Doing it "A Broad's Way"
By Bonnie Goldberg
If you're singer and actress Jodi Stevens, there is no such thing as a typical day. And forget bored, she doesn't have time for it. As an artist, she crafts her day, well, creatively. It usually starts with getting her son Jackson, 8, up, fed, watered and clothed and off to school. She thrives on the chaos that quickly ensues and finds great delight in making order out of that unique state.
As a successful juggling act, Jodi admits, "I wouldn't change it for the world." On the morning we spoke, at 8:15 a.m., she was preparing to mentor a class of eleven eighth graders at a middle school in Weston, conducting a master class in the performing arts. She teaches her eager students how to do mock auditions by preparing songs or monologues and has even taken them to New York City to visit her agent, go to Actors Equity or see a Broadway play.
Then she could be off to dance class or the gym, to care for aging parents, to teach a private class out of her home, to head to NYC for an audition, to fulfill the 101 artistic needs she has as well as the needs of her son and husband, Scott Bryce, a film producer and TV actor. She is continually "reinventing myself." A special love is the extraordinary program she leads for mothers and babies "Music Together," for kids newborn to six, to instill basic music competency, like learning how to listen and she delights in "watching children blossom." This Bridgeport outreach program has just lost its funding so you can add fundraising to Jodi Stevens' list of accomplishments.
(Photo: Jodi Stevens)
The Audeince and "Seen Change"
A Broken Umbrella cast of "Seen Change"
By Frank Rizzo
Oh, to return to the days of the Golden Age of the Broadway musical in the '40s and '50s and '60s when future classics first got their acts together in out-of-town places like New Haven's Shubert Theatre..
To have been at opening night for musicals like "Oklahoma!" (when it was first called "Away We Go!"), or "The King and I" or "The Sound of Music." Or better yet, to witness the frantic backstage dramas, like when a terrified Rex Harrison refused to go on stage as theatergoers made their way to the theater in the middle of a snowstorm for the world premiere of "My Fair Lady."
Those days are evoked in the new musical "Seen Change!" by New Haven's A Broken Umbrella Theatre that celebrates and marks the milestones of 100 years of theater at the Shubert. Performances run Feb. 18 to 28.
Articles of Interest:
Blogs and Websites of Interest
Blogs about Connecticut theater, movie reviews, and the arts.
Joe's Views -- Joe Meyers' Blog
Artes Magazine -- fine art, architecture, design and theater
Back Stage Buzz - current and archived interviews with CT artists
susangranger.com -- movie reviews
CT Arts Connection
WMNR Fine Arts Radio (Rosalind Friedman's Review)
www.courant.com/curtain (Frank Rizzo reviews)
www.reflectionsinthelight (Lauren Yarger reviews)
www.nytheaterscene.com (Irene Backalenick/David Rosenberg reviews)
Stu On Broadway -- Reviws and comments
Two on the Aisle -- NYC and Connecticut Theater News and Reviews
Luke Macfarlane's Passions
By Frank Rizzo
In talking to Luke Macfarlane, the TV, film and stage actor, about furniture making, which is just one of his passions, you also get a window into his art, and his life.
Listen to him talk about how he approaches woodworking — with knowledge and respect of the right tools, attention to detail and the craftsmanship in which pieces of furniture are elegantly, naturally joined together and you get a sense how he approaches his primary profession.
Over a recent dinner interview at Dish in downtown Hartford, the Canadian-born actor talked about the challenges of his new role at Hartford Stage, his run in the TV series "Brothers & Sisters," his decision to come out publicly as gay and his new TV role as a bounty hunter in outer space.
Macfarlane is in town to star in the world premiere of "Reverberation" by Matthew Lopez, now in previews. The show opens Wednesday, Feb. 25, and runs through March 15.
"I read it three times before I even talked to anyone about it," says Macfarlane, when asked about first receiving the script. "It was interesting the first time I read it because I went, 'Oh, I get this guy.' The second time was, 'Oh, I can do this.' And the third time was, 'Oh, do I want to do this because I know it was going to be hard because this character is in so much pain. Every play is about really investigating a character's deepest feelings — but not quite like these particular feelings."
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