Tag Archives: broadway

All the World’s A CT Stage, Hartford, Goodspeed, Black-eyed Sally’s

by Categorized: Uncategorized Tagged: , , , , Date:

Courant Photo

There were some special guests at the revival of Horton Foote’s “The Trip to Bountiful” on Broadway recently, and of course director and former Hartford Stage head Michael Wilson was so honored to have them there. The guests? First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha.

According to Wilson, who will soon be doing some slipping back into Hartford for pre-production work on the annual production of “A Christmas Carol” at Hartford Stage, the First Lady and daughters received a round of applause from the audience at the award-winning show, and afterwards headed backstage to meet the crew and cast including Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams, Tom Wopat and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Wilson said Mrs. Obama was “ generous in her praise for the production” and also met Hartford Stage alum including Devon Abner, Pat Bowie, Curtis Billings, Leon Addison Brown, Arthur French, Bill Kux, Adepero Oduye, Linda Powell (daughter of former secretary of state Colin Powell), and Charles Turner.

And Wilson notes, he received a hug from the First Lady during the backstage kudos.

By coincidence, Hartford attorney Tanya Bovee, who was the highest bidder on a Broadway package at last spring’s Connecticut Fair Housing benefit, was also in the audience and while she did not get to meet Mrs. Obama, she did get a meet and greet with Williams.

dolly guests 002

Courtesy of Goodspeed

Meanwhile, there was also some star power over at the Goodspeed at its production of “Hello Dolly” which, by the way, has been extended to Sept. 14.

Broadway stars Audra McDonald and Will Swenson came to see their friend, Tony Sheldon, who plays Horace Vandergelder in the show. The two were on the way to Tanglewood where the Grammy-award winning McDonald was slated to do a concert.

And speaking of things happening on stage, Black-eyed Sally’s had a special guest a few days ago, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The non-profit group that makes wishes come true for very ill children, brought Seattle resident Connor Owen and his family to Hartford to see a Toby Keith concert and meet him after the show. As part of the weekend, the foundation chose Black-eyed Sally’s for dinner for the blind and wheelchair bound 17-year-old because they knew how much he and his family would enjoy the restaurant’s live R&B music provided that night by The Dirty Bones.

And he did and then some, according to Varano who not only had the band play a Johnny Cash song and dedicate it to Owen (a huge JC fan) but also gave him a CD and Black-eyed Sally’s tee shirt as a souvenir.

A Valentine “Broadway – Style” From The Bushnell

by Categorized: Uncategorized Tagged: , , , , , Date:

mormomBushnell officials have announced its 2013-2014 season and its a good one. “War Horse,” “The Book of Mormon” and more!

Take a look <3 Hartford!

“In a Valentine to Connecticut, The Bushnell announced today its 2013-2014 Broadway Series season.  Beginning in September 2013, The Bushnell will bring a newly reimagined MISS SAIGON, crowd-pleaser FLASHDANCE THE MUSICAL, magical love story GHOST THE MUSICAL, family-friendly A CHRISTMAS STORY, along with Tony Award winners WAR HORSE, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, and THE BOOK OF MORMON.


Bushnell President and CEO David Fay said of the lineup, “I am thrilled that the staff at The Bushnell has again put together an exciting and well-rounded season of high-quality Broadway entertainment.  I’m especially excited that we’re co-producing a brand-new production of MISS SAIGON as well as presenting recent Tony-winning hits WAR HORSE, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, and THE BOOK OF MORMON.  There is much to appeal to families, Broadway traditionalists, and those who enjoy contemporary theatrical offerings.  I think our season ticket holders will be very happy with these selections, and I’m extremely pleased to welcome Webster Bank back as co-sponsor of the Broadway Series.”  Current season ticket holders will receive their renewal packages in March, and new packages will be available in early summer – however interested patrons are encouraged to call the Box Office today to have their name placed on a waiting list. Single tickets will go on sale this summer.”

Broadway Steps Up On Palace Stage for Newtown

by Categorized: Uncategorized Tagged: , , Date:

palaceA host of Broadway celebs will step onto Waterbury’s Palace Theater stage at the end of this month to benefit the Sandy Hook Support Fund.

Take a look:

“On December 14, 2012, tragedy struck Sandy Hook Elementary School and our nation mourned with the residents of Newtown, Connecticut. As the town slowly attempts to recover, Broadway stars, producers, writers, and directors will lend their voices in support. “From Broadway with Love: A Benefit Concert For Sandy Hook” will take place on January 28, 2013 at 7:00 pm at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, CT, 20 minutes from Newtown. All proceeds and donations will go to United Way of Western Connecticut’s Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

“From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Sandy Hook” will feature song, dance, and other appearances from some of the biggest names on Broadway, together with select students from various Newtown choirs and dance groups.

Renowned Broadway performers scheduled to appear include Brian Stokes Mitchell (Tony Award winner: Kiss Me Kate, 3-time Tony Award nominee), Linda Eder (Jekyll & Hyde), Stephen Schwartz (6-time Tony Award nominee, Wicked, Godspell), Micky Dolenz (Aida, member of The Monkees), Marc Shaiman (Tony Award winner: Hairspray, TV’s SMASH), Michael Cerveris (Tony Award winner for Assassins, 4-time Tony Award nominee, Evita, Sweeney Todd), Christine Ebersole (Tony Award winner: Grey Gardens), Frank Wildhorn (Tony Award nominated: Bonnie & Clyde and Civil War, Jekyll & Hyde), Philip Boykin (Tony Award nominee: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess), Richard Kind (The Producers, TV’s Mad About You), Andrea McArdle (Tony Award nominee: Annie, Les Miserables), Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray movie), Alan Muraoka (Pacific Overtures, TV’s Sesame Street), Jan Maxwell (5-time Tony Award nominee including Follies), Robin de Jesus (Tony Award nominee: La Cage Aux Folles and In The Heights), Seth Rudetsky (The Ritz), Julia Murney (Wicked, Lennon), Isabela Moner (Evita), as well as members from various casts of Million Dollar Quartet: Lance Guest, Erik Hayden, Randy Redd, Dan Mills, and Victoria Matlock. More performers will be announced soon and artists are subject to change.

The benefit concert will be directed by Michael Unger with certain segments directed by Jeff Calhoun, Stephen Nachamie, David Lee and Daisy Prince and is produced by Van Dean and Kenny Howard of the Broadway Consortium, Jennifer Isaacson, Ken Mahoney, Sarahbeth Grossman, Bethney Ruggiero, Michael A. Alden, Rob Hinderliter and Yvette Kojic. Jeffrey Saver (End Of The Rainbow) is music directing and conducting an orchestra consisting of many top Broadway musicians. Librettist David Thompson (The Scottsboro Boys, Steel Pier, Chicago) is helping the creative team shape the show. Cindi Rush Casting is on board as Casting Consultant. Tom Bussey is Technical Supervisor, John Petrafesa is Sound Designer, David Agress is Lighting Designer and Tom McPhillips is Scenic Designer. Zoya Kachadurian is Production Stage Manager.

From Broadway With Love  will also be a  free night of entertainment for the affected families, first responders, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School community. The Palace Theater seats approximately 2,600 and a limited number of tickets are now on sale to the general public.  Ticket prices  range from $50 to $250.

To purchase tickets or make a tax-deductible donation, please visit www.FromBroadwayWithLove.org. Contact Ken Mahoney at 914-419-3762 or sponsorship@frombroadwaywithlove.org for information on how to become a corporate sponsor.”


Hartford’s Bushnell Gets Ready to Welcome Mary Poppins

by Categorized: Uncategorized Tagged: , , Date:

She’s  everybody’s favorite nanny so it is without question she should be properly welcomed to Hartford.

With that said, The  Bushnell will celebrate the imminent arrival of Mary Poppins with a free family Block Party on Saturday, September 8, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  The event precedes The Bushnell’s September 14 – 23 engagement of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh present MARY POPPINS, the national tour of the beloved hit Broadway musical.

In a most delightful way, The Bushnell is using these Poppins tunes including “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” “It’s a Jolly Holiday,” and “Step in Time,” as the theme for the block party activities. They include:

  • Let’s Go Fly A Kite

Using a free kite kit provided by The Bushnell, kids can assemble & decorate their own flying creations. Weather permitting they can stroll down to Bushnell Park and “send them soaring!”  Also, the first 100 families to arrive will receive a free Mary Poppins logo kite.

  • Disney Cabaret

From the Great Hall balcony, Ensign-Darling Vocal Fellows will give free recitals of Disney music.

  • Step In Time

Kids of all ages can gather in the courtyard, learn a little choreography, and then dance along to a famous Mary Poppins song.

  • Chalk Drawings
    • Professional chalk muralist       Tracy Lee Stum will create a spectacular 3D mural at the entrance to the       Bushnell courtyard.  The mural will depict famous Broadway       characters – including Mary Poppins – enjoying Bushnell Park as it might       look like in years to come, thanks to the iQuilt Plan (www.theiQuiltPlan.org).        Kids and parents alike will then be able to step into the mural and take       pictures in the Bushnell Park of tomorrow.
    • Families will have an       opportunity to sketch their own chalk drawings on the Capitol Avenue       sidewalk in front of The Bushnell.
  • Sing-Along Film Screening      – Families can gather in The Bushnell’s Belding Theatre and sing along to     a free screening of the film version of Mary Poppins – complete      with on-screen lyrics.  Tickets are required, and are free!
  • Bushnell Park Carousel and    Memorial Arch will open for business and      tours.
  • And much more
    • A living statue artist,       dressed as Mary Poppins, will engage and entertain the crowd
    • Face painters
    • Caricature artists
    • Balloon animal artists
    • Foam core cut-outs of Mary       Poppins characters for family photos
    • Button making activities
  • Food carts      will set up along Capitol Avenue for the purchase of refreshments.       Café tables & chairs will be available on the veranda outside the box    office.


All Block Party activities are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.  Tickets for the September 14 – 23 engagement of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh present MARY POPPINS are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.bushnell.org or by calling The Bushnell box office at 860-987-5900.  Disney and Cameron Mackintosh present MARY POPPINS kicks off the 2012-2013 Broadway Series season, sponsored by Travelers and Webster Bank.