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re: Best Summer Stock Theater

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feinstein9
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/17/07 at 05:11pm
I thought it would be interesting to hear what you consider to be the "best" (okay, just your favourite really) summer stock theater in the US and/or Canada. Feel free to mention any shows you saw this summer or ones that you've seen past that have really struck you. Go!
chinto1984
Leading Actor
joined:8/6/07
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/17/07 at 05:51pm
I have only been to the Music Circus in Sacramento. It has quality shows, but what is interesting is that it is done in the round. I saw them do Les Miz, and that show is much more effective in the round than on a regular stage. They did Hello, Dolly and Kiss Me, Kate and it is interesting to see them do these show in the round. Kiss Me, Kate was staged really well. I prefer Hello, Dolly on a regular stage. The Music Circus has a reall nice history.
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Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/17/07 at 06:40pm
HELLO, DOLLY! really doesn't work on anything but a proscienium stage. I did a production of it in-the-round and it was horrible. The hat shop scene doesn't work at all without closets.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
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sarab
Stand-by
joined:12/18/06
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/17/07 at 10:30pm
The MUNY in St. Louis! I saw all seven shows that they put on this summer. Oklahoma, Grease, Hello Dolly, Peter Pan, Pajama Game, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Les Miserables. They were all FANTASTIC!
Follow your bliss! I love Will Chase! I love Lisa Brescia! I love Stephanie J. Block!
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Lenexajones
Understudy
joined:1/24/06
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/17/07 at 10:59pm
Starlight Theater in KCMO. hands down. Great facility and great support by the community. They have poured millions in this facility to make it the best outdoor theater experience around.
erinrebecca
Broadway Legend
joined:10/29/04
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/17/07 at 11:21pm
Williamstown Theatre Festival, without a doubt. For a complete package of an excellent selection of plays, experienced actors of stage and screen, a terrific intern program for theatre students, readings, workshops, and beautiful facilities, I have yet to see another site which can compare.

Among my favorite productions there, this year's Party Come Here and Blith Spirit; previous years - Lady Windermere's Fan, Bus Stop, The Opposite of Sex, The Threepenny Opera, Landscape of the Body.

For a fun, casual summer stock experience, Surflight on LBI in Jersey is a great place to catch a show. I have friends who have worked there over the years and it's always fun to go to the shore to see theatre. Great ice cream, too! :)
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tourboi
Broadway Legend
joined:12/15/05
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/18/07 at 07:33am
Most of the "summer stock" venues discussed here have significantly higher budgets...more in the rhelm of traditional regional houses.

When I think summer stock I think of college kids studying theatre putting together good shows in old theatres or barns that have been turned into theatres, and working their toosh's off in the process to deliver a great production (you'd be surprised how good).

Maybe I'm partial cuz I interned there...but for my money (and I've seen stuff at many summer stock houses nationwide) nothing says stock quite like places like the New London Barn Playhouse in New Hampshire. Real, old fashioned summer stock in its finest.
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Trish2
Broadway Star
joined:8/20/06
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/18/07 at 08:25am
I agree with you Tourboi. When i think of summer stock, i think of the old barn type theatres: New London, Hampton Playhouse, Mountain Playhouse, Allenberry Playhouse and also places like Merry Go Round Playhouse, Melody Top, and Surflight. Ah, the good ol days. I even remember Surflight in the 80's when it was hosted in a converted garage where they did 12 musicals in 12 weeks. Not always the best productions, but what a great training ground for young performers !
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trinaaron
Featured Actor
joined:5/26/06
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/18/07 at 08:46am
I am partial to Sharon Playhouse in Connecticut. I saw a production of Peter Pan there several years ago that was really great.
"I always feel guilty patronizing Barnes & Noble because they've essentially put every small neighborhood bookstore out of business, but they have a cafe!" Seth Rudetsky "Broadway Nights" Go Jeff Burton #31
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/18/07 at 09:29am
I'm not sure it's the BEST, but it's the oldest resident summer stock theatre in the country now... and it's where I got my Equity card 21 years ago---The Barn Theatre in Augusta, Michigan.

Other Barnies who've appeared on stage over the years (besides ME, of course):

Marin Mazzie
Jonathan Larson
Becky Ann Baker
Robert Newman
Kim Zimmer
Barbara Marineau
Merle Louise
Eric Riley
Scott Burkell
Dana Delaney
Tom Wopat
Lauren Graham
James B. Sikking
Jennifer Garner
Stephen Lynch
Patricia Wettig
Doug LaBrecque
Denis Jones
Lance Barber

lots of others.


...and my own mother! I was the first second generation apprentice to get my union card there.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Updated On: 8/18/07 at 09:29 AM
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OtherDaryl
Broadway Star
joined:11/13/04
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/18/07 at 11:07am
Penninsula Players up in Door County, Wisconsin. I visited there for the first time this summer, and it was Summer Stock Heaven! Great production of new summer stock farce written by one of their company members - perfect form and hysterical, to boot. The setting is beautiful - they have lakefront acreage ($6,000 per linear foot according to a local realtor)on Green Bay. A brand new, state-of-the-art theatre with removable sides so they can open on nice evenings. A green roof - environmentally correct. Intermission was just at sunset - they have a bonfire by the bar (clearly wood from the scene shop) and colored lights strung throughout the surrounded wooded area.
"Love Life. Live." Michael Bennett
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Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/18/07 at 11:45am
The Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, NY.

Actors who have appeared there are:

Ken Howard
Bill Hayes
Mimi Hines
Phil Ford
Nick Spangler
Elizabeth Stanley
John Carradine
Barbara Andres
Michael T Oliver
Gene Hackman



"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
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bertandrew2
Broadway Star
joined:10/27/06
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/18/07 at 04:38pm
I did the Surflight 12 shows/12 weeks in the old garage space. There was nothing like it!
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Raviolisun
Broadway Legend
joined:8/22/06
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/18/07 at 04:45pm
I have only been to the Music Circus in Sacramento. It has quality shows, but what is interesting is that it is done in the round. I saw them do Les Miz, and that show is much more effective in the round than on a regular stage. They did Hello, Dolly and Kiss Me, Kate and it is interesting to see them do these show in the round. Kiss Me, Kate was staged really well. I prefer Hello, Dolly on a regular stage. The Music Circus has a reall nice history.

They're also doing Nunsense, Annie, and 1776.

And I agree that Les Miserables is much more effective in the round.
One time, Patti LuPone punched me in the face...


It was awesome.
- theaterkid1015
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withoutlovewithoutU
Broadway Legend
joined:1/25/06
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/18/07 at 05:01pm
The Hangar Theater in Ithaca, NY is one of my favorites. They are really creative with their shows (Like this season they did a production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast that was completely re-imagined, and they also have really great original shows), have a great education program, and a really nice staff.

"If we don't live happily ever after at least we survive until the end of the week!" -Kermit the frog "I need the money... it costs a lot to look this cheap!" -Dolly P. "Oh please, Over at 'Gypsy' Patti LuPone hasn't even alienated her first daughter yet!" Mary Testa in "Xanadu" "...Like a drunk Chita Rivera!" Robin de Jesus in "In the Heights"

"B*tch, I don't know your life." -Xanadu After that if he still doesn't understand why you were uncomfortable and are now infuriated, kick him again but this time with Jazz Hands!!! -KillerTofu
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bertandrew2
Broadway Star
joined:10/27/06
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/18/07 at 06:55pm
And just down the street from the Hanger is Cortland Repertory Theatre. Be sure to catch THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL that opens this week!
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theaterdude87
Broadway Legend
joined:6/4/06
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/18/07 at 08:02pm
Forestburgh Playhouse in Monticello, NY always does great shows. Some Alum have been:
Ali Ewoldt
Doug Kreeger
Justin Blanchard
Nick Spangler
Juliana Hansen
Kathy Brier

Just to name a few. They also seem to have a good season coming up.
for fierce, fabulous and fun times visit eric mathew's world. http://ericmathew.blogspot.com/
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LoringsGuy
Broadway Star
joined:9/28/04
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/19/07 at 02:48am
Paul Bunyan Playhouse in Bemidji, MN is celebrating its 57th year. They employ many Twin Cities actors, and the quality of shows is generally quite good.
"Word of advice: Be who you are, wear what you want---just learn how to run real fast." Marc, UGLY BETTY
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Footlooser
Broadway Star
joined:3/7/05
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/19/07 at 02:52am
The Broadway Rose in Portland, Oregon.
"You know just because you put a smiley face after it doesn't change the fact that it was an a-hole comment." ~ Sumofallthings
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Anna_Elizabeth
Featured Actor
joined:10/27/05
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/19/07 at 03:01am
I have to vote for Peninsula Players in Wisconsin as well. I loved my time as an intern there. And they are America's Oldest Professional Resident Summer Theatre. Operating since 1937.
Pen Players Website
Visit me at http://shyllei.livejournal.com/ for musings on theatre and life, in general.
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bertandrew2
Broadway Star
joined:10/27/06
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/19/07 at 08:21am
Anyone been to The Theater Barn in New Lebanon, NY? While most summer theatres are doing R & H, Neil Simon, Millie and what ever the flavor of the day show might be,
The Theater Barn chooses challenging, interesting seasons for summer stock..including Violet, Johnny Guitar, Spitfire Grill, Tale of the Allergist Wife, Full Gallop, Hollywood Pinafore, Boy Gets Girl.....check it out!
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/19/07 at 11:39am
bertandrew2---That's gotta be a non-profit theatre, or a very small bare-bones company. Ain't no way they're seeing anything but "red ink" with an art-house schedule like that.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
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StageFan2
Broadway Star
joined:4/8/07
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/19/07 at 01:43pm
I worked for several summers (1977-82) as an apprentice, intern, assistant, gopher, and slave at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and I loved every minute, although I can't say I always felt that way at the time. But my heart still belongs to Williamstown and I've gone back every summer (with a few exceptions) ever since. So Williamstown will always be the best to me.

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ChristiElphaJoSally
Featured Actor
joined:4/22/06
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/19/07 at 01:49pm
Dollypop, I must beg to differ... I just saw Music Circus Hello, Dolly! and it's the best thing I've ever seen them do, hands down, including Les Mis. I almost cried!
"And now life really begins." -A Chorus Line
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theactorsociety
Stand-by
joined:4/24/05
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/19/07 at 01:51pm
The Sacramento Music Circus and the Muny in St. Louis are two of the toppers in the "I hope I get in" from major musical theater students like CCM and Michegan. They both put on stunning performances. The Muny is known for bringing in star power like Lisa Howard for Les Mis and Liz Callaway for Joseph.
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wicked4life51
Broadway Star
joined:6/20/04
re: Best Summer Stock Theater
Posted: 8/19/07 at 03:42pm
Goodspeed
North Shore
Music theatre of Wichita
Pappermill
PCLO

A LOT OF THEATRES IN CHICAGO ARE GREAT FOR WORK

if you buy the backstage actors handbook to regional theatre , which is an amazing book there are tons of places which you can look into and the whole book give you a rundown
"what? what is it? do i have something in my teeth? ok lets get this over with : no im not seasick,yes ive always been green, and no i didnt chew grass as a child "

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