Monthly Feature:

memphis rehearsal


"Memphis" Comes to Ivoryton

By Joe Meyers

The vivid dramatization of the role that pop culture played in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s gives “Memphis” a strong historical subtext that separates it from other recent Tony-winning musicals.

The 2010 hit follows a white disc jockey named Huey Calhoun who thinks it’s crazy that racial segregation should apply to the great black musicians and singers he sees working in underground clubs in Memphis, Tenn. Huey wins the battle with his radio station to air their songs, but runs into trouble when he tries to bring the same black artists to local TV.

When Huey falls in love with the powerhouse black singer Felicia Farrell, the young man faces a new racial challenge with the African-American musicians who can’t accept the relationship.

(Photo: Renee Jackson and Carson Higgins rehearsing for "Memphis")


Best is Yet to Come

lerft my heart

Bobby Schultz, Jonathan Esobar and Nick D'Angelo

By Bonnie Goldberg

Anthony Dominick "Tony" Benedetto earned his stage name from Bob Hope when he opened for the famous comic and crooner.  Performing for over seven decades, he is more popular now than ever, recently headlining with Lady Gaga, singing duets like "Anything Goes" in their new album "Cheek to Cheek."  Sliding gracefully into his 89th year, Bennett has enjoyed a cult of stylish favorites from jazz to pop, probably best known for his hit "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."

Appropriately that is the title of a new tribute show featuring many of his greatest tunes now lighting up the Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin weekends until Saturday, September 5. Created by David Grapes and Todd Olson, with musical arrangements by Vince di Mura and Summerwind Productions, "I Left My Heart" also includes personal anecdotes about the man and his music.

A trio of dapper young men, snappily dressed, include Nick D'Angelo, Jonathan Escobar and Bobby Schultz, who belt out a litany of hits for your listening enjoyment.  Grab a top hat, white tie and tails and book a table to hear the best of Berlin, the Gershwins, Mercer, Ellington and Arlen, to name drop a few.


Articles of Interest:

Latina Actress Gizel Jimenez -- A Passion for Acting --

By Bessy Reyna

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




The 10 Connecticut Productions I’m Anticipating Most – Plus a Second 10

By Karen Isaacs

Though Connecticut’s theater season began around June 1, recently I having been looking over the theater schedules and putting asterisks next to those shows or productions that interest me the most.

Admittedly several shows that were high on my “most anticipated” list have already opened – and not disappointed. These include TheaterWork’s production of Good People,  Ivoryton’s South Pacific, and Goodspeed’s La Cage aux Folles. Plus we do not yet know what Goodspeed, Westport or Ivoryton will be doing next spring.

But despite all that, here’s my top ten list of shows that I do not want to miss. You will note that Shakespeare figures prominently in the list.

Romeo & Juliet  – Hartford Stage, Feb. 11 – March 6.  This is the first time that artistic director Darko Tresnjak has directed this Shakespeare classic. He’s a brilliant Shakespeare director so this is high on my list of “must sees.” Parenthetically, one of the best productions of Romeo & Juliet I ever saw was also at Hartford Stage, directed by Mark Lamos.

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