At University of Saint Joseph, ‘Polkadots’ emphasizes friendship, empathy

“Polkadots,” a children’s musical about a “different” child in a new situation, will play at USJ on Jan. 26.

WEST HARTFORD — The University of Saint Joseph will present a production of the children’s musical “Polkadots” on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 1 p.m. in the Hoffman Auditorium.

“Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical” follows 8-year-old Lily Polkadot who just moved to the “Squares Only” small town of Rockaway. As the first Polkadot in an all-Square school, Lily faces an almost impossible task of gaining acceptance from her peers. From daily bullying to segregated drinking fountains, Lily’s quest seems hopeless until she meets Sky, a shy Square boy whose curiosity for her unique polkadot skin blooms into an unexpected pal-ship. Inspired by Civil Rights pioneers Ruby Bridges and The Little Rock Nine, Polkadots serves as a colorful history lesson for the world, reminding us that our differences make us awesome, not outcasts.

“Polkadots’” timely message about equality and compassion is presented with pep and positivity to engage and inspire young audiences. Following its 2016 premiere at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, the musical has been performed to great acclaim on stages across the United States. With rock-and-roll and jazz-flavored songs, audience participation segments, and sets and costumes bursting with color, “Polkadots” promises to be a heartwarming feast for the senses.

“Polkadots” is the brainchild of its lyricist and co-composer, New Haven native and Hartt School graduate Douglas Lyons. Playwright Melvin Tunstall III has been a participant in the Yale Institute of Musical Theatre and an actor in Broadway productions of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” and “Rock of Ages.” Co-composer Greg Borowsky is the creative producer and writer behind some of South Africa’s biggest award-winning musical artists.

Tickets are $20 and $14 for children or students with a valid ID. To purchase for groups or a family four-pack special please call the box office. Tickets can be purchased at the Frances Driscoll Box Office: 860-231-5555 or online at

The Autorino Center for Arts and Humanities is located at 1678 Asylum Ave., West Hartford.

Connecticut Media Group