Friday, May 14, 2021

Life & Style

A Gala, a Series, and a Lot of Online Opportunities

Virtual Benefit: Branford’s new Legacy Theatre is holding a virtual gala, A Day at the Theatre, on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. The entertainment sounds great and includes Broadway performers whose credits include hit shows like Wicked, Chicago, and Book of Mormon, plus the announcement of the opening season for the still-under-construction Stony Creek theater. There’s also a virtual tour of the new theater and an online auction through Saturday, Nov. 14. For information, tickets. or to bid, visit

Shakespeare Panel: Elm City Shakespeare with the Elizabethan Club of Yale and Webster Bank is presenting a series, Building a Brave New Theatre: Exploring Race & Shakespeare in 2020. The next event is a panel discussion on Thursday, Nov. 12. which focuses on directing Shakespeare and how to best serve diverse audiences. On Thursday, Nov. 19, the artistic director of Harlem Shakespeare Festival will both perform and discuss her memoir about experiences with race and the classics. For more information, visit

Long Wharf Goes Outdoors: Edgerton Park is the scene of Long Wharf’s outdoor production of A Little Bit of Death. It’s described as a blend of dance, storytelling, visual art. and autobiography about how people survive and how sometimes suicide seems like the ideal answer. Performances are on Friday, Nov. 13 and two on Saturday, Nov. 14. The audience is limited to so contact for tickets.

A Modern Musical: The Last Five Years, a musical by Robert Jason Brown, will be streamed live from Ridgefield’s ACT-CT through Sunday, Nov. 15. A limited number of audience members can attend each performance. The two-person show, about a couple from their meeting to their breakup, stars Daniel C. Levine and Katie Diamond. In the show, the woman, a struggling actress, tells the story of the relationship from the end back to the beginning. The man, a novelist, tells his version of the story from the beginning to end. Their stories only overlap at the wedding. For information about tickets and access to the livestream, visit

Not a Civics Lesson: One of the surprise hits of the 2018-’19 Broadway season was Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me. It is her story, how as a teenager growing up in the northwest, she helped fund her college education by participating in and winning American Legion-sponsored speech contests on the U.S. Constitution. Currently, you can see a filmed production of this on Amazon. It was filmed the last week of its Broadway run. This is worth watching.

David Byrne: American Utopia, a theatrical concert that played on Broadway at the end of last year, will return for a limited run in September. But, you don’t have to wait until then. It is on HBO.

Streaming: A number of regional theaters are going online with streaming events from play readings to discussions to filmed productions. Not only can you explore these fine theaters, but see some interesting works. Berkeley Rep has corralled Raúl Esparza for a new musical, The Waves in Quarantine: A Theatrical Experiment in 6 Movements. On Sunday, Nov. 22 at 8, p.m., the theater will live stream Hershey Felder: A Paris Love Story, featuring the music of Claude Debussy. Info is at

Going Live in NYC: A few New York theaters are planning live productions. The Vineyard Theatre is planning three productions in 2021 at its indoor venue. Dates have not been announced. At least three theaters are hoping to get permission for indoor performances include The Shed, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and Park Avenue Armory. Other theaters including Harlem Stage are pushing for Governor Andrew Cuomo to allow limited capacity shows to open.

Unions in Conflict: Actor’s Equity and SAG-AFTRA are locked in a battle over jurisdictional rights of streaming theatrical productions. Actor’s Equity has had jurisdiction over live stage productions while SAG-AFTRA has had jurisdiction over both recorded media and live broadcast media. So what happens if a production is streamed live? If it is filmed and then streamed? Equity claims that salaries and benefits under SAG-AFTRA contracts are lower. In Connecticut, TheaterWorks, which has always held an Equity contract, has apparently gone over to SAG-AFTRA for its current season. Since the future may involve more live and streaming productions, the battle is fierce.

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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