Baryshnikov at Stage Means Opening Night of Parties

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stage1There was no doubt there was a star in the back room at Peppercorn’s Grill Friday night, so much so that most everyone was afraid to go near him.

It was the opening night part for Hartford Stage’s “Man In A Case” starring Mikhail Baryshnikov. But when the famed dancer and actor arrived at the opening party, it seemed most at the party were either afraid or uncertain as to whether they could approach “Misha” at his corner table.

stage4“Go ahead, just go up to him,” prodded  stage’s honorary director Sue Fisher, as her granddaughter Jessica Fisher, hemmed and hawed over whether to approach Baryshnikov as he enjoyed a private conversation with personal friends who came to Hartford for opening night.

“No that’s okay, I can see him,” said the Brown University student and ballet dancer who admitted she was a big Baryshnikov fan but was not sure about actually going up to him.

stage2There were those bold souls who put down their pasta dishes and approached the star, going up to him for autographs and pictures, with “Misha” doing his best to graciously accommodate the requests.

“It was a good night,” he said briefly about his take on opening night of the play adapted from two short stores by Anton Chekhov. And his stay in Hartford which has included fan sightings at places including Whole Foods in West Hartford and downtown restaurants including Salute?

“I have been to Connecticut many, many times he said. “It has been good.”

The post-show party wasn’t the only opening night celebration going on. Before the show, there was a dinner at Marquee Events at 960 Main St. Hartford. Among the guests, co-directors Annie-B Parson and husband, Paul Lazar and Faith Barrington, whose donation in memory of her late sister Cynthia, helped underwrite the show.

stage3She was costume designer in New York City and loved the theater,” explained Barrington about her sister who died in 2010.

The show also attracted some additional star power on Saturday night. Baryshnikov’s former girlfriend, actress Jessica Lange, caused a bit of a stir as she was escorted in. Lange and Bryshnikov had a daughter together, Aleksandra Baryshnikov, in 1981.


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