Mostly Revivals and Musicals on My Top Ten Lists for 2018

    By Karen Isaacs /As I was looking back on the theater I’ve seen, like many, I wanted to make a list of those that stand out in my memory. Here’s my list of the most memorable productions in Connecticut and NY. (A caveat: I see a lot of shows in Connecticut, but not all and many in NYC but only a small percentage … Continue reading Mostly Revivals and Musicals on My Top Ten Lists for 2018

“A Connecticut Christmas Carol” Returns in Improved Version

By Karen Isaacs  Goodspeed has brought back a revised version of A Connecticut Christmas Carol at the Terris Theater in Chester, through Dec. 30 which as you might surmise sets the Dickens story in Connecticut in 1925.  The show premiered at the Terris last year, but has been revised. This telling of the story has a lot to like in it, though it still needs … Continue reading “A Connecticut Christmas Carol” Returns in Improved Version

“Hamilton” Lives Up to All the Hype

By Karen Isaacs  What can you say about a cultural phenomenon?  It instantly became that the moment it first opened off-Broadway and then on Broadway. Very few shows have been as difficult to get tickets to, have brought in the revenue that Hamilton has. When it opened, My Fair Lady certainly was in that class but only handful of shows have done that since. When … Continue reading “Hamilton” Lives Up to All the Hype

“The Pianist of Williseden Lane” at Westport Is Unusual but Touching Holiday Fare

By Karen Isaacs  When I first say The Pianist of Willesden Lane at Hartford Stage in 2016, I was touched and totally immersed in this one-woman play. Seeing it at Westport Playhouse, I not only felt the same, but I felt the story of a young girl’s survival during WWII even more deeply. Why?  Perhaps it is the times we are currently living in – … Continue reading “The Pianist of Williseden Lane” at Westport Is Unusual but Touching Holiday Fare

Christmas on the Rocks a Comic Look at “What Ever Happened to?”

By Karen Isaacs Once again, TheaterWorks is presenting Christmas on the Rocks through Sunday, December 23. The show is a clever twist that adds a bit of cynicism to the usual holiday fare. But after seeing it several times, I’ve realized that there are hidden depths in these delightful pieces. Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero called upon a number of playwrights with whom he had worked … Continue reading Christmas on the Rocks a Comic Look at “What Ever Happened to?”

Ivoryton’s World Premiere Drama Has Promise

By Karen Isaacs Bravo Ivoryton Playhouse! Brava Artistic Director Jacqueline Hubbard! It is a big risk to produce a new play about a subject many don’t really want to think about written by a playwright who is not widely known. Yet that is what the Playhouse and Hubbard have done with the current world premiere of Queens of the Gold Mask now through Sunday, Nov. … Continue reading Ivoryton’s World Premiere Drama Has Promise

Fascinating Look at How We Grieve and Recover

By Karen Isaacs  I can’t stop thinking about and praising the world premiere play, Thousand Pines, at Westport Country Playhouse through Saturday, Nov. 17. Playwright Matthew Greene and director Austin Pendleton have taken a subject that can be emotionally devastating and created a thoughtful and insightful study of how individuals and communities cope with unimaginable tragedy. The play consists of three scenes with three different … Continue reading Fascinating Look at How We Grieve and Recover

“The Roommate” at Long Wharf Is Hard to Define

By Karen Isaacs  I wish I knew what playwright Jen Silverman intended with her new play, The Roommate now at Long Wharf through Sunday, Nov. 4. It seems to follow somewhat in the footsteps of her earlier play The Moors which I thoroughly enjoyed at Yale Rep. That play was a mashup/satire of the novels of the Bröntes and other gothic romance writers of the … Continue reading “The Roommate” at Long Wharf Is Hard to Define

Directorial Choices Lead to Disappointing “Henry V” at Hartford Stage

y Karen Isaacs  Where is Darko Tresnjak when we need him? Tresnjak, artistic director of Hartford Stage has, during his tenure consistently directed fine productions of Shakespeare. These have been imaginative and creative while illuminating the plays and helping a 21st century audience to appreciate them. Even before he came to Hartford, the previous artistic directors, Mark Lamos and Michael Wilson had established the theater … Continue reading Directorial Choices Lead to Disappointing “Henry V” at Hartford Stage

“The River” at TheaterWorks is a Puzzle You May Find Interesting Solving

By Karen Isaacs  Jez Butterworth, whose play The River is at TheaterWorks through Sunday, Nov. 11, is one of the “hot” British playwrights and screenwriters.  Jerusalem won plaudits on Broadway, winning multiple awards; Broadway is now awaiting the opening of The Ferryman which won acclaim (and awards) in London last season. Sometimes I wonder if the emperor is wearing any clothes. I saw The River … Continue reading “The River” at TheaterWorks is a Puzzle You May Find Interesting Solving