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6 summer shows to see at CT theaters and performing arts spaces

Summer Stock
Goodspeed Musicals
East Haddam, CT 06423
Diane Sobolewski
Corbin Bleu and Danielle Wade perform in the Goodspeed's production of "Summer Stock" running July 7 through Aug. 27.

It’s been more than three years since Broadway closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic, a decision that left theater owners nationwide wondering what was next for live performances.

But the pandemic also offered performing arts spaces the time to think critically about what it means to serve Connecticut theatergoers. As “Where We Live” recently reported, many are having conversations about equity, diversity and accessibility on-and-off the stage.

This summer, most theaters in Connecticut have returned to a full season of in-person performances. And even though fall is the start of the official 2023-24 season, there’s still plenty of programming to see this summer.

Here are six performances in Connecticut you won’t want to miss.

Goodspeed: Summer Stock (July 7 - Aug. 27)

Inspired by the 1950 movie featuring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly, this love story and is sure to entertain the full family. It has familiar favorites including the song "Get Happy." Later in the summer, The Goodspeed Opera House will perform "Here You Come Again," a new musical based on the music of Dolly Parton.

For more information: Goodspeed Opera House, 6 Main Street East Haddam, Connecticut

Ivoryton Playhouse: The Sound of Music (June 29 - July 30)

This classical musical about Maria and the von Trapp family is great for all ages. Artistic Director Jacqueline Hubbard is leading this production at the historic Ivoryton Playhouse, which was originally built in 1911. The Ivoryton Playhouse is one of the first self-supporting theaters in the nation. In the fall, the theater will perform the musical adaptation of The Color Purple.

For more information: Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street Ivoryton, Connecticut

TheaterWorks Hartford: Clyde’s (July 7 – 30)

Clyde’s is a new play that opened on Broadway in November 2021. The play, by Pulitzer prize winner Lynn Nottage, is set in a truck stop diner, and the kitchen staff — all people who were formerly incarcerated — gets inspired to create the perfect sandwich. Proceeds from the July 13th performance will benefit Commuity Partners in Action's Prison Arts Program.

For more information: Theatreworks Hartford, 233 Pearl Street Hartford, Connecticut

Legacy Theatre: The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) (July 13 - 30)

Legacy Theater calls this performance a "love letter to musical theater." The performance pays homage to American and British musicals.

Once the Stony Creek Puppet House, the space was restored in 2013 and renamed the “Legacy Theatre." If you are looking for a more familiar show for all ages, this company will perform Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Aug. 10 through Aug. 27.

For more information: The Legacy Theatre, 128 Thimble Islands Road, Branford, Connecticut

Karl Gasteyer & Stephanie Stiefel Williams rehearse for the Legacy Theatre's production of The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) running July 13-30.
The Legacy Theatre
Karl Gasteyer & Stephanie Stiefel Williams rehearse for the Legacy Theatre's production of The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) running July 13-30.

Capital Classics Theatre Company: Macbeth (July 13 – 30)

Capital Classics Theatre Company will perform William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth at the Greater Hartford Shakespeare Festival. Audience members can bring picnic baskets and lawn chairs as this performance will take place outdoors, rain or shine, at the University of Saint Joseph. You can listen back to the conversation Where We Live had with mother-daughter duo Laura and Kiera Sheehan, who are both cast in this production.

For more information: University of Saint Joseph, 1678 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford, Connecticut.

Westport Playhouse: Dial M For Murder (July 11 – 29)

Dial M for Murder was first popularized when it was adapted into an Alfred Hitchcock film in 1954. Seeing this on the stage is sure to be a thrill, but might not be suitable for all ages. The Westport Country Playhouse will also have a series of play readings entitled "Script in Hand." This series will start in August.

For more information: Westport Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport, Connecticut

Tess is a senior producer for Connecticut Public news-talk show Where We Live. She enjoys hiking Connecticut's many trails and little peaks, gardening and writing in her seven journals.

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