The always popular Ivoryton Playhouse, the grand lady of Connecticut theaters, has a fun season of plays and musicals scheduled for 2013.
On the musical side, the season opener is ‘Sh-boom, Sh-boom – Life Could Be A Dream’ by Roger Bean, the witty writer of ‘The Marvelous Wonderettes.’ He has now created another feel-good musical. It features a fictitious male group, the Crooning Crabcakes, as they prepare to enter the Big Whopper Radio Contest and realize their dreams of making it big time. The show features 60’s hits Fools Fall in Love, Unchained Melody, Lonely Teardrops and other classics from a doo-wop memory lane. It’s on March 13th – March 30th. And for those folks who LOVED last season’s “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do”, actress Sheila Coyle will be back on the boards for “Sh-boom……”
Next on the program is the award-winning ‘Other People’s Money,’ a witty satire by Jerry Sterner, which opens on April 17 and runs through May 5. A corporate raider threatens a hostile take-over of a New England “Mom & Pop” company. The patriarch of the company enlists the help of his secretary’s daughter, who is a lawyer, to try and protect the company. What follows is a snowballing plot of financial manipulations, unlikely alliances and a ‘surprising twist at the end.’
For fans of the Simpsons and anyone who loves to laugh comes Mike Reiss’s hilarious ‘I’m Connecticut.’ This new play, a hit for the Connecticut Repertory Theater in Storrs, will run from June 5 – June 23. Mike is the four-time Emmy Award-winning writer and a producer of the ‘The Simpsons.’ ‘I’m Connecticut’ is a wacky, fast-paced, sweet romantic comedy about Marc, a Connecticut native, who struggles with relationships and feelings of inadequacy – why? Because he comes from Connecticut – perceived as a land of steady habits, sanity and politeness. When we polled the Ivoryton folks and critics, it was obvious that this is a must-see comedy for anybody from the Nutmeg State, or anyone who enjoys laughing out loud at Nutmeggers and other nuts.
Following the comedy is another musical, ‘Footloose,’ running July 3 to July 28. With music by Tom Snow, and book and lyrics by Dean Pitchford, this adaptation of the movie musical bursts onto the live stage with exhilarating results. Even though Ivoryton calls the story ‘heartfelt,’ the rock rhythm of the Top 40 score includes ‘Let’s Hear it for he Boy,’ ‘Almost Paradise,’ and, of course, ‘Footloose.’
From August 7 to September 1, the musical ‘Dreamgirls’ will grace the Ivoryton stage.The smash Broadway musical captures the spirit and hope of Motown when a girl group from Chicago makes it big. In a business controlled by men, the female trio fights for recognition, fellowship and love as superstardom challenges their musical and cultural identity. Dreamgirls sizzles with sparkling dance and R&B soul – featuring the hit songs ‘Dreamgirls,’ ‘And I am Telling You I’m Not Going’ and ‘One Night Only.’
A musical revue, ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’ pays tribute to those who have loved and lost (and didn’t make spaghetti) and lived to try again. Smartly conceived with catchy and witty lyrics, this affectionate look at love and marriage is as amusing today as when it first opened in New York in 1996 and played for 5003 performances. With a book by Joe DiPetro and music by Jimmy Roberts, the revue runs September 25-October 13.
Finally, and yes, this is a really full season – George Axelrod’s farce ‘The Seven Year Itch’ is on from October 30- November 17. A fabulously funny romp from the fifties, the play takes a humorous look at the problems of a typical married man whose wife and son have gone to the beach for the summer. Alone in the apartment, he is unprepared for the arrival of a stunning new upstairs neighbor. (Played in the movie version by Marilyn Monroe).
The Ivoryton Playhouse had a highly successful tuneful and funny season in 2012 so it might be a good idea to get tickets now for this year’s proven audience pleaser comedies and musicals.
Subscriptions are on sale now by phoning Beverley Taylor at 860 767-9520. Tickets for individual shows will be available by February 14 online at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.
Written by Don Church and Tony Schillaci, Critics On The Aisle