Cortland Rep Announces 50th Anniversary Summer Season For 2022

Kicking off the summer from June 8 – 18 is the CRT debut of the tribal rock musical HAIR, with book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, and music by Galt MacDermot

By: Apr. 05, 2022
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Cortland Rep Announces 50th Anniversary Summer Season For 2022

Cortland Repertory Theatre has announced their 2022 5-show summer season to be held at the Little York Pavilion in Preble, NY, as a celebration of their 50th Anniversary. The season will run from June 8 - August 20 and will contain three musicals and two plays. Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson explains that plans are moving forward to hold all the shows inside the Pavilion, rather than outdoors as was last summer's season. "While we are holding off on making any definite decisions this early in the year with regards to face-mask and vaccination card requirements, we are still planning for an indoor season." Thompson said.

To help with safety factors and health concerns, last fall CRT installed AtmosAir Solutions ionization technology to improve the indoor air quality in all the theatre's facilities, including the Pavilion's theatre and backstage areas, as well as CRT Downtown. Testing confirms that the addition of BPI technology reduces the presence of germs, mold and viruses - including coronavirus - by 99.92% within 30 minutes of exposure. "We are thankful to federal support which helped cover the $27,000 equipment and installment fees," Thompson said. "This equipment will improve the wellness and safety for all CRT's patrons, employees, guest performers and artistic staff."

Kicking off the summer from June 8 - 18 is the CRT debut of the tribal rock musical HAIR, with book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, and music by Galt MacDermot. As relevant today as it was when it was first produced in 1968 on Broadway, the show examines what it means to be a young person in a changing world, and explores ideas of identity, community, global responsibility and peace. Many of the songs became radio hits including Aquarius, Good Morning Starshine, Let the Sun Shine, and the title song. Patrons are advised that the show contains adult language, simulated drug use, brief full nudity and sexually explicit scenes. Trey Compton, who has helmed CRT's productions of Honky Tonk Angels, Legally Blonde and others, directs. Choreographer Leon Glover and music director Michael Meketa make their CRT debuts. Additionally, former performing intern Jamar Ortiz returns to CRT, this time in the position of Director of Culture and Inclusion for this production.

Next up, from June 22 - July 1 is a CRT revival of one of their most beloved comedies, OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS, by Joe DiPietro. First produced at CRT in 2005, this hysterical comedy is for, and about, the whole family. Nick is a young Italian American living in New York City who travels to New Jersey to meet with 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. "The charm and the humor of the show is that audiences will swear they're seeing their own family up on stage." Thompson says. Dr. Deena Conley, a professor and director in the SUNY Cortland Theatre Department makes her CRT directorial debut with this production.

From July 6 - 16, another "CRT revival" takes the stage with the classic musical KISS ME, KATE, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter and book by Sam and Bella Spewack. Last seen at CRT in 1984, it's "another opening of another show" and sparks are flying! Actor/director Fred Graham attempts to mount a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew, with his leading lady, and ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi in the leading role. Mix in a flirtatious ingenue, her gambler boyfriend and some musically inclined gangsters, and you have the recipe for a sharp, witty and riotous evening of big laughs, hot dancing and some of Porter's most classic tunes, including So In Love, Too Darn Hot, and Always True to You (In My Fashion). Mark Reynolds directs, as a follow up to his previous CRT productions of Newsies, Footloose, and Born Yesterday. Choreographer Bryan Knowlton, who worked on CRT's Mama Mia! and Saturday Night Fever also returns, and Canaan Harris making his CRT debut as Music Director.

Next from July 20 - 30 is the regional premiere of a new stage version of Agatha Christie's classic mystery MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, adapted by Ken Ludwig. "Our audiences have always loved Christie's mysteries, so it seemed right to present this new version in our 50th season." Thompson said. On a winter's evening in 1934, a snowdrift stops the luxurious Orient Express, literally in its tracks. By morning, it is one passenger less; 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. Thompson, who previously handled Christie's Appointment with Death and Cards on the Table among other CRT productions, will direct.

Ending the summer will be a special production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's stage version of the family classic MARY POPPINS, running for three weeks from August 3 - 20. This musical is based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney film, with original music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, and a book by Julian Fellowes. New songs and additional music and lyrics were written by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The charming story of the "practically perfect" nanny is narrated by chimney sweep and jack-of-all-trades Bert and focuses on the troubled Banks family. It seems that 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. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that "Anything can happen if you let it!" All those favorite songs are included: Chim Chiminey, Jolly Holiday, Spoonful of Sugar, Feed the Birds, Let's Go Fly a Kite, Step in Time plus some new "classic" tunes.

"We are extremely thankful for everyone's continued support of CRT over the years," Thompson said. "I'm not sure if anyone who was involved in CRT's first summer back in 1972 thought that we'd be celebrating this landmark anniversary. It hasn't always been an easy journey, but it is because of support and encouragement by our audience, supporters, volunteers, Guild and Board members, the County and the New York State Council on the Arts that CRT is still here and going strong!"

How to Get Tickets

CRT is currently selling 5-show summer subscriptions along with 5- or 6- pack Flex Passes. The 5-show subscription allows the patron to see all 5 productions; the Flex Passes allow the purchaser to choose the shows they see. Special pricing is available for Youth (22 and under) Flex Passes. Gift Certificates are also available and can be used for individual tickets, subscriptions, or Flex Passes. Individual tickets will go on sale starting May 23 at CRT Downtown, 24-26 Port Watson Street in Cortland. Discounts on tickets will be available for seniors (62 and up), military/veterans and first responders. Current box office hours are Mon-Fri, 9:00-4:00; summer hours will be extended starting on May 23 to Mon-Fri 9:00 - 6:00, Saturdays noon-6:00. More information can be found online at www.cortlandrep.org or by calling 800-427-6160.



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