Curtain Call / Who said Connecticut theater isn’t relevant?
Updated 4:24 pm, Thursday, September 28, 2017
Who said Connecticut theater isn’t relevant?
Many offerings of the upcoming season are about social issues like sexism and racism, nativism and globalism. The hope is all are entertaining as well.
Herewith, an alphabetical list of professional and community venues with attractions that might be worth your time and money:
East Haddam; goodspeed.org; 860-873-8668
“Rags” (Oct. 6-Dec. 10): Although a 1986 Broadway flop, this tuneful Stephen Schwartz/Charles Strouse tale of yearning-to-breathe-free immigrants — their hopes and disappointments — may be even more timely today.
50 Church St., Hartford; hartfordstage.org; 860-527-5151
“Seder” (Oct. 19-Nov. 12): Inspired by a true story, Susan Gancer’s play, in its world premiere, is about a retired typist who discovers a horrible secret related to her work with the Communist KGB in Hungary.
“Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act” (May 17-June 10): Athol Fugard’s poetic drama digs beneath the furtive coupling of a black man and white woman to reveal the cancer of apartheid.
Long Wharf Theater
222 Sargent Drive, New Haven; longwharf.org; 203-787-4282
“Fireflies” (Oct. 11-Nov. 5): A starry cast (Jane Alexander, Judith Ivey, Denis Arndt) appear in a new drama about a retired schoolteacher who’s drawn to a mysterious drifter, sparking fireworks among the fireflies.
“Office Hour” (Jan. 7-Feb. 11): In Julia Cho’s tense and complex play, another teacher has to determine whether a student, in this land of gun proliferation, is or is not a deadly danger to himself and others.
Music Theater of Connecticut
509 Westport Ave., Norwalk; musictheatreofct.com; 203-454-3883
“The Bridges of Madison County” (Nov. 3-19): Based on the popular weepy novel, the original musical version didn’t do well on Broadway, but the aborted love story between an Italian-born housewife and an American photographer is intact, aided by wistful songs.
“Fun Home” (April 20-May 16): The brilliant Tony-winning musical features an off-beat family: closeted dad who runs a funeral parlor, frustrated mom and lesbian daughter, all on paths to destruction or acceptance.
719 Birdseye St., Stratford; squareonetheatre.com; 203-375-8778
“The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey” (May 3-20): One actor plays multiple characters in this dark and gritty but joyful work about a teenage boy’s disappearance.
233 Pearl St., Hartford; theaterworkshartford.org; 860-527-7838
“The Legend of Georgia McBride” (March 16-April 22): When a penurious Elvis impersonator switches his act to become a drag entertainer, his fortunes change in this sassy, catty comedy with music.
Westport Country Playhouse
30 Powers Court, Westport; westportplayhouse.org; 203-227-4177
“Sex With Strangers” (Sept. 26-Oct. 14): This up-to-date take on love in the digital age tells of the taut relationship between a female novelist and a younger blogger that was called “twisty and timely” by the New York Times.
“Romeo and Juliet” (Oct. 31-Nov. 9): The expert director Mark Lamos promises a fresh approach to Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy about warring families who use their children as pawns.
1120 Chapel St., New Haven; yalerep.org; 203-432-1234
“An Enemy of the People” (Oct. 6-28): Despite its title, Henrik Ibsen’s drama is not about the mainstream media but a doctor who riles town officials by standing up for right over might when he insists the local water is polluted.
“Native Son” (Nov. 24-Dec. 16): Racism in all its ugly aspects is the subject of this adaptation of Richard Wright’s sensational 1940 novel in which Bigger Thomas, product of a hardscrabble background, makes choices that inevitably lead to tragedy.
“Father Comes Home From the Wars” (March 16-April 7): Loosely based on “The Odyssey,” Suzan Lori-Parks’ three-hour extravaganza looks at a slave who fights for the Confederacy in exchange for his freedom.
Waveny Park, off South Avenue, New Canaan; tpnc.org; 203-594-3636
“Outside Mullingar” (May 4-19): In John Patrick Shanley’s lyrical play, a determined woman and an insecure man discover that, despite years of feuding, it’s never too late to find love in rural Ireland.
Westport Community Theatre
Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave.; westportcommunitytheatre.com; 203-326-1983
“Yankee Tavern” (April 13-29): Conspiracy theories abound in this thriller when gatherers have to puzzle out facts vs. “alternative facts.”
15 Lovers Lane, Wilton; wiltonplayshop.org; 203-762-7629
“West Side Story” (April 27-May 12): Romeo and Juliet again, this time as star-crossed lovers in the famous Bernstein/Sondheim musical about battling gangs caught in the jaws of prejudice.