From Christmas favorites to Broadway blockbusters, and from dark Bergman drama to some lighter fare, the Connecticut theater scene has much to offer from late December through February. Theater-goers looking to be amazed should look to The Bushnell, The Shubert and The Hartford Stage, while those hungering for smaller, more intimate and more thought-provoking fare should consider The Hole in the Wall and, as always, the Yale Repertory Theater. Connecticut is only a few hours from The Great White Way, and these productions bring the best of the New York theater to the Nutmeg State.
166 Capitol Ave
Hartford, CT 06106
Dates: Jan. 6 – 11, 2015
The Bushnell is known for bringing Broadway to Connecticut, and in January it will offer “Pippin,” perhaps the only musical set in the age of Charlemagne. The lively, sexy, yet also political Tony Award winner looks at times like a Cirque du Soleil show staged by Bob Fosse, with its acrobatic gyrations, flying dancers and skimpy costumes, but this modern take on a medieval theme has long been a crowd pleaser.
Yale Repertory Theater
1120 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06520
Dates: Jan. 30 – Feb. 21, 2015
The always-looking-to-experiment Yale Repertory Theater company will present the world premiere of playwright Danai Gurira’s “Familiar” beginning January 30. Drawing upon her own upbringing, the American-born Zimbabwean Gurira has crafted a story of African and American families trying to find a way to cope with a wedding that will satisfy both of their diverse and, at times, conflicting cultures. Although a drama, there are many warm and funny scenes and characters to ease the tension. The author is well known to Yale audiences, and has several theater awards to her credit, including a nomination for a Pulitzer seven years ago.
‘Through a Glass Darkly’
The Hole in the Wall Theater
116 Main Street
New Britain, CT 06050
Dates: Jan. 23 – Feb. 14, 2015
Ingmar Bergman’s class psychological film is brought to the stage by The Hole in The Wall Theater Company this January. Matty Skwiot directs this adaptation by Jenny Worton of the story of three women who, while on holiday with their family, find themselves caught up in an emotional storm as husbands, fathers, brothers and friends deal with issues many had long tried to bury.
247 College Street
New Haven, CT 06510
Dates: Dec. 30, 2014 – Jan. 4, 2015
The beloved Irving Berlin war-time musical, “White Christmas,” gets the full Broadway treatment at the Shubert just before and after New Year’s. The big, bold, brash production packs the stage with dancers and extras, and there are all the great songs that Bing and Bob made famous just after the end of the Second World War. The classic film is great, but nothing compares to seeing this live!
‘A Christmas Carol’
50 Church Street
Hartford, CT 06103
Dates: Through Dec. 28, 2014
The holiday season would not be complete without “A Christmas Carol” – and the troupe at the Hartford Stage does this Dickens’ classic proud. Maxwell Williams directs this adaption by Michael Wilson and has toned down the scary parts slightly to accommodate young children – although parents are cautioned that those at or below the third grade might still find it too frightening in parts. The cast is big, enthusiastic and filled with veterans who are recreating iconic roles they have played for many years. This is a big holiday favorite and patrons should book as early as they can.
Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.
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