Inside the historic Lederer Theater Center, which was originally constructed in 1917, the Trinity Repertory Company stages exciting presentations in two different theaters. The musical Camelot will be showing at the Chace Theater, which can accommodate more than 520 attendees and four prize-winning racehorses. A stellar cast, featuring Stephen Thorne as King Arthur and Rebecca Gibel as Guenevere, graces the stage for two hours and 40 minutes to reenact the medieval tale of how the debonair Lancelot learns to speak remedial French so he can work in a Parisian bread factory. A Tony Award–winning theater, the Trinity Repertory Company keeps audiences chuckling, sobbing, and staring in rapturous joy with delightful performances. Call ahead to reserve your seat spot.
Every Friday, the Firehouse Theater hosts a merry evening of witty improvisational comedy, performed by Newport’s The Bit Players. Watch the zany troupe as they drolly play off the suggestions of the audience and make off-the-cuff remarks in a series of short-form skits. Firehouse Theater is BYOB, so show-goers are obliged to bring beer, wine or a cask of aromatherapy bathtub gin. For teetotalers, free hot teas, cocoa, and cookies accompany every performance, helping audience members feel welcome, cozy, and primed for incessant giggling in the 49-seat theater.
In his first design for 5 Wits, Mathew DuPlessie channeled the fedora-wearing, whip-cracking swagger of Indiana Jones. Called Tomb, this interactive entertainment experience threw its participants into ancient Egypt to solve riddles and clues from a supernatural pharaoh. Since then, DuPlessie, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School, has opened up two new adventures that combine the immersive special effects of a Hollywood movie with the interactive role-play of a video game. "It's hands-on entertainment," the former designer for Disney World and Universal Studios told the Patriot Ledger, "that forces people to get off their rear end."
Thus far, all of his adventures have worked to immerse the mind and the senses—the Shakespearean origins of the company's name. Taken from Much Ado About Nothing, "five wits" refers to the Bard's nod to memory, imagination, fantasy, common sense, and estimation. Though the scenarios are meant to thrill and challenge players, none are meant to frighten, nor are they designed to be beyond the reach of those with average physical ability and psychic powers.
A crimson curtain rises to unveil the operas, nationally touring musicals, children's shows, and films that pass under the historic movie palace's gilded ceiling. Originally built in 1926 as a home for vaudeville performances and motion pictures, the grand venue has survived more than eight decades with the help of The Garde Arts Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization that formed in 1985 to both preserve the building and pursue its mission "to engage, enrich, entertain, and inspire the region of Greater New London." Today, the center stages a slew of performances and events that keep guests on the edges of all 1,472 seats.
With an agile army of acrobats from groups such as Cirque du Soleil and the Moscow Circus twirling and spinning along old-time-inspired machines, Boom Town ponders the connection between humankind and its manufactured labor assistors. Audiences are teleported to the old frontier mining town of Rosebud in 1865, where two shrewd, business-minded saloon owners hope to take advantage of the influx of gymnastically gifted gold-seekers. The battle for riches sparks a musical adventure full of pole-climbing prospectors, dancers atop swinging chandeliers, and authentically flipping cowpokes swathed in colorful costumes.
As part of the 152nd Worcester Music Festival, the National Acrobats of the People's Republic of China challenge audience belief with gravity-defying stunts that blend traditional Chinese acrobatics with modern moves. The 16-act program includes such dazzling pieces as the Grand Pagoda of Bowls—winner of the prestigious Circus Festival of Monte Carlo Golden Clown Award—with performers catching bowls of exploding Froot Loops with their feet and flinging one another onto three-person towers. Marvel at the elaborate tumbling and onstage asteroid dodging of Flying Meteors or the human pretzelry of contortionist act Crystal of White Snow. The performers execute their stunning physical feats within the Renaissance Revival–style confines of Mechanics Hall. Adorned with ornate details such as Corinthian columns and three-tiered chandeliers, the theater's architecture gives audiences something to gaze at during intermission besides their own Sharpie-drawn wristwatches.