SEVEN ANGELS THEATRE PHOTO BY PAUL ROTH
If you lived in the time of Shakespeare, in the 1590’s or thereabout, and Old Will was cemented to the spotlight, you might develop an inferiority complex or three if that is where you wanted to be yourself, especially if you too desired to curry favor for creativity and ingenuity and inspiration and novelty, well you get the idea. For two brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, this is a real problem, one they are determined to resolve, come hell or high water on Stratford on Avon.To discover if these boy geniuses are up for the task of moving the Bard off center stage, run lickety split to the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts from Tuesday, January 30 to Sunday, February 4 for the rousing and ribald laugh riot “Something Rotten” with book by John O’Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick and music and lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick.Standing in the shadows are not where Nick (Rob McClure) and Nigel (Josh Grisetti) want to be. They want to push that upstart Shakespeare (Adam Pascal) right into the orchestra pit, never to surface again. When Nick steals money from the family savings, he hires a soothsayer Thomas Nostradamus (Blake Hammond) to predict what the next success in theater will be: the answer is a musical where actors spontaneously burst into song and dance.What ensues from that point forward is a madcap scheme to create this new untried and utterly different theatrical form, an intriguing plot when Shakespeare learns about these upstarts and their crazy ideas and tries to steal it first. Soon all the principals are appearing in court and Nick is sentenced to be beheaded. Numbers like “God, I Hate Shakespeare,” “Will Power” and “Bottom’s Gonna Be on Top” keep the energy moving in a spirited and lively manner.For tickets ($22.50-117.50), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900 orwww.bushnell.com. 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.No need to bring any spoiled tomatoes when you come to see this multi-award nominatedmusical comedy “Something Rotten.”
Hop one town over for some sweetness, bitter sweet though may be. If you weren’t lucky enough to be gifted a sister, perhaps you have acquired a few good female friends who surround you with comfort and support in happy times and sad. A sisterhood of strong women can certainly be a blessing. In Robert Harling’s touching story of friendship and survival “Steel Magnolias” gracing the stage of Playhouse on Park in West Hartford until Sunday, January 28, Harling took the story of his sister Susan, her life and her death, and wove it into a saga of laughter and tears, the gifts of friendship in joy and in sorrow. This is now the thirtieth anniversary of this very personal tale.
Truvy’s Beauty Parlor is more than just a place for cuts and curls, hair spray and permanent waves. It is a way of life for the ladies of Chinquapin, Louisiana as they mark weddings, anniversaries, births and deaths and share gossip, secrets and offer support and encouragement.
Jill Taylor Anthony’s Truvy is the mother hen who presides lovingly over her roost, watching over her newest chick and hire Annelle (Liza Couser) who finds comfort in religion and prayer as she tries to find her way, Clairee (Dorothy Stanley) who has lost her prestigious position as the wife of the mayor but still wants respect and a little adventure, Ouiser (Peggy Cosgrave) who thrives on being contrary, cranky and outspoken to conceal her heart of gold, M’Lynn (Jeannie Hines) who faces reality so clearly that it may be her undoing and M’Lynn’s daughter Shelby (Susan Slotoroff) who is bursting to explore life’s possibilities and grab at the carousel’s gold ring.
These women are all regulars of Truvy’s, who prescribes to the adage “there is no such thing as natural beauty.” They celebrate Shelby’s marriage to Jackson and then hold her in their hearts when she decides, against medical advice, to create a little piece of immortality with a baby. As Shelby declares, “I’d rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.” Susan Haefner directs a stellar cast on a set designed by David Lewis.
For tickets ($25-40), call Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford at 860-523-5900, ext. 10 or online at www.PlayhouseonPark.org. Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees Sunday at 2 p.m.
Discover for yourself why laughter through tears is Truvy’s favorite emotion. Don’t forget your box of Kleenex.No need for Kleenex with this Waterbury favorite. With a teasing comb and a can of Aqua- Net, teenage girls
could create a masterpiece of hair fantasy known as the Beehive. the time would be the 1960’s and John F.Kennedy had just been elected President, girl groups like the Chiffons and the Shirelleswould have been pining for boys and teenyboppers would have been in their glory. Now you havethe opportunity to relive those days. Start tapping your go-go booted feet while humming sha-na-na or hay-la hay-la, and start grooving over to Waterbury’s Seven Angels Theatre by Sunday,January 28 for a restorative injection of the swinging sixties musical “Beehive.”Forget that none of the six female vocalists - Amy Bentley, Brittany Mulcahy, Chelsea Dacey, Samantha Rae Bass, Erin West Reed and Patricia Paganucci - were even a twinkle in their parents’ eyes six decades ago. These talented ladies have no trouble chronicling the Kennedy years, Elvis’ reign, the invasion of the Beatles and bringing back to life the music of the girl groups so popular then.With more than three dozen hits to parade, the sextet recreate Brenda Lee, Leslie Gore, Connie Francis, Aretha Franklin,Tina Turner and go across the pond to visit Petula Clark and Lulu. Favorites such as “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “Respect,” “It’s My Party,” “Where the Boys Are,” and “You Don’t Own Me “ are vocally energized as the platters spin.For tickets ($30) to this creation by Larry Gallagher, directed and choreographed by Foster Reese, call the Seven Angels, Plank Road, Hamilton Park, Waterbury at (203)757-4676 (off I-84). Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2.p.m.
Stock up on your Aqua-net and let this bevy of pastel prettiness serenade you with the best beat of the sixties. And the beat goes on. There’s no complaining about nothing to do with this fantastic trio of entertainment options ripe for the taking. Enjoy!