Chilling Cabaret Demands Attention

by E.A. McMullan | Jul 2, 2018 12:06 pm

Sam Plattus, director of Cabaret — playing now at Lyric Hall in Westville until July 15 — met us, his guests, with warmth and enthusiasm on our way into the auditorium. We found the stage filled with the cast in their attire, quiet chatter and knowing smirks abounding as they managed their preparations. Just after a hush settled over the whole room, Plattus walked to the foot of the apron.

“Today there were protests all across the country. ... It was really important to the whole cast that they were happening,” Plattus said. “I’ve learned, working on this show, that we live in a very fragile world. It looks more fragile by the day. It’s the responsibility of all of us together to make sure that the world doesn’t break.”

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“A Billion Nights” Full Of Wonder

by Jason Fitzgerald | Jun 15, 2018 10:03 am

Arts & IdeasIf the giggles and gasps I heard Thursday night from both adults and young children — often in unison — in Yale’s University Theatre is any indication, A Billion Nights on Earth is that rare thing: an evening of theatre for children that is not children’s theatre. Rather than a brightly colored cartoon story with enough double entendres to keep the parents awake, creator and director Thaddeus Phillips has taken the braver step of reminding us adults that we are at our best when we are like our children. Although the evening he has crafted lasts a scant hour and holds a trifle of a plot, it is designed, like a vivid dream, to linger long after it ends.

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Collective Consciousness Keeps It Fresh

by Brian Slattery | Jun 14, 2018 8:01 am

Brian Slattery PhotosFor teenager Chai’s birthday, his girlfriend Caryn is getting him something unusual: a new name.

She knows Chai doesn’t like his name, his full name, so behind his back she does some crowdfunding and raises the money — over $2,000 — to legally make the change.

One thing, though: Chai doesn’t know what to change it to. Another thing: Caryn doesn’t even know why Chai doesn’t like his name, or what it will do to his small nuclear family if he tries to change it.

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New Theater Company Comes To The Cabaret

by Brian Slattery | Jun 13, 2018 7:54 am

Brian Slattery PhotoCliff Bradshaw (Nate Houran) has just interrupted his love interest, Sally Bowles (Jay Eddy), canoodling with another man. She storms offstage and Cliff moves to follow her. He’s stopped by Ernst (Jeremy Funke), who wants to make a deal with him. Cliff wants no part of it. Ernst is a little confused, but not thrown off his game.

“I know you need the money,” he says, “so it must be something else. Ah — that Jew at the party?”

That’s when Cliff hits Ernst, landing a punch right in his stomach.

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Long Wharf And IRIS Make A Unicorn

by Brian Slattery | Jun 5, 2018 2:51 pm

Elizabeth Nearing PhotoAzhar Ahmed fled the war in Sudan in 2004. For a decade she lived with her husband in Cairo, working as a teacher and applying for refugee status in the United States. In June 2015 she and her husband finally arrived in New Haven. Her son was born six months ago, in a friend’s house.

“You have to start from the beginning,” she said, of her experience of arriving in the United States.

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Mauro-Sheridan Declares “Midsummer” In June

by Brian Slattery | May 31, 2018 7:48 am | Comments (1)

Brian Slattery PhotosOn the stage of Mauro-Sheridan Interdistrict Magnet School on Tuesday, Isabella Violante Fletcher, Jayliz Freeney, Nehima Bell, and Chidimma Nzekwe —better known as Mustardseed, Peaseblossom, Cobweb, and Moth in their costumes — were chanting about animals.

“Spotted snakes with double tongues, thorny hedgehogs be not seen. Newts and bloodworms do no wrong. Come not near our fairy queen.” They sang it to the tune of Brahms’s famous lullaby. In the middle of them was Zyana Campbell, or Titania, who sank slowly into slumber. One of the fairies stood guard, until Martin Duff as Oberon shooed her away.

He knelt down and cast his own spell to work some of the mischief that fuels A Midsummer NIght’s Dream — the eighth annual Shakespeare production at Mauro-Sheridan, put together by a deep collaboration among Jodi Schneider of Mauro-Sheridan, the education program at Elm Shakespeare Company, Hopkins School, and most important, a cadre of game, hardworking, and talented fifth- to eighth-graders at Mauro-Sheridan.

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NHTC Shows There’s More Than “Rumors”

by Brian Slattery | May 14, 2018 12:03 pm

Megan Chenot PhotosIt’s fitting that Neil Simon’s Rumors  —  playing May 16 to May 19 at the New Haven Theater Company on Chapel Street —  effectively starts with a slamming door. Before that is a brief, frantic conversation between Chris Gorman (Jenny Schuck) and her husband Ken (Peter Chenot). Chris is dressed in an evening gown. Ken has blood on his tuxedo shirt.

“He’s bleeding like crazy,” Ken says.

“Oh my God!” Chris says.

“It’s all over the room,” Ken says. “I don’t know why people decorate in white.”

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