If hip-hop music be the food of love, rap on! Hartford Stage’s summer “Breakdancing Shakespeare” program is partying, Elizabethan-style, with “Twelfth Night.” The public performance dates are Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 4 at 2 and 7 p.m.
Eighteen local teens are in the show: Samantha Acosta, Auna Foster, Jerry Hamilton, Alana Morgan, Danexi Perez, Shantall Teran and Randy Torres from Hartford; Isaiah Artis, Ve’Shawn Henry and Giovanni Simmons of East Hartford; Aaliyah Norton of West Hartford; Glendale Jones, Cyana Lindsay and Jessie Robie of Windsor; Diego Pichay of South Windsor; Emily Langin from West Simsbury; Pattianne Olsen of East Hartland; and Jamieson Vick of East Granby.
The program, now in its 12th year, does “modern hip-hop telling” of Shakespeare plays. “Twelfth Night” has been adapted by Scott Bartelson (a stage management associate at Hartford Stage) and is directed by Nina Pinchin, Hartford Stage’s associate director of education. Details at 860-527-5151 and hartfordstage.org/.
Pre-Show Announcement Of The Week
“Cell phone? Non!
Electronique device? Non!!”
— Heavily accented pre-recorded caveats for the frisky French farce “A Flea in Her Ear,” slamming doors at Westport Country Playhouse through July 28.
Where Are They Now?
The stars of some current Broadway shows are the same folks Connecticut has already seen when those shows played here on tour. J. Harrison Ghee, who stars as Lola in “Kinky Boots,” was with that show when it was at New Haven’s Shubert in June 2016 and at the Waterbury Palace in December of that same year. Jessica Vosk, who was Elphaba when “Wicked” had a two-week stand at the Oakdale in November/December 2016, now plays that green-hued role in the Broadway production.
Steven Skybell — the frenetic judge in “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” at Yale Rep in 2015 and the scholarly dad in “The Chosen” at Long Wharf in 2017 — stars as Tevye in the Yiddish-language production of “Fiddler on the Roof” currently at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.
Conor Ryan (who was Jean-Michel in “La Cage Aux Folles” at Goodspeed in 2015 and sang at a Hartford Symphony Orchestra “70 Years of Broadway” concert in January 2016) and Lauren Molina (who played Squeaky Fromme in “Assassins” at Yale Rep last year), can be heard on the newly released soundtrack CD for “Desperate Measures.” The recording is from the 2017 York Theatre production of the show, which musicalizes Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” and sets it in the Wild West. Ryan and Molina starred in “Desperate Measures” as Johnny Blood and Bella Rose.
“A Sign of the Times,” which had a workshop at Goodspeed Musicals’ Norma Terris Theatre in 2016, is getting a fresh production this November at the Delaware. The show will have the same director (Gabriel Barre) and choreographer (JoAnn Hunter) as it did at Goodspeed. The main stars will be different, but Crystal Lucas-Perry is returning as activist roommate Tanya.
The Quick Season
Theater events at Fairfield University’s Quick Center during the 2018-19 season (aka the school year) will include an in-progress showing of a new work by dance/theater/music artist Frédérick Gravel on Sept. 6. Gravel will be in residence for two weeks creating the as-yet-untitled work; when it’s done, the Quick Center will host its premiere as part of the 2019-20 season. In between, the center will host Gravel’s recent work “Some Hope for the Bastards,” March 22, 2019.
Another major player at the Quick is the internationally renowned Connecticut-based movement troupe. A collaboration between Pilobolus and engineers from MIT, “Up! The Umbrella Project”will be unfurled Sept. 7. Pilobolus’ education and community engagement director Emily Kent will lead a series called “Connecting with Balance,” which helps “seniors reconnect with their bodies and environment,” Sept. 13 through Oct. 18. The Pilobolus company performs its multi-part “Pilobolus Ringcycle” Sept. 21 and 22. (Pilobolus is especially active in its home state this year; the company is hosting its first “Five Senses Festival” July 27 through Aug. 11 on farmland in Washington.)
Other highlights of the Quick sched: Jane Fonda lecturing on “The Artist as Social Activist” Sept. 27; political satirists The Capitol Steps Oct. 5; the premiere of the political dance piece “#UNLOAD: Guns in the Hands of Artists,” created by hip-hop artists Jon Boogz and Lil Buck, Oct. 12; the kids’ show “The Rainbow Fish” from the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, Oct. 28; Zimbabwe-born Brooklyn-based choreographer Nora Chipaumire’s provocative performance piece “#PUNK 100% POP*N!&GA,” Nov. 2; Nicole Wolcott and Larry Keigwin’s comic backstage-set dance “Places Please!,” Nov. 16 and 17; Cassandra Medley’s one-act immigration-themed drama “Cell,” directed by Lydia Fort, Nov. 27; Lola Arias’ multimedia play about the 1982 Falklands War, Jan. 26; the Australian circus theater troupe Gravity & Other Myths with “A Simple Space,” Jan. 31; “Radicals in Miniature,” the Ain Gordon/Josh Quillen oral history collaboration that was at New Haven’s International Festival of Arts & Ideas just last month, Feb. 23 and 24; the Russian National Ballet Theatre’s “Swan Lake” March 29; and another gun-themed show, “gUN COUNTRY: A Theatrical Exploration of Firearms in America,” developed and presented by Houses on the Moon Theater Company April 16.
The Quick Center is offering season subscriptions and other package discounts. Details at 203-254-4010, quickcenter.fairfield.edu.
Hole In The Wall 2018-19
New Britain’s Hole in the Wall ends its 2017-18 season this month with Theresa Rebeck’s social satire “Our House,” running through Aug. 4. Here’s what’s coming up for Hole in the Wall’s 2018-19 season: the comedy “Final Arrangements” by Scott Stephen Kegler, Sept. 14 through Oct. 6; Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” Nov. 16 through Dec. 8; Jane Martin’s romance “Keely and Du” Jan. 18 through Feb. 9; Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” March 15 through April 6; Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” May 17 through June 8 and Eric Coble’s “Virtual Devotion,” July 19 through Aug. 10 (2019).
“A Doll’s House” will be handy for those who want to revisit the original before seeing Lucas Hnath’s recent hit “A Doll’s House Part 2,” which both TheaterWorks and the Long Wharf Theatre are staging next year (and which the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass., is doing right now, through July 28).
Hole in the Wall chooses its seasons through proposals from its general membership, which are then voted on at a special meeting. Details on the season are at 860-229-3049, hitw.org.