Playhouse Stage Company Continues 32nd Season of Productions at Cohoes Music Hall


Playhouse Stage Company continues their 32 Season of productions this month with a pair of productions at Cohoes Music Hall.

Opening on Feb. 20, Jerry Lee Lewis vs. Jerry Lee Lewis is a world-premiere play by Jefferson McDonald. The play features the music of rock ‘n’ roll’s famous “killer.” Opening next, on Feb. 27, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill by Lanie Robertson featuring the music of American icon Billie Holiday. The shows will then play in rotating repertory at the Cohoes Music Hall.

“Bringing premiere productions of not one, but two new shows to Capital Region audiences is a perfect example of the kind of artistic programming we can bring to life at the historic Cohoes Music Hall,” said Playhouse Stage Producing Artistic Director Owen Smith. “It is especially exciting for our organization to present, for the first time, the World Premiere of a brand-new piece and to present a schedule of two plays in rotation,” Smith continued.

Jefferson McDonald returns to Playhouse Stage after two engagements last season; first in Million Dollar Quartet and later in Avenue Q (a performance for which he won Best Actor for Broadway World’s Berkshires region in 2019). McDonald, who has played Jerry Lee in hundreds of performances of Million Dollar Quartet across the country, has penned the new play Jerry Lee Lewis vs. Jerry Lee Lewis. It explores the dynamic and controversial life of a man torn between his devout Christian upbringing and the “wild child” persona that he found and embodied. While McDonald will once again play Lewis in this production, he will be joined by another Jerry Lee, this one referred to as “The Killer.” Playing the role is Sean McGibbon, who starred as Jerry Lee in the first national tour of Million Dollar Quartet. Benjamin Williamson, who most recently directed Christmastown for Denizen Theatre in New Paltz, NY, will direct Jerry Lee Lewis vs. Jerry Lee Lewis.

Making her debut with Playhouse Stage Company, Gina Simone Pemberton will portray the legendary Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. Joining her on piano as Jimmy Powers is Playhouse regular Brandon Jones. Veteran Playhouse Stage director Michael LoPorto will helm his first show at the Cohoes Music Hall as he leads Pemberton and Jones through the touching story of one of Billie Holiday’s final performances before her untimely death. The play, written by Lanie Robertson, first ran on Broadway in 2014. Playhouse Stage will present its Capital Region premiere, creating a nightclub setting at the Music Hall with beverages served at table seats near the stage throughout the performance.

Jerry Lee Lewis vs Jerry Lee Lewis will play a preview performance on Feb. 20 with an official opening Friday evening, Feb. 21. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill will open on Feb. 27, and the two productions will begin a run in rotation. Jerry Lee Lewis vs Jerry Lee Lewis will play its final performance on March 8, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill will play on its own for an additional week through March 15.

Upcoming in Playhouse Stage Company’s 32nd Season
Jerry Lee Lewis vs. Jerry Lee Lewis and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill – Feb. 20 through March 15, 2020 at Cohoes Music Hall.

Other shows to watch for:
-Pippin – April 16–26, 2020 at Cohoes Music Hall
-Evita – June 26–July 25, 2020 at Park Playhouse in Albany’s Washington Park
-Alice in Wonderland – July 28–August 1, 2020 at Cohoes Music Hall
-Roald Dahl’s Matilda: The Musical – August 4–22, 2020 at Park Playhouse in Albany’s Washington Park

Tickets are available by phone through the Playhouse Stage Co. box office at (518) 434-0776 and online at and

Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Cohoes Music Hall box office two hours prior to performances. Adult tickets are $30.00, or the two productions can be purchased as a two-show package for $50.00. Tickets for those under 18 years of age are $20.00.

To learn more about Playhouse Stage Company and to purchase tickets, visit

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