Musical | 2023 US Holiday Exclusive
December 1 – 16, 2023
Patrick Pacheco and Erik Forrest Jackson
Based upon the
Warner Brothers Picture
2 hours 20 minutes (including intermission)
Christmas in Connecticut
From the bucolic paradise of her Connecticut farm, famed Smart Housekeeping columnist Liz Lane dishes out advice on marriage, cooking, and homemaking to eager housewives across the country. There are just a few small details of which her readers aren’t aware: Liz actually lives in a tiny New York City apartment, she has never been married, and she can’t cook. When a beloved war hero who is a fan of the columnist is invited by Liz’s publisher to Christmas on the nonexistent farm, a musical comedy of errors ensues!
With lyrics by Jonathan Larson Award recipient Amanda Yesnowitz, music by Grammy Award winner Jason Howland (composer of Paradise Square and Little Women—not to mention a PTC alum as Musical Supervisor/Orchestrator on the world premiere of Shucked), and a book by Emmy Award winner Patrick Pacheco and celebrated entertainment journalist Erik Forrest Jackson, this new musical adaptation of the classic 1945 Warner Brothers film had its debut in 2022 at Goodspeed Musicals in Connecticut (naturally). Christmas in Connecticut is destined to become a new yuletide tradition and PTC audiences will get to experience the only production in the nation this holiday season!
Christmas in Connecticut is presented by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing, LLC.
PATRICK PACHECO (Book) is a journalist and Emmy Award-winning TV commentator whose work has appeared in the NY Times, the LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire.com and other periodicals. He wrote the 2009 Disney documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty and is the co-writer, with Maria Cassi, of the play, My Life with Men…and other animals which debuted at the Spoleto Festival, Italy. His revision of the libretto of the classic Pal Joey, directed by Peter Schneider, premiered in 2013 at the Arkansas Rep. He is the author and editor of American Theatre Wing, An Oral History; the co-writer of “Designing Hollywood Homes” with Stephen Shadley; and most recently collaborated with the legendary Chita Rivera, on the award-winning Chita, A Memoir, published by HarperCollins. He is the host and producer of Theater, All the Moving Parts, on CUNY-TV.
ERIK FORREST JACKSON (Book) Erik’s musicals include Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, featuring the songs of Neil Sedaka (co-book Ben H. Winters, arrangements by Tom Kitt), and Misty Makes It Better, based on his award-winning play Like a Billion Likes (with lyricist Jill Abramovitz and composer Brad Alexander). Off Broadway premieres include a comic twist on Stephen King’s Carrie and the thriller Tell-Tale (GLAAD nomination, Best Play of the Year). He adapted the beloved TV comedy Cheers for a live stage event. As a novelist, Erik wrote the Muppets Meet the Classics humor series from Penguin Books and Disney. He has received fellowships and residencies from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Monson Arts, Chulitna Artists Residency, and the Johnny Mercer Grove at Goodspeed Musicals. Erik serves on the Advisory Board of the American Theatre Wing. Raised on a ranch in Texas and educated at USC, he now lives in Harlem.
JASON HOWLAND (Composer) Grammy and Emmy-winning producer and arranger, and Tony-nominated composer/producer. Composer: Paradise Square (ten Tony nominations), Little Women (three Tony nominations), Ikuru (Tokyo), Tokyo Love Story (Tokyo), Christmas in Connecticut (Goodspeed, PTC), Last Days of Summer (KC Rep), and The Great Gatsby (Paper Mill Playhouse). Musical director/arranger on Broadway: Shucked (Tony nomination) Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Grammy), Bonnie & Clyde, Wonderland, Jekyll & Hyde, Les Misérables, The Civil War, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Taboo. Proud father of Nina and Noah.
AMANDA YESNOWITZ (Lyricist) Winner of the Kleban Prize, Jonathan Larson Award, Dottie Burman Award, Jamie deRoy Award, Dramatists Guild Fellowship, Berklee Outstanding Alumni Award, and 8 MAC nominations, all for excellence in lyric writing. Selected musicals: Christmas in Connecticut (Broadway Licensing commission), Somewhere in Time (Portland Center Stage world premiere), Do No Harm (Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat), May/December (Oldcastle Theatre), By The Numbers (Goodspeed Mercer Grove, ASCAP workshop), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Hangar Theatre), The History of War (NYMF invited selection). Featured lyricist: Notes From Now (59e59), ASCAP Centennial at the Kennedy Center, Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall, NAMT Songwriter Showcase, “Gotta Start Small” (Stephanie J. Block; PS Classics, PBS/Live from Lincoln Center). Amanda is also a writing professor at NYU, a professional parodist, and a NY Times crossword puzzle constructor.
SHELLEY BUTLER (Director) has over 40 Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional credits to date and has worked extensively with writers on new plays and musicals. She has directed and developed work across the country for theatres including: Ars Nova, Primary Stages, E.S.T., WP Theater, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Hartford Stage, South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre Company, Yale Repertory Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Pioneer Theatre Company, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Geva, The Old Globe, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, New York Stage and Film, New Dramatists, and others. Notable productions include the world premiere of Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House Part 2 at South Coast Repertory and the Japanese premiere of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo. Shelley spent two seasons as artistic associate in charge of new play development for Hartford Stage and three seasons as artistic associate for Great Lakes Theater Festival. She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of The South Carolina New Play Festival, which just completed its second season operating on a model that allows it to share new work free of charge: SouthCarolinaNewPlayFestival.org. Upcoming: The world premiere of Kate Hamill’s The Scarlet Letter for Two River Theater.
HELEN GREGORY (Musical Director/Conductor) is returning for her 14th production at PTC and is glad to celebrate the holidays with the cast, crew, musicians, and staff at PTC. Many thanks, too, to the audiences that support live theatre. Additional credits include: NY Theatre Workshop, WPA, The Vineyard, Public Theatre, LaMama E.T.C., Hudson Guild, Maltz Jupiter Theatre (received 11 Carbonell nominations, winner for Crazy for You), Asolo Repertory Theatre (winner, Sarasota Magazine Theatre Awards Best Musical Direction for Barnum), Arkansas Repertory, Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman Theatre, Indiana Repertory, Riverside Theatre, Human Race Theatre, New Jersey Repertory Company, Papermill Playhouse, and The Hangar Theatre. National tours: Grease, Oklahoma!, and Joseph… Industrials: American Movie Classics and Star Odyssey for the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas. Dedicated to my brother-in-law Robert Linares (1953-2022) who loved Christmas and Shaggy (2011-2023) who loved Robert.
KAREN AZENBERG (Choreographer) This marks Karen Azenberg’s twelfth season as Artistic Director at PTC. Favorite projects include the world premieres of Alabama Story and “i”; the regional premieres of Sting’s The Last Ship and Les Misérables; and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Newsies, Sweet Charity, and The Play That Goes Wrong. Originally from New York, her work there includes Lyrics and Lyricists (92nd St. Y), Blocks (a collaboration with Jonathan Larson), Prom Queens Unchained, and choreography for Richard Greenberg’s The Dazzle (Roundabout Theatre Company). Among her other credits are National Tours of Carousel and Brigadoon, West Side Story (over 15 productions), and productions at Indiana Repertory, Geva Theatre Center, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Goodspeed, and Utah Shakespeare Festival. Karen is a past president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). Her favorite productions are her son Alexander and her daughter Emelia.
LEX LIANG (Scenic & Costume Design) Recent: the world premieres of Tiananmen, Yes, I Can Say That!, Ken Ludwig’s Moriarty, Shane, Mr. Holland’s Opus, The Tattooed Lady, and May We All. Regional: Actor’s Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Asolo Rep, Cleveland Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse, Dallas Theatre, Denver Center, Geva Theatre, Goodspeed, Guthrie, La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf, Old Globe, Papermill Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Pioneer Theatre Company, Portland Stage, Portland Center Stage. Lex is the founder/principal of LDC Design Associates, an experiential event design and production company in NYC. Clients include Absolut, Gucci, Invesco, Johnson & Johnson, The Kardashians, The Tony Awards Gala, NYFW, NYWFF, William Hill Wine, and others. LexLiang.com | LDCdesign.com | @Lex924
ROBERT AGUILAR (Lighting Design) (He/Him, LatinX) Credits include designs for Seattle Rep, Portland Center Stage, ACT, The 5th Avenue Theater, The Old Globe, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Intiman Theater, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Milwaukee Rep, Village Theatre, and others. Film credits include The Jinkx and Dela Holiday Special and Potato Dreams of America. Aguilar is the Lighting Director at Seattle Rep and a member of USA829. RobertJAguilar.com
AARON HUBBARD (Sound Designer) is enjoying his 16th season with Pioneer Theatre Company in sound mix and design. His favorite productions have been Sting’s The Last Ship, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Next to Normal, and One Man, Two Guvnors. Aaron teaches sound production and recording at Weber State University, and in his spare time he records and produces music. His favorite star is his wife, Melissa, who puts up with all the late theatre nights.
CYNTHIA JOHNSON (Hair & Makeup Designer) has been a theatrical wig designer for 25 years. She attended SLCC and Weber State University, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre/Design and Entrepreneurship. Cindy has been a licensed cosmetologist for twenty years. She has designed for Ogden Musical Theatre, The Grand Theatre, Sandy City, Draper City, Hale Centre Theatre (10 years), UMT, Viva La Diva productions, and many other local and national theatres. Cindy was the owner of Hair Love Wigs Salons for many years, but her most recent wig work can be seen in the movie Dumplin and Joe Bell, currently on Netflix. Cindy has four children, a loving husband and a close extended family that support her career.
JAMES O. HANSEN* (Production Stage Manager) is thrilled to be in his first season here at Pioneer Theatre Company! Recent PTC credits include: Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, The Rocky Horror Show. Clue (starring Sally Struthers), The Wedding Singer, and A Christmas Carol at The Gateway Playhouse. Joseph…Dreamcoat (starring David Archuleta), Mary Poppins, and Wonderland at Tuacahn Amphitheatre. James earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts Management from Dean College. Special thanks to his Mom, Family, and Ostie for their love and support! DHH.
EMILY NACRISSA GRIFFITH* (Stage Manager) This is Emily’s eighth season with Pioneer Theatre Company. She graduated from UVU with multiple awards for her work, including the Kennedy Center’s Meritorious Achievement Award. She has also managed multiple productions for Sundance’s Summer Theatre.
BOB CLINE (Casting) is the founder of Bob Cline Casting in New York. He has cast film, TV, commercials, over 75 national tours, and numerous regional theaters across the country and has been associated with the casting for PTC for many years. Cline is currently a proud faculty member in Pace University’s theatre program, in charge of the senior BFA musical theatre majors. He is the Associate Director of Broadway Artists Alliance, enjoys working with The Open Jar Institute, and often teaches through The Growing Studio and The Actor’s Loft.
PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY (PTC) Now celebrating its 62nd season, the award-winning PTC is Utah’s premiere professional theatre company and leading arts organization of the West. Led by Artistic Director Karen Azenberg and Interim Managing Director Diane L. Parisi, PTC presents world-class productions that celebrate diversity in culture and society and serve as the connecting bridge between art and scholarship as an affiliate of the University of Utah.
ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION (AEA) Founded in 1933, AEA represents more than 51,000 professional Actors and Stage Managers nationwide. Equity seeks to foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of society and advances the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. Actor’s Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. #equityworks
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
- FOX13’s THE PLACE: Pioneer Theatre Company is the only theatre in the nation presenting “Christmas in Connecticut”
- PBS Utah: Pioneer Theatre Company: ‘Christmas in Connecticut’
- BroadwayWorld: Pioneer Theatre Company Presents 2023 US Holiday Exclusive Production Of CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT
- TheaterMania: Alyse Alan Louis, Eric William Morris, Linda Mugleston to Lead Christmas in Connecticut Musical in Utah
- Playbill: Christmas in Connecticut Stage Adaptation Set at Pioneer Theatre Company
- @theU: Celebrate “Christmas in Connecticut”
- The Utah Review: A 2023 holiday season exclusive for U.S. and Salt Lake City: Pioneer Theatre Company set for production opening of Christmas in Connecticut musical adaptation
- Gephardt Daily: ‘Christmas in Connecticut’ set to bring seasonal cheer to Pioneer
- City Weekly: THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR NOV 30 – DEC 6
- Salt Lake Tribune: Here’s how to add some performing arts to your Utah holiday
- BroadwayWorld: CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT at Pioneer Theatre Company Could Become a Perennial Holiday Favorite
- Front Row Reviewers: Christmas in Connecticut at the Pioneer Theatre Company is a Gift
- Rachel’s Reviews:” ‘CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT’ AT PTC IS A CHARMING HOLIDAY ROM-COM”
- Hallmarkies Podcast: CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT: THE MUSICAL Writers Patrick Pacheco and Erik Forrest Jackson Interview
Christmas in Connecticut
SYNOPSIS: From the bucolic paradise of her Connecticut farm, famed Smart Housekeeping columnist Liz Lane dishes out advice on marriage, cooking, and homemaking to eager housewives across the country. There are just a few small details of which her readers aren’t aware: Liz actually lives in a tiny New York City apartment, she has never been married, and she can’t cook. When a beloved war hero (and fan of Liz’s column) is invited by Liz’s publisher to Christmas on the nonexistent farm, a musical comedy of errors ensues!
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: Appropriate for audiences of all ages. If this adaptation were to be made into a film today, it would likely be rated PG.