Monday, September 17, 2018

“THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG” IS DELICIOUSLY RIGHT









The old adage the “The play must go on,” meaning despite disasters and unforeseen catastrophes, must have had the
new comedy “The Play That Goes Wrong” clearly in mind. Here is slapstick at its best, and worst, with calamities making a mountain of mishaps and it only gets funnier as each predicament occurs.

Hartford’s Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts will be airing this series of seriously hysterical scenes in this Olivier Award for Best Comedy show written by Jonathan Sayer, Henry Lewis and Henry Shields from Tuesday, September 25 to Sunday, September 30.

Turn your clocks back to the 1920’s and watch in disbelief as the Cornley Drama Society attempts to stage a production of “The Murder at Haversham Manor.” Attempt is the operative word as the unpredictable and unanticipated keep occurring. What do you do when your leading lady suffers a concussion? How do you handle a corpse who refuses to stay dead? Why do the sets keep malfunctioning and are in danger of total collapse? Where do the fortifying drinks go as they disappear from sight?

Think what might happen if the stars of “Spamalot" and The Three Stooges conceived a troupe of children. While patently and biologically unthinkable, the end result might be this fall-over funny laugh riot. Mischief is in every one of the delectable details as they go deliciously down the tube.

For tickets ($23-90), call the Bushnell, 166 Capital Avenue, Hartford, at 860-987-5900 or online atwww.bushnell.org. 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.

While murder is serious business, “The Play That Goes Wrong” definitely is not. Come discover the magic mania for yourself.

CHILDHOOD THROUGH JAUNDICED EYES: "MAKE BELIEVE”




In an ideal world, childhood is a precious commodity where parents protect and cherish their young ones, guaranteeing their safety and growth as they journey toward adulthood. What happens, however, when the parents are derailed and shirk their responsibilities, allowing the kids in their care to flounder on their own and find a balance, if at all possible. Such is the milieu of Bess Wohl’s “Make Believe” holding 
its world premiere at the Hartford Stage until Sunday, September 30.

The inviting 1980’s playroom set created by Antje Ellermann, complete with Cabbage Patch doll, poster of E.T., and toys and games galore, does not even hint at the demons lurking under the curtained fort. Here we find a quartet of children who are without supervision, with nary an adult in sight. There is no after school snack. There is no note of explanation. There is no phone call of reassurance that all is well.

The children Chris (Roman Malenda), Addie (Alexa Skye Swinton), Kate (Sloane Wolfe) and baby Carl (RJ Vercellone), who thinks he is a dog, are abandoned to fend for themselves, playing grown ups, in adisturbing version of what they must hear from their absentee parents. The words are caustic and crude, their actions abusive, their reality terrible to envision. These interactions color the memories they carry into adulthood when, in the second part, they gather in that same room to lay to rest, permanently, one of their own.

You will meet Kate (Megan Byrne), Addie (Molly Ward), Carl (Brad Heberlee) and Chris (Chris Ghaffari) and some of the issues of their youth will be addressed. These children were clearly cheated of the carefree and love enriched promises that should have been theirs to enjoy. As adults, they are still not whole and are still struggling for answers. Now twenty years later, they have returned to “the scene of the crime” to determine where the blame lies, and who the perpetrators and victims are. Jackson Gay directs this involving and difficult
scenario of blame and distrust. Please enter this playroom armed with a strong constitution.

For tickets ($25 and up), call the Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford at 860-527-5151 or online at www.hartfordstage.org. Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m, with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Live and relive the childhoods of these four siblings as they struggle to understand what went wrong in what should have been an idyllic world.

Monday, September 3, 2018

MOVING 9/11 DRAMA, “THE GUYS," COMING TO SCSU



                                                         DAN LAURIA
The date 9/11/2001 is etched in our psyches and never to be erased. Each of us knows where we where that morning when our lives were devastated and permanently impacted by a series of unfathomable tragedies. Playwright Anne Nelson has taken that singular sensation and unthinkable occurrence and humanized it with one story of its overwhelming consequences. On Saturday, September 8 at 8 p.m., John Lyman Center at Southern Connecticut State University, 501 Crescent Street, in New Haven will reveal “The Guys,” a personal reflection on one aspect of grief.

As a fire captain who has lost eight of his colleagues and friends to the tragedy, Nick is paralyzed by the personal trauma, and unable to find the words to eulogize his men, “The Guys.” He turns to Joan, a writer and editor, to help him meet this challenge. Together they discover each man’s remarkable spirit and individual strengths and weaknesses, his talents, his personality, his contributions. The humanity of this small firehouse community is uncovered.

In the process, Nick and Joan learn the intricacies of their own lives, and unlock ways to heal their own heartaches. Being brought together by extraordinary circumstances, they form a bridge of communication. Come meet Dan Laurie as Nick and Wendie Malick as Joan as they struggle to find answers to their grief. This play, a hit off-off Broadway, is soon to be released as a movie starring Sigourney Weaver and Anthony LaPaglia.

For tickets ($35, students $10), call SCSU box office at 203-392-6154 or online at lymancenter@southernct.edu. A special VIP package for $100 is also available that includes premium seating, post-performance reception on stage, Meet and Greet, photo opportunity and autograph. Proceeds will support SCSU scholarships. Lauria is a graduate of the school.

This true story will touch your heart, with laughter and tears, in its honesty and courage to stand up to a tragedy and call upon the human spirit to overcome all obstacles. Dan Lauria and Wendie Malick will summon their inner strengths to bring this tale of compassion to a triumphant resolution.

THE EDWARDS TWINS: MUCH MORE THAN DOUBLE THE PLEASURE



Imagine a galaxy of stars sparkling and strutting their stuff, under one roof, Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury, for two 
shining shows. Imagine all these singing icons wrapped up in the brilliant impersonations, by two men, the Edwards twins.
Legendary showstoppers like Cher, Bette, Dolly, and Barbra will magically appear in front of your eyes and you will be hard 
pressed to tell them from the genuine article.

Saturday, September 8 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, September 9 at 2 p.m., a glittering array of your favorite singing sensations 
will be coiffed and costumed to their pearly whites as these two brothers command the stage. Eddie and Anthony Edwards are a unique talent. From the time they were young, born in Burbank, California in 1965, they were fascinated by celebrities. Fortuiously they lived close to the NBC television studios and would sneak into the sets of TV shows being taped and then run home to act out the skits, mimicking the stars. Shows like “Laugh In,” “The Carol Burnett Show” and “The Sonny and Cher Show” became their challenging self-imposed homework assignments.

Now you have the outstanding opportunity to see these personas live and up close and personal. It is credited to Carol Burnett that the two siblings combined their skills on stage, creating so many super stars. With his higher pitched voice, Eddie has assumed the myriad female roles, stunning audiences with his artistic makeup “illusions” while Anthony is the pianist, concentrating on the male side of the show, with Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, Elton John and Neil Diamond among his famous faux.

Performing all over the world to great acclaim, the Edwards twins are coming to Waterbury with their beautifully perfected theatrical giftsFor tickets ($50), call Seven Angels Theatre, 1 Plank Road, Hamilton Park, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online atwww.sevenangelstheatre.org.

Where can you see and enjoy a bevy of your favorite personalities gathered all in one place, thanks to two men who clearly love their idols and want to share them - spectacularly - with you, direct from Las Vegas.