Monthly Feature:

Bertolt Brecht


Brecht's "Chalk Circle" Still Relevant

By Joe Meyers

Bertolt Brecht wrote his black comedy about endless civil war -- "The Caucasian Chalk Circle" -- more than 70 years ago while he was living in exile from Germany in the United States.

The play's vision of seemingly pointless violent strife, vast gulfs between the rich and the poor and gallows humor being one of the few survival mechanisms of the oppressed is still all too relevant.

"I imagined it as a very modern play. It begins with the phrase `Once upon a time,' but the time is kind of now and the place could be anywhere," director Liz Diamond said of her Yale Repertory Theatre production that starts previews Friday, March 20, at the University Theatre in New Haven.

(Photo: Bertolt Brecht)


The Family-Friendly Bushnell


Disney's "Newsies" comes to Hartford in October. Photo by Deen van Meer

By Frank Rizzo

It will be an especially family-friendly Broadway series for Hartford's Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts.

Disney's "Newsies" (Oct. 13 to 18) and "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella" (Jan. 12 to 17) will strike a major chord with kids in the seven-show series, which was announced Monday night, March 16. And a third yet-to-be announced show that will play in May 2016 is expected to appeal to youngsters as well.

The tour of "Newsies" had its Connecticut premiere at Waterbury's Palace Theater last fall and was a big hit there. The tour of Broadway's "Matilda," based on the Roald Dahl children's book — another show that appeals to youngsters — makes its Connecticut bow at New Haven's Shubert Theater May 16 to 23. The Bushnell will announce its third kid-centric show May 25


Articles of Interest:


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



A "Sneak Peek" at WCP's new Season

By Geary Danihy

The Westport Country Playhouse held a sneak preview of its upcoming season on Thursday, March 19, at the Playhouse. The venue’s current tag line is: “Theater Worth Talking About,” and that is what Mark Lamos, the Playhouse’s artistic director, and several guests did: they talked about aspects of the upcoming season, starting a conversation that will hopefully last until Arthur Miller’s “Broken Glass” closes on October 24, and perhaps even longer.

Lamos began the proceedings by commenting that the upcoming season “is all about family,” for each of the plays, in one way or another (if one broadens the definition of “family”), is about the conflicts and controversies, joys and sorrows, that vitalize and vitiate family life. However, Lamos’s use of the word extended beyond the plays chosen, for many of the actors and creative team members who will be involved in the upcoming productions have worked at the Playhouse before, and many of the playwrights have previously been featured on this venerable stage.

For Lamos, the concept of “family” extends beyond those involved in the productions to embrace the audience, for it is for the people sitting in the theater that all of this effort will be put forth and from whom the rewards and satisfaction will be garnered. From playwrights to actors to directors to creative team members to audience, it is a community eager (perhaps, at times, given our growing isolation, even desperate) to communicate on a human, visceral level.

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