Two productions recently seen in Hartford are preparing for their New York bows this Fall, one on Broadway and one off-Broadway. Both productions received overwhelmingly positive reviews in their Hartford runs and were long rumored to be interested in New York engagements.
First up is the off-Broadway engagement of "Becoming Dr. Ruth" by Mark St. Germain, which was seen earlier this summer at Hartford Theaterworks in a revised version from the original which premiered last summer at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass. This one act play stars Debra Jo Rupp of "That '70's Show" as the beloved sex therapist Dr Ruth Westheimer as it chronicles her life from pre-Hitler Germany up through the zenith of her popularity. St. Germain's work reveals some generally unknown aspects to Westheimer's life story, including her escape from Nazi Germany via the Kinderstransport and her role as a scout and sniper in Palestine in the years leading up to the creation of Israel. The play also tells of her difficulties as a single mother in New York City as she struggles to balance raising a family with the demands of pursuing an education and establishing a career. This engagement is being produced by Michael Alden, Stefany Bergson and Rodger Hess.
The production will once again be directed, as it was in Hartford and Pittsfield, by Julianne Boyd, the founder and Artistic Director of the Barrington Stage Company. "Becoming Dr. Ruth" is scheduled for a limited run beginning Friday, October 11 through January 12, 2014 at the Westside Theatre at 407 West 43rd Street in New York City. The official opening night is Tuesday, October 29. Tickets are now on sale and can be obtained by calling Telecharge at 212.239.6200, through the Telecharge website at www.telecharge.com, or by visiting the Westside Theatre box office.
Next up will be the Broadway premiere of the Hartford Stage musical "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" which begins performances on Tuesday, October 22 at the Walter Kerr Theatre at 219 W. 48th Street. The show is being produced by Joey Parnes and John Arthur Pinckard, in association with Hartford Stage and the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, Cal.
"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" features a book by Robert L. Freedman, music by Steven Lutvak and lyrics by both Freedman and Lutvak. As in Hartford, Darko Tresnjak, Artistic Director of the Hartford Stage, will stage the production, which will feature choreography by Peggy Hickey.
The musical tells the story of Monty Navarro, a young man in Edwardian London who discovers that he's an heir to the D'Ysquith family fortune, except that there are currently eight other relatives who precede him for the title of Earl of Highhurst. So the enterprising Monty sets out to eliminate his fellow heirs one by one, while juggling the romantic interests of two very different women. Tony Award winning actor Jefferson Mays who has been known to lose himself within a characterization will be playing all eight of the Highhurst heirs in a fast-moving performance as he did in the Hartford run. He will be joined by a cast of 13, including Bruce Pinkham, recently seen in the musical adaptation of "Love's Labour's Lost" at Shakespeare in the Park, as the ambitious Monty.
Following its sold out run at Hartford Stage last fall, the production enjoyed an equally successful engagement at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre.
Tickets are now on sale through www.telecharge.com, by phone at 212.239.6200 or at the Walter Kerr box office.