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Cortland Rep Announces 'Comfort Food' Summer Season

Performances include The Wizard of Oz, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and more!

Cortland Repertory Theatre has announced plans for their "49th 1/2" annual summer season in 2021. Nine live productions, including concerts, children's theatre, and a drive-thru "theatrical experience" are planned from July 8 - August 24.

Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson explains that CRT presented a plan to the Cortland Highway Committee and Health Department for a temporary outdoor venue to be built on the east side of the Little York Pavilion in Dwyer Park.

"We are extremely thankful for the County's support and encouragement of this new idea. Planning an outdoor season is very challenging in normal times, and even more so now." he said. "But we are excited to take on this challenge of getting back to what CRT does, while keeping everyone's safety and health as a top priority."

During their two-month performance schedule, CRT will keep close track of local, state and federal guidelines and restrictions, and will stay in communication with the Health Department in order to offer a safe and comfortable environment for their patrons, actors and staff. "We are aware that current restrictions may change and we will be ready to pivot at a moment's notice as long as the situation continues to stay fluid." Thompson says.

Important information about the planned summer include:

  • All CRT performances will be held outside on the east side of the Little York Pavilion (to the left side of the building when looking from the parking lot). A temporary stage will be built out from the first floor steps.
  • Patrons will be seated under an open-sided 40' x 120' tent, 12 feet away from the building and stage.
  • Seats will be arranged in "seating squares" for up to four people from the same party. Each seating square will have 6 feet of space on all sides. Patrons from different parties will not be seated together.
  • Show times, dates and a printable seating chart can be found on the CRT website at www.cortlandrep.org
  • Tickets will be sold in groups of 2, 3 or 4 seats; single seats will not be available.
  • Face masks will be required upon arrival and until seated. CRT encourages the continued use of masks while seated, unless enjoying a refreshment.
  • Printed show programs will not be available; however, a Virtual Playbill with show information, director's notes, actor's bios and more will be available on the CRT website.

Season 5-Ticket Flex Passes are available for purchase now, offering 5 tickets to use in any combination for any shows (some restrictions apply). Special pricing is available for Youth (22 and under) Flex Passes. Individual tickets will go on sale starting May 24 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; hours will be extended on May 24 to Mon-Fri 9:00 - 6:00, Saturdays noon-6:00.

The summer schedule is as follows:

Pirate Schmitrate!

book & lyrics by Bert Bernardi, music by Justin Rugg; July 8 - 11. All performances at noon.

Songs! Treasure! Unicorns! Arrrrr you ready for this hilarious story? Sure you arrrrrr! Hold on to your parrot for this wild two-act musical for kids of all ages! Our story begins when a soggy old sea hag curses three lovely ladies to live as pirates on a tropical isle. When they arrive, the beauties discover three princes who have fallen under a similar curse! Will they all work together to find the magical unicorn who will set everything right? This swashbuckling tale is a treasure trove of silly songs, sillier situations, blunders, plunders, and of course, a happy ending! Note: This show is presented as "Picnic Theatre"! BYOBlanket, plus a snack or sandwich to enjoy at intermission! Adults: $10.00; 12 and under: $7.00

"Close To You" - The Music of the Carpenters

concerts on July 9 & 10 at 7:30 PM

Considered one of the best vocalists of all time, Karen Carpenter captured the attention of a generation with her memorable love songs that topped the Billboard charts more than a dozen times. Often, Karen performed with just her brother Richard, keeping things simple and intimate. In this heartfelt tribute, unmatched vocalist Lisa Rock, pianist Drew Jansen and vocalist Natalie Cordone bring their renowned concert to CRT for 2 special "unplugged" nights. Dedicated to re-creating the true sound of The Carpenters, Lisa and her band showcase some of the most memorable songs of the 70s including We've Only Just Begun, Rainy Days and Mondays, and of course Close to You. Not an impressionist, but an artist with an amazing 4-octive range, Lisa presents a trip down memory lane like no other!

The Honky Tonk Angels

by Ted Swindley, the creator of "Always, Patsy Cline"

July 15 - 23

A CRT "revival" that played to sold out audiences back in 2003! This funny and touching musical celebrates big American dreams, framed with songs by Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and more from the Great Women of Country! Angela, Darlene and Sue Ellen are three good ole gals who leave their unfortunate pasts behind, meet on a Greyhound bus and team up to become a successful Nashville singing trio. Favorite songs pop up fast and furious, including Stand by Your Man, I Will Always Love You, Delta Dawn, Coal Miner's Daughter and many more! BroadwayWorld called it "a charming, foot-stompin' musical" with "a hilarious story."

Stories in the Park 2021 - The Wizard of Oz

Created and directed by Mark Reynolds

July 16 - 17

Featuring the Cortland Performing Arts Institute dancers! Sponsored by a Central New York Community Foundation "Bright Ideas" Grant. Following the overwhelming success of our new drive-thru "theatrical experiences" in 2020, CRT again offer this socially distanced musical journey, viewed from the seats of your own car! This year, go over the rainbow in Dwyer Park and relive the magical story of The Wizard of Oz, live and in person! Play "I Spy" as you drive through, spotting familiar characters and scenes along with hidden objects and surprises! Great for all ages! Performances on July 16 and 17 will start at 10:00 and 2:00. Admission is available for 90 minutes from each starting time. $10.00 suggested donation, per car, at the gate. Cash only.

The Adam Lee Decker Trio

July 24 at 7:30pm

From the halls of Cortland High to SUNY Cortland to American Idol ! Adam Lee Decker's love affair with music started here at home. Following graduation, when he was lead singer for the rock band The Fault Line, the group sailed to the top of America's Got Talent. Next Adam, as a solo, took on American Idol. Though he just missed grabbing the brass ring, he went on to re-energize the group Spaceship Days, earning them a Grammy nod. Nowadays, Adam also sings with the acapella group Transit and tours with Oren Bailey (guitar and vocals) and Charles Cox III (bass) in this, his own unique trio! Don't miss this hometown boy back home!

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)

by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, Jess Winfield

July 27 - 31.

Life is short. The complete works of Shakespeare are long. But wait! This 3-man comedy troupe shrinks the Bard's outsized opuses into 90 minutes of unbridled hilarity! With slings and arrows of outrageous comedy, these hilarious Men in Tights tackle all (yes, all!) of the Bard's works! With a dose of Monty Python and a dollop of Lucille Ball, "Shakespeare in the Park" has never been like this! Warning: Not for people with weak hearts or English degrees. "If you like Shakespeare, you'll like this show. If you hate Shakespeare, you'll LOVE this show!" -The Today Show.

Goin' To The Chapel

by Valerie Fagan

arrangements and orchestrations by Bryan Crook

August 5 - 13

Billboards hottest hits of the 50's bubble over in this fun and funny teen-story, filled with the spirit of Happy Days and American Bandstand! It's 1959 and big things are happening down at the Bowling Alley Malt Shop. Suzy and Johnny just got pinned! But trouble is brewing when Eddie, the leather-jacket-wearing bad boy drives his motorcycle into town. The rest of the gang get involved, and soon the evening is filled with twists, turns, mistaken identities and the be-boppin' music we all know and love, including Rock Around the Clock, Love Potion #9, Bye Bye Love, It's in His Kiss, and many more!

"How Sweet It Is!"

Steve Leslie Sings the Music of James Taylor

August 14 at 7:30pm

Direct from Nashville, this Grammy Award-winning songwriter and recording artist performs the music of James Taylor in this authentic and spellbinding concert event! Steve's warm baritone and exceptional guitar technique (not to mention his uncanny resemblance) will have you singing along to such classics as Carolina In My Mind, Shower the People, You've Got a Friend, Up on the Roof and many more! It's the perfect night out under the stars at Dwyer Park!

A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare, adapted and directed by Bill Kincaid

August 19 - 21

"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind." CRT proudly presents our first ever (real, this time!) production of a Shakespeare classic! With just six actors and trimmed to just one hour, this charming adaption is the perfect ending to our outdoor summer! Against the backdrop of a battle of wills between the Fairy King Oberon and Queen Titania, four misguided lovers are challenged by magic and trickery when they become pawns in a complex game of love. And in this case, love can make a person a jackass...literally!

Visit CRT's website at www.CortlandRep.org for more information on ticket prices, exact days and times of performances and box office hours. Patrons can order flex passes and gift certificates online as well. Gift Certificates can be for tickets, flex passes or a monetary value. Call the CRT Box Office at 800-427-6160 for more information.


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