Monday, July 29, 2013


Top:  The Reunion Cast of "Grease"  Bottom:  The Older and New Cast of "Grease"

You're going to want to turn the clock back at least five decades, dig out your old poodle skirt or black leather jacket, grease back your hair and get into the spirit of old Rydell.  With a giant photo of James Dean for inspiration, Summer Theatre of New Canaan is busy recreating the Rydell High School class of 1959 in the memorable musical "Grease" until Sunday, August 11.

All cheer leaders, lettermen, student council reps, class dorks and cool cats are invited to assembly hall where Miss Lynch (Emilie Roberts) is ready to read the riot act to anyone silly enough to break the school rules.  Summer is officially over and the Pink Ladies -Jan (Jennifer Ambler), Rizzo (Cristina Farruggia), Marty (Elysia Jordan) and Frenchy (Sarah Mullis) are opening their ranks to welcome the new girl Sandy (Sharon Malane) into their tight knit club.  Sandy, unfortunately, is sweetly innocent and untutored in the ways of smoking, drinking, ear piercing and sexual activities that the Pink Ladies take for granted as daily fare.

Sandy discovers that Danny Zuko (Christian Libonati), her summer romance, barely acknowledges her at Rydell:  it might damage his bad boy image.  This spirited and joyful teenage rebellion was penned by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey way back in 1971 but is still relevant and wildly popular today.

When Rydell sponsors a dance, a well known radio disc jockey Vince Fontaine (Jason Law) spins the records and oversees the big hand-jive dance contest.  While Sandy sits home alone, Danny wins the contest with a girl, Cha-Cha (Jennie Joefree) from a rival school.  Issues like teenage pregnancy, alcohol, petty thievery, gang violence, teenage rebellion and sexual exploration are juxaposed with friendship, love, and loyalty.

Danny and his pals Doody (Ben Simpson), Roger (Matt Spano), Sonny (Bobby Godas) and Kenickie (Dan Faber) are the proud T-Birds who run the school and torment the head cheerleader Patty (Grace Harden) and the class nerd Eugene (Mike Bloom).  Adolescent angst is evident when Frenchy opts out of Rydell for beauty school and is coaxed back to the fold by an encouraging Teen Angel (Adam Hill).  How Sandy transforms herself into a Pink Lady and into Danny's best girl are the stuff of this great musical.

Super songs like "Born to Hand-Jive," "Greased Lightnin'," "We Go Together," "Rock 'N' Roll Party Queen" and "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" add spice to the scenes. Melody Meitrott Libonati directs this fun visit to rock 'n' roll heaven, populated as it is with an angelic and devilishly talented cast.

For tickets ($32 and up), call Summer Theatre of New Canaan at 203-966-4634 or online  Performances are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m.  All performances are under a big tent, rain or shine, in Waveny Park, 11 Farm Road, New Canaan (exit 37 off the Merritt).  The show is suitable for young teens and up. Other offerings for young audiences, until Sunday, August 11, are "The Little Mermaid," "The Cat in the Hat" and "Pinkalicious."  Make sure you go to see all the offerings of this fine Equity cast.

An added bonus to the opening night festivities was a reunion of members of the original 1971 cast of "Grease" on Broadway. Special guests that night, many who hadn't seen each other in over thirty years,  were Robin Lamont who played Sandy, Cynthia Darlow who was Jan, Kathy Loesche who starreded Patty, Robin Fogel as Cha-Cha, Meghan Duffy as Frenchy and Forbesy Russell and Melody Meitrott Libonati who had the daunting task of understudying all the female roles.  David Friedman who served as musical conductor on Broadway joined the ladies of Rydell for a discussion and reminscences.

Over the years, these ladies have exchanged their poodle skirts for a variety  of new roles, on and off the stage.  Robin Lamont starred in "Godspell" and then left show business to become a private investigator, attend law school, become a prosecutor and has written a trio of novels.  Cynthia Darlow remained treading the boards and just completed a two year tour as the grandma in "Billy Elliot."  For Kathy Meloche, it's being the proud mother of a daughter who just joined the cast of "Mamma Mia" and teaching ballet.

Robin Fogel has traded in her choreographing shoes to be a professional fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation while Megan Duffy has expanded her theatrical career to include a PhD. in her chosen field as well as teaching, directing, improv, acting, writing and coaching.  For Forbsey Russell, raising three daughters has proven a full time occupation as well as teaching at a Boston conservatory.  David Friedman continues to conduct on Broadway and writes musical scores while Melody Meitrott Libonati has her directorial hat firmly in place at Summer Theater of New Canaan as well as at the Performing Arts Conservatory in New Canaan.

Come rediscover the joy and the angst of high school days as this spirited and energetic cast rock 'n' rolls into musical history. Don't forget your comb and bubble gum.


At 91 years young, James Noble is still seeking plum roles to perform.  At a recent interview, the distinguished 6' 2" actor stated that his older brother Ralph had a profound influence on his career.  Growing up in Dallas, Texas, he always revered the man who was two years his senior.  Whatever Ralph did, James followed in his footsteps. Ironically, because Ralph was such a poor performer on stage, James tread the boards and succeeded beyond his own expectations.

According to Noble, "Ralph was my god.  I wanted to be everything he was.  To read all the books he read.  When he was on stage, he was self-conscious, but when I began to act, I was relaxed and thought 'this is great. I feel right at home.' "

Even though he was fascinated by all things scientific, like physics, he pursued theater.  When Ralph joined the Navy as an engineering officer, he followed right behind, serving on a destroyer with the job of "locating and killing Japanese submarines."  Ralph served off the coast of France and on D Day gave his life saving a comrade, by giving away his life jacket.

Before he died, Ralph had gone to New York where he showed Jim everything.  "He knew the city and took me everywhere and opened my eyes to the world."  Their mother had died when Jim was 15 and had favored Ralph during their growing up years so Ralph had compensated by being Jim's mentor.
Attending Southern Methodist University, he continued the acting he had done in high school.  Once in New York, he went to the Actors Studio and studied with Lee Strasberg, achieving a friendship with actors like Maureen Stapleton.  On a typical Sunday afternoon in Greenwich Village, he would go to play readings.  He met Marion Seldes at this time and "fell for her."  But it was while he was doing summer stock in Kenneybunkport and Ogonquit, Maine and also in Connecticut that he met Carolyn Coates, an actress he would be married to for almost five decades.

They met on the set of the play "Pygmalion," he was Professor Henry Higgins to her Eliza Doolittle.  He noticed her in the company and moved toward her, but she turned and walked away.  "Now that got my interest and I said to myself 'now wait a minute, baby. You don't like me and I promptly fell in love.' " Initially, it was a rocky road and they moved in together and moved out again. "Finally I got down on one knee and she said yes."

One of James Noble's favorite roles, and one he played several times, was George in Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"  His wife Carolyn frequently played opposite him as his wife Martha.  The playwright informed him, "You were too nice as George" so next time "I did George better."

In addition to the theater, summer stock and Broadway, Noble has had a colorful career on television soap operas.  It was challenging for him because "it was all live, with a live audience and practically no rehearsals.  Since I am deaf in my left ear, it was often difficult."  His soaps included "The Brighter Day," "As the World Turns," "A World Apart" and "The Doctors," where he played a variety of character roles.

Another favorite role was in the historical movie and play "1776," where he played John Hancock on stage and the Reverend John Witherspoon in the movies.  His lack of singing ability led him to a role that required no vocalizing.  Perhaps his most easily recognizable part was his seven seasons as the genial scatterbrained and absent minded widower Governor Gatling on the television show "Benson" starring opposite Robert Guillaume as his head of household, Inga Swensen as his German housekeeper and Missy Gold as his daughter Katie.  The show achieved a certain status by being the first TV series to reference the internet and for firing a young Jerry Seinfeld, who had a part as Frankie the Courier.  The show ended with a cliffhanger as both Gatling and Benson, who had risen in prominence to state budget director and Lieutenant Governor, were running for governor with a third candidate.  He is still collecting residuals, most recently a check for $8.38.

Since those halcyon days, Noble has played Bo Derek's father in the movie "10," played Hiram Lodge in the Archie comics show "Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again," and a Nebraska recording engineer in "First Impressions" as well as in movies "The Velvet Glove," "The Runner Stumbles" and "A Far Country."

Now living in Connecticut, in Norwalk, he has co-founded a film production company with Colleen Murphy, "Open the Gate Pictures."  He produced and starred in an award-winning short film "Galcier Bay," voted Best Short Film at the 2007 Flint Film Festival.  As an active member of The Theatre Artists Workshop in Westport, he goes every Monday night to read plays and be critiqued by the other actors.

Most recently he has performed two staged readings, both humorous, "The Candidate" and "Last Will and Testament" by Frederick Stroppel for Joanna Keylock's entertaining evenings of "Sips and Giggles" at Lyric Hall in the Westville section of New Haven.

Plan to attend the upcoming performance of actor James Noble at Consiglio's Restaurant, 165 Wooster Street, New Haven on Saturday, August 10.  Enjoy fine Italian dining and an evening of comedy, music and fun.  Call for reservations ($55) to 203-865-4489.  View the many dinner choices online at

As for his acting career which has spanned seven decades, his only regret is never having performed the lead in "Hamlet."  With his brother Ralph silently rooting him on, who knows what will be on the horizon.  Just know that James Noble is ready for the challenge.


          The Duke (Alox Kumar), Gilda (Amanda Hall) and Rigoletto (Galen Scott Bower)
Giuseppe Verdi's grand opera "Rigoletto" was almost stopped in its tracks by Austrian censors who wanted to forbid its production.  Verdi began the work in 1850 and initially it was going to depict a French king as a womanizer and immoral character.  It was only when Verdi reworked the plot to revolve around a Duke instead of the King that he was able to avoid the ban.  Aware of the risks he was taking, it is said he kept the score a secret and swore the performers to silence, forbidding them to sing or even whistle the now famous tunes.

Don't worry today.  "Rigoletto" is now the tenth most performed opera worldwide, according to Operabase and Opera Theatre of Connecticut is ready and eager to share it with you on Tuesday, August 6 at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, August 8 and Saturday, August 10 at 7:30 p.m., with a final performance Sunday, August 11 at 6 p.m.

The tragic story centers on an evil Duke of Mantua, his court jester Rigoletto who suffers from a humped back and Rigoletto's lovely daughter Gilda.  The story focuses on a curse placed on both men for their willing roles in an innocent girl being seduced by the Duke, with the instigation and encouragement of Rigoletto.  The girl's father, a courtier, enacts the curse as a punishment for his naive daughter's betrayal.  When Gilda unwisely falls under the spell of the Duke, she sacrifices her own life when a plot is raised to kill him.  The ultimate tragedy is that it is her father Rigoletto who hires the assassins that take his precious daughter away forever.

Despite problems with the censors, Verdi's opera was a masterpiece, one you have the privilege to enjoy in air-conditioned comfort at Andrews Memorial Theater, 54 East Main Street, Clinton.  For tickets ($45, seniors $40, children $35), call Opera Theatre of Connecticut at 860-669-8999 or online at  Artistic Director Alan Mann will provide an informative Opera Talk ($5) one hour and a half before the opera and as usual, boxed suppers al fresco style can be ordered from Chips Pub III for $15 and need to be reserved 48 hours in advance when ordering your tickets.

"Rigoletto" will be performed in Italian with projected supertitles in English, in celebration of the bicentennial of Verdi's birth.  Under the leadership of Kate Ford, General Director, Alan Mann, Artistic Director and Kyle Swann, Musical Director, this dramatic and emotion filled opera will astound with its powerful story.

Metropolitan Opera star Galen Scott Bower will tackle the demanding role as the tormented court jester Rigoletto who inadvertently puts his own child in harm's way.  New York City Opera singer Amanda Hall will stir your heart as the lovely daughter Gilda whose innocence is betrayed by the Duke of Mantua, a role captured in all its menace by international singing sensation Alok Kumar.

The role of the assassin Sparafucile will be played by Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions National Finalist and Connecticut native Nicholas Masters, the sultry temptress Maddalena will be portrayed by Jennifer Feinstein, a National Opera Association Finalist, while Alexander Hahn as the powerful nobleman Monterone has the distinction of being the catalyst for sending the tragedy spiraling by setting a curse.  The roles of the courtiers Borsa, Marullo and Ceprano will be played by Christopher Lucier, Luke Scott and Laurentiu Rotaru while soprano Theresa Pilz will appear as the Duke's latest paramour, the Countess Ceprano.

According to Kate Ford, General Director, and Alan Mann, Artistic Director, "This is our first performance in the newly renovated Andrews Memorial Theater in the Clinton Town Hall.  Our audience will be thrilled by the spectacular voices that we have assembled for this production as well as the comfortable and roomier seating in which to enjoy the beautiful music of Verdi.  The production will be set traditionally in the 1600's, complete with sumptuous costuming and sets so that the audience can really appreciate Verdi's original intent."

Let Opera Theatre of Connecticut sweep you back in time to another age where the  incredible music will create a memorable evening you will long treasure.

Friday, July 26, 2013


Since he was only thirteen, Jason Curtis of Easton has been blowing glass.  He began his love of glass at an art camp and that love has only blossomed over the next three decades.  An exhibit of his fine work will be on display at the Easton Library until September 1. It will include exquisite perfume bottles with creative and whimsical stoppers, large rainbow-like paperweights, glass plates and decorative contemporary vases.  Each piece is an original.

Call the library for hours and directions at 203-261-0134, from 10-5 on Monday and Friday, from 10-8 on Tuesday and Wednesday and from 10-6 on Thursday, from 10-3  on Saturday.   Contact him at or or 203-372-4511.  The library is at 691 Morehouse Road, exit 46 off the Merritt.

Come see a modern day Tiffany create glass works of art!


The brilliance and talents of Louis Comfort Tiffany are being spotlighted in a new exhibit at the New Britain Museum of American Art through Sunday, September 29.  This craftsman and painter could have  continued in the family tradition established by his father Charles in the jewelry and silver business at the famed Tiffany's of New York City.  Instead this creative genius made his own artistic path through his pursuit of beauty.

Living from 1848 to 1933, he spent many years in Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa and all those influences are present in his art.  He was fascinated with the exotic and with nature. The 100 paintings in the exhibit in New Britain include landscapes, still-lifes and cityscapes and reveal his love of all things foreign.  He also worked in Luminism, an American movement fixated on light, color and atmosphere.

His interest in interior design also showed his influence by exotic cultures around the world.  While his father was known as the "King of Diamonds," Louis was a perfectionist who designed all the pieces of stained glass that carried his name.  He "painted with glass" and by 1900 was the premier glass maker in the world. He began in 1886 in France creating stained glass objects and windows in churches.  He started making his famous lamps to utilize the leftover pieces of glass from those stained glass windows.

His father exhibited many of his son's works in his store and it is said in the 1800's a three hour tour of Tiffany's was like a three month European tour.
Visit the New Britain Museum of American Art and see a treasure trove of paintings, stained glass windows, lamps, vases and furniture.  Be sure to see the film about both father and son that will provide valuable insights into their accomplishments.  The museum is located at 56 Lexington Street, New Britain.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thursday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: noon – 5 p.m.
Members FREE
$12 for Adults
$10 for Seniors
$8 for Students
Children under 12 free
Saturday admission from 10 a.m. to noon is free to the public.

Monday, July 22, 2013


The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford is advancing the opinion that "Life is a cabaret" and it is determined to prove it.  From Wednesday, July 31 to Saturday, August 10, you are invited to the proof in the pudding, The O'Neill Cabaret and Performance Conference, led by Artistic Director John McDaniel, will train new cabaret performers, called Fellows, just starting in the business by putting them at the knees of seasoned veterans.  These ten days will be stuffed to the brim with great performances by super star powers.  Cabaret Theater for the 21st century is the goal.

The schedule of programming is entitled "Come Fly with Me" and starts on the 31st at 8 p.m. with an exciting potpourri of everything the conference has to offer and it's free for the taking.  Every night save Monday the entertainment joy continues. On Thursday, August 1 at 8 p.m., Barb Jungr will travel musically from "Stockport to Memphis" in her new show.  "The Music of Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen" will feature Jeff Harnar, Jennifer Sheehan, Nicholas King and Linda Hart singing American classics under the banner "Come Fly with Me"on Friday, August 2 at 8 p.m.  Homage to Patti Lupone will be paid on Saturday, August 3 at 8 p.m. when Ben Rimalower takes the microphone.  Ben grew up singing "all things Patti" and he will share his personal reflections, revisiting his sold-out run in New York City.

On Sunday, August 4 at 8 p.m., cabaret and jazz will be married as the cabaret presents "An Evening with Wesla Whitfield and Mike Greensill."  Donna McKechnie will headline on Tuesday, August 6 at 8 p.m. in "Same Place: Another Time."  This Tony Award winner of "A Chorus Line," will belt out her new show tunes.  The next night Stevie Wonder favorites will be delivered to the stage by the 2013 Junior Cabaret Fellows at 7 p.m., while the following night at 8 p.m. the 2013 Cabaret Fellows will celebrate a wide selection of special songs and stories gleaned from their Master Artist Teachers.

The incredible and incomparable Tommy Tune will highlight the stage on Friday, August 9 at 8 p.m. with "Taps, Tunes and Tall Tales" for your listening pleasure.  On Saturday, August 10 at 8 p.m., plan to attend the Cabaret Grand Finale as the super ending to what will be an amazing week of outstanding performances. 

According to John McDaniel, the new Artistic Director, " I am thrilled to be welcomed to the O'Neill and greatly look forward to my first season this summer.  The Fellows remain an important facet to the Conference and we fully intend to nurture performers in this art form by creating an atmosphere of learning, growth and fun."

For tickets to the Blue Gene's Pub ($35-

50-60), call the O'Neill, 305 Great Neck Road, Waterford at 860-443-1238.

Discover for yourself if life is indeed a cabaret as you witness this unique art form in all its musical splendor.


Funeral homes are not traditionally hotbeds of mirth, except when playwright Joe Orton is serving as the head funeral director.  Get your handkerchieves ready- not for tears- for ways to stifle your laughter as Westport Country Playhouse presents the British farce "Loot" as summer entertainment until Saturday, August 3.

Orton is not known as a defender of church, justice and motherhood and he has taken great liberties to make sport of grand and proper institutions.  You are sure to have fun as he engages in rebellious behavior on the written page, with liberal license.  At times, it is like an Abbott and Costello routine, except instead of "Who's on first?" it's now "Where's the body?"

On the somber occasion of the death of Mrs. McLeavy, her husband (John Horton) has gathered with his son Hal (Devin Norik) to bid farewell to his wife of many years.  Unbeknownst to the senior McLeavey, his son Hal and Hal's best buddy Dennis (Zach Wegner), a chauffeur for the funeral home, have recently robbed the nearby bank and have a unique plan to hide the money, the "loot," in his mother's coffin.  The immediate problem is what to do with mum's body.

As mum's corpse moves from pillar to post, from cupboard to bed, the unexpected arrival of Truscott (David Manis), claiming to be an official from the Water Board, raises a flood of questions.  First Mr. McLeavey is shocked to discover that right before her death, his wife changed her will and left a considerable sum to her nurse Fay (Liv Rooth) and Fay's solution to the problem is for him to marry her as soon as possible.  If McLeavey isn't cooperative, she'll consider the proposals of Dennis or Hal, who now have the greenery to keep her happy.

As Truscott overstays his welcome, questions about who he really is and why he is really insinuating himself in the funeral proceedings become problematic.  David Kennedy directs a talented cast through its practiced paces in this satire on an accommodating set designed by Andrew Boyce.

For tickets ($30 and up), call Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, route 1, Westport at 203-227-4177 or 1-888-927-7529 or online at  Performances are Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Meet two guys who may be the stupidest criminals in all England as they alternately confess and deny their involvement in the nefarious goings-on.


Paul Lombardo, Michael Sayers, Justin LeConche, Christopher Polack, Karyn Burns

Wooster Street in New Haven should be your delicious and devilish destination at least a trio of times this summer as Consiglio's Restaurant flies a flag of fun and frolic.  This famous family dining spot known for over seven decades for its fine tradition of Italian food has jumped fork first into the entertainment business.

Dinner theater is definitely on the menu along with the bruscetta and penne vodka and you're invited to partake in the festivities, starting on Friday, July 25.  Put on your crime solving hats to accuse the master murderer in "The Butler Did It,"  an interactive mystery penned by the writing sleuth/actor Michael Sayers who will guide you through the clues.  You'll not only witness the victim's demise, you'll be front and center to point the accusing finger at....Billy, Betty or Buddy Butler, or at Jeeves, the butler.  The now permanently late billionaire Beauford Butler has been done in and you can discover the culprit!

On Saturday, August 10, the menu will feature "Solo Duo Duet" billed as a fun-filled comedy and variety show, with special guest James Noble, best known as Governor Gatling on the TV show "Benson" providing a staged reading of Frederick Stroppel's "The Candidate,"  a politician who has apologies for his constituency about his conduct. Plan to sing along with spirit with the musical numbers.

The final summer offering will be a totally improv murder mystery, "Now You've Done It!" where you, the audience members, play a major role by providing the motive, means and murdered suspect for a fine team of improv actors to use to frame the story and then you get to solve the crime.

All three evenings begin with dinner at 6 p.m. with the choice of appetizers (5) like fried calamari,  followed by entrees (8) like cheese ravioli puttanesca with shrimp, ending with a sweet dessert (3) like chocolate mousse cake.  For reservations ($55, tax, tip and beverages not included), call Consiglio's, 165 Wooster Street, New Haven at 203- 865-4489   or online at  Free parking is available at their lot a half block from the restaurant.  Also on the menu are cooking demonstrations that are already scheduled for August 15, September 12, 18, and 26, October 3, 10, 17, and 24 and November 7, 14, and 28.  The $65 event includes the demonstration, a four-course meal and a recipe booklet.  These sell out quickly so book early so you are not disappointed.

Enjoy the food, the ambiance and the fun at Consiglio's. Mangia!


Artistic Director Brett Bernardini relies on authenticity in his stirring productions at his Spirit of Broadway Theater in Norwich.  This time around, however, he may have gone a little too far in his pursuit of realism.  If Bernardini has control of the temperature, he is priming his audiences for the scorching temperatures of the musical "110 in the Shade."

Set in the dust bowl of Texas in the 1930's, it centers on a drought that has brought the town to its knees.  Until Sunday, August 11, this musical by N. Richard Nash, Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt will be heating up the stage at the Spirit of Broadway.  Don't look for relief from the torrid tropics plaguing Connecticut, even though the air conditioned intimate space is delightful.

Elizabeth Drevitz's Lizzie is of an age when marriage should be in the offing.  Drevitz is wonderfully convincing as a woman who fears her life has dried up and her prospects of a husband and marriage are gone.  Her pa H. C. (Tony Enright), her brothers Noah (Rob Grgach) and Jimmy (Evan Jambor) are eager to match her up with the sheriff File (Paul Leitz) but he is proving reluctant to take their bait.  While H. C. and Jimmy encourage Lizzie to believe she is beautiful, Noah is busy with his view of reality: she is plain as unbuttered toast and destined to be an old maid.  Noah has also convinced Jimmy that he is stupid.

While Lizzie struggles with her definition of womanhood and femininity, the town is grappling with the bigger issue of  the need for rainfall.  Into their midst comes a stranger, a spellbinding sidewinder with the moniker Billy Starbuck, a charismatic charmer in the hands of Gabriel Rodriquez, who may or may not be a charlatan.  He promises he can deliver something less than a deluge in twenty-four hours but can he?

Will Lizzie's dreams of love become a happily ever after have any more chance of coming true as the desperate hopes for water to fall from the sky?  Let director Brett Bernardini take you on a journey of discovery, blowing the dust and sand away to reveal a treasure or two.

For tickets ($32), call Spirit of Broadway Theater, 24 Chestnut Street, Norwich at 860-886-2378 or online at  Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.  The theater is undergoing an intense fundraiser to get the necessary monies, $30,000, to complete a project on a new world premiere play on Benedict Arnold, a Norwich resident.  Please go to to make your pledge today to help this exciting production become a reality.

Hopes and lies swirl in the dust of a poor Texas town as the rainmaker promises to resolve dreams, even if only for a minute.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Playwright Jonathan Tolins has fashioned a fascinating play based on superstar Barbra Streisand's recently published coffee table book on decorating, "My Passion for Design."  Focusing on one chapter where she reveals she has a shopping mall to hold all her incredible collectibles in her basement at her Malibu estate, Tolins has used that as a shopping list for his imaginative, clever and intriguing one man show "Buyer and Cellar" playing at the Barrow Street Theatre, 27 Barrow Street, New York City until Sunday, October 13.

Hopefully Ms. Streisand would be amused by his literary license and not in a litiginous mood.  As actor Michael Urie warns in the opening, playing Alex Moore, an out-of-work actor who agrees to work in said basement as a quasi-guardian, salesman, a man in charge of inventory, who can present the merchandise should Ms. Streisand wander downstairs, is heady business.  Perhaps she might like to purchase a French Fifi doll who blows bubbles, a costume suitable for Mama Rose in "Gypsy," find the perfect gift for a friend or enjoy a giant cup of coffee frozen yogurt bathed in rainbow sprinkles, they are all part of a dream job come true for Alex.

Urie is simply delightful and enthusiastic as he plays Alex, Alex's sarcastic boyfriend Barry, a slightly jealous James Brolin, Barbra's helpful assistant Sharon and the diva herself who  assumes the name of Sadie.  He switches personas with alacrity and skill, balancing the roles like a trained seal in a circus.  One moment he is dissing about Brooklyn and childhoods and the next he is offering performance advice and running lines, creating a friendship with a star who has found it lonely at the top of the tower.

Alex discovers on his journey that "we are all striving to create our own perfect little world so we can live in it," a personal Utopia if you will...and who better
to take lessons from than Barbra.  Stephen Brackett directs this 95 minute introduction to a heavenly land down below that will make you wish you could shop there yourself.

For tickets ($75-95), call the Barrow Street Theatre, 27 Barrow Street, New York City at 212-868-4444 or online at or SmartTix.  Performances are Tuesday - Sunday at 7:30 p.m., with 2:30 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday.

Take a stroll along Barbra's boutiques, her unique street of shops, like Bee's Doll Shoppe, with Michael Urie as your talented guide and learn first hand how to be "aspirational."



Jerry Leiber has been accused of convincing his soulmate Mike Stoller into becoming a songwriter, something Stoller was not anxious to become.  Whatever Jerry said, that unique partnership lasted for six decades, with Jerry as the witty lyricist and Mike as the talented composer.  Along the way, they helped a little unknown singer like Elvis Presley find his voice, gifting him with tunes like "Loving You" and "Jailhouse Rock."  Rock and roll was their forte and humor was often their trademark, although rhythm and blues crept into their extensive repertoire.

This producing partnership wrote "Hound Dog" for Big Mama Thornton and a string of R and B tunes for Charles Brown, Jimmy Witherspoon and Floyd Dixon.  Almost three dozen of their greatest hits are on display until Sunday, July 28 at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven as the Irving Street Rep presents "Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller" for your summer listening pleasure.

As the architects of rock and roll, Leiber and Stoller knew no rivals. If you’re looking for a good time that ping pongs back and forth from snappy sizzle to mellow yellow, then “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” is the perfect place to park yourself for a musical interlude.  A cast of nine is perfectly poised and  polished to light up the skies with  hits from the musical pens of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

    Turn up the heat for this retrospective of hits that are reminiscent of decades ago as  Vida Allworthy, Derrick Baker, Johnathan Celestin, Dawn Marie Driver, Jose Figueroa, Jr., Ron Lucas, Jay Rivera, Famecia Ward and Stevanie Anita Williams  swing and sway and shimmy into rhythmic magic land with such numbers as “Dance With Me,” “Searchin,’” “On Broadway,” “Yakety Yak,” and “I’m A Woman.”  They will tickle your fancy with their comic twists performing “Poison Ivy,” “Don Juan,”  “D. W. Washburn,” and “Love Potion #9.”  Elvis will enter the building as they blast out “Hound Dog,”  “Treat Me Nice,” and “Jailhouse Rock.”
You’ll love the verbal Valentine of “Falling,” the fun of the dancing in “Teach Me How To Shimmy” and the power of “Stand By Me.”  Their invitation to “Dance With Me” will be too hard to resist  while you might be tempted to confess and repent just to be ”Saved.”  No matter what the mood or tempo, this lively group will wrap you up with a slithery red boa as they dance and sing.  They’ve got all the right moves and you might find yourself on your feet on stage helping them along the way.
 For tickets ($59), call the Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven at 203- 787-4282 or online at .   Performances are Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.,Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
Let the mighty spirit move you as you take a musical journey along this friendly and famous road paved by the good works of Leiber and Stoller. Discover
first hand why Leiber and Stoller have been called the Rodgers and Hammerstein of Rock and Roll.


Sunday, July 14, 2013


Making a pact with the Devil is never a guarantee of heavenly rewards, yet people all the way back to Faust have swallowed  the bait and gone fishing for  the one big prize. The musical comedy "Damn Yankees" takes on one such competition centered on baseball and winning the coveted pennant and it will be at the Warner's Nancy Marine Studio Theatre in Torrington until Sunday, July 21.

Based on Douglass Wallop's novel "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant," the show has a book by Wallop and George Abbott, with music and lyrics by Jerry Ross and Richard Adler.  Set in the 1950's in Washington, D. C., the story focuses on a good guy Joe Boyd who sells real estate and loves his wife Meg and roots with dedication and undying faith for his favorite team, the Washington Senators.

One night in a moment of despair, Joe, a straight shooting Johnson Flucker, mumbles that if only the Senators had a "long ball hitter" they could beat those "damn Yankees" and finally take home the big prize.  When Joe confesses, "I'd sell my soul" to make it happen, the Devil, in the form of a slick snake oil salesman named Mr. Applegate, a smooth talking Walter Cramer, overhears and makes Joe an offer he can't refuse.

If he accepts, Joe Boyd, a middle-aged guy, will be transformed into a twenty-two year old Joe Hardy, a go getting Zach Heidom, the answer to the Senators' prayers.  Boyd is smart enough to insert an escape clause into his devilish deal:  he has until 9 p.m. on the last day of the final game on September 25 to return to his life with Meg.

As Joe Hardy, he achieves success on the baseball diamond and propels his beloved Senators to a pinnacle of triumph.  The cost to him personally is great, his wife Meg (Jeannine Gallmeyer) has no idea where her husband has gone.  As Hardy, he even rents a room in her home for the comfort it brings.

Meanwhile the conniving Mr. Applegate wants to protect his new soul, Joe's, and sends a temptress named Lola, a siren in the hands and legs of Amber Cameron Miller, to win Joe's heart away from his spouse.  Applegate reminisces about the history in the past and his triumphs in "Those Were the Good Old Days." Wonderful and stirring music like "A Man Doesn't Know," "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets," "You Gotta Have Heart" and "Near to You"  follow Joe Hardy through his battles on the playing field, in the courtroom, against the machinations of Mr. Applegate and Lola and his yearnings for his old life with his dear old gal.

To learn how Joe Hardy hits his way into history, let director Vincent D.McCoy help him circle the bases for a home run.  For tickets ($26), call the Warner Theatre, 68 Main Street, Torrington at 860-489-7180 or online at  Performances are Friday, July 19 at 8, Saturday, July 20 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 21 at 2 p.m.  Let choreographer Trish Carr and musical director E. Karl Gallmeyer lead the fan club.

Watch how Joe Boyd as Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, MO risks his soul to win his trusty Washington Senators the World Series, putting his fate in the hands of the Devil. Play ball!



Con men, swindlers and scoundrels are painted with a thick brush of black tar and chicken feathers that are well deserved.  They take advantage of senior citizens and children and everyone in between.

    Bravo to the Connecticut Repertory Theater  on its last summer production at the University of Connecticut of Meredith Willson’s family classic “The Music Man,”  playing until Sunday, July 21 in Storrs at the Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre.  March yourself right over for tickets to this wonderful, joyful tale of a thief, the fast talking traveling salesman, Professor Harold Hill, played by a smooth and suave Barrett Foa, known for his computer and crime solving skills on "NCIS: Los Angeles." Hill convinces the town of River City, Iowa that the only way to save their youth from Trouble with a capital T is to create a boys' band.
The high stepping shenanigans are off and running as soon as the dubious Professor, in colleagues with his old partner (Richard Ruiz),
enters River City and tries to hoodwink the Mayor (Steven Hayes) and his wife, (Gianna Yanelli), the sweet librarian Marian, a delightful, sincere and skeptical Courtney Balan, and her mother (Mary Cadorette). Soon the town has bought everything the Professor is ready to sell from barbershop quartets to dancing groups.  Only Marian the librarian is not ready to join the Hill fan club, initially immune to Hill's mesmerizing ways.

    The choreography by Cassie Abate, who also doubles as talented director, is top notch and the musical score is packed with gems.  The Wells Fargo Wagon is delivering the goods and you’d best be ready to accept delivery. The colorful rainbow of sets by Michael Anania and plaid, gingham and calico costumes by Lisa Loen  are worth the trip to Storrs.
 Grab the family and introduce them to a cute miss Amaryllis (Rebecca Mack)  as she courts her shy beau Winthrop (Elijah Saddlemire).  The
old-fashioned fun is nonstop, the dancing is infectious, the songs  are classics and the cast gives it their all. 
 For tickets ($10-45), call the CT Rep at 860-486-2113 or online at  Performances are Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
 Watch a spellbinder, who doesn’t know the territory and doesn’t have any credentials, win over a town and give it and you an outstanding evening of theater.  76 trombones trumpet out a triumphant show! Don’t miss it! Straw hats off to the CT Rep!

Monday, July 8, 2013


If you have a delicate question of a sexual nature, you can be assured of a frank and honest answer if you direct your query to the queen of sex therapists, Dr. Ruth.  To get up close and personal to this four foot seven inch dynamo who just celebrated her eighty-fifth birthday, parade yourself over to Hartford TheaterWorks for the almost world premiere of "Becoming Dr.Ruth" until Sunday, July 14.  The Barrington Stage Company of  Massachusetts preempted that honor of world premiere status last year.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer has packed a lot of living in her eight and a half decades on earth.  From her early childhood in Germany, her adventurous life took off like a rocket.  When she was only ten, her father was arrested simply because he was Jewish and taken away by the Nazis. Her mother and grandmother wisely put her on the Kindertransport with other children to save her life by being sent to an orphanage in Switzerland.  Through many dark years that followed, she held on to her grandmother's philosophy:  "Always be happy and cheerful.  You are loved."

Mark St. Germain has penned a delightful and intimate look into the life of this astonishing woman. She is brought to vibrant and enchanting life in the hands of actress Debra Jo Rupp.  She embodies Dr Ruth in enthusiasm, body and spirit, with actions and voice, as she relates her intriguing journey with anecdotes, photos and mementos.

After residing for thirty-six years in the same New York City apartment, with views of the Hudson River, she is moving.  Her third husband Fred has died and she knows change is good.  As she packs her books, pictures and collections of dollhouses and turtles, she reminisces about her past, from losing her family,  settling in Palestine and later in America.  Can you imagine this diminutive lady as a sniper in the Haganah?  Her size was actually a bonus in this spy work as a scout. In this imaginative play, you will learn that this woman who worked diligently to earn her doctorate, loved Shirley Temple,  encouraged Governor Bill Clinton to run for the presidency and  would have been happy to be a kindergarten teacher.

Julianne Boyd directs this intimate portrait of a remarkable journey as Karola Ruth Siegel at the helm steering her way to her destiny as Dr. Ruth.

For tickets ($50-63, student rush $17 if available), call TheaterWorks, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford at 860-527-7838 or online at  Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.  Come early to the upstairs lobby art gallery sponsored by The Hartford Financial Services Group and enjoy the exhibition of mixed media "Mixus,"  by a group of Hartford artists who have been sharing artistic knowledge since 2003.

Two lessons that Dr. Ruth learned through the collections she has saved over the years:  her dollhouses are safe havens for her dolls because she didn't have any control over her life growing up and her turtles that are symbolic that it has to take a risk and stick its neck out if its wants to move forward.


Photo Credit: A. Vincent Scarano   "Broadcast"
Pictured (from left to right): sitting: Tommy McDowell, Wesley Taylor, Jared Zirilli
In back: Theresa McCarthy, Chris McCarrell, Whitney Bashor, Farah Alvin, Jonathan Hadley

Diamonds and gold are buried in the green rolling hills of Waterford and they are gems ready to be mined.  Theater lovers need to run as quickly as possible to the best hidden jewel of entertainment, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, that for forty-nine  years has brought new works to the surface.

Every summer this great campus sponsors a series of conferences beginning in June with an International Puppetry Conference, where "Avenue Q" was given birth, founded by Jim and Jane Henson (Muppets) and Rufus and Margo Rose (Howdy Doody).  Every winter and spring, hundreds of new plays are submitted for consideration at the “National Playwrights Conference” and "National Music Theater Conference" in July.  From this hefty number, fifteen hundred this year, eight plays  and three musicals are selected for a full workshop and staged reading. 

This summer's play offerings include: "The Solid Sand Below" by Martin Zimmerman and performances were July 3 and 4.
Julian Flores narrowly escapes a prison sentence and lands in Iraq where he’s anything but a model soldier. But when an I.E.D. blast nearly costs him his life, something changes for Flores. Soon the adrenaline, clarity, and intimacy of battle become something he can’t live without—even after he returns home.  "Samsara" by Lauren Yee had performances July 5 and 6.  Katie and Craig are having a baby… with a surrogate… who lives in India. A month before the baby’s due date, Craig reluctantly travels to the subcontinent, where he meets Suraiya, their young, less-than-thrilled surrogate. As all three “parents” anxiously wait for the baby to be born, flights of fancy attack them from all sides, in the form of an unctuous Frenchman and a smart-mouthed fetus.  It is a whimsical take on modern-day colonialism. 

A GREAT WILDERNESS by Samuel D. Hunter, directed by Braden Abraham will have showings Wednesday, July 10; Thursday, July 11
Facing a forced retirement and early signs of dementia, a man who's devoted his life to counseling teenage boys out of their homosexuality has taken on one last patient at his remote mountain cabin in Idaho. But when tragedy strikes and his life and mind begin to unravel, he is forced to confront some demons of his own.
LITTLE CHILDREN DREAM OF GOD by Jeff Augustin will be performed  Friday, July 12; Saturday, July 13.
Risking it all to ensure a better life for her unborn son, Sula travels from Haiti to Miami floating on a car tire. As Sula struggles to make a life for herself in America, she comes face to face with ghosts from her past. Will she be able to forge a new beginning for herself and her son or will Sula be held captive to the demons that haunt her? 
THE OREGON TRAIL by Bekah Brunstetter  will be shown on Wednesday, July 17; Thursday, July 18.
Jane's trapped in her middle school computer lab playing “The Oregon Trail” for what feels like hours. The game becomes life and rips us back to the trail, 1848, where we travel in a covered wagon with Jane's great great grandmother. As game moves us, back, forward and back again, Now-Jane’s and Then-Jane’s sadnesses are delicately  juxtaposed in this play-meets-video game about depression, Then and Now.
ALL THE ROADS HOME by Jen Silverman will be performed on Friday, July 19; Saturday, July 20.
Madeleine wanted to be a dancer, her daughter Max wanted to be a cowboy, and Max's daughter, Nix, has no idea what she wants, but knows it has to be enough for all of them. Set in the 50's, 70's and today, three women choose which dreams to sacrifice and when to keep fighting. All the Roads Home is about freedom, family, and finding hope where you least expect it.
EVANSTON: A RARE COMEDY by Michael Yates Crowley will be featured on Wednesday, July 24; Thursday, July 25.
Evanston: A Rare Comedy begins with the disappearance of a teenage girl in deepest suburbia and ends when a meeting of the local Women's Book Club goes horribly awry. In between, a housewife dreams of Mexico, an economics professor has an affair with a check-out clerk at Whole Foods, and the financial crisis rages on. Inspired by the words of Psalm 137 and the best-seller "Eat, Pray, Love," Evanston: A Rare Comedy takes a look at Middle America and asks: how can we sing a song of joy in this strange land?
LOST LAKE by David Auburn, directed by Wendy C. Goldberg will be shown on Friday, July 26; Saturday, July 27.
In this melancholy comedy/drama, the lives of two strangers become entwined when a single mother in search of a week’s escape from the city rents a decrepit lakeside cabin. 
In addition to the plays, The National Music Theater Conference this year has three offerings to tempt your palate.  "Broadcast" with Book & Lyrics by Nathan Christensen and Music by Scott Murphy had readings in June.  Does our constantly evolving technology really help us to connect with each other, or is it keeping us at a distance? That is the question of the original wireless era a hundred years ago—at the dawn of radio. "Broadcast" weaves together the lives of inventors, housewives, soldiers, salesmen,and the people next door, all trying to be heard over the invisible waves of that brand new world.

In "The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes" with Book & Lyrics by Christopher Dimond and Music by Michael Kooman, the staged readings were this past weekend.  Howard Barnes is a perfectly average man in his early thirties, until the day that he wakes up to discover that his life has become a musical. Desperate to escape from the show, Howard embarks on a fantastical quest through the realm of musical theater. Equal parts satire, romantic comedy, and love letter to the American musical, "The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes" is intended for people who love musical theater, and their spouses who hate it.

There is still time to catch "Goddess" with Book, Lyrics, and Music by Mkhululi Z. Mabija & Michael Thurber with readings July 6, 7 , 10 and 12, the last at 7 p.m. " Goddess" is set in a fictional city in present day Africa where Nadira, a beautiful, sultry singer, performs nightly in a jazz club. The story revolves around Nadira and the fate of the men who love her. An original musical with pulsing, modern African rhythms, "Goddess" is a story of love, destiny and the place of the supernatural in the modern world.

For tickets ($28) to any performance of a play or musical, call the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, 305 Great Neck Road, Waterford (exit 75, off I-95) at 860-443-5378 or online at  Also check out the Cabaret and Performance Conference in August, from the 1st to the 10th,  featuring headliners like Donna McKechnie on the 6th and Tommy Tune on the 9th. Single tickets are $50-60.
Unleash your prospecting acuity as you mine the abundance of theatrical riches at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center that are just waiting to be discovered.  Claim your golden nuggets and diamonds now.


Get your dancing shoes on and kick up your heels and prepare to fly with joy to the Ivoryton Playhouse for a fun and frolic-filled production of "Footloose."

Imagine a town where dancing is forbidden, prohibited, against the law, banned.  A tragic car accident took the lives of four teenagers coming home from a dance over five years before and at the time Reverend Shaw Moore, whose son was one of those lost, mounted a campaign to eliminate future dances.

Until Saturday, July 28, you're invited to get your groove on and follow the beat to this musical, based on the 1984 movie, with book by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie and music by Tom Snow,with additional music by Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Jim Steinman and Kenny Loggins.

Ren McCormick is not thrilled when his mom informs him that they have to leave their home in Chicago to live with her sister and husband in a podunk farm town called Bomont.  Ren's father's abandonment is turning his life upside down and he resents all that he has lost.

A dynamic Cody Ryan as Ren pledges to make the best of a bad situation and tries to blend in with small town life.  His mom (Elise Arsenault) is encouraging and his aunt and uncle (Melissa McClean and George Lombardo) want to be helpful.

Ren's first day at high school, he finds himself being beat up by Willard (Patrick H. Dunn), a cowboy who ends up becoming his first real friend.  Ren's adjustment to small town life is complicated by the vast influence exerted by Reverend Shaw, an authoritative Edward Juvier, on the community as well as on his wife Vi (Traci Bair) and their rebellious daughter Ariel, an unconventional Zoe Kassay.  Ariel is so busy defying her father by dating a teen loser Chuck (Michael Wright) that it takes her a while to realize she is attracted to the new kid on the block.  Surrounded as she is by her best buds, Rusty (Ashley Jeudy), Urleen (Sarah Kozlowski) and Wendy Jo (Laura Jean Spineti), Ariel soon gains the confidence to pursue her independence and assert her rightful place in her family's favor.

Tunes like "Footloose," "Let's Hear It for the Boy," "Mama Says," "Almost Paradise" and "Holding Out for a Hero" propel the plot forward while choreography is clearly the star of the show.  Richard Amelius takes on the double task of director and choreographer and does a super job with both.

For tickets ($40, seniors $35, students $20, children $15), call the Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7318 or online at  Performances are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Rebellion rocks the house as rock 'n roll is put on trial, pitting Ren against the Reverend, until the rousing resolution.

Monday, July 1, 2013



Consiglio's Restaurant, located at 165 Wooster Street in New Haven, on one of the city's quaintest boulevards, has provided fine Italian dining for more than seven decades.  As a family business, it is a legend.  This summer again it is sending out tasty tendrils, combining delicious food with hilarious entertainment.

Mark your calendars immediately for the first offering on Friday, July 12 at 6 p.m. for ''What's Amore?," an evening about LOVE in all its aspects, in story, songs and memories.  At 7 p.m. emcee Michael Sayers promises an interactive variety show with lots of laughs, games, contests and, of course, audience participation,  No shrinking violets allowed.  Only hearty sunflowers need apply.

A whole evening  focused on love will take you along on a "fairy tale relationship to help a poor, unfortunate lady select her mate."  Couples will be encouraged to play a Newlywed-type game "So You Think You Know Somebody?" as well as enter "Now That's Love Contest," a duet singing contest in the style of Captain and Tennille, with the tune "Love Will Keep Us Together."  Wonderful and familiar Broadway and pop songs will be included, topped off with a special guest appearance by celebrity Joel Vig, star of "Hairspray" on Broadway and a fabulous writer who has composed a one woman show for Tammy Grimes as well as his own material as Sinthea Starr.  Joel will perform a new verbal monologue in a wonderfully witty way all about love.

This variety show combined with dinner will offer appetizers such as eggplant Napoleon, layered with spinach, mushrooms, roasted red peppers and mascarpone, drizzled with balsamic glaze or a fresh crisp Caesar salad with homemade croutons and parmesan cheese.  For the main course, of which there are eight choices, you might select parmesan panko crusted Tilapia, topped with artichoke hearts and capers in a lemon garlic wine sauce or chicken Amalfi, a boneless chicken breast sauteed with sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts, in a balsamic reduction sauce over linguine.  For dessert, select a sweetness between chocolate mousse cake or Godiva Tiramisu.

For reservations ($55), not including tax, tip or beverages, call 203-865-4489.  There are still a few openings for Consiglio's wildly successful four course cooking demonstrations ($65) on Friday, July 19 when homemade porcini mushroom ravioli will be prepared, topped with grilled chicken.  Watch the preparations and then dine on the delicious finished products.  Dates in August are Thursdays, August 8 and 15.  Go to for more information.

Future evenings will provide mysteries to solve so get your Sherlock Holmes hat and magnifying glass ready for "The Butler Did It" on Friday, July 26.
The trick here is that in addition to the butler named Jeeves, everyone gathered at the reading of the will is named Butler.  So which one did it?
The next mystery night will be "Now You Dunnit" on Friday, August 23.

 In the middle will be another evening of song and story on Saturday, August 10, "Solo Duo Duet," with James Noble of "Benson" television fame doing a humorous staged reading of "The Candidate," about a politician who has to apologize to his constituents for a sexual indiscretion.  The evening will also include games like "The Addams Family" and "TV Music Trivia" as well as a Scavenger Hunt that pits one half of the audience against the other.

Michael Sayers has written more than sixty murder mysteries, as recently as one this morning, over the last two decades.  "I can blink and come up with a mystery, " he boasts, "and I use the best improv artists in the state."  All year long he takes his troupe to colleges, universities and corporations from Maine to Maryland and as far west as Ohio.  For the last fifteen years, he has been a fixture at New Jersey's Monmouth University where he continually sells out.  "We work harder and have more fun.  We enjoy it as much as the audience does.  Our plot is paper thin, as long as we have a reason to gather, a birth, wedding, birthday, Irish wake, anniversary, reading of the will.  It's like a game of 'Clue" and there are six possible endings and the audience votes.  The actors know who the victim is but they have no idea who is the killer.  It keeps everyone on their toes."

For five years, Sayers performed on Camelot Cruises and would be happy to find another ship to sail his mysteries on in the future.  "Now You Dunnit" on Friday, August 23 will be such an evening where the audience provides suggestions as to motives, characters and victims.  "For us, it's pure comedy, " states Sayers, "and we giggle until we get there."

Spotlight one or all of these special summer events and let Consiglio's Restaurant and actor Michael Sayers entertain you with a yummy meal and a delightful night of fun.