We Have Always Lived in the CastleNew York tends to hog the spotlight when it comes to theater and musical productions on the East Coast, but nearby New Haven, Connecticut is steadily proving a deserving (if less glitzy) destination for performing arts buffs.

Case in point: In the next three months, Yale’s hometown stages have lined up two world premieres, one U.S. debut, and the opening performance of Hair’s national tour. Add to that a way-below-Broadway price point – many tickets check out around $50 – and the fringe benefits of a college town (fine dining, diverse nightlife), and a Metro North ride to New Haven (just less than two hours from New York City) starts to look like a pretty thrifty arts-themed getaway.


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We’ve rounded up highlights at three top theaters, all primed for day trips, but if you’d rather arrange a lengthier stay, consider The Study at Yale’s “Yale Repertory Package.” For every opening night at the Yale Repertory Theatre through 2010, the boutique hotel offers up overnight accommodations, tickets to the show, entrance to the opening night party, and breakfast at the hotel’s Heirloom restaurant, starting from $239 per night.


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Yale Repertory Theatre
Catch Broadway performers like Jenn Gambatese (Hairspray), Sean Palmer (The Little Mermaid), and Alexandra Socha (Spring Awakening), in the Yale Rep’s performance of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, a musical based on Shirley Jackson’s novel, through October 9. On November 26, Bossa Nova, by up-and-coming playwright Kirsten Greenidge, makes its world premiere.

Shubert Theater
Tony award-winning director Diane Paulus kicks off the national 21-city revival of Hair with four performances at the Shubert Theater October 22 – 24.  Also on the fall schedule at the historic theater (founded in 1914) is a November 7 appearance by Buddy Valastro, from TLC’s The Cake Boss and two performances of Cheaper to Keep Her, with Brian McKnight and Vivica A. Fox.

Long Wharf Theatre
Long Wharf Theatre hosts the East Coast premiere of Athol Fugard’s The Train Driver. You’ll have until November 21 to catch Broadway performers Harry Groener (Cats) and Anthony Chisholm (Two Trains Running) in the show, which is set in post-apartheid South Africa.

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