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Arts & Culture

Bob Goepfert Previews Proctors/Cap Rep Seasons

Buyi Zama (Rafiki) - The Lion King
Deen van Meer
Buyi Zama (Rafiki) - The Lion King

It’s difficult to top last season during which the musical “Hamilton” played in your theater for two weeks.  

But, Proctors sure is trying. They have just announced a broad,  power-packed 7-play Broadway season that includes shows selling out on Broadway, sturdy classics and a few impressive revivals.

Instead of having one show, like “Hamilton” that everyone wants to see, this season spreads the fun and offers a selection of musicals that includes a lot of shows that have appeal to almost everyone.

The same is true for Capital Repertory Theatre.  This will be their first year in their new Albany theater at 251 N. Pearl Street, where they will present six shows. Their series too, has broad-based appeal with something for everyone.

The Proctors season starts October 13-18 with “Hadestown.”   It’s a musical that has been selling to capacity since it opened on Broadway last season.  Winning 8 Tony Awards in 2019 didn’t hurt sales for the musical about  legendary figures Orpheus and Eurydice, and Orpheus’ journey to Hades to rescue his love.

Bartlett Sher, whose production of “Fiddler on the Roof” just played Proctors emphasized  his ability to make classic shows fresh.   He returns to Proctors November 10-15 with another classic - the Lincoln Center’s lavish revival of “My Fair Lady.”

Actually, Sher will be represented on the schedule twice.  December 29 –January 3, 2021 his version of “To Kill A Mockingbird” plays the Schenectady Theatre.   The new version, written by Alan Sorkin, is still the single hottest ticket on Broadway. 

As a bonus, the show will be included on any subscription purchased for the Capital Rep season.

And what would a Broadway season be without a musical adapted from a film?      Proctors has two.  The hit “Mean Girls” plays February 2-7 and “Pretty Woman: the Musical” plays December 2-6.

The sleeper feel-good musical of the season is “The Prom.”   It had a good run on Broadway, but this delightful show was overlooked by Tony Award voters, helping to hasten a run that was much too short.

Two Disney shows, both with music from Elton John and Tim Rice, will be at the theater.   One comes with a subscription, the other is an independent offering with subscribers getting the first opportunity to purchase tickets.  

The non-subscription show is the timeless “The Lion King.”   It’s at the theater for over two weeks, April 15-May 2, 2021   The revival that comes with a subscription is “Aida” which plays March 16-21, 2021

A nice perk for those who purchase a Proctors season subscription is they get to also pick a play at Capital Rep.  And, there are plenty of tasty items at Capital Rep from which to choose.

One of the tastiest is the opening show, “The True,” which runs September 25-October 18.   It’s a play that could have been written for Albany audiences, as it is political drama about Albany Mayor Erastus Corning and his political confidante “Polly” Noonan.    It’s respectful about the romantic rumors between Corning and Noonan and deeply insightful about Albany politics.  Yet, even though it is about Albany politics,  it is a theatrical experience that can be enjoyed in any city in the country.

The holiday show that runs November 24-December 27 is the family musical “The Wizard of Oz.” 

2021 will see more drama with the world premiere “The Way North,” which is at the theater January 22 –February 14.   It’s another work that got its start at their Next Move play reading series.  “The Fly” is a play about four African-American recruits who transform into tough fighter pilots during World War II.   It was a time the men had to fight racism as much as  they did the Nazis.

Add to all that a ticket for “To Kill a Mockingbird’ at Proctors and you have  truly varied season.

The Capital Rep season ends with the popular musical  “Jersey Boys,” which plays July 9 through August 8, 2021

Subscriptions are on sale now at 518-346-6204 and proctors.org.    Proctors subscriptions range from $194-$526.  The Capital Rep subscriptions start at $145 and go to $353.

Bob Goepfert is theater reviewer for the Troy Record.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

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