Monday, April 29, 2019


 West HartfordPlayhouse on Park is asking you to take a leap of faith and enter a world that is likely foreign to you. Pease take that leap for there are many rewards to be gained. This is a story of art wrapped in religion, where the conflict is great, a mixture that is not kosher in the most basic of terms.

That struggle between religion and art is personified in the current excellent offering of “My Name is Asher Lev,” by Aaron Posner, adapted from the Chaim Potok novel. It will run until Sunday, May 12.

 A sheltered young man from Brooklyn, a Hasidic Jew who has deep beliefs in God, finds that his wondrous gift as an artist clashes dramatically with his faith and his family’s and community’s feelings.

 Jordan Sobel is sincere and passionate as Asher Lev, the conflicted protagonist who is forced to choose between two loves. He is caught in the world of his ancestors and the observant Jewish community, and especially his own father who does not understand his compulsive need to create and to draw. His parents are threatened by his art, particularly his fascination with Christian symbolism and the representation of the unclothed female form.
His father Aryeh, a devoted Dan Shor, has dedicated his life to Jewish causes, traveling to Russia to help better the plight of the Jews trapped there, building yeshivas for study. His mother Rivkah, a compassionate Stefanie Londino has suffered traumatically when her brother is killed doing similar work to her husband’s and she decides, after her deep depression lifts, to go to college so she can continue her brother’s missionary work for the Rebbe.

The play goes back in time to Asher’s childhood, highlighting key moments in his development, when his drawing is as naturaland necessary as his breathing. It focuses on his introduction by the Rebbe to his mentor Jacob Kahn (also portrayed by Dan Shor), the painter, an act that changes his life’s direction. Ultimately Asher must choose one path to travel. He will not apologize for his choices, even if it means a permanent alienation from his family and community. Joseph Discher directs a superb cast of three in this compelling play of anguish and ecstasy.
For tickets ($25-40), call the Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford at 860-523-5900 ext, 10 or online Performances are Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday often at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and often at 7 p.m.
Chaim Potok and Asher Lev celebrate much in common in this autobiographical drama that give Asher credit for painting “Brooklyn Crucifixion,” a masterwork Potok himself created. Both try to correct a world out of balance and try not to tumble into the Sitra Achra, the Other Side where evil lives.



Who hasn’t fantasized and dreamt big about the chance of winning a lottery, not the $5 quick pick, but the millionaire type of improbability?  What would you buy first?  Would you quit your job?  What family, friends or charities might you support?  There’s no harm in day dreaming, or is there?

Pantochino Productions is once again tickling your fancy with an interesting proposition with their new musical ticket to good fortune “Waffle House 5” playing at the Milford Arts Council at the Railroad Station, 40 Railroad Avenue, Milford weekends until Sunday, May 19.

It may be hard to be cheerful at 5 a.m. but the early morning crew of waitresses and manager at the Waffle House know how to make you feel welcome.  The waffles are fluffy and hot, the coffee strong and the service is special.  Just ask Ned Nickerson (Don Poggio) who comes in most every morning for his friendly fix of food.

Ned even goes so far as to buy Florida lottery tickets to give as “tips” to his favorite morning pals, Angela (Rachelle Ianniello), Matthew (Justin Rugg), Jackie (Shelley Marsh Poggio), Sandra (Maria Berte) and Jaycee Rae (Mary Mannix).  As Miss Lucy (Marci Bing) tells the story, each recipient of a lottery ticket from Ned pledges to share, if we “hit it, we split it.” 

And wouldn’t you know it, one of those magic tickets comes in, to the tune of $10,000,000 which is a mighty fine tune.  And as luck would have it, Jaycee Rae has no memory of making any promises to share.  With her no account red neck hubby Bo (Jimmy Johansmeyer) by her side,  she pleads in court that the source of the winning ticket was not from Ned.

With a bevy of  fun songs, all country western twang,  the group prays to God “to make a millionaire of me” and  chatter up about “Girl Talk.” With lies and cries of fraud, the Waffle House 5 take Jaycee Rae to court to prove her guilt, with Miss Lucy as the presiding judge.  Come see for yourself if the verdict is fair and everyone wins buckets of cash.  Little Anna -May (Peighton Nash),  Matthew’s daughter, just wants a box of Crayola crayons to make her happy, while faithful customers Mason (George Spelvin) and Mavis (Valerie Solli) don’t want to see the Waffle House close.

For tickets ($ 25 ), go online to
Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday  at 2 p.m., cabaret style, so bring snacks to share.  Help Pantochino raise funds on The Great Give Wednesday and Thursday May 1 and 2 for 36 hours by going to  The goal is to raise $15,000.
Pull up a chair at your favorite breakfast bar, designed by Von Del Mar, with original staging and direction by Bert Bernardi, music by Justin Rugg, costumes by Jimmy Johansmeyer, and order up a steaming plate of crispy waffles and bacon and see if you can win a share of the big pot (the lottery, not the coffee). 



Even if you are not an opera fan, or into hard rock music, it is worth a trip to Waterbury’s Seven Angels Theatre to experience their latest offering “The Who’s Tommy” by Des McAnuff and Pete Townsend. Now celebrating fifty years of success, this musical will be playing until Sunday, May 19 and it is disturbing and awesome all at the same time.

The year is 1940 in England and the war is in full swing.  A handsome army officer Captain Walker (Ryan Bauer-Walsh) meets and marries his young bride (Jillian Jarrett), leaving her pregnant when he ships out.  Word soon comes that he is missing in action and unlikely to ever return.

Years later, when their son Tommy is four (RJ Vercellone) and she has rebuilt her life with a new man, the Captain returns.  In anger he attacks his replacement with his gun.   Tommy, who witnesses the terrible crime, is warned by his parents not to speak of what he has seen and heard.  Traumatized, Tommy is essentially now deaf, dumb and blind and no amount of doctors or procedures seem to help.

Tommy is further terrorized by his uncle (Adam Ross Glickman) who abuses him and his cousin (Jackson Mattek) who bullies him, as well as neighboring kids who use him as a play toy.  Now ten (Brendan Reilly), he discovers an aptitude for pinball machines that suddenly makes him a hero and a star.  All along the way the adult Tommy (Garrison Carpenter) serves as narrator and protector for his younger self.

Tommy’s fate swings like a pendulum, from the deepest of despair to the bright lights of idol fame.  Ultimately he uses his family and true friends, like Sally (Rachel Oremland), to secure his balance in life. Janine Molinari choreographs and directs this extraordinary tale that pulsates and probes the psyche. Standout performances are also portrayed by Richie Barella, Keisha Gilles and Will Carey as well as an energetic troupe of ensemble 

For tickets ($44-57.50), call the Seven Angles Theatre, 1Plank road, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online at  Performances are Thursday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Come experience a journey of concealment and discovery as Tommy finds his way back to reality and a life.

Sunday, April 28, 2019


The position of king to a country is a weighty responsibility, even heavier than the crown he wears. Preparing a prince for the monarchy is never easy, especially if the young man in question is so busy exercising his indiscretions and associating with rogues and fools like a Sir John Falstaff, a flagrant example of impropriety.  Such is the youthful fate of Prince Hal, a grave disappointment to his father Henry IV.

To enter into the frivolous life of the monarch-to-be, attend the sterling epic presentation of “King Henry IV”
by William Shakespeare, currently mounting the stage of the Jorgensen Auditorium, courtesy of the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, until Sunday, May 5, on the campus of the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

Sebastian Nagpal’s Prince Hal shows the shadow of leadership but is not ready to settle down and assume his role as head of the nation.  He enjoys his days and nights with his unlikely companion Falstaff, an outrageous Michele Tauber, who enjoys playing the fool and buffoon, drinks to excess, exaggerates wildly, plots excessively and lies profusely.  How is the impressionable Prince Hal to resist?

Would you want Falstaff mentoring to your son as he prepares to assume the crown? Can you understand why the King (Aaliyah Habeeb) would feel Hal unworthy? Can Hal throw off his robes of dissolution and be ready to lead his nation, England? 

The play begins with a wonderful look at the relationship of Falstaff and Hal as concerns a highway robbery orchestrated by the rogue and counter manned by his young pledge.  The comic doings are soon abandoned as the world turns serious and enemies appear at the doorstep, lead by a valiant Percy in the person of Erin Cessna, accompanied by Bryan Mittelstadt’s Worchester and Rob Barnes’ Glendower.
Once the King’s lieges, they are now on the other side of the sword and sworn to fight in the battle of Shrewsbury. Greg Webster serves as the fight choreographer against a set designed by Kristen P-E Zarabozo.

Madeline Sayet directs this epic three hour history play that probes relationships and rising to expectations in the face of necessity. For tickets ($31-35, student $10),
call 860-486-2113 or online at
Performances are 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 2 p.m.

Watch how Prince Hal assumes an air of dignity and rises to the challenge of becoming the man his father desperately needs him to be.

Sunday, April 21, 2019


Musicals have untraditionally been created to mark the strangest events, like the sinking of the Titanic, the men and women who have tried and often succeeded in assassinating presidents, spelling bees, flying cars, elves, groundhogs, missionaries for the Mormons, Superman and Spiderman, African animals, mental illness, monsters named Shrek, urine, and many more.

This time around the focus and attention is fixated on five days and some of the worst events in our country’s history, the destruction of towering buildings in New York City and government structures in Washington, D. C. on 9/11/2001. Ten years later husband and wifeDavid Hein and Irene Sankoff traveled to Gander, Newfoundland to record the amazing story of a humanitarian miracle. Without warning on that fateful day, 38 planes from all over the world were diverted to Gander, once a major stop for refueling for international flights, but long since abandoned as planes no longer needed to stop for more gas.
The almost 6700 passengers on the planes, the pilots and the people of Gander had no idea what was happening. Without warning or preparation, the good citizens of the small town rushed to open their homes and hearts to those strangers, providing baby formula, dog food, pillows and blankets, casseroles, a place to sleep and comfort before the tragedy was even revealed.

Run to the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts for a marvelous musical that captures the generosity of this small community of Canadians from Tuesday, April 30 to Sunday, May 5 as “Come From Away” soars into Hartford.

The planes were originally diverted for fear some were also part of the terrorist plot, like the plane that crashed in a Pennsylvania forest. The 11,000 citizens of Gander didn’t stop to ask questions. The striking bus drivers immediately returned to work to ferry the passengersaround town. Twelve actors and seven musicians will take you on the journey of generosity, playing the passengers, pilots and people of Gander to musically illustrate the way good folks can respond with hope in the midst of devastating tragedy. 

Come visit the dog catcher, the mayor, the chief of police, the first female pilot to command a major airline jumbo jet, a woman who fears her fireman son has been lost in the downing of the World Trade Center, a gay couple searching for acceptance, two strangers who find each other and romance and so much more.

This is a musical happening, brimming with spirit and patriotism, a tribute to faith and resilience, a gift of compassion in the face of tremendous loss. I was fortunate enough to see the birth of “Come From Away”
at the Goodspeed’s Festival of New Musicals when the first staged reading took place and also attend the Broadway production the day Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brought 500 of his people to see the show in New York on Canada’s 150th birthday. 

For tickets ($23-109), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900 or online 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 6:30 p.m. 

This is not a show to be missed. If nothing else, it will restore your faith in the innate goodness of neighbors to reach out and hug you with friendship and love.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019


What greater image of mystery and mystic is there than a mask? To disguise, to tantalize, to camouflage, to intrigue, to hide, to transform, a mask is guilty of all these pleasures and plottings. For the 25thyear, the Eli Whitney Museum is staging its famous Leonardo Challenge, an artistic and creative fundraiser to encourage a new generation of students to open their minds to exploration through experimentation and hands on workshops all year long.
On Thursday, April 25, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., you are invited to experience ”Mask and Metaphor” at the Eli Whitney Museum, 915 Whitney Avenue, Hamden. In years past, one hundred artists from all across the country have been asked to create a painting, jewelry, a child’s game, a piece of furniture, a mobile, a wall hanging, an article of clothing, in fact anything they desire to capture Leonardo’s incredible imagination. Over the years, these artists have worked with playing cards, keys, mirrors, knots, brushes, numbers, rulers, checkers and more. This year masks are the objets d’art.
Leonardo da Vinci was noted to be a scientist, architect, inventor, painter, musician, engineer, mathematician, sculptor, historian,a truly original Renaissance man. This inventiveness has provided fuel for the Eli Whitney’s tradition of challenges.The word is that next year, #26, will be dedicated to Letters, as in the alphabet, but don’t tell anyone quite yet.
According to Sally Hill, the museum’s Associate Director and Designer, who every year creates the clever theme and invitation, “We hope our artist’s entries will delve into the deeper meanings of masks, the metaphorical aspects. These will not be the masks you don for Halloween.” She anticipates that many will be “wall pieces” as opposed to art you can wear. “We all wear masks, to hide or to enhance. Hats are masks and there are even groups in Africa who are identified by their hair styles, their individual masks.” Hill wants artists to “stretch“ their imaginations, even though she herself will fashion a lamp as she does every year.“We want people not to think of this event as a masquerade but to come and look at the fun and great artwork.”So far, she has received entries from Penrhyn and Rod Cook, a Yellow-Billed Stork, Skull: A Mask for Yorick by Michael and Anna Lombardo, Wooden sculpture: Protectress by Susan Clinard, Bowl: A Bowl in a Bowl Masked by a Bowl by Michael Bower, Metal bowl: "The Mirror" by Moussa Gueye, and Wooden sculpture: Boared? by Mike Dunn.
As if the artwork were not enough, the evening starts outside with a visit to the Big Green Truck Pizza courtesy of Doug Coffin, while inside the hall you’ll find a groaning table of breads from Whole G’s artisan bakers, savory organic entrees from Karen Lenahan at Small Kitchen Big Taste, drink Koffee Cocktails, sample treasures from the Fromagerie at Olmo and drink your fill of brew at Black Hog Brewery, plus fine wine and spirits and a host of delicious desserts.
For tickets ($75, with patron opportunities from $250-$5000), call the Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop at 203-777-1833 or online at
Even though the history of masks date back up to 40,000 years ago, discover much more modern interpretations, artistically and metaphorically, courtesy of the Eli Whitney Museum on Thursday, April 25.


The newest theatre on the Shoreline, located on the site of the Stony Creek Theatre in Branford, has a full slate of entertainment options waiting for you to enjoy. With an ambitious goal of raising 4.2 million dollars, the Legacy Theatre is striving to create a state-of-the-art intimate neighborhood arts center for the community. 

Until renovations are completed, it is holding productions down the street at the Stony Creek Museum, 84 Thimble Island Road, in Branford.  You just missed a weekend  of a staged reading of Joe Landry’s intriguing tale about Orson Welles “The Wicked Stage” performed by Jeremy Funke, Heather Hayes, Tim Reilly, Mariah Sage and Michael Sayers.

Director, actor and playwright Orson Welles was a frequent visitor to the Branford theatre in the 1930’s and this tale, inspired by real events, concerns his real encounter with William Castle, a foreign female movie star, an invitation from Adolph Hitler and a giant publicity stunt.  The acting and the accents were excellent.

The tradition of the theatre to present entertainment for children will continue May 17 and 18, Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. with a rousing visit from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”  Whistle while you attend this charming fairy tale.

Also scheduled is the happy musical “Merrily We Roll Along” with book by George Purth and music courtesy of Stephen Sondheim the weekend of June 6, 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. Harkening back to memories of the original Stony Creek Theatre production in 1936, this offering will sparkle with the wit of  the original George S Kaufman and Moss hart pay.  The menu of entertainment will continue all summer with July 11, 12 an13 at 7 p.m presentation of the patriotic “Stars, Stripes and Quarries,” stories and songs celebrating Stony Creek as part of the great American landscape.

The final offering of the summer will be August 22, 23 and 24 at 7 p.m. with ”Past, Present, Future: An Overview of the Stony Creek Theatre’s Songs, Stories and Dance from 1866to the Present.” Revisit a myriad of pay snippets from the long 100 year history of the Stony Creek  Theatre, plus a preview of scenes from Legacy Theatre’s future season.  The evening will conclude with a tour of the latest phase of renovations to date.

Don’t forget the Saturday afternoon discussions at the Willoughby Wallace Library where Legacy manager Jeremy Funke and friends introduce you to “Behind the Curtain” of plays. On April 27 from 2-4 p.m., the topic will be Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia” and on May 25 Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot.”  Free and open to the public, the donation of a canned good for the Branford Food Pantry would be most appreciated.

Artistic director Keely Baisden Knudsen proudly invites the community to participate in Legacy Theatre’s exciting list of offerings: pays and new works, musicals and cabarets, children’s and family theatre, summer camp, visiting Broadway performances and workshops, Saturday morning children’s series of fairy tales, mime shows and puppetry, classes for all ages and opportunities for accelerated students to apprentice in professional productions.  You are also encouraged to donate to Legacy Theatre’s building campaign.  For more information, contact Keely at 203-208-5504 or online at or write to her at 128 Thimble Island Road, Branford, CT 06405.

Come encourage the newest theatre on the block in Branford to be the gift to the community it aspires to be.

Saturday, April 13, 2019


                                    JAMES J. MORAN, CHRIS BROOKS AND RICK BENNETT

When you hear the phrase “Laughter is the best medicine,” believe it. If you are exposed to something funny, your nervous system sends an electric current to your brain, you give your diaphragm a chance to exercise itself and stimulate your muscles to make you happier. By thinking good thoughts and laughing more, the cells in your body can dance to a rhythm of well being.  How can you accomplish all that: make a reservation for Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin’s “The Complete History of Comedy abridged. ” Weekends until Saturday, April 27, you are invited to titter, giggle, guffaw, chuckle, chortle, crack up, roar and even snicker.
A trio of ambitious souls, Rick Bennett, Chris Br0ooks and James J. Moran, take you on a journey back in time, all the way back to the caveman. Assisted by a team of costumers, Sue Emound , Russell Fish, Karen Gagliardi, Linda Kelly and Caroline Van Austin, the three men don dozens of appropriate gear as they travel through time to bring you the highlights of comedy.  A combination plate of vaudeville and burlesque, this history lesson by Reed Martin and Austin Tighenor is meant to tickle your funny bone and any other place you’d like to mention on the body.
With a wonderful collection of video clips, we visit the comedians over the years and remember them fondly. Routines like Why did the chicken cross the road?, what would happen if men gave birth, a nod to the Three Stooges’ pie in the face, a visit with Abe Lincoln and a set of Congressional puppets, a session with Rambozo the clown, a slew of Knock Knock jokes, a few riddles to puzzle over and a lot of physical humor. 
This running commentary on how humor has infected us through the centuries is a fst paced and funny forum that Bennett, Brooks and Moran are delighting and literally taking on the road.  With a blend of satire and silliness, pratfalls and punched up one liners, the trio is having a great time in their ambitious task for your amusement.  From the Romans to Shakespeare to The Donald,  no one is immune from the elbow in the ribs.  Artistic director Kris McMurray is having a good time in this red nosed tribute to the funny men and women from the past. 
For tickets ($35), call the CT Cabaret, 31-33 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at 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 drinks at the concession stand onsite.
Get ready to laugh and slip on a banana peel as Rick Bennett, Chris Brooks and James J Moran skip merrily 
across time to entertain.

Friday, April 12, 2019


If you are fond of the prolific writings of P. G. Wodehouse, a British author who has championed the antics of employer Bertie Wooster and his faithful valet Jeeves, you will be in your glory with Hartford Stage’s latest comic offering “Perfect Nonsense.” Penned by twin brothers David and Robert Goodale, this delightful farce will be making its North American debut until Saturday, April 20 at the Hartford Stage.
 Fancying himself somewhat of an actor and a storyteller, Bertie Wooster, a personable Chandler Williams, has jumped feet first into a one- man show on London’s West End. No sooner ha the curtain risen when Bertie regretfully realizes he needs his loyal and trustworthy valet Jeeves, a capable and accommodating Arnie Burton, if he is to have any chance of success on the stage.
A fast paced farce with slapstick humor, love affairs gone wrong, a threatening Fascist dictator, a search for a missing notebook, a valuable silver cow-creamer and a missing policeman’s helmet, all figure prominently in the plot. Eddie Korbich’s Seppings enters into the fray helping Jeeves play a multitude of characters from Bertie’s anxious Aunt Dahlia who desperately wants Bertie to secure the cow-creamer for her husband Tom for his collection, to Bertie’s good friend Gussie who wants Bertie to be his Cyrano and woo Madeline to be his bride, to Spode, the ultra tall and imposing Spode who is hiding a delicious secret, plus a spot of blackmail and a pair of fathers who refuse to give permission for their daughters to marry.
As engagements are broken, and a barking dog threatens to bite, Jeeves finds himself the critical factor in avoiding tragedy and chaos and saving his aristocratic master from total disaster. Wodehouse’s clever English wit keeps the lively and slapstick humor sparkling as this trio of talented actors scurry to win the day. Wodehouse’s characters inspire laughter in a bizarre and vaudevillian and charming turn of phrase and inventive sense of action. Sean Foley keeps the tale spinning in high gear, on a clever revolving set by Alice Power.
For tickets ($25 and up), call the Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford at 860-527-5151 or online Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Travel with Bertie and Jeeves and a host of their friends and at least one enemy to Totleigh Towers for a rousing adventure where laughter is definitely on the agenda.


Rachel  Christopher is an extraordinary and gifted storyteller, at one moment lyrical and at the next filled with rebellion. Smoothly transitioning from ancient Greece to modern day, she spins a tale of the devastation of war, back in Troy up to the present. She easily proves Aristotle’s point that “only the dead have known the end of war.” 

Humanity has yet to learn the price we pay as a civilization for wrecking devastation on another people. To become immersed in this tale as old as time, come to Stage II at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven to experience “An Iliad,” adapted from Homer, by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare, translated by Robert Fagles, by Sunday, April 14.

This is an epic poem brought to dramatic life as gods and goddesses, warriors and wars, leap to the forefront of the stage.  As the poet, Rachel Christopher addresses the audience in a personal manner, like a co-conspirater, revealing the tragedy of armed confrontation.  For ten years, the city of Troy has been under siege by the armies of Greece.  The sad truth is that this conflict took place almost three thousand years ago and the world has yet to learn a lesson about domination and devastation and the futility of both.

We quickly are acquainted with the facts that King Agamemnon has taken the young maiden Chrysels  as a prize of war, and her father wants her returned.  The King, afraid of the wrath of the god Apollo, agrees to surrender her if he can have Achilles’ concubine Briseis in her place.  Achilles has no intention of complying, even when the warrior Hector threatens him.  Wanting peace, Achilles sends his brother in arms Patroclus, donning Achilles’ armor, onto the battlefield. Patroclus is killed, spurring Achilles to action, resulting in Hector’s demise.

Experiencing evident pain in the retelling of the tale, the Poet is accompanied by the Muse, Zdenke Martin, who uses his guitar and other musical instruments to emphasize the dramatic moments, highlighting her words.  The tale culminates in an incredibly long detailing of all the wars and conflicts men have orchestrated, and still we have not learned the folly of our terrible actions.  Director Whitney White navigates our journey through time, sprinkled as it is with Greek language, on a spellbinding narrative that is meant to educate and illuminate the history of our deeds.

For tickets ($35.50-75.50), call Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven at 203-787-4282 or online at  Performances are Wednesday at 7 p.m., Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Come be mesmerized by Rachel Christopher as you travel back in time to Troy as gods and goddesses and mortal men learn the truths of humanity and inhumanity.

Thursday, April 11, 2019


Dedicating your life to be a missionary is a worthy calling and not one meant for just anyone.  Take, for example, the young enthusiastic Elder Price, brought to virtuous life by Luke Monday, who is ready and able to devote two years providing enlightenment to non-believers.  As an eager member of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, better known as the Mormons, he can’t wait to preach his faith and convert others to his cause.

To come meet Elder Price and his cohorts, run to the Waterbury’s Palace Theater by Sunday, April 14 and follow his religious journey.  “The Book Mormon” has been written by the creators of the cartoon series “South Park,” Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, and is just as irreverent.  Elder Price is anxious to get out into the field and ring doorbells and initiate his converts.  He has studied hard and has his heart set on being sent to Orlando, in Florida, for his mission for God.  

Unfortunately for Elder Price, his destination is Uganda, in Africa, a destination without Mickey or Minnie Mouse, but a place with AIDS, poverty, famine and war.  To add to his disappointment, he is paired for his journey with a partner at the bottom of the food chain, the nerdy Elder Cunningham, who has never bothered to do his studying, his homework or even attempted to read the Book of Mormon, the religion’s Bible.

Jordan Matthew Brown’s Elder Cunningham, on the other hand, is thrilled to be attached Elder Price and clings to him as the new best friend he never had. The pair land in a strange land and immediately have their luggage stolen.  When they meet the team of missionaries who are already on site, who have not converted even one native to their cause, they realize the uphill battle they are facing.

Never fear. When they meet the lovely and hopeful native Nabulungi, a  helpful Kayla Pecchioni, a ray of sunshine enters their lives.  Obstacles crash around them and disasters fall in their path but the pair persevere.  With song and dance, they forge ahead and never give up the good fight, even when they are in danger of death.

For tickets ($39 and up), call the Palace Theater, 100 East Main Street, Waterbury at 203-346-2000 or online at  Last performances are 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.

Come enjoy this  production that has been called “the best musical of the century” by New York Times critic Ben Brantley.



What a wonderful opportunity: to dine well, to participate in a theatrical happening and to help a good cause all at the same time. On Thursday, April 25, the doors of Consiglio’s Restaurant, a fixture on Wooster Street in New Haven for eight decades at number 165, will welcome you to a gala fundraising event to benefit AIDS Project New Haven (APNH) with a portion of the proceeds.

Emcee and playwright Michael Sayers will direct a new play, a murder mystery, his speciality, “Proud and Out Like a Light” to highlight the history of the gay and lesbian movement.  According to Sayers, “After the fifty years of trying to be treated like everyone else, we are!! Sometimes that’s not a good thing.”  Sayers is referring to his play where someone
doesn’t  make it to dessert.

Serving the Greater New Haven community since 1983, AIDS Project New Haven, located at 1302 Chapel Street, has a mission to help individuals diagnosed with or affected by HIV/AIDS with programs and services.  Once a mysterious virus attacking gay men, transgender women and individuals injecting drugs with needles, groups like APNH have worked to reduce the risk of infection through research, treatment and raising awareness.  Still gay men in the black and Latino communities are at increased risk.  A new prophylaxis (PrEP) taken daily by people not HIV-positive but at risk is helping currently, FDA approved. The drug is said to reduce the chance of contracting the disease from sex by more than 90 percent.  Call the office at 203-624-0947 for more information.

At Consiglio’s, the evening will feature a choice of seven appetizers, including Fried Mozzarella, lightly breaded with a side of marinara sauce or Aunt Maria’s secret recipe for Meatballs, a blend of beef, veal, pork and spices. The nine entrees include such specialities as Eggplant Rollatini, stuffed with seasoned ricotta baked with tomato sauce and mozzarella, served with a side of penne, or Veal Marsala, with sundried tomatoes and mushrooms in a Marsala wine sauce over homemade linguini. For dessert, choose between Chocolate Mousse Cake or Godiva Tiramisu.  The cost is $65, including dinner and the murder mystery, and does not include beverages, tax and tip.  Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Call Consiglio’s at 203-865-4489 for reservations. 

This evening is part of the Dining Out for Life event held across the country.  Come dine well, be entertained and help celebrate a good cause!

Monday, April 8, 2019


Life is a series of beginnings and endings. Graduation from high school can put you on a path to college or to a job, or, if you’re uncertain of the future, a dilemma of which road to travel. While you may be ecstatic that the grind of high school is finally over, you may have made no plans for the long stretch that lies ahead. If your name is Will, it’s 1993 in Nebraska, and you are struggling with your sexuality. The fact that the bullying you’ve gotten may take a break could be enough to give you hope. Or maybe it’s the fact that the jock of your school, the big man on the baseball diamond, has suddenly noticed you and given you a mixed tape of Matthew Sweet’s music.
You find yourself awkwardly and tentatively interested in Mike, as the music grabs you and sends you skyward. The words of the songs speak to you and you are anxious that Mike is singing them straight to your heart.
What could this tentative new relationship signal? You know Mike has a girlfriend, a set in silver plan to be a doctor like his dad and is leaving for college at summer’s end. Do you have a chance of being part of his life or is this another fantasy destined to go wrong?
Come for a front row seat for “Girlfriend” with book by Todd Almond, featuring the on stage band plying the music and lyrics of Matthew Sweet, courtesy of the Hartford TheaterWorks until Sunday, April 28. While the theater is undergoing renovations, performances will be held at the Wadsworth, 600 Main Street, in Hartford.
David Merino’s Will has endured a lot of friction in his young life and doesn’t know quite what to make of it when the school’s sports hero reaches out to him for friendship. Their shared love of music, C J Pawlikowski’s Mike is a master on the guitar and sings, begins a relationship that is moving like a snail in a race somewhere, but where? Going together to a drive-in movie theater every night to witness an undercover nun, a superhero and possible alien, starts to bond the boys as they get to know each other’s plans and dreams.
Honesty trumps fear as the two reach out for each other, struggling to ignore the small town prejudices that threaten their growing love. As Matthew Sweet’s music throbs, courtesy of a five piece band on stage, the two boys stop being two lost souls as they gravitate to be one, and “speak to each other with one sweet voice.”
Initially afraid to be discovered, they can’t deny their true feelings. Rob Ruggiero directs this bittersweet journey into the heart, with musical direction by Evan Zavada.
For tickets ($20-70), call 860-527-7838 or online Performances are Tuesday to Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Follow the trail of music as these two tentative souls find their path to love and acceptance.


If you are wearing rose-colored glasses and dancing as fast as you can, the party can seem to roll on forever. But if remove those glasses, you may view an entirelydifferent landscape whererumblesof fear are emerging and youneed to plan yourescape. 

Welcome to the seemingly beautiful world of pre-World War II Berlin where the patrons of the Kit Kat Klub, led by the flamboyant Master of Ceremonies, are partying as if their lives depend on it. Music Theatre of Connecticut in Norwalk has a seat for you, front and center at their intimate stage, to witness the frantic frenzy of fun that is forced as the carousel spins faster and more feverishly out of control.
Weekends until Sunday, April 14th, MTC will present a fascinating peek behind the frivolity of the smash musical hit “Cabaret,” based on the book by Joe Masteroff, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb.
Eric Scott Kincaid is the sinister and persuasive Emcee, welcoming you to the party, dedicated to seeing you have a good time, cautioning you to leave your worries outside. For your entertainment, he has the delightful Sally Bowles, a sparkling Desiree Davar, to sing such songs as “Don’t Tell Mama” and “Cabaret.” The opportunistic Sally has latched on to the newly arrived to Berlin American writer Cliff Bradshaw, played engagingly by Nicholas Dromard, who hopes to gain inspiration for his novel. With Sally as his muse, to alternately distract or encourage, Cliff settles in to Fraulein Schneider’s (Anne Kanengeiser) rooming house and mingles with the other residents, Fraulein Kost (Hillary Ekwall) who entertains in a more intimate way sailors (Tony Conaty and Alex Drost) and Herr Schultz (Jim Schilling ) who runs a fruit store and doesn’t realize the dangers that his Jewish faith will pose.
Cliff is quickly befriended by Ernst Ludwig, a devious Andrew Foote, who wants Cliff to carry out personal projects for him, to earn money, and help Ernst’s cause. When Cliff realizes Ernst is a Nazi, he is appalled. While Sally has her eyes closed to the truth, Cliff sees all too clearly how the world is slipping off its axis. Kevin Connors directs a splendid cast in a “perfectly marvelous” way.
For tickets ($30-55), call MTC, 509 Westport Avenue, behind Nine West Shoes, Norwalk 203-454-3883 or online Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Let the occupants of Berlin’s Kit Kat Klub entice you to relax with a drink, a dance and a song as they prepare a new script for Germany’s tomorrows. The relevance of this show at this time in our world cannot be ignored.

Saturday, April 6, 2019


Grab a box of popcorn and a ticket to a marathon of movies as you tap dance your way to Playhouse on Park for a special stop/time dance theater spectacular.  Artistic director Darlene Zoller has pulled out all the stops for a fun and fantastic fantasy “Reel to Real” following a foray into Hollywood and favorite films. Her troupe of energy packed dancers tap their way from “Chicago” Cook County Prison all the way to “The Greatest Showman” in the center ring, until Sunday April 7 and you don’t want to miss all the excitement.

Conceived, directed and choreographed by Darlene Zoller and written by Zoller with Amanda Forker and Tori Mooney, this is a wonderful hopscotch visit to many of Hollywood’s finest films with an emphasis on flair and fashionable costuming, courtesy of Lisa Steir and props provided by Eileen OConnor.  The fancy footwork flows as the troupe of talented footers, Ali Barney, Lisa Caffyn, Lynsey Chartier, Jennifer Checovetes, Beckie Correale, Shannon DelGuidice, Amelia Flater, Rick Fountain, Constance Gobeille, Meredith Longo, Laurie Misenti, Erica O’Keefe, Sheri Righi, Melissa B. Shannon, Alicia Voukides and Courtney
Woods add their talents to the actor/singers Amanda Forker, Rick Fountain and Victoria Mooney to provide a vivacious and victorious evening of entertainment.  And if you love the movies, the way that I do, allthe better!

Starting with the lonely tale of “The Cellophane Man,” from “Chicago,” the movie set morphs with a pause next to Forrest Gump, a visit with Mama Morton for a little “Reciprocity,” a session with the sisterhood for “They Had It Coming” all the way to the trio of witches in “Hocus Pocus.”

Bopping brightly from black leather to sparkly glitter from the twenties, there is a right turn directly into the galaxy for a little out of space drama complete with light sabers, a hint of dinosaurs roaming through Jurassic Park to a hot paced stop in Baltimore for a spritz of “Hair Spray.” 

Next we meet Mary Poppins and Bert, take a spin singin’ in the rain, make a quick tour of “La La Land,” count our blessings at Christmas, swing  into “Moulin Rouge,” experience the “Rhythm of the Night,” and end up lighting up the Big Top in “The Greatest Showman.”
What a marvelous journey and I didn’t name them all.
Time’s a wasting as the show closes on Sunday, April 7.

For tickets ($30-40), call Playhouse on Park,244 Park Road, West Hartford at 860-523-5900, ext. 10 or online at Last chances are tonight at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Mark your calendars now for the gala Playhouse on Park Celebrates 10 Years, a fundraising party on June 15, where the stop/time dance theater will perform.

Let Directors Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg escort you through the back lots of Hollywood’s finest on this rousing tribute to Tinsel Town.

Monday, April 1, 2019



 In the 1820’s in upstate New York, Joseph Smith experienced the miraculous vision of an angel and books of gold-plates that were buried in the earth. He began gathering a following that today has grown to an estimated sixteen million believers known as the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, also called the Mormons. Brigham Young continued Smith’s work and moved the religious seekers to the borders of Utah. Now you are invited to take part in that amazing transformation at Waterbury’s Palace Theater from Tuesday, April 9 to Sunday, April 14 for eight performances only as "The Book of Mormon” comes to town. Winner of nine Tony Awards, among dozens of other accolades, it has been called by New York Times critic Ben Brantley “the best musical of the century."

The creators of the television cartoon series “South Park” claim the rights to this irreverent satire: Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. “The Book of Mormon” concerns a pair of young missionaries sent out from Utah to convert the world. This is a door-to-door attempt to sell beliefs, similar to an Avon lady or a Fuller Brush man. The goal is to bring enlightenment to the uninformed. Their lucky assignment is Uganda, in the remote and dark regions of Africa.

Unhappily for eager to please Elder Kevin Price, he had his heart set on being assigned to Orlando, Florida for his conversion work for his two year mission. He certainly didn’t plan on being partnered with the nerdy and nebbishy Elder Arnold Cunningham who never bothered to even learn the approved script or bother to read the Book of Mormon, their sacred text.

The situation in Uganda is not welcoming.  The incongruous pair are quickly robbed and then learn that the villagers are so busy battling poverty, famine, war and AIDS they have little time for prayer meetings.

The team of two struggle to make a difference and have obstacles placed in their rocky path at every turn.  Their faith is tested repeatedly and yet, despite all odds, many miraculous things occur.  With song and dance and incredible stories, “The Book of Mormon” manages to amuse, astonish and entertain in heavenly ways.  Be forewarned the language is not always sweet and pure.

For tickets ($39 and up), call the Palace Theater, 100 East Main Street, Waterbury at 203-346-2000 or online at 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 6:30 p.m.

Answer your door bell to discover the messengers from God who are ready to offer you salvation, redemption and an angelic host of humor.


If you were trapped in a tragedy, unable to escape, you might dream of being a bird, capable of flying free, finally released from your cage. Imagine you are a slave, a prize of war ,stripped of your dignity, without a voice, subject to cruelty and a victim of rape. The Connecticut Repertory Theatre is cautioning you to take a leap into the past, back to the time of Ovid’s masterful “The Metamorphoses” and experience Erin Shields’ “If We Were Birds” at the intimate Studio Theatre on the campus of the University of Connecticut until Sunday, April 7.
King Pandion, a fun loving Matthew Antoci, has been blessed with two daughters. When his prized soldier Tereus (Aidan Marchetti) returns from war victorious, the King grants him his child Procne (Carly Polistina) as a gift in marriage. The wedding takes place immediately, leaving the two sisters, Procne and Philomela (Megan Casagrande) little time to say their tearful goodbyes before the newlyweds sail off to their new home.
A year later, after the birth of their son, Procne begs her husband to go and fetch Philomela for a visit. He reluctantly obeys but on the voyage home, he brutally attacks and rapes her. When his ship docks, he tells his wife her sister has fallen overboard and has drowned. A chorus of female slaves (Eilis Garcia, Pearl Matteson, Elizabeth Jebran, Wilow Giannotti-Garlinghouse, Adrianna Simmons) bear witness to this travesty and comment through out the drama on their demeaning fate.They, too, wish to escape their curse by becoming birds.
As destiny would have it, Procne eventually realizes her sister is still alive and the terrible prize her husband has stolen. The two sisters then plan revenge, one suited to the crime. With only a small leap of faith, one can connect this despicable deed to the current force of the #MeToo movement, where men still abuse their power and privileges and freely accost women as if they have an entitlement. Allison Zerio’s lighting illuminates Casey Lampert’s shark set in this moving and riveting story directed emotionally by Helene Kvale.
For tickets ($33, students $10), call the Connecticut Repertory Theatre at 860-486-2113 or online Performances are 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 2 p.m.
Enter into the ancient world of Greek mythology for a tale of women ill used by men and the lengths those women will employ to enact a justifiable revenge.