Sex, Deutsch and Rock ’n’ Roll

Ithaca’s Hangar Theatre puts on the controversial musical Spring Awakening

Keith Richards famously observed, “Rock is music for the neck down.” Imperial Germany in 1891 was a society rapidly moving ahead scientifically and, intellectually, a nation that exalted the cranium. What lay below the neck was best not discussed, and when it was, it should be obedient and disciplined, tightened up and straightened.

Italian Dressing Sparks Sentimental Musical

Merry-Go-Round Playhouse brings a taste of Italy to Auburn with The Light in the Piazza.

Monastery by palazzo by piazza, Florence, Italy, packs in more sublime works of art than any other two square miles on earth. At Auburn’s Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, scenic designer David Arsenault’s gleaming marble-like set for The Light in the Piazza, dominated by a replica of Michelangelo’s David, flanked by white columns, reminds us of this.

History Comes Alive in Cortland Rep’s ’1776′

Cortland Repertory Theatre’s production of “1776″

The musical blockbuster Les Misérables and the venerable Sherman Edwards-Peter Stone patriotic musical 1776 are not often spoken of the same voice. The current Cortland Repertory Theatre production of 1776 invites us to do just that.

Actress Tackles Roles of Her Lifetime

Kitchen Theatre Company’s production of “Thin Walls” gives one actress her dream roles

During Kitchen Theatre Company’s production of Thin Walls, one tenant describes the play’s location as “the only place in the world where everybody can fit in.”

Mendacity in Mississippi

The Central New York Playhouse presents “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

While A Streetcar Named Desire might conventionally be pegged as Tennessee Williams’ top play, the playwright himself always ranked Cat on a Hot Tin Roof higher, and with good reason.

Altar Egos Open Cortland Rep’s Season

Always a Bridesmaid kicks off Cortland Repertory Theater’s summer season

Cortland Repertory Theatre opens its summer season with Always a Bridesmaid, which is an, um, unpretentious comedy. That’s another way of saying it is unashamed, which is not the same thing as shameless.

Carousel Takes Another Spin

Redhouse Arts Center brings back a classic as it puts on Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Carousel

With 47 performers on stage, 12 musicians in the pit and a three-hour running time, the Redhouse Arts Center’s production of Carousel is bustin’ out all over.

Merry-Go-Round’s dynamic musical West Side Story kicks off the season

James MacKilop covers the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse production of “West Side Story.”

It’s been 18 years since Auburn’s Merry-Go-Round Playhouse staged West Side Story, and the show was overdue for a revival. That last one was handled by director-choreographer Brett Smock, who has since become producing artistic director of the whole shebang. So if Smock was going to turn over this choice assignment, the opening production of the season, to someone else, it had to be somebody who had his utter confidence.

Summer Times 2015: Stage Calendar

Live theater listings

Bristol Valley Theater. 151 S. Main St., Naples. (716) 374‑6318, This 200-seat theater in a former church has been presenting both durable evergreens and offbeat efforts since 1986. This season includes the updated version of Godspell (June 11-21), the leprechaun comedy Who Is Theo? (June 25-July 5), the AIDS-themed rock musical Rent (July 9-19),Peter Shaffer’s Black Comedy (July 23-Aug. 2), the Steven Dietz comedy Becky’s New Car (Aug. 6-16) and the musical Family Matters (Aug. 20-30). Thursdays through Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m., with additional 2 p.m. matinees throughout the summer. Adults, $33; seniors, $31; students, $17; ages 18 and under, $12.

Southern Hospitality for Always a Bridesmaid

Baldwinsville Theatre Guild’s production of Always a Bridesmaid

Stage comedies populated entirely by Southern women began a generation ago with Jack Heifner’s Vanities. Before it was over, two of those girls turned on a third one and made her life miserable. Well, nothing so ugly as that happens in the gagfest Always a Bridesmaid, now at the Baldwinsville Theatre Guild.