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Diane Sobolewski

You could make the case that America’s obsession with sports really took hold thanks to baseball in the 1950s. When Broadway producer/director/writer George Abbott turned to "Damn Yankees" as his next musical in 1955, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

Town of Stratford

If you want to manage a once-popular theater that has hosted stars like Katharine Hepburn and James Earl Jones, the town of Stratford wants to hear from you.

Sandy Aldieri / Perceptions Photography

Looking back isn’t something Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts is much interested in doing. 

Joan Marcus

The Tony awards were announced earlier this week, and a musical that got its start at Hartford Stage leads all nominations.

British Actor Bob Hoskins Dies At 71

Apr 30, 2014

Bob Hoskins, the British actor who starred in memorable films such as The Long Good Friday, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mona Lisa and The Cotton Club, has died. He was 71.

The Guardian cited his agent as saying Hoskins died Tuesday from pneumonia. He had retired from films in 2012, a year after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Here's more from The Guardian:

sreenisreedharan / Creative Commons

A troupe of actors from Kerala, India will perform an ancient, traditional drama known as Kudiyattam this weekend in New Haven.

Photo © Joan Marcus, 2014

Yale Repertory Theatre’s current production plays on Shakespeare to tell the story of The Beatles’ triumphant return to England from the U.S. in 1964. Except the band isn’t quite The Beatles, the language isn’t entirely Shakespeare’s, and the songs aren’t by Lennon and McCartney.

Under apartheid, trying to make an artistic political statement was difficult — artists were subject to scrutiny and even arrest. On the other hand, making a political statement was easy: All one had to do was put black and white actors on a stage together.

That's exactly what South African playwright Athol Fugard did back in 1961 with his breakout play Blood Knot. His newest play, The Shadow of the Hummingbird, is now onstage at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In the space of a lifetime, the status of gay and lesbian people in the United States and Western Europe has been transformed. So to watch a play like "A Song at Twilight," written by Noel Coward in 1966, is to journey back in time and then wonder how far, really one has traveled.

Ariella Axelbank

  A la ronda, a new play opening this weekend at Wesleyan University, calls attention to Argentina's "Dirty War" and the human rights organization Madres de Plaza de Mayo.

During the so called "dirty war" of the late 70's and early 80's, tens of thousands of Argentineans were systematically abducted and killed, suspected of being an enemy of the military dictatorship.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last fall, the New York City Opera -- what Mayor LaGuardia called "the People's Opera" -- declared bankruptcy. This is/was the opera that introduced Americans to Placido Domingo and Beverly Sills.  Make what you will of the fact that the bankruptcy announcement coincided with the presentation of a new opera about Anna Nicole Smith.

This is either a problem very specific to the New York Opera, or part of a virus that has been taking down opera companies all over the U.S. and maybe all over the world. In Italy, where opera receives much more public and government support, one fourth of all major opera companies were in a version of bankruptcy as of 2008.

James Mollison / The Aldrich

Music can involve us beyond the act of mere listening. At the current exhibition at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, you will need all five senses. Be prepared to get physical. With an eye and ear toward expanding our understanding of music and art, The Aldrich has brought together the work of five gifted contemporary artists in a series called Music, through March 9.

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead on Sunday in his Manhattan apartment. He was 46.

Hoffman was steeped in his profession — in film, on stage, in the spotlight and behind the scenes.

In 2005, he won the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Truman Capote. The movie focuses on Capote's interviews with two murderers on death row for his nonfiction novel In Cold Blood.

John Waller

An opera written by a Jewish composer while in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II will be performed this weekend in Connecticut. In an egregious bit of Nazi Propaganda, the concentration camp known as Theresienstadt was falsely presented to the world as a model Jewish settlement.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It was a fertile week for topics, but here at The Nose, we've boiled them down to four.

First, the decision by NBC to capitalize on its live Sound of Music ratings hit with a revival of the live TV Peter Pan. No cast has been announced yet, so that allows us to do some "dreamcasting. "

Chion Wolf

Dying is easy, comedy is hard. But, why is comedy so hard, especially on the stage, and what makes something funny?

The premise for a famously funny plot could easily sound like a tragedy.  An out of work actor is so desperate for employment that he dresses up like a woman and then falls in love with a beautiful co-star whom he deceives and betrays on several levels. That doesn't sound that hilarious. 

Yale University School of Architecture

Resembling a village of delicate toy theaters, "Stage Designs by Ming Cho Lee" fills the large ground floor gallery at the Yale School of Architecture in New Haven. 

T. Charles Erickson

It’s that time of the year when miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and sweet Tiny Tim electrify the Hartford Stage with their heart-warming story, like they have these past 15 years. But now, in honor of the theater's 50th anniversary season, the production has redesigned costumes, more special effects, and new lighting.

The holiday cheer is much needed. The multiple award-winning Hartford Stage, like its counterparts nationwide, has struggled through the tough economy.

Sujata Srinivasan

As I drove across the East Haddam swing bridge, car tires rumbling over the open grate, it was hard to imagine that the 19th-century Goodspeed Opera House – looking like a wedding cake on the Connecticut River – was anything but a place for musical theater. Yet in addition to being a performance space, it served as a passenger terminal for a steamboat line. It was the town’s general store, post office, dentist’s office, and even a parking garage.

Thanks to a series of very fortunate events, Goodspeed's restoration in 1963, after a period of neglect, was followed by 19 productions that went on to Broadway, receiving more than a dozen Tony awards. In 2006, another fortunate event – a set of strategic business decisions – saved the Goodspeed yet again. 

Quite a show has been going on in Trumbull, Conn.

Last week, the principal of Trumbull High School canceled a student production of Rent scheduled for next March.

Rent is Jonathan Larson's 1994 rock musical about a group of colorful young people living and loving in a colorful wreck of a brownstone on New York's Lower East Side, when struggling young artists could afford the rent there.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Today we're talking about the afterlife of characters from classic Christmas stories. What happened, in later years, to Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" or Susan Walker from "Miracle of 34th Street" or Charlie Brown or Clara from "The Nutcracker?"

Chion Wolf

The Connecticut town of Trumbull, and especially its thespian society, has become a familiar name in the theater world, but maybe for the wrong reasons. When the high school principal decided to cancel the thespian society's production of "Rent," the story went national. It has bubbled along for weeks and as of today, we may have news about a compromise that would allow it to be staged.

Meanwhile, former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez has been awarded not one, but two new trials. We'll have an expert here to explain how that's likely to play out. 

Mike Lavoie.

There aren't that many jokes in the US Constitution. Either that, or there are too many, and they're all on us. Comedian Colin Quinn says most of you have never even read it. Who's gonna read something four pages long in this day and age?

Ann Lee

When Charlie Chaplin and other silent film stars faced the challenge of carrying over their talents into "talkies," these proved to be much-anticipated events. On Friday in Bethlehem, international mask artist Larry Hunt, a local, will actually let his voice do the real talking on stage. Hunt has built a career on non-verbal storytelling, and has performed at venues around the world for over 25 years.

An Ode to Opera

Nov 6, 2013
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last month, the New York City Opera-- what Mayor LaGuardia called "the People's Opera" -- declared bankruptcy. This is/was the opera that introduced Americans to Placido Domingo and Beverly Sills.  Make what you will of the fact that the bankruptcy announcement coincided with the presentation of a new opera about Anna Nicole Smith.

Connecticut Lyric Opera

Wagner's opera, "The Flying Dutchman," will get its Connecticut premiere this weekend, 170 years after the opera made its debut in Dresden, Germany. The Connecticut Lyric Opera will present Wagner's early masterpiece Friday night at Trinity-on-Main in New Britain, and Saturday night at the Middletown High School Arts Center.

T. Charles Erickson

We’ve become full-time fame seekers. Admit it: no matter what age, walk of life, or social standing, just being friended or liked by no one in particular makes our day. We create online personas, instantly publish, and look to find inspiration from the reality television that surrounds us. There, we can root for real cops, middle-class castaways, and cut-throat cooks. 

A New Take on an Ancient Greek Play

Oct 9, 2013
Gerry Goodstein

In performance now through October 13 at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre at the University of Connecticut is "Big Love," a play by Charles Mee. "Big Love" is an adaptation of an ancient Greek play. Joining WNPR News to talk about the production is reporter Ed Wierzbicki, who reviewed the show here and also talked about playwright Mee, the challenge of this production, and the outline of the story. 

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