Playhouse Stage Company will get back to business later this month with the first local in-person theatrical production since the pandemic began.
The theater company will hold performances of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” from April 30-May 9 at the Cohoes Music Hall. The production is the longest-running revue in off-Broadway history and, through a small cast of characters, it details the hijinks that ensue in the dating game.
“It’s a first step,” said Owen Smith, the producing artistic director. “Obviously, it’s not like we’re doing a huge show with a huge audience but it’s an important first step we think to start to get Capital Region audiences back out into the theater. There’s a lot of people that have been vaccinated and feel more comfortable being out and we want to give them an opportunity to have something this spring to get out and to enjoy.”
It’s also the first production that the company has produced in the Cohoes Music Hall since taking over management last year.
“This will be our opportunity to reopen under our management and, of course, we want to make sure that everyone knows even though we’re opening under our in-house musicals, that’s not the only thing that’s going to be happening here. There’s going to be plenty of live music and comedy. It’s just a matter of waiting until we have the capacity, attendance-wise, to do that,” Smith said.
Playhouse Stage Company, which also presents outdoor shows at Washington Park in Albany, is in a unique position compared to other companies in the area, said Smith.
“We have a venue, we produce our own stuff, we’re an in-house production company and so we can reopen,” Smith said. “Because we produce our own stuff, we can scale it to make sure that the economics work even if we can only have x-number of people in the house.”
To make “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” happen, capacity will be capped at 50 people per show. At that limited capacity, the seating chart is relatively flexible, allowing for people in different “pods” to sit together and still socially distance from other parties. Masks must also be worn unless eating or drinking.
While Smith and the Playhouse Stage Company’s box office have been fielding questions about the safety protocols, most of them have been positive ones, and Smith gets the sense that many people are simply ready to get back to the theater. Since the show was first announced last week, tickets have sold quickly.
“I expect that it’ll be sold out by the end of this week [or the] beginning of next week and we’ll probably add another weekend or two. Clearly, there’s just some pent-up demand there. Folks have been missing being able to go out to the theater and so this is their opportunity to do that,” Smith said.
For the actors, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” is a chance to get on stage again.
The cast includes Marc Christopher, Dashira Cortes, Brandon Jones and Molly Rose McGrath, who have all been featured regularly in past productions. The creative team includes direction by Michael LoPorto, choreography by Ashley-Simone Kirchner and music direction by Brian Axford.
“This is an opportunity to get back to live events where there’s an audience there and there’s a connection between the audience and the performer,” Smith said. “So I know for our performers . . . it’s an emotional thing to get back to this.”
“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” is a delightful show, said Smith, and fitting for this time because “It’s really just about people trying to connect, which after the year we’ve all had, being separated and not able to be in each other’s spaces, it’s an apt subject to take a look at.”
Tickets are $30 and can be purchased through the Music Hall Box Office. For more information visit playhousestagecompany.com or contact the box office at 518-434-0776.