Cortland Repertory Theatre Announces 46th Annual Season for Summer 2017

Posted by  //  December 5, 2016  //  Arts & Live Music, News

Cortland Repertory Theatre, one of New York State’s longest running professional summer theatres, is announcing their 46th annual season for the summer of 2017. Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson notes that all six mainstage shows are making their CRT debuts, and three are also regional premieres. CRT reminds audience members that the summer productions will continue to be held at The Little York Pavilion in Dwyer Park, Preble. Cortland Rep continues to produce shows, concerts and events during the winter months at CRT Downtown at 24 Port Watson Street in the city of Cortland, but that location serves as the rehearsal hall and is not available for productions during the summer.

Starting off the season from June 7 – 17, CRT will present THE 39 STEPS, a clever, hysterical comedy from the novel by John Buchan and adapted by Patrick Barlow, based on the movie of Alfred Hitchcock. Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of brilliant physical comedy and you have this award winning, fast-paced comedy. This theatrical treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of 4), an on-stage plane crash, a train chase, missing fingers, numerous hats and some good old-fashioned romance! The Plot: A man with a boring life meets a woman who says she’s a spy. When she is murdered, a mysterious organization called “The 39 Steps” is hot on the man’s trail in a nationwide manhunt.  This leads to an unforgettable evening of laughs and theatrical magic.

Next from June 21 – July 8 is the sparkling musical LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and a book by Harvey Fierstein.  Based on the play by Jean Poiret and perhaps best known as the non-musical movie “The Birdcage”, this multiple Tony-Award winning musical is one of Broadway’s all time greatest hits.  After twenty years of un-wedded bliss Georges and Albin, two men partnered for better-or-worse, get a bit of both when Georges’ son (fathered during a one-night fling) announces his impending marriage to the daughter of a closed-minded politician. Further complicating the situation is the “family business”: Albin and Georges run a drag nightclub in St. Tropez, where Albin is the star performer “Zaza”. When the two families plan a “normal” get-together dinner, it turns out to be anything but. With the songs We Are What We Are, The Best of Times is Now and With You On My Arm, this is a wonderfully, uplifting family show…for every kind of family!

From July 12 – 29, CRT will kick off their Sunday shoes and cut loose with the musical FOOTLOOSE, with music by Tom Snow, lyrics by Dean Pitchford, and a book by Dean Pitchford & Walter Bobbie. This explosive rock and roll musical sizzles with the same spirit of youth, rebellion and romance as the 1980’s hit film starring Kevin Bacon. City boy Ren thinks his life is over when he is forced to move to Bomont, a rural backwater town. But things are worse than he could have imagined, because the town bans dancing of any kind. It isn’t long before Ren can’t resist breaking the rules…and he’s not alone. With high-energy choreography and classic pop hits including Holding Out for a Hero, Almost Paradise, Let’s Hear it for the Boy and of course the unforgettable title tune, this is a sensational musical the whole family can enjoy.

Agatha Christie has proven time and again to be one of CRT audiences’ favorite playwrights, and following on the heels of last year’s rarely produced “Cards on the Table”, CRT presents another regional premiere with APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH from August 2 – 12.  While touring Jerusalem, an international group of travelers, including a young English doctor, her French colleague, a debonair American, and the belligerent Lady Westholme are joined by the domineering American Mrs. Boynton and her four stepchildren who are kept firmly under her thumb. On a sightseeing tour to the desert, one of the travelers is murdered…and one is a murderer. Naturally, everyone is a suspect, but in this unique Christie mystery, even the best amateur sleuth will never foresee the surprise twist ending.

A senior citizen’s sexy sideline business is the subject of the next comedy NANA’S NAUGHTY KNICKERS, by Katherine DiSavino, which runs from August 16 – 26.  In this regional premiere, Bridget and her Grandmother are about to become roommates. However, what Bridget saw as a unique opportunity to stay with her favorite Nana in New York City for the summer quickly turns into an experience she’ll never forget. It seems her sweet Grandma is running an illegal boutique from her apartment, selling hand-made naughty knickers to every senior citizen in the five borough area. Will Bridget be able to handle all the excitement? Will her Nana get arrested – or worse – evicted?  Throw in a landlord looking for the rent and a handsome young cop on the beat, and you have a recipe for a hysterical night of theatre.

Wrapping up the season from August 30 – September 9 is the new musical LIFE COULD BE A DREAM, written and created by Roger Bean, with musical arrangements by Roger Bean and Jon Newton and featuring the greatest “doo-wop” hits of the ‘60’s.  Audiences are invited to take another trip to Springfield (the home town of the last year’s hit, “The Marvelous Wonderettes”) and meet Denny and the Dreamers, a fledgling doo-wop singing group preparing to enter the Big Whopper Radio contest to realize their dreams of making it to the big time! Trouble comes in the form of Lois, who arrives to put some polish on the boys. Denny falls in love, Wally falls in line, Eugene falls apart, and along comes handsome heartthrob Skip to send the whole situation spinning. The ’60s hits say it all: Fools Fall in Love, Tears on My Pillow, Runaround Sue, Earth Angel, Unchained Melody, and many more.

For the annual children’s show, CRT presents THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, based on the story by Margery Williams and adapted by Mark Reynolds. In the imaginative world of toys, life begins when humans leave the room.  When one group of toys discovers a velveteen rabbit, they learn what it means to be truly loved by their owner.  Adapted from the classic children’s story, this unique “toy story” tells the “tail” of the unconditional love between a child and his toy bunny. Students are encouraged to bring their favorite stuffed toy to the show so they both can enjoy the performance.  Performance dates are July 15 at 10:00 and noon, and July 21 at 10:00.

Also scheduled for next summer are CRT’s annual day camps for young thespians: “Stars of Tomorrow” for students in Grades 5 – 12 and “Showstoppers and Superstars” for students in K- 5.  Dates for these camps are to be announced.  Information on summer shows, children’s programs and CRT Downtown events, as well as ticket prices and box office hours are available at the theatre’s website at Orders are currently being taken for summer subscriptions, flex passes and sales for groups of 10 or more.  Gift certificates are available for tickets, subscriptions, flex passes or a monetary value. Individual tickets for all of CRT’s summer shows will go on sale starting May 22, 2017.  Please call 800-427-6160 for more information.

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