Summer theater starts now
Officially summer starts with the summer solstice - which occurs at the end of June. In the world of entertainment and recreation, summer starts on Memorial Day.
If it seems a little early to be thinking about July and August events, think again. Because of strong advance ticket sales, Williamstown Theatre Festival has already extended its production of “Man of God”, which opens July 5.
If you are interested in the show (or others) and wait too long to purchase a ticket, it is possible to lose out completely.
Indeed, Williamstown is one of the several summer festivals that have reduced their number of offerings. A typical WTF season is 7 or 8 productions. This year there are three and only one of those is on the main stage.
And, the show “Most Happy In Concert” is a new concert version of “The Most Happy Fella.” By the way, do your research before purchasing a ticket. The creator, Daniel Fish, is responsible for the revisionist revival of “Oklahoma” that recently played on Broadway.
I appreciated the dark, honest tone of the work, but many despised the concept. “The Most Happy Fella,” though a landmark, brilliant musical, despite its title, is not the happiest work to start with. This concert could be controversial in terms of appeal. It plays July 13-31.
Another point to consider as we enter June is that several companies have already started their seasons,
Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill opened the comedy “Fourteen Funeral”. Trust me, it’s funnier than it sounds. It continues through June 12.
Opera Saratoga has an unusual season. They are performing at five different venues and they will be offered for only one or two productions.
Next Sunday, June 12, they offer the concert “A Hundred Years of Broadway,. It’s st the Mansion in Saratoga, and on June 19 they are offering a single performance of “A Juneteenth Celebration” at the G.E. Theatre in Proctors.
Later in the month of June, the company will produce “Sweeney Todd,” the Broadway show that many consider an opera, at SPAC, June 29-30.
Following that, “Sky on Swings” plays at the The Egg July 7 & 9. The season closes at Proctors Main Stage with “The Barber of Seville” July 8 & 10. It addresses the issue of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Other summer companies have early June productions. Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA just opened the new work “Andy Warhol in Iran” which runs through June 25. They present the musical “Ain’t Misbehavin’” June 16-July 9.
Theater Barn in New Lebanon has already started its seasonwith the comedy “Boston Marriage.” It runs through June 12
Adirondack Theatre Festival begins its season with “The Chinese Lady” June 15-26 at the Charles Wood Theater in Glens Falls. Not-So-Common Theater in Clifton Park I just opened the musical-comedy “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” at Clifton Commons . It runs through June 12.
Though there are more than a few tasty treats in June, summer theater will be offering a banquet of shows in July and August.
For me, I’m looking forward to the Stephen Sondheim musical “A Little Night Music” at Barrington Stage, August 6-12. The new musical “Head Over Heels” presented by Park Playhouse in July. at Washington Park in Albany and both “Measure by Measure” (Aug. 19-Sept 18) and “Much Ado About Nothing” (July2-Aug 17) at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA.
Most of all, I’m looking for that surprise show that will offer unexpected joy at some unlikely theater. Like all magical moments, you never know when or where it will occur.
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.