TheatreWorks New Milford -Celebrating 50 Years of Neil Simon

On Friday, February 28, TheatreWorks New Milford will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Neil Simon’s first and longest-running theatrical hit, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, by kicking off its 2014 season with that very show. The curtain goes up at 8:00 p.m. on a three-week run.

Barefoot5

In this classic, comedic romp, newlyweds Paul and Corie Bratter are proof positive that opposites attract. He’s a straight-as-an-arrow lawyer; she’s a free spirit. But they quickly discover married life is no paradise, having to endure a new apartment that’s falling to pieces, surprise visits from Corie’s overly protective mother, and the antics of their eccentric neighbor-in-the-attic, Velasco. Paul doesn’t understand Corie’s impulsiveness, while she wants him to be more spontaneous. Maybe running “barefoot in the park” would be a start?

Barefoot3 (1)

Neil Simon is arguably the greatest living comedic American playwright, and this is his first ‘hit’ production, that kept audiences laughing on Broadway for nearly four years straight in the 1960s. There are references to things from the past, and it is set it in 1963 to reflect that, but the comedy never gets old.

The production features six of the finest actors from across the region: Daniel Willey (Harwinton), Jessica Alex (New York, NY), Jeff Savage (Northfield), M.J. Hartell (Brookfield), Jonathan Ross (Thomaston), and Kevin Sosbe (New Milford). Besides Director and Co-Producer, Tom Libonate and Co-Producer, Glenn R. Couture, the show’s crew consists of Co-Producer and Co-Set Designer Richard Pettibone, Costume Designer Susan Pettibone, Technical Director Scott Wyshynski, Stage Manager Kathy Bolster and Assistant Stage Manager Abby Hambidge.

Barefoot2 (1)

BAREFOOT IN THE PARK runs March 1, 7,8,9 14,15,16. Curtain time is 8:00 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, with two 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinees on March 9 and March 16. Tickets for all shows are $23 for reserved seating.

Students and Military personnel with ID will be admitted for just $18.

On Thursday, February 27, senior citizens are invited to a FREE dress rehearsal at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, March 6 at 8:00 p.m. is TheatreWorks’ Pay-What-You-Want night. At this performance, you name the price for your ticket.

Reservations can be made online at WWW.THEATREWORKS.US or by calling the box office at (860) 350-6863.

TheatreWorks is an award-winning, regional theatre company located in the Litchfield Hills on 5 Brookside Avenue, just off Route 202 (next to the CVS), in New Milford, Conn.

For information about the Litchfield Hills, where to stay, dine and what to see visit www.litchfieldhills.com

Palace Theatre announces 2013-2014 Webster Bank Broadway Season

Palace Theatre Waterbury CT
Palace Theatre Waterbury CT

The Palace Theatre in Waterbury was built in the early 1920’s was active cultural scene prior to WWII. Famous New England theater impresario Sylvester Z. Poli opened the venue in 1922, after investing $1 million in its opulent décor. Designed by period architect Thomas Lamb in a Second Renaissance Revival style, the Palace Theater features an eclectic mix of Greek, Roman, Arabic and Federal motifs, grand lobby spaces and ornate dome ceilings, all in a palatial setting fit for a king.

Originally a movie/vaudeville house, the Palace evolved with the times over its 70 years of operation, presenting everything from silent films to Big Band music to contemporary rock concerts. Once considered the premiere performance venue in the Northeast, the Palace lights went dim in 1987. After 18 years of darkness and a $30 million three year renovation, restoration and expansion, the theater was transformed into a 90,000 square foot arena, housing a state-of-the-art theatrical facility in a historically preserved City landmark. Positioned as Greater Waterbury’s Center for the Performing Arts, this exquisite complex now showcases a performance schedule boasting professional Broadway performances, educational programs, top-quality family entertainment and more.

The Palace Theatre is not resting on its’ laurel’s and it getting ready to rock as it announces the 2013 – 2013-2014 Webster Bank Broadway Series that is paying tribute to some of the most iconic songs and biggest names in Rock and Roll history.

Jersey Boys
Jersey Boys

The season-long music fest kicks-off in October (9-13) with eight performances of Jersey Boys, the Tony Award-winning blockbuster musical about the rise of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

Elf
Elf

In November (19-21), patrons will be rockin’ around the Christmas tree to the new holiday classic Elf The Musical, followed by the world-wide party musical Rock of Ages in March (21-22), featuring 28 classic 80’s songs by artists like Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister, Journey and more.

Hair
Hair

The musical series continues in May (2-4) with HAIR, a chart-topping and poignant musical journey through the tumultuous 1960s, and wraps up in June (6-8) with Million Dollar Quartet, the musical that united four of the world’s greatest rock and roll icons Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.

As with any V.I.P. experience, becoming a Palace Theater Broadway subscriber has its benefits. Not only do customers reserve the same great seats for all five national touring Broadway productions, but they also receive a ten percent package savings on their tickets, as well as complimentary E-PASS privileges, which include advance email notice of new events with the opportunity to buy presale tickets before the general public.

Broadway Series subscription renewals for current subscribers are available and the Box Office is currently accepting orders for new subscribers. For more information or to receive a subscription brochure, call the Box Office at 203-346-2000 or visit www.palacetheaterct.org. For area information www.litchfieldhills.com

Westport Country Playhouse Opens Season With “Into the Woods”

Into the Woods Laren Kennedy, Erik Liberman and Danielle Ferland

A 25th anniversary production of the imaginative, fractured-fairy tale musical “Into the Woods” by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim will be staged at the theater where Sondheim was an apprentice in 1950, Westport Country Playhouse, in Westport, CT, May 1 through May 26. Directed by Mark Lamos, the Playhouse’s artistic director, the musical will open the historic theater’s 82nd season. It is co-produced with Baltimore’s CENTERSTAGE.

A multiple Tony Award winner, “Into the Woods” takes the audience to a beguiling and dark place inspired by the Grimm fairy tales. Among the classic characters that wander the woods searching for fulfillment of their wishes are Cinderella and her wicked stepsisters, Little Red Ridinghood and the Wolf, Rapunzel and her Prince, and Jack of beanstalk fame. As their fanciful tales intertwine, they are forced to confront the harsh reality of what actually happens after “happily ever after.”

Director Mark Lamos, who also serves as Westport Country Playhouse artistic director, has helmed Playhouse productions of “Twelfth Night, or What You Will”; “Lips Together, Teeth Apart”; “Happy Days”; “She Loves Me”; “The Breath of Life”; “That Championship Season”; and “Of Mice and Men.” His extensive New York credits include “Our Country’s Good,” for which he received a Tony Award nomination. A former artistic director at Hartford Stage, he received the 1989 Tony Award for the theater’s body of work.

The performance schedule is Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Special series feature A Taste of Tuesday, Previews, LGBT Night Out, Opening Night, Thursday TalkBack, Sunday Symposium and Backstage Pass. In addition, the Playhouse will offer an open captioned performance on Sunday, May 13, 3 p.m., for the hearing impaired.

For more information or tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online 24/7 at http://www.westportplayhouse.org.

About the Playhouse

Westport Country Playhouse is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, professional theater under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos and management leadership of Michael Ross. The Playhouse creates five live theater experiences, produced at the highest level, from April through November. Its vital mix of works—dramatic, comedic, occasionally exploratory and unusual—expands the audience’s sense of what theater can be. The depth and scope of its productions display the foremost theatrical literature from the past—recent as well as distant—in addition to musicals and premieres of new plays. During the summer, the Playhouse is home to the Woodward Internship Program, renowned for the training of aspiring theater professionals. Winter at the Playhouse, from November through March, offers events outside of the main season—Family Festivities presentations, Script in Hand play readings and a Holiday Festival. In addition, businesses and organizations are encouraged to rent the handsome facility for their meetings, receptions and fundraisers.

As an historic venue, Westport Country Playhouse has had many different lives leading up to the present. Originally built in 1835 as a tannery manufacturing hatters’ leathers, it became a steam-powered cider mill in 1880, later to be abandoned in the 1920s. Splendidly transformed into a theater in 1931, it initially served as a try-out house for Broadway transfers, evolving into an established stop on the New England straw hat circuit of summer stock theaters through the end of the 20th century. Following a multi-million dollar renovation completed in 2005, the Playhouse became a state-of-the-art producing theater, preserving its original charm and character.

Waterbury Palace Theater Announces April Line UP!

Dr. Frankenstein and Monster

From monsters to menopause, the Palace Theater’s April line-up has something for everyone. Tickets and gift certificates can be purchased by phone at 203-346-2000, online at www.palacetheaterct.org, or in person at the box office, 100 East Main Street in Waterbury. Groups of 15 or more qualify for discounted rates and should call the group sales hotline at 203-346-2011. For area information visit www.litchfieldhills.com

MEL BROOKS’ YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
Friday, April 13- 8pm; Saturday, April 14- 2pm & 8pm
The classic Mel Brooks movie is ALIVE and headed to Waterbury! Patrons will have a monstrously good time at this spectacular new production, winner of the 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award for BEST MUSICAL! Don’t miss the sensational cast delivering all your favorite laugh-out-loud moments from the classic film. Sponsored by Webster Bank, WTNH/MyTV9, Crystal Rock, Power Station Events.
Tickets: $68/$58/$48

Menopuase the Musical

MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL
Tuesday, April 17- 7:30pm; Wednesday, April 18- 7:30pm
This hilarious celebration of women and “The Change” set to classic tunes from the 60s, 70s and 80s, will have you cheering and dancing in the aisles along with hot flashes and night sweats!
Tickets: $49.50/$39.50/$28.50

AFTERWORK SMOOTH JAZZ AND R&B AFFAIR
Friday, April 20 – 5:30pm
Kick-off the weekend right with smooth vibes on a Friday night! ACTJamsProductions.com presents an intimate after-work event in the Palace Poli Club, featuring live performances by the Ron Howard Experience Band, Neo-Soul/R&B vocalist Jessica Carl, and R&B/Soul recording artist Lamone. Hors d’oeuvres and ACTJams drink specials will also be available.
Tickets: $20

C
Charlie Daniels

THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND
Saturday, April 21- 8pm
Known for his fiddle playing and rebel anthems, Charlie Daniels has been a true music icon for 50 years. His exhilarating mixture of rock, country, bluegrass, blues, and gospel has propelled such hits as “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and “Long Haired Country Boy.” Local band Crosseyed Cat will perform as the opening act. Sponsored by Naugatuck Savings Bank, WTNH/MyTV9, and Darter Specialties.
Tickets: $55/$45/$35

PALACE THEATER MOTORCYCLE RIDE
Saturday, April 21- 10am
Rev up your bikes and join us for the Palace’s first-ever motorcycle ride. The 47-mile scenic ride will head North through the Litchfield Hills, loop through Woodbury and Middlebury, and end on East Main Street, where Frankie’s Hotdogs and a variety of other vendors will be on site to greet the riders. Proceeds benefit the Palace Annual Fund. Sponsored by Naugatuck Savings Bank, Frankie’s Hot Dogs, Haymond Law Firm, and Darter Specialties.
Tickets: $25 per rider/$15 per passenger

ARTFORMS GALLERY VIEWING
Saturday, April 28 – 4pm
Join the Palace Theater for a gallery viewing and cocktail reception at the Fine Line Art Gallery, 319 Main St. South in Woodbury. The exquisite showcase will highlight a variety of local artwork from 17, award-winning Connecticut artists and will feature an hors d’oeuvres and wine reception. Proceeds benefit the theater’s Annual Campaign.|
Tickets: $25

About the Palace Theater
The Palace’s primary purpose is to revitalize the Greater Waterbury community through the presentation of the performing arts and educational initiatives in collaboration with area cultural and educational institutions. Its mission is to preserve and operate the historic Palace Theater as a performing arts center and community gathering place that provides a focal point of cultural activity and educational outreach for diverse audiences. For more information, visit: http://www.palacetheaterct.org.

Downtown Cabaret Theatre Presents GARY PUCKETT and The Union Gap March 31

Gary Puckkett

Gary Puckett and The Union Gap will take the stage of the Downtown Cabaret Theatre for two performances (5pm & 8pm) ONLY on Saturday, March 31 (2012). The Downtown Cabaret Theatre is at the located at 263 Golden Hill Street in downtown Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Gary Puckett and The Union Gap is one of the most successful musical groups of the 1960s and over the years achieved worldwide prominence. With Gary’s powerful and unmistakable signature voice, the group garnered six consecutive Gold Records and Top 10 Billboard hits and sold more records in 1968 than any other recording act…including The Beatles. In addition, Gary is one of the few artists whose first five releases went gold…not even Elvis accomplished this.

Among the group’s hit singles are “Woman Woman,” “Young Girl,” “Lady Willpower,” “Over You,” “Don’t Give Into Him” and “The Girl Is a Woman Now,” among numerous others.

“Young Girl” was re-issued by popular demand in England where it reached #1 and achieved a Silver Record Award for the second time…a full six years after the song was initially released.

Gary Puckett performs at the Musicians Hall of Fame awards show at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tenn.

The group’s “Greatest Hits” album continues to be one of CBS Records’ best-selling “Collector’s Series” albums today.

Gary was a founding member of the incredibly successful “Happy Together” tour that played to sold-out performances in over 100 cities nationwide. Later, Gary was invited to tour with The Monkees on their national reunion tour, which established itself as the major box office success of the 1986 touring season.

In 1992, Gary went to Europe and recorded “In Europe,” which was released there almost immediately, but was not released in the US until 2001.

Gary Puckett and The Union Gap are schedule for two performances ONLY on Saturday, March 31 at 5pm and 8pm.

The Downtown Cabaret Theatre is located at 263 Golden Hill Street in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Reserved tickets are $39-$49-$59-$69. Tickets can be reserved: By Phone: Box Office: 203.576.1636 In Person: at box office located 263 Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport, Connecticut Online at www.downtowncabaret.org


About Downtown Cabaret Theatre:

Box Office Hours: 11am to 5pm – Tuesdays thru Fridays. The Box Office is open 90 minutes prior to performance times
Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays – Closed

The Downtown Cabaret Theatre is a direct descendent of the Sacred Heart University Cabaret. After several successful seasons in an academic setting, the entire company, under the artistic direction of Claude McNeal, moved to its present home in 1975. Alexander Hawley, Samuel Hawley, Norwick Goodspeed, Mayor Nicholas Panuzio, Leete Doty, and other business and civic leaders believed that a professional theatre company in a resident home was essential to the development of the downtown area. As part of this move, the assembly room of the former YWCA was converted to a theatre, including the addition of a balcony and air conditioning.

Since the Theatre’s official opening with VAUDEVILLE TROUPE on February 27, 1976, over one million adults and children have enjoyed musical productions in the unique “Bring Your Own Picnic” cabaret atmosphere. It is now recognized as an important regional theatre and cultural resource.

Drawing upon both Connecticut and New York talent, the Downtown Cabaret has proven to be a marvelous opportunity for theatre professionals to showcase their talents and it has created a perfect environment for the seasoned and up-and-coming artist.

The Downtown Cabaret Theatre is incorporated as a not-for-profit tax-exempt regional theatre that offers year-round musical theatre and entertainment. As with all non-profit arts organizations, the Downtown Cabaret must rely on the support of the public and private sectors.

In 1995 the Cabaret underwent a $1.3 million renovation to the facility. Renovations included the construction of a fly house over the stage, the remodeling of the backstage bathrooms, lobby and house, as well as major upgrades to lighting, sound, and air conditioning equipment. These renovations were funded by a $900,000 grant from the State and a capital campaign the Theatre undertook. The newly renovated theatre now holds 290 people.

The Pietasters, Ska Music Like the English Beat, on StageOne

The Pietasters

StageOne in Fairfield (www.fairfieldtheatre.org) is celebrating St Patrick’s Day, March 17th, with a special concert by The Pietasters at 7:30 PM (doors open at 7:00 PM). Tickets are $22 and members get a $3 discount.

The Pietasters — a term of British slang for “fat guys”– are a seven-piece ska revival band founded in 1990 in Washington, DC by Stephen Jackson and some friends from Virginia Tech. Ska, for the uninitiated, is a musical style that originated in Jamaica in the fifties; a mix of horn riffs, calypso and Caribbean sound played by musicians with a general appreciation of drinking, fun-loving, and rebellion. It is also recognized as precursor to reggae.

Obsessed with the musical history of soul and Motown and influences coming from seventies ska bands like The Specials (Coventry, UK) and Bad Manners (London), The Pietasters stepped into the spotlight when they opened for the British ska band Bad Manners in 1992.

Their tight, high-energy, brassy punk reggae style gets people up and dancing before they know it. This could be why bands like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Ozomatli, and Cherry Poppin Daddies have asked them to share the stage on tour, or why James Brown had them back him up in front of 25,000 people in DC.

The Pietasters have been playing together for 22 years. They are known as a band playing catchy, energetic music that knows how to take control of a room, playing such favorites as Drunken Master, Night Owl, and One Dollar Bill besides fan favorite renditions of Maggie Mae (Rod Stewart), Come Together (The Beatles) and Listen to Her Heart (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers). Their lineup has changed over the years but some core members remain — namely founder Steve Jackson on vocals — but their sound is as tight as ever. Don’t miss this eight-man band that SPIN Magazine calls “an equal opportunity dancehall crasher — part ‘60s keg rock, part 2Tone and part Motown.”