Colon, Lampanelli Star In Musical Production Of Barnum

Images by Kate Eisemann Photography

News release:

The Barnum Festival has partnered with Fairfield Center Stage (FCS) and the Fairfield Museum and History Center to present four free outdoor musical-in-concerts in June.

FCS’s annual summer presentation will feature “Barnum,” running one weekend only, June 27-29 at Fairfield Museum Commons at 370 Beach Rd behind Old Town Hall. This show is one of several new events that were introduced by Barnum Festival Ringmaster Marty Schwartz of Fairfield.

The role of P.T. Barnum will be played by Fairfield County native and winner of season one of “The Voice,” Javier Colon. Joining Colon in the cast will be comedy legend and Trumbull native, Lisa Lampanelli, as the Blues Singer, as well as 50 other singers, dancers, acrobats, and magicians, including The Amazing Andy. In addition to the cast, there will be a 12 piece onstage orchestra.

This musical retelling of the life of P.T. Barnum, who served as the Mayor of Bridgeport before founding the Barnum & Bailey Circus, will be an exciting event for the whole family.

Audiences are encouraged to bring blankets/low-back chairs & picnics for this family-friendly summer event, which will be presented with free general admission tickets thanks to individual donors and local corporate sponsors.

Amenities include local food trucks, face painting, balloon artists, concessions (including wine and beer), and access to indoor restrooms.

The opening night gala reception on June 27 starts at 6 p.m. with dinner and a cocktail party, live and silent auction items, plus 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $125 per person. There will also be free admission to the show only in a designated section.

Free admission also is available for the June 28 show at 7:30 p.m. and the June 29 shows at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (closing night). First come, first serve for free performances. VIP seating also are available for June 28 and 29 shows at $50 per person.

Performances will be presented outdoors at 370 Beach Rd in Fairfield. Vicinity street parking is free and the park opens one hour before showtime for seating/picnics.

P.T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman on Earth, combines razzle-dazzle with charm and brass to sell “humbug” to cheering crowds. BARNUM is a colorful, dynamic spectacle with heart. Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart’s rousing score includes “There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute,” “Join the Circus,” “The Colors of My Life,” and “Come Follow The Band.”

The Production is led by Artistic Director Christy McIntosh-Newsom, Executive Producer Eli Newsom, and Producer Christine Brown. The all-local production staff includes Music Direction by Clay Zambo, Vocal Direction by Brian Crook, Choreography by Kelsey Kaminski, Scenic Design by Perry Liu, Costume Design by Jessica Camarero, Lighting Design by Don Rowe, and Sound Design by Joe Boerst.

The local, volunteer cast includes Lindsay Johnson as Charity Barnum, Jessica Rahrig as The Ringmaster, Anne Collin as Jenny Lind, Bobby Henry as Joice Heth, and Nathan Horne as Tom Thumb.

To order VIP tickets or make a reservation for the cocktail reception, visit www.barnumfestival.com or call 203-367-8495. Tickets are also available atwww.fairfieldcenterstage.org or call 203.416.6446. For accessible seating access please email info@fairfieldcenterstage.org or call FCS.

Fairfield Center Stage’s mission is to lead a culturally diverse collective of local artists to provide a quality, accessible, and affordable theatre arts experience for the community, by the community.

About the Barnum Festival
The Barnum Festival is a celebration of the City of Bridgeport and the surrounding area that was organized in 1948 to help support local businesses and honor P.T. Barnum–a world-renowned showman and city leader. The first Festival was held in 1949.

The Barnum Festival events focus on building community spirit, fostering philanthropy, and celebrating the diverse cultures represented by residents. The festival culminates in a weekend-long Barnum Palooza that hosts parades, plays, fireworks, and other family-friendly festivities.

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2 comments

  1. Since there have been no comments,I will say something. I have always have felt that the Barnum Festival has been under-appreciated and under-used as a major umbrella organization for HUGE summer events in Bridgeport and surrounding communities although I would keep it Bridgeport-centric. If anything,it semms to have diminished since what I remember 30-40 years ago. Also,all you have to do is look at some of the film archives of the Bridgeport Library and you will get a much greater sense of the impact it had on this area P.T. Barnum still has name recognition as one of the greatest showman of all time. There has been a major film and Broadway show about Barnum but Bridgeport has not capitalized on Barnum’s appeal,name recognition. I think it’s a gold mine but Bridgeport political/civic leaders seem to be mining some other type of gold.

  2. The Barnum Festival and those who like and support everything PT Barnum have been doing PT Barnum legacy a disservice by not telling importance telling and sharing his role in Connecticut politics. PT Barnum was more than just a showman, I ask that The Barnum Festival truly go back and research Barnum’s on “Negro Suffrage,” and recognize how this hidden history needs to be shared at this time in Bridgeport’s, the state of Connecticut and in America.

    https://lostmuseum.cuny.edu/archive/p-t-barnums-speech-on-negro-suffrage-may-26

    P. T. Barnum’s speech on “Negro Suffrage,” May 26, 1865 (excerpts)

    In May, 1865, the Connecticut state legislature voted to ratify the 14th amendment to the United States constitution, outlawing slavery forever. When the legislators turned to the question of modifying their state constitution to allow African-American men to vote (no women of any race could vote in 1865), the debate became more contentious. P. T. Barnum, the representative from Fairfield, made a passionate speech in support of “negro suffrage” that championed whites’ moral obligation to elevate African Americans out of the ignorance imposed by slavery and argued for African Americans’ ability to succeed if given the opportunity. Whether and to what extent to extend full citizenship rights to the newly emancipated slaves was a central political and social question in the years following the Civil War, and Barnum’s speech, excerpted below, reflects many of the arguments made for and against this pivotal change, including the disparaging references to the fitness for citizenship of immigrants and poor southern whites.

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