Monday, March 19, 2018



Whether you measure time in moments, minutes or months, with an alarm clock, a cuckoo clock, a fob watch on a chain, a grandfather clock, an hourglass, a Rolex or Timex, a sundial or bejewelled time piece, you must agree on one thing:  time is precarious and precious.  We all come with an expiration date, one we cannot avoid or out run.  Playhouse on Park in West Hartford is exploring the concept of time passages in a most creative and delightfully energetic way with dance by the stop/time dance theater as it celebrates achieving fifteen years of the playhouse’s resident dance troupe.  Come experience “15."

What was to have been a three day run of a dance program fifteen years ago, is still going strong today.  Until Sunday, March 25, Artistic Director Darlene Zoller will lead her passionate and joy filled “family” of performers in a montage of more than twenty sparkling numbers that swirl around time and a confused creature named Victoria who is searching for the right directions for her life.  Her choices have virtually paralyzed her and she doesn’t know which map or road sign to travel.

Luckily for Victoria, an adventurous Victoria Mooney, she has two helpers Eon, an accommodating Rick Fountain and Millenia, a supportive Amanda Forker, to sing and guide her on her way.  Unfortunately, they aren’t sure themselves. Do they need a GPS or a yellow brick road?

With spirited and enthusiastic dance moves, tap and jazz and nods to popular shows like “Hairspray,” “Funny Girl,” “Damn Yankees,” “West Side Story” and ”Mary Poppins,” this troupe owns the stage.  Come experience the dancing prowess of Meredith Atkinson, Ali Barney, Lisa Caffyn, Lynsey Chartier, Jennifer Checovetes, Beckie Correale, Shannon DelGuidice, Amelia Flater, Constance Gobeille, Erica Misenti, Laurie Misenti, Erica O’Keefe, Spencer Pond, Sheri Righi, Melissa B. Shannon, Alicia Voukides and Courtney Woods, in a bevy of beautiful costumes designed by Lisa Steier, bathed in lighting designed by Aaron Hochheiser, spectacular sound by Lucas Clopton  and lively musical direction by Colin Britt. Darlene Zoller deserves triple credit for conceiving, directing and choreographing this perfect blending of community and audience symmetry.

By day these talented hoofers assume roles as elementary and high school teachers, dance and music instructors, business administrators, physician assistants, physical therapists and parents.  They all devote their tons of energy and enthusiasm to making stop/time dance company a shining example of neighborhood theater at its best.

For tickets ($25-40), call Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford at 860-523-5900 ext.10 or online at Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Watch for the next two Comedy Nights ($15) on Saturdays March 31 and May 19 at 8 p.m.

Come learn the life lessons that you need to make the most of every day, remember to live in the moment  and enjoy the time that is allotted you.  Get your jazz hands ready to applaud all this joyous effort of “15.".

Tuesday, March 13, 2018



Rarely has a musical the ability to raise the rafters quite like “Jersey Boys,”  the show about a quartet of young guys, blue-collar workers, from the Garden State.  With  book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe, “Jersey Boys” tells the tale of how Frankie Valli becomes lead singer of The Four Seasons. The transformation is not an easy one, and the four have some hard choices to make along the way, but that "rocky road” is a spectacular journey you won’t want to miss.

Waterbury’s Palace Theater will be rolling out the red carpet for these sensational, harmony driven lads on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 and you definitely want to cheer on this smash 2006 tony Award winning show. With a sweet, honey-dipped sound and a dazzling dream, these young kids flirt with crime and the wrong side of the law but, ultimately, set their careers straight towards stardom.  Finding members who fit their sound was the first hurdle.  Claiming a name that suited their voices was the second.  Avoiding arrest by the cops, reconciling family life with long stints on the road, a gambling addiction and burden of debt all conspire to almost bring them down.

 But Frank Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi  persevere and go on to sell 175 million records worldwide, all before they hit thirty, with Gaudio and Bob Crewe, their producer/lyricist writing many of the show’s thirty three songs, including five #1 hits and 11 that made the Billboard’s top ten. Come snap your fingers and hum along to “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Oh, What a Night,” “My Eyes Adore You,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” and “Working My Way Back to You.”

For tickets ($57.50 and up), call the Palace Theater, 100 East Main Street, Waterbury or go online to Performances are  Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. 

 Let a quartet of talented guys from Jersey adore you with their eyes and serenade you with their great voices as they work their way into your heart. Oh, what a night! Join the 24 million who have loved this shows they enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and deservedly so.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


One cannot dispute that in fictional literature Sherlock Holmes reigns as one of the genre’s foremost
detectives.  Thanks to the great storytelling skills of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes will forever be
acknowledged for his powerful investigative prowess, along with his faithful sidekick Dr. Watson.

New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre is inviting you to witness those incredible deductive traits in its
latest offering Ken Ludwig’s "Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” sure to be entertaining 
you until Sunday, March 25.  This case is purported to be Holmes’ most difficult and intriguing
ever.  Can Holmes with his reliance on science, facts and evidence be able to solve it?

Holmes is back, stronger and more brilliant than ever after his creator mistakenly killed him off in
his novel “The Final Solution.”  The public, however, screamed and protested indignation, forcing 
Doyle to resurrect him, claiming the great investigator had faked his own death and, thus, “The 
Hound of the Baskervilles” was born.

Now, thanks to Ken Ludwig, the king of farce and humor has put his own delightful spin on the tale
where Holmes, a suave and savvy Alex Moggridge, and his cohort Watson, an accommodating 
Daniel Pearce, are aided by a trio of flexible associates playing three dozen zany parts, 
Kelly Hutchinson, Christopher Livingston and Brian Owen. Nowhere have you likely seen faster
costume changes courtesy of Lex Liang, aided by sharp lighting designed by Robert Wierzel, and
sound effects engineered by Victoria Deiorio with original music.

Sir Charles Baskerville has mysteriously died, from a heart attack or was he frightened to death by 
a ferocious and fierce beast, a hound? Is this a continuation of a curse placed on the family 
generations ago when a Sir Hugo Baskerville kidnapped a young maiden and traded his soul to the devil
when she escaped in order to get her back.

Now Sir Henry Baskerville has left his Texas home to claim his inheritance as the only known living heir
but warnings keep popping up.  Holmes and Watson had been employed to keep him alive and to 
solve the mystery. The chase lands on the moors of Devonshire where director Brendon Fox keeps
 the action and suspense moving in a swirl of fog with the haunting howl of the hounds ever present.

For tickets ($ 46-91.50 ), call Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven at 203-787-4282 or online at  Performances are Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and
 7 p.m., Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m on
the Claire Tow Stage.

Discover who you can trust and who is patently dishonest as you watch Holmes direct Watson
across the mysterious moors where anything can happen and danger looms large.

Saturday, March 10, 2018



The Mary and Louis Fusco Distinguished Lecture Series is celebrating twenty years of bringing leaders from the worlds of politics, athletics, entertainment and science to Southern Connecticut State University.  These intellectual discussions
have, over the years, brought people like NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former Tonight Show host Jay Leno, Astronaut Mark Kelly, political analyst Tim Russet, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and a star list of others to the stage of the John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts.

This year top billing will be for Joe Biden, former Vice President to Barack Obama, who will reflect on his two terms in that position and his contributions to secure peace domestically and on foreign soil.  Using his position as the creator of the Biden
Foundation, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania and the Biden Institute for Domestic Policy at the University of Delaware, Mr. Biden continues his important work to better our country's
world standing.

With his wife Dr. Jill Biden, he has also founded the Biden Cancer Institute for vital medical research and the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children in memory of their son. This engaging conversation with Vice President Biden 
will take place Friday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lyman Center.  Tickets are $75 for premium seating, $65 for regular seating and $25 for SCSU students with a valid ID.  For $175 a pre-lecture reception and photo opportunity, premium
lecture seats and an autographed copy of Biden's "Promise Me. Dad," a memoir about his last year as Vice President and the incalculable loss of his son Beau, will be available in VIP form.

Note to come early for parking with no bags or backpacks allowed. Proceeds from this event will fund scholarships for SCSU students, Endowed Awards of Excellence, to recognize academically talented youth.

Come hear the philosophy and ideals of the 47th Vice President of the United States, his thoughts and his hopes and his promises for America's future                                                                                                                    .

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Did you ever desire to be a clandestine secret spy?  Have you ever envied Sherlock Holmes or Jessica Fletcher? Would examining clues and dusting for fingerprints be a glorious hoot of fun?  Are you addicted, even a little, to all the crime solving stories on television?  If you answered yes to any one of these questions, then Music Theatre of Connecticut has the perfect entertainment evening for you.  John Buchan’s “The 39 Steps” is ready to intrigue you, confuse you, confound you and delight you until Sunday, March 18 at MTC’s intimate Norwalk studio.

Four talented actors are prepared to change hats, don a mustache, put on a wig, change clothes, adapt a new accent and generally become an entirely new persona as the comic mystery unfolds.  Gary Lindemann presents himself as Richard Hannay, a Brit who is bored and tired of his humdrum life. He yearns for change.  This is a perfect example of being careful what you wish for as before you can say “Life is dull” three times, Hannay is concealing a woman of dubious character who has a message of doom for the country of England and quickly dies in his arms.

Now suspected of her murder, Hannay is off and running…for his life and to find the solution to the puzzle of the man with a missing little finger who is plotting to destroy the country.  Think of a game of CLUE that has run amok. In a humorous homage to Alfred Hitchcock, Hannay and a trio of cohorts:  Laura Cable, Matt Densky and Jim Schilling set off at a brisk pace, leaping off bridges and on to trains, across the moors to Scotland, stopping at farms and grand houses along the way, catching a plane, escaping from windows, all the time trying to evade the police and arrest.

This fast paced suspenseful and silly slapstick ride is an adaptation by Patrick Barlow, based on an original concept by Nobby Dimon and Simon Corble, from the novel by John Buchan and the 1935 movie of the same name. Starting from the time Hannay attends a performance at the London Palladium, where he witnesses a performance by Mr. Memory until the moment all the evidence falls neatly into place, you will be rooting for Hannay to succeed in his quest and secure the love of Pamela along the adventurous way.

Come witness the split timing schedule as a trio of actors play dozens of roles, from milkmen to motormen, mothers to Mr. Memory, as they romp across the countryside. Pamela Hill directs this merry go round of murder and mayhem with aplomb.

For tickets ($30-55), call Music Theatre of Connecticut, 509 Westport Avenue, (behind Nine West Shoes) Norwalk at 203-454-3883 or online at  Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Come discover for yourself how biscuits and bagpipes, haddock and handcuffs, underwear salesmen and undercover agents, play a significant role in this whistle-while-you-work theatrical tour de force event. Be sure to have your ears tuned to pick up all the references to Hitchcock hits sprinkled liberally throughout this wild and wooly whodunit.

Monday, March 5, 2018



Mystery, intrigue, clues, suspects, motives, opportunities, victims and alibis are all riding side by side, Army uniform to elegant gowns, on the exotic Orient Express.  On a luxury train bound from Istanbul to Calais, France, the engineer is that master novelist Agatha Christie and the inquiring conductor is that ingenious detective from Belgium Hercule Poirot.  Sit back in the comfort of your compartment seat at Hartford Stage’s train station until Sunday, March 25 as “Murder on the Orient Express” roars into fantastic view.

With a clever and complicated adaptation by Ken Ludwig, you will discover a bevy of likely candidates for the stabbing death of a passenger, a highly disagreeable Samuel Ratchett,a man who has been receiving death threats before he climbed on board.  He tries, unsuccessfully, to engage the services of Monsieur Poirot to protect him by discovering who is sending him the deadly missives but he  is rebuffed.

When it is revealed that Ratchett is actually the kidnapper of a young girl Daisy Armstrong, (Jordyn Elizabeth Schmidt) whose wealthy family pays the ransom but she is still killed, the list of suspects suddenly includes everyone on the train as well as the employees.  David Pittu’s Poirot quickly has his hands full as he interrogates Princess Dragomiroff (Veanne Cox) and her bumbling helper Greta Ohlsson (Samantha Steinmetz),Colonel Arbuthnot (Ian Bedford) who is engaging is a secret relationship with Mary Debenham (Susannah Hoffman), Helen Hubbard (Julie Halston) an outspoken American who likes to sing Broadway tunes and flirt with Michel (Maboud Ebrahimzadeh) the chief train porter, Monsieur Bouc (Charles Paul Mihaliak) the train company's manager and an old friend of Poirot ’s, Hector McQueen (Juha Sorola) Ratchett’s right hand man and the elegant and helpful Countess Andrenyl (Leigh Ann Larkin) who is always eager to assist Poirot.

Who has a motive or better yet, who doesn’t have one? As the train is delayed by a snow storm and communications are cut off from the police and rescue team, the fear and suspicions grow.  As Agatha Christie is so masterful in her writing, she tosses in a few red herrings to send you in false directions while insinuating clues as to the real culprit.  Never doubt that this reliable detective will handle his task with speed and diplomacy, even if it is not focused on your main suspect.

 Beowulf Boritt’s intriguing scenic design is evident in every shiny spoke of the locomotive while William Ivey Long has a lovely job of dressing  all the suspects, under the illuminating  lighting of Ken Billington and the distinct sound design of Darron L. West.  Emily Mann directs this involving mystery that is sure to captivate your imagination, one that originated at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey.

For tickets ($25-90), call the Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford at 860-527-5151 or online at Performances areTuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.  Check on line for all the special events.

No need to come with a magnifying glass or fingerprint dusting powder as that dapper detective Hercule Poirot is on his game.  Just stay alert and observant and see if you can spot the culprit before he does.


If it’s time for your car to fill up on high test octane or your tummy to get fuel with a hot cup of java and slice of pie, there’s no better place for both then Connecticut Cabaret in Berlin’s current offering of “Pump Boys and Dinettes,”  a country western musical by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann.  They all collaborated  on the piece and performed it together on Broadway.

Aim your automobile straight for Highway 57, somewhere between Frog Level and Smyna, Georgia for a knee slapping, foot stomping Grand Ole Opry down home musical hootenanny. The pumps will be open weekends until Saturday, March 17 and Prudie and Rhetta Cupp want you to come sit a spell over a platter of eggs and grits at their friendly Double Cupp Diner next door to the pumps. Don’t forget to order a slice of sweet potato or pecan pie! And be sure not to forget to leave them a generous tip. They’ll likely sing you a song to be sure you don’t fail to reach deep in your pocket.

If you have a few spare kitchen utensils like wooden spoons or silver spoons or jello molds, feel free to bring them along.  They’ll sound right cheery next to the bass, piano, accordion, guitars and drums being featured by the pump boys Timothy Barton, TJ Thompson ( who also doubles as Musical Director)Tony Galli, Jamie Sherwood and Tim Urso.  The Cupp Girls are the spirited Cindy Lesser and Julie Lemos.

With a sensible philosophy of life that "work won’t kill you, but worry will,” this talented team take the audience on a musical tour that includes songs and ballads about lover boys, serving yourself, friendship, being the best man, taking life slow, catching a catfish, pleasing your grandmother, putting on your drinking shoes and party hats and moonshine.  The best tunes are about going to Woolworth’s to see Mona the cashier, the etiquette of leaving an appropriate tip for your waitress and falling in love with Dolly Parton and almost making her your own. 

With a distinct Southern flavor, Kris McMurray directs this homage to good, old country living that is sure to please your cracker soul.
For tickets ($30), call the CT Cabaret, 31-33 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at  Performances are Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15 p.m. Be sure to pack goodies to share at your table or plan to buy them at the concession stand on site. 

Mark your calendars now for an Evening of Comedy with Jess Miller and Phillip Anthony Borras at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24.  Miller has appeared at New York City’s Broadway Comedy Club as well as Caroline’s on Broadway. Tickets are $22 and doors open at 7:15 p.m. It’s BYOB, cabaret style.

Come sit and jaw a little with the boys and partake in a serving of pie with the gals as you enjoy a concert of country western songs sure to have you clapping and singing along for the joyous ride.


Sunday, March 4, 2018



In the world's bakery, white bread is a homogenized choice at best.  Consider Irish soda bread, Arab pita flatbread, an Italian crusty version, a slice  of Jewish seeded rye or a French baguette for your culinary needs.  In Bruce Graham's gutsy and tasty new play "White Guy on a Bus," the menu is focused on race and class, the white and the black of our society, how we interact and live side by side, the preconceptions that guide us and divide us, and what happens when civilization as we know it explodes.

These difficult issues are being attacked head on by Square One Theatre Company's stark and raw drama playing weekends until Sunday, March 18 at Stratford Academy, 719 Birdseye Street, Stratford and it will engage you, scare you and leave you thinking hard thoughts about your own ingrained views.  Come meet Ray (Bruce Murray), a successful investment banker who is ready for a change, of job, of address, of life style.  He has been happily married to Roz (Janet Rathert) for decades, and she is devotedly dedicated to her inner city kids whom she tries to teach and better prepare for the hard life they face.

Residing in a wealthy part of Philadelphia, the pair pride themselves on how civilized  and progressive they are.  Years before they "adopted" a neighbor boy Christopher (Ian Diedrich) whom they consider like a son and he is now about to marry Molly (Emily Diedrich).  Christopher is working on a dissertation about the portrayal of African-Americans in advertising while Molly is a teacher at an affluent academy where the major problems are eating disorders and the best places to go for spring break.

At this moment in time, Ray is ready to run away from their cushy but predictable life and change everything.  Roz is waiting to see if she has won a prestigious teaching award.  When they visit with Christopher and Molly, they chat about their jobs and the relative merits of what they do and what they hope to accomplish. The question of race and privilege weaves in and out of their conversations.

When Ray starts taking a bus to a local prison, he meets Shatique (Erma Elliott), a young black single mom struggling to raise her nine year old son LeShaun, work, and earn a nursing degree.  The contrasts between her life and Ray's are staggering.  Why is Ray on the bus?  What is his motivation in gaining Shatique's friendship? How does the question of racism enter the picture? Is this mild mannered man capable of turning to violence and revenge?  Artistic director Tom Holehan steers the action through all the twists and turns a bus makes on its route to its final destination.

For tickets ($20, seniors $19), call Square One Theatre at 203-375-8778 or online at Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.  Dinner specials are available at these nearby restaurants: Acapulco's Mexican Cantina, Blue Sky Diner, Kama Sushi,, Maxwell's American Grill and Station House Wine Bar & Grill.

Now is the time to make your reservation for Friends of Square One Theatre's Annual Spring Luncheon, Thursday, April 26 at noon at Mill River Country Club in Stratford. For tickets ($26), call 203-377-0273 or mail to Diane Grace, 1470 MainStreet, Stratford, CT 06615 by April 19. Select your choice of entree Chicken Piccata or Pan Seared Salmon.
Proceeds will benefit the William A. Barry Scholarship Fund awarded to outstanding students in the arts at Stratford and Bunnell High Schools.

Examine your own preconceived notions about how you treat others of diversity as you watch this captivating story of perspectives and prejudices .

Monday, February 26, 2018



With Valentine’s Day just a whisper in the past and this being Black History Month, West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park has fashioned  a bittersweet tale of love and longing, of hopes and dreams that is Lynn Nottage’s  “Intimate Apparel” playing until Sunday, March 4.  Ms. Nottage is the only women to win the Pulitzer Prize twice for literature. The search for love is universal, no matter what your life circumstances may be.  It crosses family status and race, age and pocketbook. 

Come meet Darlene Hope’s Esther, a mature lady of thirty-five who has almost given up on romance and marriage, but still clings to her dreams of opening a beauty parlor catering to her people, to treat ladies of color like royalty.  To that end, she has worked diligently for almost twenty years to squirrel away dollars in a quilt for the future. Living in a boarding house, she spends her days as a seamstress sewing beautiful lace and satin undergarments for frivolous white women like her good client Mrs. Van Buren (Anna Laura Strider) who has man problems of  her own to contend with every day. 

The trusting and honest Esther one day receives a letter from Panama, from a stranger who is working on the Panama Canal.  This man, George Armstrong (Beethoven Oden), desires to make her acquaintance with the remarkable desire to one day wed.
The women in Esther’s life, like her landlady Mrs. Dickson (Xenia Gray), feel she is foolish to entertain these fantasies while her friend Mayme (Zuri Eshun), a prostitute, encourages her to  take a chance at happiness. 

The only other constant in Esther’s world is Mr. Marks, (Ben McLaughlin), a Jew, who sells her the lovely cloth to make her creations. Theirs is a forbidden attraction, one they both work hard to deny. When the mysterious George appears on her doorstep, Esther must make some difficult choices, ones that are soon complicated by what she longs for and what is the reality of her dreams. 

Dawn Loveland Navarro directs this waltz through New York City in 1905 with an elegant hand, on a completely utilitarian set designed by Marcus Abbott, with a parade of costuming by Kate Bunce. Is George honorable and the answer to Esther’s prayers?  Will her dreams of opening her beauty parlor come true? Are her friends Mayme and Mrs. Van Buren and Mrs. Dickson who they claim to be?  This excellent cast is worthy of your admiration as you get caught up on their all too human desires and frailties .

 For tickets ($20-40), call Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford  at 860- 523-5900, ext 10 or online atwww.PlayhouseOnPark.orgPerformances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.  The Sunday matinee is following by a Talk Back with the cast. Watch for the next Comedy Night, ninety minutes of laughter, on Saturday, March 31 at 8 p.m., $15.
Come watch Esther weave a tapestry of straight and elegant stitches in her too trusting universe where having your dreams come true can be the best and the worst thing that could happen.



For decades cabaret superstar Sharon McNight has graced night clubs and stages delivering her unique style of singing, one that is sultry and irreverent and just plain swell.  Now she is directing her talents to bringing the brassy and bold voice of Sophie Tucker back, stronger than ever.  Sophie Tucker was a zaftig superpower who lit up the vaudeville and burlesque circuits with her trademark show biz vamp and vigor.  Until Sunday, March 11, Waterbury's Seven Angels Theatre will light up as Sharon McNight's alter ego of Sophie once again makes her mark.

"Red Hot Mama: The Sophie Tucker Story" is truly Sharon McNight's baby, as she wrote, directs and stars in this bigger than life entertainer whose career spanned six decades.  Tucker recreated herself as the world of show business changed, going into radio, silent films, talkies, recordings, night clubs as the trends transformed.

The daughter of immigrants, Sophie started singing at any early age, earning nickels and dimes by entertaining  guests at her parent's restaurant in Hartford, Connecticut. Marrying early, she had a son whom she left with her family to raise when she went to New York to advance her career. Often singing a hundred songs a night to earn fifteen dollars a week to support her family, she was forced to don black face because she wasn't considered pretty or thin enough.  

On stage, Sophie assumed a persona of bravado while back stage she endured many disappointments, like three failed marriages.  McNight reveals telling pieces of her life as she belts out a parade of hit songs, like "Some of These Days" and "My Yiddishe Mama,"  along with some wonderful sing alongs with the audience.  

For tickets ($40-57 ), call Seven Angels Theatre, 1 Plank Road, Hamilton Park, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online at   Performances are  Thursday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.  For an extra treat, go online to YouTube and request Sharon McNight for her whirlwind telling of “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Bacon Song.”  What great talent for her and fun for you.

Come hear the story of a woman who called Fanny Brice a best friend, performed in the Ziegfeld Follies and entertained for the King and Queen of England, with humble beginnings and a headliner finish, none other than Sharon McNight as Sophie Tucker. 

Saturday, February 24, 2018



Throughout history, men and women have turned on their neighbors, accusing them in the name of religion or political expediency, labeling them as traitors, communists, enemies of the state and even, in rare instances, as witches. Prompted by fear, these accusations have changed lives and ruined reputations, even if they are groundless and ultimately proven untrue.
Playwright Arthur Miller crafted a classic drama in 1953 that reflected an allegory on what he was himself experiencing in Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “witch hunt” to expose communists in his hearings on the Committee for Un-American Activities. Miller refused to name names when interrogated. He sets his play “The Crucible” in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1692 and 1693 when hysteria has overtaken the town of Salem and a bevy of young girls start hurling accusations at their neighbors like bolts of lightning across the Salem skies.  “The Crucible” courtesy of the Connecticut Repertory Theatre will ignite the Nafe Katter Theatre on the campus of the University of Connecticut in Storrs until Sunday, March 4th. Do not miss this explosive and well acted drama.
The sanctimonious Reverend Parris (Rob Barnes) witnesses his daughter Betty (Gillian Rae Pardi) and niece Abigail (Rebekah Santiago Berger) dancing in the woods with other females, some possibly naked, along with his slave Tituba (Angela Hunt) who comes from Barbados.  Now Betty lies in her bed unconscious and the worried father has summoned Reverend Hale (Tristan Rewald) who has knowledge of the religion, medicine and the occult to come to help.
To protect themselves from being accused of witchcraft, the girls concoct a list of witches including god-fearing women like the well-respected Rebecca Nurse (Elizabeth Jebran).  A local farmer John Proctor (Mauricio Miranda) and his wife Elizabeth (Erin Cessa) find themselves caught in the web of suspicion, especially when their housemaid Mary Warren (Carly Polistina) changes her testimony before the powerful court led by Judge Danforth, a domineering and righteous for justice James Sutorius.

When the fate of  John Proctor and many others like Giles Corey (Michael Rudko) hinges on their confessions of witchcraft to save their necks from the hanging rope, the question of the value of a good name becomes paramount.  Paul Mullins  directs this riveting almost three-hour theatrical event.
For tickets ($10 students -$33), call  860-486-2113 or online at  Performances are  Wednesday and Thursday  at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., with matinee Sunday  at 2 p.m.On Wednesday, February 28th, a dinner Dine with Design will be held pre-show with members of the creative team. Talk backs with cast and crew will occur on Thursday and Saturday matinee.
Vigilance is always necessary to guard against rumors and lies invading minds, causing the persecution of the innocent when evil rears its ugly head. How timely and relevant is this play where lies and finger pointing, fear and suspicions run like a wildfire to inflame and incite. Where  does the truth live and what is fake news meant to distort?

Sunday, February 18, 2018


Are the stars out tonight?  You won't care if it's cloudy or bright, as you stroll down the vividly red carpet at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 4 for the Oscars Party 2018.

Kate, herself, accepted that prestigious statue a record four times, from nominations a dozen in all. She would surely love this gala celebration at her namesake theater, affectionately known as The Kate, in her signature hometown, Old Saybrook, especially knowing the proceeds will benefit presentations of both arts and culture all year long.

Prepare to don your holiday fare for this festive party where the likes of Meryl Streep (and Tom Hanks) will be feted for their performance at the Washington newspaper "The Post" and the disclosure of the Pentagon Papers surrounding U. S. involvement in Vietnam, Gary Oldman will be saluted for his wartime portrayal of the British statesman Winston Churchill in the "Darkest Hour," Daniel Day-Lewis for his final gripping performance as a clothes designer who discovers love in an unlikely place in "Phantom Thread" and the persistent determination of Frances McDormand, the mother of a slain daughter, who will not allow her girl's killer to escape punishment in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."

Whether you cast your vote for the confused teenager coming of age, captured by Saoirse Ronan, in "Lady Bird," the controversial mother-daughter relationship of Allison Janney and Margot Robbie in the ice skating attack of “I, Tonya," the sacrificing and idealistic attorney "Roman J. Israel, Esq." portrayed by Denzel Washington or the self seeking soul of a young boy's sexual hungers by Timothee Chalamet in "Call Me By Your Name," you will have much to cheer for that night.

As for The Kate, prepare to enjoy gourmet offerings from the Saybrook Point Inn's Fresh Salt, both savory and sweet, appetizers to desserts.  Chocolate Oscar statuettes might magically appear, in the special candy treats available to nibble all night long, as every good movie needs.

Hold on to your socks for the incredible silent auction items available for bidding like a special wine dinner for 6, specially prepared with pairings by Saybrook Point Inn chefs, a Nikon Cool Pix S6900 Camera with 32 GB SD Card, a framed, autographed concert poster by Graham Nash from his performance at the Kate and a round of golf (18 holes) with cart and lunch at Black Hall Club, Old Lyme.

According to Oscar event chair Diane Hessinger, “This event has always been volunteer-driven and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past eight years to support The Kate. Not only is it a very fun evening, but it’s a perfect way to pay homage to our namesake, Katharine Hepburn and raise funds to expand the arts on the Connecticut shoreline.”  This year’s event will be held in memory of long-time and dedicated volunteer Beverly Whalen who gave generously of her time and helped launch this event.

This year an extra exciting item is courtesy of Becker's Diamonds & Fine Jewelry of Old Saybrook.  For $20, you can purchase a Mystery Red Box, that will include a gift certificate to Becker's and one lucky purchaser will win a stunning bracelet, 14K gold with forty-nine diamonds. 

Devin Carney, state representative and Art Carney's grandson, will once again bring a genuine Oscar to hold for photos as he shares the stage with Michael Mcguire,  a member of The Kate’s Board of Trustees, while TV anchor Ann Nyberg, from WTNH, will be offering commentary from the television station periodically throughout the evening.

For tickets ($75), please call The Kate,  300 Main Street, Old Saybrook at 877- 503-1286  or online at 

Come celebrate 90 years of movie magic with guest host Jimmy Kimmel with all the sass and sizzle of the stars.   

Monday, February 12, 2018


                                          DEBORAH COX IN "THE BODYGUARD"

Who can forget the dangerous sparks that ignited the screen when Whitney Houston’s superstar portrayal of singer Rachel Marron collided with Kevin Costner’s former Secret Service Agent Frank Farmer who is hired as her bodyguard.  Rachel is being stalked by a crazed fan and Frank is in place to stand by her and protect her, even if it means sacrificing his own life. He is still reeling from his failure to save the President from a killer and reluctantly accepts this assignment.

This monumental 1992 film has now transferred its musical magic and magnificence to the stage as “The Bodyguard The Musical,” written by Alexander Dinelaris, flies head first to Hartford.  It will land  at the Bushnell Center for the Arts, offering it from Tuesday, February 20 to Sunday, February 25.

When Frank Farmer (Judson Mills) originally appears at Rachel’s mansion, the famous singer (Deborah Cox) resents his intrusion into her life.  Unaware that she has received a growing number of death threats, she believes she is safe with her sister Nicki (Jasmin Richardson) as her writing partner and her ten year old son Fletcher (Douglas Baldeo, alternating with Kevin B. Jones III) by her side.

Reluctantly Rachel acknowledges her need for protection, allowing Frank to equip her home with security.  As he asserts his control over the situation, the pair clash as Rachel tries to dominate.  Her sister Nicki, out of jealousy, wants to usurp Frank’s attentions and soon a romantic
triangle emerges to complicate the already tenuous situation.  Meanwhile Frank has become a father figure for young Fletcher.

As the suspense builds, the air is filled with a glorious parade of stunning songs and dazzling dances, complete with sequined costumes, like “Queen of the Night,” “Greatest Love of All,” Saving All My Love for You,” “I Will Always Love You,” “All the Man I Need,” “I’m Every Woman,” “One Moment in Time” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”

The stalker is dangerously close, as Rachel performs while on tour and at the Oscars, and he is always a threat to her and to those close to her. Thea Sharrock directs this romantic thriller that showcases Whitney Houston’s great hits with fancy feathers and flair.

For tickets ($37.50 and up), 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.

Enter the world of excitement and intrigue in a superstar singer’s life as risk and romance both come knocking at her door.


While the masks of comedy and tragedy date back to the ancient Greeks, the joyful addition of music to the mix didn't arrive until the 19th century, in England with Gilbert and Sullivan and in America with Harrigan and Hart.  The ground-breaking sounds of such classics as "Showboat" and "Oklahoma" pushed the medium over the top.  Now Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart are taking a novel look at that platform of entertainment in a combo of tribute and spoof with their "The Musical of Musicals The Musical"  being aired at the Chestnut Street Playhouse in Norwich until Sunday, February 25.

What better way to salute musicals of the past than with a tongue-in-cheek, slightly jaundiced peek at the masters of their craft.  Starting with Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein, Rockwell and Bogart create a scenario where a young woman June (Corey Gonzales) can't pay her rent and wants Billy (Marc Bibeau) the hero to dramatically save her, while Abby (Maureen "Moe" Pollard) offers friendly matronly advice and Jitter (Justin Carroll), the villainous landlord, is full of threats.  Replace the epic "Oklahoma," with "Corn" and you are half way up to an elephant's eye.  Here the cob is celebrated in Kansas in August, love is in the air and everyone enjoys a symbolic ballet, ah shucks!

The theme continues  with a nod to Stephen Sondheim as the troupe ventures into the woods, in this case a New York apartment, where a crazed artist threatens June to pay her rent or else pose for paintings.  With echoes of "Into the Woods,"  "Sweeney Todd" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,"  Sondheim is lambasted with meat pies galore.

The joyful tunes of Jerry Herman in such treasures as "Mame,"and "Hello, Dolly!" are twirled around the dance floor in a swank apartment owned by Abby who only takes a moment to introduce her knicker kneed nephew Billy to Jitter and the world of high society. Here Dear Abby is the life of the party.

The mask of Sir Phantom Jitter is firmly in place as Andrew Lloyd Webber sails into "Aspects of Juanita" who is, remarkably, still in need of rent money and of being rescued.  She needs to become a super nova in the spirit of "Evita" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" if she has any hope of surviving.

With "Cabaret"  and "Chicago" in the limelight, tribute is paid to that great song writing team of Kander and Ebb, as June is still without a sou to her name. Will she need to sell her body to end her debt as Prohibition rages and guilty pleasures abound?  Tune in and see for yourself. Hunter Parker gets into the spirit of the spoof with enthusiasm and energy in her direction.

For tickets ($15-75), call the Chestnut Street Playhouse, 24 Chestnut Street, Norwich at 860- 886-2378 or online at  Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Come discover the fate of the well flaunted musical in the hands of these actors as they sing and dance to their hearts' delight.

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Nobel Prize-winning English playwright Harold Pinter wrote creative works for over five decades.  Some of his voluminous works have been deemed “comedy of menace” and the current offering by the New Haven Theater Company easily fits into that category.

With Pinter’s “The Dumb Waiter” being entertained weekends until Saturday, February 10, we meet Gus (Erich Greene) and Ben (Trevor Williams) who are in a cellar, marking time, waiting for something to happen.  But what? Gus is fidgety and more than a little anxious.  He is filled to overflowing with questions, inquirys he throws hither and yon at Ben, who apparently could care less.

Ben is preoccupied with his newspaper.  He is reclined on a cot, oblivious to Gus’s many concerns. Occasionally he will toss out the hint of a startling news story, about a man being run over by a truck or a girl who killed a cat.  Both men are occupying themselves until their assignment begins.  But what assignment is that?

In this enclosed space, with spates of dialogue, we learn early on that Ben is in charge and Gus is clearly at his mercy.  Even the innocent request to make a cuppa tea almost leads to fisticuffs.  Frustrations boil to the surface, especially when an envelope mysteriously appears under the door and written requests for exotic food like Greek and Chinese suddenly appear in the dumb waiter.

A level of anxiety grows and the pair increase the volatility of their emotions.  Gus wants food and they both want their instructions.  Even though the stove has no gas, the level of tension in the room threatens to explode.  What will happen next?  They each have a gun that is all too readily at hand.  John Watson directs this fifty minute drama of growing anxiety with a tight hand.  Both men are controlled like tight rubber bands ready to snap.

For tickets ($20), contact New Haven Theater Company, 839 Chapel Street, New Haven, at the rear of EBM Vintage, a nifty consignment shop where you can look for bargains before and after the curtain.  Performances are February 8, 9 and 10 at 8 p.m.

Come meet Gus and Ben, two blokes who are at each other’s throats, as they prepare for the known and unknown, as best they are able, while the audience listens in to the unpredictable events.

Saturday, February 3, 2018



Brushing up on your Russian literature, namely  the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, would help your understanding of this  decidedly different interpretation of “The Brothers Karamazov” created by the ensemble group Rude Mechs.  Commissioned as a world premiere by the Yale Repertory Theatre, it meets the performance group’s mission of producing original, live works “peppered with big ideas, cheap laughs and dizzying spectacle.”

This is the third time Rude Mechs, located in Austin, Texas, has been invited to the Yale Rep, previously with “Now Now Oh Now” and “The Method Gun.” Today with “Field Guide,” the group will explore the different relationship of father to sons until Sunday, February 17.

Fyodor Karamazov is not about to win any Best Father of the Year Awards.  He marries and discards wives without concern or care, and treats his sons as if they do not exist.  No one would blame the boys in question for being less than affectionate and more than steeped in anger and resentment for this patriarch. Their disdain even borders on plots to permanently eliminate the old man.

Rude Mechs comes with a complete ensemble of actors:  Lowell Bartholomee as the father Fyodor, the vulgar, money grubbing seducer of young women, Thomas Graves as the intellectual, often philosophizing son Ivan, Lana Lesley as the brave soldier Dmitri who is engaged to one woman while actively pursuing another and needs his inheritance quickly, Mari Akita as the kind, faithful son who is studying to enter the monastery and who dances, Robert S. Fisher as the bastard son Smerdyakov who is ignored even more than his legitimate siblings and Hannah Kenah as s trio of characters, two desirable ladies who are sought after, Katya and Grushenka, and the servant Grigory.

In this quite unusual work, look for stand-up comedy about such diverse topics as forever stamps and ziplock bags and even a joke or two by a giant bear, theories about the existence of no ugly women, pleas for receiving promised legacies, violent family reunions, cardboard furniture that moves mysteriously, greed, jealousy and a giant Bounce House.  The world of the Karamazov Brothers is definitely bizarre and will not be to everyone’s theatrical palate. Shawn Sides directs this inventive riff of Russian literature.

For tickets ($12-99), call the Yale Rep, 1120 Chapel Street, New Haven at 203-432-1234 or online at Performances are Tuesday to Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.

Enter the menagerie at your own risk, as many of the animals bite, as good and evil battle for all the winnings and a giant well deserved glass of vodka.