Monday, June 21, 2021

Life & Style

A Must See, Closings, Holiday Gifts, and More

A Must See: Even if you think you have seen enough stage adaptations of A Christmas Carol, you still need to see the new production on Broadway through Sunday, Jan. 5. It has a top notch cast—Campbell Scott as Scrooge, Andrea Martin as the Ghost of Christmas Past, LaChanze as the Ghost of Christmas Present. But it also has fabulous staging that will totally delight you. Don’t ignore the Connecticut productions, but if you are going to New York City, try to see this one. It runs about two hours with intermission. For tickets, visit The best tickets are available week nights.

Up-coming: Broadway and even off-Broadway slow the pace in December, as do most Connecticut theaters. On Broadway, the only shows either opening or beginning previews are Jagged Little Pill, the Alanis Morisette musical; the revival of West Side Story directed by Ivo Van Hove, which is bound to be controversial; Grand Horizons, a comedy-drama by Bess Wohl with Jane Alexander about adult sons coping with their parents’ divorce; and a revival of A Soldier’s Play, about the death of a black sergeant on an army base. Off-Broadway, I’m most interested in the Irish Rep production of London Assurance. In Connecticut, only Long Wharf (Pride and Prejudice) and Yale Rep (The Plot) are bucking the trend of holiday events.

Closings: Once more, a musical made from a popular non-musical movie has found only so-so success on Broadway. Tootsie, which opened in April, will close on Sunday, Jan. 5. Santino Fontana won a Tony for his portrayal of Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels. The show was fun but not terrific. A national tour is planned. Expect other shows to announce closing dates. A number of them are shoring up the box office through discounts expecting a holiday bonanza when tourists flood the city.

Theater on the Screen: The Kate in Old Saybrook is screening the production of Nöel Coward’s Present Laughter by England’s National Theater on Wednesday, Dec. 18.

Holiday Gifts for Theater Lovers: Almost every theater in Connecticut offers gift certificates for their shows. Some offer packages for multiple shows. Most allow the recipient to select the show and the date. This is a great gift for any theater lover. All you need do is go to the theater’s website. Other great gift ideas are CDs or downloads of Broadway musicals—Hadestown, Tootsie, Ain’t Too Proud, Beetlejuice, and Moulin Rouge are among the new musicals that have released CDs and downloads. Many Broadway performers also have CDs and downloads. Just recently, the 2017 live performance by married musical performers Janson Danielly and Marin Mazzie (who died last year of ovarian cancer) was released; it’s called Broadway & Beyond.

Gifts That Also Help: Broadway Cares is an organization that began to support theater people with AIDS but now supports numerous health causes and assistance to anyone working in the theater. Each year, the casts of Broadway musicals put out a CD of holiday music. Plus there are signed posters, CDs, books and clothing, and holiday ornaments. Proceeds go to a good cause. Check out

A Long Way Off: The Music Man revival starring Hugh Jackman, with Sutton Foster, Jefferson Mays, and other Broadway notables does not open until October 2020, but tickets went on sale this October. If you want to see this and see Jackman, who is a terrific musical performer, plan now and visit

Karen Isaacs is an East Haven resident. To check out her reviews for New York and Connecticut shows, visit She’s a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle, New York’s Outer Critics Circle and the American Theatre Critics Association.

Karen Isaacs is the Columnists for Zip06. Email Karen at .

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