Jane Eyre, Williamson’s “Best Piece of Theater” at Hartford Stage

Creating a stage adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” has been a passion project for Hartford Stage’s Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Williamson and with a final product now on stage, adapted and directed by her, it is evident that her efforts and dedication to it has paid off. This is the best piece of theater that Williamson has directed at Hartford Stage.  Her work as an adaptor of the novel is great. The language is adapted with care, the key characters are properly developed, and it isn’t overly long for an adaptation of a book that is almost 600 pages.

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Kovgan’s Cunningham Comes Full Circle to Connecticut College

Cunningham, a 2019 biopic by Alla Kovgan about choreographer Merce Cunningham, had a special screening on Saturday in Evans Hall at Connecticut College in New London. Kovgan, who has on hand to introduce the film along with Robert Richter, director of arts programming at Connecticut College, noted the full-circle nature of the screening — several Cunningham pieces included in the film were premiered in Palmer Auditorium at Connecticut College, site of the American Dance Festival from 1948-1977. An iconoclastic choreographer and revered figure in the field of contemporary dance, Cunningham is also something of a con artist, flatly denying he

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Comic, Deceptive “The Plot” Premieres at Yale Rep

NEW HAVEN — There is something deeply personal about picking your own burial plot. There’s a sort of existential finality to it. It’s not like you will be alive to appreciate the beauty or the significance of the space. But there’s a peace that can come when you know that your time is short in the world and you’ll be placed somewhere that is important to you and significant to the people who will remember you. This is the case for Righty — delicately played by esteemed veteran actor Harris Yulin (“The Hurricane,” “Scarface”) — who has purchased a burial

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Lopez’s The Inheritance Adapts Howard’s End to the AIDS Epidemic

Directed by Stephen Daldry and inspired by E.M. Forster’s novel Howard’s End, “The Inheritance” was commissioned for Hartford Stage, and later produced at the Young Vic in London in March 2018, before moving to the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York. The play is in two parts. Part one runs 3 hours 15 minutes. Part two runs 3 hours 10 minutes.  Is it the second coming of “Angels in America,” as some talking heads are proclaiming? No. Though it has the length and similar subject matter, it doesn’t have the existential quality, or the diversity of characters of Tony Kushner’s

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“Cry It Out,” Puts Young Mothers on Hartford Stage

Parenthood. The very idea can make people squirm with fear. It can also fill people with hope, or fond memories, or regrets. But for three women in Molly Smith Metzler’s play “Cry It Out,” it’s about change and how do they go forward with their lives immediately after having their first children. Hartford Stage’s production of the play, directed by Rachel Alderman, and running through Nov. 17, has a near perfect design, but the performances and directing fall flat. As I entered the theater, I was pleased to see that the use of the three-quarter thrust stage was utilized almost

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Rapp’s “The Sound Inside,” Sincere, Sensitive

“The Sound Inside” by Adam Rapp and directed by David Cromer (The Band’s Visit), currently on Broadway at Studio 54, feels like a well executed writing exercise that transformed into a delicate and sensitive play. It stars Mary-Louise Parker as Bella, a Yale English professor who has fallen into an almost transcendental state of apathy toward her life. She teaches her courses, she drinks her wine, and she grades her papers. She has no serious friends, lovers, or aspirations. Parker is wonderful. She plays Bella with a painful awkwardness. She evokes Bella’s brilliant mind, but also the perpetual depression she

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Hartford Stage Opens with Solis’ Lyrical-Political Quixote

There are many adaptations of Don Quixote — a story originally written by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes in the early 17th Century — from the Joe Darion and Mitch Leigh musical “Man of La Mancha” to the Terry Gilliam film, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.” In the prescient musical play “Quixote Nuevo,” playwright Octavio Solis has brought Quixote to Hartford Stage and a modern day American setting in a production directed by KJ Sanchez that runs through October 13. Set in and around the fictional Texas border town of La Plancha, mentally declining literature professor Jose Quijano —

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