Cortland Repertory Theatre

Cortland Rep Presents a “Revival” of Their Most Popular Comedy “Unnecessary Farce”

Posted by  //  June 12, 2023  //  Arts & Live Music, News

For their next production in the 51st annual summer season of quality live theatre in Central New York, Cortland Repertory Theatre presents a “revival” of the highest attended comedy in their history, Unnecessary Farce by Paul Slade Smith. Performances at the Little York Pavilion at 6799 Little York Lake Road in Preble will run from July 5 – 15, with matinees on July 7, 9, and 12 at 2:00 PM.  Tickets may be purchased by calling 800-427-6160 or by visiting the CRT Box Office at 24 Port Watson Street in Cortland. Tickets are also available through with ETIX, for a small additional charge. CRT cautions that ETIX is the only approved online ticket service; others charge significantly higher rates for tickets and are not approved by CRT. The GPS address for the Little York Pavilion is 6799 Little York Lake Road in Preble.

Two cops. Three crooks. Eight doors. Go! In a cheap motel room, an embezzling mayor is supposed to meet with his accountant, while in the room next door, two undercover police officers wait to catch the meeting on videotape. But there’s some confusion as to who’s in which room, who’s being videotaped, who’s taken the money, who’s hired a Scottish hit man, and why the accountant keeps taking off her clothes.  CRT previously produced this hysterical comedy in their 2009 season, and it became a record-breaker in attendance. 

CRT’s Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson will again direct this production, as he did in 2009.  Thompson directed Murder on the Orient Express earlier this summer and previously won SALT awards for directing Our Town and Saturday Night Fever. His other directing credits include Mamma Mia!, Million Dollar Quartet, 1776 and many others. Melanie Ernst will stage manage the show, with scenic designer Carl Tallent revisiting his hotel-room design as in 2009.  Orli Nativ returns as costume designer having previously worked on CRT productions of Born Yesterday, Women in Jeopardy! and The Rat Pack Lounge. CRT’s Head Electrician Jeffrey Oakley makes his CRT debut as lighting designer, as does Sound Engineer Abi Senthil as Sound Designer. Properties Designer Taylor Barr and Assistant Stage Manager Talene Pogharian continue their work at CRT this summer.

The cast of Unnecessary Farce is comprised primarily of familiar faces to the CRT audience.  As policeman Eric Sheridan, Nicholas Wilder returns having previously been seen in CRT’s …Orient Express, The 39 Steps, The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged and many others.  Wilder’s real-life wife Rebecca Tucker, also seen in Orient Express, will play accountant Karen Brown.  A CRT performing intern from the 2019 season, Syracuse graduate Emily Britt, will play officer Billie Dwyer and Binghamton actor Mark Bader will again play Mayor Meekly, as he did in CRT’s previous production. Mikey LoBalsamo, seen in Orient Express and last summer’s Kiss Me Kate and Hair, will play the neurotic Agent Frank, with Colin Wasmund, seen in CRT’s Rumors and Almost Maine, playing the Scottish hit man, Todd.  Rounding out the cast in her CRT debut as Mrs. Meekly is Gerri S. Weagraff.

CRT offers a “Friday Night Talk Back” after the evening performance on July 7, at which a Q & A session with the actors, directors, designers, and crew takes place. Tickets are available for CRT’s remaining summer productions of The Cake and The Wizard of Oz, and the CRT Children’s Theatre production of The Emperor’s New Clothes. Visit for more information.

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