Monthly Feature:



Beneath the Big Top

By Bonnie Goldberg

Have you ever just wanted to run the circus?  Would owning a circus be high on your to-do list?  Author Cathy Day wrote a book, "The Circus in Winter," about her family and her hometown, Peru, Indiana, deemed the Circus Capitol of the World and the winter headquarters of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. Her story cycle of eleven tales of the Big Top is being tumblesaulted into a brand new musical, of all things colorful and creative, and a strange and most intriguing tale it is.

In her three decades of teaching, Beth Turcotte never imagined herself at the center of a three ring circus. An Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance Performance at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, she had always wanted to write a musical, but the opportunity never presented itself. In the spring of 2010, however, the universe aligned itself in a bizarrely wonderful configuration and Turcotte grabbed the brass ring and ran for the gold.

Leading an immersive learning experience with fifteen undergraduates, Turcotte found herself with redheaded twins Christopher and Justin Swader who had talents in lighting design and big dreams of making a musical of "Hocus Pocus" as well as a music student Ben Clark who walked into class with a musical version of "Robocop." Clearly the class was ripe for a new musical adventure. This student-driven production began with an exchange of ideas, looking for the perfect topic to forge into a musical show.  In Turcotte's mind, "It takes a community to write a musical."

(Photo: Cast of 'The Circus in Winter. Photo by Emma)


Searching for Lorca's Ghost


Playwright Michael Bradford

On October 2, OLIVES AND BLOOD will open on the stage at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, making its regional theatre and Connecticut premiere.  The production marks the culmination of a journey that playwright Michael Bradford began nearly a decade earlier.  The play explores the mystery surrounding the unsolved murder of the Spanish poet-playwright, Federico Garcia Lorca.  Lorca, a promising and polarizing young artist, was disappeared during the Spanish Revolution.

Michael Bradford, also a professor at UConn, was doing research for a course he was teaching on 20th century drama.  Already familiar with the poet-playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, Bradford was captivated by the writer’s poetic voice and startling mysterious murder.  It began an artistic journey for Bradford that took nearly a decade to complete.


Articles of Interest:

"The Honeymooners" Coming to Goodspeed? --
Frank Rizzo

Blogs 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 -- 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



Explaining Asperger's

By Stu Brown

In the new Broadway show, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a 15-year-old boy with Asperger’s is thrust into a journey of self-discovery and an examination of relationships with his mother and father, teachers, and others.  Audience members are given a window into the mind of an individual with this Austism Spectrum Disorder, thanks to the brilliance of the creative team and director, Marianne Elliott, and the remarkable performance of Alex Sharp in the lead role.  However, there are traits and actions that Christopher exhibits which are not fully explained in the drama, a hit in London before opening in New York this fall.   Why does someone like Christopher not want to be touched?  What is the significance of his model train-building obsession?  Why does he need to always tell the truth and be so literal?   

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