The 10 Connecticut Productions I’m Anticipating Most – Plus a Second 10

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By Karen Isaacs

Though Connecticut’s theater season began around June 1, receently I having been looking over the theater schedules and putting asterisks next to those shows or productions that interest me the most.

Admittedly several shows that were high on my “most anticipated” list have already opened – and not disappointed.  These include TheaterWork’s production of Good People,  Ivoryton’s South Pacific, and Goodspeed’s La Cage aux Folles. Plus we do not yet know what Goodspeed, Westport or Ivoryton will be doing next Spring.

But despite all that, here’s my top ten list of shows that I do not want to miss. You will note that Shakespeare figures prominently in the list.

Romeo & Juliet  – Hartford Stage, Feb. 11 – March 6.  This is the first time that Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak has directed this Shakespeare classic.  He’s a brilliant Shakespeare director so this is high on my list of “must sees.”  Parenthetically, one of the best productions of Romeo & Juliet I ever saw was also at Hartford Stage, directed by Mark Lamos.

Anastasia – Hartford Stage, May 12 – June 5. Again, Darko Tresnjak will direct the world premier of the new musical based on the animated film.  I’ll be interested to see if lightening can strike twice – Tony winner A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Marriage, directed by Tresnjak premiered at Hartford.

A Wonderful Life – Goodspeed, Sept. 18 – Nov. 29.  This show based on the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life has been around a long while and I’ve heard one or two songs by Joe Raposo and Sheldon Harnick.  I want to see the entire show.

Cymbeline – Yale Rep, March 25 – April 16.  It must be the year for Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, since New York’s Shakespeare in the Park has just done it.  This late play, considered one of his “romances” is not done that often, so any opportunity to see it should be anticipated with pleasure.

Measure for Measure – Long Wharf, Nov. 25 – Dec. 20. This is actually a production of off-Broadway’s Fiasco Theater.  It will be interesting to see their take on this very dark comedy. They’ve added music and more.

Indecent – Yale Rep, Oct. 2-24.  A new play by Paula Vogel is always an event. This one is about a major theatrical controversy from 1923. Yale opens its season with the world premier. I’ll be there.

Buyer & Cellar – TheaterWorks, Jan. 8 – Feb. 14.  I never got to see the off-Broadway production of this play about a young actor imagining he works for Barbra Streisand sort of curating her collections.

Love & Money – Westport.  Okay, the show has already completed its run in Westport, but because it was viewed as a tryout, I won’t see it until it is in New York at the Signature Theater.  Let’s just say that I am very attracted to A. R. Gurney’s plays and Maureen Anderman is a terrific actress.

Bedroom Farce – Westport, Aug. 25 – Sept. 13.  Westport and director John Tillinger have established a reputation for doing excellent productions of plays by Alan Ayckbourn.  This should be another hit.

Disgraced  – Long Wharf, Oct. 14 – Nov. 8.  This Pulitzer Prize winning play deals with a successful New York Arab couple who must confront the realities of their lives in America.

In the next ten are: Connecticut Rep’s The Laramie Project, Oct. 8 to 18 and Spamalot, April 21 – May 1; MTC’s Evita, Oct. 16 – Nov. 1; Playhouse on Park’s I Hate ‘Hamlet’, Feb. 24 – March 13, and The Chosen, Jan 27 – Feb. 14; Hartford Stage’s An Opening in Time, Sept, 17 – Oct. 11 and Rear Window, Oct. 22 – Nov. 15; Bushnell’s Newsies, Oct. 13-18; Long Wharf’s The Shining City, May 4 to 29; Yale’s world premiere, The Moors, Jan. 29 – Feb. 20.

S enjoy this year in Connecticut.  Leave a comment about what you don’t want to miss in Connecticut.

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