Karen Ziemba as Rose, O’Neill New Musicals, CRT’s “How to Succeed”

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Inside notes and comments about Connecticut and New York Professional Theater

By Karen Isaacs

Stars in the Litchfield Hills: Sharon Playhouse in Sharon, up in the northwest corner of the state features Karen Ziemba as Rose in Gypsy from Thursday, June 16 to Sunday, July 3. In addition, Tony award winner Elizabeth Franz will be part of Quartet from Thursday, August 18 to Sunday, 28.  On the stage 2, Klea Blackhurst stars in the new musical Judge Jackie: Disorder in the Court from Thursday, July 7 to Sunday, July 17. The other main stage production is Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from Thursday, July 21 to Sunday, July 31.For tickets call 860-364-7469 or visit sharonplayhouse.org.

How to Succeed: The Connecticut Repertory Theater on the UConn campus in Storrs is opening its summer series with the Pulitzer and Tony winning musical, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. The production will feature several well- known performers. Fred Gandy, best known for The Love Boat will play JB Biggley and Riley Costello, who won critical praise for Peter Pan last year at CRT plays J. Pierpont Finch.  Tina Fabrique is reprising her Broadway role as Miss Jones. The show runs Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 12.  For tickets, call 860-486-2113 or visit crt.uconn.edu.

 Shaw at Hartford: Darko Tresnjak will direct George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan as part of the 2016-17 season. It will join Queens for a Year, August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors and The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey. One more show will be announced as will dates for all the plays.  For information visit hartfordstage.org.

No Big Surprises: The Tony nominations offered only minimal surprised – often more for which shows and who were omitted than those nominated.  Hamilton garnered a record 16 nominations.  Other big winners of nominations were the musicals, Shuffle Along. Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, She Loves Me, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Eclipsed and The Humans. Among those omitted or given minimal attention were the musicals Tuck Everlasting, On Your Feet, American Psycho, Allegiance as well as many of the Hollywood stars who made the trek to Broadway. The awards are presented Sunday, June 12.

New Musicals: Three new musicals will be developed at the summer O’Neill Musical Conference in Waterford. The shows are: The Museum of Broken Relationships about a relationship rocked by a visit to an art gallery; GIRL Shakes Loose, a young woman’s coming of age story; and Darling Grenadine, about the life of a commercial songwriter. The conference runs from Saturday, June 25 to Thursday, July 15. Semi-staged readings are open to the public. For information and tickets visit TheOneill.org/summer-conference/nmtc.


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