Monthly Feature:


The Eternal Beauty of "Swan Lake"

By Marlene S. Gaylinn

While the Russian National Ballet Theatre is not the world famous Bolshoi, Elena Radchenko, a former Bolshoi soloist, directs this company of 50 dancers, which was formed in Moscow during the late 1980’s.Ballet fans will recall a delightful production of “Coppelia,” when this group performed it here in 2013. Now, you can enjoy what promises to be another lavish production of “Swan Lake” at Fairfield University’s Quick Center on April 10.

Swan Lake was a failure when it was first performed at the Bolshoi in 1877. However, with subsequent revisions it became more popular in Russia. In 1911, the ballet was arranged and first presented at the Metropolitan Opera House by this writer’s teacher, Mikhail Mordkin (originator of American Ballet Theatre). Mordkin, known as a highly dramatic, masculine dancer, performed in it as Prince Siegfried, and Katerina Geltzer, had the dual role of Odetta-Odile.

When one hears the term “classical ballet,” its no wonder that Swan Lake often comes to mind. The technically difficult, highly coveted role of Odetta, the “Swan Queen,” and her rival Odile, the “Black Swan” (usually performed by the same soloist) has been handed down by the best Russian dancers in ballet history: Anna Pavlova, Alexandra Danilova, Irina Baronova to name just a few favorites. These great dancers are all gone, but, the long list of new Swan Lake soloists continue to grow in other countries today.

(Photo: Members of the Russian National Ballet Theatre)


The Family-Friendly Bushnell


Disney's "Newsies" comes to Hartford in October. Photo by Deen van Meer

By Frank Rizzo

It will be an especially family-friendly Broadway series for Hartford's Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts.

Disney's "Newsies" (Oct. 13 to 18) and "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella" (Jan. 12 to 17) will strike a major chord with kids in the seven-show series, which was announced Monday night, March 16. And a third yet-to-be announced show that will play in May 2016 is expected to appeal to youngsters as well.

The tour of "Newsies" had its Connecticut premiere at Waterbury's Palace Theater last fall and was a big hit there. The tour of Broadway's "Matilda," based on the Roald Dahl children's book — another show that appeals to youngsters — makes its Connecticut bow at New Haven's Shubert Theater May 16 to 23. The Bushnell will announce its third kid-centric show May 25


Articles of Interest:


Blogs and Websites of Interest

Blogs about Connecticut theater, movie reviews, and the arts.

Zander Opper

Joe's Views -- Joe Meyers' Blog

Artes Magazine -- fine art, architecture, design and theater

Back Stage Buzz - current and archived interviews with CT artists -- movie reviews

CT Arts Connection

WMNR Fine Arts Radio (Rosalind Friedman's Review) (Frank Rizzo reviews)

www.reflectionsinthelight (Lauren Yarger reviews) (Irene Backalenick/David Rosenberg reviews)

Stu On Broadway -- Reviws and comments

Two on the Aisle -- NYC and Connecticut Theater News and Reviews



A "Sneak Peek" at WCP's new Season

By Geary Danihy

The Westport Country Playhouse held a sneak preview of its upcoming season on Thursday, March 19, at the Playhouse. The venue’s current tag line is: “Theater Worth Talking About,” and that is what Mark Lamos, the Playhouse’s artistic director, and several guests did: they talked about aspects of the upcoming season, starting a conversation that will hopefully last until Arthur Miller’s “Broken Glass” closes on October 24, and perhaps even longer.

Lamos began the proceedings by commenting that the upcoming season “is all about family,” for each of the plays, in one way or another (if one broadens the definition of “family”), is about the conflicts and controversies, joys and sorrows, that vitalize and vitiate family life. However, Lamos’s use of the word extended beyond the plays chosen, for many of the actors and creative team members who will be involved in the upcoming productions have worked at the Playhouse before, and many of the playwrights have previously been featured on this venerable stage.

For Lamos, the concept of “family” extends beyond those involved in the productions to embrace the audience, for it is for the people sitting in the theater that all of this effort will be put forth and from whom the rewards and satisfaction will be garnered. From playwrights to actors to directors to creative team members to audience, it is a community eager (perhaps, at times, given our growing isolation, even desperate) to communicate on a human, visceral level.

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