Nostalgia in season at MTC's 'Hot Summer Nights' series; ‘Winn Dixie’ charms Variety
One of the most critically acclaimed New York City cabaret shows of 2017 was "My Ship: Songs from 1941" The show has sailed up the sound to Connecticut as part of the MTC's "Hot Summer Nights" series.
Dawn Derow, who earned a 2018 MAC Award for "Best Female Vocalist" and nominations from Broadway World for "Best Show" and "Best Vocalist," brings "My Ship" to the Music Theatre of Connecticut on Saturday, July 20. Cabaret Scenes magazine calls the production "a perfect storm of entertainment."
The nostalgia cruise continues when Jeff Harnar sings "The 1959 Broadway Songbook" on Aug. 3.
What so special about 1959? It's a year that 21 great musicals were playing at once on Broadway. The likes of "Gypsy," "The Sound of Music," "Fiorello," "West Side Story," "My Fair Lady," "The Music Man," "Flower Drum Song" and "Bells are Ringing" were simultaneously on stage. It was never better than that, which is why many call 1959 the twilight of Broadway’s Golden Age.
Three more productions, in a similar vein, follow. Read about them now at the MTC website.
Off-Broadway show runs runs runs runs runs runs
The New York premiere of Halley Feiffer's "Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow," seen in 2017 at the Williamstown Theater Festival, has extended its Off-Broadway run by a bit at the MCC Theater in Hell's Kitchen.
Performances will now run through Aug. 17 instead of Aug. 3. The comedy, which opened July 18 after previews, reimagines Chekhov's "Three Sisters," placing it in contemporary times.
The cast features Tavi Gevinson ("Days of Rage," "This Is Our Youth"), Tony nominee Steven Boyer ("Hand to God"), Ako ("God Said This"), Sas Goldberg ("Significant Other"), Rebecca Henderson ("The Wayside Motor Inn") and Greg Hildreth ("Frozen.")
Variety charmed by 'Winn Dixie'
The Goodspeed's production of "Because of Winn Dixie" has (mostly) won over Variety.
Frank Rizzo says “Winn Dixie,” named for a southern supermarket chain and based on an acclaimed 2000 children’s novel, is gentler "compared to the showbiz pizazz of the 1976 hit 'Annie.' "
"The charms of this show (now having its fourth regional outing in six years) are easy-going, its storytelling homespun and its scope intimate," writes Rizzo, who has covered Connecticut theater for decades. "It’s a cozy show distinguished by a well-crafted book and lyrics."
The review is short of a complete rave.
"The overall production itself, however, is spotty," says Rizzo, calling the material "too often awkward, flat or perfunctory and misses the mark for emotional payoff at the end."
Perhaps the play should have been re-named “Because of Stop & Shop” so Connecticut critics could more easily relate.