Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Do you like to be on the cutting edge of new ideas?  Does having bragging rights around the water cooler excite you?  Do you have the need to namedrop?  If these traits sound like your mantra, then the Seventh Annual Goodspeed  Festival of New Artists is your 2012 cup of tea, eggnog, mulled cider and hot chocolate all rolled into one fragrant punch bowl.

From Friday, January 13 to Sunday, January 15, Goodspeed Musicals’ Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre will showcase a festival of brand new musical works in a series of staged readings, workshops, tours, play previews, a dinner and cabarets.  For the incredible price of only $79, you can have an exciting front row seat to the newest offerings in musical theater presented at East Haddam’s historic location on the Connecticut River.

The festival opens at 7:30 p.m., Friday, with “Harmony, Kansas,” with music by Anna K. Jacobs and book and lyrics by Bill Nelson.  When a young farmer, Heath, joins a newly formed gay men’s chorus, he discovers performing in public threatens to turn his world topsy turvy. At 10 p.m., a cabaret of new songs by new artists will take place next door at the Gelston House.

On Saturday, participants will meet from 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Gelston House for a choice of workshops:  Peter Filichia, theater critic and author of “Broadway Musicals MVPs” will review his selections of most valuable players of the past five decades on Broadway and sign his book; “There Is Life After the Festival!” will feature the “Harmony, Kansas” creative team discussing the past, present and future of their new work; “Noel Coward: the Man and His Music,” a discussion of his life and music by Nancy Anderson, a Goodspeed favorite and Noel Coward Cabaret Award Winner; and “Spotlight on: Tony Walton,”  a discussion with the man whose costumes and scenic designs have won awards for fifty years.

From 2:30 -3:30 p.m., participants will be treated to a preview of a new musical to be featured at Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre in Chester which workshops innovative works.  At 4 p.m., a Noel Coward Symposium will be featured at the Goodspeed Opera House on the “Book of Mormon, Need We Say More?,”  a panel discussion led by Casey Nicholaw, the co-director of this Tony Award-winning hit.  This event is free and open to the public.

A festive three-course dinner will follow at 5:30 p.m. at the Gelston House.  At 7:30 p.m., “Not Wanted on the Voyage,”
with music and lyrics by Neil Bartram and book by Brian Hill, based on a novel by Timothy Findley, will take place at the Goodspeed Opera House.  Imagine being the one and only family, complete with talking cat, selected to survive the Great Flood, when the world ends for the first time.  Magic, mythology and hope fill this extraordinary tale.  A cabaret follows at 10 p.m. at the Gelston House.

On Sunday, at 11 a.m., a tour of Goodspeed’s 250,000 piece costume collection will be held, followed at 1 p.m. with the final musical, “The Dogs of Pripyat,” with music by Aron Accurso, lyrics by Jill Abramovitz and book by Leah Napolin and Jill Abramovitz, based on a play by Leah Napolin, will be presented at Goodspeed.  Based on a true story, it is the tale of the animals left behind when Chernobyl is evacuated in 1986, USSR and what happens to them as they adapt and survive.

At the Gelston House at 3:30 p.m., a Meet the Writers Reception will allow the composers to share their insights and writing process, with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.  Go to www.goodspeed.org for lodging and dining accommodations.  The entire Festival Package can be purchased for $79 or single events ($15, students $10) can be selected.  Call 860-873-8668 for reservations today so you won’t be disappointed.

Mark your brand new 2012 calendar or IPad, IPod, IPhone or Blackberry for this exciting entertainment event.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Grab a giant bag of Bugles and a six-pack of Hostess Pink Snoballs and bop over to Berlin’s Connecticut Cabaret Theatre for a musical trip back to the 1960’s. Four girlfriends are busy trying to solve the age- old questions about love, marriage and men, whether all the hoopla and fuss are worthwhile.

Roger Bean’s musical comedy “Why Do fools Fall in Love?,” playing weekends until Saturday, January 28, raises lots of questions as it queries the intentions and involvements, successful and not so much, surrounding a quartet of twenty-somethings who readily admit to being confused, anxious and overwhelmed about the dating game.  They may not all be eager to play it, but if they do play, they want to win.

Come meet Millie, Sally, Florence and Dee Dee who are delightfully created by Lauren Adams, Kristin Ceneviva, Anne Collin and Emily LaRose.  The gals have gathered to celebrate Millie’s fast approaching nuptials, only days away.  In the course of toasting the bride-to-be with tequila shots, the scandalous news slips out that her fiancĂ© James has been unfaithful and is among the missing.  While Millie is sure she can work everything out, once she finds him, the group quickly consult their Magic 8 Ball, remember this is the 1960’s, and belt out a bevy of jukebox hits of the era:  “It Hurts to Be in Love,” “He’s a Rebel,” “Baby, I’m Yours,” “Untrue, Unfaithful,” “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” “Hey There Lonely Boy” and “Goin’ Out of My Head (Over You) and many others.

Dee Dee consumes Snowballs and gets a sugar high while rhapsodizing about her Johnny, Flo tries to analyze her relationship to Bobby and Sally lists her entourage of bad boys. They all form a sisterhood of strength and support for Millie.  Kris McMurray directs “this look back fun show” with spirit and verve, on a psychedelic set designed by Matthew Collin Marrero.

For tickets ($30), call CT Cabaret Theatre 31-33 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at www.ctcabaret.com.
Performances are Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15 p.m.  Remember to bring snacks to nibble or buy dessert and drinks on site.

Auditions for CT Cabaret’s 15th Anniversary Season will be held Monday, January 9 starting at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, January 10, starting at 7 p.m.  Call Kris or Matthew at 860-829-1248 to schedule a 15-minute audition.  Headshots and resumes can also be mailed to mcm_ctcabaret@me.com.

Put your pink paper umbrellas in your alcoholic drink of choice and discover once again why falling in love is definitely worth all the fuss and bother.

Monday, December 19, 2011


George Bailey is the reluctant iconic hero of one of the season’s most beloved stories.  Whether you have known George Bailey for decades or you are a brand new acquaintance, New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre’s production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” is filled with care and affection, thanks to playwright Joe Landry.

Until Saturday, December 31, you are invited to follow in George’s footsteps as he walks through his life in Bedford Falls, New York, an ordinary existence that he himself might describe as dull and without definition.

Created as a 1940’s radio show, on Station WBFR, for Playhouse on the Air, the story by Philip Van Doren was originally a Frank Capra movie starring Jimmy Stewart.  Here a troupe of talented actors – Dan Domingues, Kate Maccluggage, Alex Moggridge, Kevyn Morrow and Ariel Woodiwiss- play multiple roles as they create George’s life, up to the moment when he decides it isn’t worth living and the world would be better off if he had never been born.

While Ebenezer Scrooge has his three ghostly visitations on Christmas Eve, George is blessed with only one:  Clarence, an apprentice angel who is more than two centuries old and has yet to earn his wings.  The hard working and dependable George, who saves his brother Harry from drowning, stops a pharmacist from
dispensing a prescription with poison, stands up to the town’s tyrant, helps a community live in homes rather than shacks and marries a fine woman and raises three children, learns that he is not a failure in life and that he has friends who bless him.  Associate director Eric Ting creates a wonderful atmosphere on stage, where the terrific sound effects by Foley Artist Nathan Roberts are like another character.

For tickets ($52.75-72), call Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven at 203-787-4282 or online at www.longwharf.org.  Performances are Christmas week Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and Christmas Eve at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. and for New Year’s Eve week Monday at 7 p.m., Tuesday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

In honor of the holiday season, Long Wharf is partnering with the Connecticut Food Bank and patrons are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate.  Most desired items are tuna, peanut butter, soups, stews, pasta, beans, rice and canned fruits and vegetables.

Let your imagination soar as you listen to this tale of redemption and what it means to live a life of purpose.



Are you feeling like the Grinch or Scrooge?  Not in the holiday spirit yet?  Never fear, opportunities abound for an infusion of fun to destress the holidays and celebrate the magic of the season.

First up is “Cirque Dreams Holidaze,”  a creation by Neil Goldberg, at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford until Saturday, December 24.  Your stocking will be stuffed with special spectacles, from spinning penguins, flipping gingerbread men, marching toy soldiers, balancing snowmen, dancing puppets and soaring reindeer on high.  Imagine Santa’s toyshop come to sparkling life and you’ll get the idea.  Holiday songs and original music make this a winter wonderland of fantasy fun.

For tickets ($30-65), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900 or online at www.bushnell.org.  Performances are tonight at 6:30 p.m., Friday at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.  Come and be dazzled!

The Katherine Hepburn Theater in Old Saybrook, affectionately known as The Kate, has two back-to-back treats to enjoy.  On Friday, December 30 at 8 p.m. fly high with “Blaze of Glory Bon Jovi Tribute Band” ($25) and then come the next night for New Year’s Eve at 9 p.m. with Steve D’Agostino ($35).  Call The Kate, 600 Main Street, Old Saybrook at 877-503-1286 or go online to www.thekate.org.

Want to laugh your way into 2012?  The Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury has a roster of funny people all set to entertain in “Stand Up and Count Down New Year’s Eve Comedy Night” with two shows, 6:30 p.m. ($50) and 9:30 p.m. ($60).  The second show includes appetizers and a champagne toast at midnight.
On tap are the fast talking comedienne, author, motivational speaker, TV show host and adventurer all rolled into one, Fran Capo, the international jokester Mike Dugan who has appeared on both The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, New York born and bred Tom McTiernan who uses his multi-cultural background to flavor and color his humor and the naturally funny man Dan Wilson, long a favorite headliner at comedy clubs on land and the Royal Caribbean Cruise line at sea.

For tickets, call Seven Angels Theatre, Plank Road, Hamilton Park Pavilion, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online at www.SevenAngelsTheatre.org.

If intrigue is more your style, then plan to set sail on West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park’s New Year’s Eve’s imaginative “Murder on the High Seas.”  Dress as your favorite character for this fun, interactive, who-dun-it evening that includes bountiful appetizers, wine, beer, champagne, desserts and an evening of secrets, scandals and spirited spoofs.

Call the Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford at 860-523-5900, ext 10 for tickets ($55).  The fun starts at 8 p.m. and lasts until 1 a.m.

Whatever your pleasure, select an entertainment gift for yourself to end 2011 and jump start 2012 with enjoyment and laughter.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Stephen Sondheim has won more Tony Awards than any other composer, including a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, not to mention an Academy Award, multiple Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award.  As a youth, he was mentored by none other than Oscar Hammerstein II and on his eightieth birthday in 2010 a Broadway theatre was named in his honor.

More than four decades ago he penned a musical, with book by George Furth and choreography by Harold Prince, about relationships, the challenges of dating and the joys and trials of marriage.  West Hartford’s gem of a non-profit theater, Playhouse on Park, will be shining a spotlight on this delightfully revised production until Sunday, December 18.

The story centers around Bobby, a charming albeit confused bachelor in the capable hands of Ryan Speakman, who is barely acknowledging his thirty-fifth birthday, a milestone his friends are determined he will not forget.  Afraid of being alone and uncommitted, Bobby is still alternately enthusiastic and ambivalent about wedded bliss.

Surrounding him are five couples in varying stages of matrimony, starting with the cynical and brassy Joanne (Amanda Bruton) married to the easy going, accommodating Larry ( Ben Beckley).  The cigarette smoking, alcohol consuming Joanne belts out a powerful “The Ladies Who Lunch.”

Joanne isn’t the only one with a drinking problem.  Harry (Erik Agle) has had difficulties with the law over his alcohol consumption while wifey Sarah (Meredith Swanson) envies people who eat dessert and she might use karate to get your cookies.

For David (Scott Caron) and Jenny (Hillary Ekwall), if the answer isn’t marijuana, then it might be divorce.  In the case of Peter (Kevin Barlowski) and Susan (Victoria Thornsbury), their stance is that a person is not complete until they’re married, while Paul (Brian Detiefs) has quite the reluctant bride- to- be in Amy (Jennifer Lauren Brown).  Amy’s fear of the altar translates into the adorable tune “Getting Married Today” which exposes her lack of certainty.

On the list of Bobby’s female companions, we find April (Lea Nardi) Marta (Keisha Gilles) and Kathy (Alexandra Cutler), each of whom fails to make the cut.  The staging of such numbers as “Side by Side by Side/What Would We Do Without You,” complete with a parade of kazoos, is simply wonderful.  “Company” is creatively directed and choreographed by Leslie Unger.

For tickets ($22.50-32.50), call Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford (exit 43, off I-84) at 860-523-5900, ext. 10, or online at www.playhouseonpark.org.  Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Get your calendars ready for Playhouse on Park has a plethora of great events on tap, starting with Saturday, December 31, New Year’s Eve, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.  Prepare to go on the high seas to discover a killer.  If you want, you can even dress in character for this interactive party that includes bounteous appetizers, desserts, champagne and other libations.  Tickets are only $55.

Intrigue continues in the ingenious comedy “The Mystery of Irma Vep” when a pair of actors plays multiple roles in a fascinating farce set on the English moors, January 11-20.
Also on the entertainment agenda are stop/time dance theater, children’s shows, comedy nights and improv jams and special events like The Amanda Carr Quintet presents Songs from the Heart of the American Songbook, Saturday, February 11 at 8 p.m., just in time for Valentine’s Day ($25).

Help Bobby discover the joys of “Company,” where “Being Alive” means not being alone.



As sweet as a peppermint candy cane and as sentimental as a wet kiss from a warm puppy, Ivoryton Playhouse’s newly minted Christmas offering “Home for the Holidays” is perfect seasonal fare for the whole family.  Conceived and directed by Artistic Director Jacqueline Hubbard, it will provide a wonderful way to welcome the holiday spirit into your heart.

Until Sunday, December 18, you will once again be caught up in a winter blizzard as a dozen and a half men, women and children find themselves stranded at the playhouse on Christmas Eve.  Just think of the recent hurricane and sudden early snowstorm, and the attendant black outs and power outages to put yourself in the mood.

Despite the hardships, this valiant group rallies to the occasion and becomes a makeshift family in its adversity.  The birthday-celebrating Holly (Liz Pester) performs Christmas miracles, a lovesick Joe (Brandon Clark) reveals his affections for the actress Christina (Alanna Burke),  John (John Sebastian DeNicola) keeps everyone’s spirits up with his lively piano tunes while Norm (Norm Rutty) accompanies him on the guitar.

Traditional Christmas songs are stuffed into the Christmas stockings, like Rob’s (Michael McDermott) moving rendition of “Bring Him Home,” Helen’s (Beverley J. Taylor) memorable “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” Rob and Sarah’s (Michael McDermott and Carolina Read) bouncy version of “Mr. Fezziwig’s Annual Christmas Ball,” Jennifer’s (Gayle LaBrec) cute “Twelve Days of Cheapness,” and Christina’s (Alanna Burke) saucy contribution of “Santa Baby,” complete with red boa.

The children, Addison Marchese (Sammie), Carson Waldron (Tucker),  Kaitlyn Vitelli (Emily) and Kearney Capuano (Cassie), are a delight with “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” while grandmotherly Jane (Maggie McGlone Jennings) offers her precious silver thimble for a hiding game to entertain them.

Jason Naylor as Steve, Celeste Cummings as Celeste and Erica LuBonta as Cat add their lively voices to make this holiday a memorable one for all concerned, while Will Schneider’s David makes Helen’s Christmas wish come true.

For tickets ($30, $20 students, $15 children), call Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7318 or online at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.  Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Be sure to see Ivoryton’s 100,000 holiday lights all aglow every evening.

Jump into the holiday mood with both feet as this dedicated troupe goes all out to make the day special.

Friday, December 9, 2011


To journalist Barbara Walsh, everything in her life is a great story idea and she’s proven it with two new books about her family.

The first, a children’s book, “Sammy in the Sky,” tells the touching tale (tail) of the family’s hound dog who was especially loved by her daughters Nora and Emma.  Found by dad at the pound, Sammy proved to be lovable, protective and fun, chasing soap bubbles and being a “patient” patient when being treated for imaginary medical woes.

When Sammy really gets sick, the book follows his spiritual journey in a touching and sympathetic way.  Released in August 2011, the book went through its initial printing of 10,000 in two weeks.  “Sammy in the Sky” is illustrated beautifully by Jamie Wyeth (Yes, of that famous Wyeth ilk).

“August Gale A Father and Daughter’s Journey into the Storm” tells a saga of Walsh’s family who were fisherman in Newfoundland and centers on a fierce storm while the men were at sea.  She discovered her family’s history when her father in 2002 revealed facts previously hidden that led her to a remote village and relatives she never knew existed.

Her fascination with a 1935 event, a hurricane at sea, led her to pen “August Gale,” a true story that has brought the disparate members of her Irish clan closer in a multitude of unique ways.

There’s already movie buzz that has Barbara Walsh thinking of Ron Howard as director and Russell Crowe as her great uncle Paddy, the captain of the schooner, but she is open to suggestions.

Barbara Walsh and family appeared on December 8, 2011 at the New Haven Public Library for a small but enthusiastic crowd.

Monday, December 5, 2011


As exciting, romantic or sexy states go, Connecticut wouldn’t rank at the top of the continental 48 and especially not if you add in Alaska and Hawaii.  Connecticut is known as the Insurance Capitol of the World, thanks to Hartford, and also the Land of Steady Habits, The Constitution State and The Nutmeg State.  Connecticut doesn’t enjoy the glamour of its neighbor to the south and west, New York, or the mystic of its northern bordering Massachusetts with its rich political history.

Yet do not give up hope.  Connecticut born playwright Mike Reiss is coming to your rescue with a prideful play, a world premiere comedy, “I’m Connecticut,” enjoying its first ever light of day at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre at Jorgensen Auditorium on the campus of the University of Connecticut until Saturday, December 10.

“I’m Connecticut” tells the charming tale of a nice guy named Marc, played with spirit and sincerity by Harris Doran, who while born in Simsbury, has transplanted himself to the Big Apple.  His lack of success with women he blames on geography:  he comes from a boring state.

With clever dialogue and amazing visual effects, we follow Marc’s quest for love, much as we would Don Quixote’s search for the Impossible Dream.  After an unsuccessful, substitute disastrous, speed dating event, Marc meets Diane (Maggie Sulka), a Georgia peach who has come north for adventure.

A secondary love story blooms when Diane’s mom Polly, a delightful Joyce DeWitt of “Three’s Company” fame, meets Marc’s grandfather,  a spry Jerry Adler, best known for “The Sopranos” and “Rescue Me.”  The speed dating manager (Darrell Hollens) and Marc’s work buddy Kyle (Michael John Improta) run interference in this lively game of love mating directed by Paul Mullins as head football coach.

Mike Reiss, the Aetna 2011 Writing Fellow at UCONN, wrote this comedy only one year ago.  He is no stranger to the world of humor, having written scripts for “The Simpsons”
for twenty years, co-wrote “The Simpsons Movie,”   “Horton Hears a Who!,” “ Ice Age,” and “Dawn of the Dinosaurs,”  the screenplay for “My Life in Ruins,” fourteen children’s books, as well as writing for “It’s Gerry Shandling’s Show,” “ALF” and “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.”

A native of Connecticut, Reiss is uniquely suited to pen a romantic tale about our state and infuse it, just like he does his hero Marc, with pride, enthusiasm and patriotic spirit.

For tickets ($6-29), call the CT Rep at 860-486-4226 or online at www.crt.uconn.edu.  Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Root for your home team, in this case Marc and the entire Nutmeg state, as we cheer him on to find boasting rights and true love, all in seventy-five fun-filled minutes.


How many of us use our birthdays to evaluate the past, contemplate the present and anticipate the future?  Now at the advancing age of 69, Krapp, a disheveled loner with failing eyesight and faded dreams, sits down for his annual ritual of recording a tape analyzing and cataloguing his past year and you’re invited to the ceremony.

Long Wharf Theatre’s Stage II will be the platform, until Sunday, December 18, for Samuel Beckett’s monologue masquerading as a play, “Krapp’s Last Tape.”  The incomparable Brian Dennehy stars as the man caught in the shadows, between darkness and light, trying to find his way.

Krapp’s pleasures are small:  savoring a ripe banana, taking a fortifying alcoholic drink for courage, looking up an unknown entity in Mr. Webster’s dictionary, verbally caressing the sensual word “spool.”

On this occasion, as he sits under a single bulbed light, at a desk with decorative metal tins filled with tapes of his past, he delays the inevitable, the moment when he must speak aloud and face his fears.  As a delaying tactic, he uses his banana peels as a means for a prat fall and dusts off his journal that records each session.  Eventually he can procrastinate no longer and must face the post mortem that details his life.

Selecting a previous year, three decades ago, specifically box three, spool five, he relives the death of his mother and the end of an affair, a love relationship that might have brought him happiness if he had allowed it.  A writer who has known very little success, he criticizes and denigrates his ambitions and the public who rejected him.

He admits to himself that thirty years ago he had everything and he let it all go.  What future does a man have who allowed disappointments to replace dreams? Jennifer Tarver directs this hour long exploration of one man’s fractured soul.

For tickets ($70), call Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven at 203-787-4282 or online at www.longwharf.org,  Performances are  Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

A second installment of Associate Artistic Director Eric Ting’s enthusiastic audience participation program “Spark” will center on Long Wharf’s upcoming production of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” set in 1969.  Soldiers returning home from war and the nurses who tend them will be the focus, according to Ting, “reimagining classics in an effort to inject new perspective into dramas that have a long history of production.”

The four 90 minute events will include:  First Rehearsal, Monday, December 19 at 7 p.m., The Body and Text: Interpreting Shakespeare for the Stage, Monday, January 9 at 7 p.m., Technical Rehearsal, Saturday, January 14, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Adapting to the Moment, Monday, January 30, 7 p.m. about the challenges of the production.  For tickets ($50) to the series, call 203-787-4282 or go online to www.longwharf.org.  “Macbeth 1969” will be presented January 18-February 12 on the Mainstage.  The fee will support the theater’s efforts to create new plays and support emerging playwrights.

Watch Brian Dennehy, who says of this play “It’s probably the greatest play I’ve ever been involved with and I’ve done a lot of great plays” and discover for yourself if you agree.


In the spirit of The Three Stooges, with a nodding praise to the puppeteers of Punch and Judy fame, giving a salute to slapstick and a validity to vaudeville, Moliere’s “A Doctor in Spite of Himself” escalates physical comedy and silliness to new heights of humor.

New Haven’s Yale Repertory Theatre will be paying tribute to this unique comedic genre until Saturday, December 17 in this new adaptation by Christopher Bayes, who also serves as director, and Steven Epp, who stars as the witless woodcutter Sganarelle.

A domestic squabble between Sganarelle and his nagging wife Martine (Justine Williams) results in her exacting a form of revenge on her hapless mate.  When two men (Liam Craig and Jacob Ming Trent) happen by in search of a doctor of some renown to cure their master’s daughter who has gone mute, Martine delights in steering them to her husband who is chopping wood in the forest.

Before you can say “take two pills and call me in the morning,” Sganarelle has donned a white coat and stethoscope and is ready to perform miraculous deeds.  With appropriate credit to Hippocrates, Aristotle, Abba, Julie Andrews and Jeannies in a bottle, he manages to satirize the medical profession while decidedly being a curative power for the speechless Lucinde (Renata Friedman), who refuses to speak as long as her doting papa (Allen Gilmore)  wants to control who she marries.

The independent minded Lucinde has her heart set on the chivalrous Leandre (Chivas Michael) and Sganarelle, in his bumbling ways, inadvertently guarantees the young lovers their goal of wedlock.  The servant Jacqueline (Julie Briskman) summarizes the situation with compellingly succinct four letter words.  The band of two, Greg C. Powers and Robertson Witmer, utilize a variety of instruments, trombone, tuba, ukulele, accordion, clarinet and drums, to perform sound effects and the original music composed by Aaron Halva.

For tickets ($20-88), call the Yale Rep, 1120 Chapel Street, New Haven at the corner of York at 203-432-1234 or online at www.yalerep.org.  Performances are Tuesday to Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees Saturday at 2 p.m.

If a good doctor can put you in stitches, than a bad doctor can put you in stitches too, of laughter, and he doesn’t necessarily need a rubber chicken to do so.