CCC Awards Ceremony
By Karen Isaacs
In an evening filled with heartfelt moments, the Connecticut Critics Circle presented it 25th annual awards for outstanding theatrical achievements at Connecticut's theaters during the 2014-15 season.
For those keeping score, the production of Hamlet at Hartford Stage won the most awards, picking up accolades for sound, as well as featured actor in a play, lead actor in a play, outstanding direction and best production of a play. The musical awards were split with Fiddler on the Roof, which was produced at Goodspeed, winning awards for lead actor and director, but Holiday Inn, also from Goodspeed winning for outstanding production.
The awards were presented at the Yale's Iseman Theater in New Haven with an audience of almost 200 looking on. The awards were considered a special event in connection with the International Festival of Arts & Ideas.
(Photo: Carmen de Lavellade and R. Bruce Connelly, master of ceremonies. All photos by Mara Lavitt)
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.
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