Monday, June 26, 2017


In a swirl of fog, with the cackling of tartan plaid witches, as the threat of lightning, thunder and rain emerge, you are welcomed to the heaths of Scotland.  The conquering hero Macbeth has returned victorious after defending his King, Duncan, and marches home with his loyal liege Banquo.  On the way, the two men meet the weird sisters (Jessica Van Niel, Maghan Grover, Beatrice Shannon)who foretell that Macbeth will soon be named The Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland, while Banquo's children will also be kings.,

Grab a blanket, a lawn chair, a picnic supper and the kiddies and head to Pinkney Park in Rowayton by Sunday, July 2 for Shakespeare on the Sound's exciting version of The Bard's greatest tragedy "Macbeth."  Performances are at 7:30 p.m., with a children's version at 6:30 p.m.

Graham Stevens is magnificent as the flawed hero who lets ambition and power cloud his visions, and with the malicious help of Lady Macbeth, a conniving Winsome Brown, agrees to make the words of the witches a reality.  When he is named Thane of Cawdor, he plots to become King by taking Duncan's (Rod Singleton)
life.  He murders the King as all his sleeping ambitions spring to life and everyone he deems is in his way is eliminated.

Murder most foul follows as the pair manipulate fate to secure the ends they desire. The once valiant soldier soon exudes evil, leaving a trail of wickedness in his path. Macbeth begins seeing ghosts of those he has slain while Lady Macbeth manifests her guilt through sleepwalking and confessions.  Their consciences allow them no peace.

Once his cohort Macduff, an enraged Nicholas Urda,  learns Macbeth has slain his whole family, joins forces with the brave Malcolm, Duncan's surviving son, played with regal strength by Henry Jenkinson, to end Macbeth's reign of terror. Claire Shannon Kelly directs this momentous drama on an interesting divided set created by Brian Prather, with a slew of Scottish kilts designed by Crier Coleman and intriguing lighting effects realized by Jamie Roderick.  The fight scenes choreographed by Rod Kinter are smashing while Alex Santullo's sound strikes a dramatic cord.

Donations to this production underwrite this summer festival as well as educational programming year round in schools, libraries, adult and art programs, all with the goal of promoting a love and enjoyment of the works of William Shakespeare.

Come sit under the stars, after a magnificent sunset, and watch with fascinated eyes how  Macbeth's unleashed lust for power propels him on a course of brutal self-destruction.



Within five minutes of arriving by bus from Salinas, Kansas to the Big Apple, an optimistic Millie Dilmount has her hair bobbed, her frock shortened and her knees rouged.  It's 1922 for heaven's sake.  Within ten minutes, she has her hat, purse, one shoe and suitcases spirited away.  Welcome to New York City and the real world, Miss Dilmount.

Have no fear.  This bright, cute as a button, lass will land on her feet, once she gets a pair of matching pumps in the delightful musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie" making crowds deliriously happy at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam until Sunday, July 2.

Come cheer on Taylor Quick's adorable Millie, who keeps her glowing sunshine face on almost every minute of this award winning show with book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlon, with new music by Jeanine Tesori and new lyrics by Dick Scanlon.

Millie is on a mission: to find a secretarial job and marry her rich boss.  She moves into the Hotel Priscilla, run by a rather unorthodox Mrs. Meers (Loretta Ables Sayre) and snags a new roommate Dorothy (Samantha Strum) just when the rent she doesn't have comes due.

Securing a job at Sincere Trust, Millie sets her romantic cap for the swaggering stud Trevor Graydon (Edward Watts), while fending off the advances of a penniless suiter Jimmy Smith (Dan DeLuca).  Millie soon find herself mingling in high society, meeting socialite and sultry singer Muzzy Van Hossmere (Ramona Keller).

Meanwhile the nefarious Mrs. Meers, with her cohorts Ching Ho and Bun Foo (James Seol and Christopher Shin), cause orphaned residents of the Hotel Priscilla to suddenly disappear, with a one way ticket to Hong Kong.  Millie, Jimmy and Trevor work to unravel the white slavery trade when Dorothy goes missing.  Unexpected romantic matches occur that make almost all concerned deliciously joyful.

All along the way, the musical numbers directed by Michael O'Flaherty with snap typewriter key rhythm speed and  the choreography and direction by Denis Jones rocks and roars with rousing success.  Gregory Gale has a glorious time designing costumes with a flamboyant flapper's flair, on a set of 1920's sensibility designed by Paul Tale de Poo III.

For tickets ($29 and up), call Goodspeed Musicals, 6 Main Street, East Haddam, on the Connecticut River, at 860-873-8668 or online at  Performances are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Select performances are Thursday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

Practice your Charleston, shorten the hemline on your flapper frock, hide a flask of bootleg gin, bob your hair and prepare for jazzy fun, mysterious madcap moments and Cupid's arrows flying far afield.



The California Gold Rush officially opened at Sutter’s Mill in 1849 and 300,000 prospectors  scurried across country to strike it rich.  Fast forward to 1964 when another promising gold rush began in the quiet hills of Waterford, a literary one, when the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center opened its innovative doors.  If you haven’t yet investigated the rich veins of mineral wealth hidden in the Waterford hills. just ripe for the plucking, what are you waiting for?

The Eugene O’Neill Center is dedicated to the incubating of new works in a variety of areas.  June is the month dedicated to the international exploration of puppets, with a Puppetry Conference headed by Artistic Director Pam Arciero.  This year featured workshops by Marvyn Miller, the creative mind that produced the elegant animals of “War Horse” fame.

From more than a hundred submissions, the National Music Theater Conference, headed by long vigilant Artistic Director Paulette Haupt,whittles the selection to three brand new offerings from June 24 to July 14.  This year’s productions will include a true account of a sixteen year old runaway and who and what he encounters living homeless  on the streets.  The work, “Home Street Home,” has book by Fat Mike, Soma Snakeoil, with David Goldsmith, lyrics by Fat Mike, Soma Snakeoil and Jeff Marx and music by Fat Mike.  Look for it June 24, 25, 28 and 30.

On July 1, 2, 5, and 7, get your dance shoes on for “iLLA! A Hip Hop Musical” with book, music and lyrics by Ronve O’Daniel, music by Jevares C. Myrick, with J.Kyle Myrick as co-writer and story consultant. Follow what happens when a young boy’s dreams are threatened by the country’s failing economy and a love that is misdirected.

“Superhero” with book by John Logan and music and lyrics by Tom Kitt will play July 8, 9. 12 and 14 and tell the tale of a mother and son who can’t recover from the death of dad a year ago until a stranger brings them hope for reconciliation.  The productions are staged readings, with song.

On Saturday, July 22 at 6 p.m., a Summer Gala will honor founding Artistic Director of the National Music Theater Conference Paulette Haupt and celebrate her forty years of dedicated service.  The event will take place in the O’Neill’s Sunken Garden.

From more than a thousand submissions, the National Playwrights Conference, headed by Wendy C. Goldberg, selects eight plays for development.  On July 5 and 6, come and see “We Are Among Us” by Stephen Belber about how a younger generation copes with the secrets and deceptions of parents, living and dead.  In “The Quiet Ones” by Mary Elizabeth Hamilton, being offered July 7 and 8, come discover how a kindergarten teacher juggles a number of disturbing problems trying to reconcile who and what she wants and needs in life.

Immigrant women from Poland, Ukraine, Honduras and Afghanistan are housed in a basement in Queens and search for a future in an uncertain new world where the past is also present.  “queens” is written by Martyna Majok and will play July 12 and 13. Basketball as a game on and off the court occupies a new recruit Eli as he is wooed to make choices he may not be ready to accept.  “Exposure” by Steve DiUbaldo will enjoy a fast dribble down the courts on July 14 and 15.

Elaine Romero, in the third part of her trilogy about Mexican immigrants, “Title IX,” continues the tale of a border family of Latino educators for more than four decades as they discover how their rights have been manipulated and not always improved.  Watch for it July 19 and 20.
The New York Times crossword puzzles, especially on the weekends, are juxtaposed against the incredibly difficult task of staying sober in Adam Esquenazi Douglas’ “The One ATM in Antarctica” being revealed letter by clue on July 21 and 22.

When a white policeman shots her black son, a mother retreats onto a fantasy world of comic book superheroes instead of coping with her loss in “Black Super Hero Magic Mama” by Inda Craig-Galvan, turning pages on July 26 and 27.  The golden years glow around a trio of couples who have enjoyed companionship and friendship over the decades and now are contemplating moving in together to continue their ties.  Those ties are threatened to snap with the discovery of infidelity in “Assisted Living” by Michael Tucker on July 28 and 29.

August 2 to 12 welcomes the Cabaret and Performance Conference, under the direction of John McDaniel, where evenings are stuffed with
stars doing their stuff.  From the free opening ceremonies on August 2, the calendar includes Brad Simmons and Christina Bianco on August 3, Tracy Stark on the 4th, Spencer Day on the 5th, Barb Jungr and John McDaniel sharing the mike on August 6th, Tom Wopat on August 8, the Junior Fellows doing the Bee Gees on August 9, an evening with the Cabaret Fellows August 10, Judy Kuhn on August 11 and the Cabaret Finale August 12.  The on site Blue Gene’s Pub is open before and after for a little liquid refreshment to mingle with the stars.

For tickets or more information, call the O’Neill box office at 860-443-1238 or go online to  General admission to the puppetry, plays and musicals is $30 and to the cabaret $40-60, with tables $110-235.

The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford on thirteen rolling hills, with four theaters on site, is a gold mine of riches that you need to explore. Inquiring minds, not pick axes, are required.

Monday, June 19, 2017



What would you do if you were hired for a job you really didn't want and felt you were unqualified to do?  How would you feel if you discovered after the fact that you only got the position because you filled the minority hiring quota?  Come ask Lucia, the insecure new writer at a high powered TV station in Los Angeles who does not know if she is there as a glorified coffee  girl or to punch up the characters on a new and potent Latino drama.

Come take a journey of discovery with Lucia in a new play by Tanya Saracho "FADE" at Hartford TheaterWorks until Friday, June 30 and learn with her how her Mexican heritage, her values and principles can get lost in a maze of compromises.

Elizabeth Ramos' Lucia is eager to find a place for herself in this new alien world of television.  She finds herself in Los Angeles, amidst the sun and palm trees, when she really wants to be back in Chicago where she successfully wrote her first novel. Like a burrito without a wrapper, she is struggling to establish herself but is finding resistance from her rich, American white boss and the whole team of writers.  Where does she fit in or does she?

The only one to offer even a modicum of concern and a tentative hand of welcome is the office's custodian, also sharing her heritage.  Their immigrant backgrounds are quite different as are their current situations, yet they manage to find some shaky common ground. Eddie Martinez's Abel is willing to share a pizza and beer and talk Lucia off her literal  dangerous perch where she is in fear of falling.

How his real life story becomes her fictional television script  is one of betrayal, whether innocent or intentional, is for you the viewer to decide.  These two actors quickly capture our interest as they  become confidants and learn to trust.  Jerry Ruiz directs this slowly building trap of opportunity and advancement trumping friendship.

For tickets ($40-65), call TheaterWorks, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford at 860-527-7838 or online  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 pm, with extra 6:30 p.m. Sunday show June  25.

Class and culture clash, with ambition winning the war, as Lucia and Abel forge a relationship that, ultimately, does not stand up to the test.

Sunday, June 18, 2017


What do sardines, sheets, sheiks, shenanigans, a stage company, secrets, screams, sneak thieves, sex maniacs and Spain all have to do with each other?  On the surface very little you might say.  But if you head to the Jorgensen Theatre at the University of Connecticut at Storrs by Sunday, June 25, the Connecticut Repertory Theatre will illustrate all the extraneous connections and have a lot of fun in the process.

It's time to raise the curtain for Michael Frayn's funny farce "Noises Off" when the cast of a British theatre company tries to put on a show called "Nothing On."  It's dress rehearsal and the director Lloyd (John Bixler) has his hands full trying to control the players.  Think a lion tamer where the lions are on the loose, or on strike and generally uncooperative.

Personal intrigues, like an unplanned pregnancy, cause problems and threaten to sabotage the show. The audience is witness to all the complications in front of and behind the stage, on a wonderful revov=lving set designed by Tim Brown.

A dress or technical rehearsal is supposed to be the last minute opportunity to polish and perfect a performance before it opens to a first night audience.  Staging is fine tuned, lines are delivered flawlessly, costumes and props are put in place and the director makes sure no last minute problems exist.

Imagine the nightmare that Lloyd as the director experiences  when plates of sardines go missing, doors either won't close or open, the actor (Steve Hayes) playing the bungling burglar is off getting drunk and half the cast is having an affair with the other half.  There's more drama going on behind the curtain than in front of it.

Look out for bottles of brandy, bedsheets, bouquets of flowers, boxes, baggage, a baby, bathmats, battleaxes and blood not to mention the required ton of  slamming doors.  Silliness is clearly on parade, in one door and out the other, from the first moment Dotty, a ditzy and determined Jennifer Cody, answers the phone.  The cast that also includes Curtis Longfellow, Jayne Ng, Gavin McNicholl, Arlene  Bozich, Grace Allyn and Michael Doherty is off and running, literally and figuratively.  Vincent Cardinal directs this barrel of fun that quickly rolls out of control, even if there are no monkeys on stage.

For tickets ($12-55), call the CT Repertory Theatre, Storrs at 860-486-2113 or online at  Shows are Tuesday to Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  The Summer Nutmeg Series will conclude with NEWSIES, July 6-16.

You may never look at sardines quite the same way ever again after they go flying on stage during the hilarious havoc of "Noises Off!" where a sneak peek behind the curtain may prove hazardous to your health.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Alison Bechdel is not afraid to open the closet door and step proudly out into the light of revelation.  In college, she bravely emerged as a lesbian, and shortly afterward her father Bruce, often violent and suffering from depression, committed suicide.  The fact that he too was gay and could never admit it, especially after his daughter's open pronouncement, may have conspired to cause his desperate act.

The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts is welcoming the national tour of "Fun Home," the multiple Tony Award winning Best Musical by Lisa Kron for book and lyrics and Jeanine Tesori for music from Tuesday, June 20 to Sunday, June 25.  Based on an exceptional graphic novel penned by Bechdel herself,"Fun Home" explores her origins, growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania, as the daughter of a father who teaches high school English, restores old houses and runs a funeral home and a mom who oversees the raising of three children.

The musical examines Alison at a trio of distinct ages of life, as a child of ten, a college student and today as woman in her forties.  With the advantage of hindsight, we witness Alison "remembering," trying to cull from the past the important clues that will impact the present.

Understanding her father and his secret life involving young men and her own blooming sexuality, Alison examines the journals she has kept to find revealing answers about her family. The musical has been termed "wholly original," exquisite," "ground breaking" and "uplifting" for it is not every family 
that seeks entertainment playing hide and seek inside the ever  present coffins.  As a cartoonist, Alison is able to see the world in quirky art drawings as she becomes a detective probing her past for answers to the mysteries of her childhood. The biggest question is who was her dad and did she having role or responsibility in his death?

For tickets ($25.50-95.50), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900 or online at Performances are Tuesday to Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p..m.

Let Alison Bechdel draw you literally and figuratively into her past as she creates a distinct picture of her family through her adult eyes.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Documentary film maker Karyl Evans wants to take you down the proverbial garden path.  For the last three years, she has been hopscotching across the country researching the creations of one woman's enterprising works, a socialite who dared to venture into a male dominated word: landscape architecture.  This forty minute movie, "The Life and Gardens of Beatrix Farrand," reveals the exquisite works of a lady way ahead of her time.

Born to a privileged lifestyle in New York City in 1872, Beatrix Farrand was the niece of author Edith Wharton.  She explored the gardens of Europe for four months and then set her sights on a career in America, primarily on the East Coast.  Over a remarkable five decades, Farrand created over 200 garden sites, being hailed as the most successful female landscape architect of 20th century America.

From sites in Bar harbor, Maine where her family had a summer home, to prestigious undertakings like the National Cathedral in Washington, D. C., a commission for the first Mrs. Woodrow Wilson for the White House (now redesigned as the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden), Dumbarton Oaks as well as gardens on the campuses of Yale, Princeton and Occidental, Farrand left her indelible mark. 

From botanist Charles Sprague Sargent, after she moved into his home, she learned landscape gardening, drafting, elevation, surveying and engineering. She furthered her studies at the Columbia School of Mines.  In her creations, she favored native plantings. 

Six-time Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and Yale Fellow Karyl Evans has focuses her camera on a unique woman who might have been forgotten without her efforts.  Farrand's unusual career choice makes her a worthy subject for examination, as Evans spotlights fifty of her gardening sites across the country, highlighting how relevant they still are today.

Scott Koniecko, President of the Beatrix Farrand Society said of her film, "We are all duly impressed with the way you are able to put your well researched information together in such an eloquently concise and comprehensive way."  

In 2014, Farrand was recognized by Built by Women New York City, to salute outstanding sites engineered and built by women, for her creation the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden.

"The Life and Gardens of Beatrix Farrand" is now available for screening by the producer and for purchase.  Go to  Come fall in love with the lush rainbow colored creations by this master architect, a pioneer, of the landscape world.

Monday, June 12, 2017


                                       THE ANTI-GRAVITY ACT  LEO

Come celebrate  New Haven and the 2017 International Festival of Arts and Ideas until Saturday, June 24.  Every day in a dozen exciting ways, the Festival is offering a plethora of activities, 80% free for the taking, for the whole family to enjoy.

Think of the Festival as a giant gift box filled with surprises and goodies for your pleasure.  Open it to see what jumps out.  Attend the world premiere of "Whitman, Melville, Dickinson-Passions of Bloom" by Martin Bresnick, a literary exploration on Tuesday, June 20 at 8 p.m. at Sprague Hall, 470 College Street ($35-65).  For some south of the border rhythms, go listen to "Afro Peruvian New Trends Orquestra " Monday, June 19 at 8:30 p.m. at Center Church, 250 Temple Street ($10).

How about a walking tour of Wooster Street to learn about the Immigrant Experience on Wednesday, June 21 at 5:30 p.m. (free) or a bike ride to the Ninth Square (free).  Discover the tasty dish Rolie Polie Guacamole for a mash of funk, rock and folk music at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 14 at the United Church on the Green ($10) .  Take a peek at the fascination of an Open Ring Circus on Thursday, June 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the New Haven Green (free).

For an intriguing conversation, come learn about playwright August Wilson with Constanza Romeso and Harry  J. Elam Jr. at the Yale University Art Gallery (free) on Thursday, June 22 at 5:30 p.m. or one with Taylor Mac and Bassem Youssef at the Yale University Art Gallery on Saturday, June 24 at 3 p.m. (free).

If you enjoy music, the Yale Institute for Music Theatre at the Off Broadway Theatre is presenting a pair of new staged singings, "Gumbo" and "Cowboy Bob," on Friday and Saturday, June 24 and 25 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. both days ($25).  Grab a lawn chair and the kiddies for some headline concerts on the New Haven Green on Saturday, June 17 at 6 p.m. with TROKER and Fulaso, on Sunday, June 18 at 7 p.m., with Jimmy Greene Quartet and the NHSO, and on Saturday, June 24 at 7 p.m. with The Wailers and Rusted Root (free).

Whether you're exclaiming over the Anti Gravity show LEO at the University Theatre on Friday, June 23 at 8 p.m. or Saturday, June 24 at noon and 3 p.m ($35-55) or the smooth samba sounds of the Bossa Nova Project on the New Haven Green on Friday, June 23 at noon (free), there are tons of treats courtesy of New Haven's International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Go online to for a full schedule. The  unique power packed fun begins now.

Friday, June 9, 2017



Shadi Ghaheri and Rory Pelsue, co- artistic directors, and Leandro A. Zaneti, managing director, of the Yale Summer Cabaret are the enterprising and expressive theatrical Three Musketeers eager to engage you until August 13.  Currently they are off and running in a thousand innovative ways with their mission of reviving and exploring and exploding a quartet of classics so they are nearly unrecognizable and yet eerily familiar.

The Yale Summer Cabaret, now in its 43rd season, is promising you a "Canon Balle" of dynamite entertainment.  Right off the firing range is a dramatic, all male, in drag, adaptation of The Bard's "Antony + Cleopatra" by director and adapter Rory Pelsue, one you have definitely never seen the likes of before. With a lit fuse, you will be swept into the action from the first canon blast.  In this instance, canon has a double entendre meaning: the military weapon as well as the accumulation of classical works. Pelsue terms it, "fun, explosive, unexpected."

As great and tragic historical love stories go, "Antony + Cleopatra" is at the top of the tower, from the floating barge, from Rome to Egypt and back, to the tip of the asp's tongue. Jake Powell and Arturo Soria set the stage with seductive and slithering moves, even giving lessons in screaming approval for the audience.  Enter a powerful Hudson Oznowicz as Antony to meet the passionate Cleopatra, embodied by Erron Crawford, with the mighty Caesar, Steven Lee Johnson, and Ben Anderson as Antony's wife. Love and hate, betrayal and obsession, battle in this drama set in New York in the late 1980's.  This is not your grandfather's Shakespeare.  Cole McCarty's costumes help set the seductive scene. The day this production ends, Sunday, June 11, there is a benefit brunch at noon, a Drag Brunch: A Feast Fit for a Queen.

Enter a war zone, in Syria, for "The Trojan Women," adapted by Ellen McLaughlin, and directed by Shadi Ghaheri, with an all female cast Ghaheri calls "brilliant."  With poetry and empathy, and a large dose of humanity, the characters become bigger than life as they enact this anti-war story, telling about the Trojan War set in 1995.  Using dance, movement and song, six actors reveal what it is like to be a refugee without home, life, family and yet find the strength and hope to go on into an uncertain future.  Come see Danielle Chaves, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, Evelyn Giovine, Rachel Kenney, Kineta Kunuta and Sohina Sidhu bring this plight to life. From Friday, June 23 to Sunday, July 2, this play by Euripides becomes a love letter to Syria that will capture your heart.

Get entangled in the passionate drama of a wealthy farmer's daughter and the man who has been employed on the estate for both their lives.  Set in South Africa, Strindberg's play has been adapted by Yael Farber as "Mies Julie" and swirls around an exotic, erotic encounter between the pair that director Rory Pelsue labels "juicy, sexy and ripe."  One question that looms is why are we drawn to people who oppress us?  How do racism, apartheid, colonialism and a power struggle figure in the final tragic ending?  This great toxic love story features Marie Botha as Julie and James Udom as John, two incredible young African actors who give new meaning to the term "potent."  Also on stage are Kineta Kunutu and Amandla Jahava."Mies Julie" plays from Friday, July 14 to Sunday, July 23.

Completing the "Canon Balle" exploration is "Lear," penned by Young Jean Lee and directed by Shadi Ghaheri from Friday, August 4 to Sunday, August 13. This play departs from its source material the most, as it is Lear without Lear being present.  Ghaheri calls it "funny, crazy, dangerous and avant garde" as it "goes all over the place" and ends with Big Bird on Sesame Street.  Three smart, amazing women play the daughters who have the power to save their father but choose not to do it.  Big questions like the meaning of life are examined along with the question of God and why do we exist?  A discussion of what we had for lunch is juxtaposed with the query why did we kill dad? The production features Stephen Cefalu Jr., Danielle Chaves, Amandla Jahava, Jakeem Ryan Lozano and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie.

All this comedy and drama takes place in the Summer Cab's unique space in the basement at 217 Park Street, New Haven.  For tickets ($30, Yale faculty $25, students $15, with season passes available ), call 203-432-1567 or go online to   Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.  and Sunday at 8 p.m. Shows the second Friday of the run are at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Plan to arrive early, an hour and a half before showtime, for dinner.  The evolving menu, which reflects the show of the moment, features such offerings as Caesar salad with chicken ($10), the Octavia: Pasta Primavera ($8), the Cleopatra: Fish Tacos ($16), and Asp's Bite: Cheesecake with Strawberries ($6).

For an intimate theatrical experience, in a basement full of sexy, smart, dangerous, brave young artists, telling great and gripping stories from a classical canon, speaking beautiful, poetic words, come to the Yale Summer Cabaret.  Come see the stars of tomorrow today, before they debut on Broadway!



For 34 years, the Theatre Artists Workshop of Norwalk has been a safe testing ground and meeting place for actors  and all associated show business folk. They meet every Monday night to ply their craft, perfecting their efforts and encouraging their membership. Occasionally they open their doors with a presentation for the public and one occurred recently, the Playwright’s Festival for Spring, 2017.  A series of eight offerings, eclectic in nature, were staged to great acclaim.

Rosemary Foley has written “Cue Cards for Men," a comic tongue- in- cheek score card of inappropriate commentary that men are prone to deliver to the dismay of their female companions. Come to a symphony for Bach and witness how Randall Krongard  disturbs his date Samantha Pattison to the displeasure of audience members played by Allan Zeller (also the director) and Nadine Willig.

Frank Izzo’s “Failure to Extract” takes you graveside as a kid brother, Frank Piazza, talks on his sixty-fifth birthday to his long dead sibling, reminiscing about the past and a prized Chevy convertible and about a letter he found from their recently deceased dad.  Martin West directed this melancholy piece.

Murder and mayhem are swirling around ”Stacy and Doug” by Jim Gordon, also directed by Martin West.  Susan Jacobson and Randall Krongard are locked in a macabre duel of accusations that give  "wicked" a bad name.

It’s spring and it’s that time of year, to clean up here on earth and even down below.  Let Mary Jane Schaefer, with the help of Carole Schweid as director, dust off the underworld in “Spring Cleaning in Hell.”  Sean Hannon as Hades and Leigh Katz as Persephone have very different ideas about their less than ideal living arrangements. 

A young widow, played by Molly Garbe, is traumatized by her first plane trip and an episode of turbulence.  She seeks reassurance from her seat mate, a comforting Sean Hannon, in Rosemary Foley's "First Flight." Miss Foley also directs her play.

An outspoken and obnoxious Nadine, brought to hilarious life by Sachi Parker is Fred Stroppel's "The Friend From The City" who turns Curt (Frank Piazza) and Vicki's (Emilie Roberts) lives upside down and inside out when she comes for a visit. Just who is telling the truth?  Martin West directs again.

Joanna Keylock's Anna is the conscientious mother trying to arrange "The Play Date" by Megan Smith-Harris, who also directs it, for her young son Jack.  Suddenly her patriotism and parenting skills are called into question and Jack's chances for a new friend are shot down.

A married couple Jodi (Stephanie Hazard) and Peter (Allan Zeller) are quickly at odds with each other in "The Basement of Everything You Need" by Fran Dorf, who shares the directing credits with Allan Zeller.  Are they desperate or just grateful to be alive?  Is the ocean out their window or impossible to view? Will a shared hotdog solve any of their problems?

Look for a future production by the members of the Theatre Artists Workshop to witness how they hone their skills in the theatrical world.

Monday, June 5, 2017


For the next two weekends, the Downtown Cabaret Theatre in Bridgeport is lighting up the skyline with super shows for your enjoyment:  Barbra and Frank and then ABBA, both tribute shows of the highest caliber.

As musical talents in the stratosphere, it doesn’t get much better than the sultry Miss Streisand and 'Ol Blue Eyes himself.  What might have occurred 
 if Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra ever performed in concert together, on the same stage , on the same night.  Unfortunately it never happened in the past.  But if it did, it might be billed as "The Concert That Never Was!" and the Bridgeport Downtown Cabaret is making it happen.

Hang on to your bobby socks as Sharon Owens as the magical Barbra and Sebastian Anzaldo as the inimitable Frank take the stage for two performances only, Saturday, June 10 at 5:00 p.m.  and 8:15 p.m. For tickets ($65), call the Downtown Cabaret, Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport at 203-576-1636, option 0 or online at

These artists will pay tribute and give homage with all the memorable music that highlights their careers.  Sharon Owens has a legion of fans since winning as Barbra on the television show "Performing As..." while Sebastian Anzaldo learned early on in life that he has a unique ability to "do Frank."  With his band "Wild Life," he has earned the title of being one of the best "Sinatra interpreters" in the country.

Called vintage Las Vegas when they put on their star power show, this dynamic duo will croon all the tunes they pushed to the top of the Hit Parade.  Among the songs you may hear might be "The Way We Were," "Smile," "You Don't Bring Me 
Flowers," "That's Life, "I've Got the World on a String" and "Somewhere," and many more.

Just one week later the tribute band to ABBA, Dancing Dreams, will take center stage on Saturday, June 17 at 5 pm and 8:15 pm with all the moves, costumes and boots, all the sounds, dances and sensations that have made ABBA such a great world wide smash.  Come catch the charisma and choreography, marvel at the musicianship and magical moments and be energized by the excitement they generate.

If you are a fan of "Mamma Mia" as 60,000,000 viewers are in 440 cities, you won't want to miss hearing such pop tunes as "Dancing Queen," "Super Trouper," "Fernando," "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme," "Voulez-Vous." "Waterloo," "SOS," and "Money, Money, Money." You are sure to be levitating at your seat and dancing in the aisles.  These original tunes by Benny Andersonn and Bjorn Ulvaeus are as great today as they were when they were first written.  Sweden's pop sensations will seem like they are on the Downtown Cabaret stage.

For tickets ($45), call the cabaret at 203-576-1636, option 0 or online at  Don't forget to bring food and drinks to share at your table.

Don't miss either of these sensational entertainment evenings.  The fun starts here.  


West Hartford's intimate Playhouse on Park is rolling out the proverbial red carpet, chilling the wine and adding your name to their exclusive guest list for one fabulous night:  The Tonys.  For its First Annual Tony Awards Gala, on Sunday, June 11 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., come mingle and munch, schmooze and smile, as actors and Broadway fanatics Zak West and Brian Ziemann play masters of ceremony.  These mavens of Broadway  have seen "every show" on  the Great White Way so you will want to hear their unique inside dish and winning predictions.

Black tie is optional and gowns are welcome but not an absolute necessity.  If you want to dazzle, be our guest.  Be forewarned:  the fashion police in the guise of actress and comedian Andee Bucchen will be scouting the room for the best, the over the top and the are-you-serious-that-was-in-your-closet?  Watch out for the official red carpet photographer to record you and this special night.

The gala evening will include a fabulous cocktail hour, a nine-foot indoor screen to show Broadway's biggest night live, a raffle, trivia questions and a ballot for voting for who will win the coveted prizes in every category.

Sponsors of the evening are Carr Hardware and CT Lighting Center. The University of Hartford Dining Services will generously supply hors d'ouvres and desserts, with wine courtesy of Vina Casablanca and Santa Carolina.

Advance tickets are $50 and $60 at the door that evening.  Young professionals, ages 21-35, are $35 in advance and $45 at the door.  To purchase tickets or for more information, call the box office at 860-523-5900, ext. 10 or online at

Celebrate this shining evening of theater in style.  The stars will be out in megawatts on Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford.  Come glow in the spotlight! 



Is your music wedded to the 1950's?  Do you identify with swivel hips and wild gyrations?  Would you like to return to yesterday for your listening and dancing pleasures?  If so, then do I have a musical marathon designed just for you.  The date is December 4, 1956 and the sacred place is Memphis, Tennessee at a small recording studio named Sun Records run by Sam Phillips. On that memorable day four icons of the music world wander in and Mr. Phillips, the Father of Rock 'n Roll, realizes the significance of that event. 

Ivoryton Playhouse invites you to be front and center at Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux's "Million Dollar Quartet" rocking the rafters until Sunday, June 25 when  Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley perform  an impromptu jam session,  one that was smokin' hot and unforgettable.  "Million Dollar Quartet" recreates that one and only legendary day in the history of rock 'n roll.

Think of it as a personal playlist of your favorite hits as these great tunes come tumbling out.  Listen to "Great Balls of Fire," "Sixteen Tons," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On," "Hound Dog," "Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk the Line," "Long Tall Sally" and "See You Later, Alligator."

  Carl Perkins (Luke Darnell) had come to Sun Records that day with his brother Jay (Kroy Presley) and Fluke (Jamie Pittle) as back up and Sam Phillips, (Ben Hope) the owner of Sun, added Jerry Lee Lewis, (Joe Callahan) a recent acquisition, to the mix as pianist.  When Elvis Presley (John Rochette) dropped by with his girlfriend (Emily Mattheson), he added his voice to the cauldron and it was the final arrival of Johnny Cash (Jeremy Sevelovitz) that made the magical witch's brew complete.

These guys, all at different stages of music fame, sat down and sang like a group of old friends, without rehearsals or formal plans, and Cowboy Jack Clement, the engineer, was smart enough to record it. There were jealousies and recriminations among the four, but music was the uniting element that made the day so memorable.  It happened that day and never again.

Country music, rockabilly and rock 'n roll merge and marry as these fellows sing just for the pure pleasure of the sound. For Sam Phillips,  these four men were like his four sons and this show reveals a lot about their relationship, where they came from and where they were going. Sam gave each of them their chance and then promoted them to fame and success. It is a sensational staged recreation of the actual event.
Director Sherry Lutken brings us front and center to the excitement on a versatile  studio set designed by Martin Scott Marchitto.  Tate R. Burmeister's sound rocks.

For tickets ($50, seniors $45, students $22, children $17), call the Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7318 or online at  Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at  8 p.m. and Wednesday and Sunday at 2 p.m. 

Prepare for an explosion and fireworks as this quartet hits all the right notes, with fancy flying fingers on guitars, bass, drums and piano, and voices close to heaven.  Come and enjoy every perfect sound.