“I think when people leave the theater, they leave a little happiness here,” says Jeanne Sigel, marketing and development manager of the Garde Arts Theatre in New London. “They come to see a film or a performance, and they leave all their problems at the door. It’s a magical place inside.”
One only has to hear country music star Billy Gilman talk about filming his video at the Garde to be convinced there really is a little enchantment there. It was an inspired choice for a location, as you’ll see.
Director Bob Moss and choreographer David Wanstreet sing similar praises about the Ivoryton Playhouse. The musical they produced there last summer – “Fingers & Toes” – harks back to the golden era of musicals before WWII, “when everyone in American was dancing.”
The professionalism of smalltown coastal playhouses makes it okay that we don’t live a few blocks from Broadway. The Goodspeed Opera House consistently brings Broadway-caliber theater to Connecticut. Their remix video of the Christmas hit Holiday Inn proves this, while showing how hip Irving Berlin can be. Meanwhile, the Goodspeed’s sister theater, The Norma Terris , is vying for first place. “They have a smaller stage,” says Elisa Hale, public relations manager. But judging by the dancing, that hardly seems to matter. Check out the sizzle reel to LMNOP and decide for yourself.
Admittedly, it’s hard to choose between the performing arts venues along the shoreline. From rousing musicals at the Goodspeed to concerts at The Kate, weekend calendars can easily be filled with joy.
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