Tag Archives: Hartford Stage

Within This Wooden O

Hartford Stage’s 

Henry V 

In The Round

Henry V

Through November 11

The Hartford Stage 

50 Church Street

Hartford CT


Reviewed by Bobby Franklin

The cast of Henry V

As the Chorus (Peter Francis James) sets the scene at the opening of Shakespeare’s Henry V now playing at the Hartford Stage, the audience is reminded that what they are about to see is all illusion. He asks that those in the theater use their imagination in order to see the story about to unfold.

Director Elizabeth Williamson has chosen to set this production in the round with very few props and effects. Other than a couple of tables and chairs, a few guns and knives, costumes that are not period specific, subtle lighting, a minimum of sound effects, and a floor that has a map inlaid in it, the rest is left to the actors, the language, and yes, the imagination. And it is Shakespeare’s language in the hands of the actors that makes the story  so vivid. 

Peter Francis James as the Chorus

Peter Francis James fills the theater with anticipation with his exciting opening monologue that invites all who are there to participate in the  events about to unfold. His rich and enthusiastic voice does indeed get the “imaginary forces” working. Throughout the play he returns to carry us along and set the upcoming scenes. It is a pleasure to listen to him.

Henry V is played by Stephen Louis Grush and he faces the challenge of reciting some of the Bard’s most rousing speeches, many of which will be familiar to the audience, such as The St. Crispin’s Day speech before the Battle of Agincourt. His battle cry (Once more unto the breech dear friends…) during the siege of Harfleur is  somewhat drowned out by sound effects at first, which is odd since they are so little used, but is still rousing as the noise fades and the words are heard. Mr. Grush sometimes appears a bit uncomfortable but settles down as he allows the words to flow from his mouth. He will only get better during this run.

Miles Anderson (Pistol)

Miles Anderson as Pistol (he also plays the Bishop of Ely) almost steals the show and his interactions with Nym (Felicity Jones Latta), Bardolph (Liam Craig), and Fleuellen (Baron Vaughn) are comic and touching. The almost knife fight between Nym and Pistol is a memorable scene that had the audience laughing while it revealed the character of the two participants. Mr. Vaughn also takes on the part of Nell Quickly and is campy and quite funny.

Director Willamson’s decision to set this in the round was a wise choice as Henry V fits well into this setting. As the actors turn about the stage addressing each other, they are also speaking to the audience. It adds an intimacy that gives the work more emotional power.

Felicity Jones Latta (Alice), Evelyn Spahr (Katherine)

Watching Katherine (Evelyn Spahr) practicing her English with Alice (Felicity Jones Latta) while moving about the stage is quite charming. Ms Spahr also plays Boy and Lord Scroop. Her Boy is innocent and yet insightful. Her Katherine is tender yet smart.

I feel I must mention Peter Francis James again. Mr. James’s Chorus paces his speeches perfectly and, without overreaching, brings a depth of excitement to the swelling scenes.

Now, since this is Henry V and we are asked to use our imagination, I beg to indulge for just a moment. During the Battle of Agincourt while the sound of machine guns were used for effect, my mind went to the swoosh of arrows being let loose from the long bows that were so effectively used to defeat the French. I think it would have been very effective here as well.

I make it a point to travel to the Hartford Stage each year to see their productions of the works of William Shakespeare. They are among the best staged anywhere. While this year’s work is a bit uneven, I thought the scenes in the French Court were stiff, it is still a worthy production not to be missed. 

Liam Craig (Bardolph), Felicity Jones Latta (Nym)

If you are among those who sometimes believe William Shakespeare wrote in a foreign language, lay your fears aside. While the text is untouched, the focus given the words and the clarity with which they are spoken here will leave you fully engaged. This is an excellent reason to make the trip to Hartford. You will leave the theatre feeling comfortable with the language of Shakespeare and glad you have seen these few, these happy few perform. 

All photos by T. Charles Erickson

“The Pianist of Willesden Lane” Returns To Hartford Stage

Piano Virtuoso Mona Golabek Returns to Hartford Stage for a Limited Engagement of The Pianist of Willesden Lane

Back by popular demand, the inspirational solo show will run July 12 – 22 for 13 performances.

World-renowned piano virtuoso Mona Golabek returns to Hartford Stage for a limited engagement of her inspirational show, The Pianist of Willesden Lane. Back by popular demand, The Pianist of Willesden Lane will run Thursday, July 12, through Sunday, July 22, for 13 performances only. Tickets will be available for sale on Saturday, May 19.

“Mona’s performance is fondly remembered by Hartford Stage audiences, and I am frequently asked when she might return to Hartford,” said Michael Stotts, Managing Director of Hartford Stage. “We are all delighted to get this chance to welcome Mona back this summer, to share her moving story, and experience her extraordinary talent.”

“There are singular performers and singular performances. We are thrilled to welcome Mona Golabek and The Pianist of Willesden Lane back to Hartford Stage,” Hartford Stage Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak said.

In The Pianist of Willesden Lane, Golabek performs some of the world’s most beautiful classic piano pieces as she shares her own mother’s riveting story of survival. Golabek was taught piano by her mother, Lisa Jura, who, along with Lisa’s mother, Malka, is the subject of the book, The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival, by Golabek and Lee Cohen. Director Hershey Felder (Our Great Tchaikovsky, George Gershwin Alone) adapted the play from the book.

Mona Golabek in The Pianist of Willesden Lane.
(Photo: mellopix.com and Berkeley Rep.)

The Pianist of Willesden Lane originally performed at Hartford Stage in 2015 to rave reviews from both critics and audiences. The Hartford Courant called The Pianist of Willesden Lane “a skillful concert performance with a heartwarming story of survival…Entrancing!” Broadway World wrote, “It’s an extraordinary story of human courage, cooperation, and talent. What lifts it here into the realm of art is how beautifully Ms. Golabek plays the piano. Segments of Beethoven, Grieg, Mozart, Debussy, Scriabin, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and more are interspersed with straightforward narration about events and personalities, all delivered by Ms. Golabek. Her interpretations are full of feeling.”

An author, recording artist, radio host and internationally acclaimed concert pianist, Golabek is the founder and president of the non-profit organization Hold On To Your Music. A Grammy Award nominee, she has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Career Grant and the People’s Award of the International Chopin Competition. She has been the subject of several PBS television documentaries, including More Than the Music, which won the grand prize in the 1985 Houston Film Festival, and Concerto for Mona, featuring her and conductor Zubin Mehta. She has appeared in concert at the Hollywood Bowl, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Royal Festival Hall, and with major orchestras and conductors worldwide.

Golabek’s recordings include the best-selling Carnival of the Animals, featuring the voices of Audrey Hepburn, Ted Danson, Lily Tomlin and others; Ravel’s Mother Goose, featuring Meryl Streep; and the Piano Trios of Arensky and Tchaikovsky, recorded in collaboration with her sister, Renee Golabek-Kaye, and including the Poulenc Double Piano Concerto.

Felder, a pianist, actor, playwright, composer, producer, and director, has previously thrilled Hartford Stage audiences with his one-man shows Our Great Tchaikovsky, George Gershwin Alone and Monsieur Chopin. His other works include Hershey Felder, Beethoven; As I Knew Him; Maestro Bernstein; Musik (Franz Liszt); and Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin.

 Hartford Stage box office: 860-527-5151 or visit www.hartfordstage.org.

Hershey Felder Returns to Hartford Stage in Our Great Tchaikovsky

Limited Engagement!
Only 11 Performances –August 19-27

Performer/Creator of George Gershwin Alone;
Director and Adaptor of The Pianist of Willesden Lane

Hartford Stage will present Our Great Tchaikovsky, a celebration of the famed Russian composer, written and performed by internationally-acclaimed pianist, actor and playwright Hershey Felder, for a limited one-week engagement – August 19 through 27.

The Chicago Sun Times raved, “The quadruple threat performer Hershey Felder is an actor, singer, pianist and writer, and all of the first order.” After its record-breaking world premiere at the San Diego Repertory Theatre, the San Diego Union-Tribune called it, “A powerful, emotional experience well worth seeing.”

Our Great Tchaikovsky marks Felder’s return to Hartford Stage. His previous productions include George Gershwin Alone in 2004 and Monsieur Chopin in 2006. Most recently, he adapted and directed The Pianist of Willesden Lane in 2015.

With direction by longtime collaborator Trevor Hay (Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin), Our Great Tchaikovsky celebrates Russia’s most beloved and mysterious composer in a time-bending story of culture and politics.

Among Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s masterworks included in the show are the ballets Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker; concerto pieces Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto no. 1 and Rococo Variations for Cello; the opera Eugene Onegin; orchestral pieces Romeo and Juliet, the 1812 Overture and Marche Slav; and Symphony No. 6, Pathétique. Just nine days after Tchaikovsky conducted the premiere of Pathétique in St. Petersburg, he died suddenly at the age of 53. Our Great Tchaikovsky explores the mystery surrounding his death while paying homage to the composer and his music.

Felder has played over 4,500 performances of his self-created solo productions at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres and has consistently broken box office records. Maestro, Felder’s tribute to the life and work of composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein, was recognized as a Top 10 Play and Musical by TIME magazine last year. His other shows include: George Gershwin Alone (Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre, West End’s Duchess Theatre); Monsieur Chopin; Beethoven; Franz Liszt in Musik; and Lincoln: An American Story. Future productions include the new musical, Chosen by G-d, for which he is writing music, book and lyrics. Felder’s compositions and recordings include Aliyah; Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; Fairytale, a musical; Les Anges de Paris; Suite for Violin and Piano; Song Settings; Saltimbanques for Piano and Orchestra; Etudes Thematiques for Piano; and An American Story for Actor and Orchestra. Felder is the adaptor, director and designer for The Pianist of Willesden Lane; producer and designer for the new musical Louis and Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara, directed by Taylor Hackford; and writer and director for the upcoming Flying Solo, featuring opera legend Nathan Gunn.

In addition to direction by Hay and scenic design by Felder, the creative team includes Costume Designer Abigail Caywood; Lighting and Projections Designer Christopher Ash; Sound Designer Erik Carstensen; and Research and Dramaturgy by Meghan Maiya. Our Great Tchaikovsky is produced by Samantha F. Voxakis, Karen Racanelli and Erik Carstensen.

hartfordstage.org     Box Office: 860-527-5151


Theatre Openings

Another Round Of Theatre Productions Is Coming Up And There Is No Shortage Of Productions To Fill  Your Calendars.

The SpeakEasy Stage will be kicking things off with Grand Concourse which will run from March 5th to April 1st Calderwood Pavillion located in Boston’s South End.

GRAND CONCOURSE tells the story of Shelley, a Catholic nun and former high school basketball star, who now struggles to find meaning in her work as the manager of a Bronx soup kitchen. With the help of Oscar, a former Dominican dentist now making a living as a security guard, Shelley tends to her flock, a colorful crew that includes Frog, a homeless former intellectual who now passes time writing joke books. The arrival of Emma, a college dropout looking for a sense of purpose, is at first a welcome addition to the team, but the girl’s erratic behavior soon takes its toll. With gentle humor and great heart, GRAND CONCOURSE explores the mysteries of faith, forgiveness, and compassion.

The cast includes Ally Dawson, Thomas Derrah, Melinda Lopez, and Alejandro Simoes.

From March 10th though April 7th the Huntington Theatre Company will be presenting Top Dog/Underdog at the BU Theater on Huntington Avenue in Boston.

Topdog/Underdog is a darkly comic, deeply theatrical fable about family wounds and healing bonds. Lincoln and Booth are brothers: best friends and bitter rivals. Lincoln, a former 3-card monte hustler, works as a Lincoln impersonator in a shooting gallery; Booth is an aspiring grifter. He tempts his brother to get back in the game, but the consequences could be deadly.

Suzan-Lori Parks made history as the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2002 with Topdog/Underdog. Additionally, she is named among Time magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next Wave” and is also the recipient of two Obie Awards and a MacArthur “Genius” Grant.

Over at the Lyric Stage on Clarendon Street in Boston you will be able to see Stage Kiss running from February 24th through March 26th.

Life imitates Art. Art imitates Life — and Love. In Stage Kiss, two squabbling long-lost loves are cast as long-lost lovers, and quickly lose touch with reality in this comic, romantic, and revealing play-within-a-play. Playwright Sarah Ruhl and Director Courtney O’Connor (Red Hot Patriot, Buyer & Cellar) take us on-stage, back-stage, and right out the stage door in this charming tale about what happens when lovers share a stage kiss and when actors share a real one.

Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9 will run at the Hartford Stage from February 23rd through March 19th in, where else?, Hartford, CT.

The world of Cloud 9 contains unexpected trysts, gender swaps, role reversals and power plays. Victorian repression clashes with liberal expression as the play follows a British family from colonial Africa to London in the 1970s. The tantalizing comedy explores the ever-changing world of sexual politics as it asks what it takes for each of us to reach our own Cloud 9.

Cloud 9 was Caryl Churchill’s first international hit. The playwright’s other works include Top Girls, Mad Forest, Love and Information, A Number and Serious Money. The Guardian recently wrote that Churchill “now shares with Tom Stoppard the title of Britain’s most significant living dramatist.”

There is plenty to see, many fine theatre companies producing excellent work, and so much great talent performing. The weather is improving and there is no better way to spend an afternoon or evening than enjoying a play. The folks at all of these theaters work hard to give us first class productions and they rarely fail. We are lucky to have so many theatre companies near by. Take in a show or two, or three. You won’t be disappointed.







A Little More About The Comedy of Errors In Hartford

by Bobby Franklin

Well, January isn’t even over yet and I have already reviewed five plays to kick off the new year. While just about everything I have seen has been good, some superb, I have to say The Comedy of Errors at the Hartford Stage is going to be tough to top. My review only touched on some of what made that production so great.

Matthew Macca and Ryan-James Hatanaka
Photo: T. Charles Erickson

I have to add that while it certainly had a Greek theme it also included the music from a Chubby Checker recording of Never on a Sunday in both English and Greek versions as transitional music that gave a definite Beach Blanket Bingo feel to it. Two Carmen Miranda tunes, Tico Tico and Cuanto Le Gusta were delightful. Cuanto Le Gusta was performed marvelously by the two Dromeos (Alan Schmuckler and Matthew Macca), while Nell (Tara Heal)treated us to Tico, Tico And, there was a huge Bollywood scene with the entire cast dancing to Chunari, Chunari from Monsoon Wedding. It was spectacular!

All great fun!



Original review:

There Are No Errors In This Comedy

A Powerful Lesson

August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson

At The Hartford Stage
Through November 13, 2016

Reviewed By Edmond D. Smith

the-pian-lesson-pic1916 saw the start of what has come to be called The Great Migration, the movement of millions of Southern African Americans to the North in the hopes of finding better lives than the South was affording them. Playwright August Wilson sets his famed ten play The American Century Cycle, of which the Pulitzer Prize winning The Piano Lesson is the fifth, in 1936 Pittsburgh where a large migrant population had taken root. Like all the plays of The American Cycle The Piano Lesson, currently at Hartford’ elegant Stage Theater, addresses aspects of how this dislocation impacted the African American experience.

This is what theater is all about.

The play revolves around the return of Boy Willie Charles, who has spent the last three years in Mississippi, some of the time in jail and all the time scheming how to gather the money to buy farmland in Mississippi that his family had once worked as slaves. He drives back to Pittsburgh with his friend Lymon in a truck that’s on its last legs filled with watermelons that he intends to sell to accumulate funds to help pay for the land. The last part of his plan is to sell a family heirloom, a 137 year old piano engraved with images that relate his family’s history in America currently in his sister Berniece’s possession. He returns to the bosom of a family that is unimpressed with his plans; Berniece being adamant that he will not sell what she sees as the family legacy. The stage is then literally set for a battle of how best to reconcile yesterday and today in a way that makes tomorrow worthwhile.

Christina Acosta Robinson uses her slight, almost frail body to heighten the power of her inner resolve.

The Stage has gathered an exceptional ensemble of actors who through stories and song highlight those things that have held the African American community together in their struggle in America; religion and African spirituality among them. Clifton Duncan fully embodies both the charming and manipulative aspects of Boy Willie. Christina Acosta Robinson uses her slight, almost frail body to heighten the power of her inner resolve. Other standouts are Rosco Orman (who you may remember for playing Gordon Robinson for years on Sesame Street) as Uncle Doaker who brings an appropriate naturalness and reasonability to the role. Cleavant Derricks plays Doaker’s bombastic brother and nearly stops the show with his soulful, thunderous singing voice.

Clifton Duncan and Elise Taylor Photo Credit: T.Charles Erickson
Clifton Duncan and Elise Taylor
Photo Credit: T.Charles Erickson

This terrific cast is able to express themselves to full advantage thanks to Jade King Carrol’s subtle direction which synergistically uses story, acting talent, lighting and stage design to create something greater than its already highly impressive parts. The lives of migrant African Americans in all their humor, love and desperation are sensitively evoked.

In our continuing era of racial strife, The Piano Lesson does us all a service by stripping away stereotypes to reveal the humanity common in us all. August Wilson was (he sadly passed away in 2005) not only a master of the lyricism of words but also of the human condition and brilliantly found the dignity of his characters in their everyday struggles.

With their current production, The Stage Theater burnishes their reputation of presenting important, quality theater to Connecticut. This is what theater is all about.

Hartford Stage
50 Church Street, Hartford, CT 06103
Box Office: 860-527-5151

Hartford Stage Announces Cast and Creative Team For Queens for a Year

Cast Features Local Actress and Broadway Veterans

September 16 through October 2

show-queensHARTFORD, CT — AUGUST 23, 2016 — Hartford Stage Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts announced today the cast and creative team for Queens for a Year, written by T.D. Mitchell and featuring local actress Vanessa R Butler.

The first show of Hartford Stage’s 2016-17 Season, Queens for a Year is a world premiere directed by Lucy Tiberghien, whose recent Off-Broadway credits include Don’t Go Gentle and Blind.

“We’re delighted to have Lucie Tiberghien and such a terrific cast joining us for this timely new play exploring the lives of women serving in the military,” said Elizabeth Williamson, Associate Artistic Director.

Butler’s credits include Gross Domestic Product and Jimmy and Lorraine at HartBeat Ensemble; Juliet in Romeo & Juliet at Capitol Classics; and Freedom: In 3 Acts at Bated Breath Theatre Company.

The cast also includes Heidi Armbruster, Time Stands Still on Broadway; Mary Bacon, Arcadia on Broadway; Alice Cannon, James Joyce’s The Dead on Broadway; Sarah Nicole Deaver, Henry V at Rutgers University; Mat Hostetler, the War Horse national tour; Charlotte Maier, God of Carnage on Broadway; and Jamie Rezanour, Romeo & Juliet at the Classical Theatre of Harlem.

In addition to Tiberghien, the creative team includes set design by Daniel Conway (Horton Foote’s Lily Dale Off-Broadway); lighting design by Robert Perry (Love in Afghanistan at Arena Stage); costume design by Beth Goldenberg (Engagements at Second Stage Theatre); sound design by Victoria Toy Deiorio (Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre); and dramaturgy by Elizabeth Williamson (Anastasia, The Body of an American).

Lori M. Doyle (The Visit on Broadway) will serve as production stage manager.

In Queens for a Year, Molly Solinas, a young Marine Corps Officer, unexpectedly returns to her family home in Virginia, bringing with her an even younger female Private. Four generations of women who’ve served their country in the Marines clash during what at first appears to be a post-deployment vacation – but is revealed to be much more.

“I am grateful to Queens for a Year for telling this difficult story and shedding a light on women in the military,” said Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senator, New York.

Mitchell, best known as a writer on the popular Lifetime series “Army Wives,” has earned accolades for many works, including her plays Beyond the 17th Parallel (National Endowment for the Arts Artistic Excellence Grant, soon to be adapted for film), A Gray Matter, In Dog Years and the upcoming VRTU-L.


Previews begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 8
Opening Night: 8 p.m. Friday, September 16
Closes: 2 p.m. Sunday, October 2

Tickets & Performances

Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun at 7:30 p.m.—Fri, Sat at 8 p.m.—Sat, Sun at 2 p.m.
Wed matinee at 2 p.m. on September 21 only
Weekly schedules vary. For details, visit www.hartfordstage.org.

Tickets for all shows start at $25. For group discounts (10 or more), contact Theresa MacNaughton at 860-520-7114.

For all other tickets, please call the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 or visit www.hartfordstage.org.

Special Events

Sunday Afternoon Discussion, September 18

Enjoy a lecture from artists and scholars connected with the production immediately following the 2 p.m. matinee. Free

AfterWords Discussion

Tuesdays, September 20 and 27 & Wednesday, September 21

Join members of the cast and our Artistic staff for a free discussion, immediately following select 7:30 p.m. performances on Tuesday or the 2 p.m. Wednesday matinee.




A Captivating Romeo and Juliet At The Hartford Stage


by Bobby Franklin

“O Romeo, Romeo! – wherefore art thou Romeo?”

In answer to that question, Romeo, Juliet, and all of the Capulets and Montagues are on the Hartford Stage under the very fine direction of Darko Tresnjak.

This Romeo and Juliet is nothing short of superb.

This Romeo and Juliet is nothing short of superb. Written over 400 years ago, the Hartford’s production of Shakespeare’s work is fresh and alive. The beautifully talented Kaliswa Brewster in her “dream role” as Juliet couldn’t be more perfect in the role as the young Ms

Juliet (Kaliswa Brewster)
Juliet (Kaliswa Brewster)

Capulet who is taken with the handsome Romeo played by the equally talented Chris Ghaffari. The two are lovely to watch as their forbidden love blossoms. They perform their parts with much playful humor (the famous balcony scene is among the best and most original I have ever seen) on a versatile set inspired by the work of Italian neorealist cinema, think Rossellini and Visconti.

Romeo (Chris Ghaffari) and Juliet (Kaliswa Brewster)
Romeo (Chris Ghaffari) and Juliet (Kaliswa Brewster)

The first half of this beautiful play is joyful and light. It makes the audience relax and share in the excitement of the title characters as they become more and more enthralled with each other. We laugh and share in their joy. Of course, we are made well aware of the tension that exists between the two families, but some how we feel things will work out just fine. Yes, even knowing the story, our emotions follow that arc. It is the magic director Tresnjak is able to make happen on stage. It is not the first time I have seen him do this.

Mercutio (Wyatt Fenner) and Tybalt (Jonathan Louis Dent)
Mercutio (Wyatt Fenner) and Tybalt (Jonathan Louis Dent)

Mercutio (Wyatt Fenner) is unlike any you have seen before. He is intense and, well, mercurial. And it is when he meets his end that our joyful mood takes a sudden and very real turn. “A plague on both your houses!” Again, it is that Darko magic at work. I observed laughter turn to tears in the audience as things descended into darkness because of the petty hatreds of the two families.

Friar Laurence (Charles Janasz)
Friar Laurence (Charles Janasz)

Charles Janasz brings wisdom and warmth to the part of Friar Laurence, and Kandis Chappell as Juliet’s nurse joins him in the failed and finally tragic attempt to reconcile things for the lovers and families. Our hearts break for them as well.

Everyone in the large cast is terrific, the set, with a balcony that extends and recedes from a wall designed after an Italian cemetery wall, and lighting are to the usual high standards of the Hartford. This production is a joy for all of the senses. Within minutes of the opening the theatergoers feel they are a part of all that is happening on the stage.

If you have seen Romeo and Juliet before do not miss this one as it is unlike any before. If you have never experienced it, there is no better time than now to see it for the first time, though I must warn you it may spoil you for future productions.

Juliet (Kaliswa Brewster) and Nurse (Kandis Chappell)
Juliet (Kaliswa Brewster) and Nurse (Kandis Chappell)

I have now attended enough Shakespeare productions directed by Darko Tresnjak at the Hartford to say his are by far the best in New England.

I urge you to take the short run down to Hartford to see this play. You’ll be sorry if you miss it.

Romeo and Juliet at The Hartford Stage through March 20th.

Info at www.hartfordstage.org Box Office 860-520-7114

The Hartford Stage Presents Romeo and Juliet

Kaliswa Brewster and Chris Ghaffari Lead Cast

Directed by Darko Tresnjak

Chris Ghaffari and Kaliswa BrewsterHartford Stage Artistic Director Darko Tresnik will be bringing his magic to William Shakespeare’s most popular play Romeo and Juliet beginning on February 11th and playing through March 20th.

Kaliswa Brewster and Chris Ghaffari will play the archetypal young lovers. Brewster’s credits include Hartford Stage’s La Dispute and Macbeth and Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Under Milk Wood, all three directed by Tresnjak; the new Showtime series “Billions,” which stars Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti and debuts next month; and the Off-Broadway premieres of Emotional Creature and Soldier X. Ghaffari is in his final year of the MFA program at the Yale School of Drama, where he has performed in Coriolanus, King John and Paradise Lost. His resume also includes King Lear for The Public’s Shakespeare in the Park and As You Like It and Julius Caesar at Shakespeare on the Sound.

Tresnjak said, “Romeo & Juliet is a play of seemingly infinite possibilities, reinvented from generation to generation for over 400 years, a symbol of romantic love infused with iconic imagery and unforgettable language that has become a part of the vernacular. We look forward to exploring this eternally modern play with a company of great stage veterans and rising stars.”

Having seen Darko perform his magic on MacBeth and Hamlet I am very much looking forward to seeing what he does with Romeo and Juliet.

Romeo and Juliet contains some of Shakespeare’s best known lines including “A plague on both your houses.”, “Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow, that i shall say good night till it be morrow.”, and “What’s on a name? That which we call a rose by any bother name would smell as sweet.”

For more information go to: www.harfordstage.org or call 860-527-5151