American Shakespeare Theater – Stratford, CT

The American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Ct. holds a unique space inside the MusicOfOurHeart. We saw wonderful plays and concerts there. I hope the theatre gets its well deserved renovation.

I read this week that the town of Stratford has selected a plan by the Stratford Stage Group which involves renovating the theater and building an inn on the site.

I drove around the theatre yesterday and discovered there will be a program by the Shakespeare Company this summer which will feature Twelfth Night and Henry V. 

I reflected on the times in the past I had seen plays and concerts in this beautiful theatre.

Plays Seen

My appreciation for Shakespeare like many others commenced in high school English. We studied in 10th and 11th grades, As You Like It (1967) and Macbeth (1968). I saw both plays in the Spring at the American Shakespeare Theatre during my high school days. I remember having lunch outside on the grounds at the picnic tables.

Othello – 1981

Othello starred James Earl Jones as Othello , Christopher Plummer as Iago and Kelsey Grammer as Michael Casio. The play premiered in Stratford before opening on Broadway.

Concerts Witnessed

1) MT. Airy (Tom Chapin) and Harry Chapin – 1/25/74

This was the first of eight Harry Chapin concerts we attended. We loved Harry Chapin. I was fortunate to meet him, interview him twice. I saw him record the album Verities and Balderdash at Paul Leka’s studio in Bridgeport in 1974.



2) Jackson Browne and Linda Ronstadt – 3/2/74

This was the first of three times we saw Jackson Browne and the only time we ever saw Linda Ronstadt perform. I recall her performance bathed in a red light with the Stone Ponies.

Jackson Browne did a stunning version of “Song For Adam” on the piano with a solitary candle burning on the piano top.


3) New Riders of the Purple Sage

We saw NRPS four times. This was the third concert where they were the only act to perform.

We first saw them with Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar in 1970 at the Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY. They were the opening act for The Grateful Dead that night.

4/7/74 – American Shakespeare Theater – Stratford, CT

First Set: Panama Red / Lonesome LA Cowboy /Austin, Texas / She’s No Angel / One Too Many Stories / LA Lady / Henry / Sunday Susie / Teardrops In My Eyes / Sutter’s Mill / Neon Rose / Tico Tico / Parson Brown / Sweet Lovin’ One / You Should Have Seen Me Runnin’ / Dead Flowers / Truck Drivin’ Man

Second Set: I Don’t Know You / Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music) / Portland Woman / Devil Doll / Lochinvar

Buddy Cage on Pedal Steel Guitar

Dave Nelson on Rhythm Guitar


John “Marmaduke” Nelson on Lead Guitar and Vocals


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