A Rom-Com, Johnny Cash, A Must-See, And More
By Karen Isaacs
Addicted to Rom-Com? If you are addicted to the Hallmark Channel Movies (and their competitors), you may enjoy My Unauthorized Hallmark Movie Musical. The new show – definitely a satire – is about a writer whose characters come to life and interact with her through multimedia. The writer is played by Anne Runolfsson, whose Broadway credits are extensive. The show runs for just four performances through Saturday, Aug. 13. For tickets, visit LegacyTheatreCT.org.
Folsom and More: You’ll hear more than 24 of the songs associated with Johnny Cash at Ivoryton. The next production, Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash will play from Thursday, Aug. 11 through Sunday, Sept. 11. The show was conceived by Broadway composer/director Richard Maltby, Jr. and William Meade. Maltby said the show is more than a biography of Cash, but a mosaic about home and family. For tickets, visit IvorytonPlayhouse.org.
Grandmother-Grandson: Westport Country Playhouse is presenting 4000 Miles, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama from Tuesday, Aug. 23 to Sunday, Sept. 4. I’ve enjoyed this show about a 91-year-old grandmother who finds a connection with her 21-year-old grandson when he stays with her in her Greenwich Village apartment. It stars the wonderful Mia Dillon and Clay Singer, both Connecticut residents. For tickets visit WestportPlayhouse.org.
Pre-Broadway? That is the question about the production of Mr. Holland’s Opus which opens Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine. The musical is based on the film which starred Richard Dreyfuss, about a composer who becomes a beloved high school music teacher. For tickets, visit OgunquitPlayhouse.org.
A Must See: The box office hit of the summer on Broadway is the revival of Into the Woods. This semi-staged production began life in May as part of the City Center’s Encores! series. It features a stellar cast including Brian D’Arcy James as the baker and Sara Bareilles as his wife; Phillipa Soo as Cinderella, and Patina Miller as the Witch. When I saw the show Cheyenne Jackson was subbing for Gavin Creel as the wolf and Cinderella’s Prince. Overall, I really enjoyed the production. James and Bareilles were terrific as were Soo and Jackson. If I had a complaint, it was that the first act was played too broadly, going for easy laughs. The second act, which explores the “happily ever after myth” was extremely touching. The show has extended its run through Oct. 16, though there may be cast changes.
NY Notes: Netflix is suing the creators of the Unofficial Bridgerton Musical which began on social media. To Kill a Mockingbird will not return to Broadway this year. Both the director (Bartlett Sher) and the adaptor (Aaron Sorkin) point the finger at disgraced former producer Scott Rudin. Rudin claimed that he didn’t think the show would be competitive. Rudin still controls the rights to the show. Good news for Hugh Jackman/Sutton Foster fans. A recording of The Music Man, in which they star, is in the works. It was recorded at the end of July. No release date has been announced. Hal Linden and Bernie Kopell are starring off-Broadway in a new comedy, Two Jews Talking.
Karen Isaacs is an East Haven resident. To check out her reviews for New York and Connecticut shows, visit 2ontheaisle.wordpress.com. She’s a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle, New York’s Outer Critics Circle, the League of Professional Theater Women and the American Theatre Critics Association.