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Article Published August 13, 2020

Theater Community Remains Active Despite COVID Cancellations

By Karen Isaacs/Zip06.com

Hartford Stage Update: Good and bad news. The bad news first: the theater has postponed/canceled all 2020-’21 productions through June including A Christmas Carol. But there is good news, It will be doing four online events this fall, though two are limited to donors. The ones open to others (with a fee) are a New Works Festival in November featuring workshops of three new plays. In December, A Community Carol is described as a “collaborative performance created by Hartford Stage, artists, and local community partners.” For information or to make a donation, visit HartfordStage.org. The two donor-only events are Thursday, Sept. 17—The Not-So-Complete History of Comedy (Online) with the Reduced (Remote) Shakespeare Company and on Friday, Oct. 9—A Broadway Evening with Hartford Stage.

Interactive Musical: Music Theater of Connecticut is presenting a fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 22 of a new musical, Stage Fright-An Interactive Musical Thriller by Executive Artistic Director Kevin Connors and Joe Landry. It’s about a fictitious Broadway star and a delusional fan. The audience decides the fate of the story. For tickets, visit musictheatreofct.com. You will receive a link to the show just before it begins.

TheaterWorks: The intimate Hartford theater is surveying its subscribers and single ticket buyers to gauge attitudes toward reopening the theater.

Long Wharf: In early August, the theater presented Black Trans Women at the Center, which featured readings of three plays centering on Black trans talent and experiences.

Williamstown Theater Festival: The well-known summer theater is currently recording four audio productions for Audible. These include A Streetcar Named Desire with Audra McDonald and Bobby Cannavale; Animals; Photograph 51; and the world premiere of Chonburi International Hotel and Butterfly Club. Three more shows will be produced. Audible release dates are to be announced.

The New Group: Off-Broadway’s The New Group is continuing its Reunion Reading Series with a virtual reading of The Jacksonian by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Beth Henley. It’s on Thursday, Aug. 27 and features original cast members Ed Harris, Bill Pullman, Amy Madigan and, new to the play, Jane Krakowski. There is charge; visit theNewGroup.org.

Celebrating Women: Women’s Equality Day is Wednesday, Aug. 26. In celebration of the day, Playbill is presenting Women in Theatre; A Centennial Celebration Concert featuring songs and stories. The press materials say it will showcase women in the theater during the last 100 years, those both well-known and forgotten. For information visit playbill.com.

CD to Benefit Family: Last year, Broadway performer Nick Cordero was at Feinstein’s/54 Below cabaret with guest performances by Zach Braff, among others. Now a CD of the show will be released on Sept. 17 (his birthday) with proceeds benefiting his wife and son. Cordero died in June following a three month battle with COVID.

Arts & Ideas Wrap Up: The 25th iteration of New Haven’s International Festival of Arts & Ideas was virtual. But it can also be deemed a success. More than 120,000 people from throughout the world went online to see events that were part of the festival. In addition, $46,000 was raised through the KeyBank Food Series and the Arts on Call; these funds went directly to the restaurants and artists participating.

Anniversary: July 25 marked the 45th anniversary of the Broadway opening of A Chorus Line.

Powerful Video: Check out the music video featuring 150 performers singing “Make Them Hear You” from the musical Ragtime. It is remarkable. To find it on YouTube, I searched for the song title and Stop Watch, the organization for which it is raising funds.

Barrington Stage Company: I am planning to attend a live theater production, outdoors at Barrington Stage Company. One of the first theaters to have a reopening plan approved by Actors’ Equity, it has now scheduled several events: a staged reading of new play Eleanor, about Eleanor Roosevelt on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 4 and 5; Three Viewings, Wednesday, Sept. 9 to Sunday, Sept. 20; and Arthur Miller’s The Price from Oct. 1 to 18. In addition, some cabaret performers will also appear. The first two plays are one–person shows. For information, visit barringtonstageco.org.

Karen Isaacs is an East Haven resident. To check out her reviews for New York and Connecticut shows, visit 2ontheaisle.wordpress.com. She’s a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle, New York’s Outer Critics Circle and the American Theatre Critics Association.