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May theater is abundant

The world of theatre truly blossoms this May with an abundance of fascinating plays. Proctors opens a week run of “Six,” on Tuesday. It’s a rock musical about the wives of Henry VIII and is 90-minutes of energy with a history lesson for both teens and adults. It plays 8-performaces through Sunday, May 12.

On Thursday, Bridge St. Theatre in Catskill starts a two weekend run of “Uncle Vanya.” Chekov’s masterpiece has never been out of style, but suddenly creatives are finding contemporary resonance in the work A star-studded production has just opened at Lincoln Center in New York and soon to arrive in New York is the acclaimed British one-person version of the play, starring Andrew Scott, perhaps best known from the “Ripley” series on Netflix.

Bridge Street Theatre is a company that thrives on challenging familiar takes on classics. Their “Uncle Vanya,” which runs through May 19, should be no exception.

At Capital Repertory Theatre a world-premiere of “Three Mothers,” opened earlier this week and runs through May 12. It was inspired by a photo of the mothers of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman leaving the church after the funeral services of Goodman. The three young men working for the cause of Civil Rights were, in 1964, murdered by the Klu Klux Klan in Mississippi.

History records that the three women retreated to Upper West Side of Carolyn Goodman for private conversation. “Three Mothers” imagines what that conversation could have been.

Another play in its second week is “In Camera.” It uses a couple in a dystopian world where the man and woman exist in total isolation. The 45-minute piece is a story that explores the effect that the isolation of COVID had on many couples. It’s produced by Troy Foundry Theatre and plays Thursday through Sunday at 403 Fulton Street, on the second floor, in downtown Troy.

Don’t look now but the summer theater companies are upon us. On May 18, Berkshire Theatre Group opens “4,000 Miles” in their Unicorn Theatre. It’s a wise, insightful story about a troubled young man who has just bicycled across country. Arriving at his beloved grandmother’s apartment in the West Village of NYC, he seeks refuge, solace and a place to find himself. The grandmother will only help him, provided he help himself.

The grandmother, Vera Joseph is, at 91, still feisty, politically independent, wise and loving. At BTG she is played by Maria Tucci, an actor who can embellish an already delicious role. It plays until June 1.

Curtain Call Theatre in Latham opens “Native Gardens” May 16. It’s about neighbors. The older couple is white and privileged. The younger couple is dark-skinned and though born in the United States they are often assumed to be immigrants. They are each accomplished individuals, and she’s 9 months pregnant.

Their gardens are joined and their difference in taste and style are only the starting point of disagreements. Their arguments, though comical, really are a device to show deeper social conflicts between the couples. It plays through June 9.

There is a lot of fun with familiar titles available at community theaters throughout the month of May. Schenectady Civic Player and Schenectady Light Opera Company continue their foolish tradition of offering plays in the same time slot. Both theaters have openings on Friday, May 10. Both shows close May 19.

Schenectady Civic presents the comedy “Play It Again, Sam. It’s a Woody Allen conceived work about a man who imagines his love life is coached by Bogey from “Casablanca.” A bonus is having Ryan Palmer in the lead role. Palmer is one of the area’s finest comic actors.

A few blocks away on Liberty Street SLOC offers the engaging “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” A sung-through musical, it launched the careers of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Not so incidentally, the 1968 production of “Joseph…” was followed by “Jesus Christ Superstar” in 1970. Meanwhile, Albany Civic Theatre presents the drama-comedy “Driving Miss Daisy.” It’s a look at the decades long friendship of a wealthy Southern Jewish woman and her black chauffer. It opens on May 17 and runs through June 2.

On the last day of the month, May 31, Fort Salem Theatre opens “Godspell.” It’s a joyous telling of the parables in the Gospel of Matthew. It’s plays through June 9.

A bonus during the month is a reading of the sweet and tender “Love, Loss and What I Wore.” It will be offered at Steamer No. 10 in Albany, May 17-19. Theatre Voices has been offering free staged readings for over 30 years. This production will be directed by Benita Zahn.

Even the kids have a theater treat in May. The Theatre Institute at Sage will present “Dragons Love Tacos” at the Russel Sage College in Troy May 15-23. It’s a charming tale that has several morning shows as well as weekend presentations.

If you think May is busy, just wait until June.

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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