JEKYLL & HYDE, Jim Ruocco, Connecticut Critics’ Circle
Staging "Jekyll & Hyde" for Musical Theatre of Connecticut is Kevin Connors, a deft, important and savvy interpreter. With this production, he crafts a brilliant, mesmerizing tale of dual identities and horror that grabs you by the throat, pushes you over the edge and leaves emotionally drained, as well it should be.
When the lights go out, flash, change color or the music builds to a crescendo as Jekyll morphs into Hyde or vice versa. What's especially gratifying about the latter, is that you never know what's going to happen next or what Connors has up his sleeve, good, bad or scary.
Using vivid, imaginative three-quarter staging to tell the "Jekyll & Hyde" story, backed by only select set pieces and black, cut-out backgrounds and draperies, Connors sets everything in motion splendidly, always making the right, creative decisions to make the material fly. He also takes chances, one of which heightens the Gothic aura of the piece. In this go round, there is an element of 19th century Whitechapel mystique and spookiness representative of the Jack the Ripper murders and crimes that heightens this edition's emotional, scare-tactic velocity. It's an ingenious plot device that oddly was conspicuously absent from both the original Broadway production and the National Tour. Here, it works wonders. Well done, Mr. Connors.
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, Jim Ruocco, Connecticut Critics’ Circle
The beauty of this production, first and foremost, lies in the more than capable hands of Kevin Connors. An obviously meticulously craftsman and auteur, Connors knows exactly what he wants on every dramatic level and is very skillful and adept at getting it, running with it and letting it breathe, sizzle and snap.
Staging this "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof," Connors effectively utilizes the script from the original 1955 Broadway production. Things are so beautiful, there are times when you wish there was a "Replay" button you could hit to hear certain passages a second and third time.
With Connors at the helm, the play swims effortlessly from scene to scene and act to act with an airy fluidity that serves the material well. He also knows exactly what buttons to push: easy and understated; dramatic and feverish; shocking and sexual; candid and light-hearted; sweet and simplistic; revealing and suggestive; confrontational and nasty; gnawing and predatory. His choices unfold with illuminating, fulfilling results.
GYPSY, Brooks Applebaum, Connecticut Critics’ Circle
“Gypsy,” running at MTC through September 25, is not only beautifully directed and performed, but the production is original in the finest sense. Unlike the four other professional productions I’ve seen (including those with Tyne Daly and Patti Lupone as Rose, respectively), director Kevin Connors’ vision and version remind us that the musical is an intimate family story about mothers and daughters, and about dreams--not deferred, but pursued part in ignorance, part in defiance, of reality. This heart is what Connors and his actors get so terrifically right from the first moment to the last.
FUN HOME, Zander Opper, BROADWAY WORLD
Director Kevin Connors has sensitively staged the show and he works perfectly with his actors and his topnotch design team. The moving nature of the plot and the characters in Fun Home shine through in this first-rate production at Music Theatre of Connecticut. Fun Home is quite an emotional musical and it is happy news that director Kevin Connors and his fellow artists have done full justice to it.
I’LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS, Zander Opper, BROADWAY WORLD
Jodi Stevens' triumphant take on this character is aided immeasurably by director Kevin Connors, who manages to wring all the bite and delirious pleasure from John Logan's script, and provides Stevens with the perfect platform to shine. Indeed, by the end of the production, this actress holds the audience in the palm of her hand and, believe me, there isn't anywhere else you would rather be.
THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, Zander Opper, BROADWAY WORLD
Kevin Connors directs his cast just about perfectly and his work with Juliet Lambert Pratt and Sean Hayden, in particular, is magical.
MOTHERS AND SONS,
Mike Raggazino, Fairfield Weekly
A remarkable achievement. An intricately woven, complex and remarkably current examination not just of gay marriage, but of the gay American experience. Pivotal and powerful, it explores the burden of being different, the battle over same-sex marriage and the destructive hatred of the farthest extremes of America's conservative movement.
Bonnie Goldberg, Middletown Press
Secrets swirl like dry leaves from an autumn tree in a moving and heartbreaking musical with stirring songs under the sensitive direction of Kevin Connors."
EDGES, Geary Danihy, Brooks Newspapers
Engagingly entertaining, at times poignant and at other times archly witty or inclusively humorous, must go to the credit of the cast, the composers, Benj Pasek and Westport resident Justin Paul, and director Kevin Connors. In number after number, the two, either separately or together, display an amazing range of emotions that, presented mere feet from the audience, cannot help but enthrall. If you are lucky enough to land a ticket you won't be disappointed."
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY, Joanne Greco Rochman, Hersam Acorn Newspapers
Director Kevin Connors, who co-founded MTC, has seamlessly put together a memorable theater experience. The superb ensemble are pros that stand inches away from you and yet manage to transport you to another time, another world.
THE FANTASTICKS, Rosalind Friedman, WMNR Public Radio
Here, under a cardboard moon, Mr. Connors has assembled a charming cast of eight, who bring to life the story of two young lovers. His is a softer-edged version that resonates with warmth and understanding.
BABY, Gloria Cole Sugarman, Connecticut Post
Beautifully staged by director Kevin Connors on the Playhouses’ small stage, he gives the show the intimacy the story demands without sacrificing inventiveness.”
YOURS, ANNE, Susan Granger, WICC Radio
Because of the total professionalism of the eight-character cast and director Kevin Connors, YOURS, ANNE rises above the subject matter to emerge as a memorable evening of theatre.
PRIME TIME PROPHET, Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Mr. Connors has a long history of directing Las Vegas revues - a genre that fits PRIME TIME PROPHET as snugly as a skin-tight fake-leopard bikini."
PRIME TIME PROPHET, Laurie Lawson, Punch In International Syndicate
The humor in PRIME TIME PROPHET is clever and sophisticated with music, lyrics and direction by Kevin Connors. Hilarious one-liners run rampant, music is lively and fun, and there's some great choreography."