Tag Archives: East Haddam

Goodspeed Celebrates Its Golden Anniversary

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ggala2ggala1Rita Gardner remembers the first time she performed at East Haddam’s Goodspeed Opera House.

“The show was “Lady,Lady,” said Gardner, who traveled from New York Monday to attend the theater’s 50th anniversary gala. “On opening night they were still putting the seats in.”

Gardner was among many performers who had great memories of the theater and were part of the sold-out crowd celebrating the anniversary of the theater and the productions they have enjoyed.   

“There are too many to list,” said actor Ronn Carroll, who appeared in many of those including “Carousel,” “Camelot,” “1776” and “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” “It is always a joy to perform at this theater,” he said. “There is a quality to the shows. They are as good as Broadway, only the theater is smaller.”  

Thggala3e historic white building on the edge of the Connecticut River was as decked out for the night as the guests were. The theater was wrapped in gold bunting with bouquets of gold balloons planted everywhere including the three tents used for the occasion. A special VIP reception at the adjacent Gelston House kicked off the night with gala chairs Marcia Kalayjian and Hila Rosen, and Goodspeed board president Fran Adams providing the welcomes.

Following dinner, there was a star-studded show with music from various musicals that have been featured at the theater over the past five decades, including Gardner singing “When the Ship Cones In” and an impromptu performance of “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” 

Aggala5 nostalgic Michael Price, who has been at the theater’s helm for 47 years was a bit nostalgic when he arrived, sporting a commemorative Goodspeed medallion on his lapel, one that he fashioned himself.  

“It was actually a bookmark we handed out once,” he said about the pressed golden metal rendition of the theater building. “I thought it would be nice to wear it tonight.”

And as far as his feelings on such a noteworthy night?

“It is sweet and wonderful,” said Price, who worked at the theater when it first opened, leaving and then returning again to begin his long tenure. “I can’t believe it’s been 50 years.”

For more pictures, go here.

Enjoy the Goodspeed And Help Someone Else

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It’s that time of year, time to help others and look for the deals. This from The Goodspeed…:

“On Monday, November 19, Goodspeed Musicals will hold their Annual Food Drive to benefit the East Haddam Food Bank. Goodspeed will be collecting donations in the hopes that they will have another record-breaking year for participation. The need is even greater this year as the number of households served by the East Haddam Food Bank has grown once again to record levels.

Goodspeed Musicals is offering a special buy one ticket, get one free to patrons who bring a generous donation of non-perishable foods to the November 19th 2:00 matinee or the 7:30 p.m. performance of Something’s Afoot  at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam  OR the 7:30 p.m. performance of The Great American Mousical at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn.

The East Haddam Food Bank is in need of many non-perishable food items, especially “the basics” such as soups, pastas, canned fruits and vegetables, and cereals, as well as paper goods and personal toiletries.

“This holiday season the Goodspeed family acknowledges the tremendous need right here in our community,” explains Michael P. Price, “we encourage all of our visitors to participate in this wonderful opportunity to share with our neighbors in the spirit of giving.”

During Thanksgiving week, performances will take place on Monday, November 19, at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm; Friday, November 23, at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm; Saturday, November 24, at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm; and Sunday, November 25, at 2:00 pm and 6:30 pm.  Donations will be accepted at both venues through November 25th.   Tickets for Something’s Afoot and The Great American Mousical including the food drive performances are available through the Goodspeed Box Office at 860.873.8668 or at www.goodspeed.org. Advance reservations are recommended. This offer is subject to availability, with no adjustments for prior sale.”