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Fairfield U Announces New Season, Ridgefield Offering One-Nighters

Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts has announced its 2017-18 season, and the names to remember are Euripides and Giselle.

It begins Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 with the premiere of rapper/activist Iain "Ewok" Robinson's "Unentitled" as part of the university's international "White/Boys/Black/Girls" performance series. "Unentitled" will be followed closely Oct. 3 by a screening of the film version of Elise Kermani's "Iphigenia: Book of Change," inspired by Euripides and concerning "contemporary women who have survived captivity." Frédérick Gravel brings his dance of "distraught men," "Tout Se Pète La Guele, Chérie" Oct. 13 and 14 (with Betty Bonifassi performing at a post-show dance party). There's more Greek tragedy Oct. 25-29 when Theatre Fairfield stages Anne Carson's new translation of Sophocles' "Antigone."

A "Feminism & Greek Tragedy Roundtable" discussion is planned for Nov. 2; actor/playwright/director Ellen McLaughlin — the original Angel in Tony Kushner's "Angels in America," who has done numerous modern adaptations of Greek drama — gives the keynote speech. Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon's multi-styled music/theater adaptation of Octavia E. Butler's "Parable of the Sower" is played by a 20-person ensemble Feb. 2-3.

The Canadian theater circus troupe Machine de Cirque, which visited New Haven's International Festival of Arts & Ideas in 2015, is at the Quick Center April 20-21. The malleable outdoor music ensemble work "En Masse" by Daniel Bernard Roumain (the artist known as DBR) will be April 29.

The Quick's dance series includes Compagnie Hervé Koubi's "What the Day Owes to the Night" on Oct. 19, the Paul Taylor Dance Company on Jan. 26, Mamela Nyamza's "Hatched" on Jan. 27-28, the third Connecticut appearance of Camille A. Brown's "Black Girl" pm Feb. 16, Ultima Vez with "In Spite of Wishing and Wanting" on March 2-3, Moscow Festival Ballet's "Giselle" on April 6 and a whole different "Giselle," by South African choreographer Dada Masilo, on April 18.

These are the live performance events at the Quick Center. The venue also hosts an "Open Minds Institute" lecture series, an "Open Visions" discussion series (featuring actor Mark Ruffalo on Sept. 28 and Dr. Angela Davis on Feb. 1), Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, children's theater from the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia (Oct. 15), Childsplay (Feb. 25) and TheatreWorks USA (April 15). Details at 203-254-4010, quickcenter.fairfield.edu.

That Other "Hello" Show

Nick Kroll and John Mullaney brought youth and freshness to Broadway last season by dressing up as old Jewish men. In "Oh, Hello," the comedians played Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland, "two legendary bachelors who live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which is the coffee breath of neighborhoods." The show ran for 138 performances, closing in January.

Luckily, Netflix arranged to film a special performance recently and started streaming it immediately. Watch for the August Wilson jokes, and special guest Steve Martin talking about "Picasso at the Lapin Agile."

Ridgefield One-Nighters

Ridgefield Playhouse has announced a slew of theater-related one-night bookings during the 2017-18 season. The LED-lit troupe "iLuminate" lightens up Sept. 17. The multi-media biomusical tribute "The Simon & Garfunkel Story" sings Sept. 19. The voiceless comic TapeFace performs Oct. 16. An "American Dance Spectacular" pivots Oct. 22. Jamie Farr stars in a touring production of "Tuesdays With Morrie" on Nov. 5, Jane Lynch's "A Swingin' Little Christmas" concert is Dec. 2, Broadway diva Linda Eder performs Dec. 8, the acrobatic holiday show "Snowkus Pocus" is Dec. 9, a concert version of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is Feb. 24-25, Shanghai Acrobats perform on March 18 and magician Bill Blagg on May 20.

Comedians include Nick DiPaolo on Sept. 29, Steven Wright on Oct. 6, Tracy Morgan on Oct. 15, the political sketch troupe The Capitol Steps on Nov. 3, Vic Dibitetto on Nov. 10 and Jim Breuer fronting the rock band The Loud & Rowdy on Nov. 16, then doing a stand-up set on Nov. 17.

Children's theater shows include "Snow White" on Oct. 28, "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great" on Jan. 27 and "Huck & Tom and the Mighty Mississippi" on April 21.

Details at 203-438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org.

Bushnell Bits

The Bushnell has quietly added a few one-night events to its fall schedule: the African-American "dramatic comedic tale" "Momma's Boy" on Sept. 21, featuring Jackee Harry, R&B star Tony Grant, Robin Givens, Shirley Murdock among its all-star cast; Jay Leno pm Oct. 13; writer David Sedaris on Oct. 14; and "Harry Potter and The Sorceror's Stone In Concert" (with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra) on Nov. 4-5. Details at 860-987-5900, bushnell.org.

Getting Grounded

Westport Country Playhouse's production of George Brant's drama "Grounded," about a female fighter pilot, will star recent Yale School of Drama grad Elizabeth Stahlmann. Stahlmann played the title roles in Sarah Ruhl's "Orlando" and Sarah Kane's "Phaedra's Love" at the Yale Summer Cabaret. She was in the Carlotta Festival production of "Amy and the Orphans." Her professional credits include Rosalind in a tour of "As You Like It" by The Acting Company.

"Grounded" is directed by Yale School of Drama professor and Yale Repertory Theatre resident director Liz Diamond. Details at 203-227-4177, westportplayhouse.org.

'Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl'

"Working Girl" is becoming a musical: Cyndi Lauper is composing the songs and Kim Rosenstock — a Yale School of Drama grad — is writing the book, adapted, of course, from the 1988 Mike Nichols film that starred Melanie Griffith.

"Fly by Night," a musical Rosenstock wrote with Will Connolly and Michael Mitnick for the Yale Summer Cabaret in 2009, had an Off-Broadway production in 2014. Rosenstock has written for six seasons of the Zoe sitcom "New Girl."

Brigden Moves On

Tracy Brigden, who was an associate artistic director at Hartford Stage during the Mark Lamos years, has announced that she's leaving Pittsburgh's City Theatre Company, where she's been the artistic director for 16 seasons. Brigden's recent connections with Connecticut have been through TheaterWorks: Her production of "Midsummer" played the theater last summer, and she got her City Theatre colleague, Reginald L. Douglas, to direct "Sunset Baby" there in January.

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