Hartford’s An Opening in Time Overdoes the Complications

By Karen Isaacs  Good intentions are not always enough.  An Opening in Time the new play by Christopher Shinn which is getting its world premiere at Hartford Stage through  Oct. 11 is a perfect example of this.  Possibly the play will change, but based on this production, much work needs to be done. Shinn, a talented younger playwright, has good intentions.  In the playbill he … Continue reading Hartford’s An Opening in Time Overdoes the Complications

‘My Paris’ at the Norma Terris Is Starting the Road to Broadway

By Karen Isaacs Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theater in Chester is a place where musicals are given early workshop productions – professional casts, directors, sets, costumes, etc. – to let the creative team – book writer, composer and lyricist see how it all works in front of an audience.  It is a beginning. Some shows never go much further, others have numerous productions around the country … Continue reading ‘My Paris’ at the Norma Terris Is Starting the Road to Broadway

“Hamlet,” ” Fiddler,” “Holiday Inn” and Other Shows Honored by Connecticut’s Critics

By Karen Isaacs In an evening filled with heartfelt moments, the Connecticut Critics Circle presented it 25th annual awards for outstanding theatrical achievements at Connecticut’s theaters during the 2014-15 season. For those keeping score, the production of  Hamlet at Hartford Stage won the most awards, picking up accolades for sound, as well as featured actor in a play, lead actor in a play, outstanding direction … Continue reading “Hamlet,” ” Fiddler,” “Holiday Inn” and Other Shows Honored by Connecticut’s Critics

The Ten Best Shows This 2014-15 Theater Season in Connecticut

By Karen Isaacs Here’s my list of the top shows in Connecticut this past season. Hamlet – Hartford Stage I’ve seen many Hamlets in my theater-going life on both stage and screen.  Olivier used an Oedipal interpretation,  Paul Giamatti was an older Hamlet. The Hamlet  at Hartford Stage directed by Darko Tresnjak had all the elements. A clear concept,  brilliant sets, costumes, lighting, and a … Continue reading The Ten Best Shows This 2014-15 Theater Season in Connecticut

CT Critics Circle Give Multiple Award Nominations to Hamlet, Fiddler on the Roof, Arcadia, Kiss Me Kate and The Liar

By Karen Isaacs  The Connecticut Critics Circle has announced nominations for its annual awards which honor outstanding productions, performances and creative work at Connecticut’s professional theaters. The winners will be honored at an award ceremony, Monday, June 22 at 7 p.m. at the Iseman Theater on Chapel Street in New Haven. The event is open to the public but seating is limited. In the major … Continue reading CT Critics Circle Give Multiple Award Nominations to Hamlet, Fiddler on the Roof, Arcadia, Kiss Me Kate and The Liar

Hartford’s “Kiss Me, Kate” Is Fine Production

By Karen Isaacs  Combine one of the classic musicals of all times — Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate — and a Tony-winning director — Darko Tresnjak — and you can expect a wonderful evening at the theater. Your expectations are not misplaced in this Hartford Stage production that runs through June 14. Now, I did have a few quibbles, more in the vocal area than … Continue reading Hartford’s “Kiss Me, Kate” Is Fine Production

Long Wharf’s “The Second Mrs. Wilson” — Avoids the Real Issues

By Karen Isaacs  Edith Galt Wilson has sometimes been termed “the first female President” for how she shielded her husband Woodrow Wilson from his advisors and the world in 1919 after he suffered a stroke.  Historians have painted a picture of a woman who during that period made important policy decisions in her husband’s name and signed his name to documents.  Some have said, she … Continue reading Long Wharf’s “The Second Mrs. Wilson” — Avoids the Real Issues

Goodspeed’s “Guys and Dolls” Is Fun But Not Great

By Karen Isaacs When Goodspeed Musicals announced they were producing Guys and Dolls as their opening show for the 2015 season, I was delighted. Guys and Dolls is on my list of the best musicals ever — it ranks somewhere in the top ten — with terrific music and delicious story.  And Goodspeed has an excellent reputation for taking these classics and making them more … Continue reading Goodspeed’s “Guys and Dolls” Is Fun But Not Great

MTC’s “Little Shop of Horrors” Lacks Some Chemistry

By Karen Isaacs  Little Shop of Horrors is a popular show for smaller theaters to produce.  It doesn’t need a lot of sets and the small cast (6 on stage members plus the voice of Audrey II) makes it cost effective. The production of the show at MTC (Music Theatre of Connecticut) through May 3 may not win any awards but it is a enjoyable … Continue reading MTC’s “Little Shop of Horrors” Lacks Some Chemistry

Talented Cast Makes “The Bikinis” at Long Wharf Enjoyable

The Bikinis, which is now at Long Wharf Theater through July 27, began life at Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theater in Chester.  From there it has played around the country. Yes, this is a jukebox show and no, it won’t push Jersey Boys off the charts.  The Bikinis are a fictional Jersey girl group of the 1960s that had very limited and very local success.  They … Continue reading Talented Cast Makes “The Bikinis” at Long Wharf Enjoyable