Spring Awakening

Cortland Repertory Theatre 

(6799 Little York Lake Road, Preble, New York, (607) 756-2627, toll-free 800-427-6160) 

CRTtees off its 45th anniversary season with Ken Ludwig’s The Fox on the Fairway (June 8 to 18). This regional premiere is a charming madcap adventure about love, life, and man’s eternal love affair … with golf! Come join the gang down at the Quail Valley Country Club as they prepare to take on their archrivals, the Crouching Squirrels, in the Annual Inter-Club Golf Tournament.  

As Marlon Brando changed the conversation about acting style, West Side Story (June 22 to July 9) did the same for the American musical. In this breathtaking show, two rival gangs struggle for control of their New York City neighborhood. There are echoes beyond Romeo & Juliet of West Coast jazz, Rebel without a Cause,and the works of Hubert Selby Jr.; the choreography and classic songs by Stephen Sondheim are just as iconic after more than 50 years.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and celebrating its 40th anniversary, A Chorus Line (July 13 to 30) tells the story of the unsung heroes of the Broadway stage—the dedicated, talented and overworked chorus dancers. A nine-time Tony-Award winner, this musical and dance spectacular brings to life the dream, the thrill and the hope of the Broadway audition. 

Agatha Christie’s Cards on the Table (August 3 to 13) is rarely produced and sure to please the mystery lover. Mr. Shaitana is a strange and wealthy collector of various kinds of art. One evening he invites Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yard and crime novelist Adriane Oliver to a dinner party to view his latest “collection”: four people who have committed murder and gotten away with it. But during a game of bridge with the group, Shaitana himself is daringly murdered.  

Imagine Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray in a knockdown, drag-out Battle of the Cooking, and you’ll get a sense of the fun of The Kitchen Witches (August 17 to 27). Lomax and Dolly Biddle are two low-budget cable-access cooking show hostesses who have hated each other for years, ever since Larry Biddle dated one and married the other. When circumstances put them together on a TV show called The Kitchen Witches, the insults are flung harder than the food.

Take a trip back in time to the 1958 Springfield High School prom for The Marvelous Wonderettes (August 31 to Sept 10). Meet Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy, and Suzy, four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts. As we learn about their lives and loves, the girls serenade us with classic ‘50s hits including “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” “Stupid Cupid,” and “Lipstick on Your Collar.” Then in Act Two, jump forward in time as the girls reunite to perform at their ten-year reunion.

 

Hangar Theatre 

Route 89 at the Treman Marina Entrance to Cass Park 

Kicking off the Hangar’s 2016 Mainstage season, making its professional regional premiere, is I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti (June 16 to 25) adapted by Jacques Lamarre from the memoir by Giulia Melucci. Melucci’s best-selling memoir has been described as Eat, Pray, Love with recipes.  This mouth-watering comedy celebrates the story of Giulia, a single New Yorker looking for love, and her Italian home cooking.  Giulia will cook her way into the audience’s heart as she prepares a three-course Italian meal from scratch on stage—a meal that she’ll serve to select audience members at each performance. 

The Hangar’s 2016 musical is In the Heights (June 30 to July 16) with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. Winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical, In the Heights weaves a tale about three days in the life of Washington Heights, a vibrant and tight-knit community at the top of the island of Manhattan. The show features a Grammy Award–winning score of hip-hop, rap, jazz, pop, salsa, and merengue, by the creator of the revolutionary smash-hit musical Hamilton

Third comes Wendy Wasserstein’s Third (July 21 to 30), which tells the story of a professor at a prestigious New England liberal arts college whose seemingly well-ordered life as wife, mother, and daughter is thrown into disarray when she accuses a student, who happens to be the star of the wrestling team, of plagiarism. 

Nick Payne‘s Constellations (August 4 to 13) closes the Hangar’s summer season. It is a fusion of science and art that explores romance as it might exist across parallel universes.  Defying the boundaries of the world we know, Constellations tells a spellbinding love story between an unlikely couple, a beekeeper and a quantum physicist. 

 

The Ithaca Shakespeare Company 

Allan H. Treman State Park, Taughannock Blvd. (Rt. 89) 

ISCcontinues its “Contention” series honoring the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Henry IV: A Tiger’s Heart (July 7 to 24) follows their winter production of Henry V at the Hangar. The company is pairing that in repertory with Twelfth Night, or What You Will, one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, and a virtual compendium of all his favored comic tropes: a pair of separated twins, disguises, cross-dressing and all manner of romantic folly and deception in the name of true love. 

Merry Go Round Playhouse 

Emerson Park, 6877 East Lake Road (Rt. 38A), Auburn, NY 13021, (315) 255-1785 and (800) 457-8897 

MGRopens its season by taking the audience all the way to Oklahoma! (June 1 to 22). It’s the first musical written by the team of composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II, and a classic packed with great show tunes.

From Here to Eternity (June 29 to July 20), based on the James Jones novel, is a musical with music and lyrics by Stuart Brayson and Tim Rice and a book by Bill Oakes. It made its West End and world premiere in 2013, at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London. Jones’s manuscript was heavily censored by his publisher to remove profanity and references to gay prostitution; the unexpurgated version was not published until 2011.

 Austen’s Pride: A New Musical of Pride and Prejudice (July 13 to 24) springs to life when the author re-imagines the world of her novel. As the compelling love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy unfolds, Austen learns to see both the story and herself in a new light. 

Crazy For You (July 27 to Aug. 17) is a romantic love musical with a book by Ken Ludwig, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and music by George Gershwin. Billed as “The New Gershwin Musical Comedy,” it is largely based on the songwriting team’s 1930 musical, Girl Crazy, but incorporates songs from several other productions as well. Crazy for You won the 1992 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Treasure Island (August 24 to September 10) is a modern, compelling look at the classic adventure. In 2008, Wall Street told a story of greed, corruption and betrayal, and in 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson told the same story. 

Million Dollar Quartet (Sept. 15 to Oct. 1) is a jukebox musical that dramatizes the Million Dollar Quartet recording session of December 4, 1956, among early rock-and-roll stars Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and newcomer Jerry Lee Lewis. The show includes country and early rock classics like “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” and “Brown Eyed Handsome Man.”

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical (Oct. 5 to 19) Scenes from Clooney’s life, from childhood to adult. Revel in the ups, the downs and that mesmerizing voice as we bring to life.  With countless hits and chart-toppers, Rosemary is an American legend and icon. 

Smokey Joe’s Café (Nov. 2 to 19) is a musical revue showcasing 39 pop standards, including rock and roll and rhythm and blues songs written by songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, including  “Poison Ivy,” “Kansas City,” and “On Broadway.” §

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