BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE – The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts has announced the line-up for its 2016 Adirondack Lakes Summer Theatre Festival, and this year the touring festival will feature a musical revue entitled The Best of Broadway, free outdoor performances of The Taming of the Shrew as its Shakespeare in the Adirondack Park, and a cabaret that will be the highlight of the Arts Center’s annual Great Arts Benefit. The Festival kicks off in Long Lake on July 15 through August 14.
The Best of Broadway features lesser-known musical gems by beloved Broadway composers like Charles Strouse (Bye, Bye Birdie and Annie) and Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof), along with hilarious sketches, including a spoof of Death of a Salesman by Mel Brooks. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $15 for Arts Center members, and $10 for children 12 and under. Performance dates for Long Lake for the Best of Broadway is Friday, July 15, 7:30 p.m. at the Long Lake Town Hall.
The Taming of the Shrew is a brilliant 40-minute version of the Shakespeare comedy. Petruchio decides that Kate, the beautiful girl with the awful temper, will make a wonderful wife once she’s tamed. Kate wants nothing to do with any suitor. This madcap story of imperfect love is told in the Elvis-meets-I-Love-Lucy setting of the 1950s! Bring your lawn chair (indoor facilities available in case of weather). Performance date in Long Lake is Sunday, July 31st at 7pm at the Mt. Sabattis Pavilion, entrance located at the intersection of Deerland Road and South Hill Road at the Mt. Sabattis Recreation Park.
The Great Arts Benefit Cabaret, to take place Saturday, August 13, at 7 p.m. on the ESF Newcomb campus, will be a mix of American songbook, musical theatre, and even some operetta and opera in a glamorous setting. This performance will be the finale of the Benefit, which will run through the afternoon. Ticket prices, to include the entire event, will be announced soon.
New Arts Center artistic director George Cordes will be doing double duty, directing all three productions and appearing in them, as well. North Country audiences know him from his appearances with Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake in the title roles of Man of La Mancha and Sweeney Todd, his performances with High Peaks Opera, the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, and Northern Lights Choir, and his work as stage director for the spring musicals at Tupper Lake High School.
The Arts Center is bringing in a talented group of actor-singers to spend the summer in Blue Mountain Lake and perform in all three Festival productions. They include two New York City-based performers who are also regulars at Pendragon.
Cassidy Dermott is a New York City-based actress and teaching artist with Shakespearean training. She is a company member of 8Players and has recently performed in Shakespeare’s Richard III and Henry VI with the Gallery Players. North Country audiences will remember fondly her versatile and vibrant performances with Pendragon Theatre as Chloe in Arcadia, Emma Goldman in Tintypes, Myrtle Mae in Harvey, Antonia in Man of La Mancha, and the Devil in The Soldier’s Tale (with the Lake Placid Sinfonietta).
Lucky Cerruti, a native of Lake Placid, also has been a regular at Pendragon, featured in The Snow Queen, The Seagull, Man of La Mancha, and the title role in Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp. With Camp Pendragon, he appeared in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Lucky is also an accomplished musician and studied at Berklee College in Boston. As a student in Lake Placid, he performed lead roles in several musicals, including Danny Zuko in Grease. He currently resides in New York City.
Brandon Bedore is a senior musical-theatre major at Catholic University in Washington, DC. He recently spent a semester abroad studying at the London Dramatic Academy. Brandon performed in several main-stage shows at Catholic University, appearing in Carousel, Sweet Charity, and as Clem in The Most Happy Fella. In 2015, he performed as Bernardo in West Side Story selections at the Kennedy Center. He previously appeared with the Arts Center in Shrek: The Musical.
Danielle LaMere is in her junior year at SUNY Potsdam with a double major that includes theatre. She also is a Pendragon veteran, where she appeared in Death of a Salesman and was assistant director of Camp Pendragon productions for two summers. Danielle has also appeared with Lake Placid’s Community Theatre Players in The Wizard of Oz and The Little Mermaid. At SUNY Potsdam, she has been involved with the Ten Minute and One Act Play Festivals as an actor, stage manager, and director and most recently appeared in the musical The Forbidden Planet.
Both Brandon and Danielle are also Tupper Lake natives and sang lead roles with the Red & Black Players there in Annie, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and Back to the 80s: The Totally Awesome Musical!
Besides this talented group of performers, Taming of the Shrew and the Great Arts Benefit Cabaret will feature other local talent, including community actors and singers from around the central Adirondacks. Auditions will be announced soon!
The Adirondack Lakes Summer Theatre Festival is supported by a generous grant from the New York State Council on the Arts. The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts is located at 3446 State Route 28 in Blue Mountain Lake. For more information on these and other performances, events, and classes, go to adirondackarts.org, or call (518) 352-7715.