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Monday, July 04, 2016

Summer Stocked

The State of the Stage Dept.: A friend read my recently exhumed overview of the 1987 summer arts season, which skimmed over what would be happening in and around New York’s Capital Region. He, too, was skimming, and thus was alarmed to that different shows had been announced than he was expecting to see. So let’s clarify some of those seasons with a look at what will be performed around us in the weeks to come. In 2016.


LET’S START WITH some opera. The Glimmerglass Festival, near Cooperstown, presents a four-show season in repertory with one musical in the mix. This year’s offerings are Puccini’s “La bohème” (July 8-Aug 27); Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” (July 9-Aug 26); Rossini’s “The Thieving Magpie” (July 16-Aug 25); and Robert Ward’s operatic setting of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” (July 23-Aug 27). More info:

Marisa Tomei
Opera Saratoga, which is in residence at the Spa Little Theatre at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, is presenting Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” with remaining shows July 9 and 15; the American premiere of Philip Glass’s “The Witches of Venice” (remaining shows July 11 and 17); Daniel Catán’s “Il Postino” (July 7, 10, and 16) and a one-night-only “Evening on Broadway” (July 14). More info:

Saratoga Shakespeare presents two shows this summer, veering into the non-Shakespeare arena with Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac,” directed by William Finlay, which runs July 19-30, and Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by David Girard, Aug 2-7. It’s a treat to see the many area actors that this company employs. More info:

Park Playhouse, in Albany’s Washington Park, has three musicals on tap: “Chicago,” July 1-30, “The Little Mermaid,” Aug 9-27, and, at the Palace Theatre in downtown Albany, a weekend of “Seussical,” Aug 5-7. More info:

You can also catch “Chicago” at Chatham’s Mac-Haydn Theatre, where it runs July 7-24; “South Pacific” is finishing its run July 3, and the rest of the summer includes “Into the Woods” (July 28-Aug 7), “Sister Act” (Aug 11-21), and “The Addams Family” (Aug 25-Sept 4). More info:

At New Lebanon’s Theatre Barn, Tom Dudzik’s “Don't Talk to the Actors” runs through July 3, then it’s “Towards Zero” by Agatha Christie (July 7-24), “Forever Plaid” (July 28-Aug 7), “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah!” (The Allan Sherman musical, Aug 11-21), “The Wedding Singer” (Aug 25-Sept 4)m and A.R. Gurney’s “The Cocktail Hour” (Sept 9-25). More info:

Washington County’s Fort Salem Theater features a varied roster of events, including “Revolutionary!” in which Fort Salem favorite Diane Lachtrupp portrays Isadora Duncan (July 9-10), “You’re an Old Man, Charlie Brown,” a Peanuts parody set in Leisure Villages (July 15-17), Kathy Beaver recounting her life in the theater, playing some of theater’s most memorable women in “Hello, Mame” (July 22-24), and “Adirondack Awakening,” by Stephen Trombley and Fort Salem’s Jay Kerr (Aug 5-7). More info:

Crossing into the Berkshires, the Williamstown Theatre Festival brings a stellar line-up to its ambitious season. On the Mainstage now is Tennessee Williams’s “The Rose Tattoo” (through July 17) with Marisa Tomei; then there’s the world premiere of Boo Killebrew’s “Romance Novels for Dummies” (July 20-31) and, Aug 3-21, Wendy Wasserstein’s “An American Daughter. On the Nikos Stage are the world premieres of Martyna Majok’s “Cost of Living” (through July 10), directed by Jo Bonney; Michael West’s sci-fi comedy thriller “The Chinese Room” (July 13-23), starring Michael Stuhlbarg; the musical “Poster Boy” with music and lyrics by Craig Carnelia and book by Joe Tracz (July 28-Aug 11); and the American premiere of Tom Holloway’s “And No More Shall We Part” (Aug 10-21), with Alfred Molina and Jane Kaczmarek. The WTF’s Late-Night Cabaret Series showcases Festival artists throughout the summer, and a look at very new works during the free Fridays@3 series (July 8-Aug 19, excluding Aug 12). More info:

Jonathan Epstein in
"The Merchant of Venice"
Shakespeare & Co.’s ambitious season also features a variety of venues: at the Tina Packer Playhouse, Packer herself directs “The Merchant of Venice,” with company favorite Jonathan Epstein (in previews now; through Aug 21); Liz Duffy Adams’s inventive three-hander “Or,” is next (July 23-Sept 4), with Jonathan Croy then directing “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” (Aug 4-Sept 4). Lauren Gunderson’s “The Taming” kicks off the season at the Elayne Bernstein Theatre, directed by Nicole Ricciardi (through July 30), followed by the well-reviewed “Ugly Lies the Bone” by Lindsey Ferrentino (through Aug 28). Then there’s the solo show “Cry ‘Havoc!,’” written and performed by Stephan Wolfert, directed by Eric Tucker (Aug 3-13); “Sotto Voce” by Nilo Cruz (Aug 18-Sept 11), and “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” directed by Jenna Ware (Dec 15-18). Jonathan Croy directs “Twelfth Night” at The Dell, outdoors at The Mount (July 14-Aug 20), and Aphra Behn’s “The Emperor of the Moon,” directed by Jenna Ware, will be performed at the Rose Footprint Theatre July 15-Aug 20. More info:

The Berkshire Theatre Group has venues in Stockbridge and Pittsfield, with a season already underway with “Fiorello!” by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, written by Jerome Weidman and George Abbott, and it’s won rave reviews at the Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge, where it runs through July 23. Meanwhile, Tennessee Williams’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is playing at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage, Stockbridge, where it’s playing through July 16. Going into previews July 6-8 is the Howard Ashman-Alan Menken musical “Little Shop of Horrors” at the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield; it runs July 9-23. Judd Hirsch stars in the world premiere of “The Stone Witch” by Shem Bitterman at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage, Stockbridge (July 21-Aug 20); while Gregg Edelman directs Nick Payne’s “Constellations,” starring Kate Baldwin, at the Unicorn Stage, Stockbridge (Aug 3-27). Berkshire Theatre Group’s  11th Annual Community Theatre Production will be “Beauty and the Beast,” with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice at the Colonial Theatre (Aug 11-19), and the season rounds out with the American premiere of “The Bakelite Masterpiece” by Kate Cayley, directed by Kristen van Ginhoven, a co-production with WAM Theatre at the Unicorn Stage, Stockbridge (Sept 29-Oct 23). More info:

Also in Pittsfield, Barrington Stage presents its season at two theaters. The Boyd-Quinson Mainstage even now features the world premiere of “American Son” by Christopher Demos-Brown, directed by Julianne Boyd, which runs through July 9; Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” directed by John Rando (July 15-Aug 13); “Tribes” by Nina Raine (Aug 18-Sept 3); and Mark St. Germain’s “Camping with Henry and Tom” (Oct 5-23). At the St. Germain Stage are “Kimberly Akimbo” by David Lindsay-Abaire, starring Debra Jo Rupp (through July 16); “peerless” by Jiehae Park (July 21-Aug 6); the world premiere of “Broadway Bounty Hunter,” a musical inspired by the Blaxploitation films of the ’70s (Aug 12-Sept 4); and A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters,” with Mark H. Dold and Debra Jo Rupp (Sept 22-Oct 2). More info:

Over in Vermont, the Dorset Theatre Festival already has one show under its belt (it was “Table Manners” by Alan Ayckbourn); opening this week is “Dear Elizabeth,” the regional premiere of a play by Sarah Ruhl about the thirty-year friendship between poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell (July 7-23). After that it’s the world premiere of “The Way of the World” by Theresa Rebeck, a retelling of the play by William Congreve (July 28-Aug 13), and the season finishes with “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” a play about Billie Holiday by Lanie Robertson (Aug 18-Sept 3). More info:

And in Bennington, the Oldcastle Theatre Company will present “Big River,” the Huckleberry Finn musical by Roger Miller (July 8-24); “The City of Conversation” by Anthony Giardina (Aug 5-21); the world premiere of “The Consul, the Tramp & America’s Sweetheart” by John Morogiello (Sept 2-18); and Arthur Miller’s “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan” Oct. 7-23. More info:

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