May 25, 2022

Last Chance to See “Barnum” Before the Circus Leaves Town!

R. Bruce Connelly (member of Actors Equity) as Barnum and Beverley Galpin as his wife, Chairy. (Picture by Anne Hudson)

A wonderful revival of “Barnum” is currently playing at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  This “heartwarming” circus musical was composed by Cy Coleman of “Sweet Charity” fame and the lyrics were written by Michael Stewart.  The original 1980 Broadway production starred Glenn Close and Jim Dale.

This show is geared toward the family and the whimsical mood set during the pre-show.  As soon as you enter the theater, adults and children alike were treated to laughing clowns, entertaining and interacting with the audience.  Even Scott Wasserman (Ringmaster/Bailey) is making balloon animals for the kids.

The stage has a red circus “big-top” backdrop.  A five-piece band plays in the background and all of the musicians wear circus outfits to fit in with the mood of the show.  

Michael Viao and Sarah Stelzer in the Ivoryton Playhouse production of Barnum

In “There’s a Sucker Born” every minute, Barnum persuades the crowd on the stage to come to his “Greatest Show on Earth.”

R. Bruce Connelly’s energy commands the stage as P.T. Barnum, who he portrays as a dreamer.

Beverly Galpin plays Barnum’s wife, Charity “Chairy” Barnum, who is Barnum’s stubborn, New England-bred wife.  Chairy is often against her husband’s dreams.  How amusing it is when Chairy flips a one-sided coin to make a decision and, “Fate was always on her side.”  Galpin sings the nostalgic “The Colors of My Life,” beautifully. 

Scott Wasserman plays the Ringmaster/Bailey and also serves as the announcer/narrator for Barnum’s actions in a circus-style format  

Justin Boudreau stood out as Tom Thumb.  His rendition of, “Bigger Isn’t Better,” was an entertaining number.
Danielle Cohen was a delight as the Swedish soprano and diva, Jenny Lind while the ensemble consisted of multi-talented clowns, gymnasts, bystanders, and acrobats.

Two of the most enjoyable numbers were, “Come Follow the Band,” (which certainly had the audience tapping their shoes) and, “Join the Circus.”

This show is such fun that you should definitely, “Join the circus” before it packs up the tent and leaves town for good after this Sunday’s evening performance!

Performance times are Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults, $28 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at (860) 767-7318 or by visiting our website at  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.