Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Theater Review: The Old Masters -- Long Wharf

Rufus Collins and Sam Waterston.
Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Simon Gray's art history play The Old Masters gets a US premiere at Long Wharf prior to an anticipated Broadway run. Read the review at http://www.curtainup.com/oldmastersct.html.

Celebrate Valentine's with Westport's Reading of Chapter Two

For Valentine’s Day, Westport Country Playhouse will present a reading of Neil Simon’s whimsical and touching romantic comedy Chapter Two, part of the popular Script in Hand Series, on Monday, Feb. 14 at 7 pm. The cast includes Reed Birney and Geneva Carr. Other actors will be announced soon. Tickets to the one-night-only event are $15.

The reading will be directed by Anne Keefe, Playhouse artistic advisor and the Script in Hand Series curator.

The Playhouse is offering a special Valentine’s gift promotion – purchase a 2011 season subscription for five guaranteed dates with your spouse or significant other and receive a voucher for a glass of Prosecco with each subscription. The special offer is available Feb. 1-14. Subscriptions may be purchased online at www.westportplayhouse.org; by calling 203-227-4177, or by visiting the box office at 25 Powers Court, Westport.

Norma Terris Musicals Announced

Goodspeed has announced plans to produce three new musicals at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester. First up will be Cutman: A Boxing Musical, the thrilling story of a young Jewish boxer's struggle between his ambition and his religion which will run May 12 – June 5, 2011.

Next, The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown tells the highly-charged story of a high school valedictorian struggling with life-changing decisions about sex, love, college and the impact the paths she chooses will have on the rest of her life. This musical will run Aug. 4–28. A third new musical will be announced soon and will run Nov. 3-27.

Season tickets are available now through the Goodspeed Opera House Box Office. Individual tickets will go on sale Feb. 20. For more information call the Box Office at 860-873-8668 or visit www.goodspeed.org.

Ivoryton Holds Auditions for Ayckbourn Play

Ivoryton Playhouse will hold Equity and non-Equity auditions for all roles (adults only) for its April production of Alan Ayckbourn’s How the Other Half Loves on Thursday, Feb. 3 from 2 to 8 pm at the Rehearsal Studio, 24 Main St., Centerbrook. The shows run from April 13 – May 1. Sides will be available on line at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.

Bring a picture and resume, stapled together. Call 860-767-7318 for appointment.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Carolyn Kuan Chosen as HSO Music Director

Photo by Charlie Schuck

After a two-year search, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra announced today that Carolyn Kuan has been selected as the 10th music director in its 68-year history. Maestra Kuan has agreed to an initial three-year contract and will begin conducting the HSO on a full-time basis at the start of the 2011-12 performance season in September. Kuan succeeds Edward Cumming, who has served as Music Director since fall 2002 and will conclude his HSO tenure this June.

As part of the search process, Kuan was a guest conductor of the HSO on Dec. 2-5, 2010. She will next return to Hartford March 17-20 to conduct the HSO in the Music Director-Designate concerts at The Bushnell, which will feature works of her selection on the program. Kuan will also conduct the first two concerts (June 24 and July 1) of the 2011 Talcott Mountain Music Festival in Simsbury, the HSO’s outdoor summer concert series.

“Carolyn Kuan’s passion for making music, her vision about the role an orchestra plays in improving a community, and her creative programming ideas made her the unanimous choice. We were fortunate to have an excellent pool of candidates and received great feedback from the musicians, board, staff, and audience members. Their comments clearly figured into our final decision,” said Michael Yaffe, chairman of the HSO music director search committee and Associate Dean, Yale School of Music.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Meet Tom Hallett in the Cast of Fiddler on the Roof on its Way to Waterbury

Fiddler on the Roof, the Tony Award® winning musical that has captured the hearts of people all over the world for decades, plays three performances at the Palace Theater on Jan. 28 (at 8 pm) and 29 (at 2 and 8 pm).
Based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, the timeless musical tells the story of Tevye, a man wrestling with the new customs of a younger generation and boasts well-loved songs like "Sunrise, Sunset," "To Life" and "Tradition."
Tom Hallett, who plays the Rabbi, among other roles in the touring production, took a few minutes while he was on the road this week to chat with Lauren Yarger, editor of the
Connecticut Arts Connection.

CT ARTS Connection: What role(s) are you playing?
Tom Hallett: I play the part of the "beloved Rabbi." Additionally I play GJ1. That is short for Generic Jew #1. He is the character I play for all of the scene changes and during the Inn Scene that features the song "To Life." My GJ name is Samuel. I also serve as the assistant stage manager for the show, meaning I would call the show if our Stage Manager couldn't. And finally, I also serve as the assistant company manager. Long answer to say, I play the Rabbi.

CT Arts Connection: Where are you right now and how long have you been with the tour?
Tom Hallett: I am on a bus heading towards Portsmouth, Ohio where we will play tomorrow night (Jan. 12). We started rehearsals on Sept. 1 in NYC. We opened in Detroit on Oct. 6 and to date we have performed 76 shows in 48 cities in 26 different states. We have travelled over 15,881 miles. The contract goes through June of this year and we have 138 performances remaining on the schedule.

CT Arts Connection: Have you ever been in a production of Fiddler before?
Tom Hallett: Sure, both as an actor and director, but never at this level. One notable production, one time I did the show and both of my children were in the production with me. There is just something special about doing a show with your kids.

CT Arts Connection: What made you decide to audition for this tour?
Tom Hallett: First and foremost, I just love the show. I would do this show anywhere, but obviously, it is such a privilege to be part of the National Tour. But specifically, why now? This is more complicated. It has to do with where I am in life. Karen, my wife, is currently on assignment in Afghanistan as an Army chaplain. Both of my kids are in college. My daughter is in Virginia and my son is in Florida. So, left with the reality of staying at home, by myself, for the next year, I decided to audition for the show hoping that there would be a part for me. The goal was to make this year that Karen is gone go by much faster. Mission accomplished!

CT Arts Connection: What do you like most about the musical Fiddler?
Tom Hallett: What I love the most is the fact that even though the musical is written about a Jewish Community in Czarist Russia in 1905, the story is universally appealing. There are lessons for everyone. Sammy Dallas Bayes, our director (more about him later) tells the story of the time he directed the show in Japan. He was approached by a local Japanese official after the show. The man was amazed that someone would write a show that so effectively captured the essence of the Japanese culture. Equally important is the fact that the show has strong religious overtones. Matters of faith are very important to me.

CT Arts Connection: We lost two of the creative forces behind the show last year while you were on tour. Were there any special memorials with the cast?
Tom Hallett: Yeah, we lost Joe Stein and Jerry Bock. I vividly remember both of those shows. David Andrews Rogers, our musical director has been with the tour since it's beginning and knew both of those men. He was emotional when he found out, yet he was proud that he was performing their works at such a high level. We, of course, dedicated the shows to them and made a pre-show announcement in their honor. But there was something more. The show on the night that Joe Stein died was almost magical. There was an electricity in the performance. We knew it and the audience knew it. They were, and it remains true to this day, the most responsive, appreciative and wonderful audience we've had. It brought tears to our eyes and it made us proud that we could pay this man such a tribute.

Additionally, because of our director, Sammy Dallas Bayes, we feel tied to the original material. Sammy was part of the original cast in 1964 and has been directing the show ever since. He was also the assistant choreographer for the movie. He tells us tales and anecdotes from the very first days of Fiddler. "I remember when Zero (Mostel) did this and when Jerry (Jerome Robbins) did that." It has truly been special. Because of our tie to Sammy, we all feel if we are one more stitch in the fabric that is Fiddler on the Roof.

CT Arts Connection: What are some of the highlights/lowlights of being on tour? Any bus stories you can share with us?
Tom Hallett: Unwritten law of touring life....."What happens on the bus, stays on the bus!" I will say however, that living with 34 other people day in and day out presents its own set of challenges. You would think that eventually you would have some type of discord between this group of people. To their credit, (much wood knocking right here) we have not had a single incident. Not even a bad word. On the contrary, this group really enjoys each other. The beautiful thing is, the camaraderie and love that we have fostered has bubbled over to our stage performance. You can tell when you watch the show that this group of people really is a village.

CT Arts Connection: What do you know about Waterbury, CT and the Palace Theater, where you'll be stopping here in Connecticut end of this month?
Tom Hallett: Although I'm not from Connecticut, I went to school at West Point, which is not far from here. So, I am familiar with the area and have been to Waterbury many times. The Palace has a rich tradition within the theater industry as one those old "Pre-Broadway" Houses, similar to the Shubert in New Haven. It is always fun to work at a place where legends have walked.

CT Arts Connection: What opportunities do you have to explore an area or is there no time outside of the show schedule?
Tom Hallett: One of the things I strive to do at every location we are at for more than one night is to do something "touristy." I want to experience the local flavor and to see what makes each town special. I don't want my post tour memories to be of the nice hotel gyms I saw on tour. So, I get out. There are a few of us on tour that really endeavor to see more than just the few blocks in between the hotel and the theater. So far on tour we have seen a lot. 2,500 pictures later, I am still excited about seeing this great country of ours.

CT Arts Connection: Anything you'd like to say to the CT Arts Connection audience?
Tom Hallett: In this day of special effects and high budget shows it is very special to be part of a show that is grounded in its roots and "tradition." The show your audiences will see on stage is very similar to the one that Jerome Robbins directed in 1964. Not a lot of tricks or gadgets. Just a great show, led by an amazing actor, John Preece, who plays Tevye. Speaking of that, John has performed the show over 3,000 times, 1,500 of those performances as Tevye. This is his ninth national tour. John doesn't play Tevye any more, he IS Tevye. When you watch his performance you can't help but wonder if that's what Zero Mostel might have looked like. He is an amazing actor that gives an amazing performance. It is truly one not to be missed

Tickets for Fiddler on the Roof, sponsored by Webster Bank, WTNH/MyTV9, Brass Mill Center, Crystal Rock and Powerstation Events, 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. in Waterbury. Groups of 20 or more qualify for discounted rates and should call the Group Sales hotline at 203-346-2002. (Below Tom Hallett and Tom the Rabbi)

Playhouse Collects Books for 'Read to Grow'

In conjunction with its Family Festivities Series, Westport Country Playhouse is hosting a book collection for Read to Grow, Inc.

Beginning with the 2011 season’s first Family Festivities show, “The Commedia Princess and the Pea,” on Sunday, Jan. 16 at 1 and 4 pm, the Playhouse will collect gently used and new children’s books which will be given to families and programs in the greater Fairfield County area. Bins will be located in the Playhouse lobby for the donations.

Book collections for Read to Grow will continue with upcoming Family Festivities programs: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favourites,” Sunday, Feb. 13; “A Jigsaw Jones Mystery – The Case of the Class Clown,” Sunday, March 6“Click, Clack, Moo,” Sunday, March 27. All shows are at 1 and 4 pm.

Read to Grow is a statewide nonprofit organization that helps build literacy from birth by preparing parents to take an active role in their children's literacy development from day one, and by providing free children's books to families with limited access and to community resources that serve them.

For more information on the book collection, contact Jenn Bond Huisking, Playhouse community relations liaison, at 203-227-5137, x 120. She is a member of the Young Leaders of United Way of Coastal Fairfield County. She and many other members have been sponsoring book drives over the past year in response to the need of books in children’s homes and for early childhood programs in less advantaged areas.

Tickets for Family Festivities presentations are $15. For more information or tickets, call the box office at 203-227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, go in person to 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport, or visit www.westportplayhouse.org.

Children's Writers Offer Tips to CT Press Club

Angela Santomero, creator of PBS's "Super WHY!" and Nickelodeon's "Blue's Clues," Darice Bailer, author of more than 30 books for children and young adults, Marianne Prokop (writing as M.W. Penn), poet and author of children's books, Michele P. Hofbauer, children's book illustrator and David Linker, editor, HarperCollins, will be on hand to offer tips and insights to memebr sof the CT Press Club.

The event will be held Saturday, Feb. 5 from 10 am to 1 pm. CPC/FCC/NYPC members and educators: $25/ Non-members: $30. A buffet brunch is included at The Norwalk Inn, 99 East Ave(I-95 to Exit 16. Reservations requested, but walk-ins welcome. Call 203 968-8600 or email ctpressclub@gmail.com.

January News from the Mark Twain House

Writer and skeptic Anne Trubek, who was slated to speak at The Mark Twain House & Museum tomorrow (Wednesday, Jan. 12, will now deliver her lecture on Friday, Jan. 14. The date change is due to weather warnings for Tuesday and Wednesday in Connecticut.

Trubek speaks on "A Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Homes." The free event, beginning at 5 pm is sponsored by the museum and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. After a kreception, Trubek will speak at 5:30 and sign copies of her book. Trubek is Associate Professor of Rhetoric & Composition at Oberlin College. Since 2006, she has written for Mother Jones, The Believer, The American Prospect, The Oxford American, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among other publications. She is frequent guest on radio shows such as NPR's Morning Edition.

Marx Brothers mayhem meets Mark Twain when author and wit Roy Blount, Jr. visits The Mark Twain House & Museum on Wednesday, Jan. 26, at 6:30 pm to sign and discuss his new book Hail, "Hail, Euphoria! Presenting the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup, The Greatest War Movie Ever Made."

A full evening of laughter, the event kicks off at 6:30 pm with a book signing, followed by a conversation with Hartford Courant columnist, WNPR host and humorist Colin McEnroe. Immediately after the conversation there will be ascreening of the landmark 1933 film by the anarchic quartet of classic comedy.

Nearly eighty years after its release, Duck Soup remains an influential piece of political satire on politics and war. In Hail, Hail, Euphoria! bestselling author Blount examines the comedic genius of the Marx Brothers in their finest hour -- and nine minutes. The humor and idiosyncratic wit of Duck Soup are saluted by the author's own in this gem of a book, offering a behind-the-scenes tale of show business and brotherhood that only a true Marx Brothers aficionado could tell.

Tickets for the event, including the conversation and film, are $15 ($10 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum, WNPR 90.5FM and CPTV). For reservations, call 860-280-3130. Copies of the bool will be on sale at the event, which is co-sponsored by Connecticut Public Broadcasting.

R-Rated Twain, featuring some of Mark Twain's spiciest and shocking works, is on tap Thursday, Jan. 27 at City Steam Brewery Café's Brew-Ha-Ha Comedy Club.

The "adults-only" readings, performed by Sea Tea Improv and directed by Twain House Communications Manager Jacques Lamarre, will take the audience through the naughtiest puns, poems, parodies and passages that Twain wrote. Suffice to say the material covered by Twain in these writings is not suitable for most publications, family audiences or polite society.

There will also be hilariously biting take-downs of Twain's enemies culled from the recently published, bestselling Autobiography of Mark Twain. The blushing begins at 7 pm on Thursday, Jan. 27. The comedy club's doors will open at 6 for guests who would like to eat and sample City Steam's famous microbrews downstairs before the show. Food and drink will be served throughout the reading. Due to the nature of the material and the presence of alcoholic beverages, all guests must be 21 or over or attend with a parent or guardian.

City Steam's Brew Ha Ha is located in the basement of the historic Brown Thompson building at 942 Main St., Hartford. For tickets, call 860=280-3130. Reservations are strongly recommended. Any available seats will be sold at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

Master sushi chef George Shimizu will divulge the secrets of great sushi in a special class at the Murasaki Café at the house Sunday, Jan. 16, from 1 to 3 pm.

Shimizu, who founded the café as a city outpost of his long-running and popular Murasaki restaurant in West Hartford, will instruct students on rice preparation, rolling technique, and much more.

Enrollment is limited to 10 so that each student will get hands-on experience, close personal instruction, and a full meal. Tools and ingredients will be provided.The cost is $75 per person and reservations can be made at 860-280-3159.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Local Goodspeed Auditions Scheduled

This February Goodspeed Musicals will hold local auditions for its 2011 season. Local Non-Equity auditions will be held on Saturday, Feb. 5 from 10 am to 5 pm. Local Equity auditions will be held on Sunday, Feb. 6 from 10 am to 5 pm in East Haddam. Goodspeed is seeking adult male and female actors.

All auditions are by appointment only. Appointments may be made starting immediately. Call Company Management at 860-873-8664, ext. 387, Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm.

Goodspeed Musicals 2011 season will be My One And Only (3/15-7/1), Show Boat (5/31-9/17) and City of Angels (8/23-11/27). Candidates must be available for four weeks of rehearsal and a four to 14-week performance run.

Interested performers should bring a resume, photo and sheet music and be prepared to sing two short numbers: an up-tempo song and a ballad. Music must be legible and in the proper key (no lead sheets, please). An accompanist will be provided.

Performers of all ethnicities are strongly encouraged to audition.

Two Comedies Added for Long Wharf This Sping

Long Wharf Theatre announces a pair of hilariously intelligent comedies this spring playing on the Mainstage.

Assume the Position starring Robert Wuhl Feb. 18-20

Emmy Award-winner Wuhl (“Arli$$,” Bull Durham, HBO) kicks off the LWT Extras spring series with Assume The Position. Based on a hit HBO special, Wuhl becomes the history teacher you never had (but wished you did)! Join him for an irreverent comedic history lesson that playfully examines some of the facts, myths, and myths-that-became-facts that have permeated American history.

Assume the Position plays on the Mainstage from Feb. 18-20, with shows on Friday, Feb. 18 at 8 pm, Saturday, Feb. 19 at 8 pm and Sunday, Feb. 20 at 2 pm.

You Say Tomato and I Say Shut UpBy Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn March 18-20
“We’re just not that into us,” proclaim real-life married couple Annabelle Gurwitch (“Seinfeld”, NPR) and Emmy Award winner Jeff Kahn (The 40 Year Old Virgin) in the hilarious and ultimately moving new play entitled You Say Tomato and I Say Shut Up, based on a memoir of their marriage. This hilarious “he-said, she-said” show proves that all you need is love and a healthy dose of complaining, co-dependence, and Pinot Noir.

You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up will play from March 18-20, with shows on Friday, March 18 at 8 pm., Saturday, March 19 at 3 pm. and 8 pm. and Sunday, March 20 at 2 pm.

For more information about the shows, visit www.longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282.

Westport Kicks Off Family Series

Westport Country Playhouse will begin its 2011 Family Festivities Series with "The Commedia Princess and the Pea," a slapstick spin on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, on Sunday, Jan.16 at 1 and 4 pm. Recommended for ages five and up, the story asks the question: How can you tell if someone is really, truly a princess? Tick

Pre-show activities, for which reservations are required, begin one hour before the performances at noon and 3 pm. Birthday party facilities may be scheduled in advance. Everyone in the audience requires a ticket. Groups of 10 or more save. For group sales information call 203-227-5137, x120.

Upcoming Family Festivities programs are “The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favourites,” Sunday, Feb. 13 at 1 and 4 pm., three stories by award-winning children's book illustrator and writer, Eric Carle, told with puppets and original music, produced by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia; “A Jigsaw Jones Mystery – The Case of the Class Clown,” Sunday, March 6 at 1 and 4 pm, a mystery with music, based on the book by renowned author James Preller, produced by ArtsPower; and “Click, Clack, Moo,” Sunday, March 27 at 1 and 4 pm, a hilarious musical based on the Caldecott Honor Book by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin, produced by TheatreWorks USA.

For more information or tickets, call the box office at 203-227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, visit in person at Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport or online at www.westportplayhouse.org.

Redgrave in Reading at Long Wharf

Did the United States government sanction torture in the wake of 9/11? Legendary actor and activist Vanessa Redgrave, joins international lawyer and acclaimed author Philippe Sands to examine this question in a staged presentation of his book Torture Team.

This one night only special event takes place on Sunday, Jan. 16 on Stage II at 7 pm. Tickets are $75. A portion of the proceeds of the event will be donated to The Center for Victims of Torture. Additional cast members and panelists will be announced at a later date. .

After the presentation, Redgrave and Sands will hold a conversation with the audience on this controversial subject. www.longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282.

Sam Waterston, Shirley Knight Head US Premiere of Old Masters at Long Wharf

Long Wharf Theatre will present the US premiere of The Old Masters by Simon Gray Jan. 19 to Feb. 13, 2011 on the Mainstage.

The cast is comprised of Sam Waterston (Bernard Berenson), Rufus Collins (Edward Fowles), Brian Murray (Joseph Duveen), Shirley Knight (Mary Berenson) and Heidi Schreck (Nicky Mariano). The production will be directed by Michael Rudman. The creative team is comprised of Alexander Dodge (Set Design), Toni-Leslie James (Costume Design), Peter Kaczorowski (Lighting Design), John Gromada (Sound Design and Original Music), and Jack Doulin (Casting). The stage manager is Bonnie Brady.

Long Wharf Theatre’s production of The Old Masters precedes an anticipated Broadway run produced by John Martello and Elliot Martin.

“This is a very beautiful and brilliant play. Like most of Simon’s plays, it is about so many different things. It is certainly about art and money … it’s about old friends. It’s about old rivalries and it’s about life and death, facing the end of your life,” Edelstein said. “This is a great project, having all of these great artists together to do this important play about this important subject.”

The play, written in 2004 and previously performed in London’s West End, takes place under the menacing shadow of Mussolini in 1937. Two aging lions joust over the value of art and money. Just outside Florence, famous art historian Bernard Berenson (played by Waterston) and notorious art dealer Joseph Duveen (portrayed by Murray) edge toward a revealing final encounter as their fascinating relationship erupts on stage.

Long Wharf Theatre has a long history of performing Gray’s works, including the award-winning production of Quartermaine’s Terms, produced during the 1982-83 season, then transferring to Playhouse 91 in 1983. The show won an OBIE Award that year for ensemble performance. In addition, Long Wharf Theatre produced the much acclaimed The Common Pursuit.

For more information about the show, call 203-787-4282 or visit www.longwharf.org.

Annie Takes Stage at Children's Theater

Leapin' Lizards! The musical Annie will take center stage at Hartford Children's Theatre for two weeks only tonight through Sunday, Jan. 16 at The Carol Autorino Center for Arts and Humanities on the Campus of Saint Joseph College (1678 Asylum Ave., West Hartford).

Boasting one of Broadway's most beloved scores, including "Hard-Knock Life," "Easy Street," "N.Y.C." and the ever optimistic "Tomorrow," you can bet your bottom dollar that Annie will bring a smile to your face. Based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip, "Little Orphan Annie," the classic musical about never giving up hope features a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin.

Connecticut celebrities Scot Haney and Kate Bolduc will make their Hartford Children's Theatre debut performances for one show only on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 2 pm. Haney, WFSB Channel 3's meteorologist and popular co-host of the station's morning show "Better Connecticut," will take on the role of radio host Bert Healy while Bolduc, CEO of the Greater Hartford Arts Council, sings the role of "Star to Be."

Directed by HCT Artistic Director Ryan Ratelle with musical direction by John DeNicola and choreography by Lisa Foss and Caitlin Sailer, the cast features Hollis Long of West Hartford in the title role, Keith Johnson as Daddy Warbucks, Alecia Adams Evans as Grace Farrell and Emely Larson as Miss Hannigan.

Annie's four-footed friend "Sandy" will be played by Macy, a rescue dog from Oklahoma trained by William Berloni Theatrical Animals (see the feature on Bill here). Berloni, a Connecticut resident and author of "Broadway Tails: Heartfelt Stories of Rescued Dog Who Became Showbiz Superstars," will be on hand to sign his book at a special event Jan. 15. See below.

The cast also includes Sea Tea Improv founding members Julia Pistell as Star to Be and Greg Ludovici as Bert Healy along with Nick D'Angelo as Rooster, Scott McDonald as Drake, Caitlin Sailer as Lily, Arnie Woelfel as FDR, Isabella Brodeur as Molly, Samantha Bluth as Pepper, Sophia Foss as July, Lauren Popillo as Duffy, Sofia Schroth-Douma as Tessie, Emmalydia Ross as Kate.

The ensemble features Sophie Alter, Joshua Alleyne, Stephanie Baker, Sydney Baker, Thomas Beebe, Madison Bluth, Jeanne DellaRocca, Brooke DellaRocco, Lexi DellaRocco, Charles DellaRocco, Grace Donovan, Eva Evans, Jenna Iacono, Lisa Iacono, Colleen Litchfield, Jeremy Long, Cassandra Martin, Molly Miller, McKayla Morrison, Taylor Paydos, Rachel Perlin, Alexandra Pita, Timothy Perry, Anthony Piccione, Nicole Rodriguez, Shannon Sobolow, Virginia Van Zandt and Christina Vlamis.

The creative team: Scenic Designs by Magge Gagliardi, Costume Designs by Alyssa Opishinski, Lighting Designs by Steve Larson and Wig & Make-Up Designs by Linda Stanhope.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $13 for children (13 and under) and senior citizens and are available online at www.hartfordchildrenstheatre.org. For more information, call 860-429-7970 ext. 12. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. The performance schedule is as follows: Friday, Jan. 7 at 7 pm; Saturday, Jan. 8 at 10 am and 2 pm; Sunday, Jan. 9 at 2 pm; Friday, Jan. 14 at 7 pm; Saturday, Jan. 15 at 10 am and 2 pm and Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2 pm.

Student Matinee Performances will be offered at 10 am on Wednesday, Jan. 12 and Thursday, Jan. 13.

FAMILY FUN DAYS
  • Friday, Jan. 7 at 6 pm Celebrate opening night in style at Annie's Leapin' Lizards Opening Night Celebration! You'll feel like a Broadway star as you stroll down the red carpet to have your photograph taken with Annie, Daddy Warbucks and Miss Hannigan, enjoy NYC-themed treats and have your caricature done for the wall at Sardi's!
  • Talk Back and Book Signing with Bill Berloni Sunday, Jan. 9 after the performance. Copies of Berloni's book will be available for purchase.
  • Character Breakfast Saturday, Jan. 15 at 9 am. Tickets are $6. Visit with Annie and Sandy's four-footed friends from the CT Humane Society. Families will have the opportunity to pose for a photo with Annie and the cast, participate in a fun craft activity and enjoy a delicious breakfast before attending the 10 am performance. Reservations are required.

My One & Only, Show Boat Top Goodspeeds Upcoming Season

Goodspeed has announced its 2011 musical season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam. The 48th season includes the tap-dance filled Gershwin tuner My One And Only April 15 – June 25; Show Boat,featuring such memorable songs as "Ol' Man River", and "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man” from July 1 – Sept. 11; and the film-noir style musical comedy City of Angels Sept.23 – Nov. 27.

Advance season subscriptions are now on sale through the Box Office (860-873-8668), or on-line at http://www.goodspeed.org/. Single tickets go on public sale beginning Feb. 20.
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)

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