Two Outstanding Historic American Theaters Collaborate On A Free Holiday Celebration!
New London (October 17, 2022) – Two of Connecticut’s major non-profit arts organizations, the Garde Arts Center and Goodspeed Musicals, are collaborating to present a free regional event based on the Warner Bros. movie Christmas in Connecticut on Wednesday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Garde Arts Center in downtown New London. This one-night-only event includes a screening of the popular holiday film and a lively presentation by Goodspeed’s team which is launching a new musical based on the film. 

The classic movie will be shown on the giant screen of the Garde movie palace seventy-seven years after it opened at the Garde when it was released in 1945. Barbara Stanwyck stars as Elizabeth in this delightful romantic comedy as the “Diary of a Housewife” columnist who has lied about being the perfect housewife. Her articles about her fictitious Connecticut farm, husband, and baby are admired by housewives across the country. She must try to cover her deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas.
The special pre-show event will include a discussion with Goodspeed Musicals’ Artistic Director, Donna Lynn Hilton, and the creative team behind their musical adaptation of Christmas in Connecticut. Cast members from the musical will treat audiences to a song from the musical, which will premiere at the Goodspeed on Tuesday, November 18, and run through Sunday, December 30. The Goodspeed musical features book by Patrick Pacheco and Erik Forrest Jackson, music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Amanda Yesnowitz, music direction by Adam Souza, choreography by Marjorie Failoni, and is directed by Amy Anders Corcoran.

The Garde and Goodspeed Opera House are both nationally recognized historic theaters. Most recently, the Garde was awarded the Outstanding Historic Theater of 2022 by the League of Historic American Theaters, an organization whose founders include the Goodspeed Opera House.

“The Goodspeed and the Garde are thrilled to share this classic holiday film that premiered on the Garde screen 77 years ago in support of the Goodspeed’s premiere of their new stage musical,” said Garde executive director Steve Sigel.

“This is a perfect example of how arts organizations can work together and bring unique events to our audiences,” said Donna Lynn Hilton, Goodspeed’s Artistic Director. “I am excited to showcase our new musical and to see the original movie on the big screen at the beautiful Garde Arts Center. Let’s get the holiday season started!” 

The free special event was made possible due to the generous support of Garde and Goodspeed donors and special sponsorship by Secor Auto Group, Sawyer Law Firm, and Silver Petrucelli & Associates.

The Garde Arts Center, founded in 1985, is Southeastern Connecticut’s nonprofit home for the performing arts, cinema, and education.  Its diverse presenting program includes touring Broadway musicals, dance, opera, symphony orchestra, contemporary music, variety acts, school time performances, film, and civic events. 

In 2022, the Garde singly received the Outstanding Historic Theater in America award by the League of Historic American Theaters.

Located in the heart of downtown New London, the Garde Arts Center saved, restored, and now operates the historic 1425-seat Moroccan-designed Garde Theater, built in 1926 as a movie place and vaudeville theater.  The Garde owns a city block of adjacent buildings which include the 100-seat Oasis Room, the Garde, Mercer, and Meridian Buildings, and a cottage that houses the Title IX Bookstore. Learn more at 

Goodspeed Musicals has achieved international acclaim and is the first theatre in the nation to receive two Tony Awards for outstanding achievement in musical theatre. Under the leadership of Donna Lynn Hilton, Artistic Director and David B. Byrd, Managing Director, Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the celebration, development and advancement of musical theatre. Goodspeed creates powerful, world-class productions of enlightening new and established works to entertain and inspire audiences. From Goodspeed, 21 musicals have gone to Broadway (including Man of La Mancha, Annie and Holiday Inn) and more than 90 new musicals have been launched. Goodspeed’s Festival of New Musicals and the Johnny Mercer Writers Grove are distinguished cornerstones of the organization that highlight its commitment to nurture the talents of new and established artists and support the creative process. Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre.

CALENDAR LISTING:  The Garde Arts Center and Goodspeed Musicals will co-host a free regional screening of the 1945 Warner Bros. film Christmas in Connecticut on November 9, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. at the Garde Arts Center in New London, CT. There will be a pre-show live discussion from the Goodspeed Musicals creative team, which is turning the film into a musical to premiere at the Goodspeed in East Haddam and run November 18 – December 30. The film event is free and open to the public. Garde Arts Center, 325 State Street, New London, CT 06320. Learn more at  More information about Goodspeed’s world premiere musical can be found at

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