Monday, November 23, 2015



Can you see yourself sporting a lamp shade as a hat? Ever fashion yourself as a shepherd or a Little Drummer Boy? Is your sense of humor intact and your self esteem fully inflated?  Do you like a good mystery and following new clues to a humorous conclusion?  If all these questions are possible yeses, then Long Wharf Theatre is mixing up an evening of entertainment that will have you smiling all the way to the church.
 The Good Sister, Nonie Newton-Riley, is returning to the scene of the crime for another installment of Sisters Christmas Catechism:  The Mystery of the Magis Gold and youre invited to partake in the festivities. This is participatory theater at its funniest and you should be willing to jump into the fray if Sister asks you to do so. From Tuesday, December 8 to Sunday, December 20 . Long Wharf Theatres Stage II, in New Haven, will be transformed into a religious school class complete with rulers to rap your knuckles if you misbehave, like dressing immodestly, arriving late, or allowing your cell phone to ring while Sister is conducting class. 
Study up on your religious facts and you might just win a hologram of the baby Jesus in the stable, a picture of the Pope regaled in a Santa hat or a pencil that proclaims Jesus Loves You Snow Much.  But don’t forget the reason you have all assembled: to discover who stole the Magi’s gold.  Get ready for your close up, Monsignor DeMille.  In the meantime you may learn such fascinating facts as the meanings behind candy canes, poinsettias, St Nicholas and Our Lady of the Grilled Cheese. Sister Nonie is skilled in the art of improvisation and she will take that talent up to the highest order.
 Marietta Donovan with Jane Morris and Marc Silvia deserve full credit for penning this most unusual holiday celebration that includes creating a Living Nativity with Mary, an ox, an ass, a shepherd, a sheep, three Kings, Joseph and the little drummer boy arrayed in costumes not to be believed. And if you play your Christmas cards right, that ox or sheep on stage could be you!

For tickets ($35), call Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven at 203-787-4282 or online at  Performances are Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
If you enjoyed Late Night Catechism and remember fondly your days in Catholic school and you’re in the holiday spirit, then put on your party hat and have a ball with Sister.


Traditionally, girls know instinctively how to party and what better time of the year to put on your glitz and glamor than when Santa Claus comes to town, the town of Waterbury that is.  The Palace Theater is up for the challenge and “ 'Twas Girls Night Before Christmas" is ready to sparkle one festive night only, Thursday, December 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Years ago a wannabe playwright Louise Roche, herself the mother of three little ones at the time,was at the theater one night and came up with the idea for a musical comedy by, for and about women.  Her small community theater in England mounted her show and it was such a success that she spent her life savings to stage it big time. After three hit tours in the United Kingdom since 2003, “Girls Night” crossed the pond in 2007 for its United States premiere. Now Roche has designed a new iteration at holiday tine with the original five gal pals as they analyze the past, celebrate their todays and foresee their future together.

Meet the born to party Carol, the outspoken tell-it-like-it-is Anita, the issues laden Liza, the designated not to drink driver Kate and the devilish angel Sharon who invites herself along for the ride. Be prepared to bond, to hug and to confess all your secrets as these gals share their lives freely and with panache.   Make believe it's karaoke night and plan to sing along as all your holiday favorites are unwrapped from one giant gift box for your entertainment and pleasure. They will take you along as they visit the mall and the in-laws and prepare to celebrate the biggest holiday of the year..

For tickets ($45),call the Palace Theater, 100 East Main Street, Waterbury at 203-346-2000 or online at www.palacetheaterct.orgAs a special holiday promotion, the Palace Theater and ‘TWAS GIRLS NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS are partnering with Make-A-Wish ® Connecticut and iHeartMedia to help make the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses come true. From now until the night of the show, customers and patrons are encouraged to stop by the Palace’s Box Office lobby to fill out a “Letter to Santa” and drop it inside the theater’s red mailbox display. For every letter received, Macy’s will donate one dollar to the Make-A-Wish ® Foundation.

Join this sisterhood of forty-somethings as they let it all hang out, under a spinning silver disco ball and speak girl talk and sing and dance with shameless pleasure. Be careful. You might find yourself participating in the hen party too.These girls definitely want to have fun and you're invited to the party.

Monday, November 16, 2015



Get your dance card ready, the blue satin one you tied to your wrist back in the day.  The Downtown Cabaret Theatre of Bridgeport is inviting you to the best "50's Dance Party" for one super night only, Saturday, November 21 at 5 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. when the stars light up the sky.  The final tour of rock and roll greats - Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens -will be recreated right before your eyes and that'll be the day or better yet night that you'll want to be there for sure.  Oh, Boy!

Buddy Holly will be brought to vibrant life by John Mueller, who will inhabit the skin of this legend of rock and roll, ranked by Rolling Stones at number 13 on its list of "100 Greatest Artists."  Holly who hailed from Lubbock, Texas started off in country-western but then defined himself in the new genre and is credited with influencing such groups and performers as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Elton John.  In 1986, he was among the first acts inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  His meteoric rise to fame was cut short in a winter plane crash after an iconic show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa on February 3, 1959 that was captured for eternity in the song "The Day the Music Died."

No higher praise can be given to John Mueller's performance than the comments of Buddy's wife and brothers who called it "the only one who does it exactly like Buddy did. He's a great musician in his own right...Really does Buddy proud...One of the best concerts I've ever seen."

The Big Bopper, that grander than life singer who made "Chantily Lace" wildly successful, will be stylized by Linwood Sasser.  Ritchie Valens will be secure in the hands of Ray Anthony whose award-winning live tribute has been immortalized in the show "Legends in Concert."

To hear and see this trio of amazing performers, bop on over to 263 Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport for a memorable night of captivating music that will have you jumping and jiving with joy.

For tickets ($45), call Downtown Cabaret Theatre at 203-576-1636, option 0 or online at  Don't forget to bring a basket of goodies to share at your table.

Tunes like "That'll Be the Day," "Peggy Sue," "Oh, Boy," "Rave On," "La Bamba" and "Chantilly Lace" will have you "raving on."



To memorialize  one’s life and career in a best selling memoir is a lofty goal.  If you are a wildly successful music conductor known as “El Maestro,” then it is simply your due.  When you get an advance of $50,000 to pen your golden mots with a ghost writer, you should be sufficiently motivated to respect writing schedules and chapter deadlines. Unless, of course, you can’t be bothered to dictate more than a dozen words a day, causing the publishing company to demand the advance be returned or threaten to sue for double the damages.

To become intimately acquainted with Vito DeAngelis known to his legions of fans as El Maestro, skip over to Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury for the Connecticut premiere of Joe DiPietro’s comic “Living on Love” until Sunday, December 6.

To date, Vito has fired seven ghost writers whom he dismisses and denigrates  as “spooky helpers,” a record that Donald Trump would later emulate and admire.  Vito’s wife, the world famous opera singer Raquel, “La Diva,” has been under his Machiavellian spell for thirty years, tolerating his too frequent liaisons with impressionable young ladies.  Using the music to Bolero as his tool of seduction, he feels it is his right and obligation to share his macho gifts to those worthy of receiving them.

Steve Vinovich is masterful as the egocentric  Vito, a man who is secure in his talents and achievements…until the name Leonard Bernstein is uttered.  To him, his Raquel is “beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Wow!” but he doesn’t truly appreciate her many virtues.

Stephanie Zimbalist is dynamic as the glorious opera diva who has known great successes from the Met to Milan.  Unfortunately, she is threatened by dwindling attendance and the mere mention of the younger rival Maria Callas.  The pair delightfully bicker and spar, especially when two ghost writers Robert (Alex Grossman) and Iris (Ali Breneman) arrive to record their immortal words for posterity.  Meanwhile the DeAngelis’s trusty butlers, R. Bruce Connelly and Michael Irvin Pollard, add a delightful comic touch in everything they present and remove.

James Glossman directs this highly entertaining comedy, one that borders on farce, as easily as a snow globe can be shaken and admired.  Daniel Hosvar has created a lovely Manhattan apartment set, circa 1957, to hold the romantic fun.

For tickets ($39-57), call Seven Angels Theatre, now in its 25th year, 1 Plank Road, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online at  Performances are Thursday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., with no show Thanksgiving day.

Enjoy snippets of arias, courtesy of Ms. Zimbalist’s Raquel, with a drizzle of maple syrup or olive oil, as Vito and Raquel compete to see who writes the first and best fictional account of their fascinating lives.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015



 Memorizing multiple pages of lines in a script is a daunting task and, for many of us, impossible. Imagine, therefore, how much more intimidating and overwhelming if you were to perform onstage without the benefit of the playwright’s words. A Cappella, so to speak. The skill is known as improvisation and two masters of the art, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, are coming to the John Lyman Center for the performing Arts on Friday, November 20 at 8 p.m. to show you just how they make it happen.
Billed as “interactive comedy with big belly laughs,” these improv gurus are gifted with sharp wits, a great sense of humor, fast thinking on their feet and a fun loving attitude that knows no bounds.  With Brad hailing from the windy plains of Chicago and Colin calling Scotland his place of origin, the pair have been flitting hither and yon entertaining the masses, people of all ages, from one end of this vast country to the other.  As side-kicks in the field of humor, they glory in taking suggestions, wild and crazy, bizarre and inane, from their audiences and imaginatively making them into a skit that is hysterical.  Forget props and backdrops, scripts and direction, Brad and Colin are clearly magicians who manufacture mirth with clever words, pithy actions and enough facial funny frowns and features to keep a school of clowns amused.

Start thinking up your suggestions now and the crazier the better.  Watch them expand their minds tackling such diverse topics as Miss Piggy on a date with Donald Trump or the Keebler Elves challenging the Hershey Kisses in the World Series.  You can surely do much better than these.

Since 2002, Mochrie and Sherwood have toured North America in “An Evening with Colin and Brad” and now they are coming practically to your doorstep.  For tickets ($35 general public, Fun 4 pack $30 each, $10 students), call SCSU at  203-392-6154 or online at  The show will be at John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts, 501 Crescent Street, New Haven on Friday the 20th at 8 p.m.

If you love their television show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” then this is clearly your cup of jasmine tea, java or juice. Enjoy!

Monday, November 9, 2015


Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus and if you have any doubts, just jingle your way over to the Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin weekends until Saturday, December 19.  Hopscotching around the globe, from Ireland to Holland to Australia and plenty of spots in between,  you will learn tidbits and anecdotes about the upcoming celebration that will amuse and amaze you as “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)’ shakes its merry bells.

This holiday comedy created by John K. Alvarez, Michael Carleton and James FitzGerald, with original music by Will Knapp, is guaranteed to put you in the festive spirit.  Grab a sprig of holly or mistletoe, drizzle some tinsel in your hair, pop on a red or green glow-in-the-dark nose and you’ll be all set to party hearty.

With a trio of energetic elves, Rick Bennett, Will Dayton and Joshua Luszczak, prepare yourself for a hodgepodge of your favorite holiday characters from Tiny tim to Cindy Lou Who to Clara and her best Nutcracker to Reindeer (or Reingoats) run amok.  Rick, Will and Josh are your genial, gregarious and even ghostly guides to the beloved heroes and heroines, villains and victims of storybook land.

Come meet a Santa’s elf who refuses to makes toys but would rather fill a cavity or drill a molar.  Learn how and why fruitcake has such a bad rap as the unbest Christmas gift ever. Watch what happens when Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” gets mashed like sweet potato into a figgy pudding with George Bailey and Clarence the wannabe angel from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” complete with a super voiced Jimmy Stewart.  If you drink a few cups of spiked eggnog, it will all seem even funnier.  Be prepared for a stocking full of laughs as Artistic Director Kris “Kringle" McMurray puts his trio of Santa’s helpers through their jolly and joyful paces.

For tickets ($30), call the CT Cabaret Theatre, 31-33 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at  Shows are Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15 p.m.  Remember to bring goodies to share at your table or plan to buy desserts and drinks at the cabaret bar.

Think the Three Stooges in tutus and stocking caps and you’ll be all set for a ton of holiday fun with the CT Cabaret.


An experienced and savvy priest once warned his wannabe religious student that coughs from the congregation during a sermon were bad, an indication of boredom and/or rebellion among the church participants.  That advice from Father Farley of the St. Francis parish was only one of an epistle-full of advice the older clergyman was happy to share with the highly spirited novice Mark.

To learn from the parables and practical parameters, take a seat in Square One Theatre’s new home, an intimate black box theatre, at Stratford Academy, 719 Birdseye Street, Stratford, only a mile or so from its former location.  Sit back and ponder as Father Tim Farley from his comfortable perch as parish pastor sets out to tame the idealistic fervor of seminarian Mark Dolson in Bill C. Davis’ game of religious rules “Mass Appeal” welcoming attendees of all faiths until Sunday, November 22.

Frank Smith’s well beloved Father Tim is in the midst of a Sunday sermon on whether or not women should be considered for the priesthood when he is interrupted mid-sentence by Darius James Copland’s impassioned and impatient and questioning young seminarian Mark.  The challenge is declared and the gauntlet is flung, precipitating an exchange of ideas and philosophies as the elder statesman in this wealthy Roman Catholic congregation mentors the still wet-behind-the-ears student studying to be a deacon.

Both men score points and miss returning the serve as the good Father imbibes more than his fair share of sparkling Burgundy wine and Mark questions his complacent stance on too many issues.  While Mark wants his sermons to shake up the attendees, he accuses Father Farley of merely entertaining them with “song and dance theology.”

Their intense discussions reveal many truths and misconceptions about the church and the two men, about vows of celibacy, why priests should be in the image of Christ, how to be diplomatic and empathetic and the need to be charming rather than confrontational.  The fate of a pair of young seminarians in Mark’s class looms large.  Artistic Director Tom Holehan beautifully handles the delicate relationship that moves from teacher to student, parent to chid, and , ultimately, friend to trusted friend. Both men offer fine performances as they explore their positions on either side of the pulpit.

For tickets ($20), call Square One Theatre at 203-375-8778 or online at  Performances are Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Controversy knocks on Father Farley’s door and forces him to abandon his complacency (but not his Burgundy) as Mark Dolson challenges his authority in particular and the Catholic Church’s in general.