theater

The Colin McEnroe Show
10:04 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Michael Price Is Leaving Goodspeed After 46 Years

The Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam Connecticut was built in 1876 on the bank of the Connecticut River
Credit Andreas Kollegger / Creative Commons

The Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam turned 50 last year, winning accolades along the way under the guidance of its Executive Director, Michael Price, who lovingly raised the theater from infancy.

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Theater
9:28 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Hartford Stage Presents Autism-Friendly Rendition of Christmas Classic

Hartford Stage

Hartford Stage produced its first-ever "sensory-friendly" performance this week. The staging of "A Christmas Carol" was geared toward audience members on the autism spectrum.

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Opera at Infinity
12:39 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Opera and Lobster Hushpuppies at Hartford's Infinity Hall

CLO's production of Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier"
Connecticut Lyric Opera

Grand opera returns to Hartford after a five-year hiatus.

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Theatrical History
12:31 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Happy 100th Birthday to New Haven's Shubert Theater!

The Shubert Theater in New Haven.
Shubert Theater Facebook

This year marks the 100th anniversary of New Haven’s Shubert Theater. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:08 am
Thu December 4, 2014

A Mini-Musical About the Shubert Theater, 100 Years Old

Credit Toby Simkin/flickr creative commons

If you charted the course of American musicals, a major stop on this extraordinary journey would be The Shubert Theater in New Haven. The Shubert was considered Broadway's try-out house, a stop where our local audiences determined whether New York producers had a hit or a disaster on their hands. How did this happen? Who got the nod and who earned thumbs down? 

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Arts Funding
2:44 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Connecticut Arts Organizations Receive NEA Grants

The Litchfield Jazz Festival is among the organizations receiving NEA grants.
Nathan Turner Litchfield Jazz Festival

Several performing arts and literary publications in Connecticut have been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, totaling $290,000.

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Performing Arts
11:52 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Mike Nichols, Award-Winning Director Of 'The Graduate,' 'Silkwood,' Dies

Mike Nichols was an ultimate Hollywood insider who won every major show business award directing for stage, film and TV. But his life in America began as an immigrant from Germany. Nichols was honored with an AFI Life Achievement Award in June 2010.
Kevin Winter Getty Images for AFI

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 11:31 am

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Spotlight on the Arts
10:59 am
Tue November 11, 2014

How One Connecticut School Went From Funeral Parlor to Top Arts School in the Nation

Choreographer's Showcase 2013, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.
GHAA

Nearly 20 years ago, I made my first visit to the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts at its original site, just past Colt Park in Hartford, heading south on Wethersfield Avenue.

I pulled into a parking lot protected by a tall, chain-linked fence. It acted like a divider between a worn-out apartment building in the deteriorating neighborhood, and the old funeral parlor that had been resurrected as Hartford’s arts magnet high school.

The school has come a long way since then. Last month, it was honored as the nation’s top arts school by the Arts Schools Network.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:00 am
Mon November 3, 2014

The Scramble: Automation, Visconti, Movie Cinemas

Credit Tom Jervis / Creative Commons

First up on the Scramble today, writer and thinker Nicholas Carr, whose new book, "The Glass Cage" is about our blind surrender to automation. Most tellingly about the way we surrender (unthinkingly) control to sophisticated computer tools. 

You'll hear for instance, the story of a luxury cruise ship that ran aground on a sand bar because the GPS was spitting out wrong information and the entire crew ignored visual evidence that should have been a dead giveaway.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:43 am
Mon October 27, 2014

The Scramble is Scandalous

Clara Bow and Regis Toomey, 1931
Credit Rocky and Nelson / Creative Commons

Scandal is a theme today. 

One of our guests today is Anne Helen Petersen, who left academia to write full-time about celebrities and television and celebrity gossip.  One of the themes her first book, "Scandals of Classic Hollywood," is the history of Hollywood scandal so lets get my own theory out of the way. 

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On Stage
9:54 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Two Actors Journey Through "Annapurna" at Hartford's Theaterworks

Vasili Bogazianos and Debra Jo Rupp in "Annapurna" at Theaterworks.
Theaterworks

After 20 years apart, a woman tracks down her ex-husband, a poet living in a grungy trailer in the Colorado mountains. Their raw, funny, heartbreaking reunion unfolds in a new play called "Annapurna" by Sharr White, currently running at Theaterworks in Hartford.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Thu October 23, 2014

A Salute to Hamlet

Darko Tresnjak is the Tony Award-winning Artistic Director of Hartford Stage.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Whenever I see a production of Hamlet, I am newly floored by its impact on language, no matter how many times you tell yourself that a lot of our spoken language is in this play, you're freshly assaulted by how many things people say all the time that come from Hamlet. It's crazy.

But then there are all sorts of questions about staging Hamlet. There can be, and there have been many theories about what to emphasize in the play. Themes of sex, politics, indecision, suicide, and reality testing are either brought to the fore, or pushed to the back. No matter what happens on the stage, it's a really, really good story.

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Film History
10:04 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Feature Length Film of William Gillette as Sherlock Holmes Discovered in French Archives

Connecticut actor William Gillette was 62 or 63 when he played Sherlock Holmes on film.
Cinémathèque Française/San Francisco Silent Film Festival

A long lost, feature-length silent film starring Connecticut actor William Gillette as Sherlock Holmes was discovered earlier this month in France.

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Remembrance
9:20 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Emmy-Winning Actress Polly Bergen, of Southbury, Dies at 84

Polly Bergen with Fred MacMurry in "Kisses for My President," 1964.

Emmy-winning actress and singer Polly Bergen died at her home in Southbury, Connecticut on Saturday. Bergen played the terrorized wife in the original 1962 film "Cape Fear," and the first woman president in the 1964 film "Kisses for My President." She was 84 years old.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:43 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Open Wide, This Won't Hurt a Bit: The Discovery of Anesthesia

Elizabeth Egloff is an award-winning playwright whose many plays include The Swan, The Lover, Wolf-Man and most recently, Ether Dome, currently in production at Hartford Stage. She's also an adjunct professor of Playwrighting at Vassar and Barnard College
Chion Wolf

Living in Hartford almost all my life I've known for years the story of Horace Wells. At least, I know the story I know, which is that Wells was a Hartford dentist who introduced anesthesia. He may have been the first but I've always known there were other pretenders to that crown. 

I also knew that Wells became addicted to one of those products and died a horrible, tragic and ignominious death.

But, that's all I knew and I wondered how widely known that story was. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:22 am
Mon September 8, 2014

An Interview With Sir Tom Stoppard

Cplin McEnroe with Sir Tom Stoppard
Chion Wolf

Life is full of peculiar ironies and thus, Tom Stoppard, quite possibly the most most dizzyingly proficient writer of the English tongue did not grow up speaking English.  to college. He is, to use his old joke, a bounced check. He grew up in Czechoslovakia and spoke that language until the age of three-and-one half, or perhaps five.

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Spotlight on the Arts
9:10 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Yale Educator-Artist Keeps Inspiring Future Generations of Theater Designers

Ming Cho Lee.
Mark Ostow

At age 83, Ming Cho Lee knows the difference between a world that works and one that doesn’t, certainly when it comes to the stage. For the past six decades, the National Medal of Arts recipient and Tony Award winner has conjured up some of the most memorable scenic worlds of the American theater.

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Americana
11:26 am
Thu August 28, 2014

"Woody Sez," the Life and Music of Woody Guthrie at Theaterworks in Hartford

David Lutken is the devisor of "Woody Sez" and portrays the lead character.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Legendary American folk singer/activist Woody Guthrie, is best known for his classic song, "This Land is Your Land." All of his music gives voice to a restless and profoundly American search for freedom: artistically, politically, and personally.

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Western Massachusetts
12:47 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Berkshire Performance Venues Report Successful Summers

The cast of "A Midsummer NIght's Dream" at Pittsfield's Shakespeare in the Park.

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 12:38 pm

As the days of August tick away, many Berkshires performance venues are closing the curtains on their summer sessions.

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New Concert Venue
4:34 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Infinity Hall Opens in Hartford

Inside Infinity Hall Hartford
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Downtown Hartford now has a new music venue, as Thursday was the grand opening of the Infinity Music Hall and Bistro. 

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Higher Education
10:50 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Visual and Performing Arts Center to Open Soon at WCSU in Danbury

A new School of Visual and Performing Arts will open at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.
Western Connecticut State University

Western Connecticut State University in Danbury is home to the only School of Visual and Performing Arts in the Connecticut state university system. Its proximity to New York offers a chance to attract an impressive faculty. Later this month, WestConn will open a new Visual and Performing Arts Center.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:51 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

NYC Teacher Grace Kiley: Acting Lessons

Credit Mickey Thurman/flickr creative commons

New York City acting teacher Grace Kiley is interested in the natural actor. Understandable, since she is a licensed mental health counselor who has a gift for teaching what contributes to a transformative performance on stage or on film.

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Performing Arts
11:40 am
Sun July 20, 2014

At Monty Python Reunion Show, The Circus Makes One Last Flight

Michael Palin, left, and Terry Gilliam perform on the opening night of Monty Python Live (Mostly). The final performance of the reunion show, on Sunday, will be live-streamed at theaters around the world.
Dave J Hogan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:08 pm

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Remembrance
2:40 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Actress And Singer Elaine Stritch Has Died

Elaine Stritch in her final engagement at the Cafe Carlyle in New York in 2013. Stritch bade farewell to New York with a series of concerts last spring; she died Thursday in Michigan.
Walter McBride/The O M Co. AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 3:45 pm

Elaine Stritch, an actress whose talent led to a substantial and long career on Broadway and in cabarets, died Thursday at age 89. She had been living in her native Birmingham, Mich., where she moved last year after spending decades in New York. Stritch's publicist says she died of natural causes; her health had been failing in recent months.

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Musical Theatre
6:21 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Curtain Up: “Gypsy” Opens at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Leslie Uggams as Rose in a production of "Gypsy" at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre.

Tony and Emmy award-winning actress Leslie Uggams stars as Rose in a production of "Gypsy" opening Thursday night at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, the professional producing arm of the drama department at the University of Connecticut. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:10 am
Tue June 17, 2014

The CMS at the International Festival of (Pancakes) and Arts and Ideas, 2014

Jack Hitt is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and the author of several books including most recently, Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character.
Chion Wolf WNPR

New Haven's International Festival of Arts and Ideas is back! The theme of this year's festival is "Transformation and Tradition," and runs from this past Saturday through June 28. You don't want to miss it.

John Dankosky and Where We Live will brighten your breakfast with a performance of a "comic-rap-scrap metal musical." They're just getting started. You also hear about corsets, bicycles, and hunter-gatherers.

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Hazardous Journey
12:30 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

"Endurance" Play Links Shackleton Journey to Financial Crisis

Greg Webster, Jason Bohon, Andrew Grusetskie, Michael Toomey in Endurance.
Long Wharf Theater

In 1914, the great British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton managed to keep 27 men alive for two years in possibly the most inhospitable climate on earth, Antarctica. The explorer has been hailed as one of the greatest leaders of all time, about whom many books have been written

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Theater
2:26 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Hartford Stage Closes 50th Anniversary Season with 2013 Tony Award Winner

The cast of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. (from l. to r.) David Gregory (Spike), Andrea Lynn Green (Nina), Mark Nelson (Vanya), Leslie Hendrix (Masha) and Caryn West (Sonia).
T. Charles Erickson Hartford Stage

You might say Hartford Stage has Tony fever. Not only did the musical "A Gentlemen's Guide To Love and Murder," which was developed and produced by Hartford Stage, win big at last Sunday's Tony Awards, but also the 2013 Tony winner for best play is currently running at the theater. 

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Remembrance
1:59 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Legendary Actress Ruby Dee Dies At 91

Actress Ruby Dee and director Spike Lee attend a special 20th anniversary screening of Do the Right Thing, in New York, in 2009. Dee died Wednesday at age 91.
Peter Kramer AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 2:58 pm

Editors' Note: An earlier version of this post, as well as an accompanying breaking news alert, incorrectly stated that Ruby Dee had won an Oscar for her role in American Gangster. Dee was nominated for the award but did not win.

Ruby Dee, an actress and civil rights activist who built a career on stage and screen at a time when African-Americans had few such opportunities, has died at age 91.

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Light and Dance
11:49 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Multi-Media Spectacle Inside Stony Creek Quarry

The quarry, prepared for this year's "Terra Tractus."
Terra Tractus

A multi-media spectacle of light, music, theater and dance begins performances next week inside the Stony Creek quarry along Connecticut’s shoreline. 

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