Tired of the same old Broadway show? Then head to Glens Falls this summer and the Charles R. Wood Theater, home of the Adirondack Theatre Festival.
“Our mission is to help create new works, and what I like to tell people is that what they see here, they won’t see any place else in the world,” said Chad Rabinowitz, starting his second season as producing artistic director at ATF. “The shows people see here this summer will offer a completely different experience than what they’re used to.”
“Island Song,” which opened Tuesday and runs through July 2, is a brand-new musical by Sam Carner and his writing partner Derek Gregor, a 2000 Skidmore College graduate. Carner, a 2001 Yale graduate, is the team’s lyricist and won the $100,000 2015 Kleban Prize, awarded annually to the most promising librettist.
The two men have worked together since 2002 and won the 2004 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for their musical, “Unlock’d.”
“This will be a world premiere of ‘Island Song,’ a story about five New Yorkers all struggling to survive in a large city that feels overwhelming to them,” said Rabinowitz.
“Somehow, amidst all that chaos, humanity finds a way to connect these people. I’ve been a part of the development of this show for a while now, and believe me it really hits hard. I feel great that the first fully realized production will happen right here.”
WHERE: Adirondack Theatre Festival, Charles R. Wood Theater, 207 Glen St., Glens Falls
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, a 2 p.m. matinee on June 29, through July 2
HOW MUCH: $45-$32
MORE INFO: 480-4878, www.atfestival.org
‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’
WHERE: Curtain Call Theatre, 210 Old Loudon Road, Latham
WHEN: Opens Friday and runs through July 16, performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays
HOW MUCH: $24
MORE INFO: 877-7529, www.curtaincalltheatre.com
‘The Sound of Music’
WHERE: Fort Salem Theater, 11 East Broadway, Salem
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
HOW MUCH: $30-$15
MORE INFO: 854-9200, www.fortsalemtheater.com
The production is being directed and choreographed by Marlo Hunter, winner of the 2013 Callaway Award for Excellence in Choreography for her work on “Unlock’d.”
“The music from this show has already been sung all over the world, from Paris to London to Tokyo,” said Rabinowitz. “They are new songs, but to anyone really interested in musical theater and who is familiar with YouTube, you know Carner and Gregor and you will recognize these songs.”
“Island Songs” stars Madeline Trumble, Kathleen Monteleone, Emily Schultheis, Aaron Galligan Stierle and Phillipe Arroyo.
“We work pretty much entirely with Broadway-caliber artists,” said Rabinowitz. “You won’t believe these voices. Our cast has been in ‘Newsies,’ ‘Phantom,’ ‘Ragtime,’ all national tours. They are incredible performers.”
The second production of the season will be “A Comedy of Errors,” a new play from Zoe Samuel directed by Benjamin Kamine. “It’s ‘Downton Abbey’ meets ‘Noises Off,’ ” said Rabinowitz. “This show will eventually become a household name. It’s that good.”
Rabinowitz, who is producing artistic director at the Bloomington Playwrights Project in Indiana, will direct ATF’s third show of the season, “Home,” by Christy Hall, also a musical. Rounding out the season is a new musical by Alex Brightman, “Everything in its Place: The Life and Slimes of Marc Summers.”
Opening Friday at Curtain Call Theatre is a production of Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs.” The 1983 Broadway version was nominated for three Tony Awards and won two, including Best Featured Actor for 21-year-old Matthew Broderick. The story is set in Brooklyn and follows 15-year-old Eugene Jerome and his love of baseball and pursuit of the opposite sex.
Nan Mullenneaux is making her Curtain Call directorial debut, and Saratoga Springs High School senior Henry Sinnott plays Eugene.
In Salem in Washington County, the Fort Salem Theater will open its 2016 summer season with three performances of “The Sound of Music,” performed by The Rose Center Theater of Westminster, California.
Capital Region actors George Franklin (Loudonville) and Ariana Papaleo (Albany) are in the cast, while director Tim Nelson has also worked extensively with Albany’s Park Playhouse.
Reach Gazette reporter Bill Buell at 395-3190 or [email protected]
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