Backstage, CT

by Mara Dresner

If the shorter days have you feeling down, check out Mrs. Mannerly at Hartford’s TheaterWorks, now through Nov. 17. Inspired by his own experiences, playwright Jeffrey Hatcher takes an amusing look at an etiquette school in Ohio in the 1960s. There’s a Talk Back on Nov. 12. TheaterWorks just entered into an agreement with AT&T Connecticut for use of its Ann Uccello and Hicks Street parking lot. AT&T Connecticut is donating the use of the lot to theatergoers during performance hours, so parking’s easier than ever – thanks, AT&T. Get your tickets at theaterworkshartford.org or (860) 527-7838.

To commemorate Veterans’ Day, Westport Country Playhouse’s next Script in Hand play reading will be the Tony Award-winning comedic and moving story of men at war Mr. Roberts, for one night only, Monday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m., directed by Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artist and curator of the play reading series. “I can’t think of a better play to present for our Veterans’ Day Script in Hand,” Anne Keefe told me. “This play has everything – drama, comedy, and wonderful parts for a great group of actors. I’m hoping to bring back a lot of our Playhouse favorites for this beautiful play.”

Next up in the series is the heartfelt, romantic comedy Crossing Delancey on Dec. 9, 7 p.m. For more info or tickets, call (203) 227-4177 or (1-888) 927-7529, or go to westportplayhouse.org.

Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury is featuring Arthur Miller’s The Price, through Dec. 1. The Price is set 40 years after the stock market crash of 1929. “The Price remains timeless in its exploration of human nature and human failings. It is witty and moving,” says Artistic Director Semina De Laurentis. Tix and details at (203) 757-4676 or sevenangelstheatre.org.

You know you want to see this: The parody of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, 50 Shades! The Musical is premiering in New London at the Garde Arts Center for one performance, Nov. 9, at 8 p.m. It sold out in Chicago and New York and had a hit run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with a four-star review. The show opens with a ladies’ book club deciding to read (what else?) Fifty Shades of Grey. The show features dance numbers, 11 original songs and a live band backing the performance. This is not for those under the age of 18.

Also coming up at the Garde is the CT Lyric Opera production of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, Nov. 23 at 8 p.m. The legend of the ghostly ship condemned to wander the oceans forever has fascinated opera lovers for hundreds of years. Presented in German with English supertitles by the acclaimed Connecticut Lyric Opera. Info and tix at (860) 444-7373, x1, or online at www.gardearts.org.

The Palace Theater in Waterbury is also presenting Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. In German with English supertitles, this fully staged co-production by the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and the Connecticut Lyric Opera features an international cast of singers accompanied by a full orchestra conducted by Maestro Adrian Sylveen.

On Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m., don’t miss Il Divo, the world’s foremost crossover quartet. They’ll be presenting an intimate concert featuring a full orchestra. And if you liked the movie with Will Ferrell (Hi, Buddy!), check out ELF The Musical, Nov. 19 through 21. Info and tickets for all upcoming events at (203) 346-2000 or online at palacetheaterct.org.

Relatively Speaking by Woody Allen, Elaine May and Ethan Coen is next up in Farmington Valley Stage Company’s “Season of Comedies,” opening Nov. 22. Tickets and info at fvstage.org.

Warner Stage Company continues its run of Fiddler on the Roof through Nov. 10. The Young Actors Series presents The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Nov. 16 and 17 at the Nancy Marine Studio Theatre. Details about performances and tix are at (860) 489-7180 or warnertheatre.org.

There’s still a little time to check out Hartford Stage’s run of La Dispute in repertory with Macbeth through Nov. 10. The cast performs the two shows on a rotating schedule. Check hartfordstage.org to see what’s playing when or call the box office at (860) 527-5151.

Also ending on Nov. 10 is Long Wharf Theatre’s production of The Underpants. Next up is Fences, the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic by August Wilson. Phylicia Rashad will make her Long Wharf Theatre directorial debut. The show runs Nov. 27 through Dec. 22 at the New Haven theater. Info at (203)  787-4282 or longwharf.org.

Still running at Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam is The Most Happy Fella through Dec. 1. And at The Norma Terris Theatre, Goodspeed’s home for developing new musicals, Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook continues through Nov. 17. This romantic comedy features music from award-winning composer (and Connecticut’s own) Stephen Schwartz. More info and tix for both shows at (860) 873-8668 or goodspeed.org.

Lots happening at Playhouse on Park in West Hartford. On Nov. 15 and 16, it’s Theatre Uncut, an international festival of one-act plays. Playwrights from around the world express their responses to the political issues in their countries. For the young ones, there’s The Main Street Kids’ Club: A Mathstart Musical, Nov. 16 through 24. Inspired by the award-winning book series by Stuart J. Murphy, this musical tells a tale of adventure, mystery, friendship and (of course!) math.

Definitely not for the kids are Comedy Night at the Playhouse, Nov. 27, featuring headliner Vic Dibitetto with Tommy Gooch as the opening act and Tim Hayes as the emcee; and Improv Cage Match, Nov. 29. Hound of the Baskervilles opens Dec. 4 – and spoiler! It’s a comedy! Call (860) 523-5900 x10, or visit www.playhouseonpark.org for info and tix.

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