It’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.”
Who gets to enact the story of someone else’s suffering? Is it worthwhile to enact situations you have no knowledge of, through belief in some common, shared existential state? Global citizens, denizens of the internet, aren’t we free to access whatever speaks to us?
The daughter of an evangelist must come to terms with her own faith and doubt while traveling on the revival circuit in the Great Plains in Majkin Holmquist’s Tent Revival. The aftermath of a rape is depicted for both the assailant’s mother and the victim in Genne Murphy’s The Girl is Chained. Recidivism within a Philadelphia family occurs in a span from the 1980s’ crack epidemic to today’s opioid crisis in Josh Wilder’s Marty and the Hands that Could.
Jazz heavyweights and artistic emissaries from Africa will mix with New Haven’s finest talent at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas this year. That’s just the way Chad Herzog, co-executive director of the festival and director of programming, wants it, as the festival continues to deal with a tighter state budget by sinking its roots deeper into the Elm City.
It’s not only Latice Crawford’s powerhouse vocals, athletic melisma, and seemingly bottomless reserves of soul that are bringing audiences to their feet at the Long Wharf Theatre. The force of her rendition of the gospel classic “His Eye is On the Sparrow” is sustained by its dramatic context.
Crawford is not just singing her heart out; she’s struggling to reach an angry and emotionally closed teenage girl, wounded by violence and betrayal, who can’t imagine that gospel music might have something to say to her. The girl’s reluctant opening to her heritage is the thin but effective plot of Crowns, the musical written and directed by Regina Taylor now being revived in a spirited and talent-riddled production co-presented with the McCarter Theatre.
A young man is leaving his home in rural North Carolina, heading for the town of Asheville. He’s stopped in a bookstore before he goes. A young woman works there. There’s something between them that they’ve never really talked about, but they both feel it. He dances out the door.
She reaches out a hand and stops time. Reverses it. The young man sashays back into the bookstore, in reverse. His hat leaps from his head, as if by magic. He’s back where he was, right before he said his goodbye. She stops time again, and sings in that frozen moment, a song full of hope that the young man finds what he’s looking for. She wants the best for him. But she wants him, too, and she doesn’t quite know how to reconcile the two.
Diane Pileggi has spent 22 years working behind the scenes in the back office at the Shubert Theater. Now the historic theater’s accounting supervisor, she cited her favorite show over those two plus decades: Last season’s The Book of Mormon.
And what’s she looking forward to this season? She said she wants to think on it.
Some high schools put on an abridged version of Romeo and Juliet. Cooperative Arts High School is staging an immersive, site-specific, feminist rewrite of Hamlet.
Written by a drama teacher, Capillary Waves shoves Hamlet out of the spotlight and instead centers the story on Ophelia. In Shakespeare’s version, she’s the jilted lover who commits suicide. In Co-Op’s version, she’s the heroine who talks back to men, rescues Hamlet from his uncle’s plots and is ultimately murdered trying to save him.
On Wednesday night at Stetson Branch Library on Dixwell Avenue, Ife Michelle was explaining the plot of Crowns, the upcoming play at Long Wharf Theatre, and how it continued to relate to mentoring in the community today.