This is a busy weekend for summer-theater festivals, those shows that appear every late summer, populated by youngsters home from college or awaiting another school year. Below this is a sampling of theater offerings across the Lower Hudson Valley in the next few weekends, in Rockland, Putnam and Westchester counties…
A three-performance day?
Saturday is shaping up as one of those days that theater kids in Croton will be talking about for years to come.
“Remember back in 2010 when we did two performances of ‘Rent’ and one performance of ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)’ in one day?” they might say. “That was a crazy day.”
Croton Teen Theater, a summer tradition, has a busy weekend planned, with two shows running in repertory at Croton-Harmon High School.
Thursday, it opens “The Complete Works,” a madcap telling of the entire Shakespearean canon in a 90-minute dash by five actors.
Friday, they spin the dial 180 degrees with Jonathan Larson’s dark-but-hopeful musical about the denizens of 1989’s Alphabet City dealing with AIDS.
Then on Saturday comes that three-show marathon.
Three actors appear in both works: Croton-Harmon grads Amelia Coccaro and Joseph Riedel and Walter Panas grad Malcolm Pelletier.
They play too many characters to enumerate in “Abridged” — after all, it’s the entire canon — but in “Rent” Coccaro is Joanne, Riedel is Benny and Pelletier is a waiter and a thug.
Riedel says changing gears from one show to the next won’t be hard.
“It’s a fun duality, a fun total reversal,” he says. “Benny is a kind guy, offering them rent for free, but he has his own dark motives. Then it’s fun to let all that go and just be silly with people you’ve been friends with for ages in a different show.”
Coccaro agrees: “Abridged” is just plain fun.
“I like playing Macduff because I get to do a Scottish accent, even though it’s not so great,” she says. “But I think that’s part of the humor.”
Both shows are directed by Tom Berger, who brought musicals to Teen Theater a few years back — and never left. He got the shows on their feet on a tight rehearsal schedule: four weeks for “Rent” and three for “Abridged.”
Some days, that meant spending seven hours in rehearsal.
Photo by Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News: From left, Daniel Kadish, 18, and Jesse Morsberger, 16 — members of Croton Teen Theater — rehearse “Rent” at Croton-Harmon High School in Croton-on-Hudson on July 27, 2010.
Tarrytown YMCA’s sixth summer of Shakespeare in the Park is also running two shows in repertory this weekend. Grades 2 through 5 will present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” while grades 6 through 12 present “Hamlet” with 29 cast members delivering the soliloquy as a chorus. “Midsummer” plays at 7:30 July 29, 4 p.m. July 30 and 31. “Hamlet” runs at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. July 30 and 31. In Tarrytown’s Patriot’s Park. 914-631-4807 ext. 19.
The Port Chester Council for the Arts presents “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Jr.,” the children’s version of the musical. At 8 p.m. July 30 and 31. $12 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and students, cash or check only, at the door. At Rye Country Day, Cedar Street in Rye. 914-939-3183 or e-mail portchesterCFA@gmail.com.
The council’s Lawn Chair Theatre presents Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” at 7 p.m. Aug. 12, 13 and 14 at the Girl Scout House in Lyon Park, Parkway Drive, Port Chester. $15 suggested donation.
Brewster Theater Company presents Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” at 8 p.m. Aug. 5, 6 and 7 and at 2 p.m. Aug. 7 at Brewster High School Performing Arts Center at 50 Foggintown Road. $18, $15 for students and seniors. Buy tickets before Aug. 5 and take $2 off regular price. At the Aug. 7 matinee, children 12 and under pay $8. Buy tickets at the Brewster High School lobby on Aug. 2 and 3 from 7-9 p.m. 845-598-1621 or check out the Brewster Theater Company website.
Clarkstown Summer Theater Festival presents “Celebrate CSTF: A Musical Revue” — a “best-of” musical show from the long-running Clarkstown summer tradition, directed by Joseph Egan. At 8 p.m. Aug. 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14, at 2 p.m. Aug. 8. At Clarkstown High School South, 31 Demarest Mill Road, West Nyack. 845-356-0844 or check out the Clarkstown Summer Theater Festival website.
Harrison Summer Theater’s sophomore effort is “Rent,” directed by Jeremy Quinn, with musical direction by HST founder Stephen Ferri. At 8 p.m. Aug. 6 and 7 and 2 p.m. Aug. 8. At White Plains Performing Arts Center, 11 City Place, White Plains. $10. 914-438-1076 or email SVF0391@aol.com.
The Hope Players, a group committed to raising awareness and money to fight breast cancer, presents “Seussical” at Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers on Aug. 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 15 at 2 p.m. Advance-purchase tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for students and seniors and $10 for children 5 and younger. At the door, tickets are $20 for adults, seniors and students and $15 for children 5 and younger. All of the proceeds go to breast-cancer research. Call 914-206-9617 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More details on the Hope for Change Foundation website.
This is the final weekend to see Christine DiTota and Jeff Schlotman cross swords as Pan and Hook in “Peter Pan” at Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford. Next weekend, Briarcliff’s Rebecca Simpson Wallack and John Fogarty step into the roles for the last two weeks of the dinner-theater run. Thursday matinees: lunch at 11:30 a.m., show at 1 p.m.; Thursday and Friday evenings: dinner at 6, show at 8; Saturday and Sunday matinees: lunch at noon, show at 1:30 p.m.; Sunday evening: dinner at 5, show at 7. Wednesday matinees on Aug. 11: lunch at 11:30 a.m., show at 1 p.m. Meal and show: $45 for age 16 and under; $55 for seniors; $60 for adults. 914-592-2222. Check out the Westchester Broadway Theatre website.
For something a bit darker, consider Elmwood Playhouse’s “Boy Gets Girl,” Rebecca Gilman’s drama about a date that goes horribly wrong. At 8 p.m., July 30, 31 and Aug. 5, 6, 7; at 2 p.m., Aug. 1. $21, $18 seniors and students. Elmwood Playhouse, 10 Park St., Nyack. 845-353-1313. Go to the Elmwood Playhouse website.