Arts Beat

by Mark G. Auerbach

Eddie Korbich

London’s Award-Winning Comedy Jeeves & Wooster in “Perfect Nonsense” North American Premiere at Hartford Stage  

Hartford Stage announced the cast and creative team for Jeeves & Wooster in “Perfect Nonsense.” The Olivier Award-winning comedy from brothers David and Robert Goodale comes to Hartford Stage March 21-April 20. Original director Sean Foley returns to stage the show, which is making its North American premiere in Hartford. Broadway actors, Chandler Williams, Arnie Burton, and Eddie Korbich, star in the three-hander.

An hilarious farce with inventive theatricality, the play was co-written by brothers David and Robert Goodale based upon characters created by British author P.G. Wodehouse. Wodehouse, a prolific writer who was considered to be of one of the most widely-read humorists of the 20th century, often mixed humor with social commentary. Inspired in part by Wodehouse’s 1938 novel The Code of the Woosters, the Goodale Brothers’ Jeeves & Wooster in “Perfect Nonsense” is a fast-paced, slapstick comedy which cleverly skewers the Edwardian Upper Class. Jeeves & Wooster in “Perfect Nonsense” premiered at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre in November 2013 to rave reviews and won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2014.

For details:860-527-5151 or www.hartfordstage.org.

CJ Pawlikowski

Girlfriend Comes to Theaterworks at The Wadsworth

Girlfriend, Todd Almond’s chamber musical about first love, inspired by Matthew Sweet’s 1991 album of the same name, comes to Theaterworks March 22-April 28, under the direction of Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero. This will be Theaterworks’ first production at the Wasworth Atheneum, while their theatre at Pearl Street in undergoing renovations. Note there are no performances March 25-April 1..David Merino from the Rent national tour and CJ Palikowski from The Book of Mormon co-star. Evan Zavada is music director.

Set in Nebraska in 1993, Will, a bit of a social outcast, and Mike, the popular football player, figure out that there is more to life than what high school has taught them. Days after graduation they explore their relationship and begin to ask themselves where their lives begin. Based on the album by Matthew Sweet, Girlfriend is a pop/rock musical for everyone who’s lived in a small town and feels for their first love.

Girlfriend has had productions in Berkeley, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. For a preview of Matthew Sweet’s score: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n12OBlcHx9E

For details: 860-527-7838 or http://www.theaterworkshartford.org/

Christopher d’Amboise

Connecticut Repertory Theatre Announces 2019 Nutmeg Summer Series Lineup

Artistic Director Terrence Mann and Executive Producer Matthew J. Pugliese have announced the lineup for the 2019 Nutmeg Summer Series. The third season under the artistic leadership of three-time Tony Award nominee Mann will include, Mamma Mia and Cabaret.  Instead of three shows with two-week runs, the season features two shows with longer runs.

The summer series begins with the smash-hit musical Mamma Mia!, June 6-22.  Terrence Mann will direct and Mary Ann Lamb will choreograph..Conceived by Judy Craymer and written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, and Stig Anderson, the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship.

Cabaret, based on Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories, features a book by Joe Masteroff with music and lyrics by John Kaner and red Ebb.  It will be staged by Peter Flynn  and choreographed by Christopher d’Amboise. Cabaret runs July 4-20. Casting qwill be announced at a later date.

For details: 860-486-2113 or www.crt.uconn.edu

Sarah Bockel in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Returns to The Bushnell

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation. The Broadway hhit, still a sell-out in New York, comes to The Bushnell in Hartford for the second time, March 26-31. .

Featuring a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, including “I Feel The Earth Move,”“One Fine Day,”“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,”“You’ve Got A Friend” and the title song, Beautiful has a book by Tony® Award-nominee and Academy® Award-nominated writer Douglas McGrath, direction by Marc Bruni, choreography by Josh Prince and took home two 2014 Tony® Awards and the 2015 Grammy® for Best Musical Theater Album.

For details: 860-987-5900 or www.bushnell.org.

Spamilton: An American Parody. Photo: Roger Mastroianni

Of Note

Spamilton: An American Parody, a spoof on the megahit Hamilton from the creators of Forbidden Broadway, will come to West Hartford, August 14-September 8, in a partnership between The Bushnell and Playhoue on Park, where performances will be held. For details: 860.523-5900 Ext. 10 or playhouseonpark.org

Keep in Mind

Arts Beat Radio airs every Friday at 8AM, on 89.5fm/WSKB.  On March 22, the birthdays of both Stephen Sondheim an Andrew Lloyd Webber, we’ll talk showtunes with music director John Pike. And we’ll meet Eddie Korbich from Hartford Stage’s Jeeves & Wooster in “Perfect Nonsense.”ArtsBeat Radio, live on Fridays at 8AM on 89.5fm/WSKB, on Westfield Comcast channel 15, or streamed on www.wskb.org. And, if you miss an episode, find it on YouTube at WSKB Community Radio’s page

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.

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