Theaters to Get Makeovers
By Frank Rizzo
Spiffier Lobbies, New Seats and Warmer Looks Freshen Two Connecticut Theaters
When New Haven's Shubert Theater celebrates its 100th anniversary in December, the grand dame of Connecticut theaters will have a 21st Century look.
Gone will be the angled entrance and popcorn- textured exterior in favor of a reconfigured lobby, additional bathrooms and new performance spaces.
Hartford Stage, too, is putting on a fresh face, updating its upstairs lobby and adding new springier seats for its audiences.
The makeovers are in part an effort to make both theaters more patron-friendly, and illustrate a capital spending trend among regional theaters and presenting houses across the country.
The Shubert Theater will begin its $8.5 million-plus renovation/endowment project May 1, finishing in early October just in time for its 2014-15 season. The theater will be closed during the renovation period.
The project will include a warmer and more dynamic lobby, a modern exterior and electronic marquee, up-to-date mechanicals and a slew of audience amenities.
"It's the next chapter in the Shubert's long history," says executive director John Fisher. "We're taking what's great about what we have, which is the theater itself, and updating it for the next 100 years."
(Photo: An artist rendering of major makeover plans for Shubert Theater -- Handout)
I Wanna Be in Pictures
By Bonnie Goldberg
If you have a Bucket List, maybe one item on it is to be a movie star. The closest I will ever come occurred on Friday, March 14, 2014 when I was part of Alex's team, a volunteer extra on the movie "Boychoir." Filmed at Fairfield University, Greenwich, New Haven at Yale University and at various sites all over Connecticut, it is the story of a troubled teen who seeks music as solace for his soul.
Written by Ben Ripley, "Boychoir" is based on the American Boychoir School, originally established in 1937 in Columbus, Ohio and, since 1950, in Princeton, New Jersey. The students, from fourth to eighth grade, are all gifted with superb soprano voices that are angelic in nature. Since they quickly lose that heavenly sound when they reach puberty, capturing their voices in that specific window of time is vital.
Blogs of Interest
Blogs about Connecticut theater, movie reviews, and the arts.
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)