The Howard – Queen and Slim – Movie Advance Screening Tix

 

 

You are Cordially invited to the BATV Exclusive screening of QUEEN & SLIM on 11/21 at 7pm at Bow Tie Palace.

HARTFORD SCREENING 11/21 – BOW TIE PALACE

To sign up for the advance screening of QUEEN & SLIM on Thursday, November 21 at 7:00pm at Bow Tie Palace, click here: https://forms.gle/LcuJ7MctUJBrL1veA

PLEASE NOTE: By completing this form, your name will automatically be added to the advance screening RSVP list. Duplicate names will be deleted from the final list. An E-Pass will be emailed before the screening takes place and will be cross-checked with the final list. Seating is first come, first served and NOT GUARANTEED so please arrive early. When the screening is full, this link will be disabled.

YOUR MEDIA HOST IS BATV

QUEEN & SLIM

In theaters November 27
Universal 

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6Th84oGDno

Director:             Melina Matsoukas

Writers:               Lena Waithe, James Frey

Producers:          Lena Waithe, Melina Matsoukas, James Frey, Andrew Coles, Michelle Knudsen

Cast:                     Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith

While on a forgettable first date together in Ohio, a black man (Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya) and a black woman (Jodie Turner-Smith, in her first starring feature-film role), are pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. The situation escalates, with sudden and  tragic results, when the man kills the police officer in self-defense. Terrified and in fear for their lives, the man, a retail employee, and the woman, a criminal defense lawyer, are forced to go on the run. But the incident is captured on video and goes viral, and the couple unwittingly become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief and pain for people across the country.

As they drive, these two unlikely fugitives will discover themselves and each other in the most dire and desperate of circumstances, and will forge a deep and powerful love that will reveal their shared humanity and shape the rest of their lives.

Joining a legacy of films such as Bonnie and Clyde and Thelma & Louise, Queen & Slim is a powerful, consciousness-raising love story that confronts the staggering human toll of racism and the life-shattering price of violence.

 

 

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The Howard ~ Theater Review – “Cry It Out” – Hartford Stage – The Perfect Friendship!

 

Reviewer: Howard Steven Frydman
                   aka “The Howard”

Production: Cry It Out
Theater:     The Hartford Stage
Playwright: Molly Smith Metzler
Director:    Rachel Alderman

The Howard’s Exhale – “Friendship- Its the perfect blendship!

The Divine Miss M – Bette Midler once exclaimed – “You got to have friends the feeling’s oh so strong – You got to have friends to make the day last long”.  Folks – I have just returned from a heartwarming production of “Cry It Out” at Hartford Stage, though the play may center around the “secret world” of motherhood, parenting, child birth, sharing those “thoughts of babes in arms” only a fellow parent can relate too – Playwright Molly Smith Metzler has brought forth something akin greater- two friends – two indelible characters that I wish were my friends, my neighbors, my confidants. “Cry It Out” is divinely directed by Rachel Aldeman, and stars two woman I would so enjoy seeing in a weekly comedy series – Evelyn Spahr and Rachel Spencer Hewitt- they are funny, they are fierce, they are woman – hear them roar!

Rachel Spencer Hewitt, Evelyn Spahr In Cry It Out.

Let’s chat about playwright Molly Smith Metzler for a moment – in real estate it’s location location location – in theater it’s truly all about the 3d’s – dialogue dialogue dialogue ( I will get to our actors in a bit)  – and Ms. Metzler had this audience member literally leaning forward in my seat in an effort not to miss one single syllable of her delectable “grown up” dialogue. Her words were – funny, frantic, factual, ferocious- if her words were potato chips – you simply could not just eat one – you would want the entire bag – yes indeed – the play’s the thing – and Ms. Metzler you are our contemporary bard – more plays please!

Evelyn Spahr

Rachel Spencer Hewitt

“Cry It Out” – the location- Port Washington, New York, “the” oh so affluent hamlet on the North Shore of Long Island.  It’s where lower crust meets middle crust and where upper crust uses binoculars to watch the doings of the L.C.’s and M.C.’s. Meet Lina,  (Evelyn Spahr) and Jessie (Rachel Spencer Hewitt) both at home moms who lament going back to their respective jobs, Linas a triage nurse, Jessie an Attorney. Meeting each day in their adjoining backyards for their daily playtime “Koffee Klutch” discussions – they seriously sermonize on what “motherhood” has done to them – from wearing fake stretch-able jeans, their “me time” at the local Stop and Shop and their noticeable isolation from the “adult world” of their peers . Watching from afar, yes with binoculars is the affluent Mitchell (Erin Gann) who beseeches the duo to let his wife,  Adrienne, a jewelry designer, (Caroline Kinsolving) join their daily get togethers in an effort to make her more of a caring mom – hmmm- what’s this – “The Stepford Wives”?

Evelyn Spahr, Caroline Kinsolving

As stated – I throughly enjoyed the duo of Lina and Jessie- they so reminded me of other fan favorites such as:  “Laverne and Shirley”, “Mary Richards and Rhoda” and of course “Lucy and Ethel”. Folks, though the production is only 90 minutes long – the characters are so real and alive – one brash, one tame – you truly wish these two were your friends and confidants as well. Additionally, though the characters go their separate ways at plays conclusion, we so hope playwright Molly Smith Metzler, can summon upon these two characters again in a “what happens next”- I would even appreciate a Television series with these same two women, Evelyn Spahr and Rachel Spencer Hewett as the leads in a speculative “When Lina Met Jessie” series. As you can imagine both Ms. Spahr and Ms. Hewitt receive the coveted “Howard Noticed YOU Award” – they are both “TERRIFIC” in their respective roles. Enjoy.

Rachel Spencer Hewitt, Erin Gann

Tickets for the Hartford Stage production of “Cry It Out” are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (860) 527-5151 or by visiting http://www.hartfordstage.org. Weeknight and evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Matinee performances are Saturdays, Sundays and select weekdays at 2 p.m.

Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at TheHoward24@gmail.com.

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The Howard – Screening Invite – LAST CHRISTMAS starring Emilia Clark

 

You and a guest are cordially invited by BATV to see

LAST CHRISTMAS

The screening, provided by your host station, BATV, will take place on Tuesday, November  5th at 7pm at Bow Tie Palace.

PLEASE GO TO LINK BELOW  an email pass will be sent to you!

click here:

https://forms.gle/7dDUcGewMuYEf4vj7

HARTFORD SCREENING 11/5 – BOW TIE PALACE

To sign up for the advance screening of LAST CHRISTMAS on Tuesday, November 5 at 7pm at Bow Tie Palace, click here:

https://forms.gle/7dDUcGewMuYEf4vj7

PLEASE NOTE: By completing this form, your name will automatically be added to the advance screening RSVP list. Duplicate names will be deleted from the final list. An E-Pass will be emailed before the screening takes place and will be cross-checked with the final list. Seating is first come, first served and NOT GUARANTEED so please arrive early. When the screening is full, this link will be disabled.

LAST CHRISTMAS

In theaters November 8
Universal 

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9CEIcmWmtA&feature=youtu.be

 

Director:             Paul Feig

Writers:               Screenplay by Emma Thompson and Bryony Kimmings; Story by Emma Thompson & Greg Wise

Producers:          David Livingstone, Emma Thompson, Paul Feig, Jessie Henderson

Cast:                     Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Emma Thompson

 

Kate (Emilia Clarke) harumphs around London, a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes, another irritating consequence from her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. Tom (Henry Golding) seems too good to be true when he walks into her life and starts to see through so many of Kate’s barriers. As London transforms into the most wonderful time of the year, nothing should work for these two. But sometimes, you gotta let the snow fall where it may, you gotta listen to your heart … and you gotta have faith.

Last Christmas features the music of George Michael, including the bittersweet holiday classic of the film’s title. The film will also premiere brand new unreleased material by the legendary Grammy-winning artist, who sold more than 115 million albums and recorded 10 No. 1 singles over the course of his iconic career.

 

HARTFORD SCREENING 11/5 – BOW TIE PALACE

To sign up for the advance screening of LAST CHRISTMAS on Tuesday, November 5 at 7pm at Bow Tie Palace, click here:

https://forms.gle/7dDUcGewMuYEf4vj7

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The Howard ~ Theater Review “American Son” at Theaterworks- a Rain of Tears at Every Turn!

 

Theater Review:   Howard Steven Frydman
                                    aka “The Howard

Production:          American Son
Theater:                 TheaterWorks
Playwright:           Christopher Demos-Brown
Director:                Rob Ruggiero

The Howard’s Exhale – “American Son” –  an absorbing, complex drama – a rain of tears at every turn!

“The clock of life is wound but once, And no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop at late or early hour”. Tic tic tic, like an over wound clock – a family’s reality is ready to explode in this racially charged- tension-filled  production taken directly from today’s headlines. “American Son” is currently being produced at the newly renovated TheaterWorks in downtown Hartford –  and just  like the theater’s new urban environment – we characteristically state its depiction of a family in crisis is “well-designed, rich in complexity, bold, thought provoking”, and so “true to life” that at plays end it will surely leave one with tears in your eyes. 

As they say – “there is no place like home”,  and like so many,  we could hardly wait to return to one of our favorite theaters- TheaterWorks. Producing Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero and staff have done one heck of a fine job in updating and enhancing the “Playhouse on Pearl”. We are mighty proud of the theater, their outstanding new Pearl Street showcase, and this amazing  first production of the 2019-2020 season, “American Son”, written by Christopher Demos-Brown, Directed by Rob Ruggiero, and starring, in what can only be expressed as stoic “heart-wrenching” performances; Ami Brabson, J Anthony Crane, John Ford-Dunker and Michael Genet. TheaterWorks has pulled out all the stops in this 34th season opener!

J. Anthony Crane and Ami Brabson in “American Son” at Theaterworks.

“American Son”, winner of the prestigious Laurents/Hatcher Award, had its world premiere in 2016 at the Barrington Stage Company, in Pittsfield, Mass., with its official Broadway opening in 2018 taking place at the Booth Theater starring Kerry Washington and Steven Pasquale. In September 2019, the play was adapted for a featured film, having its premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and is currently scheduled for a November 2019 television release on Netflix.

J. Anthony Crane and Ami Brabson in “American Son”.

Our local – Miami-Dade County Police Department, police sirens “politely” blare outside while approaching thunderclaps are a harbinger of the tragedy that will soon unfold. A wall clock silently decries the early morning while the absurdity of a Dunkin’ Donuts box beckons in the police station’s waiting area. Kendra Ellis-Connor, (Ami Brabson) an African-American woman, has been waiting patiently for details regarding her missing teenage son Jamal and their Lexus auto which harbors a bumper sticker that says “Shoot Police”. Both have been gone missing 8 hours previous. Details are slow to materialize, but we soon realize Jamal and two others who were with him have been pulled over – why? Within the 90 minute production of “American Son” we learn of this young man who has been taught, from a young age to respect authority, and an authority that only wants to teach us to “be quiet and just listen”. Kendra is soon joined by her estranged husband, Scott Connor (J Anthony Crane) an FBI Agent, who is white – who loudly demands that he see his son and be given details of his son’s arrest. During our mutual wait for details from inexperienced Officer Paul Larkin (John Ford-Dunker), and by-the-book  community affairs liaison Lt.  John Stokes (Michael Genet) we are provided thought provoking insights regarding this interracial couple’s marriage, family dynamics, and the black and white troubling times that surrounds us all.

Ami Brabson and Michael Genet in “American Son” at Theaterworks.

J. Anthony Crane and John Ford-Dunker in “American Son” at Theaterworks.

Let me tell you that Ami Brabson is “SIMPLY SUPERB”  as the agonizing mother, her strength of character, her travails, her anguish reach into the heart of each and every audience member, as we collectively lean forward in our seats to catch every word of her heart-wrenching dialogue-bravo Miss Brabson. We also appreciated the brilliantly dramatic performances and oh so realistic realizations of J. Anthony Crane and John Ford-Dunker.  Mr. Michael Genet – you sent chills down my spine as the dispassionate, steely eyed Lt. Stokes- a wonderful interpretive performance. Lastly, we send much appreciation to Director Rob Ruggiero for bringing this thought-provoking, heart wrenching production to a Connecticut audience – you sir are a beloved “Icon” of theater that we all appreciate! We love the refreshed TheaterWorks and enthralled by the talent of “American Son” within. Enjoy!

Opening Night of “American Son” at Theaterworks- J. Anthony Crane, Johanna Morrison, and Howard Steven Frydman.

Opening Night of “American Son” at Theaterworks- UHARTT students showcasing new Theaterworks logo.

“American Son“ is currently being produced at TheaterWorks, City Arts on Pearl, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford, CT. For tickets or info call TheaterWorks at 860.527.7838. Run Dates: October 18 through November 23, 2019

Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at TheHoward24@gmail.com.

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The Howard ~ Theater Review – “Little Shop of Horrors” ACT of CT- A Musical Treat

 

Theater Review: Howard Steven Frydman
                                  aka “The Howard

Production:                      Little Shop of Horrors – The Musical
Theater:                             ACT of Connecticut 
Book & Lyrics:                 Howard Ashman
Music:                                 Alan Menken
Director:                            Jason A. Sparks 

The Howard’s Exhale – “Little Shop of Horrors” – A Monster of a Musical Treat!

Hello my little Halloweenies – going Trick or Treating I see, if you are, than be like me and take the first broomstick you find, (I strongly suggest a Nimbus 2000), and head toward the bewitching New England township of Ridgefield, CT and their premiere theatrical venue – ACT – A Contemporary Theater of Connecticut and take in their “fab-boo-lous” first production of the 2019-2020 season –  the sci-fi rock musical comedy, “Little Shop of Horrors” – it’s a blast!

Robb Sapp as “Seymour” in Little Shop of Horrors.

Boy-chicks and girl-chicks,  this was my first jaunt to the ACT theater – and let me tell you they were the nicest folks I have ever met, I personally want to thank Daniel Levine – ACT Artistic Director, Heather Porter, General Manager; and Amanda Duff for their gracious invitation to ACT and believe you me – I was mighty impressed – the theater is a WOW! – absolutely gorgeous! The quaint New England Village of Ridgefield is filled with quaint shops, restaurants and now in its second year – ACT , which is a wonderful addition to the town, providing top notch Broadway worthy productions – folks I was impressed – and so will you! We greatly acknowledge that in their 2018 inaugural year, ACT of Connecticut, was awarded 11 BroadwayWorld CT Awards and nominated for two CT Critics Circle Awards and now in its second season – ACT is fast becoming the number one professional theatrical venue for the ARTS in Fairfield County. Bravo ACT! 

Robb Sapp as “Seymour” and Laura Woyasz as “Audrey” in Little Shop of Horrors.

Robb Sapp as “Seymour” and Laura Woyasz as “Audrey” in Little Shop of Horrors.

What’s Halloween without a bit of horror and “ACT of CT” is the perfect place to get a bit of the upcoming “H” on with their horror-rific musical production of “Little Shop of Horrors” playing from October 3rd till November 3rd, book and lyrics by Howard Ashmam, music by Alan Menken, directed by Jason A. Sparks, and perfectly cast- starring Robb Sabb as Seymour, Laura Woyasz as Audrey, Daniel C. Levine as Dentist Orin Scrivello, William Thomas Evans as Mr. Mushnik, Kent Overshown as Voice of “Audrey 2” and our three “skid row doo-wop divas” – Kadrea Dawkins as “Chiffon”, Rachelle Legrand as “Ronnette” and Ashley Alexandra Seldon as “Crystal”. What a satisfying cast indeed as they provide us with such memorable tunes including, “Suddenly Seymour”, “Somewhere That’s Green”, and “Skid Row”. Folks this production is indeed a monster hit of a musical “doo-wop spook-tacular” – shall we humbly say – hip hip horr-ahh! Mr. Levine – your production of “Little Shop” is  devil-lisiously good in every way!

Robb Sapp as “Seymour” and William Thomas Evans as “Mushnik” in Little Shop of Horrors.

Kadrea Dawkins, Rachelle Legrand, Laura Woyasz, and Ashley Alexandra Seldon.

On this mid Autumn day, the theater is literally packed with folks and lotsa kids too –  they be monster and musical lovers of all ages – for they know something nightmarishly good this way comes! In fact, it’s hard not to notice that throughout the two hour performance, that the audience is totally in sync with this show- folks are singing along, doing in seat dance moves – one dad sitting in front of me is even dropping candy “Junior Mints” down into his two daughters outstretched awaiting mouths – synchronized whenever our living plant “Audrey 2” cries out FEED ME!!  Too too cute and a bit scary too! Folks of all ages are loving this production – the takeaway- It’s heavenly, it’s humorous, it’s one hell of a good time!

Audrey 2

“Little Shop of Horrors”, like its voracious man-eating space plant- “Audrey 2”,  started its growth to becoming a Broadway musical initially as a fledgling seedling – a 1960 Roger Corman film, before it was transformed musically in 1982 to the Orpheus Theater Off-Broadway. The dark bloody out of this world tale – in the words of the immortal Howard Ashman, “On the twenty-third day of the month of September, in an early year of a decade not too long before our own, the human race suddenly encountered a deadly threat to its very existence, and this terrifying enemy surfaced as such enemies often do in the seemingly most innocent and unlikely of places” –  Aha!  NYC SKID ROW! Here we are introduced to the ever cranky Mr. Mushnik (William Thomas Evans)  his struggling floral shop, the inept but lovable Seymour Krelborn who strives to improve his life (Robb Sapp), the gal Seymour longs for, the drowsy and accident prone Audrey (Laura Woyasz) and the mysterious man-eating plant that is named after his beloved – AUDREY 2- let the bloodletting begin- oh my!! But just remember the moral of the tale – DON’T FEED THE PLANTS!!

Laura Woyasz as “Audrey” in Little Shop of Horrors.

Laura Woyasz as “Audrey” in Little Shop of Horrors.

I send major kudos firstly to Scenic Director Ryan Howell for the ultra realistic skid row/florist set  – an absolutely amazing turntable design. Our two leads Mr. Sapp and Miss Woyasz are tremendously talented. I so enjoyed their comic timing, vocals and their performances – provided with such true heart, integrity and devotion to character. They so well deserved their standing ovation at production’s end. I look forward to seeing them both in upcoming productions. This reviewer was mighty proud of this dynamic duo! Lastly, the coveted “Howard Noticed You Award” goes to Mr. Daniel C. Levine – you little “scene stealer” you – we so enjoyed your many various “quick change” configurations especially that of the deranged dentist – Orin. Sir, you were simply splendid! Much appreciation to ACT of CT and to the company of this delightful production. Enjoy!

Daniel C. Levine as “Orin” and Robb Sapp as “Seymour” in Little Shop of Horrors.

Daniel C. Levine in Little Shop of Horrors.

 

Howard Steven Frydman and Laura Woyasz – set of Little Shop of Horrors at ACT.

Robb Sapp as “Seymour”, Howard Steven Frydman and Laura Woyasz as “Audrey” in Little Shop of Horrors.

“Little Shop of Horrors” will run October 3rd till November 3rd, 2019. Curtain times are Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, and Sunday at 2pm. Please contact the ACT Box Office for tickets at 475-215-5433 or visit www.actofct.org for further information.

Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at TheHoward24@gmail.com.

Howard Steven Frydman on the set of Little Shop of Horrors- ACT of CT.

 

 

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The Howard ~ Theater Review – “Billy Elliot the Musical” at Goodspeed Soars!!

 

Theater Review: Howard Steven Frydman
                                   aka “The Howard”

Production:                      Billy Elliot the Musical
Theater:                             The Goodspeed 
Book & Lyrics:                 Lee Hall
Music:                                 Sir Elton John 
Director:                            Gabriel Barre 

The Howard’s Exhale – “Billy Elliot the Musical” – an inspired visual spree of music and dance – !!

“Hello Possums”, sending out a “hey noni noni”, a “Holy Baryshnikov Batman”, a “ ‘oi oi oi Dancing Boy”, and lastly a “Leapin Lizards” to this astounding “Fred Astaire-fest” of a fantastically fine production of the Tony Award winning Broadway hit “Billy Elliot the Musical”. The production which features inspiring songs by the legendary Sir Elton John, and based on the British film about the story of an 11-year-old boy who just wants to dance, is now arabesque-ing your way at the world famous Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut – and we are so grateful to Goodspeed for this incredible production that soars to new heights!

Liam Vincent Hutt in Goodspeed Musicals’ BILLY ELLIOT Photo Credit © Photo by Diane Sobolewski

Let me tell you, this production of “Billy Elliot the Musical” directed by Gabriel Barre, Choreography by Marc Kimelman, Scenic Design by Walt Spangler, and costumes by Jennifer Caprio- sets the Goodspeed stage ablaze with an inspired and vibrant visual spree of music, dance and the telling of a youth’s journey of discovery  – oi-  and let me tell you about the talent- I’m simply kvelling! The kids first- the adults later- !

C’mon Billy!” Liam Vincent Hutt as Billy Elliot with the cast of Goodspeed Musicals’ Billy Elliot The Musical, now playing at The Goodspeed through November 24. Photo by Diane Sobolewski.

Michelle Aravena (Mrs. Wilkinson) and Liam Vincent Hutt (Billy Elliot) with the cast of Goodspeed Musicals’ Billy Elliot The Musical,

Ten – count  em ten kids – youngsters – are the breakout stars of “Billy Elliot” – these little hoofers – dance their hearts out to a grateful audience. In recognition of their gifts of acting and dancing we praise them here now – including; Jon Martens, Erica Parks, Margot Anderson-Song, Amy Button, William Daniel Russell, Gabriel Sidney Brown, Tess Santarseiro, Camiel Warren-Taylor, and our two co-leads, Taven Blanke and Liam Vincent Hutt as “Billy”. I so rightly state these are the most talented “young ’uns” to take to a stage since “Annie” first set an “Easy Street” high steppin and “Tomorrow-ing” on the Goodspeed Stage over 43 years ago – it’s a hard knock life indeed! But you ALL did good! Now don’t you ALL get “swell heads” on me you young princes and princesses of Goodspeed- you future Kings and Queens of Broadway!

All you have to do is Shine!” The cast of Goodspeed Musicals’ Billy Elliot The Musical, now playing at The Goodspeed.

Mrs. Wilkinson (Michelle Aravena) finally teaches the ballet girls to pirouette. Goodspeed Musicals’ Billy Elliot The Musical, now playing at The Goodspeed. Photo by Diane Sobolewski.

“Billy Elliot the Musical”, winner of 10 Tonys including “Best Musical”, had its original West End premiere at the Victoria Palace Theater in 2005 with it’s official Broadway bow at the Imperial Theater on November 13th, 2008. BTW- the three boys who rotated the role of “Billy Elliot” jointly won the 2009 Tony Award for “Best Leading Actor in a Musical”. As you can already surmise, the tale is about a motherless English lad who just wants the opportunity to dance. Strike Strike Strike! – “Solidarity” forever – a coal miners strike is imminent in the tough Northern English Mining town of County Durham.  Our hard knock life – Billy’s miner Dad, (Sean Hayden), brother Tony (Gabriel Sidney Brown) and Grandma (Barbara Marineau) strive to prepare young Billy to “stand on his own” by having him take boxing lessons at the local Gym, yet when Billy takes hold of “the dance” and his tutelage under the motherly ballet teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson ( Michelle Aravena) he now dreams of a life beyond the coal mines and the opportunity of a lifetime – an audition at the prestigious Royal Ballet School.

Billy Elliot Goodspeed Musicals

Two actors portray “Billy Elliot”, in rotation here at Goodspeed, Liam Vincent Hutt, and Taven Blanke, during my evening performance we were honored to take in Liam’s performance – awe inspiring excellent – yet we so wished we could also return to take in Taven’s performance as well – not to compare actors, but to see all aspects of this stunning musical centerpiece. We give high praise to both actors Michelle Aravena as ballet teacher Mrs. Wilkinson and Barbara Marineau as “Grandma” – memorable performances both. Now the coveted “Howard Noticed You Award” goes to Mr. Jon Martens- you little scene stealer. A mighty bravo to you young sir – for your absolutely amazing, commanding, comedic, Elton John-esque “joy through the roof” performance as “Michael”, – we see bright opportunities for you young prince of the theater! “Billy Elliot the Musical” is a “Must See” at Goodspeed. Enjoy!

What we need is individuality” Jon Martens (Michael) and Liam Vincent Hutt (Billy) in Goodspeed Musicals’ Billy Elliot The Musical, now playing at The Goodspeed.  Photo by Diane Sobolewski.

“Billy Elliot the Musical” will run September 13th through November 24th, 2019. Curtain times are Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (with select performances at 2:00 p.m.), Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (with select performances at 6:30 p.m.).

Tickets are available through the Box Office (860-873-8668), open seven days a week, or on-line at goodspeed.org. 

Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at TheHoward24@g

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The Howard ~ Theater Review – “Quixote Nuevo” at Hartford Stage – Extraordinary Theater!

 

 

Reviewer:  Howard Steven Frydman  aka “The Howard”

Production:                        Quixote Nuevo                                   
Theater:                                The Hartford Stage
Playwright:                          Octavio Solis
Director:                               KJ Sanchez

The Howard’s Exhale – “Quixote Nuevo” es extraordinario teatro y Broadway con destino!!

Not an Impossible Dream –  “Quixote Nuevo” a reimagining of Cervantes’s novel “Don Quixote”, is an extraordinary triumphant theatrical event that is simply not to be missed at Hartford’s premiere theater – the Hartford Stage, as they open their 2019/2020 season.  As we begin, what is promising to be a great year for Connecticut theater, our friends at Hartford Stage are quite literally offering us the “gold-standard”, in this hopefully Broadway bound outing, by award-winning playwright Octavio Solis and starring Sesame Street actor Emilio Delgado as “Jose Quijano”, directed by KJ Sanchez, and produced in association with Huntington Theater Company and Ally Theater, as they present this stirring, though provoking and oftentimes humorous depiction of a “timeworn” hero righting wrongs and coping with a harsh world.

Emilio Delgado as “Jose Quijano” in Quixote Nuevo.

The takeaway – let me do this review in reverse- it is early autumn in Hartford, I have just attended the matinee performance of “Quixote Nuevo” –  2 hours and 30 minutes have slowly, passionately passed. Emotionally, – I am stunned, impressed, awed, blown away by both Solis’s play and seeing a “Tony” worthy performance by Emilio Delgado. Still in my seat, I so eagerly rise at plays end amidst a now all-standing, salvo screaming, ovation lauding audience- they are blissfully cheering not only for this production, but its talented cast and star.  Among today’s theater goers, we note a large contingent of our “elders” – survivors of many a struggle. Off to my side, I take heed of an older woman joyfully crying, her husband kisses her cheek and puts his arm around her shoulder.  Today’s play has had an emotional impact, not only on our senior population, but on so many – as it deals with ageism, dreams, love, and being a displaced person in your own home. 

Emilio Delgado as “Jose Quijano” in Quixote Nuevo.

As stated, “Quixote Nuevo” is a retelling of Miquel de Cervantes 17th century novel Don Quixote- the tale of the “mad” Knight who fought windmills – here it’s a blimp patrolling for illegal immigrants on the Texas/Mexican border. Our setting, Southwest – the modern-day border town of La Plancha, Texas, we are introduced to Jose Quijano, an elderly literary professor who has taught Cervantes’s “Don Quixote” his entire life, now suffering with dementia – confused, forgetful, unable to recognize family, and now seeing delusions- he slowly takes on the guise of  “The Knight of Chicanos” and fights for the unemployed, undocumented and those seniors, like himself who would see life’s end in the darkness and uncertainty of an assisted living nursing home. Circumventing, not only family members, but death itself in the form of colorful calacas (skeletons) Quijano’s cross-desert quest reunites him with his trusted squire, Manny Diaz/Sancho Panza (Juan Manuel Amador) as they seek out his lifelong one true love – the beautiful Dulcinea.

“Quixote Nuevo”- has earned the right to the entitled  “not to be missed” theatrical event of the year. It certainly has made an impact on those who have had the opportunity to take in this fresh, creative, music driven, humorous thought-provoking and oh-so emotional production. Similar to Pygmalion aka My Fair Lady, The Matchmaker aka Hello, Dolly!, and Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew” aka Kiss Me Kate – one’s thoughts easily turn to how playwright Octavio Solis could further extend this creative interpretation and easily translate his Quixote Nuevo to a new musical version, with a salsa flair – a “Quixote Nuevo – la parte musical dos”!

Applause, kudos and bravos are lavishly extended to both cast and creative partners. Firstly, I join my fellow audience members in taking note of the superb performance of our lead, Emilio Delgado – sir – you were EXCEPTIONAL- we thank you for your artistry and so look forward to seeing you perform Quixote Nuevo on Broadway and eventually taking home a well earned Tony award- Excellent performance. Further kudos to our talented cast of nine, bravo to each and every one of you. As an audience member, we appreciate your hard work and sincere performances. A “Howard Noticed You Award” goes to the talented Juan Manuel Amador as Manny Diaz/Sancho Panza – so enjoyed your humorous and effervescent performance. We also give high praise to the creative team of “Quixote Nuevo” especially to Director KJ Sanchez, Takeshi Kata for scenic design and Rachel Healy for her colorful and eye catching costume designs. As stated – this is the “Gold Standard” of theater right here at Hartford Stage. Enjoy!

Juan Manuel Amador as Manny Diaz/Sancho Panza in Quixote Nuevo.

Tickets for the Hartford Stage production of “Quixote Nuevo” are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (860) 527-5151 or by visiting http://www.hartfordstage.org. Weeknight and evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Matinee performances are Saturdays, Sundays and select weekdays at 2 p.m.

Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at TheHoward24@gmail.com.

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