Arts Beat

by Mark G. Auerbach

A Christmas Story comes to The Bushnell

Kick Start The Holiday Season

A Christmas Story: The Musical, is bringing its national tour to The Bushnell in Hartford on November 24-26. Based on the pererennial holiday movie favorite, with Tony-nominated book by Joseph Robinette and score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, A Christmas Story tells the tale of Ralphie…well you know the plot. Pasek and Paul penned Broadway’s big hit Dear Evan Hansen. For details: 860-987-5900 or www.bushnell.org.

Ron Carroll and Jenn Harris in Christmas on The Rocks at TheaterWorks, Hartford. Photo by Lanny Nagler.

Christmas on The Rocks, Hartford’s twisted holiday tradition, returns to TheaterWorks November 28 through December 23. Created and directed by Rob Ruggiero, this laugh riot features your favorite kids from Christmas stories in playlets by John Cariani, Jenn Harris & Matthew Wilkas, Jeffrey Hatcher,Jacques Lamarre, Theresa Rebeck, and Edwin Sanchez. But, the kids are now grown up and they pour out their troubles at a neighborhood bar on Christmas Eve. It’s 90 minutes of non-stop laughs. For details: 860-527-7838 or www.theaterworkshartford.org

The Nutcracker, Albany Berkshire Ballet’s version will be touring the area this holiday season, with perormances December 2-3 at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, and December 16 at Springfield Symphony Hall. For Pittsfield performance details, under the auspices of Berkshire Theatre Group: 413-997-4444 or online at www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org. For Springfield performance details: 413-788-7033 or www.symphonyhall.com. Meanwhile at The Bushnell in Hartford, The Nutmeg Ballet’s production of the holiday classic comes to town on December 16-17.  For details: 860-987-5900 or www.bushnell.org


Children of A Lesser God, Mark Medoff’s award-wining hit, which had a stunning revival at Berkshire Theatre Group last summer, begins previews at Studio 54 on Broadway on March 22. The BTG cast, including Joshua Jackson and Lauren Ridloff are reprising their roles on Broadway, and ER’s Anthony Edwards has joined the cast to make his Broadway debut.  Tickets are available through Telecharge. For details: www.childrenofalessergodbroadway.com.

Chester Theatre Company‘s production of Every Brilliant Thing is being restaged this February at Peterborough Players in Peterborough, NH. Joel Ripka will be reprising his role and Daniel Elihu Kramer will once again be directing play that was a popular hit for Chester. For details: http://www.peterboroughplayers.org/

Maria Levy, administrator of the now defunct Connecticut Opera until 2002, was found murdered on October 16 in Tacoma, WA ,where she was administrator of the Tacoma Opera. After leaving Hartford, she was associated with Indiana University’s opera program. Connecticut Opera closed its doors in 2009. Her son has been charged with her murder. For details: https://tacomastories.com/2017/10/21/eighth-tacoma-homicide-of-2017-maria-levy/

Plan Ahead…

David Sedaris

David Sedaris, best-selling humorist and author, will visit The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield on April 13, under the auspices of Berkshire Theatre Group. Sedaris is the author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, and his most recent book, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, each of which became an immediate bestseller.  For details: 413-997-4444 or online at www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org

Follies. Photo by Johan Persson.

Keep In Mind…

Follies, Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical is one of the biggest hits in London right now.  The story about a reunion of Follies stars, with some showstoppers from “Losing My Mind” to “Broadway Baby” to “I’m Still Here” will be broadcast live from London on November 16. The National Theatrre production stars Imelda Staunton. For details and theatre screening locations: http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/63102-follies

Einstein! written and performed by Jack Fry comes to Northampton’s Academy of Music for one performance on November 18. Jack Fry is an award winning playwright, actor, solo artist and fully credentialed teacher who lives in Los Angeles. Einstein! was selected as one of the “Top Ten Shows to See” at the 2016 New York International Fringe Festival. For details: 413-584-9032 or www.aomtheatre.com

Jack Fry in Einstein! Photo by Ze Castle Photography

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra launches its Sunday Serenades Chamber Music Series with Strauss & The Sublime on November 19 at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford.  Sunday Serenades Artistic Director and HSO Concertmaster Leonid Sigal will be joined by Sharon Dennison on viola, Eric Dahlin on cello, and Margreet Francis on piano. The concert is inspired by the exhibition Sublime North: Romantic Painters Discover Norway. For details: 860-987-5900 or www.hartfordsymphony.org.

The UMass All-University Orchestra will perform their first concert with Morihiko Nakahara as conductor on November 15 at at Grace Church, located at 14 Boltwood Avenue, Amherst. The program will include Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, Britten’s Simple Symphony, Faure’s Pavane, and Warlock’s Capriol Suite. The concert is free and open to the public.

Mark G. Auerbach studied theatre at American University and the Yale School of Drama. He’s worked for arts organizations and reported on theatre for newspapers and radio. Mark produces and hosts ArtsBeat Radio on 89.5fm/WSKB.

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