For grown-ups, much of the fun of the nationally touring shows based on animated children's shows is seeing the manner in which they've jumped from one form of entertainment to another. "PAW Patrol Live" is based on the series about police officers, firefighters and other hardworking professionals who happen to be cuddly dogs. It seems to have made the leap to the stage smartly. Young adults play children, but the dogs are larger than life, heroic, yet believably cartoonish, just as they are on TV.
"PAW Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure" is at the Oakdale in Wallingford for four shows: Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 10 a.m., 2 and 6 p.m. $19 to $65, $135 for VIP Package. 203-265-1501, oakdale.com.
Staging 'Stage Kiss'
Sarah Ruhl, who is unparalleled at pairing provocative modern themes with classic theatrical structures, continues to rule Connecticut. Several of the playwright's works premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre (including "Scenes from Court Life" in 2016), and she's beloved by college and community theaters. TheatreWorks New Milford's production of Ruhl's harsh theatrical fantasy "Stage Kiss" is the second time this script has been done in the past few weeks: SCSU's Crescent Players staged it in late November.
"Stage Kiss" is at TheatreWorks New Milford, Dec. 8 to Jan. 6. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with an added Sunday matinee Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 and $23. 860-350-6863, theatreworks.us.
In Connecticut For Christmas
Linda Eder's been visiting Connecticut since before she was a Broadway star. The pre-Broadway tour of Frank Wildhorn's musical "Jekyll & Hyde," in which Eder co-starred as Lucy, was at the Shubert in New Haven in 1995. Since then, she's regularly brought her concert acts to Connecticut venues as varied as Mohegan Sun Casino and Danbury's Ives Concert Park.
At 8 p.m. on Dec. 8 you can find Eder (who's recorded over a dozen solo albums and appeared on nearly as many musical theater soundtracks or concept albums) at the Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge, Ridgefield. $57. 203-438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org.
Still Playing 'Ragtime'
Shortly after contributing the songs for the animated film "Anastasia" in 1997, lyricist Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty opened their hit Broadway musical adaptation of the E.L. Doctorow novel "Ragtime." Two decades later, both projects still resonate. "Ragtime" had a major New York revival a few years ago. That show's book-writer, Terrence McNally, reunited with Ahrens and Flaherty in 2016 to adapt "Anastasia" for the stage; the musical premiered at Hartford Stage and is now running on Broadway.
"Ragtime" has been embraced by small theaters and school drama programs. It has many interesting roles, some small and some large, some fictional (the central family of Mother, Father, Mother's Younger Brother) and some based on real historical figures (Henry Ford, Harry Houdini, Emma Goldman, Evelyn Nesbit).
"Ragtime" is being performed by Connecticut Theatre Co. Dec. 8 through Jan. 14 at The Repertory Theatre, 23 Norden St., New Britain. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25. 860-223-3147, connecticuttheatrecompany.org.
All In The Game
You might recall that Ken Ludwig's comedy "The Game's Afoot" was being done at the Ivoryton Playhouse just last last month. Well, it's afoot again, in a completely different production Dec. 9 to 17 at the Warner Theatre in Torrington.
The comic mystery's local popularity is not surprising: It is set in East Haddam at the castle-like home of famed early 20th-century actor William Gillette. This latest "Game" is directed by Joe Guttadauro. Performances are Dec. 9, 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. $30. 860-489-7180 and warnertheatre.org.
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical" was at The Bushnell a couple of winters in a row. This season, you can find it Dec. 8 to 10 at the Shubert in New Haven. The stage show, with actors' faces poking out of giant reindeer costumes, doesn't just replicate the classic TV special. It expands upon it with extra songs and routines to make for a slightly longer show. It's still just 75 minutes without intermission, and eminently family-friendly. Performances are Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. $39-$89. 203-562-5666, shubert.com.