Monthly Feature:



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

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

movie extra


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 -- 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)



New Season for Clay/Wattles Theater Company

The 2014 Season at the Gary-The Olivia Theater in Bethlehem begins with two one-act plays written by American playwright Horton Foote. “Blind Date” and “The Actor” will be performed on June 13, 14, 20, 21 at 7:30 pm and June 15 and 22 at 2:30 pm. These beautifully written comedies set in the fictional town of Harrison, Texas are guaranteed to delight audiences with their poetry, insight into human nature and comic touch.

A prolific writer, Mr. Foote wrote over 60 plays, television dramas and screenplays spanning a sixty year career. Perhaps most widely know for his screenplays for the films To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) and Tender Mercies (1983), winning the Oscar for both, Mr. Foote received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1995 for the play, The Young Man From Atlanta.

Both comedies deal with conflicts between the generations. In Blind Date, a former beauty pageant queen tries to persuade her recalcitrant and unwilling niece on the art of "How to attract a suitor," and in The Actor, the well-intentioned parents try to dissuade their young son from pursuing a career in the theater

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