Friday, May 14, 2021

Life & Style

A Thanksgiving Tradition, A Classic Film, An Immigrant’s Story, and More

A Thanksgiving Weekend Tradition: It’s not theater, but a Connecticut tradition will continue, though in a different form. Orchestra New England (ONE), based in New Haven, has for 40 years presented its Colonial Concert, usually in one of the churches on the green in New Haven on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The tradition will continue. ONE will present a professionally produced video of its second concert in the series on Saturday, Nov 28. The concert, with musicians in Colonial garb, features music from the late 1700s, during our Colonial period and fight for independence. Visit for details on tickets and more.

Classic Holiday Film: The film It’s a Wonderful Life will saturate the airwaves around the holidays, but the Connecticut Repertory Theatre is getting a head start. The company is producing the radio play version of the film as an audio presentation through Saturday, Nov. 21. The performances are recorded and then streamed online. Just like regular radio shows of the period, this production even includes some commercials written for it. For tickets, visit or call 860-486-2113. A link is emailed before the performance.

Irving Berlin: Berlin’s song “White Christmas” didn’t come from the movie of the same name. No, it was part of the film Holiday Inn, which starred Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby. In 2014, a stage musical version opened at Goodspeed and then went on to Broadway where it was nominated for multiple awards. That production was filmed for the Great Performances series of PBS. To help us get in the holiday mood, including Thanksgiving, our local PBS stations are airing the stage version of Friday, Nov. 20 at 9 p.m.

Identity and Culture: The Who & The What by Ayad Akhtar was scheduled for production earlier this year at TheaterWorks. Now it will stream through Sunday, Nov. 28. Akhtar won acclaim for his play Disgraced, which won the Pulitzer, and The Invisible Hand, which also earned awards. Long Wharf had a stunning production of Disgraced several years ago. The Who & The What once again looks at romance but as the Chicago Tribune wrote, “it probes the universal immigrant story of tradition versus modernity.” For information, membership or single tickets, visit or call 860-525-7388.

Bill Irwin + Samuel Beckett: The master clown, mime, and actor Bill Irwin wrote and performed On Beckett in 2018 at the Irish Rep; it was a master class in acting. Now he has new play On Beckett/On Film that the Irish Rep is presenting through Sunday, Nov. 22. Irwin has performed in multiple plays by the Nobel-winning Irish playwright. For information or to reserve a link, visit

Looking Ahead: In December, Netflix will premiere the film version of the recent Broadway musical The Prom. I really enjoyed the show, which did not get the credit it deserved from the public or other critics. A group of egocentric New York actors go to a small mid-western town to protest the high school’s cancellation of the senior prom, because one young woman wants to bring her date, another young woman. The film version has been recast with an A-list of performers include James Corden, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and more. I hope it is as delightful as the Broadway show was.

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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