Sunday, December 30, 2018



What better way to dispel the frigid cold and darkness of the winter months than a visit to The Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals in East Haddam.  For the 14th year, Goodspeed is offering up a splendid weekend of theatrical treasures for your edification and entertainment, from Friday, January 18 to Sunday, January 20.  Without the need for skis, sleds or skates, you can travel swiftly and smoothly, without fear of spills, to see the latest in musical magic.

Students from the Hartt School of Music and the Boston Conservatory of Music will present a trio of staged readings beginning Friday at 7:30 p.m. with “The Peculiar Tale of the Prince of Bohemia and the Society of Desperate Victorians,” with book and lyrics by Becca Anderson and Dan Marshall and music by Julian Blackmore.  What is a Prince to do when he discovers his father, the King of Bohemia, has died and he does not want to ascend the throne?  With the help of his chaperone Colonel Geraldine, he plots his escape. Will joining a secret society called the Suicide Club be the solution he seeks or will it plunge him deeper into a morass of macabre yet humorous problems?

The Gelston House, next door, will host a Cabaret with the music of Douglas Waterbury-Tieman  at 10 p.m. following the first reading.

Be sure you take your vitamins for the all day Saturday schedule, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Gelston House and La Vita Restaurant across the street with a series of seminars on topics theatrical until 1 p.m.  After a lunch break, at 3 p.m. at The Goodspeed,  attend a symposium “The Art of Adaptation: Truth to Fiction” led by Goodspeed Artistic Associate Anika Chapin and a panel of writers discussing the process and pitfalls of adapting a true story into musical theatre fiction.

At 4 p.m. at The Goodspeed, a second symposium “Rise Up!:Broadway and American Society” will explore the feelings of Chris Jones, one of the country’s best-known daily theatre critics and his new book as he roams from the dark days of the AIDS crisis all the way to the amazing success of “Hamilton.”  A Festival Dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Gelston House and La Vita for those who purchase the Gold Package for $149 that includes all three staged readings, one Cabaret and three Seminar Sessions.  All Gold Package holders are advised to come early on Friday, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. to the Porch Bar to select their Seminar tickets for Saturday. The Silver Package for $80 includes a ticket to all three readings, two Symposiums and a Meet the Writers Q & A on Sunday.

The Saturday schedule continues at 7:30 p.m. with the second reading, “The Proxy Marriage,” with book and lyrics by Michele Lowe and Adam Gwon, adapted from “The Proxy Marriage” by Maile Meloy. If your Montana father, a lawyer, performs proxy marriages primarily for military couples, you might find yourself standing infor the bride with your awkward friend Will. Bridey and Will after high school find themselves pursuing their own dreams, until circumstances and time pull them back together and answer what they have been looking for all along.

The Gelston House will host a second Cabaret at 10 p.m. with the music of Shaina Taub.

On Sunday at 1 p.m. The Goodspeed will offer “Devotion,” with music, book and lyrics by Mark Sonnenblick about two lost souls, Wanda Lee and Paul.Addiction and belief figure prominently, especially after Wanda Lee’s ten year old brother confesses he’s been recruited for a divine mission.  How can these confused adults help him find his way when they don’t know their own destiny?

The Festival will conclude with a 3:30 p.m. Meet the Writers at The Goodspeed when all the composers speak about their motivations and inspirations in the creative process.

Single tickets are $25 and student tickets are $15.  Call the box office at 860-873-8668 to order or go online to

Don’t miss this wonderfully creative weekend to experience the newest works on the horizon so you get bragging rights to say you saw it at Goodspeed first.

Monday, December 24, 2018


The Terris Theater in Chester is putting a unique new and spicy flavor to Dickens’ classic tale “A Christmas Carol” and turning it into a delightful story with a distinctly Connecticut taste: “A Connecticut Christmas Carol A New Musical.” Created by LJ Fecho for book and Michael O’Flaherty for music and lyrics, we still meet that old meanie Scrooge but now he is being enacted by Connecticut’s own actor of note William Gillette, who gifted the state with a castle that tourists enjoy as well as a long line of productions as that master detective Sherlock Holmes.
Until Sunday, December 30, the whole family is invited to enjoy Scrooge, a cantankerous and cranky Robert Cuccioli, as he “bah humbugs” his way through the holiday season, being ungenerous to his loyal employee Bob Cratchit, an even tempered and hard working family man Matt Gibson, and denying the kind invitations to holiday parties issued annually by his nephew, an open hearted Noah Plomgren.
It takes the visitation of three ghosts, in the person of favorite and not so favorite native sons, Benedict Arnold, P. T. Barnum and Mark Twain, all created with flair by Michael Thomas Holmes, to make Scrooge change from a man incapable of feeling joy to a redeemed gentlemen who experiences a renewed generosity in living and giving.
 Bob Crctchit’s family is the happy recipient of Scrooge’s largess, his wife Martha, Lee Harrington, his daughter Kathy, Daisy Wright, and most especially his son Tiny Tim, an adorableRobbie Berson.
 According to LJ Fecho from an interview last year, he called the show “awesome and a great experience. The director Hunter Foster is doing a great job directing, and Lisa Shriver is doing wonderful choreography. This is an interesting adaptation of an iconic work, We’ve set it in 1925 on the Goodspeed stage. Mr. Goodspeed has asked the famed Sherlock Holmes actor William Gillette, who lived in a castle near by, to play Scrooge in a final production of “A Christmas Carol” before the legendary theater closes its doors forever.”Fecho sincerely thanks the Internet that translated “into a million library books” and helped him create the huge historical figures who populate the story. The fact that they actually knew each other was a great bonus. Fecho discovered that Mark Twain loaned William Gillette $5000 to start his acting career and his company. 
The musical, rife with local geographic references, is a tale of good will and, ultimately, of good people. Scrooge experiences an epiphany and Fecho wants the audience to be surprised. He emphasizes that it is a very funny, light hearted musical, upbeat, and that Cuccioli is a great comedic actor. Working at the Goodspeed has been a wonderful experience with so many people and ideas who come together as one. He feels “blessed to be here.”

For tickets ($25-60), call the Goodspeed at 860-873-8668 or online at The production is at the Terris Theatre, 33 North Main Street, Chester. 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 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Coats are being collected to give to needy families. 
According to Fecho and O’Flaherty, “It’s our sincerest wish that you and all of Connecticut embrace our new version of “A Christmas Carol” in its second year that features this great state and the wonderful people in it as we hope you make this your newest holiday tradition.” Come with your family and make this a permanent present under your Christmas tree to enjoy again and again.

Sunday, December 16, 2018


WOW! The roar of the cannons and the explosion of dueling pistols signal the arrival and demise of America’s statesman of the moment, the singular sensation Alexander Hamilton. Center stage at Hartford’s Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, “Hamilton,” that epic musical crafted by Lin-Manuel Miranda, will be historically honored until Sunday, December 30.
Clearly the most anticipated show of recent record, “Hamilton” follows the fate of a poor bastard orphan with Scottish blood from the Caribbean who comes to the land of opportunity, America, to become the right hand man for the first President George Washington.
Austin Scott’s Hamilton manages to rise from poverty with a goal of making a difference, of becoming a man of significance, a scholar, a lawyer, a statesman, a man who defiantly believes “I am not throwing away my shot.” Early on in America, he meets and is befriended by Josh Tower’s Aaron Burr, a man who soon exhibits signs of jealousy, trapped by a competition he knows he cannot win.
As a Founding Father along side Washington (Paul Oakley Stovall) Thomas Jefferson (Bryson Bruce) and James Madison (Chaundre Hall-Broomfield), Hamilton is quickly swept up in a revolution against Britain’s King George (Peter Matthew Smith), helping to plan the siege of Yorktown. He finds time to marry Eliza Schuyler (Hannah Cruz), often choosing his dedication to his country over his family.
As a co-author of the Federalist Papers and his selection as Secretary of the Treasury to the new nation, he engages in an affair that will later be used as ammunition to bring down his star. His ideas incur the wrath of many of his cohorts and ultimately lead to his death in a duel with Aaron Burr. This historical epic will cement Alexander Hamilton’s importance in the story of our heritage, originally taken from a novel penned by Ron Chernow that Miranda read while on vacation in the Caribbean in 2004, on his honeymoon.
Incorporating hip hop, rhythm and blues, Broadway show tunes and soul, “Hamilton” enjoys a grand set created by David Korins, period costumes designed by Paul Tazewell, illumination by Howell Binkley, sound mastered by Nevin Steinberg, orchestration by Alex Lacamoire, clever choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and superb direction by Thomas Kail. “Hamilton” has won an impressive number of awards: Grammys, Tonys, Drama Desk and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
 A ticket lottery for $10 is held every day for 40 lucky recipients. Go to register. Also check bushnell.comregularly for late release seats. Try to be one of the 66,000 patrons who will see this production at the Bushnell over its 3 week run. It is not a show to be missed. Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and 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 7 p.m.

Come be caught up in the dramatic magic of the tale that weaves our country’s history in the fate of one Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton.


Instead of a twist of lemon, TheaterWorks of Hartford is offering up, again, it’s highly entertaining vignettes of Christmas with a twist of mistletoe clearly in hand. Until Sunday, December 23, you are invited to toast the holiday with “Christmas on the Rocks,” a unique collection of vignettes that feature our favorite characters from childhood holidays.

Did you ever wonder what happened to Ralphie and his gigantic desire for a BB gun and the fate of his eye which his mom was sure he’d shoot out? Did you realize he really liked that pink bunny suit even though he protested wearing it? Aunt Clara really made a giant impact on Ralphie’s life. But it’s not just Ralphie that you’ll meet on this Christmas Eve. One by one, a series of our favorites will open the door of a bar run by Tom Bloom and tell their stories of what it means to be an adult in a strange world.
Conceived and directed by Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero, seven playwrights were invited six years ago to create a traditional (really untraditional) show for the theater to present each December. This year come hear the tales of John Carine, Jennifer Harris and Matthew Wilkas, Jeffrey Hatcher, Jacques Lamarre, Theresa Rebeck and Edwin Sanchez as they stretch their imaginations in clever and comic ways.

In "All Grown Up" by John Cariani, we are reintroduced to Ralphie Parker from "A Christmas Story" and discover he is still obsessed with the lady leg lamp his father won and his pink bunny suit, a gift from Aunt Clara. With a nod to “Its a Wonderful Life,” we meet ZuZu Bailey who is struggling to keep her rose alive while freaking out every time she hears a bell ring. It’s Bedford Falls all over again and angels are in danger of earning their wings, thanks to the wit and wisdom of Jacques Lamarre. 
 Jeffrey Hatcher's humor focuses on an elf who feels he is a misfit and just wants to belong in "Say It Glows.” This particular helper of Santa’s doesn’t want to make toys: he’d much prefer to be a dentist. So open wide!

With a nod to Frostie and his magic black top hat, Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas present “My Name is KAREN!,” a rant by the young lady who built the snowman by hand and feels she has been forgotten and disrespected. Armed with a hair dryer, she is on the war path to get her deserved revenge.

A spiritual journey, "God Bless Us Every One," is on Theresa Rebeck's Christmas list. Here we remeet Tiny Tim who is in the midst of a psychotic break and has serious issues with Mr. Scrooge. "Still Nuts About Him" by Edwin Sanchez, focuses his talents on Clara who is now married to the Nutcracker, her personal and infuriating czar of love. With a hubby who is still flexible after all these years, Clara can’t abide the fact that her Nutcracker is still spry and is a master of infidelity.

Last but certainly not least, Jacques Lamarre is taking a second turn serving up "Merry Christmas, Blockhead." Now he is the psychiatrist/coach/love counselor for Charlie Brown and the little red haired girl of his youth.

A trio of talented actors, Jenn Harris and Randy Harrison play all Christmas characters to Tom Bloom's sympathetic bartender. This clever foray into our favorite friends of the holiday is clearly a tradition at HTW for years to come.

For tickets ($10-70), call Hartford TheaterWorks, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford at 860-526-7838or online at are Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Come early and enjoy a viewing of the cartoon "A Charlie Brown Christmas" in the art gallery upstairs.

For a cynical, quirky and sentimental look at Christmases past, let "Christmas on the Rocks" serve you a flavorful cocktail of tasty potent potables.

Sunday, December 9, 2018



Michelle Gotay is a honey of a hilarious hoot as Earlene
 Babcock, the popular proprietor of Earlene’s Diner in
Potsville. She is trying to cope with the imminent loss
of her special place, the family favorite diner and cabaret 
motel, due to the evil machinations of the town’s mayor
whose son has opened a competing eatery, the Crispy

So for a lot of fun and fruitcake, songs and Santa, gaiety
and gifts, bells and blizzards, come to Seven Angels 
Theatre in Waterbury for the new and original tale 
written and directed by Semina DeLaurentis “Christmas
Eve at Earlene’s Diner The Best Dang Christmas Variety 
Show Ever” presented and produced by the enthusiastic 
Seven Angels Theatre Stage Seven Community December

A snow storm has wreaked havoc on plans for the 50th
year of a traditional St. Francis Church holiday show and 
half the cast is stuck at  Earlene’s.  The show’s producers
Leah Juliett and Zani Scott convince Earlene to be the 
mistress of ceremonies and oversee the acts that will be 
televised.  With wit and merriment, she becomes the 
impromptu hostess of the holiday feast of songs:  like the
nuns Sharon Amundsen and Jeannine Gallmeyer’s
rendition of “”What Would Elvis Do?,” Nicole Thomas’
“Once Upon a December,” Zani Scott’s “Mary, Did You 
Know?,”  Leah Juliett’s “Grown Up Christmas List,” 
Cheyenne Walent’s “Underneath the Tree,” Colton 
Zawisza’s “Imagine” and Tom Chute’s “Keeping Christmas,”
among many others.

In addition, there are stories about the traditions of
Christmas around the world, a token Chanukah song
“Shalom Chavarim,” John Fabiani’s recipe for fruitcake 
with rum and rum cake with fruit as well as a whooper 
of a ditty by Michelle Gotay “12 Steps of Christmas” 
that brought down the house.

With a cast of three dozen, from young’uns to seniors, 
with almost as many songs, Earlene’s Diner rocked.  
And, don’t forget a few memorable moments with
Santa Claus, a spry Timothy Cleary, who got his 
exercise being chased by Dr. Fred, a determined
 Joe Stofko.

For tickets ($37, children under 18 $18, 4 pack 
$99 with code FOUR), call Seven Angels, 1 Plank 
Road, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online at
www.SevenAngelsTheatre,org.  Performances are
Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and 
matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., with extra 
shows Tuesday and Wednesday December 18 and 19 
at 7:30 p.m.

Watch for the memorable Edwards Twins 
Christmas Show lighting up Thursday, December 20
at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. as they recreate your favorite 
stars of the 60’s and 70’s like Cher, Barbra and Andrea 
Bocelli.  It’s just the right time to book your New Year’s
 Eve Party with “Stand Up  Countdown, New Year’s Eve
Comedy Night” featuring comics Phil Selmon, Sally Ann
Hall, Kevin Dombrowski and Bob Nelson at 6 p.m. and 
9:30 p.m. The second show includes appetizers and at
midnight a champagne toast.

Get into the holiday spirit with an infusion of joy,
courtesy of Seven Angels Theatre Stage Seven 
Community and sing along with all your favorites with 
the merry gang.


Monday, December 3, 2018


The music genre of jazz grew out of spirituals, folk, ragtime,
 Blues and marches, being birthed by African-American
Communities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in
New Orleans, Louisiana. Considered one of America’s
original art forms,” the word jazz is thought to be related
to “jasm,” a slang term dating back to Civil War times meaning
“pep and energy.” 

To become reacquainted with this unique style of music, 
Look no further than New haven’s Long Wharf theatre’s 
current offering of Dominique Morisseau’s intoxicating
 “Paradise Blue” alternately cooling and heating the main 
 stage until  Sunday, December 16.

Set in the Paradise Club in Detroit, Michigan in 1949, we
meet the club’s owner Blue, a conflicted and troubled
Stephen Tyrone Williams,  who is being forced to decide 
the fate of his establishment,  one he immodestly considers
the best.  Urban renewal is  knocking at his door  and he 
has the power to influence his neighbors by his choice of
how he responds to this new challenge.

Blue likes to assert his dominance, over his love interest 
the sweet and accommodating Pumpkin, a poetry reciting 
Margaret Odette, and his remaining band members Corn,
a laid back Leon Addison Brown  and the alternating fiery
 and smooth talking P-Sam, Freddie Fulton. Changes are
putting all these intimates on edge, no more so than when
their personal space is invaded by Silver, a seductive 
Carolyn Michelle Smith, who appears on their doorstep
with a hidden agenda of desires and motivations.

Will Blue ultimately do what is best for himself and forget
his loyalties to his band and to Pumpkin? Will the demons 
from his past rise up and be the signal for his destruction?
Can Pumpkin shake off her abusive attachment to Blue 
long enough to acknowledge P-Sam’s offer of affection?
What has really brought Silver into the club and will it be
for  evil or for good?

These talented actors interact with spirit on a multi-level 
set designed by Yu-Hsuan Chen, dressed in period
costumes  created by Lex Liang, under the careful
direction of Awoye Timpo.  One disappointment is that 
the band never plays jazz together, even though the 
instruments are staged and ready.

For tickets ($35.50 and up), call the Long Wharf, 222 Sargent
 Drive, New Haven at 203-787-4282 or online at Performances are Tuesday at 7 p.m.,
 Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday 
at  8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Watch for holiday shows “A Christmas Carol” on December 8
 and a concert by Anne Tofflemire “A Midwinter Night’s Dream”
 on December 13-16.

Part the curtain of smoke and haze that surrounds 
the Paradise Club, obscuring motivations and desires
and illuminating all too human self interests.



 Did you ever wonder about the mother and daughter combination personalities that motivate and sustain the beauty pageants of the world? Who is Honey Boo Boo and why does she claim the spotlight? Why do moms push their little girls into talent competitions and modeling gigs? If you were ever desirous of looking behind the velvet curtain, then now, in the spirit of holiday fun, let Pantochino Productions present you with “GLITZ! THE LITTLE MISS CHRISTMAS PAGEANT MUSICAL."

Imagine “Toddlers and Tiaras” have come to life. The Milford Arts Council, 40 Railroad Avenue, Milford is awash in satin and tinsel as this original book and lyrics by Bert Bernardi, with music created by Justin Rugg, is joined with the imaginative costuming of Jimmy Johansmeyer and comes to entertaining life weekends until Saturday, December 22.

Get ready to meet a bevy of ambitious mothers who all believe in their heart of hearts that their little Suzy or Sandy is the best, brightest and most beautiful, not to mention talented, daughter in the whole wide world. Amen and Hallelujah.

Dale Allen’s Helen Haley and joyous daughter Hailey Ann (Annabel Wardman), Shelley Marsh Poggio’ s Mugsy Loren and darling Sophia (Sierra DiMartino), Mary Mannix’s Olivia Winerack and sweet Taylor (Brianna Jackson), Maria Berte’s Cheryl Spangler and twinkling daughter Barbie (Ainsley
Novin) and Rachelle Ianniello’s Marybeth McCutcheon and offspringGoodness Gracious (Adele Horne) are all anxious to take home the ribbon and trophy that crowns their girl as best in show. 

In this holiday favorite that pays homage to Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” the pageant is run by an unscrupulous Shayde Shams, a less than honest Jimmy Johansmeyer whose name says it all. He is assisted by his DJ Justin Rugg and pageant matron Mrs. Glunchappen played by Valerie Solli.

Other contestants are Peighton Nash, Keira Degnan, Adrienne Crowley, Mikaela Franklin and Claire DeRosa while George Spelvin creates the choreography as Mister Jerry, Connor Rizzo plays Giovanni, a concerned brother, and Hazel Foley plays a prior beauty pageant winner, Donna Lisa Derringer.

Bert Bernardi directs a large cast of beauty winner wannabes and their pushy and frantic mamas as they all compete for the coveted title.

                   The pageant director claims the pageant is to benefit a charity for sick             children, but he has every intention of pocketing all the proceeds for himself.  Clearly Jimmy Johansmeyer's sleazy Shayde, just like Scrooge in Dickens’ tale,  needs to learn a lesson or three about being nice and not naughty.

Get into the Christmas spirit as this fiercely competitive talent show allows the mothers and daughters to learn the value of truth and honesty.  Songs like "The Pageant Life Is For Me" and "My Daughter's Better Than Yours” say it all, especially the confessional appeal of "I Want to be Like Valerie Bertinelli."

For tickets ($22), contact Pantochino Productions  online at  Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday  and Sunday at 2 p.m.  Pantochino proudly supports FOOD 2 KIDS, www.milfordfood2kids,org. 
Watch for Pantochino Teen Theatre’s production of “Bubble Boy The Musical” coming February 23 and 24.
Take a bevy of little beauties, in ruffled socks and black patent leather shoes, add make-up and ambition and talent, sequins and spangles, and you have all the ingredients for an entertaining fun holiday happening.

Sunday, December 2, 2018



What better sign of the festive holiday could there be than Hartford Stages’s annual viewing 

of Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas.” This 21st annual vision 

of flying ghosts and fatted holiday turkey will run until Saturday, December 29th.

Michael Preston clearly loves his part as Scrooge, first in all his mean and cranky stinginess 
and ultimately in his redeeming benevolence and good cheer. Preston revels in the role as 
the return of his former partner Jacob Marley (Noble Shropshire), dead lo these seven years, appears to warn Scrooge that he will be visited by a trio of specters.

Before he can say “bah, humbug,” Scrooge finds himself first in the company of the Spirit of 
Christmas Past (Rebecka Jones) as he is forced to relive memorable holiday moments that
 have already occurred and perhaps regret the choices he has made.

Along his journey, Scrooge encounters his faithful housekeeper (Noble Shropshire), his clerk Bob Cratchit (Robert Hannon Davis), his nephew Fred (Terrell Donnell Sledge) and three vendors who are in debt to him (Rebecka Jones, Alan Rust, John-Andrew Morrison) as well as dozens more. 

Next Alan Rust entertains with his glorious rendition of the Spirit of Christmas Present, forcing Scrooge to see with clarity the joy he is missing today. Finally the Spirit of Christmas Future , as Death, completes the picture and brings Scrooge the image of what his end, unappreciated and unloved, could be. Michael Wilson adapted and originally directed this most mystical and magical Christmas treat. Rachel Alderman continues his tradition, adding her own personal touches to this beloved tale.

For tickets ($25 and up), call the Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford at (860)527-5151 Performances are Thursday at  7:30 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. 

Learn how one man who considers himself afloat in a world of fools finds that there is much 
to treasure and cherish every day, and most especially on the twenty- fifth day of December.

Saturday, December 1, 2018


The Connecticut Repertory Theatre welcomes you to a time in history when the North was 

battling the South, when the age old tradiition of slavery was being seriously questioned and 

challenged and when a President was working to make this country safer and more 

abundant with freedoms. Thanks to playwright Paula Vogel, you have the opportunity to 

experience Christmas Eve in Washington D. C. in the year of our lord 1864 in “A Civil War 

Christmas: An American Musical Celebration.”

Ten years in the making, this is an epic production, weaving a tapestry around a handful of the country’s citizens, both prominent and obscure, on Christmas Eve when the desire for “peace on earth, good will to men” was desired by many, but unfortunately not by all.. The Civil War is still taking a toll on the nation and this historical and musical tale follows their stories.

A Civil War Christmas,” with all its grand narrative and dramatic elements, will sweep gloriously onto the stage of the Harriet S Jorgensen Theatre on the campus of the University of Connecticut in Storrs until Sunday, December 9. It is a magnificent and involving masterpiece of theater that should not be missed.

A talented cast of sixteen actors brings to life a cadre of seventy in this poignant pageant that takes place of both sides of the Potomac River, on both sides of the conflict. Follow the stories of Hannah (Angela Hunt) and her daughter Jessa (Deanna Hepple) who are escaped slaves searching for freedom on a cold wintery night, a young rebel Raz (Kristen Wolfe) and horse Silver (Bryan Mittelstadt) who seek adventure and land in a peck of trouble, the tortured soul of Decatur Bronson (Forrest McClendon) who is trapped in a war and only seeking the safe return of his wife Rose, the poet Walt Whitman (Rob Barnes) who offers hope and comfort to the wounded Union soldiers like Moses Levy ( Nicholas Greika),the talentedseamstress Elizabeth Keckley (Alex Campbell) who becomes a cherished companion of Mrs. Lincoln and President Lincoln (Rob Barnes) who attempts to lead a nation to peace while he seeks a holiday gift for his wife Mary (Erin Cessna), all while others, led by John Wilkes Booth (Nikolai Fernandez) plot his demise. 
Throughout the vignettes, American tales all, the songs and poetry of our nation punctuate the action beautifully. Others in this stellar cast include Aaron Bantum, Tabatha Gayle, Pearl Matteson, Sebastian Nagpal, Carly Polistina and Tristan Rewald. Elizabeth Van Dyke directs this inspiring visitation with our past at a timely moment, as we struggle with new and old issues that are still being debated in our nation. today
For tickets ($36-40), call 860-486-2113 or online at Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.,Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. 
There is a promise of hope for peace that permeates Paula Vogel’s “A Civil War Christmas” that she would like to establish as a new Christmas tradition for American families. Catch on to her dream.

Sunday, November 25, 2018


What would the Christmas holidays be without a visit with those jolly guys
who comprise the Connecticut Gay Men’s Chorus, with their angelic 
harmonious voices and Santa sack full of irreverent wit?  For the 34th year,
this 30 member strong chorus will be performing for your holiday 
delight: on Saturday, December 1 at 1 p.m. at the Katherine Hepburn 
Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main Street in Old Saybrook and again on Saturday,
 December 15 at 8 p.m. at The Theater at the CoOp (Cooperative Arts 
and Humanities High School), 177 College Street, New Haven.
Get your candy canes and tinsel ready for a festive program of fun 
traveling around the world with the CGMC as your tour guides, going to 
places far and wide, new and familiar, to cultures that you may not have 
realized even existed. Entitled “Pole to Pole: Holiday Celebrations from 
Around the World,” you will be treated to sentimental holiday favorites as
 well as unique offerings that will amaze and delight. 
Only the CGMC knows how to mix the classics with the riotous in a spicy
holiday punch that is sure to intoxicate your senses. Songs and traditions 
from other countries such as Conrad Susa’s Carols and Lullabies, which 
integrates ten of the most beautiful carols of the Spanish-speaking world, 
accompanied by harp, marimba, and classical guitar. 
Greg McMahan, Artistic Director of the CGMC, promises such unusual 
treats as disco angels and dancing recycle bins when you receive the gift 
that stops your heart …fruitcake! He promises “We turn the holidays on 
their heads and set them back up again! “
Tickets for The Kate are $30 and for the CoOp, $25 and $30, and are 
available now at or by calling 203.777.2923.  10% of 
tickets will be offered to LGBT youth, AIDS outreach, and other social 
outreach programs at no cost.
Don’t let the holidays escape without a visit with the gentlemen who put the
wise in wise men and angel in angel food cake, all the while kicking up their 
heels and shaking their sequins for the maximum in holiday fun.

Monday, November 19, 2018



If your mother thinks she’s a detective, a cross between
Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, it
is advised not to tell your father any secrets. He is
doomed to blather them all, with only a small amount of 
persuasion. He does not even need to be tortured along
the way.

The case in point is Alice, a happily married Karen
Gagliardi, who runs a book shop and lives vicariously
through the heroines in the novels she sells. She is
disillusioned that current readers have deserted
Austen and Dickens and prefer the salacious tales like
“50 or 60 shades of Grey.” When her hubby Bill, a
devoted Michael Gilbride, comes home from a tennis
match with their son Billy and boasts about winning,
Alice’s antenna immediately suspects there is a story
he is concealing.

Come put your ear to the bedroom door of Joe DiPietro’s
comedy “Clever Little Lies” being entertained at the
Connecticut Cabaret Theatre weekends until Saturday,
December 15.

Alice couldn’t be more right and before you can say
“who wants a piece of cheesecake?” three times, she
has invited son Billy, a new dad and an even newer
adulterer Chris Pearson, and wife Jane, an excited
and exhausted Tracey Brown, over to fix the problem.

Confessions are soon spilling from the most unlikely
places, as baby Emily cries, and the four try to diagnose
how to save not one marriage but two. The conversation
is frankly sexual as each unburdens and confesses and
tries to find the shiny happy side of life. Billy’s young
fantasy woman, his personal, very personal, trainer at
the gym figures significantly in the lust/love equation.
Kris McMurray directs this comic homage into what can
happen to even the most stable of marriages when
eyes stray.

For tickets ($34), call CT Cabaret Theatre, 31-33
Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or
online Performances are
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with doors opening
at 7:15 p.m. Remember to bring goodies to share
at your table or plan to buy dessert and drink on site.

Marital challenges and the very real question of trust
loom large as both couples chase happiness and try
to make it their own.