CT Rep This Summer, “Good People” and More

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Inside notes and comments about Connecticut and New York Professional Theater

By Karen Isaacs

Lucy at the Palace: I Love Lucy was an iconic TV sitcom, so much so that though it last original episode aired in 1957, it is still popular today.  On May 30 and 31, at the Palace Theater in Waterbury,  audiences can experience I Love Lucy® Live on Stage. The production takes audience members back to 1952 as members of the studio audience when two iconic episodes are being filmed.  It is the complete “behind the scenes” experience with a host to warm-up the audience and singers to perform the commercials. For tickets, visit palacetheaterct.org.

This Summer in Storrs: The Connecticut Repertory Theater on the UConn campus in Storrs will present its Nutmeg Summer Series featuring Tony Award nominee Terrence Mann returning to Storrs. Mann will direct and place Inspector Javert (for which he received a Tony nomination) in Les Miserables from May 28 to June 7.  Following that is Peter Pan with Mann playing Captain Hook. It runs June 15 to July 3.  The season concludes with the musical Xanadu from July 9 to 19. Based on the film – though much better than it – it combines Greek goddesses with the creation of a roller disco. For either subscription or individual tickets, call 860-486-2113 or visit www.crt.uconn.edu.

Tony Winner: The Bushnell will host the touring production of Once which won the Tony Award for best musical in 2012.  The show won seven other Tonys as well.  It will play May 26 to May 31. According to the press materials, “[with an] ensemble cast of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, Once tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights… but their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than your everyday romance.” For tickets visit http://www.busnell.org or call 860-987-5900.

Producer: The Bushnell through a consortium of four other national theaters and a Broadway producer is a producing partner of the new Broadway musical An American in Paris which has been nominated for multiple awards, including 12 Tonys.

Tony Nominations: In the musical categories An American in Paris, Fun Home, Something Rotten! and The King and I were the big winners in nominations; The Visit, On the Twentieth Century, On the Town and The Last Ship also received multiple nominations. Shut out were Honymoon in Vegas, Finding Neverland, Dr.  Zhivago and It Shoulda Been You; Gigi received one nomination. In the play categories, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two , Skylight, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time had the most nominations. Multiple nominations also went to Hand to God, You Can’t Take It with You, Airline Highway, The Elephant Man and The Audience. Constellations, Disgraced, The Heidi Chronicles, It’s Only a Play, and This Is Our Youth all received single nominations.  The winners will be presented on June 7 with Kristen Chenoweth and Alan Cumming as hosts.

TheaterWorks:  Next up at TheaterWorks in Hartford, is Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire. When it opened in New York in 2011 it was nominated for many awards including a Tony as best play and was named Best Play by the Drama Critics Circle. The play is set in the Southie neighborhood of Boston and tells the story of those who are still trapped there and one who got out.  According to the press material, “Margie has spent her whole life in South Boston and most of it down on her luck, but she’s never had it this bad. A middle-aged single mother with a disabled adult daughter at home, she is unemployed, facing eviction and cut off from opportunity in her insular working-class neighborhood. When Margie discovers that a brief high school flame is now a successful doctor, she swallows her pride and seeks his help, sparking questions about class, commitment and what it means to be a ‘good person’.” Rob Ruggiero is directing.  It runs May 22 to June 28. For tickets contact 860.527.7838.  I saw this play, I found it interesting leading to many discussions about the characters and who is truly “good people.”

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