Adirondack Fest Explores Madagascar, With Piel and LuPone, Plus Girl in the Frame Musical, in Summer 2005

News   Adirondack Fest Explores Madagascar, With Piel and LuPone, Plus Girl in the Frame Musical, in Summer 2005 Adirondack Theatre Festival's summer shows in its home in Glens Falls, NY, will include the musical The Girl in the Frame, J.T. Rogers' new play Madagascar, the solo show High Dive and a work-in-progress, Lost, by Melissa James Gibson.

The festival, with authors in residence, runs June 22-July 30. ATF makes its home at the The Charles Wood Theater, a multi-use 274-seat performing arts theatre which was converted from the vacant Woolworth's store that ATF used as a performance space each summer 1996-2002.

"This season really represents so much of what ATF is all about," ATF artistic director Martha Banta said in a statement. "The Girl in the Frame is a romantic, funny, and contemporary musical which follows in the footsteps of past shows like Mimi Le Duck, Guys On Ice even Heartbeats in our very first season. Madagascar is an award-winning new play which is quickly attracting a lot of attention around the country and will feature a very impressive cast — one of the best we have ever had at ATF, and High Dive is a very funny and touching solo show which reminds me of so many great solo performances we've done in the past such as Fully Committed and It Goes Without Saying. As well, we will give our audience a sneak peak at a new play titled Lost, which we commissioned from an Obie Award-winning playwright. This season truly has a show for everyone."

Composer-lyricist-librettist Jeremy Desmon's The Girl in the Frame (June 22-July 2), previously seen in a Stoneham Theatre staging near Boston in 2004, is the "story of Lanie and Alex, a young couple who are too busy or distracted to get around to consummating their three-year engagement. When Alex's idealized woman, in the form of a stock photo which comes in a new picture frame, comes to life, the story really gets interesting and hysterical."

Desmon is a recent graduate of New York University's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, where ATF's 2004 musical Mimi Le Duck also originated.

Thomas Caruso directs The Girl in the Frame. High Dive (July 6-16) is writer-actress Leslie Ayvazian's 2001 solo work, seen Off-Broadway and around the country. The play "begins with Ayvazian standing on a diving board being egged on by her 11-year-old son, and continues with her multiple experiences taking risks on vacations around the world."

Ayvazian is the author of many plays and grew up in Saranac Lake, NY in the heart of the Adirondacks. One of the scenes in High Dive takes place in Saranac Lake and ATF is currently hoping to have the actual characters play themselves at a performance.

The season concludes July 20-30 with an award-winning drama Madagascar, which is no relation to the upcoming animated film. J.T. Rogers has created "an intricate puzzle of a play where a mysterious disappearance changes three lives and a family who are brought together in a hotel room overlooking Rome's Spanish Steps."

Madagascar will feature the return to ATF of actress Mary Beth Peil (ATF's Wit, 2000), as well as the Robert LuPone (original cast of Broadway's A Chorus Line) and Sheri Parker Lee (Broadway's Not About Nightingales ).

Madagascar will be seen in the second annual Summer Play Festival at Theatre Row in Manhattan, where ATF's production will have five performances prior to its Glens Falls run. Gus Reyes will direct.

This season's "work-in-progress" offering is a first glimpse of Lost, a new play commissioned by ATF from the Obie Award-winning playwright Melissa James Gibson (ATF's The 5 & Dime Plays 2000 and Off-Broadway's [sic]). Written specifically for ATF with support form the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, the play will have a two-night workshop presentation June 27-28 featuring a cast of New York based actors under the direction of ATF artistic director Martha Banta.

For more information, visit www.ATFestival.org.

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While ATF was instrumental in leading and inspiring the new facility which opened in 2004, the Wood Theater Charles R. Wood Theater (207 Glen Street — Route 9 — in downtown Glens Falls) operates year-round as a separate non-profit organization which hosts dozens of community arts organizations, meetings, musical performances and more throughout the year.

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