By Dani Frank
There’s no need to ride the Metro-North all the way to Grand Central for a taste of Broadway. Why not check out the Tony-winning plays and original work being offered in our own backyard? From Downtown Cabaret’s inviting, picnic-style presentations to the innovative, original plays transcending from Long Wharf’s small stage to Broadway, traversing through Connecticut will reveal endless options for performing arts.
Downtown Cabaret Theatre
263 Golden Hill St.
Bridgeport, CT, 06604
Box Office Hours: Tuesday – Friday 11 to 2 pm and 2 hours prior to performances
The beautiful brick exterior of Bridgeport’s Downtown Cabaret Theatre , courtesy of a 1995 renovation, and neon-lit sign invite audiences of all ages to enjoy the long-celebrated art of cabaret. Boasting a Children’s Theatre as well as separate Main Stage shows, audience members of all ages can experience the arts in a cozy, “bring your own picnic” environment. The 36-year-old nonprofit theater is the recipient of multiple Connecticut Critics Circle awards, with recognition for such popular performances as La Cage aux Folles and Sweet Charity. Visit the Downtown Cabaret Theatre and bask in Bridgeport’s local arts scene.
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Box Office Hours: Monday – Friday 9 to 5 pm, Saturday 12 to 4 pm and 1 hour prior to performances
For multiple avenues of artistic enjoyment, pull into the The Ridgefield Playhouse. Presenting stand-up of famous comedians, performances from successful musicians and productions of beloved plays, the Playhouse caters to every variety of performance art. What’s more, the Ridgefield Playhouse Film Society was established in 2004, and has since hosted presentations of popular films complete with director Q & A sessions. The Ridgefield Playhouse is only ten years in existence, but has already drawn the likes of Joan Baez and Paula Poundstone. Support the young theater and take in a screening, onstage show or more.
The Powerhouse Theatre
677 South Avenue
New Canaan, CT 06840-6335
Box Office Hours: Call the box office at (203) 966-7371 to reserve tickets. Reservations can be made up to 3 weeks prior to performance.
Tucked away in idyllic Waveny Park, New Canaan’s quaint as they come The Powerhouse Theatre is worth seeking out amidst the lush greenery. The Theatre’s electric energy owns to more than just the building’s humble beginnings as a power plant. Over 60 years of continuous shows have yielded polished performers and “theatre in the raw”, courtesy of Powerhouse Theatre’s Mainstage and Stage II performances. Experience the passion of aspiring artists on Stage II for the entry fee of only $4! And a leisurely post-performance walk along Waveny’s over 300 alluring acres? Free of charge.
Curtain Call Inc.
1349 Newfield Ave.
Stamford, CT 06905
Box Office Hours: Tuesday – Thursday from 10 to 4 pm.
Stamford’s Curtain Call Inc has earned top honors since 2005 as the best local theater group, as voted by Fairfield County Weekly’s readers. The adulated artists act out Tony-winning stories such as “A Chorus Line” in the stately Kweskin Theatre, with the support of a dedicated staff comprised mostly of volunteers. Next door to the newly created Kweskin, catch an intimate performance in the Dressing Room Theatre. With cabaret seating and, as the theatre puts it, BYOEverything policy, the Dressing Room is as close to watching performance art in your living room as it gets!
Long Wharf Theatre
222 Sargent Drive
New Haven, CT 06511
Box Office Hours: Monday from 10 to 5 pm, Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to evening curtain, Saturday and Sunday noon to evening curtain
The industrial exterior of New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre deceptively conceals an engaging interior, known as the driving force behind several original, Pulitzer-prize winning plays. Additionally, Long Wharf acquired a Best Regional Theatre Tony Award in its almost 50 year run. While the theatre’s reputation certainly precedes itself, the attention to the audience is not lost on the award-winning artistic haven. Engage in post show conversations following all regular season presentations, and converse with the gracious thespians following Tuesday night performances.
233 Pearl Street
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 527 7838
Box Office Hours: Monday through Friday 10 to 5 pm
Hartford’s self-proclaimed “off-Broadway style theater” lives up to its description, noting the Tony-award winning play “God of Carnage” and David Mamet’s Broadway-featured “Race” as performances of their 2010 – 2011 season. In addition to a high profile repertoire of shows, TheaterWorks features a newly revamped home in the City Arts on Pearl building. The recent restoration has established TheaterWorks as the largest concentration of non-profit arts in Connecticut. Enjoy the visual arts in addition to the performing arts, via a visit to the Gallery of American Art.