Here’s what’s playing at Cortland Repertory Theatre this summer

Cortland Repertory Theatre, one of New York State’s longest running professional summer theatres, is celebrating their 45 th annual season this summer.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be bringing six CRT premieres in this coming season, including three regional debuts.” Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson says. “We also have more events and shows coming to CRT Downtown over the winter, which we’ll be announcing shortly.”

Cortland Rep is now operating out of two venues; The Little York Pavilion will continue to be the home of summer productions, while the newly renovated CRT Downtown at 24 Port Watson Street is hosting fall, winter and spring shows and events.

“West Side Story”

All photos by Eric Behnke

All photos by Eric Behnke

Having completed their first show of the summer, which was the farce The Fox on the Fairway, the theatre is now running the American musical classic WEST SIDE STORY, until July 9. This award winning show boasts a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. In this breathtaking musical, two rival gangs struggle for control of their west side New York City neighborhood. Amidst the chaos, star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria find themselves wrenched between their worlds. Beautiful, passionate, with shades of violence and heartache, this innovative adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet still dazzles after more than fifty years! The treasured songs Something’s Coming, Tonight, I Feel Pretty, Maria and America have become classics in the American Songbook.

“A Chorus Line”

From July 13 – 30 comes another world renown musical A CHORUS LINE, which was conceived and originally directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett, with book by James Kirkwood, music by Marvin Hamlisch and Nicholas Dante, and lyrics by Edward Kleban. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and celebrating its 40th anniversary, this dazzling musical tells the story of the unsung heroes of the Broadway stage – the dedicated, talented and overworked chorus dancers. A nine-time Tony-Award winner, this musical and dance spectacular brings to life the dream, the thrill and the hope of the Broadway audition. With one captivating song and dance after another, this show is also a brilliant metaphor for all human aspiration. It features the classic songs What I Did For Love, I Hope I Get It, and the show-stopping finale One! CRT cautions that this show does contain adult language and situations.

“Cards on the Table”

Following directly comes the regional premiere of another exciting mystery from the world’s most popular author: Agatha Christie’s CARDS ON THE TABLE, running from August 3 – 13. Adapted by Leslie Darbon from Christie’s novel, this rarely produced Christie classic is sure to please the mystery lover in everyone! Mr. Shaitana is a strange and wealthy collector of various kinds of art. One evening he invites Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yard and crime novelist Adriane Oliver to a dinner party to view his latest “collection”: four people who have committed murder and gotten away with it. But during a game of bridge with the group, Shaitana himself is daringly murdered. The Superintendent sets out to solve the crime and must catch the murderer before they lay their cards on the table for the final time. The audience is challenged to solve the mystery before the killer strikes again!

“The Kitchen Witches”

Next up from August 17 – 27 is the regional premiere of the piping-hot comedy THE KITCHEN WITCHES, by Caroline Smith. Imagine Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray in a knockdown, drag-out Battle of the Cooking Stars! Isobel Lomax and Dolly Biddle are two low-budget cable-access cooking show hostesses who have hated each other for years, ever since Larry Biddle dated one and married the other. When circumstances put them together on a TV show called “The Kitchen Witches”, the insults are flung harder than the food. Dolly's son, who is also the TV show’s producer, tries to keep them on track, but it's a losing battle – especially when the show becomes a ratings smash!

“The Marvelous Wonderettes”

Closing the season from August 31 – September 10 is THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES, written and created by Roger Bean and featuring the greatest hits of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. Take a trip back in time to the 1958 Springfield High School prom and meet Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy, and Suzy, four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts. As we learn about their lives and loves, the girls serenade us with classic ‘50s hits including Lollipop, Dream Lover, Stupid Cupid, and Lipstick on Your Collar. Then in Act Two, jump forward in time as the girls reunite to perform at their ten-year reunion. We learn about the highs and lows the girls have experienced in the past decade as they sing “current” hits Leader of the Pack, Son of a Preacher Man, Rescue Me and I Only Want To Be With You! Featuring over 30 hits, this show is a funny musical trip down memory lane!

“Pinocchio”

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For the annual children’s show, CRT presents PINOCCHIO, adapted by local playwright Kim L. Hubbard. This new stage-adaptation tells the enchanting story of the little wooden puppet who wants to be a real boy – if only he could stop telling fibs, causing his nose to grow. The adventures of Pinocchio, joined by his cricket friend and the Blue Fairy, come to vivid life to the joy of children and adults alike. Performance dates will be announced closer to the season.

Also on tap for next summer are CRT’s annual day camps for young thespians: “Stars of Tomorrow” for students in Grades 5 – 12 and “Showstoppers and Superstars” for students in K- 5. Dates for these camps are to be announced.

Information on summer shows, children’s programs and CRT Downtown events, as well as ticket prices and box office hours is available at the theatre’s website at cortlandrep.org. Subscriptions orders and sales for groups of 10 or more are being taken at this time, and gift certificates are available for tickets, subscriptions, flex passes or a monetary value. Individual tickets for all of CRT’s summer shows will go on sale starting May 23, 2016. Call 800-427-6160 for more information.