A lot of schools have their big student productions in fall and spring. By contrast, Trinity College is offering full productions of three different shows on this otherwise bleak January weekend.
Another Antigone (Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 2 at 1:30 p.m. and Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m.) is a late-1980s play by A.R. Gurney with classical allusions, about a classics student drawing modern parallels with Greek drama. Gurney himself will attend the Saturday matinee and be part of a post-performance discussion.
The other shows are musicals: Cox and Box, the comic operetta about roommates who don't know their roommates, composed by Arthur Sullivan before he met W.S. Gilbert (Feb. 1 at 4:30 p.m., Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 3 at 4:30 p.m.); and Sondheim and Furth's great modern relationship musical Company (Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 2 at 8 p.m., Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m.).
Gerald Moshell, a professor of Music at Trinity and the director of the college's music theater program, is directing all three shows, and is also one of the two piano accompanists for the musicals. That may seem like a lot, but Moshell used to do as many as six back in the days when Trinity held an annual "January Musicals" festival. "I like doing things in combination," Moshell says, though there's no overarching theme to this weekend's three offerings.
All the shows feature student performers, with a lot of overlap — most of the casts of Another Antigone (cast of four) and Cox & Box (cast of three) also appear in the 14-strong Company. All the shows are performed at Garmany Hall, a black-box theater at Trinity's Austin Arts Center (on the Trinity campus, 300 Summit St., Hartford; http://www.trincoll.edu/academics/pages/austinartscenter.aspx). Best of all, all the shows are free of charge. You can reserve tickets through the center's box office at (860) 297-2199.
In other theater news around the state, the Long Wharf Theatre has finalized the cast for its its Feb. 13-March 10 production of Sam Shepard's Curse of the Starving Class. Gordon Edelstein will direct LWT stalwarts Judith Ivey and John Proccacino, Kevin Tighe (the '70s TV Emergency! co-star and film heavy), and Long Wharf newbies Peter Albrink, Ben Becher, Elvy Yost and Clark Middleton. Plus a sheep…. This fall at its Norma Terris Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals will present a new version of Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook. The romantic musical is based around Stephen Schwartz compositions originally heard in such shows as Wicked, Godspell and The Baker's Wife.