Bridgeport Theatre Co & DCT

Hugh Hallinan, Executive Producer of Downtown Cabaret Theatre (DCT), in Bridgeport,

Connecticut, announces the inauguration of its new “Community Theatre Series” venture featuring

the Bridgeport Theatre Company (BTC).


For the first three decades of its existence, the Downtown Cabaret Theatre, was critically and

popularly recognized for producing high quality professional theatre, having built itself up from its

community theatre roots. Cabaret productions of Evita, Hair and pre-Broadway’s Blood Brothers

among others, played extended engagements in Bridgeport and featured professional actors from

New York City, but over the years those shows became prohibitively expensive to produce.


“I have been exploring economical ways to bring back traditional musical theatre,” said Hallinan.

“The question was how to smoothly transition from 25 years of award-winning professional theatre

to non-professional community theatre while still retaining a level of quality and professionalism our

audiences have come to expect. Fortunately for us, a community theatre group has proven to have

integrity and a passion for producing musical theatre right on our very stage.”


“It’s really been a matter of being in the right place at the right time for both theatres,” Hallinan

continued. “We have the theater, the facilities and years of experience and the non-profit Bridgeport

Theatre Company, originally housed at the Playhouse on the Green, has been searching for

a permanent home. During the search, BTC and Eli Newsom, Artistic Director, have been

operating ‘in residence’ at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre for the past three seasons presenting

quality community theater. It’s a good match…to the point that I have endorsed Bridgeport Theatre

Company to fill the void of the Cabaret’s “Community Theatre Series.”


The lower costs for Bridgeport Theatre Company’s non-professional productions, which utilizes

a mix of talented local volunteer actors and paid backstage staff, has allowed it to present larger

mainstage titles like RENT, Hairspray and Next to Normal, which are a perfect fit for a venue

like the Cabaret. Hallinan is also enthused that audiences coming to see these shows will take

advantage of the infamous “Cabaret experience,” which others have come to love over the

years…allowing patrons to enjoy the ‘feasts’ they’ve brought from home or purchased from local

restaurants while enjoying the shows. Hallinan continued, “We’ll be returning to the Cabaret’s

nonprofessional ‘community theatre’ roots and offering Broadway-style musicals at affordable ticket

prices! What’s not to like about this win-win joint venture between Downtown Cabaret Theatre and

Bridgeport Theatre Company?”


“Collectively, Downtown Cabaret Theatre and Bridgeport Theatre Company foresee that this new

venture will have a positive economic impact on the City of Bridgeport. In addition, it will be great

not only for regional and local artists, but also in filling the demand of Fairfield County audiences

seeking live musical theatre entertainment,” stated Hallinan and Newsom.

With a place to call home, Bridgeport Theatre Company will be able to continue presenting

larger, Broadway shows.


Combine this with the Cabaret mainstays – the professional Cabaret Children’s Theatre Company

embraced by audiences for 25 years, the Cabaret Nights Concert Series featuring such top rated

performers as Judy Collins, Crystal Gayle and Gary Puckett, and the highest quality Tribute

Shows which have included The Beatles’ She Loves You, Johnny Cash The Man in Black, Abba

Abbamainia, Bee Gees Night Fever and Barbra and Frank – The Concert That Never Was! it’s a

well-rounded, 52 weeks-per-year entertainment schedule that audiences have been craving.

Both Downtown Cabaret Theatre and Bridgeport Theatre Company will continue to operate

independently, but will share some of the effort of mainstage productions. “It’s really about sharing

in various challenges that non-profit theatre companies face in today’s economic climate,” says

Newsom. Added support from the veteran Downtown Cabaret Theatre in various elements of

production, such as scenery, sound and lighting, as well as marketing and box office operations will

only help Bridgeport Theatre Company to continue to grow. Likewise, BTC will be filling a demand in

the Cabaret’s calendar for larger Broadway musicals.