Stage

Seasoned Greetings

James MacKillop previews the hefty stage calendar, with plenty of new productions to go with some classic chestnuts

There will be more area premieres than in any recent season, as well as four world premieres of completely original dramas. Expect a flush of Tony and Pulitzer winners, including Other Desert Cities and Clybourne Park, previously unseen musicals like The Book of Mormon, Young Frankenstein, A Man of No Importance and The Color Purple and two new plays on the life of Mary Todd Lincoln. All these plus The Vibrator Play.



Schoolhouse Rock at the Redhouse

“Education is embedded into everything we do”

Three years ago, Redhouse Education Director Marguerite Mitchell was approached by a social worker thrilled that Rock Camp was being offered. One of the social worker’s clients was interested in making music but was failing classes. Mitchell gave the difficult student a scholarship to attend the camp.



Family Matters in Cortland Rep’s Making God Laugh

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

It might have been Woody Allen, or maybe it was Albert Einstein, who said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” When playwright Sean Grennan uses the line for his 2011 comedy Making God Laugh, he’s signaling that what people project in the first act is just not going to work out during more than two hours of stage time.



Cuse Comedy Showcase

by Staff

Comedians compete for cash prizes.

The Central New York Playhouse, now in year two at it's home in Shoppingtown Mall, produces a variety of entertainment outside of the regularly scheduled season of musicals and dramas. In their latest effort to provide "a venue uniquely dedicated to local performers and theatrical entertainment" CNYP presents the new "Cuse Comedy Showcase," where comedians from Central and Upstate New York will compete for cash prizes.



Redhouse Moves Toward The Center of Syracuse Arts

After 10 years at 201 S. West St., the center will pump life into the Salina-Jefferson corridor, near the Landmark Theatre in the former Sibley’s department store.

The Redhouse Arts Center is planning to move to a new address and role in the heart of downtown Syracuse.



They’ll Take Manhattan in Merry-Go-Round’s On the Town

James MacKillop reviews the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse production of “On the Town.”

Jerome Robbins and Leonard Bernstein were brash 20-somethings when they shook up the musical theater world with their highly innovative On the Town during one of the darkest years in World War II. Seventy years later in this dynamite production at Auburn’s Merry-Go-Round Playhouse (through Aug. 27), it still challenges complacency.



Cortland Rep’s New Sherlock Fiddles on the Sleuth

There are two things you need to know about playwright Katie Forgette’s 2009 play Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily.

Most people have never heard of playwright Katie Forgette or her 2009 play Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily, playing through Saturday, Aug. 9, at Cortland Repertory Theatre. There are two things you need to know, however.



Secrets and Lies Close Hangar Season

Jon Robin Baitz’s much-lauded 2011 hit Other Desert Cities, the season finale at Ithaca’s Hangar Theatre (through Saturday, Aug. 9).

Thomas Wolfe had it all wrong. Not only can you go home again, but you must, as demonstrated in Jon Robin Baitz’s much-lauded 2011 hit Other Desert Cities, the season finale at Ithaca’s Hangar Theatre (through Saturday, Aug. 9).



Can’t Spell Fundraiser Without F-U-N

Starting Wednesday, Aug. 6, the Unforgettable Comedy Challenge will take place at Funny Bone Comedy Club at Destiny USA.

Comedy is a fair medium. Given nothing but a stage and a microphone, it’s up to the performer to make the audience laugh however he or she can. And when a prize – and pride – are on the line, the stakes are sure to rise.



Jungle Fever at the Redhouse

This Tarzan is aimed at youthful audiences. Think of it as The Lion King’s mini-me.

Tarzan has been swinging on his own vine for a long, long time. When Edgar Rice Burroughs launched Tarzan of the Apes in 1914, the guy was an avatar of British imperialism with racist impulses. Since then he’s been all over the jungle: a swimming champ, a body builder and a soft-core stud. It took the Walt Disney company’s 1999 animated feature Tarzan to emphasize our hero’s identity in his adopted simian family. After Phil Collins’ score won an Oscar, Chinese-American playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Chinglish) agreed to write the book for the 2006 Broadway musical, including more music from Collins. The Redhouse Arts Center production (running through Saturday, Aug. 2), with spirited direction from Stephen Svoboda, marks the show’s first appearance in these parts.