Friday, October 30, 2009

Jobs in Connecticut Arts

The job market is tough, but some of Connecticut's arts institutions are looking to hire. Here are some of the opportunities available:

Long Wharf:
Manager of Institutional Relations
Part time IT Manager

Westport Country Playhouse:
Director of Development

Goodspeed Musicals:
Part time telemarketing

Hartford Stage:
Run crew positions for A Christmas Carol
Education Assistant

Greater Hartford Arts Council:
Assistant Director of Development

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art:
Part time Driver
Part time Information Desk Attendant

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Westport Offers Holiday Special Events

The Broadway Boys
In celebration of the holiday season, Westport Country Playhouse announces a festival of eight special events, including concerts, dance, theater and films, beginning Dec. 5 and continuing on selected Thursdays through Sundays until Dec.20.

“What’s better than one holiday show? How about eight! This December, we’re delighted to present a wide array of holiday fare for our community,” said Michael Ross, Playhouse managing director. “There’s something for everyone and all affordably priced. I look forward to one and all visiting the Playhouse for their holiday entertainment.”

Ballet Etudes will present the seasonal family favorite, “The Nutcracker,” on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5 and 6, at 1 and 4 pm. With music by Tchaikovsky, the magical story features American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Michele Wiles and New York City Ballet soloist Arch Higgins. Tickets are $30 adults; $18 children.

This Wonderful Life, a one-man re-imagining of Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film, will be staged on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 8 pm. Mark Setlock, who starred in Rent and Fully Committed, will portray George Bailey, Clarence the Angel, Mary, Old Man Potter and 20 more of Bedford Falls’ finest citizens. The production is written by Steve Murray, conceived by Mark Setlock and directed by Martha Banta. Tickets are $25.

“A Christmas Story,” a delightful film about growing up in the 1940s and wanting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, will be screened on Friday, Dec. 11 at 8 pm. The movie stars Peter Billingsley and Melinda Dillon. Prior to the film at 6:30 pm., appetizers and specialty drinks will be served in the lobby, and guests will have a chance to win a campy Leg Lamp, as featured in the film. Tickets are $15.

Sing-a-long “White Christmas,” starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney---and for this special sing-a-long event, the audience!---will be screened on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 8 pm. The movie’s marvelous Irving Berlin score includes “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” “Mandy,” “Sisters,” “Snow,” “Gee I Wish I Was Back in the Army” and, of course, “White Christmas.” Tickets are $10.

“Miracle on 34th Street,” a comedy-fantasy film starring Maureen O’Hara and Natalie Wood, is set for Sunday, Dec. 13 at 3 pm. When Kris Kringle encounters an unbelieving child while working in Macy’s, he goes on trial to prove he’s truly Santa Claus. Prior to the film, there will be cookie decorating for kids in the lobby. Audience members are encouraged to bring a toy donation for charity and receive a free cookie. Tickets are $10

The Klezmatics, globally renowned world music superstars, will offer music steeped in Jewish tradition and spirituality on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 8 pm. Their album, “Wonder Wheel,” won the 2006 Grammy Award as the Best Contemporary World Music Album. In a career spanning over 20 years and nine albums, The Klezmatics’ holiday and non-holiday music is wild, mystical, provocative, reflective and ecstatically danceable. Tickets are $35.

Rondi Charleston, jazz vocalist, songwriter and Westport resident, will perform selections from her CD/DVD, “In My Life,” a melodic tapestry of jazz, pop, Brazilian and Great American Songbook influences, on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 8 pm. Ms. Charleston has performed at Lincoln Center, The Blue Note, Birdland and many other national venues. Ms. Charleston will present exciting new material from her forthcoming release as well as standards and jazz-themed holiday tunes. Tickets are $30.

The Broadway Boys, a collection of the hottest male voices currently working on the New York stage, will present a concert of Broadway and holiday favorites, on Sunday, Dec. 20 at 3 pm. Through their dynamic vocal prowess and redefining arrangements, The Broadway Boys add elements of pop, funk, gospel, jazz and folk to show tunes and classic pop songs. Tickets are $35.

Holiday events’ board of trustees partner is Darlene Krenz; production partners are Bank of America and Sun Products Corporation.

For more information or ticket purchases, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.westportplayhouse.org/.

Choirs Needed to Sing with Sister

Ever wanted to sing Christmas carols on stage? Long Wharf Theatre can make that holiday wish a reality during the run of the hit interactive comedy Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold from Dec. 1 through Dec. 20.

Long Wharf Theatre is looking for choirs of four people to sing at the top of show, and again in the second act. Choirs would need to be at the theatre an hour and a half before the show in order to rehearse prior to the performance. They will be allowed to choose three songs they want to sing, but will be asked to sing specific songs for most of the show. Choirs will be needed for most performances during the run.

For more information, contact Production Assistant Meghan Kane at http://www.blogger.com/meghan.kane@longwharf.orgor at 203-787-4284, ext. 286.

It’s "Forensic Files” goes to Bethlehem in Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold, a holiday mystery extravaganza by the author of the summer hit Late Nite Catechism. Sister takes on the mystery that has intrigued historians throughout the ages – whatever happened to the Magi’s gold? Retelling the story of the nativity, as only Sister can, employing her own scientific tools, and assisted by local choirs as well as a gaggle of audience members, Sister creates a living nativity unlike any ever seen.
FAST FACTS

Sister’s Christmas Catechism
• Dec.1-20, 2009
• Stage II
• Tickets: $28
• Box office phone number: 203-787-4282
• Website: http://www.longwharf.org/.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Goodspeed Will Break Ground on Major Actors' Housing Expansion

Goodspeed Musicals will build a $5.5 million project with 17 new homes to be used for actor housing on the Goodspeed Campus in East Haddam.

The New Actor Housing initiative represents the largest capital project in Goodspeed history. Construction is set to begin this Fall with a target completion date of Fall 2010.

“With this project, Goodspeed is building not only homes, but an artistic village that will come alive with actors and artisans,” said Michael Price, Goodspeed’s executive director. “No other theatre in the country can offer such a campus and all of us at Goodspeed are grateful to so many of our members and supporters who have made this a reality. During this uncertain economic climate, it is also encouraging to spur employment for dozens of construction workers, carpenters, electricians, painters and more."

Goodspeed owns nine old houses in the East Haddam Village where its actors, directors, designers and technical staff stay during rehearsals and performances. These houses become their home away from home since most live permanently in New York City. Unfortunately these old houses were not designed for this style of living. Seasoned professionals live in cramped, boarding house-style quarters where they are frequently asked to share a living space with as many as thirteen other people or a bathroom with three or four strangers.

Several years ago, Goodspeed determined that it was essential to build attractive housing that provides comfort, privacy, and proximity to the Goodspeed Opera House. By expanding housing availability, Goodspeed will also have the ability to produce more shows and run them for a longer period of time.

Patrick Pinnell, a local architect and noted urban planner from Haddam, CT, worked with the Goodspeed team to create the concept for integrating the new homes into the existing Goodspeed campus and designing them to fit within the historic East Haddam Village. Throughout the planning process, the team’s charge was to meet Goodspeed’s challenging needs while combining modern sensibility with a keen appreciation for the historic aspect of Goodspeed’s home in East Haddam.

The plan, which includes a nmber of "green" elements, includes building 17 new homes with a total of 65 new bedrooms, all within walking distance to the Goodspeed Opera House. The homes will contain three or six bedrooms with shared kitchens and living rooms. Each bedroom will have a private bathroom. One house will have two one-bedroom “star apartments” for the leading actors.

Several of the existing houses will be retained for continued use by Goodspeed while others will be sold for retail/residential use and one will be torn down.

More than half of the required funds for th porject already have been raised through private and public sources, including a $2.5 million grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.

"The Goodspeed New Actor Housing project is a smart investment and very good news for our state," Governor Rell said. "It creates new jobs for Connecticut workers right now, causes economic development in a rural community and promotes Connecticut culture and tourism for many years to come. This is a project where everybody wins, especially our residents."

The official ground breaking will occur in November and construction will follow immediately. Those interested in bidding on construction contracts may contact Signature Construction Services International, LLC at www.signaturecsllc.com or 860-963-8905. All construction bids must be received by 5 pm, Nov. 2, 2009.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Music Direction Program to Launch at Goodspeed

Goodspeed Musicals’ Max Showalter Center for Education in the Musical Theater announces the Music Direction Intensive a brand new program from the Goodspeed Musical Theatre Institute which creates a bridge between emerging artists and seasoned professional artists.

This highly selective program will take place on the Goodspeed Musicals campus Jan. 18-23 and it will provide a limited number of individuals with practical training in all aspects of music direction. The six-day intensive will offer participants the opportunity to work with internationally renowned experts in music direction while networking with industry professionals.

Participants will use the latest technology to receive hands-on training in the management and implementation of the audition, rehearsal, and orchestration process. Participants will also attend nightly lectures given by industry experts on pertinent subjects relating to real world success in the field.

Goodspeed pioneered the practice of rethinking, restoring, and revitalizing America’s musical theatre heritage. This new program will be the first intensive music direction training program in the country. As students, young artists are not taught how to be a music director, most people gain experiential knowledge and skills as an assistant. This course of study is aimed at giving future music directors the tools they need to become leaders in the industry.

The one-of-a-kind intensive curriculum features lectures and practicum including innovative programs like

  • “So You Want to be a Music Director?”, where participants will have an opportunity to join in a discussion on the principles of music direction and to share their personal stories and goals
  • The Audition Process, including a discussion of the elements that create a positive and successful audition process for the creative team and for those auditioning
  • The Rehearsal Process, during which students learn how to create a productive rehearsal environment
  • Working with the Director, a look at the relationship between the MD and the director, creating incidental music to suit the needs of the director, and adjusting the vocal and orchestral score to accommodate the vision of the director
  • The Rehearsal, when participants will sit in on a rehearsal for a new musical in production.

Additional programs include Orchestrating for the Musical Theatre, Use of Electronic Sound in Musical Theatre, Conducting for the Musical Theatre, Working with the Choreographer, Vocal Arranging, and The Business of the Business, an informative discussion of the business elements involved in a career as a musical director, ownership of intellectual property and the typical responsibilities assigned to various job titles.

“This new program will help Goodspeed strengthen our commitment to developing new artists,” said Michael P. Price, executive director of Goodspeed Musicals. “It’s exciting for us to see the Goodspeed education program grow and foster new relationships with the best and brightest new music directors as they work together to create the future of musical theatre,” he added.

While at Goodspeed, the MDI participants will work with several industry leaders including Michael O’Flaherty, the only resident music director for musical theatre in the country; Line Producer Donna Cooper Hilton; Orchestrator Dan DeLange; and award-winning Director Rob Ruggiero.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bob Newhart to Appear at Palace

Comedy and television icon Bob Newhart will perform his classic comedy standards "The Driving Instructor," "Sir Walter Raleigh," "The Submarine Commander" and many more, during his one-night-only performance 7:30pm Sunday, Nov. 8 at the Palace Theater in Waterbury.

Before the performance, the Palace will be offering patrons a 5:30pm pre-show dinner in the Poli Club, located on the theater’s mezzanine level. Dinner is $40 per member or $50 per non-member (includes tax, gratuity, coffee, tea) and is limited to 30 people. Cash bar is also available. To make reservations, call the Box Office at 203-346-2000.

Tickets for Bob Newhart are $37.75-67.75, and can be purchased by phone at 203-346-2000, online at http://www.palacetheaterct.org/, or in person at the Palace Theater Box Office, 100 East Main St. Groups of 20 or more qualify for special discounts and should call the Group Sales Hotline at 203-346-2002.

Holiday Shows Set at Long Wharf

Long Wharf Theatre will offer a pair of holiday events, Sister’s Christmas Catechism, by Maripat Donovan, from Dec. 1-20, and Steve Solomon’s one-man show My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, and I’m Home for the Holidays, from Dec. 28-31 and Jan. 2-3.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the box office at (203) 787-4282 or visit the theatre’s website at www.longwharf.org.

Carnival-Themed Discovery Day Lets Kids Explore Theater

Families are invted to discover the fantastick world of theater at Long Wharf Saturday Nov. 7 for its third annual Discovery Day.

This year's community outreach event features a carnival theme and is appropriate for kids, age 2 to 16. Backstage tours and hands-on workshops in mask making, audio-visual experiments, juggling, prop making, and story-telling will be offered from 10 am to 1 pm. To enhance the carnival themed Discovery Day, there will be face painting, food and music.

Through these creative activities, kids will have the opportunity to collaborate in putting on a play of their own. This year, families will tell the story of the Forgotten Clown, an original skit performed by the Next Stage Residents and the children.

“It is my wish that all who attend will leave with a greater understanding and enjoyment of theater," said Annie DiMartino, director of education and Next Stage administrator for Long Wharf. "Hopefully this day will begin the development of a lifelong interest in the arts."

There is a suggested donation of $5 per family.

Fantasticks' Creator Tom Jones At Long Wharf Symposium Sunday

Tom Jones, the co-creator of the iconic musical theatre classic The Fantasticks, currently playing on Long Wharf Theatre’s Mainstage, will be the featured guest at the theatre’s Sunday Symposium Sunday, Oct. 25 after the 2 pm matinee.

Long Wharf Theatre Associate Artistic Director Eric Ting will host a discussion with Jones who, along with his longtime collaborator Harvey Schmidt, have created some of the theatre’s most enduring musicals, including 110 in the Shade and I Do, I Do!, (which plays next summer at Westport)in addition to The Fantasticks, which ran for 42 years at the Sullivan Street Playhouse and is currently being revived in New York.

When the show was first produced in 1960, Jones was pleased with the piece and hoped that critics would connect with its themes, and that an audience would follow. Indeed, the opposite occurred, with audiences gradually getting behind the show despite middle of the road reviews. “I didn’t think it was going to run for 42 years,” he said with a laugh.

The other turn of events Jones didn’t anticipate was acting in the piece. The role of Henry, the Old Actor, was written with a classical actor in mind. When that particular performer was unavailable, Jones, Schmidt and the rest of the show’s production team kept having auditions. Jones, as a matter of expediency, kept reading in the part. “I wound up reading it in the rehearsal process and I was good,” he said.

Every so often he returns to the role, even receiving fine reviews from the New York Times in the recent New York revival at the Jerry Orbach Theatre, a production he described as “fun, sprightly and honest.”

He believes it is the musical’s mythic and classical underpinnings that give the story a resonant texture, enhancing the story’s take on love and growing up.

“It is funny and romantic and has some beautiful numbers and some comedic numbers,” Jones said. “It is very much a celebration of the theatre itself and the possibilities of what you can do within the theatre.”

For more information about the show, or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.longwharf.org/ or call 203-787-4282.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dennehy Hosts Westport's 'Letters Home'

Paul Kaiser photo

Award-winning actor Brian Dennehy will host Westport Country Playhouse’s presentation of Letters Home, a dramatic production of actual letters written by U.S. troops serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on Veteran’s Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11. Produced by the Griffin Theatre Company of Chicago, the initial production last winter was critically acclaimed and nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for “Outstanding New Play.”

In conjunction with Letters Home, the Westport Arts Center (WAC) will install an exhibition in the Playhouse lobby, “Daily Exchanges: U.S. Soldiers in Iraq - The Ordinary in Images.” Curated by WAC's Director of Visual Arts Terri C. Smith, with the guidance and input of artist and "Operation Enduring Freedom" veteran Paul Kaiser, "Daily Exchanges" will feature photographs and videos depicting the everyday lives of troops serving in war.

A reception and guided tour of the art exhibit will begin at 6 pm, followed by the performance of Letters Home at 7. A panel discussion moderated by Lisa Chedekel, an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 20 years experience writing for Connecticut newspapers, will follow. After the discussion, Smith and Kaiser will be available for comment on the exhibition.
Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for veterans. For more information or tickets call the Westport Country Playhouse box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit the box office at 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport, or www.westportplayhouse.org. For more information about the exhibition, call the Westport Arts Center at (203) 222-7070 or visit http://www.westportartscenter.org/.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Casting Announced for Yale's Pop!

YALE REPERTORY THEATRE (James Bundy, Artistic Director; Victoria Nolan, Managing Yale Repertory theatre has announced casting and the creative team for 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.

The cast of POP! includes Danny Binstock (Gerard), Randy Harrison (Andy Warhol), Doug Kreeger (Ondine), Leslie Kritzer (Valerie), Cristen Paige (Edie), Brian Charles Rooney (Candy), and Emily Swallow (Viva).

Choreography will be by Denis Jones, musical direction and vocal arrangements by Lynne Shankel, sets by Valérie Thérèse Bart, costumes by Ying Song, lighting by Kevin Adams, sound by David Budries, projections by Tal Yarden, orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin, dramaturgy by Catherine Sheehy, and stage management by Jenna Woods.

Pop! is a whodunit about who shot andy Warhol. It will play Nov. 27-Dec. 19.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mandy Patinkin Makes Yale Debut in Compulsion

Mandy Patinkin.
Photo by Newspix.
Tony and Emmy Award winner Mandy Patinkin will make his Yale Rep debut in the world premiere of Compulsion by Rinne Groff, directed by Oskar Eustis, co-produced with The Public Theater and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

The performance schedule has been adjusted so that Patinkin may fulfill previously scheduled concert engagements. Compulsion will begin on Friday, Jan. 29 and play through Feb. 28 at Yale Repertory Theatre (1120 Chapel Street, at York Street). The new Opening Night is Thursday, Feb. 4.

Additional casting and creative team members will be announced.

About the play: Sid Silver (Patinkin) 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.

Inspired by the story of Meyer Levin, Compulsion marks the Yale Rep debuts of Rinne Groff, whose plays have been praised for their “kaleidoscope style” (The Village Voice), and Oskar Eustis, the artistic director of The Public Theater.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Young Frankenstein is Alive at The Bushnell

Shuler Hensley and Roger Bart in
Young Frankenstein
(Photo: Paul Kolnick)

Read my review of the tour playing this week at http://curtainup.com/youngfrankensteinct09.html

Long Wharf seeks Next Generation of Theater Directors

Long Wharf Theatre is accepting applications for its 2009/2010 directing internships.

These are production-based opportunities for early-career theatre artists to gain experience working in a professional theatre environment. Interns will act as assistant to the director, duties to be determined with individual directors. Commitment is for the length of the production rehearsal process and previews (often four to five weeks, six days a week, 6-8 hours a day). This is an unpaid position.

Applicants should have access to local housing and transportation. Several internships are currently available for the season, and will be assigned at the discretion of the theatre.

Interested individuals should contact Eric Ting, associate artistic director, at 203-772-8267, or email resume and letter of interest to: eric.ting@longwharf.org.

LONG WHARF THEATRE (Gordon Edelstein, Artistic Director, Ray Cullom, Managing Director), in its 45th season, is recognized as a leader in American theatre, producing fresh and imaginative revivals of classics and modern plays, rediscoveries of neglected works and a variety of world and American premieres. More than 30 Long Wharf Theatre productions have transferred virtually intact to Broadway or Off-Broadway, some of which include Durango by Julia Cho, the Pulitzer Prize-winning plays Wit by Margaret Edson, The Shadow Box by Michael Cristofer and The Gin Game by D.L. Coburn. Last season’s production of The Glass Menagerie will move to New York in the spring of 2010. The theatre is an incubator of new works, including last season’s Coming Home by Athol Fugard and A Civil War Christmas by Paula Vogel. Long Wharf Theatre has received New York Drama Critics Awards, Obie Awards, the Margo Jefferson Award for Production of New Works, a Special Citation from the Outer Critics Circle and the Tony® Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Beauty & the Beast Marks Hartford Children's Theater's 20th

Meagan MacLeod as “Belle” in Hartford Children’s Theatre’s
Beauty and the Beast. Photo by Thomas Giroir
Hartford Children’s Theatre will celebrate its 20th anniversary year with the family musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Under the direction of newly appointed Artistic Director Ryan Ratelle with musical direction and choreography by Lisa Foss, Beauty and the Beast opens on Friday, Oct. 30 at the Carol Autorino Center for Arts and Humanities on the campus of Saint Joseph College (1678 Asylum Avenue in West Hartford) where the show will run through Saturday, Nov. 7.

Adapted from the Academy Award-winning animated film by its original screenwriter Linda Woolverton, the show is the classic love story of Belle, a young woman in a “small, provincial town,” and the Beast, who is really a prince trapped in a spell. If the Beast can learn to love and to be loved, the spell will be broken and he will be transformed back to his former self, but time is running out, and if the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he will be doomed for all eternity. The unforgettable score with music by Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors) and lyrics by Howard Ashman (Aladdin) and Tim Rice (Evita) includes the Academy Award-winning title song and the show-stopping "Be Our Guest," plus additional songs written especially for the stage.

The cast of BEAUTY IN THE BEAST includes Meagan MacLeod as Belle, Matthew Berry as the Beast, Greg Ludovici as Gaston, Marcus Janetatos as“Lumiere, Emely Burns Larsen as Mrs. Potts, Andrew LaPlante as Cogsworth, Bruce Terrill as Maurice, Caitlin Sailer as Babette, Katie Harden as Madame de la Grande Bouche, Josiah Rowe as Lefou, Nick D’Angelo as Monsieur D’Arque and Timothy Perry as Chip.

Featured in the ensemble are Lorraine Blatt, Victoria Mooney, Melissa Anne Pilarski, Thomas Beebe, Jean Della Rocca, Michael Dikegoros, Sophia Foss, Scott MacDonald, Amaris Montoya, Anthony Piccione, Katrina Schwartz, Mary Terrill, Katie Woelfel, Arnie Woelfel.

Beauty and the Beastfeatures Scenic Designs by Greg Brock, Costume Designs by Melissa Richards and Hair Design by Linda Stanhope.

The performance schedule is Friday, Oct. 30 at 7 pm; Saturday, Oct. 31 at 2 pm; Sunday, Nov. 1 at 2 pm; Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 7 pm; Friday, Nov. 6 at 7 pm and Saturday, Nov. 7 at 10 am and 2 pm.

Tickets are $18 for Adults, $13 for Children (13 and under) & senior citizens and are available by calling the box office at 860-429-7970 ext. 12. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more.

For more information visit http://www.hartfordchildrenstheatre.org/.

Broadway Stars to Perform at Westport's Gala

Westport Country Playhouse’s Gala 2009 will feature a star-studded evening of entertainment Monday, Nov. 2, highlighted by special salutes to Mary Rodgers Guettel, composer, and Elisabeth Morten, Playhouse board of trustees chairman.

Honorary gala co-chairs are Anne Keefe and Joanne Woodward, former Playhouse artistic directors. Proceeds, in part, will support the Woodward Intern and Apprentice program, recently named in recognition of Ms. Woodward’s interest in training the next generation of theater artists. The Playhouse’s intern and apprentice program has been in existence since 1946.

A special tribute will be made to Ms. Rodgers Guettel, who began her theatrical career as a Playhouse intern in 1950, and went on to write the music for the Broadway hit, “Once Upon a Mattress.” She is the daughter of composer Richard Rodgers. Stephen Sondheim, who also was in the 1950 Playhouse intern class, and Christopher Plummer, will be present to honor Ms. Rodgers Guettel.

Ms. Morten will be honored for spearheading the Playhouse’s successful, multi-million dollar renovation in 2005. She has served as chairman and president of the Playhouse board of trustees since 1999, having joined the board in 1996. Ms. Morten is a Tony Award voter and theatrical producer.

A musical performance, entitled “An Enchanted Evening---The Music of Richard Rodgers,” will feature Broadway stars James Naughton, Tony Award winner for “Chicago” and “City of Angels”; Kelli O’Hara, Tony Award nominee for “South Pacific,” “The Pajama Game” and “The Light in the Piazza”; Steven Pasquale, who created the role of Fabrizio in Adam Guettel's “The Light in the Piazza” and appears on FX's "Rescue Me.”; Karen Ziemba, Tony Award winner for “Contact”; and others.

A cocktail reception and silent auction will begin at 5:45 pm, followed by the performance and tributes at 7:30 pm with dinner at 9.

Gala co-chairs are Ann Sheffer and Bill Scheffler and Cindy and John Vaccaro. The performance is produced by Kevin Duncan with musical direction by Mary-Mitchell Campbell.

Benefit tickets start at $500. Reservations are limited by the size of the theatre. For more information or ticket purchases, call Kim Maresca, special events associate, at (203) 227-5137, ext. 138, or email kmaresca@westportplayhouse.org.

Yale Performances Have 'No Boundaries'

No Boundaries, a series of global performances presented by Yale Repertory Theatre and World Performance Project at Yale has announced the 2009-2010 season, which includes Wormwood by Theatre of the Eighth Day (Teatr Ósmego Dnia); The Be(A)st of Taylor Mac written and performed by Taylor Mac; and Baby-Q’s MESs by Yoko Higashino and Toshio Kajiwara.

No Boundaries celebrates the diversity of voices and experiences in today’s world and explores—and explodes—the frontiers of theatrical invention through cutting-edge, thought-provoking dance, music, and theatre. Tearing down cultural, linguistic, and geographic barriers, No Boundaries extends and enhances the educational mission of Yale University through a series of performances by artistic innovators from around the globe.

Here's the lineup:
POLAND
WORMWOOD
by Theatre of the Eighth Day (Teatr Ósmego Dnia)
Nov. 5-7 at 8 pm Iseman Theater (1156 Chapel Street)

Like a diary from a journey across a country plunging into the night, or a letter written by shipwrecked people who entrust it to the sea, Wormwood blurs the line between fantasy and reality in its portrayal of life in Poland under martial law. At once heartbreaking, humorous, and brutally physical, Wormwood—performed by the original Polish cast—is a rare remounting of the landmark 1985 production that prompted Theatre of the Eighth Day’s exile from Poland.

For mature audiences. Performed in Polish with English supertitles. Approximate running time: 60 minutes. Wormwood is presented in association with the Polish Cultural Institute in New York.

USA
THE BE(A)ST OF TAYLOR MAC
, written and performed by Taylor Mac, directed by David Drake

Jan. 28-30 at 8pm, University Theatre (222 York Street)

New York solo performance art legend Taylor Mac sings about love, mermaids, subway safety, and revolution in The Be(A)st of Taylor Mac, a wild—and wildly funny—gender-bending fusion of cabaret, politics, and stark raving fabulousness.

Contains strong language. Approximate running time: 90 minutes.

JAPAN
Baby-Q’s MESs
by Yoko Higashino and Toshio Kajiwara

March 25-27 at 8 pm, Iseman Theater (1156 Chapel Street)

Piercing lasers, flashing LEDs, and a pulsing techno beat illuminate choreographer and performer Yoko Higashino’s exploration of gender and transformation in a world of constant loss and confusion.

For mature audiences. Approximate running time: 45 minutes.

Each performance is followed by a talk back with the artists. In addition, No Boundaries offers a variety of related workshops and lectures (TBA) that allow audiences to engage with its diverse group of artists before and after the performances. All events are free and open to the public.


For more information, please visit www.yale.edu/wpp and yalerep.org/noboundaries.
C O N N E C T I C U T
--- A R T S ---
C O N N E C T I O N

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

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