Tag Archives: Rob Ruggiero

“Fiddler On The Roof” At The Goodspeed

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It was a family affair Friday night at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam as Stephen and Abbey Kreinik of Hartford watched their daughter, Barrie, make her Goodspeed debut as Tzeitel in “Fiddler On The Roof.”Goodspeed 2014 021

“She has know since she was a young child that this was what she wanted to do with her life,” said Abbey Kreinik. “’Fiddler on the Roof’ was the first Broadway show we took her to see when she was five years old.”

Barrie holds an MFA in Acting from Brown/Trinity Rep and a BA in Theatre and English from Cornell University.

“This is a dream come true, she grew up going to [The Goodspeed],” said Abbey.

ChoreographerEsseAlso at the show Friday night, choreographer Parker Esse, wife Maria and their 15 year old son Jaden; Henry M. Zachs; and Jef Wolter, Goodspeed board president, and wife Kate of East Haddam.

Goodspeed 2014 011“It’s our third collaboration,” said Esse, of working with director Rob Ruggiero. “We did ‘Carousel’ together two seasons ago and this past season we did ‘The Most Happy Fella.’…We enjoy working together.”

Java wanted to know, besides “Fiddler,” if Barrie has a dream production she’d like to act in.

“My Fair Lady,” she said, without skipping a beat.

Goodspeed 2014 017“Fiddler” opened in previews Friday, June 27, and runs through Sept. 12.

TheaterWorks Unveils New Show, New Digs

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theater3The evening was supposed to be about the opening of TheaterWorks latest production “The Other Place.”

But before the show began Friday, there was the celebration of another “other place,” the dazzling new administrative digs at the Pearl Street theater.

A select group of the well-known got the first peek of the new second floor office space that includes a box office, meeting room and some impressive new territory for TheaterWorks producing artistic director Rob Ruggiero.

“It’s just nice to have us all in the same place,” enthused Ruggiero, whose opening night guest theater1list including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and, his wife, Greater Hartford Arts Council Cathy Malloy. “It is just so much nicer than being spread out all over the place.”

And if the old adage that your workspace determines how you work, then watch out. The seemingly unstoppable Ruggiero will undoubtedly be bringing even more to the creative table.

“I love my sand box,” said Ruggiero whose minimalist but sophisticated office includes a small desktop sand box where he can dig for new ideas, a chalkboard wall already filled with inspirational sayings and notes to himself and assorted art and posters, all aimed at artistic succtheater2ess.

Among the VIP’ers at the pre-show reception was Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra. He could not stay however; he had some cooking to do back at his Prospect Avenue home.

“Charlie is at home and I have to get back to help him,” explained Segarra. Seems the power couple was hosting and cooking for a Hartford Stage party.

And on the menu?

“We are serving Cornish game hen with a guava glaze and roasted pork loin with pigeon peas,” Segarra reported.

But what about the TheaterWorks show?

“I’m going to catch it on another night,” Segarra said as he headed out the door. “I have to go cook!”

Dr. Ruth Comes To Theaterworks, Really!

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How does it feel to watch a play about yourself?

Pretty good as far as author, media personality and sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer is concerned.

She was at Theaterworks in Hartford Friday, Saturday and Sunday to catch performances of the poignant “Becoming Dr. Ruth,” by Mark St. Germain.

“I pinch myself when I watch so I keep my mouth shut,” said the petite Westheimer who celebrated her 85th birthday earlier in the week. “I sit on the edge of my seat when I watch the play. They have done an incredible job.”

Westheimer, whose pre-celebrity story includes fleeing from the Nazis in the Kindertransport when she was 10 years old, joining the Haganah in Jerusalem as a scout and sniper and her life as a single mother in America, gave actress Debra Jo Rupp a thumbs up when it comes to playing the role of the pioneering radio and television sex therapist, whose given name was Karola Ruth Siegel.

“She did a tremendous job,” said Ruth, who on opening night Saturday, was wearing a silver heart and chain Rupp had surprised her with for her birthday.

The good doctor had much to say about Hartford, noting that her visit was one of “all smiles.”

“I rode the carousel at Bushnell Park today for free,” she said, explaining how she was the 92nd person out of first 100 who were eligible for the free ride during Connecticut Open House Day Saturday. “I had not ridden a carousel since I was a child in German.”

And on Sunday, she was treated to a private tour of the Mark Twain House & Museum, courtesy of Jacques Lamarre, the well-known, multi-talented outgoing communications director there.

“He’s a show in himself,” quipped Theaterworks artistic director Rob Ruggiero who arranged the special visit for Westheimer. “I’ll pick you up at 10:20. It’s a date.”

“Don’t say that,” said the feisty Westhheimer who was widowed many years ago. “I don’t want people to think I have someone. I’m looking!”