Arts & Culture

Top Spring 2014 Theater Productions In Connecticut

March 10, 2014 9:00 AM

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Image courtesy Goodspeed.org

Image courtesy Goodspeed.org

Sure, there are lots of theater options at venues in Hartford and across the state, but the shows in New Haven, East Haddam and Bridgeport are the cat’s meow this spring. There is also at least one good option for kids theater happening in West Hartford, so get to your seats, the shows are about to start.

These Paper Bullets!
Yale Repertory Theatre
1120 Chapel St.
New Haven, CT 06520
(203) 432-1234
www.yalerep.org/paperbullets

Date: March 14 – April 5, 2014

Tired of “Much Ado About Nothing?” It’s time for a fresh take on an old classic. Dubbed a “modish ripoff” of Shakespeare’s classic, Pulitzer Prize and Emmy Award-nominated writer Rolin Jones teams up with Grammy and Tony Award winner Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day, “American Idiot”) to deliver a powerful, rockin’ punch to the stage. Directed by Jackson Gay, “These Paper Bullets!” is the story of a four-man band from Liverpool who attempts to make an album in seven nights (hello, Beatles undertone). It gets even more complicated due to their infatuated fans, the law and a distraught former drummer. 

To Kill A Mockingbird
Bridgeport Theatre Company
Downtown Cabaret Theatre
263 Golden Hill St., Suite 3
Bridgeport, CT 06604
(203) 416-6446
www.bridgeporttheatre.org/to-kill-a-mockingbird

Date: March 21-29, 2014

What’s better than seeing the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic by Harper Lee in a cabaret style at an affordable venue? It’s hard to pass up, especially given the proven integrity of Bridgeport Theatre Company. Follow protagonist and widowed father Atticus Finch and his children Scout and Jem as they struggle with racial injustice in a small town. From the mysterious dark-skinned neighbor to the injustice of the courts in the deep South, the family witnesses first-hand the intolerance of the world during the Great Depression.

The Shadow of the Hummingbird
Long Wharf Theatre, Stage II
222 Sargent Drive
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 787-4282
www.longwharf.org/shadow-hummingbird

Date: March 26 – April 27, 2014

For the first time in 15 years, South African playwright, actor and Academy Award winner Athol Fugard returns to the stage for the world premiere of “The Shadow of the Hummingbird.” Written and staring Fugard, “Hummingbird” reflects on the multi-generational relationship between a grandfather and grandson. When a 10-year-old boy plays hooky from school, the two characters both get a lesson in life. Their adventurous and contemplative day together leads audiences grasping at the transient nature of life.

Related: Top Local Poets In Connecticut


DAMN YANKEES: The Red Sox Version

Goodspeed Opera House
6 Main St.
East Haddam, CT 06423
(860) 873-8668
www.goodspeed.org/shows/damn-yankees

Date: April 11 – June 21, 2014

Set along the tranquil Connecticut River and juxtaposed next to the nostalgic century-old Swing Bridge, the Goodspeed Opera House itself is reason to attend a performance with its 1876 Victorian-style charm. With the beginning of baseball season in mind and the heated rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox common to Connecticut, Goodspeed throws theater lovers a curveball by changing the setting of “Damn Yankees,” the mid-century Broadway classic, from New York northward to Beantown. Join a Red Sox super-fan as he makes a deal with the devil and becomes a Red Sox star in what you may want to rename DAMN RED SOX!

A Year with Frog and Toad
Playhouse on Park
244 Park Road
West Hartford, CT 06119
(860) 523-5900
www.playhouseonpark.org

Date: May 3-11, 2014

Based on the 1970s books about Frog and Toad, authored by Arnold Lobel, this Tony Award-nominated play (including Best Musical and Best Original Score) is the perfect introduction to theater for kids. Follow the amphibious odd couple through four seasons of life, practically singing and dancing the whole way. Musical numbers include “It’s Spring,” “Getta Loada Toad,” “Cookies,” “I’m Coming Out of My Shell” and others as the characters hop from book to live action on stage. Expect a lively rendition as the West Hartford theatre group has won numerous awards including best professional theater company by Hartford Magazine and Hartford Advocate several times over.

Related: Top Directors In The Local Theater Scene In Connecticut

Edward Main is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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