by Mark G. Auerbach
There’s “Something Rotten” At The Bushnell
There’s a blizzard of laughs headed to The Bushnell, when Something Rotten, the recent Broadway hit, plays Hartford on January 30-February 4. A creation of brothers Karey Kirkpatrick and Wayne Kirkpatrick, along with John O’Farrel, Something Rotten arrived on Broadway in 2015 to popular acclaim, and began its national tour a year ago.
Something Rotten, set in the ‘90s–the 1590s, is the story of the Bottom Brothers who are desperate to write a hit play, in order to outshine the theatre rock star of the day, William Shakespeare. A soothsayer tells them that the next great play will have theatre, music, and dance, and they set out to write the world’s first musical. Casey Nicholaw, who created the dances for Broadway’s Spamalot and co-directed and choreographed The Book of Mormon, directed Something Rotten.
Adam Pascal, who created the role of “Roger” in the original production of Rent, stars as William Shakespeare, the role which won a Tony Award for Christian Borle. Rob McClure, Tony Award nominee for Chaplin, and Josh Grisetti from Something Rotten’s Broadway cast, play the Bottom Broithers at The Bushnell.
Something Rotten was also known for its hysterically funny advertising campaign. Playbill Magazine featured their opening night reviews ad in a feature. http://www.playbill.com/article/take-that-critics-sly-something-rotten-quote-ad-goes-viral-com-347598
Children of a Lesser God, the summer hit at Berkshire Theatre Group, begins previews on Broadway, beginning March 22. Kenny Leon directs the show, which stars Joshua Jackson and Lauren Ridloff. The entire cast from Stockbridge, minus Stephen Spinella, is Broadway bound. Spinella will be starring in a revival of Angels in America in California, and Anthony Edwards from TV’s ER, will make his Broadway debut in the role originated by Spinella. For details: http://childrenofalessergodbroadway.com/
Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Lives that includes stand-up, film clips, musical numbers and conversations about their lives in show business. Martin and Short will also be joined by the Grammy-winning bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers and Jeff Babko, on February 17 at The Bushnell. For details: 860-987-5900 or www.bushnell.org.
Alan Cumming, the actor who thrilled UMass Fine Arts Center audiences last year, returns to W.Mass with his new show, Alan Cumming: Legal Immigrant at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA on July 15. He won a Tony Award as the Emcee in the revival of Cabaret, and he’s best known for playing political maverick on the TV series The Good Wife. For tickets: 413-528-0100 or www.mahaiwe.org
More Harry Potter. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra will add a performance of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in Concert at The Bushnell on April 15, at 1PM, due to popular demand. For details: 860-987-5900. or www.hartfordsymphony.org.:
Duane Robinson, former manager of the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, died on December 21, 2017, at age 81. Robinson took charge of the landmark Main Street theater in 1971 when it had fallen into disrepair. He went on to make the theater a crown jewel of the city over his 35-year tenure as director of the historic venue.
Stephen J. Albert, longtime Managig Director of Hartford Stage, died on December 29, 2017 at age 66. At the time of his death, he was the Executive Director of Chicago’s Court Theatre.
Keep in Mind…
The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart’s comic opera, will be staged by Panopera, in collaboration with Pioneer Valley Ballet, and Eggtooth Productions, at Northampton’s Academy of Music Theatre on Jannuary 26 and 28. Alan Schneider directs; Aldo Fabrizi conducts, and Luke Scott singsthe title role, with Elaine Crane as Susanna. For details: https://www.panopera.org/
The Anatomy of Love, Ted Malawer’s explosive drama about two parents struggling over the gender transition of their seven-year-old daughter, will be presented by West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park, as part of its innovative Playwrights on Park Reading Series, on January 23. Ted Malawer, a writer and performer, is a current student in the Playwriting program at The Juilliard School, where he is a Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Fellow. He has published six novels, including the Mystic City series (Delacorte/Penguin Random House), which has been translated into over ten languages and optioned for television by CBS. For details: 860-523-5900 x10, or visit www.playhouseonpark.org
The Elvis & Orbison Show, a tribute concert to Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison currently on tour, will make a stop at CityStage in Springfield on January 27. The show opens with a tribute to Roy Orbison and features many of the legendary singer’s great hits including Only The Lonely, Oh Pretty Woman, Crying, In Dreams, Blue Angel and many more. In the second set, Elvis is back in the building as the celebration continues with Jailhouse Rock, Burning Love, Suspicious Minds, Hound Dog, Love Me Tender and more. Ed Moran plays both Orbison and Presley. The band includes guitarist Dana Wells, bass Dan Broad, Joe Torra on keyboards, and Vinnie Brandi on drums. For details: 413-788-7033 or www.citystage.symphonyhall.com.
Music to Warm Up By, a UMass Music Department faculty concert with violist Kathryn Lockwood and guest pianist Jon Klibonoff. takes place January 23 in Bezanson Recital Hall on the UMass/Amherst campus. The program features Brahms’s Sonata in E-flat, Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces, Cassado’s Requiebros, Liszt’s Romance Oubliée and a new arrangement (by Ms. Lockwood herself) of Poulenc’s Clarinet Sonata. The program is free. For details: http://www.umass.edu/music/index.php
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 for 89.5fm/WSKB.