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Illusionist Bill Blagg At Bushnell; Steve Martin At Long Wharf

Steve Martin's new play "Meteor Shower" is a comedy about a couple of married couples contemplating life, love and the cosmos while having dinner and drinks in a spacious Los Angeles backyard. It's Martin's first theater project since the Broadway musical "Bright Star" (co-written with Edie Brickell) last year.

New Haven is getting the world premiere production of the play, but it's a co-production, and the other co-producing theater — the Old Globe in San Diego — has already hosted it. The Long Wharf stint of "Meteor Shower" has an entirely different cast than the Old Globe. Corky and Norm, whose home the play takes place at, are now played by Arden Myrin (TV's "Shameless," "Barbecue" at New York's Public Theater, Darko Tresjnak's 2003 production of "Hay Fever" at Westport Playhouse) and Patrick Breen (TV's "Braindead," "The Normal Heart" revival on Broadway and on tour). Their guests Gerald and Laura are played by Craig Bierko (TV's "Un-Real," "Matilda the Musical" and the 2009 "Guys and Dolls" on Broadway) and Sophina Brown (TV's "Shark," "The Lion King" on Broadway and on tour).

The sustaining factor between the San Diego and New Haven "Meteor Shower"s is the creative team, all well known to Long Wharf goers: director Gordon Edelstein (who's been the Long Wharf's artistic director since 2002 and has directed two other Steve Martin plays: "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" and "The Underpants," there in recent seasons), set designer Michael Yeargan, costume designer Jess Goldstein, lighting designer Donald Holder and composer/sound designer John Gromada. 

"Meteor Shower" is at the Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven, Sept. 28 through Oct. 23. Performances are Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. (except Oct. 5, which is 7:30 p.m.), Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. (except no 3 p.m. show on Oct. 1) and Sunday at 2 p.m., with added 2 p.m. Wednesday matinees on Oct. 12 and 19 and added 7 p.m. Sunday shows on Oct. 2 and 9. 203-787-4282, longwharf.org 

Regan's Reflections

Brian Regan has no respect for the culinary innovators who decided to put peanut butter and jelly in the same jar. He's amazed at the ubiquity of cranberries. He can't do yoga. He's cool with all the information on a package of Fig Newtons except the serving size. Regan riffs on the minutiae of life and the oddness of social interactions. He's at the Shubert, 247 College St., New Haven, 8 p.m. Sept. 24. Tickets are $35 to $65. 203-562-5666, shubert.com

Blagg Magic

Illusionist Bill Blagg can feel 6-feet tall if a trick works well. If the trick works really well, he shrinks to 6-inches tall — or so it seems. Did he really just levitate, or transport himself across a theater in the blink of an eye? See, and believe, for yourself when Bill Blagg appears (and disappears) at the Bushnell, 160 Capitol Ave., Hartford, on Sept. 25. These are daytime, family-friendly shows. Besides the main 2 p.m. performance, there's a sensory-friendly show for those on the autistic spectrum at 10 a.m. Tickets are $24.50 to $39.50. 860-987-5900, bushnell.org

George Burns Keeps It 100

George Burns had multiple careers: in vaudeville, on radio, on television, in the movies, as a best-selling author and as a raconteur. The first three of those involved his wife Gracie Allen. She died in 1964 at the age of 69; Burns lived to be 100, passing in 1996.

The one-man show "Say Goodnight Gracie" takes the unusual format of Burns auditioning for the Almighty so that he might be reunited with Allen in the afterlife. The play is by Rupert Holmes, who like Burns has juggled numerous careers (playwright, composer, novelist, pop star). Alan Safier stars in a national tour of "Say Goodnight Gracie" coming to the Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge, Ridgefield, for a single performance Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40. 203-438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org 

Hair Today

"Hairspray"'s getting an all-star TV remake this winter — only fair, since it's already been two movies and a Broadway show. The stage musical was based on the cult-classic John Waters movie about teen revolutionary Tracy Turnblad and her incursions into both the '60s civil rights movement and a popular TV dance-show klatsch.

The musical, with a book by Mark O'Donnell and songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, had a long Broadway run in the '90s and has become a community theater staple. The Bridgeport Theatre Company styles "Hairspray" for the Downtown Cabaret Theatre, 263 Golden Hill St., Bridgeport, Sept. 23 through Oct. 16.

The production is directed by Christy McIntosh-Newsom and stars Lynette Marshall as Tracy and G. Lariccia as her mother Edna. Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 5 and 8:15 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. Tickets are $33. 203-576-1636, dtcab.org

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