Fort Salem Theater Announces Spring and Summer Seasons
Fort Salem Theater has announced its spring and summer schedules for 2017. The Rose Center Theater from Westminster, California, artistically directed by part-time Salemite Tim Nelson, returns with two distinctly different offerings. Friday and Saturday, April 21 and 22, Nelson brings the classic musical ‘Li’l Abner,’ with a cast of his best students from the Huntington Beach Academy of Performing Arts, a California high school dedicated to producing professional-calibre artists. The spring season will continue with Sunday Afternoon Cabarets beginning April 30, with musical theater diva Shanara Gabrielle. Benita Zahn celebrates ten years of performances at the Fort on May 7, joining friends Keri Alonzo, Sue Caputo and Lynne Kerr, as ‘Women Who Sing.’ May 21, Byron Nilsson and pianist Malcolm Kogut perform ‘Rhyme on My Hand: A Tribute to the Art of the Comic Song, and June 4 brings back by popular demand the piano artistry of Deborah Young-Weile.
Tim Nelson returns in June with his original adaptation of Washington Irving’s ‘Rip Van Winkle: the Musical.’ Nelson’s research took him to the Catskills, where he steeped himself in the oral history of the 19th century; many of his characters are based on the locals he met.
July, in a co-production with Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, N.Y., opera diva Alison Davy plays Florence Foster Jenkins in the role that won Meryl Streep her latest Oscar nomination. In ‘Souvenir,’ Jay Kerr plays Cosmé McMoon, an unsuccessful composer who has to tolerate Jenkins’ flawed rhythms and flat notes just to make ends meet.
Dancer, author, philosopher and musician Kimerer LaMothe synthesizes the 11-year journey upon which composer/pianist Geoffrey Gee and she were led by their five children in ‘Happy If…, Happy When,’ an original musical, which follows a suburban family to a rural farm life.
In August, Jerry Gretzinger returns with a new show, ‘The Rat Pack in Vegas,’ paying homage to the iconic sounds of Sinatra, Davis and Martin. The show will be part of a Farm-to-Table Cabaret at Gardenworks Farm, which will also feature performances of ‘Rip Van Winkle’ and ‘Happy If.’ On September 16, Gardenworks and Fort Salem present Farm-to-Table Dinner at the Movies, offering films, slides and live music celebrating the local farms, landscapes and artists along Washington County’s Route 30, accompanied by a four-course, locally sourced meal. The Spurs USA, will play a Sunday matinee on the Fort’s Mainstage. Their catalogue includes Johnny Cash, George Strait, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton.
“It’s something for everyone, and then some,” says the Fort’s Jay Kerr. “We hope to see everyone multiple times.” For tickets, or more information, visit fortsalemtheater.com or call 518-854-9200. Fort Salem Theatre is located at 11 East Broadway in Salem, N.Y.