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Goodspeed Musicals will present outdoor concerts this summer

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After having to cancel its 2020 season of musicals because of the pandemic, Goodspeed Musicals will be offering up a different kind of show this summer — concerts that will be held outdoors.

Goodspeed will present this series of concerts from Aug. 20 through Sept. 6 on the Goodspeed lawn overlooking the Connecticut River in East Haddam.

The events, dubbed “Goodspeed by the River,” will feature The Playbillies. These musicians, each with a history in music and in theater, love both bluegrass and Broadway and so decided to “bluegrassify” tunes from renowned musicals. The group features Andrew Crowe, Matt Cusack, Mike Rosengarten and Sam Sherwood.

Goodspeed Executive Director Michael Gennaro said in a statement, “Since we are not able to produce great musicals in our theaters this year, we are pleased to offer something special during this time — Goodspeed by the River. We are thrilled to welcome our Members and audience back to the Goodspeed campus for a joy-filled night of entertainment and fun.”

Here are the details about the concerts:

• They will be held at 6 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

• They will each last about an hour and a quarter. There will be no intermission.

•  They will be held weather permitting.

• Tickets are $25. They are available now to Goodspeed Members, and they will go on sale to the public Aug. 11. Tickets are only available by calling the Goodspeed Box Office 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Thurs. at (860) 873-8668.

An outdoor dinner and concert package is available and includes a two-course meal and reserved table seating on the Gelston House lawn for $49 per person. Call the Goodspeed Box Office for details and to purchase.

Here are some of the precautions instituted because of COVID: There will be designated seating areas that patrons will choose when buying tickets. Those areas are 4-by-6 feet for up to four people, 6-by-8 feet for five or six people; areas are all at least 15 feet from each other. Face masks will be required, except when people are in their seating area. In order to minimize lines, each group will be assigned a 15-minute arrival window when they will be allowed into the event.

As for the performers, Goodspeed audiences will remember Crowe from the 2012 world premiere production of “Amazing Grace” at The Terris Theater. Cusack has been on Broadway in “One Man, Two Guvnors” and “Bandstand.” Rosengarten has a recurring gig on TV’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and played guitar on the viral hit “Be More Chill.” Sherwood portrayed Woody Guthrie off-Broadway in “Woody Sez” and Johnny Cash in the European premiere of “Ring of Fire.”



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