Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Life & Style

Honoring Achievements in an Abbreviated Theater Season

Outstanding Achievement: The Connecticut Critics Circle has presented outstanding achievements awards for the 2019-’20 season. Rather than do the usual nominations and selection of winners, this year the circle presented multiple plaques to recognize outstanding artistic contributions and superior performances during the abbreviated theater season. About one-third of the scheduled shows did not open. Mlima’s Tale at Westport Country Playhouse and Quixote Neuvo at Hartford Stage were cited for outstanding production and direction (Mark Lamos and KJ Sanchez) with Quixote Neuvo also recognized for outstanding performances by Juan Manuel Amador and Emilio Delgado. Other recognized performances in plays went to Ami Branson (American Son, TheaterWorks), Helen Sadler (Jane Eyre, Hartford Stage), and Margot White (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, CT Rep). The cast of Lifespan of a Fact at TheaterWorks was recognized for its ensemble work; Tyler Nowakowski received recognition for his debut performance in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night at Connecticut Rep. Jermaine Rowe received special recognition for the title role in Mlima’s Tale.

Ragtime at Music Theatre of Connecticut in Norwalk was recognized for production and direction (Kevin Connor) as well as the performance by Ezekeil Andrew. Recognition for other musicals went to Dee Hoty (Cabaret, Connecticut Rep), Lesli Margherita (The Flamino Kid, Hartford Stage), and choreographer Denis Jones (The Flamingo Kid, Hartford Stage).

Bowdie, who played the title role in Because of Winn Dixie at Goodspeed, was presented a special award.

Technical achievements recognized were Yana Birykov (projections, Mlima’s Tale), Isabella Byrd for lighting design of Mlima’s Tale and Jane Eyre, Rachel Healey (costumes, Quixote Nuevo), Britton Mauk (scenic design, I Am My Own Wife, Long Wharf), and Jason Peck (sound design, Birds of North America, Thrown Stone Theatre).

Good News: The Berkshire Theatre Group and Barrington Stage Company are the first two theaters in the nation to receive approval from Actors’ Equity of its plan to present productions. The plan includes reducing seating capacity from 522 to 163, as well as plans for keeping actors, back stage personnel, front of the house staff, and the audience safe. The plan is to produce two shows in August. The musical Godspell, which was originally scheduled for the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, will now be held in a tent adjacent to the theater. It will run from Thursday, Aug. 6 to Friday, Sept. 4, featuring a cast of 11. A one-person show, Harry Clarke will run from Wednesday, Aug. 5 to Sunday, Aug. 16 on the Mainstage. Audiences will be limited to 163. For more information including how the seating will be handled, visit

More Delay: Broadway has reset the earliest date for reopening to Jan. 3. That doesn’t mean everything will open, just that it won’t be before that.

Sad News: The talented and young (only 41) Nick Cordero lost his battle with COVID-19 on July 5 after more than 90 days in an L.A. Hospital. He was nominated for a Tony for playing Cheech in Bullets Over Broadway as well as starring in Waitress and A Bronx Tale-the musical.

Looking to 2021: The Bushnell in Hartford announced its revised schedule that includes the new dates for shows canceled this spring. Both The Cher Show and Wicked are canceled. The Band’s Visit is the first rescheduled show, now playing Jan. 20 to 24, followed by Escape to Margaritaville (Feb. 9 to 14), Dear Evan Hansen (July 27 to Aug. 21, 2021), and Hadestown play Oct. 26 to 31, 2021. Visit for information. The 2020-’21 Broadway series will begin with Hamilton, Dec. 15 to Jan. 3.

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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