Friday, June 26, 2009

HSO Concert Postponed

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra's performance of Summer Groove has been postponed.

The same performance will be held on Saturday, June 27th at 7:30 pm. If you have any questions, please call the box office at 860-244-2999. The box office will open at 12:00 pm on Saturday.

In the event that you cannot attend the rescheduled concert, tickets may be exchanged for a future Talcott Mountain Music Festival performance. Please note: there is a $3.00 charge per ticket for the exchange.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Groove! Rhythm, Blues & Soul Kicks Off HSO Talcott Mountain Concert Series

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra kicks off this summer's Talcott Mountain Music Festival Friday with Summer Groove! Rhythm, Blues & Soul with David Foster and the Mohegan Sun All Stars featuring Maceo Parker,Edward Cumming, conductor.

The concert begins at 7:30 at the Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows, Iron Horse Road, Simsbury.

For information, visit

Monday, June 22, 2009

Public Forum Set for Hartford 'iQuilt' Project

The Bushnell is hosting a public forum for Hartford’s "iQuilt" project this Wednesday, June 24, at 5 pm in The Bushnell’s Belding Theater when architect Douglas Suisman will present his preliminary vision plan for the project and be available to receive public comments and ideas.

What’s an “iQuilt”? Envisaged as a loose grid of park-to-river pedestrian routes, the iQuilt aims to weave together Hartford’s key cultural sites and institutions around the theme of cultural innovation in order to promote economic growth and the redevelopment of the Capitol district. The Bushnell and The Greater Hartford Arts Council are co-leading the project, which will complement the ongoing state, city and private sector efforts to revitalize Hartford’s economy and neighborhoods.

Hartford – unlike many American cities – enjoys a remarkably compact and clearly bounded downtown. With the small square area of the iQuilt ( just over a half mile square) bounded by Buckingham/Charter Oak Avenue, I-84, and the Connecticut River, is a loose grid of north-south and east-west streets which, in map view, form a kind of charmingly irregular quilt. Within this quilt, almost all the key cultural destinations, including the Capitol, Bushnell Park, The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford Stage Company, the Old State House, and the new Connecticut Science Center, are within a 15-minute walk of each other. The iQuilt will make it easy and enjoyable to walk from one cultural asset to another, while linking them conceptually under a theme of cultural innovation – in science, art and human affairs.

For more information on the forum, visit, email or call 860-987-5929.

Pinocchio Begins Rehearsals in New Canaan

Pinocchio (Original Folk Musical) cast members Andi Alhadeff,
Eric Garrison of New Canaan, Omen Sade, Kristen Magee and Nate Trinrud.

Pinocchio, an original folk musical to be presented by Summer Theatre of New Canaan as part of its 6th outdoor season under an all-weather tent in Waveny Park, has begun rehearsals.

The production will be presented by the Filament Theatre Ensemble of Chicago, June 26-27 and July 2-3-9-10-and-11 at 11 am, June 28 at 1 pm and July 5 at 12:30 pm. Tickets are available at or (203) 966-4634.

The Taming of the Shrew currently is running at the park through July 11. Also on tap: Shakespeare for Kids June 27 and July 3 and 11 at 2 pm and
Camelot July 18-Aug. 2.

O'Neill Center Calendar

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bushnell to Co-Produce 'Addams Family' on Broadway

The Bushnell wil co-produce The Addams Family, a new Broadway-bound musical based on the characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams.

Scheduled for an April 8, 2010 opening, the show will star two-time Tony Award® winners NATHAN LANE (The Producers, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) and BEBE NEUWIRTH (Chicago, Sweet Charity) as Gomez and Morticia. THE ADDAMS FAMILY is produced by Stuart Oken, Roy Furman, Michael Leavitt and Five Cent Productions (of which The Bushnell is a member), by special arrangement with Elephant Eye Theatrical. THE ADDAMS FAMILY will open on Broadway Thursday, April 8, 2010 at a Nederlander theatre to be announced with previews beginning Thursday, March 4, 2010 following a pre-Broadway engagement at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre in Chicago that begins November 13, 2009.

“We formed Five Cent Productions in 2006 and invested in Elephant Eye to take a pro-active role in the creation of exciting new musicals for Broadway and stages around the world, so it’s especially gratifying to have the first one, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, come to fruition with a brilliant and exciting cast and creative team,” said David Fay, President and CEO of The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts.

Joining Lane and Neuwirth in the cast of THE ADDAMS FAMILY are two-time Tony Award® nominee Terrence Mann (Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables) as Mal Beineke, two-time Tony Award® nominee Carolee Carmello (Parade, Lestat) as Alice Beineke, two-time Tony Award® nominee, Kevin Chamberlin (Seussical, Dirty Blonde) as Uncle Fester, Jackie Hoffman (Hairspray, Xanadu) as Grandmama, Zachary James (South Pacific) as Lurch, Adam Riegler as Pugsley, Krysta Rodriguez (In The Heights) as Wednesday, and Wesley Taylor (Outer Critics’ Circle nominee this year for Rock of Ages) as Lucas Beineke.

Yale Presents Student Play Project

Yale Repertory Theatre and Yale School of Drama presents the 14th annual DWIGHT/EDGEWOOD PROJECT(D/EP): ten original one-act plays written by Students from AUGUSTA LEWIS TROUP AND WEXLER-GRANT COMMUNITY SCHOOLS will be presented for two performances only on June 26 and June 27 at 7pm at the Off-Broadway Theatre (41 Broadway, New Haven). Admission is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

CT Critics Circle Awards Announced

The Connecticut Critics Circle honored award recipients for the 2008-2009 season Monday at a dinner hosted by Roz Friedman.

Critics were joined by the winners and representatives of the winning theaters. The winners are:


"Dividing the Estate" (Hartford Stage)

"Big River" (Goodspeed Musicals)

Andrea Maulella ("Tryst," Westport Country Playhouse)

Colman Domingo ("Coming Home," Long Wharf Theater)

Kristen Martin ("42nd Street," Goodspeed Musicals)

Russell Joel Brown ("Big River," Goodspeed Musicals)

Michael Wilson ("Dividing the Estate," Hartford Stage)

Semina De Laurentis ("The Producers," Seven Angels Theater)
Rob Ruggiero ("Big River," Goodspeed Musicals)

Rick Conant ("42nd Street," Goodspeed Musicals)

Michael Schweikardt ("Big River," Goodspeed Musicals)

Robert Wiertzel ("Of Mice and Men," Westport Country Playhouse)

Ilona Somogyi ("Passion Play," Yale Repertory Theater)

David Levy ("Around the World in 80 Days," Westport Country Playhouse)

"No Child . . . " (TheaterWorks)
Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Lizan Mitchell, Portia, Anthony Mark Stockard

"Marilyn: Forever Blonde" (Ivoryton Playhouse)

Donnetta Lavinia Grays ("No Child . . . ," TheaterWorks)
Olivia Scott ("To Kill a Mockingbird," Hartford Stage)

Elizabeth Helitzer and Mark Parenti ("Around the World in 80 Days," Westport Country Playhouse)

Rob Ruggiero

Mark Lamos Will Direct “That Championship Season” at Westport

Mark Lamos will direct That Championship Season at Westport Country Playhouse, his first production since being named artistic director earlier this year.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Tony Award and New York Drama Critics Circle Award, That Championship Season by Jason Miller will be the fifth production in the Playhouse’s six-play 2009 season. It will run Aug. 25 - Sept. 12.

“This classic American play is a richly dramatic feast for five actors---a raucous, savage, occasionally riotous examination of men who can't escape their shared past and their present illusions,” said Lamos. “David Kennedy, our associate artistic director, drew my attention to the play, and as soon as I read it I was compelled by its dazzling dialogue and swift dramatic action. I think it's a great balance to the rest of the season so far.”

“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.

For more information, visit

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Long Wharf Receives Play Award

Long Wharf Theatre has been named a recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award for its 2009-10 world premiere of Lil’s 90th by Darci Picoult.

The Edgerton Foundation funding supports an extension of the rehearsal period with the goal of achieving a stronger first production, which will hopefully increase the chances of a continued life for the plays.

“The hope is that extra rehearsal time will help these plays become mainstays of the American theatrical repertoire,” said Dr. Brad Edgerton, president of the Edgerton Foundation.

The award funds invaluable additional rehearsal, says Long Wharf Theatre dramaturg and literary manager April Donahower. “Time is a precious yet all too scarce commodity when it comes to the development of a new play. The Edgerton Foundation award offers playwright Darci Picoult -- and the creative team and cast -- valuable extra days in the rehearsal room during which she can continue the discovery process."

In Picoult’s playful and poignant new play, Lillian and her family are putting the finishing touches on the much-anticipated party at which she’ll make her singing debut. There’s a speech to be written, a band to rehearse and an outfit to choose. But then Lil’s husband Charlie’s secret gets out and the birthday surprise that he hoped would make her day instead may tear their lives apart. Lil’s 90th shows that when reason fails, it is the power of love that stands the test of aging. David Margulies (The Price and Rocket to the Moon at Long Wharf Theatre) and his real-life partner Lois Smith will star in Long Wharf’s world premiere production.

For more information on the plays being honored, visit
For more information about Long Wharf Theatre’s 2009-10 season or its summer programming, visit or call 203-787-4282

The Force Be With You at Long Wharf

By the age of 10, Charles Ross had seen the original Star Wars over 400 times, committing the show to memory.

That relatively arcane body of knowledge came to fantastic use with his creation of The One Man Star Wars Trilogy, playing on Long Wharf Theatre’s Mainstage from July 14 to 26.

The One Man Star Wars Trilogy is a one hour, high energy, non-stop blast through the three films "Star Wars: A New Hope," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi."

Ross plays all of the characters, recreates the effects, sings the music, flies the ships and fights both sides of the battles. Since its first tour across the North American fringe circuit, One Man Star Wars has performed more than 1,200 times in more than 180 cities across four continents.

The One Man Star Wars Trilogy is part of a summer schedule of affordable family entertainment including Til Death Do Us Part: Late Nite Catechism 3 and My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy. Tickets are available by calling 203-787-4282 or visiting

2009-2010 tickets at Bushnell Go on Sale June 22

From song and dance to football to Tupperware, The Bushnell's 2009-2010 season offers something for everyone! Tickets for six shows go on sale Monday, June 22 at 10 am.

Rhythm & Passion
September 19, 2009
Mortensen Hall

A New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein
October 6-11, 2009
Mortensen Hall
Part of The Hartford Financial Services Group Broadway Series

Runt of the Litter

October 27 & 28, 2009
Belding Theater
Presented by Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge

Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder
November 6, 2009
Mortensen Hall

Dixie’s Tupperware Party
November 13-15, 2009
Autorino Great Hall

August: Osage County
November 17-22, 2009
Mortensen Hall
Part of The Hartford Financial Services Group Broadway Series

Tickets can be purchased in-person at The Bushnell Box Office, located at 166 Capitol Avenue in Hartford, by calling The Bushnell Box Office at 860-987-5900 or online at Group leaders may order tickets by calling 860-987-5959 or by emailing

Yale Institute for Music Theatre announces casting, creative teams, open reading dates‏

The Yale Institute for Music Theatre (Mark Brokaw, Artistic Director; Beth Morrison, Producer) announces the full creative teams and casting for the three original music theatre works receiving two-week workshops in New Haven, June 7-21.

The two-week workshops of the original book musicals Cancer? the musical and POP! and the opera Invisible Cities culminate with readings open to the public held at the Off-Broadway Theatre (41 Broadway, New Haven). A reception follows each reading. Seating is extremely limited. Email for reservations.

Cancer? the musical
Music, Book, and Lyrics by Sam Wessels
Directed by Joe Calarco
Musical Direction by Robert Meffe
Reading: Saturday, June 20 at 4pm
Cast: Daniel Binstock (Sam), Danielle Frimer (Ensemble), Patty Goble (Mom), Douglas Hummel-Price(Ensemble), Miles Jacoby (Hand), Emily Jenda (Ensemble), Jason Reiff (Ensemble), and Christopher Shyer (Dad).

About to graduate from college, intrepid Sam had a lot in front of him. He had an acting career to start, musicals to produce, and the mysteries of adulthood waiting to uncover. Then for a graduation gift, he got leukemia. Cancer? the musical is an ingenious, funny, heartfelt, and unsentimental depiction of Sam's roller-coaster ride through the first dizzying nine months of his diagnosis and treatment—and how the cure ended up transforming his life long after the cancer itself was gone.

Sam Wessels is a 2008 graduate of the University of Utah Actor Training Program, where he received his BFA. He has written four musicals and is working on his fifth. His first musical, Notes on a Sunday, was produced by the University of Utah in 2008. Rectum! was given a staged reading this winter at the Salt Lake Acting Company. At the University of Utah, he appeared as Bobby Strong in Urinetown, Baby Face in Happy End; and acted in and composed music for The Caucasian Chalk Circle and The Winter's Tale.

Invisible Cities

Score and Libretto by Christopher Cerrone
Directed by Robin Guarino
Musical Direction by Julian Wachner
Dramaturgy by Cori Ellison
Reading: Friday, June 19, 4 pm
Cast: Abigail Fischer (Woman 2), Amanda Hall (chorus, soprano), Joe Mikolaj (chorus, tenor), Elizabeth Picker (chorus, mezzo), Stephen Salters (Kublai Kahn), Vince Vincent (chorus, baritone), Amelia Watkins (Woman 1), and Tracy Wise (Marco Polo).

In Invisible Cities, Kublai Khan, sensing that the end of his empire is imminent, looks to young explorer Marco Polo to prevent the fall. Instead, Polo recounts stories of his many journeys—to far-reaching lands and through the landscape of his memory—illuminating why the fall of Kahn’s empire is inevitable.

Christopher Cerrone is currently pursuing his doctorate at Yale School of Music. Invisible Cities was performed in May at both New York City Opera’s VOX Festival and Virignia Arts Festival. His previous work has been performed by the Orchestra National de Lorraine, Flexible Music, the Yale Philharmonia, the Manhattan Composers' Orchestra, the New Music Collective, the New Music Institute at the Hochshule fur Musik, Berlin, saxophonist Eliot Gattegno, the Grenzelos Ensemble, the Zwo Concert series, as well as at the John F. Kennedy Center with Red Light New Music, the New York City-based ensemble and concert series that he co-directs.


Book and Lyrics by Maggie-Kate Coleman
Music by Anna K. Jacobs
Directed by Mark Brokaw
Music Direction by David Loud
Reading: Saturday, June 20, 12:30PM
Cast: Hannah Corrigan (Valarie), Luther Creek (Andy Warhol), Brynn O’Malley (Viva), Kristen Paige (Edie), Ken Robinson (Ondine), Brian Charles Rooney (Candy), and Paul Anthony Stewart (Gerard).

POP! re-imagines the events leading up to the shooting of Andy Warhol as a pop-art murder mystery show, with his New York Factory cohorts taking on the roles of stock detective film characters. With Candy Darling, the beautiful pre-op transsexual, acting as hostess, the artist is confronted by his relationships, his art, and perhaps his greatest creation: Andy Warhol.

Maggie-Kate Coleman received a BA from Ithaca College in Drama and Medieval Literature, an MFA from NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program, and also trained at the National Theater Institute and the Theatre Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia through the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Anna K. Jacobs, originally from Sydney, Australia, is a graduate of the University of Sydney and NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program. POP! received a developmental reading at NYU in spring 2008 and was also presented as part of the New Musical Theatre Festival at Penn State. Other collaborations by Coleman and Jacobs include the theatrical song cycle Stepmommy Dearest, written for Tanglewood Music Festival.

Established by Yale School of Drama (James Bundy, Dean) and Yale School of Music (Robert Blocker, Dean), the Yale Institute for Music Theater seeks to identify distinctive and original music theatre works by emerging writers and composers, and to serve those writers by matching them with collaborators such as directors, music directors, and actors/singers who can help them further develop their work. By limiting production resources and values, the workshop will keep the focus on the creative process of the artistic team.

For more information visit

Taste of Tuesdays Benefits Westport Country Playhouse

Westport Country Playhouse offers its third Taste of Tuesdays of the 2009 season 6:30pm Tuesday, June 23 with a special pre-show reception with appetizers from Tavern on Main, wines from Castle Wine and Spirits and live music before the Jonathan Larson musical tick, tick...BOOM!

The show is directed by Scott Schwartz and features Wilson Cruz, Colin Hanlon and Pearl Sun.

Advanced reservations are required and seats are limited. Reserve by emailing
or by calling 203.227.4177.

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