Review: "Fully Committed" at TheatreWorks

Review: "Fully Committed" at TheatreWorks

It’s one of those near inevitable stops on the way to success for an actor to work at a restaurant, dealing with temperamental patrons, apathetic co-workers, and a pretentious supervisor or chef who feels that their work is the greatest gift ever given to man. Such is the case for Sam in Becky Mode’s “Fully Committed,” produced by TheaterWorks Hartford.

Read More

Review: "The Dixie Swim Club" at The Little Theatre of Manchester

Review: "The Dixie Swim Club" at The Little Theatre of Manchester

Armed with the knowledge that they have the ability to assemble a solid troupe of female actors, Little Theatre of Manchester has brought a light comedy about southern female camaraderie and the bonds of life long friendship in “The Dixie Swim Club” by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten.

Read More

Review: “Because Of Winn Dixie” at Goodspeed Musicals

Review: “Because Of Winn Dixie” at Goodspeed Musicals

“Winn Dixie” wisely understands that real life is far more complicated and it doesn’t try to deliver easy answers. Its characters are real, flawed humans whose problems can’t be tap-danced away. Their demons won’t be cured tomorrow. It’s a good lesson for kids of all ages to learn, rolled up in a fun and charming package.”

Read More

Review: "The Scottsboro Boys" at Playhouse on Park

Review: "The Scottsboro Boys" at Playhouse on Park

John Kander and Fred Ebb’s musical “The Scottsboro Boys” was not one of the duo’s more successful shows. The show opened on Broadway on Oct. 31, 2010 closed within six weeks amidst protests from people who were offended by the musical’s minstrel show themes.

Now, Playhouse on Park has chosen to take on this very timely, if possibly problematic musical, running through Aug. 4.

Read More

Review: "Avenue Q" at CT Arts Players

Review: "Avenue Q" at CT Arts Players

Every theater-goer knows that they’re in for a treat when they get to see Avenue Q, and that’s exactly what the CT Arts Player’s production of the show was: a treat! It’s truly a show that never gets old. I have seen a few productions of Avenue Q throughout my life, but now that I’m a young adult, I definitely connected to the show in ways I hadn’t before.

Read More

Review: "Actually" at Theatreworks

Review: "Actually" at Theatreworks

Consent and truth. What do these words mean to two people who recently met, went to a party, have sex afterward, and then one of them accuses the other of rape?

In her play, “Actually,” playing through June 23 as part of TheaterWorks Hartford’s residency at The Wadsworth Atheneum, Anna Ziegler attempts to challenge our assumptions of consent by making us look at the social, racial, and gender politics that arise when a night of irresponsible behavior ends with two young Princeton students in bed. The next morning, something has happened that will change both their lives forever.

Read More

Review: “Godspell” at Ivoryton Playhouse

Review: “Godspell” at Ivoryton Playhouse

Yes, “Godspell” is an enjoyable and silly showcase, but under all the merriment Hubbard’s production is smart and thoughtful in the ways it makes the show feel like a piece that belongs in 2019. The show opens to news reports about global warming, North Korea and immigration. One parable includes mention of equal pay for equal work, and there are a few prerequisite Trump jabs. But the most politically-minded thing isn’t the new soundbites and jokes, it’s the seamlessly diverse group Hubbard has assembled to retell these timeless biblical messages of inclusion and peace.

Read More

Review: "The Flamingo Kid" at Hartford Stage

Review: "The Flamingo Kid" at Hartford Stage

It’s unfortunate that “The Flamingo Kid” is coming out in the wake of so many “teen musicals” like “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Be More Chill,” and “The Prom.” It would be a shame if people think it is just another coming-of-age teen show, especially since it is better than these other shows with the exception of “Be More Chill.” “The Flamingo Kid,” though not perfect, has a lot of great things to offer.

Read More

Review: 'Girlfriend' at TheaterWorks

Review: 'Girlfriend' at TheaterWorks

It’s understandable how Matthew Sweet’s power-pop album, “Girlfriend,” could be a score to a musical. The songs were all recorded by him following his divorce in 1990 and they expose his feelings about the entire relationship. He commented to Rolling Stone, “It's funny how the album ended up showing everything I needed to feel. Everything I needed as an antidote is there." There is emotion throughout the songwriting with a natural timeline feel and flow, making it a great fit for the musical theatre genre.

Read More

Review: “The Royale” by Collective Consciousness Theatre

Review: “The Royale” by Collective Consciousness Theatre

It’s an interesting coincidence that Collective Consciousness Theatre’s stirring production of “The Royale” opened only two days after Long Wharf’s “An Iliad.” While they are two wildly different shows, both share surprisingly similar bones. Both are stories told by people of color. Both use narratives based on history to tell a larger, parable-like story. Both use stylized movement and music. Both are about the way society views violence and the perils of toxic masculinity. It’s the ongoing battles that separate the two. For “Iliad,” that conflict is the Trojan War, while “The Royale” centers on Jim Crow-era racism. The hero at the center of Collective Consciousness’ play is a fighter whose biggest opponent is the bigotry he faces on a national scale. This is another great choice for the socially-minded company (henceforth referred to as CCT), even if the production is one small stroke shy of being a total knock-out.

Read More