Next to Normal, A.R. Gurney, Woody Guthrie and More Find Home at Adirondack Fest This Summer

By Kenneth Jones
April 11, 2012

Adirondack Theatre Festival will stage five events this summer between June 26-July 28 at the Charles R. Wood Theater in Glens Falls, NY. Works by A.R. Gurney, Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, Woody Guthrie and others are on the schedule.



ATF is under the leadership of producing artistic director Mark Fleischer, general manager Tracy Long and board of trustees president Kathy Reed.

The 18th summer season of ATF will include:

Black Tie
By A.R. Gurney
Directed by Terry Rabine
June 26-30

"A critically acclaimed comedy set on the shores of Lake George by one of America's most prolific playwrights. The father of the groom simply wants to make a memorable toast. But before he is able to raise his glass, he must defend time-honored traditions of the past, including his formal attire. Cultures and generations clash when a surprise guest is announced, threatening to throw convention out the window. Balancing the standards of his late father and the needs of his future family may prove too messy for a black tie affair."

Next to Normal
Book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Music by Tom Kitt
Directed by Mark Fleischer
Music-Directed by Matthew Aument
Choreographed by Marc Kimelman
July 5-14

"A new production of one of Broadway's bravest and most talked about musicals. Featuring a compelling and surging pop-rock score, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal shatters the façade of a suburban family dealing with the direct and indirect effects of mental illness. This intense, emotional and ultimately hopeful musical makes a direct grab for the heart with its story of a family trying to take care of themselves and each other." Next to Normal won Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Orchestrations, and for Best Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley). Read more about the groundbreaking hit in the Playbill Vault.

Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie
Devised by David M. Lutken with Nick Corley and Darcie Deaville, Helen J. Russell and Andy Teirstein
Directed by Nick Corley
July 19-28

"ATF presents a very special production in honor of the Woody Guthrie Centennial. Woody Guthrie transformed folk music into a vehicle for social protest and evoked the restless spirit of the Dust Bowl generation. Woody Sez is a joyous, toe-tapping, and moving theatrical event that uses Guthrie’s words, and over twenty-five of his songs, to tell the fascinating, beautiful and sometimes tragic story of this musical hero. Performed by four versatile actor/musicians playing 15 acoustic instruments, the ensemble brings to life the many people who form the fabric of Guthrie's amazing story. Through a mix of his moving ballads and energetic foot-stompers, including 'Bound for Glory' and 'This Land Is Your Land,' Woody Sez captures not only the heart and spirit of Woody Guthrie, but the story of America."

The More Things Change
ATF's Second Act Cabaret
Starring Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair
June 28-30 at 9:30 PM (following select performances of Black Tie)

"Entering its third year, ATF's Second Act Cabaret brings the NYC cabaret experience to Glens Falls. This year Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair, the authors of ATF's hit musical Murder for Two, will create an original cabaret featuring some of their latest songs and sketches. Their first major collaboration, Murder for Two, premiered at ATF in the summer of 2010" [and] was later produced in San Francisco and then Chicago, where it was extended several times during what became a seven-month run at the Tony Award-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

Filming O'Keeffe
A New Play Reading
By Eric Lane
Directed by Martha Banta
July 21 at 2 PM
July 22 at 7:30 PM

"Audiences can take a sneak peek at the creation of a new play. Award-winning playwright Eric Lane will share his latest play, Filming O'Keeffe, with ATF audiences in anticipation of its 2013 world premiere. The piece was commissioned by Adirondack Theatre Festival and is inspired by the time Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz spent at his family home on Lake George. Lane's emotional, lyrical and funny play takes its inspiration and themes from this passionate and turbulent relationship. The echoes of O'Keefe and Stieglitz are alive in a modern artistic family residing on the former Stieglitz estate as they wrestle with choices made years ago. The piece will be presented as a script-in-hand reading. ATF invites the audience to provide feedback to the play's writer and director via a post-show discussion and survey."

Filming O'Keeffe is supported in part by the ATF Founders' Fund for New Work. The fund, which was launched in 2011, raised over $16,000 in its first year from audience members and alumni artists. The Fund is dedicated to commissioning new plays and honoring the theatre’s founders who envisioned a company dedicated to producing new work. The project marks the return of ATF founding artistic director Martha Banta.

Fleischer said, "Martha's collaborative history with Eric Lane on two previous plays and her experience growing up in our region made Filming O'Keeffe the perfect project for her return."

The Charles R. Wood Theater is at 207 Glen Street in Glens Falls. Season tickets go on sale May 15. Tickets to individual shows on sale June 1. For more information visit ATFestival.org or call the box office at (518) 874-0800.