2019 History

 

Our 61st Season

Photos by Stephen Cihanek except where noted.

2018

Volunteer of the Year: David Jurman
New Lifetime Members: Carol Hoose, Michael Burnett

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Kindertransport

Staged:
Kindertransport

December 15, 2018

The Brookfield Theatre for the Arts presents a staged reading of
"Kindertransport"
by Diane Samuels
directed by Lou Okell
STARRING:
Anne Gardner, Jane Farnol, Kylie Block, Sarah Denn, Rebecca Pokorski, and Tony Bosco-Schmidt

The Kindertransport was a British rescue mission that took place at the beginning of WWII. Over 10,000 Jewish children from various countries were placed in British foster homes. The play by Diane Samuels follows a fictional Kindertransport child, Eva Schlesinger as she deals with past, present, and future. The New York Times called it an "earnest, hard-working play" with a unique perspective.

Spotlight Showcase - photo by Denise Watson

Spotlight Showcase

December 8, 2018

The students of Brookfield Theatre's Spotlight Program present "Welcome To New York" -- a talent showcase featuring music, dance, monologues, and holiday songs!

Suite Surrender

Suite Surrender

November 2018

Cast Photo       Poster

"Suite Surrender"
by Michael McKeever
directed by Marilyn Olsen

It's 1942, and two of Hollywood's biggest divas have descended upon the luxurious Palm Beach Royale Hotel -- assistants, luggage, and legendary feud with one another in tow. Everything seems to be in order for their wartime performance...that is, until they are somehow assigned to the same suite. Mistaken identities, overblown egos, double entendres, and a lap dog named Mr. Boodles round out this hilarious riot of a love note to the classic farces of the 30s and 40s.
STARRING:
Deborah Carlson - Claudia
Suzanne Powers - Athena
John Bachelder - Dunlap
Brian DeToma - Pippet
Monica M. O'Brien - Dora Del Rio
Sam Bass - Francis
Rigby Wilkins - Otis
Elayne Gordon - Mrs. Osgood
Ashley Brundage - Murphy

Are You My Sister

Staged:
Are You My Sister?

Premier - Oct. 2018

Free staged reading of a new script:
"Are You My Sister"
by Morgana Kate Watson
directed by Lou Okell
STARRING:
Erin Shaughnessey - Katie
Sarah Denn - Erin
Morgana Kate Watson - Natalie
Aaron Kaplan - Robert
Joan Wyner - Fiona
Mindy Goff - Eileen
Ian Arbues - Jimmy

A story about family and forgiveness. "Are You My Sister" is set in October at a family home in Maine. As they gather to honor the passing of the matriarch, family tensions rise....

Lippa Wild Party

Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party

Sept. 14-29, 2018

Cast Photo       Poster

THE WILD PARTY
Book, Music, and Lyrics by ANDREW LIPPA
Based on the Poem by Joseph Moncure March
Partially Developed and Received Readings at The O'Neill Theater Center during the 1997 National Music Theatre Conference
Originally Produced in New York City by The Manhattan Theatre Club
Directed & Choreographed by Todd Santa Maria
Musical Director Melissa Jones
Assistant Choreographer Bonita Gregson
Set Design Joe Russo
Lighting Design Al Chiappetta
Sound Design David Jurman
Costumer Design Rebecca Pokorski
Stage Manager Sarah Baldwin
Produced by Lou Okell

A steamy prohibition tale, steamrolling and roaring its way across the stage, Andrew Lippa's Wild Party was an Off-Broadway gem that garnered an array of industry accolades, including Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Obie awards. Based on Joseph Moncure March's 1928 narrative poem of the same name, this darkly brilliant show features one of the most exciting, pulse-racing scores ever written.
Lovers Queenie and Burrs decide to throw the party-to-end-all-parties in their Manhattan apartment. After the colorful arrival of a slew of guests living life on the edge, Queenie's wandering eyes land on a striking man named Black. As the decadence is reaching a climax, so is Burrs' jealousy, which erupts and sends him into a violent rage. Gun in hand and inhibitions abandoned, Burrs turns on Queenie and Black. The gun gets fired, but who's been shot?
The outstanding cast includes:
Anya Caravella - Queenie
Jeramie Gladman - Burrs
Steffon Sampson - Black
Alyssa Serrambana - Kate
Jacqui Owens - Madelaine
Joseph DeVellis - Eddie
Renee Sutherland - Mae, Dance Captain
Kellen Schult - Phil
Bobby Henry - Oscar
Dan Satter - Max
Rebecca Pokorski - Delores
Daisy Stott - Nadine
Amber Mason - Jackie
Victor Roldan - Sam Himmelstein
Elizeth Brito - Kegs
Avery Owens - Reno
Joe Cebollero - Neighbor

Players

Staged:
Players

Premier - Aug. 2018

Free staged reading of a new script:
"Players"
by Ray Sipherd
(author of "Christmas at Macomber's" and "The Rescue Station")
directed by Lou Okell
STARRING:
Francis A. Daley - Justin/Oliver
Rosemary Howard - Alicia/Martha
A.M. Bhatt - Gabe
Brigid Callahan - Penny
Tim Vlangas - Tom/Joe
Danielle Calabrese - Sarah/Rosemary

A heartwarming comedy about the world of theatre.
On the stage of a small theater in New York City, six people are gathering. Two are older actors; Justin Halsey and Alicia Carr; and a younger couple, Tom McCracken and Sarah Simms. The others are the director, Gabriel Getz, and his assistant, Penny Nicholas. It is the first day of rehearsal of a new play called Celebrations, dramatizing the events that mark the passage of our lives.
But how true to their own lives are those of the characters the actors play? Its a question for which no rehearsal can prepare them or for answers they must suddenly confront. All the worlds a stage, and all the men and woman merely players, Shakespeare said.
In Players, bonds are made and broken, secrets are revealed, and the future of each one of them is changed in ways that no one can foresee.

About the author:
Ray Sipherd was one of Sesame Street's early writers, working on the show from 1969 to 1986. His work on Sesame Street earned three Emmy awards.
Sipherd also wrote several Sesame Street books.
Sipherd, a graduate of Yale University, created the award-winning NPR program All Things Considered. In addition, he has penned a number of mystery novels for adult audiences, such as Dance of the Scarecrows, and published a collection of short stories titled The Christmas Store. He has served as a senior staff editor for Reader's Digest Condensed Books and authored several articles for CNBC.

Fresh Baked Musicals

Fresh Baked Musicals

August 4, 2018

A festive concert will be held Saturday, August 4th from 7 pm to 9:15 at Brookfield Theatre for the Arts, 184 Whisconier Rd, Brookfield, CT. The evening will feature songs from a range of new musicals, highlighting talented emerging artists and new works from veteran Broadway writers, including Stephen Schwartz (known for Wicked, Pippin) and Michael John LaChiusa (See What I Wanna See and Wild Party).
PERFORMERS
The concert features singers from Connecticut and New York. Several of the concerts writers are also performing in the concert: Matthew Gurren, Bill Nabel, William Squier, and Jeff Loden.
Special guest performer RAISSA KATONA BENNETT will be the featured artist. On Broadway, she appeared as Christine Daae in Phantom of the Opera, Chess in concert, and the First National Tours of Cats and Parade. A multiple award-winning concert & cabaret artist, shes headlined with Symphony Orchestras throughout the north east, at Feinsteins, the Beechman Theatre, Metropolitan Room & Iridium, and at Lincoln Center and Town Hall in the Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention. Recently, she appeared Off-Broadway in 2 new shows Devil and the Deep and Water from the Moon, and in the first regional Equity production of FUN HOME at the Music Theatre of Connecticut. She has 2 critically acclaimed CDs on iTunes and Amazon and has been celebrating the release of her newest CD on the LML Music Label, "Can't Help Singing - The Music of Jerome Kern", with cabaret shows at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC. www.raissakatonabennett.com
Also appearing as a special guest is GREG RODERICK who was most recently seen as the father in Fun Home at Music Theater of Connecticut. On Broadway he was seen in Lincoln Center's South Pacific, and has appeared off-Broadway, in concerts, and on the national tours of The Sound of Music, South Pacific and Parade (directed by Harold Prince). Greg worked with Steve Martin and Edie Brickell in their world premiere of Bright Star at the Old Globe, as well as in numerous other regional theaters around the country, including Goodspeed, Paper Mill, and the Berkshire Theater Festival. www.gregroderick.com
Other singers include: Tyler Carey, Pam DeHuff, Scarlett Mazur, Kelsey Morris, Kennedy Morris, Megan O'Callaghan, Dan Satter, Melanie Votaw, and Morgana Kate Watson
The musical director is JEROLD GOLDSTEIN. Goldstein has been directing, musical directing, and teaching in schools and privately throughout Connecticut for the past 30 years. As an actor, he has performed in numerous musical productions in New York City including on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Aint Broadway Grand. He was in the national tour of Little Shop of Horrors and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He won the Barrymore Award for Gun Metal Blues, was in the Kennedy Center's Shear Madness, & toured Europe in 42nd Street. As a composer, several of Goldstein's shows (written with William Squier) have been performed around the country, including Babalu, Music is my Fist (their send up of the Rat Pack), and The Three Scrooges. As co-bookwriter, his musical ROUTE 66 has received a number of regional productions. www.JeroldGoldstein.com
The concert was initiated and produced by Brookfield Theatre's curator of new musicals, Carol de Giere. She is author of "The Godspell Experience" and "Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz" as well as the on-line magazine for new musicals "Musical Writerzine".

Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet St

July 2018

SWEENEY TODD
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - A Musical Thriller
Music and Lyrics by STEPHEN SONDHEIM
Book by HUGH WHEELER

From an Adaptation by CHRISTOPHER BOND
Originally Directed On Broadway by HAROLD PRINCE
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Originally Produced on Broadway by Richard Barr, Charles Woodward, Robert Fryer, Mary Lea Johnson, Martin Richards in association with Dean and Judy Manos
Directed by Craig David Rosen
Musical Director Sarah Fay
Produced by Nicole Veach & Becky Venable
SHOW DATES: July 6 - 28
STARRING:
Edmound Fitzpatrick - Sweeney Todd
Marilyn Olsen - Mrs. Lovett
Stephen Moores - Anthony Hope
Dominick Ventrella - Tobias Ragg
Samantha LaMendola - Johanna
Ted Schwartz - Judge Turpin
Marty Posner - Beadle Bamford
Denise Milmerstadt - Beggar Woman
Rob Pawlikowski - Adolpho Pirelli
Roger Grace - Mr. Fogg

Ensemble: Kylie Block, Brigid Callahan, Pam DeHuff, Melanie Fay, Lisa Goldberg, Andre Luis Grigorio, Phair Haldin, Matthew MacGregor, Ali Michelek, Tatem Pearlman, Leland Schick, Rigby Wilkins

Sweeney Todd has become a bloody, worldwide success since being awarded eight Tony's, (including Best Musical), for its Broadway premiere. Stephen Sondheim's and Hugh Wheeler's (A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures) tasty, thrilling, theatrical treat has simultaneously shocked, awed and delighted audiences across the world.
An infamous tale, Sweeney Todd, an unjustly exiled barber, returns to nineteenth century London, seeking vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop, above which, he opens a new barber practice. Mrs. Lovett's luck sharply shifts when Todd's thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London lining up...and the carnage has only just begun!
Featuring two unforgettable star turns and some of the most chilling music ever written for the stage, this masterpiece is sure both to thrill and delight audiences.

Disneys Alice in Wonderland

Disney’s Alice In Wonderland

June 2018

Music and Lyrics by Sammy Fain and Bob Hilliard, Olive Wallace and Cy Coban, Allie Wrubel and Ray Gilbert, Mack David, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston
Music Adapted and Arranged and Additional Music and Lyrics by Bryan Louiselle
Book Adapted and Additional Lyrics by David Simpatico
Based on the 1951 Disney film "Alice in Wonderland" and the novels "The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland" and "Through The Looking Glass" by Lewis Carroll
directed by Purvi Dudhedia
assistant director Danielle Calabrese
assistant director Scott Augustine
musical director David Jurman
choreographers Joe Bagala & Aliya
produced by Lou Okell
starring:
Addasyn, Andrew L, Andrew P, Bekah, Bella, Cameron, Caroline, Dylan, Emma, Grace, Hunter, Ingrid, Jax, Jessica, Kate, Kendra, Kolby, Kylie, Natalie, Peyton, Sylivia

The Spotlight Program(SM) is a free program sponsored by Brookfield Theatre as part of its community service and education outreach. It is student led, conceived and directed by accomplished Brookfield high school student PURVI DUDHEDIA and assistant directed by DANIELLE CALABRESE and SCOTT AUGUSTINE, choreographed by JOE BAGALA & ALIYAH. The adult team includes musical director DAVID JURMAN, producer LOU OKELL, with costuming by CORINNE BOTTELSEN.

Other People's Money

Other People’s Money

April/May 2018

Poster

Other People's Money
by JERRY STERNER
directed by Don Bovingloh
produced by Lou Okell
STARRING
Gillian Bailey as Kate Sullivan
Al Bhatt as "Larry the Liquidator" Garfinkle
Rick Haylon as William Coles
David Halliwell as Andrew "Jorgy" Jorgensen
Monica O'Brien as Bea Sullivan

Winner! Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off Broadway Play
Wall Street takeover artist Lawrence Garfinkle's computer is going tilt over the undervalued stock of New England Wire & Cable. If the stockholders back his take over, they will make a bundle but what will happen to the 1200 employees and the community when he liquidates the assets? Opposing the rapacious financier are the genial man who has run the company since the year one and his chief operations officer. They bring in a young lawyer who specializes in fending off takeovers. Should she use green mail? Find a white knight? Employ a shark repellent? This compelling comedy/drama explores whether corporate raiders are creatures from the Black Lagoon of capitalism or realists.

Murder At The Banquet

Murder At The Banquet

Spring Gala–April 13, 2018

Directed by Brian deToma and Nicole Veach
produced by Jean Jackson, Lou Okell, Rebecca Pokorski
held at The Amber Room

Lion In Winter

The Lion In Winter

March 9-24, 2018

Poster

"The Lion In Winter"
by James Goldman
directed by Jane Farnol
produced by Andrew Okell & Bob Lane
stage manager Sarah Denn
costume design Rebecca Pokorski
scenic design Bob Lane
lighting design Nick Kaye & Lou Okell
CAST:
King Henry II - Bob Lussier
Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine - Vicki Sosbe
Alais Capet - Erin Shaughnessey
Prince Richard - John Zanowiak
Prince Geoffrey - Ryan Wenke
Prince John - Nicolas Apicella
King Philip Capet of France - Patrick Kelly
Ensemble - David Jurman, Ron Malyszka, Lou Okell

Power, betrayal, sibling rivalry, knives, and dungeons The Lion in Winter by James Goldman is a modern-day classic. Comedic in tone, dramatic in action, the play tells the story of the Plantagenet family who are locked in a free-for-all of competing ambitions to inherit a kingdom. The wealthiest and most powerful woman in the world, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, has been kept in prison since raising an army against her husband, King Henry II. Let out only for holidays, the play centers around the inner conflicts of the royal family as they fight over both a kingdom and King Henrys paramour during the Christmas of 1183. As Eleanor says, every family has its ups and downs, and this royal family is no exception.