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Cortland Rep Announces 50th Anniversary Summer Season

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This celebratory season is currently planned to be held inside the Little York Pavilion in Preble.

Cortland Repertory Theatre, one of New York State's longest running professional summer theatres, is announcing their 50th Anniversary summer season slated for 2022.

This celebratory season is currently planned to be held inside the Little York Pavilion in Preble. Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson says that the theatre is not planning for an outdoor stage as was the case in 2021. "Thanks to generous foundation support, we have installed the latest air circulating and cleaning technology in the HVAC systems of all our facilities," Thompson says. "This system has been proved to be 99.3% effective in cleaning the air of Covid and other virus particles." In the fall of 2019, Cortland County replaced the air conditioning system in the Pavilion and CRT installed the new air purifiers this fall. "Of course, the summer is a long way away, and as we have learned, anything can happen." Thompson says. While the theatre has not created a definite health policy for the summer yet, Thompson says that facial masks and vaccination cards may still need to be standard procedure. "We will have to see where we are closer to the time." Thompson says.

In the meantime, the theatre's Board of Directors and Theatre Guild are planning the 50th celebration which will include special social media posts, in-person events, a souvenir program and a coffee-table book. "We have an exciting season with a lot of variety" Thompson says. "We are paying tribute to our past 50 years and looking forward to the next 50!"

Kicking off the season from June 8 - 18, CRT presents the groundbreaking rock musical HAIR with book and lyrics by Germone Ragni and James Rado, and music by Galt MacDermot. This American tribal love-rock musical is a celebration of the sixties counterculture with a collection of songs that became top radio hits, including Aquarius, Good Morning Starshine, and Let the Sun Shine. As relevant today as it was then, the musical explores ideas of identity, community, and global responsibility as it examines what it means to be a young person in a changing world. CRT cautions that the show will contain adult language and situations, simulated drug use, brief full nudity and sexually explicit scenes.

Next from June 22 - July 2, CRT revisits one of their most beloved comedies in their 50 years, with a revival of Joe DePietro's OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS. First produced at CRT in 2005, this hysterical comedy is for, and about, the whole family. Nick Cristano is a young Italian American living in New York City who meets both sets of grandparents for dinner every Sunday. That is, until he accepts his dream job in Seattle. The news sets the grandparents reeling, and then scheming, as they find ways to keep him from moving - including playing matchmaker with a lovely young lady who has no idea what she's getting into. As one of CRT's highest attended plays, this is sure to be a popular ticket.

From July 6 - 16 is another CRT revival, a musical from the 1984 season, KISS ME, KATE with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, and book by Sam and Bella Spewack. It's "another opening of another show" and sparks are flying both onstage and off when egomaniacal director-and-star Fred Graham attempts to produce a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew, with his leading lady (and ex-wife) Lilli Vanessi as his co-star. Mix in a flirtatious ingenue, her gambler boyfriend and a couple of musically inclined gangsters, and it's the recipe for a sharp and witty evening of big laughs, hot dancing and classic Cole Porter tunes. Familiar songs include So In Love, Too Darn Hot, Always True to You (In My Fashion), and From This Moment On.

Agatha Christie mysteries have been hugely popular at CRT and the theatre pays tribute to these past productions with the regional premiere of the new stage version of Christie's classic MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, adapted by Ken Ludwig, running from July 20-30. On a winter's evening in 1934, a snowdrift stops the luxurious Orient Express literally in its tracks. By morning, an American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed, his door locked from the inside. With a long list of suspects, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer before they strike again. A perfect balance of the cerebral and the comic, Ludwig's adaptation creates a thrill-a-minute ride.

Ending their season, from August 3 - 20, CRT presents a family favorite musical adapted for the stage: Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's MARY POPPINS, based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney film. The stage script was written by Julian Fellowes and contains the original music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, with new songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The charming story of the "practically perfect" nanny comes to life before your family's eyes as Bert, a chimney sweep and jack-of-all trades, introduces the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again. All those favorite songs are included: Chim Chiminey, A Spoonful of Sugar, Feed the Birds, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious plus some new "classic" tunes.

CRT reminds patrons that youth tickets for "22 and Unders" are available for $25.00 each, and a special Youth Flex Pass is offered with 2 tickets for $40.00. Adult tickets range from $36.00 to $38.00 with discounts available for seniors, members of the military, first responders, and groups of 10 or more.

Information on all CRT shows and events, as well as ticket prices and box office hours are available at www.cortlandrep.org. Discount ticket "Specialty Nights" include Educator's Nights on the first Thursday and "30 Below Date Nights" on the first Saturday of each show run. Friday Night Talk Back are held after the performances on the first Friday of each show. Gift certificates are available for tickets, subscriptions, flex passes or a monetary value. Individual tickets will go on sale starting May 23, 2022. Call 800-427-6160 for more information.


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