News Column

Theater

September 1, 2013

YellowBrix

Sept. 01--HARTFORD STAGE: If it's Tuesday, this must be Paris, or is it Scotland? The Marivaux comedy "La Dispute" will alternate with William Shakespeare's tragedy "Macbeth" at Hartford Stage. The theater kicks off its 50th anniversary season with a bow to its past by returning to a repertory schedule for the first two shows. "La Dispute" plays Sept. 9 to Nov. 10 and "Macbeth" plays Sept. 14 to Nov. 10. (Also, on Nov. 3, all five artistic directors who ran Hartford Stage will gather at the theater to talk about the half-century of work in Hartford. Information: 860-527-5151 and www.hartfordstage.org.

YALE REPERTORY THEATRE'S UNIVERSITY THEATRE: This Stanley, is bloody sexy -- "A Streetcar Named Desire" at Yale Repertory Theatre's University Theatre in New Haven. Tennessee Williams' hot-blooded play stars Joe Manganiello (HBO's "True Blood") as Stanley Kowalksi, and Rene Augesen, a veteran at San Francisco's ACT, as Blanche. Mark Rucker directs the show that runs Sept. 20 to Oct. 12. Information: 203-432-1234; www.yalerep.org.

GOODSPEED OPERA HOUSE: This time out there's more than two pianos -- "The Most Happy Fella" at Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam. When Goodspeed first produced a revival of the Frank Loesser musical, it did so with two pianos. The production was such a hit it transferred to Broadway. This time out its orchestrations are more full -- though not as vast as the original 1956 Broadway production. The show, directed by Rob Ruggiero (Goodspeed's "Show Boat," "Carousel," "Camelot"), runs Sept. 20 to Dec. 1. Information: 860-873-8668; www.goodspeed.org.

WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY'S CFA THEATER: No strings. "Who's Hungry", written and produced by Los Angeles performance artist Dan Froot and designed and directed by New York puppet artist Dan Hurlin, the experimental puppet show weaves together oral histories of five very different homeless and/or hungry residents of Santa Monica, Calif. A 24-foot-long dinner table transforms into a runway-style puppet stage for four puppeteers using a variety of styles including figures inspired by Japanese Bunraku, two-dimensional rod puppets, and shadow puppetry. The show, a Connecticut premiere, plays Sept. 27 and 28 at 8 p.m. Information: www.wesleyan.edu; (860) 685-3355.

LONG WHARF THEATRE: A German comedy? It's not an oxymoron if Steve Martin is involved. "The Underpants," the show, a co-production with Hartford Stage, will play in Hartford in January following its New Haven run Oct. 16 to Nov. 10. Artistic director Gordon Edelstein stages the Carl Sternheim play about loose bloomers, adapted by Martin. Information: 203-787-4282; www.longwharf.org.

WESTPORT COUNTRY PLAYHOUSE: Before Bialystock and Bloom there were these producers. The comedy "Room Service", best known as the 1938 film that starred the Marx Brothers and Lucille Ball, ends the theater's season of comedy with this madcap farce about the attempts of a desperate producer trying to keep his Broadway show afloat. The John Murray-Allen Boretz comedy, staged by artistic director Mark Lamos, runs Oct. 8 to 27. Information: 203-227-4177 and www.westpotplayhouse.org.

BUSHNELL CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS: Yes, there's a dance number about the weird leg lamp.The musical "A Christmas Story" plays Hartford's Bushnell before it goes to Boston and then returns to Broadway for a December run. The musical, which was nominated for a Tony Award as best musical, runs Nov. 12 to 17. Based on the 1983 cult film, set in '40s Indiana where a bespeckled boy named Ralphie dreams of getting an air rifle for Christmas. Information: 860-8987-5900; www.bushnell.org.

CONNECTICUT REPERTORY THEATRE: All for one and one for all. "The Three Musketeers" at the Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre on the UConn campus in Storrs with Tony Simotes (artistic director at Shakespeare & Company in the Massachusetts Berkshires). The swashbuckling production is based on the classic adventuresome tale by Alexandre Dumas, adapted by Linda Alpert, Douglas Langworthy and Penny Metropulos, The show runs Nov. 21 to Dec. 8. Information: 860-486-2113 and www.crt.uconn.edu.

THEATERWORKS: So what did happen to Tiny Tim after that memorable Christmas?" Hartford's TheaterWorks is in negotiations with a half dozen well-known playwrights to write short 10-minute-or-so pieces, taking characters from iconic holiday stories and doing a follow-up narrative. Look for Theresa Rebeck ("Seminar"), John Cariani ("Almost, Maine") Matthew Lombardo ("High"), Jeffrey Hatcher ("Mrs. Mannerly"), Jacques Lamarre ("I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti") to be among the writers spoofing the holiday tales. Staged by artistic director Rob Ruggiero, the show -- tentatively titled "Christmas On The Rocks" -- runs Dec. 3 to 22. Information: 860-527-7838 and www.theaterworkshartford.org.

NORMA TERRIS THEATRE: Old songs, new look. Songs by Connecticut composer Stephen Schwartz ("Wicked," "Pippin," "Godspell") get re-imagined -- and slightly rewritten -- in the workshop of a new show that is a little bit like a revue and a little bit like a book musical but not quite either. A troubled couple looks back at their life in the six-actor "Scrapbooks," which will be presented by Goodspeed Musicals at its Norma Terris Theatre in Chester. The plan is to tour the modest show after its run there. Information: 860-873-8668; www.goodspeed.org.

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(c)2013 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

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