Monthly Feature:

Donna English


Visit "My Paris"

By Bonnie Goldberg

A mystique of vivid colors swirls around the aura of artist Toulouse-Lautrec.  Get ready to kick up your heels and swing your ruffled skirts as the can-can dazzles your senses. It’s Paris at its most gay and festive, a celebration of the arts when the princes of the painting world were prominent and passionate. During these slightly decadent and unruly festivities, one personage emerges from the provocative milieux:  Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa, an impressionist of well deserved renown.

Born in the mountains of Albi, France in 1864, this intriguing artist, who had a painting of a young laundress sell at auction a decade ago for a record $22.4 million, will be the subject of a new musical “My Paris” at the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, also known as the Little Goodspeed. From Thursday, July 23 to Sunday, August 16.  with book by Oscar, Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Alfred Uhry, English lyrics and musical adaptation by triple Tony-winner Jason Robert Brown, music and lyrics by legendary French performer Charles Aznavour and direction and choreography by Kathleen Marshall, “My Paris” is sure to be magnifique!

(Photo: Donna English)


From Critic to Chorine


"Francesca de Courant" and "Crystelle"

By Frank Rizzo

When Mark Adam Rampmeyer, Goodspeed Musicals' make-up and wig designer asks me to bring in a picture of my mother for my makeover, I somehow know I won't end up looking like one of the pretty young chorines in "La Cage Aux Folles."

No, the look would be destined to be "handsome," perhaps "statuesque," and, if I was lucky, just a little bit fabulous.

Actors transform themselves all the time but is it different for the actor when the character is in drag? Is it more than just rouge, mascara and heels? I wanted to know — with apologies to Stanislavsky -- how an actor prepares. And I wanted to know firsthand.

From the Greeks to Shakespeare, from English music halls to American vaudeville, from films "Some Like It Hot" to "Tootsie," the art of gender illusion is a long and honored performance tradition.

But with 1983's "La Cage Aux Folles," which was based on the French film of the same name" (it was also made into the 1996 American film "The Birdcage"), drag went Broadway musical mainstream. It was more than a template for broad comedy. Its characters had dignity and pride and its story celebrated "family" in a most inclusive and loving way. In the era of AIDS and long before anyone thought same sex marriage was possible, it was revolutionary and led the way for other widely popular shows of gender independence and empowerment, including the musicals "Hairspray" and "Kinky Boots" and TV's "RuPaul's Drag Race."


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



Murder on Wooster Street

By Bonnie Goldberg

How do merriment and murder, delicious dining and devious detecting combine in one evening of super fun? Easy, if it’s the sleuthing party at Consiglio’s grand restaurant on Wooster Street in New Haven known for fine Italian dining experiences for 77 years as well as the comic and ingenious murder mysteries devised and hosted by improvisational entertainer Michael Sayers.

All summer long, outdoors on the garden patio, on Friday nights July 24, August 7 and 21, as well as fall dates September 11, October 16, November 13, December 11, 17 and New Year’s Eve, Sayers is conjuring up evenings combining great dining with audience participatory mystery excursions. As you delight in a meal of your choice, you get to be an amateur Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple.

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