing more than to bring Anne Frank’s story to an American audience, and he believes he’s the right man to translate the young girl’s diary and adapt it for the stage. But his passion spirals into a lifelong obsession when a New York publishing house reveals its own plans for what would become one of the most powerful and enduring documents of the 20th century.

The Servant of Two Masters
by Carlo Goldoni
Adapted by Constance Congdon from a translation by Christina Sibul
Directed by Christopher Bayes
University Theatre (222 York Street)
March 12-April 3, 2010

Summary: Identities are mistaken, engagements are broken, and lovers are reunited in Carlo Goldoni’s commedia dell’arte masterpiece when the wily—and chronically hungry—servant Truffaldino hatches a zany scheme to double his wages (and his meals) by serving two masters at once.

Battle of Black and Dogs by Bernard-Marie Koltès
Translated by Michaël Attias
Directed by Robert Woodruff
Yale Repertory Theatre (1120 Chapel Street)
April 16-May 8, 2010

Summary: Set in a remote corner of Africa, Battle of Black and Dogs is a politically, sexually, and culturally charged tale of psychological warfare that erupts at an isolated construction compound. When a hired man mysteriously dies, his brother arrives at the compound to collect the body—and the site manager, his fiancé, and a young soldier all become embroiled in the cover up of the worker’s death.

More info at www.yalerep.org. Individual tickets for the season will be available beginning Aug. 31.

Long Wharf Names New Director of Development


Eileen Wiseman is the new director of development at Long Wharf Theatre.

Wiseman, a Weston resident who joined the Long Wharf Theatre development staff in April, had spent the past eight years as the executive/artistic director of the Westport Arts Center, overseeing 60 programs a year including exhibitions, concerts, lectures, and literature and film programs. Recently, she was the Ideas Curator for the 2009 International Festival of Arts & Ideas. She also has been a manager with the New York Revels for eight years, the assistant director of The International Tennis Hall of Fame and a marketing and press relations associate for the The Big Apple Circus. Wiseman has a bachelor’s degree in History from Trinity College.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Waterston Stars in Long Wharf's 'Have You Seen Us?'


Sam Waterston, star of TV’s “Law and Order” and countless film and stage appearances, returns to the Long Wharf Theatre stage in the 2009-10 world premiere of Athol Fugard’s play Have You Seen Us?, directed by Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein.

Waterston, who last appeared at Long Wharf Theatre in the 2004-05 season’s hit production of Travesties, by Tom Stoppard, will play the role of Henry Parsons, a South African professor forced by a chance encounter to deal with the demons in his heart. The show will run from Nov. 24 through Dec. 20 on the Mainstage.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Review: Hartford Stage's Broadway By Request with Betty Buckley is a Treat


By Lauren Yarger
Betty Buckley's cabaret show Broadway By Request is a real treat and a perfect kickoff to Hartford Stage's SummerStage series.

The star of such Broadway shows as Sunset Boulevard, Cats and 1776, sings songs from those shows and throws in others, some requested by members of the audience. Opening night, one lucky attendee got "Happy Birthday" sung to her by the star and Hartford Stage Artistic Director Michael Wilson joined Buckley on stage to deliver a line as Rose's father in a number from Gypsy. Local celebrities Scot Haney of Channel 3 News and Allison Demers of WRCH Lite 100.5 are scheduled to make appearances in the run, which ends Saturday.

When she's not belting out favorites from Broadway musicals, Buckley shares anecdotes about her experiences in or auditioning for shows. She is backed up by a trio of musicians (Clifford Carter on piano, Anthony Pinciotti, drums and longtime Buckley collaborator Tony Marino on bass). The intimate setting, including cabaret tables up front, is a real treat and the quick 90-minute program doesn't seem near long enough. Buckley is one of the few performers who can move me to tears with her songs (I was a sobbing mess at Sunset Boulevard), and her "Memory" from Cats is not to be missed.

Additional shows upcoming in the Summer Stage series are Thwak! featuring the mayhem-producing, noise creating Umbilical Brothers (July 15- Aug. 2) and Yesterdays, an evening with Billie Holiday (Aug. 5-22).

For additional information, call the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 or visit hartfordstage.org.

Check out other Connecticut summer offerings at http://www.curtainup.com/ctnewandnoteworthy.html

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Long Wharf's 'Menagerie' to Transfer Off Broadway

Keira Keeley and Judith Ivey
in Long Wharf's production of The Glass Menagerie.

Long Wharf Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, starring two-time Tony Award winner Judith Ivey, will transfer to New York City’s Roundabout Theatre Company during the 2009-2010 Off-Broadway season.

The Roundabout (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) in association with Long Wharf Theatre will present the play, directed by Gordon Edelstein with Ivey (Amanda Wingfield), Patch Darragh (Tom Wingfield), Keira Keeley (Laura Wingfield). Additional casting will be announced shortly.

The Glass Menagerie will begin performances March 5 with an official opening March 24at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street). This will be a limited engagement.

The design team will include two-time Tony® Award winner Michael Yeargan (sets), two-time Tony® Award winner Martin Pakledinaz (costumes), two-time Tony® Award winner & MacArthur Fellow Jennifer Tipton (lights), and David Budries (sound).

This transfer, Long Wharf Theatre’s first since the 2006-07 season’s production of Durango by Julia Cho, continues the theatre’s long tradition of sending seminal productions to New York City. “I’m thrilled that the excellent work done by Judy and the rest of the cast, as well as our brilliant design team, will be seen by a much larger audience. It is a testament to the quality of the work on our stages,” Edelstein said.

Over the course of the theatre’s 45 year history, it has sent more than 20 productions to Broadway, including Sizwe Banzi is Dead by Athol Fugard, Hughie by Eugene O’Neill, All My Sons by Arthur Miller, Streamers by David Rabe, American Buffalo by David Mamet, Broken Glass by Arthur Miller and Ah, Wilderness! by Eugene O’Neill.

Will They or Won't They? See The Full Monty at the Ivoryton Playhouse to Find Out!

Six unemployed Buffalo steelworkers, low on both cash and prospects, decide to present a strip act at a local club after seeing their wives' enthusiasm for a touring company of Chippendales in The Full Monty at Ivoryton Playhouse.

The musical, based on the 1997 British film of the dame name, is directed and choreographed by Larry Nye, a veteran director and teacher at Southern CT State University and musical directed by John DeNicola. The set is designed by Cully Long, costumes by Vivianna Lamb and lighting by Tate Burmeister.

The Full Monty runs through July 26. For schedule and ticket information, call 860-767-7318 or by visit www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. (Group rates are available - call the box-office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT 06442.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer Season Heats Up at Palace


The Palace Theater kicks-off its Comcast Fifth Anniversary Season in August with a combination of comedy and community theater.

Thoroughly Modern Millie
Saturday, Aug. 1 at 8pm
Sunday, Aug. 2 at 1pm

The second annual Seven Angels Theatre and the Palace Theater Community Summer Stock Collaborative, Thoroughly Modern Millie brings a community cast of all ages to the Palace stage. Based on the 1967 film of the same name, this Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of small-town girl Millie Dillmount, who comes to New York City to marry for money instead of love – a thoroughly modern aim in 1922 – at a time when women were entering the workforce and the rules of love and social behavior were changing forever.

Bill Blumenreich presents Frank Caliendo
Saturday, Aug. 29 at 8pm

Known for "dead on" impressions of famous actors (Pacino, Robin Williams, DeNiro), politicians (Bush, Clinton) and broadcasters (Madden, Letterman, Leno, Rome), Frank, a 7-year veteran of TV sketch comedy (MadTV, Hype) debuted his own show, "Frank TV," last fall on the TBS network. On stage, his high energy act is a blend of observations, impressions, characters and anecdotal stories that build to a frenetic pace.

Tickets and gift certificates can be purchased by phone at 203-755-4700, online at www.palacetheaterct.org, or in person at the Box Office, 100 East Main Street in Waterbury.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Camelot Begins Rehersals in New Canaan


In rehearsal for Summer Theatre of New Canaan’s production of the musical Camelot under an open-air all-weather tent in Waveny Park July 18-Aug. 2 are Allison Gray of New Canaan as Guenevere, Sean Hannon of Weston as King Arthur and Richard Hartley of Cos Cob as Lancelot.

Tickets and information are available online at www.stonc.org or by calling (203) 966-4634. Other productions running now in the park at Shakespeare’s epic comedy The Taming of the Shrew through July 11 Pinocchio, an original folk musical for young people, and Shakespeare for Kids.

Summer Theatre of New Canaan was established in 2004 as a 501(c)3 professional nonprofit theater company to provide exciting performances for multigenerational audiences and learning opportunities for many of the region’s talented performers and technicians to work with professional performers and production staff.

Twain at Twilight Concerts


Free Twain at Twilight outdoor musical performances at the Mark Twain House & Museum are a Hartford family summer tradition. Bring your own chairs or blankets to our expansive lawn in the shadow of the crazy-brick home of one of America’s greatest writers. (If it rains, the concerts move into the museum’s Great Hall.) Picnicking is encouraged, and there’s lots of room for the kids to run around. Performances, which run from 6 to 7:30 pm, are as follows:

--Tuesday, July 14: Girl Howdy, a high-energy, retro-twang, honky-tonk group of four musicians add tight vocal harmonies for a genuine jukebox sound. Their influences include Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, George Jones and other country-western legends. http://www.girlhowdyband.com

--Tuesday, July 28: Carolyn Adams Band, a Caribbean-Gospel style group, is fronted by a mellow vocalist born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago who now resides in Hartford. Adams cites influences Patsy Kline, Kenny Rogers and Shirley Caesar to produce a smooth, tropical groove for easy summer listening.

The concerts are funded by the Evelyn W. Preston Memorial Trust Fund, Bank of America, Trustee, and the Knox Foundation; and supported in part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts campaign.
C O N N E C T I C U T
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C O N N E C T I O N

Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced
numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont
Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.”

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway
League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway
run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill
Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/. She
is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), CT Press Club's award winner of first place for web editing and second place in feature writing for the web in 2012.

She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor
for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web. Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented
by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle (awards committee).

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts,
the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

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