Summer Stages: Summer Picks in Connecticut
By Lauren Yarger
Connecticut's theater season heats up during the summer with regular and summer series offerings. Some of the top picks I am looking forward to:
- Hartford Stage offers the 2013 Tony Award winning comedy Vanya, Sonia, Masha & Spike through June 22. Christopher Durang's zany homage to Chekov themes will be directed by Maxwell Williams, Hartford Stage's associate artistic director. It's 90 minutes of laughs as a self-absorbed movie star returns to her family farmhouse to visit her brother and sister with a young boy-toy in tow. Her arrival and plans for the family manse create chaos. The cast includes Andrea Lynn Green, David Gregory, Leslie Hendrix, Mark Nelson, Stacey Sargeant and Caryn West. Tickets: 860-527-5151; www.hartfordstage.org.
- Fingers & Toes, a new musical from Logan Ledland starring Rick Faugno opens the summer season at Ivoryton Playhouse June 4-22. This "mini" musical combines snappy dialogue and high-energy tap routines. The plot: Tap dancer Dustin "Toes" MacGrath, and pianist Tristan "Fingers" St. Claire have managed to talk a major Broadway producer into coming to see their show in two weeks: a boy-meets-girl, tap-dance spectacular on the theme of love. There are a few problems, however: they haven't written it yet, they don't have a girl and they don't know anything about love..... Completing the cast are Joyce Chittick, and indy musician Aaron Berk. Tickets: 860-767-7318; www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.
- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee runs through July 20 at Playhouse on the Park in West Hartford to wrap up the theater's fifth anniversary year. Playhouse on the Park has numerous other offerings from improve, a clowning class, vocal and acting instruction and more. Check it out at www.playhouseonpark.org; 860-523-5900, ext. 10.
- Leslie Uggams may be the first African-American actress to play the legendary role of Rose in a mixed-race cast of Gypsy presented as part of CT Repertory's Summer Nutmeg Series at UConn. The run closes out the aeries which also includes The Sunshine Boys, June 19-29 starring Jerry Adler and Richard Kline. http://crt.uconn.edu/nutmeg-summer-series-2014/
- Love/Sick, the newest from John Cariani (Almost, Maine) runs through June 22 at TheaterWorks in Hartford. http://theaterworkshartford.org.