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Article Published February 11, 2021

Missing the Greats, Looking to the Future, Legacy Theatre on Track, and More

By Karen Isaacs/

Theater Loses Great Performers: In the last two weeks, theater (as well as film and television) lost three terrific performers. While they were all elderly, they will be missed. First came the news of the death of Cicely Tyson, one of the most influential African American actors of the latter half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. I was blessed to see her twice on Broadway: in her Tony-winning performance in The Trip to Bountiful in 2013 and with James Earl Jones in The Gin Game in 2016. We also lost Hal Holbrook, perhaps best known for his one-man show, Mark Twain Tonight! He was also well known for playing the Narrator in the 1980s television production of Our Town. Twice he reprised that role on Connecticut stages, at Hartford Stage and Westport. In between those two deaths, we also lost Cloris Leachman, who, while better known for her television and film work, also appeared on stage.

Looking to the Future: TheaterWorks in Hartford has received one of Bank of America’s $200,000 Neighborhood Builders grants. Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero and Artistic Producer Tamiesha Duggan will participate in leadership training with peer organizations throughout the country. The program’s aim is to help nonprofits gain the tools to develop stronger strategic and succession plans and enhance funding opportunities.

The Bacon Brothers: Actor Kevin and his brother Michael will headline Hartford Stage’s Virtual Gala on Saturday, April 10. The two brothers have been performing and recording together for 23 years and have 10 albums to their credit. Kevin Bacon appeared in 2015 at Hartford Stage in the stage adaptation of Rear Window. The event will stream for one week after the gala. For information and tickets, contact

Still on Track: The Legacy Theatre in Branford’s Stony Creek is still on track to open Friday, April 23 with a concert by Broadway’s Telly Leung followed by a production of Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park from Wednesday, April 28 to Sunday, May 23. The theater will operate at 25 percent capacity with extensive COVID-19 protocols. For information, visit

Free Streaming Productions: Many productions are being streamed with only a request for donations. Here’s some of the current productions that are available: is streaming Katie Roche, a play about servant girl looking for something better through Sunday, March 28. From Monday, Feb. 22 to Sunday, March 21, it will stream Women without Men, about a group of unmarried school teachers. The Mint produces lesser known plays from the first half of the 20th century.

Piaf….Her Story…Her Songs will stream on The Actors Fund YouTube Channel, and Broadway’s Best Shows YouTube Channel from Monday, Feb. 15 to Thursday, Feb. 18. On the Stratford Festival You Tube Channel, the production of The Taming of the Shrew runs from Thursday, March 4 to Saturday, March 6. And don’t forget the winter fest through most of February.

In addition, the George Street Playhouse is offering a virtual season beginning on Tuesday, Feb 23 with Andrea Burns in the play Bad Dates, about a single mom looking for the ideal man. It streams through Sunday, March 14. Contact for tickets. And there is BroadwayHD, a pay-to-view or paid subscription service.

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