Monday, June 15, 2009

On The Town June 16-19

Every week in Middletown brings the opportunity to get out of the house and into a performance space - this week is no exception.

Tuesday, join the Russell Readers as they discuss "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas" and "American Slave" by Frederick Douglas" at 7 Meeting Room 3 of The Russell Library. Even if you haven't read the books,you are welcome to attend the sessions. Click here to read more about the Russell Readers.

Wednesday, The Buttonwood Tree presents an "Open Theatrical Improvisation Workshop." Sign-ups begin at 7:30 p.m. and the workshop starts at 8. For more information, email Topher at with the subject: "Workshop".

Thursday, the Floating Theater Company begins the first night of its Second Annual Festival of New Work at Oddfellows Playhouse. Friday, the scenes shift (so to speak - each night has a different program) to The Green Street Art Center. Both shows begin at 7:00 p.m., and will be followed by a reception and talk-back with the actors and playwrights of The Floating Theater Company. Jenny Lecce sent the following information about the event:
Several of the plays, including Anne Cassady's "The Session" and Michael Ennis' "The Tyrrany of Mammals", represent very different interpretations of the challenge to write a play about "the beast within."

Donagh Gleason's play, "Boys Night Out (Gods Playing Pool)", was sparked from a membership writing prompt about placing mythical gods in contemporary settings.

A few of the plays are samples of larger works currently being developed. Jean Wertz, who has just returned from attending nearly month-long workshop of Noh Theater in Japan, will be presenting just a taste of this particular theatrical art in her current work called "Traprock."
Poet and playwright Terri Klein turned her skewed view of things to a prompt that simply gave the words "Not So Fast", which is also the title of her comic piece.

Other participating playwrights are Erin Striff, Rachelle Minkoff, Jenny Lecce, Forrest Stone and Tony Palmieri. Many of the participating actors are well known to area audiences and include playwright Cassady, Michael Eck (who is also a writing member of FTC), John Basinger, Kristin Flyntz, Courtney Antonioli, Virginia Wolf, Matthew Pollack, John Calderbank, Ann Marie Sataline and Richard Kamins. For more information, send an email to

Also on Thursday, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem will perform their "free-wheeling, folk-rocking, swinging, lovely balladeering" and more at 7 p.m. as part of The Russell Library's Courtyard Concert Series. Fiddler/vocalist Rani is joined by husband Scott Kessel ("Drumship Enterprise", assorted percussion), Andrew Kinsey (bass, vocals, maybe a bit of ukulele) and Anand Nayak (guitars, vocals.) In case of inclement weather (which seems to be the norm around here lately, the concert moves indoors to the Hubbard Room. The event is free and open to the public. The following day, Rani et al perform another free concert, this time at 12noon on The New Haven Green as part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Following that show, Scott moves over to the Family Stage on The Green for a workshop he calls "Recycled Rhythms." Thanks to the ingenuity of Scott, young folks of all ages can make an instrument out of "found objects" or recycled items. For more information, go to

Also on Friday, The Buttonwood Tree welcomes vocalist/guitarist Miche Fambro for a 7:30 p.m. show. Fambro, a native of West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, plays a unique blend of folk, jazz, Latin music, popular standards and soul music, with an emphasis on original tunes. He's an excellent guitarist, sticking to the acoustic classical guitar and has a handsome voice. For more information, go to For reservations, call 347-4957.

Boney's Music Lounge, 106 Court Street, presents trombonist/composer Jeff Albert & Quartet in concert Friday at 8:30 p.m. Albert, a resident of the New Orleans-area, plays in numerous settings, from classical to big band to blues and mainstream jazz. It's the latter genre he and the band will work out of at Boney's. Joining him will be Dave Cappello (drums), Ray Moore (alto saxophone) and Tommy Sciple (bass.) For more information, go to For a complete schedule of events at Boney's, go to and follow the links.

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