Thursday, May 06, 2021

Life & Style

Every Brilliant Thing, A Man and His Dog, A Local Story, And More

Addition to Schedule: Every Brilliant Thing has been added to the TheatreWorks schedule for a short run. It will run just two weeks (Thursday, March 12 to Sunday, March 22), so tickets will be hard to come by, due to the limited seating capacity. The play, which was considered for the subscription season, is described as an “interactive life-affirming theatrical experience.” The plot involves a young man (at the beginning he is just seven) who begins listing for his ill mother everything that is worth living for. He continues as he becomes an adult. For tickets, visit or call 860-527-7838.

A Man and His Dog: The bond between people and their dogs is strong. One of my favorite A.R. Gurney plays is Sylvia. which focuses on that relationship between a middle-aged man who finds his job unfulfilling and the dog that “picks him” one day in the park. It’s at Music Theatre of Connecticut (MTC) in Norwalk from Friday, Feb. 7 to Sunday, Feb. 23. The comedy stars Dennis Holland as the husband and Carole Dell’Aquila as his wife, who has started a new career since the children have left the nest; Bethany Fitzgerald plays Sylvia, the dog and rival for the man’s affection. Holland was seen as the father in the MTC production of Ragtime last fall. For tickets, visit or call 203-454-3883.

A Local Story: Love and Spumoni, which is at Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury, is a truly local story. It is based on a novel by Waterbury native Mary Lou Piland and Jenna Barrett Bernstein that tells Piland’s story of interracial teenage love in 1980s Waterbury. Connecticut playwright Jacques Lamarre has done the stage version. He’s known for his comedies, often involving food; most well-known is I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti, also based on Piland’s life. It runs Thursday, Jan. 30 to Sunday, Feb. 23. For tickets, visit or call 203-591-8223.

Who Will Play the King? When The King’s Speech arrives at Hartford Stage in March, who will be playing the King? The production directed by Michael Wilson has already played Chicago with Harry Hadden-Paton (Downton Abbey and Henry Higgins in the revival of My Fair Lady) played the king. It was a reasonable assumption that he would continue in the role through the stops in Washington, D.C. and Hartford; certainly some thought the plan was to bring the show to New York City. But Hadden-Paton has left the cast to accept a role in a new musical that will begin performances in April at Lincoln Center. That show, Flying Over Sunset, is inspired by author Aldous Huxley (played by Hadden-Paton) about a time when he, playwright/journalist Clare Boothe Luce, and Cary Grant experiment with LSD. Hartford Stage has not yet released casting information for The King’s Speech and I couldn’t discover who is playing the role in D.C. next month. Stay tuned.

Multiple Productions: I often wonder why some shows, after years of very few productions seem to resurface everywhere simultaneously. It’s happened with the classics; within 18 months there were several production of either Romeo & Juliet, some variation/adaptation of it, or West Side Story. Currently there is a Broadway revival of the musical and a new film in process. But this time it is the Sondheim/Weidman musical Assassins. In the last two-plus years, Yale Rep did it, City Center’s Off-Center series did it, as did several other theaters. Now Off-Broadway’s Classic Stage Company is opening another production in early April. This one features a terrific cast including Steven Pasquale, Judy Kuhn, Will Swenson, and Brandon Uranowitz. It’s a fascinating show and worth all the productions. I’m looking forward to this one.

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 and the American Theatre Critics Association.

Karen Isaacs is the Columnists for Zip06. Email Karen at .

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