Arts Beat

by Mark G. Auerbach

The national touring company of Come From Away. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

“Come From Away” Lands at The Bushnell

Come From Away, the hit Broadway musical, lands at The Bushnell, April 30-May 5, as part of its national tour, while the original production continues to sell out in New York. A true  story of the people of Gander, Newfoundland, who welcomed thousands of stranded airline passengers on 9/11, is a global sensation.

Irene Sankoff and David Hein created the musical from the stories of Gander residents and their unexpected guests. On 9/11, when the US closed its airspace, over 3 dozen jetliners were diverted to the airport of Gander, and the townspeople took the 7,000 passengers into their homes..

After being workshopped in 2012 and first produced at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario in 2013, Come From Away was further developed at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, CT; La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Washington, DC, before opening in Toronto, and later Broadway.. In October 2018 it became the longest-running Canadian musical in Broadway history, surpassing The Drowsy Chaperone‘s previous record of 674 performances.

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

The Hartford Symphony Announces 2019-2020 Masterworks Classical Searies

Hartford Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestra Carolyn Kuan, begins its 76th season with a program of music by Copland, Bernstein, an Gershwin, including the latter’s popular Rhapsody in Blue, October 11-13, an continues on a journey of classics, contemporary classical music, and more from East and West. Music of Brahms and Haydn are featured in November, along with Theofanadis Drum Circles with the Percussion Collective. in December, Laura Jackson takes the podium for a program o Chopin, Franck and Dukas’ The Sorceror’s Apprentice. The HSO begins the New Year in January with Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, and a February concert showcasing Prokoiev’s Romeo and Juliet. A March program showcases music of Dvorak, and April includes Rachmaninoff and Tchsikovsky. Elgar’s Enigma Varaitions will be performed in May, and the season concludes in June with Beethoven’s Ninth.  For details: www.hartfordsymphony.org

Of Note

Hartford Stage has announced one additional play for the theatre’s 56th season. Obie-Award winning playwright, actor and teaching artist Nilaja Sun will perform Pike St., her compelling new solo show. The remaining productions of the new season will be announced soon. Pike St. joins the previously announced mainstage productions for the upcoming season, including Quixote Nuevo by Octavio Solis; Cry it Out by Molly Smith Metzler; and an adaptation of Jane Eyre from Hartford Stage Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Williamson. A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas, will return for its 22nd season.  For details: 860-527-5151 or www.hartfordstage.org

Rob Ruggiero

TheaterWorks Producing Artistic Director Rob Riggiero announced that a $5.7 million renovation of the theater’s historic home at 233 Pearl Street will begin immediately. TheaterWorks previously announced that the theater had received 2 Urban Act Grants in the amount of $2.7 million as grants-in-aid to assist with the renovations and improvements to City Arts on Pearl. Funding will be used to support extensive renovations to the historic 1927 building, which include replacement of the HVAC system, electrical and fire protection systems upgrades, elevator upgrades, and various renovations to the theater. The renovations are expected to be completed by early September. In the interim, the theater has taken up temporary residence at the Wadsworth Atheneum. For details: https://www.twreno.org/

Rob Ruggiero, TheaterWorks’ Artistic Director, won a St. Louis Theatre Circle Award for “Outstanding Direction of a Musical” for the Repertory Theatre  of St. Louis’ recent production of Evita. For details from St. Loui Public Radio: https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/evita-and-streetcar-rule-2019-theatre-circle-awards#stream/0

Albany Berkshire Ballet’s The Nutracker

Albany Berkshire Ballet announced its 50th anniversary season, which will bring more performances to WMass. Their full-length production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, staged by Paula Weber,  will be performed on Augut 31 at Northampton’s Academy of Music Theatre, and on Septembe 7 at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. Their annual tour of The Nutcracker plays Barrington Stage in Pittsfield, MA on December 7-8, and Springfield’s Symphony Hall on December 21. For details: albanyberkshireballet.org

Keep in Mind

Arts Beat Radio airs every Friday at 8AM, on 89.5fm/WSKB. Catch 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

Ballet Hispanico’s Melissa Fernandez Verdecia in Con Brazos Abiertos photo by Paula Lobo

Ballet Hispánico, America’s leading Latino dance organization, performs at the UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall on April 18. Known for their technically accomplished skills and infectious energy, the Company presents a bold repertory of all-Latina choreographers: Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Línea Recta, a tribute to the hallmark passion of flamenco dance; Michelle Manzaneles’ Con Brazos Abiertos, an exploration of iconic Mexican symbols; and Tania Pérez-Salas’ 3. Catorce Dieciséis, a work examining the circularity of the human condition.  For details: 413-545-2511, 800-999-UMAS, or fineartscenter.com/Hispanico

Wendy Rabinowitz

WAM Fresh Takes Series of readings of new plays, opens on May 4 with Karen Zacarias’ Native Gardens. In this brilliant new comedy, cultures and gardens clash, turning well-intentioned neighbors into feuding enemies as a delicate disagreement over a long-standing fence line soon spirals into an all-out border dispute, exposing both couples’ notions of race, taste, class and privilege. Estefanía Fadul directs the reading at the Bernstein Theatre on the Shakespeare & Company campus in Lenox, and the performance is dedicated to the late artist Wendy Rabinowitz. For details: www.wamtheatre.org.

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.

To Top