Top of the Heap
At Syracuse Stage (820 E. Genesee
St.; 443-3275), artistic director Tim Bond wants audiences to go home
happy. In an unprecedented guarantee of artistic satisfaction, Bond
promises season ticket-holders a refund on the remainder of their
subscription if they’re dissatisfied with a single show. Up front this
looks like a safe bet with beloved properties like Little Women (a
co-production with the Syracuse University Drama Department) and deeply
admired playwrights like Arthur Miller and August Wilson. And the one
risky venture is an offbeat comedy about living in snow country.
Actor-comedian Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Oct.
14-18, 21-25, 27-31, Nov. 1) has been a crowd-pleaser in regional
theaters for 16 years, including a half-dozen area productions. We also
knew the wild-and-crazy guy was a closet intellectual, but that doesn’t
mean he isn’t still a comic. Here he imagines what Pablo Picasso and
Albert Einstein should have said when they met at the fabled Paris bar
in 1904. They are joined by other characters who have much to say about
art, science and merchandizing.
Kim Oler and Alison Hubbard have written a new musical score for Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (Nov.
24, 27-29, Dec. 3-6, 9-13, 17-23, 26, 27), one of two holiday shows.
The 1869 novel has never been out of print, and Marmee, Jo, Beth and
Amy have trod the boards countless times. Marie Kemp, SU Drama’s
authority on musical theater, workshopped this Oler-Hubbard version,
not to be confused with a half-dozen rivals and Mark Adamo’s opera. As
in other recent holiday shows, Anthony Salatino will choreograph dances
and will also direct.
Anthony Salatino: SU Drama Department director/choreographer takes the helm of Little Women, one of Syracuse Stage’s two holiday shows. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO
Concurrent in the holiday slot, and not on the subscription roster, is a one-man restaging of This Wonderful Life (Dec. 10-13, 15-23, 26, 27, 29-31, Jan. 2, 3), culled from Frank Capra’s 1949 movie It’s a Wonderful Life,
in the Storch Theatre. In a snow-covered upstate town, George Bailey
rescues the family savings and loan from the clutches of Old Man Potter
and learns that his insignificant life really has mattered.
Arthur Miller’s The Price (Jan.
27-31, Feb. 2-7, 9-14), to be directed by Tim Bond, is the last of his
great plays and treats with some his perennial themes: family memory,
class and unfulfilled promise. Two long-estranged brothers, one a sleek
doctor, the other a rough-hewn cop, agree to meet in their deceased
father’s apartment to sell off his remaining property. The “price” of
the title, we learn, has multiform meanings. David Catlin’s circus-like
Lookingglass Alice (Feb. 24-28, March 2-7, 9-14) has been
playing to sellout houses at Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre for nearly
four years. Aerial acrobatics and astonishing physicality bring alive
the familiar characters, Alice, the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat.
This production, originating in the Windy City, is shared with Alliance
Theatre of Atlanta and Actors’ Theatre of Louisville.
Set 500 miles north of Boston, Almost, Maine (March
24-28, 30, 31, April 1-4, 6-11) is a place where heavy snow is a
constant fact of life. John Cariani’s quirky off-Broadway comedy gives
us eight unlikely couples who fall in love under the celestial
enchantment of the aurora borealis. Finally, August Wilson’s Fences (May
5-9, 11-16, 18-23) marks the return of the most admired of all
African-American dramas, last seen here in 1991. Set in Pittsburgh,
part of the author’s century-spanning decalogue, Fences (also directed by Bond) gives us the tragedy of garbage man Troy Maxon, whose bitterness threatens to poison his son’s future.
Ithaca’s Kitchen Theatre Company
(116 N. Cayuga St.; (607) 272-0403), upstate’s only off-Broadway
theater, continues to command with a tradition of quality. This season
has already begun with Bob Clyman’s Secret Order (Sept. 9-13,
16-20), a taut psychological drama about the ethical and moral dilemmas
of medical research. Other shows are either brand new or highly
unconventional. Ted LoRusso’s First Day: Suite for Four Actors and Percussionist
(Oct. 14-18, 21-25, 28-31, Nov. 1) deconstructs the hopes and anxieties
of a young man on his way to his first day of work in the big city that
pulses with energy around him. In Arlene Hutton’s Last Train to Nibroc (Nov.
18-22, 25-29, Dec. 2-6) two young people meet while crossing the
country to talk about books and what they hope to do with their lives.
On the train with them are the bodies of two outstanding American
authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Nathanael West, who died within a day
of one another.
Company favorite Brian Dykstra’s one-man antidote to saccharine sentiment, Ho! (Dec. 9-13, 16-20), is an irreverent, comic turn on the conventional. Stephen Karam’s savvy comedy about three teenage misfits, Speech & Debate (Feb. 24-28, March 3-7, 10-14), gives us sex, secrets and performance-art video blogs with a George Michael beat. Ain Gordon’s In This Place (April
14-18, 21-25, 28-30, May 1, 2) depicts the first settlement of free
African-Americans on their own in Lexington, Ky. A single performer
portrays several characters, exploring how the first couple, Samuel and
Daphne Oldham, disappeared after five years.
Noel Coward’s battle of the sexes, Private Lives (June
23-27, 30, July 1-4, 7-11, 14-18) is the season’s only recognizable
title, while artistic director Rachel Lampert’s “original” Gilbert
& Sullivan musical, Precious Nonsense (Jan. 13-17, 20-24, 27-31, Feb. 3-7), is a repeat. Her rewrite of Pirates of Penzance,
set in pre-World War II Pennsylvania, was such a hit three years ago
that tickets were unobtainable. Indeed, Lampert enjoys the most
enviable record for original stage works of any regional playwright.
Her latest is Losing Myself (May 26-30, June 2-6), a multigenerational story about losing and gaining all sorts of things: keys, years and pounds.
Over at Famous Artists/NAC Entertainment
(office at 241 W. Fayette St.; 424-8210), two of nonagenarian Murray
Bernthal’s six really big shows have literally been brought back by
popular demand. The Irish-themed dance extravaganza, Riverdance (March 23-25), strategically close to St. Patrick’s Day, and Mamma Mia! (April
16-18), will enjoy inexhaustible support from local audiences when they
return to the Mulroy Civic Center’s Crouse-Hinds Concert Theatre, 411
Montgomery St. Popular demand will be even higher for Stephen Schwarz’s
Wicked (Jan. 13-17, 19-24, 26-31), the prequel to The Wizard of Oz.
Two girls, green-faced Elphaba and golden-tressed Glinda, grow up to
be, respectively, the Wicked Witch of the West and the (more or less)
Good Witch. After so-so reviews, including a pan from The New York Times, Wicked won a Tony and has been bringing in buckets of gold for 15 years. Despite its links to Oz, however, Wicked is not a show for very young children. Neither is the season opener, Avenue Q (Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 1), a naughty parody of the puppets on Sesame Street. This Tony winner depicts the low-rent neighborhood where 20-somethings mingle and play.
The one show that looks like a risk, Cry-Baby (Nov.
2-4), a musical adaptation of the John Waters-Johnny Depp film comedy
(1990), turns out to be a sentimental favorite. The score for Cry-Baby was
composed by Adam Schlesinger, who just happens to be the grandson of
impresario Murray Bernthal. There will also be something familiar about
Neil Goldberg’s Cirque Dreams Illumination (Feb. 9-11),
featuring physical prowess, otherworldly costumes and grandiose flair.
The Cirque Dream franchise, not to be confused with that outfit from
Quebec, won many fans here with Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy in February 2007. And Sinatra, Dino and other Vegas swingers are reincarnated for the musical revue The Rat Pack Are Back (Nov. 2-4).
Also performing at the Civic Center is Syracuse Opera
(47-OPERA). Unlike the fans of other art forms, opera buffs love to see
the familiar renewed. So if the season begins with Giachino Puccini’s La Bohème (Oct.
23, 25), one of the five most popular of all operas, serious fans will
be mentally comparing every note against the memory of CD collections
at home. For people who have never seen opera, the highly accessible La Bohème, an ultra-romantic story of starving artists in a garret (it’s also the basis of Jonathan Larson’s Rent),
would be a good place to start. The show will be produced in
partnership with the Everson Museum of Art. The multimedia production
of The Flying Dutchman (Feb. 26, 28) will be the first Richard
Wagner music drama (his phrase) seen in these parts for more than a
generation. If the score sounds familiar, nonetheless, that’s because
it has been a constant source for backgrounds of movies and television
programs. The Dutchman of the title is a wandering sailor whose curse
can only be redeemed by true love. Lastly comes an opera literally for
the entire family, Hansel and Gretel (April 23, 25) by
Engelbert Humperdinck. The operatic Humperdinck could not copyright his
name, and thus the British pop singer born Arnold Dorsey stole it from
Every show to be mounted this season by Rarely Done Productions (with performances at Jazz Central, 441 E. Washington St.; 546-3324) is either an area or world premiere. Getting the ball rolling is Bob and Jim Walton’s Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical (Sept. 10-12, 18, 19, 25, 26), the thinking man’s response to Menopause: The Musical. Next is Len Fonte’s Werewolf (Oct.
9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24), about the disturbing behavior of a high school
teacher named Guy Alessandro. As one of the movers of Armory Square
Players, Fonte has been the godfather of dozens of new plays and
directed the most successful ever, Jeff Kramer’s Lowdown Lies (2007),
and his own works have appeared at the New York Fringe Festival. The
holiday musical is James Hindman and John Glaudin’s A Christmas Survival Guide (Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12), a wry and knowing look at this stressful season. Dan Tursi directs with music direction by Jeff Unaitis.
After the winter hiatus, Rarely Done warms us up with the always contentious Neil LaBute, a favored playwright. His The Shape of Things (March
11-13, 19, 20, 26, 27) is a modern version of Adam’s seduction by Eve.
In this retelling Adam is gentle, awkward and overweight, while Eve is
an experienced, analytical, amoral graduate student of art. Then
director Tursi proposes what is the riskiest production for any local
company, even a risk-embracing one like this one. Leonard Bernstein’s
1952 one-act jazzy opera Trouble in Tahiti (April 8-10, 16, 17,
23, 24) came before his Broadway populist period, and it is indeed
rarely done. The libretto is about discontent in the suburbs, like American Beauty or Revolutionary Road. In
their anxiety a couple goes to see a movie about Tahiti, seeking the
happiness absent in their lives. In keeping with the company tradition
of having the most off-the-wall show come last, the season ends with
Scott Martin’s musical Scream Queens (June 3-5, 11, 12, 18, 19), about a convention where B-movie actresses strut their stuff before horror movie fans.
Appleseed Productions’ artistic
director Jon Wilson has become one of the most agreeable players in
local theater, a man who gets along with diverse personalities. His
ready smile and generosity have allowed him to assemble to a stable of
talented directors who take his company in different directions. The
season, which again takes place at Atonement Lutheran Church (116 W. Glen Ave., 492-9766), opens with Dan Stevens’ staging of Ken Ludwig’s popular farce Lend Me a Tenor (Sept. 11-13, 18-20, 25, 26). Director William Edward White, the man who brought us Capek’s R.U.R., is always up for a challenge. His entry is an adaptation of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Oct.
23-25, 30, 31, Nov. 1, 6, 7) by contemporary American playwright
Jeffrey Hyde. Moe Harrington, a frequent director for other companies,
will guide Tom Edwards’ Southern-themed musical, Della’s Diner: Blue Plate Special (Dec. 4-6, 11-13, 18, 19), which sounds like a fresher, classier version of Pump Boys and Dinettes.
Frequent Appleseed collaborator and acting teacher Deborah Pearson will bring in The Insanity of Mary Girard (Jan.
22-24, 29-31, Feb. 5, 6) by Lanie Robertson. The “Mary” of the title is
committed to an asylum for the misbehavior of getting pregnant by a man
other than her husband; on the inside she faces the terrors of the
“tranquilizing table.” Playwright Robertson has specialized in
suffering women. Her Lady Day, on the last day of Billie Holiday, was a fabulous property for singer Jacque Washington 10 years ago.
Wilson himself will direct two one-acts by Israel Horovitz, The Indian Wants the Bronx and The Great Labor Day Promise (March
12-14, 19-21, 26, 27). Both plays made great waves when they came out
about 30 years ago. Horovitz has gone on to be the most-often performed
playwright in France as well as a sidekick of Czech
president-playwright Vaclav Havel, but most Americans know him as the
father of Beastie Boys musician Adam Horovitz. Director Sharee Lemos
will bring back Atticus Finch, the most admired lawyer in American
drama, for Christopher Sergel’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (April
30-May 1, 2, 7-9, 14, 15). On March 18, Appleseed will announce the
recent Broadway hit musical (slated for June 18-20, 25-27, July 2, 3),
to be directed by Dustin Czarny. A batch of one-acts (Aug. 6-8, 13, 14)
wraps the season.
Simply New Theatre (558-9194; marketing, 876-2161), John Nara’s company, began the season with My Name is Rachel Corrie (Sept.
12), Alan Rickman’s staging of a diary by the American peace martyr.
Next is the area premiere of a Tony Award-winning musical, James Joyce’s The Dead (Oct.
17, 24), with an Irish-flavored score by Shaun Davey and lyrics by
Richard Nelson. Aubry Panek as Gretta leads a large cast. Pent-up
demand, some of it from area Joyceans, has already sold out one
performance. Announcements for later shows are likely to follow.
After the disappointment of announcing West Side Story and then yanking it, David Witanowski’s Wit’s End Players (345-8001) gets revenge with its area premiere of William Finn and Rachael Sheinkin’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Oct. 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 23, 24) at the New York State Fairgrounds’ New Times Theater. A surprise hit opening in 2005, Spelling Bee is officially a one-act show with expanded action through improvisation and audience participation. Quirky and post-modern, Spelling Bee has been a showcase for six youthful talents who can rise to the moment, and not just to spell “crepuscule.”
Also holding court at the New Times Theater is The Talent Company (479-SHOW). Chris Lightcap’s troupe will open the area premiere of the Irving Berlin musical White Christmas (Nov.
13-15, 20-22, 27-29, Dec. 4-6, 11-13). The stage version of the hit
1954 movie (the first in VistaVision and the biggest movie moneymaker
of the year) opened in San Francisco in 2004 and has been a hit in
Boston, Buffalo, Louisville, Detroit and Los Angeles. The score boasts
such favorites as “It’s Cold Outside,” “Heat Wave,” “Blue Skies,”
“Sisters” and “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep.” The company’s
spring show will be announced at a later date.
Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company (805 E. Genesee St.; 442-2727) will mount Alfred Uhry’s Driving Miss Daisy (Oct.
16-Nov. 1), with Shirley Fenner and David Wright, directed by Bob
Brown, at the Dee Davis Room. This is a co-production with the nomadic Salt City Center for the Performing Arts (475-9749). Following in the holiday season is the delayed production of Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity (Dec. 4-27) at the same venue.
Young at Heart
Everyone knows how selective the program is at Syracuse University Drama Department (820 E. Genesee St., 443-3275), and the professional standards of productions cannot be beat. Let’s have no groaning that Oklahoma! (Oct.
9-11, 14-18, 21-24) has already been performed locally 107 times,
because this is also one of the all-time great dance shows, and
choreographer David Wanstreet, along with director David Lowenstein,
will make it fly as we have never seen it here before. Eugene Ionesco
is routinely called a modern master, but his works lie mostly on the
page these days. Rodney Hudson will direct two of his best one-acts, The Bald Soprano and The Chairs (Nov. 13-15, 18-22).
William Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona (Feb.
19-21, 24-28) is one of the Bard’s neglected comedies that presents a
challenge to a bring-em-back to life director. Elizabeth Ingram sees
farcical potential in the earliest Shakespeare work with
cross-dressing. This production should not be confused with the rock
rewrite by John Guare at Public Theatre in 1971. Former Syracuse Stage
artistic director Robert Moss returns to the building that was his home
for 12 years for the 1930s comedy Room Service (March 26-28,
31, April 1-3) by John Murray and Allen Boretz. It’s best known under
its revision as a Marx Brothers movie (1938), but the script has laughs
that never made it to the screen. A new musical, Joshua Salzman and
I Love You Because (April 30, May 1, 2, 5-9, 12-15), is set in New York City. Director Marie Kemp asks that we think of it as Friends with a rich and tuneful score, witty and incisive lyrics.
Over at Le Moyne College’s Boot and Buskin Drama Club, with performances at the Coyne Center for the Performing Arts
(1419 Salt Springs Road, 445-4523), cross-dressing appears again when
lovely Rosalind tours the Forest of Arden as a boy in William
Shakespeare’s As You Like It (Oct. 29-31, Nov. 5-7). Director
Steve Braddock brings us a neglected but reputedly plangent drama about
the pains of adoption in Kristine Thatcher’s Emma’s Child (Feb.
18-20, 25-27). Emma, a welfare mother with an alcoholic father, gives
up her newborn to a caring middle-class couple. In spring Le Moyne
returns to a rewarding tradition of a decade ago with a selection of
fun-filled medieval comedies: The Fall of Lucifer, The Blessed Apple Tree and Meat Pie, Fruit Pie (April 15-17). Michael Barbour directs, also outdoors, weather permitting.
Meanwhile, artistic director Todd Ellis
reports that he has retired the Syracuse Civic Theatre face of his SCT
acronym and will now concentrate on youthful performers by continuing
with Syracuse Children’s Theatre (409-9339). Slotted for the
Carrier Theatre of the Mulroy Civic Center, the last company in town to
use this excellent venue, are Groovy (Nov. 20-22) and High School Musical 2 (Dec. 9-19).
Vive Le Difference
Five years after opening its doors, The Redhouse (201
S. West St.; 425-0405) is increasingly identified as a music or comedy
venue, a movie house or an art gallery. For artistic director Laura
Austin, an actress and dancer, however, live theater remains close to
her heart. This season she’s reaching out for small companies at the
cutting edge. Brooklyn’s The Debate Society returns with A Thought About Raya (Oct.
15-18. 23, 24) based on the works of the early 20th-century Russian
absurdist, Daniil Kharms. Actors Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen and
director Oliver Butler, seen here in the Debate Society’s The Eaten Heart at
the Redhouse last fall, return with gleefully nonlinear vignettes of
uproarious dark comedy. Canada’s modern dance company CORPUS, known for
its precise, surreal humor, was founded in 1997, and has been touring
widely for a decade. The company’s Nuit Blanche (White Night)
(Dec. 10-13) blends comedy, clowning and dance that promises to appeal
to the whole family. Born to a German mother and African-American
father, comedian Reggie Watts has built a national reputation while
based in Seattle. Together with New York City auteur Tommy Smith he has
come up with Radio Play (March 5, 6), a wacky, sonic ride into the radio days of yesteryear. Performed entirely in the dark in previous productions, Radio Play will not be confused with A Prairie Home Companion.
Entering its 24th year, Armory Square Players (478-3590)
continues with script-in-hand productions of new plays, mostly by local
authors, on the third Sunday of the month at 1 p.m. Now under the
direction of playwright-actress Donna Stuccio, the readings take place
at Jazz Central, 441 E. Washington St. On Sept. 20, however, Kyle Bass’
three one-acts will be fully staged: Spoons with Al Marshall, directed by Donna Stuccio and reprised from an Appleseed production this summer by popular demand; Theory of Night with Jeremy Wallace, directed by Robert Moss; and Love is a Blue Velvet Box,
directed by Garrett Heater and starring Rosemary Palladino-Leone. For
Christmas/Hanukkah there will be short plays on the season by ASP
members (Dec. 13). Also fully staged will be Ithaca-based Camilla
Schade’s Performing Therapy (Jan. 24). Other sessions are slated for Oct. 18, Feb. 21, March 21 and April 18.
Thanks to Open Hand Theatre (476-0466), the storybook castle Victorian mansion known as the International Mark and Puppet Museum (518
Prospect Ave.) remains the most photogenic of all local theatrical
venues. Workshops and instruction fill much of each week. The World of
Puppets series at 11 a.m on the first two Saturdays of the month plays
host to many visiting companies: Tom Knight, The Library Boogie (Oct. 3); Crabgrass Puppet Theatre, Jabberwocky (Oct. 10); Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers, Everybody Loves Pirates (Nov. 7); Purple Rock Productions, Grandfather Frost (Dec. 5); The Puppet People, A Christmas Carol (Dec. 12); Open Hand, Masks of Life (Jan. 2); Open Hand, The Secret of the Puppet’s Book (Jan. 9); Theatre Figuren, Underground, Over the Moon (Feb. 6); Open Hand, Grandfather Frost’s Stories of Russia (Feb. 13); Tanglewood Marionettes, Sleeping Beauty (March 4); Steve Abrams, Raven’s Feast (March 13); Puppets with Pizazz, Br’er Rabbit in Love (April 3); Perry Allen Theatre, Snow White and Other Stories (April
10). Open Hand has also presented each year three mature storytellers,
which have included star local novelist Bruce Coville, in a series
titled “Well Aged Words.” Names for that series were not available at
Life’s a Niche
Onondaga Hillplayers (468-5472;
492-1221), Jack and Doris Skillman’s venerable company, is on the move
again. Their dinner theater package has relocated just down Seneca
Turnpike a few miles to The Links at Sunset Ridge in Marcellus. Look for a revival of Muriel Resnick’s G-rated bedroom farce, Any Wednesday (Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 6-9). Robert “Tank” Steingraber directs a cast headed by John Seavers and Karen Alexander.
Founded in 1942 by the late Rosemary Nesbitt, Baldwinsville Theatre Guild
(at the Presbyterian Education Center, 64 Oswego St.; 877-4183) is
unchallenged as the longest-thriving of all local theatrical
organizations. The company is announcing only one production at press
time, Neil Simon’s The Good Doctor (Feb. 26, 27, March 5-7, 12,
13). America’s premiere comic playwright, whose nickname is “Doc,”
takes on a series of short stories by Anton Chekhov, himself an M.D.
More poig-nant and penetrating than other Simon vehicles, without any
sacrifice of humor.
Just finishing its 13th season, ACME Mystery Company
(reservations, 475-1807; company business, 622-2665) has polished a
winning formula of genre spoof and interactive theater, often with
company founder Bob Greene in an important role. Seen on Thursday
nights at the Spaghetti Warehouse, 689 N. Clinton St., September brings A Tomb With a View by
actor/director Dan Stevens, who’s having a busy season. This is his
fourth script for ACME. Late November and December will introduce Bad Kitty: A Holiday Whodunit by local actress Kara Sherlock Greene.
Also at the Spaghetti Warehouse, but on Saturdays at 12:30 p.m., is Magic Circle Children’s Theatre
(449-3823). Interactive retellings of classic fairy tales invite
participation from youthful audiences for only $5. This season begins
with Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid (Oct. 3, 10,
17, 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14, 21, Dec. 5, 12, 19). Full casting is not
complete, but tall, dark Navzad Dabu will be the prince and David
Minikeim is sidekick Captain Crabby. Winter and spring shows will be
Artistic director Ronnie Bell’s Syracuse Shakespeare Festival
(443-8781 or 476-1835) has been performing the bard’s treasures in
Thornden Park, rain or shine, for the past several summers; he’s our
own Joseph Papp. Two years ago Bell moved indoors during colder
weather, mostly to the Warehouse, formerly Dunk & Bright, now a
part of Syracuse University, at 350 W. Fayette St. That space has been
undergoing renovation, and so the outfit will open Macbeth (Feb.
12-27), at the New Times Theatre on the State Fairgrounds, with Dan
Stevens directing. Stevens’ wife Nora O’Dea is the featured player in
the one-woman Shakespeare’s Will (April 10-17), by Vern Thiessen. Will premiered
two years ago at the Ontario Shakespeare Festival and tells Anne
Hathaway’s side of her marriage to the playwright. The company’s
sideline venture Avon Repertory Theatre (ART), recently sponsored by
state Sen. David Valesky, will be making school visits with scenes from
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet and Julius Caesar.
At press time, Bob Brown’s well-regarded Opening Night Productions
(476-6915), often appearing at the Glen Loch in Jamesville, had no
season announcements, ditto artistic director Steve Braddock’s Gifford Family Theatre
(1419 Salt Springs Road, 445-4230), which has been bringing
professional children’s theater to Le Moyne College’s Coyne Center for
nearly a decade. The Media Unit (327 Montgomery St.; 478-UNIT), the award-winning teen group coached by Walt Shepperd, has a musical revue, Recover Now, slated
to appearing on the last Tuesday of the month at Dolce Vita, the chic
new venue at 907 E. Genesee St. And after eight boffo years of Cruizin’, Art Zimmer Productions
(office at 1415 W. Genesee St.; 422-7011) has announced that the
company is 80 percent likely to go on hiatus in spring 2010. But you
can bet your ascot that if something happens, it’ll be mounted at—where
else?—the New Times Theater on the State Fairground.