The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 27, 2001


Goodspeed Opera House

Route 82, East Haddam, Connecticut

The Goodspeed Opera House, located on the scenic shore of the Connecticut River in East Haddam, Connecticut and surrounded by beautiful countryside, is a lovely Victorian theater dedicated to performing American musicals, revitalizing the old as well as creating the new. This summer the opera house is featuring three major musicals "Brigadoon," "They All Laughed" and "A Little Night Music."

Recently my husband and I traveled down to East Haddam to see the new Gershwin musical, "They All Laughed," performed in the intimate 19th-century opera house. This has become a favorite summer tradition, affording us the opportunity to see some of those wonderful musicals that were hits on Broadway during the fifties, sixties and seventies "Finian's Rainbow," "Pajama Game" and "George M." This year's musical was a different sort of creation. "They All Laughed" had the familiar music and lyrics of George and Ira Gershwin but was based on a recently written book by Joe DiPietro, inspired by material written by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse. It was a delightful story of prohibition days, set on Long Island with a cast of characters that included members of the aristocracy, bootleggers posing as domestic servants, the police, and the star of the show, a bootlegger-turned-butler.

The music was pure Gershwin, with many familiar songs, at least for many in the audience. "He Loves and She Loves," "My Cousin in Milwaukee," "The Sweet and Low Down" and "Blah, Blah, Blah," were just a few of the musical numbers that had been hits fifty or more years ago. The staging, the dancing and the acting were all top-notch. "They All Laughed" will be playing through September 21, followed by "A Little Night Music," September 28 through December 16.

Directions to the Opera House: Go south on I-495 to I-290. Take I-290 west through Worcester. In Auburn it becomes I-395, which you continue south on, into Connecticut, to I-95. Go south on I-95 to Exit 69, Route 9, then north on Route 9 to Exit 7, Route 82 east. After two miles on Route 82, turn left, and at first stoplight turn right. Goodspeed's is on the right, just past the drawbridge over the Connecticut River. Allow 2 1/2 hours from Carlisle.

One of the joys of a trip to the Goodspeed Opera House is the chance to enjoy a meal at one of the many fine restaurants in the area. This year we went to a Saturday afternoon matinee, followed by dinner at the nearby Copper Beech Inn in Ivoryton, 1-860-767-0330, which features fine French county cuisine. The food and the setting in this 18th-century inn topped off a wonderful day of theater in a most scenic part of Connecticut.

For more information call The Goodspeed Opera House box office at 1-873-860-8668.

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