Proctors & theRep Announce their 2020-21 Season

Proctors Theater and Capital Repertory Theater announced their 2020-21 seasons in their usual spectacular fashion.  This year, again hosted by Channel 10 anchors Lydia Kulbida and John Gray, was presented in game show fashion with three audience members each trying to guess the show based on clues given by Gray.  Different this year, at least for me, was the opportunity to interview some of the performers prior to the Bash.

I have never done interviews before, but I had wonderful conversations with these performers, who showed the excitement about the shows they were representing.  One of the benefits of being after the Gazette’s Indiana Nash is that I could hear some of the answers given to her questions. This accomplished a couple of things, I could take down the answers I would not have thought about, but mainly keep them from having to repeat themselves. This was especially helpful when I chatted with Proctors Collaborative CEO Philip Morris as it allowed him to brag about the upcoming opening of the new Capital Rep Theater in Albany in July of this year.  The renovations are nearing completion and the stage placement allows views with no more pillars for unobstructed views.  As for the shows that are brought into Proctors, they take risks and try to be on the leading edge and get new shows, rather than the revues that many theaters bring in as safe fare.  Also noted, this will be the third season of a collaboration with Disney that allows Proctors to Tech brand new shows before they are taken on the road. Previous years have included such shows as Newsies and Frozen and this year will include Hadestown and Aida.

Tshidi Manye

Tshidi Manye, who closed out the Bash with her wonderful rendition of “Circle Of Life” has been performing in The Lion King for the past 19 years and on Broadway since 2004 as Rafiki, explained her view of as a representation of real life with its triumphs and tragedies and dismisses the view, by some, as just a puppet show. Of course, even looking at it as a puppet show, the costumes are so amazing, it’s easy to forget that they are just puppets.

Jessica Crouch

Jessica Crouch, who is a swing in Broadway’s Pretty Woman, a musical adaptation of the movie of the same name, took the time to explain how the family of Garry Marshall shared in his zeal of bringing his pet project to the stage and were in one every step in the development, including the casting.  Crouch, who has been part of the show since its pre-Broadway days in Chicago, mentioned one of her favorite parts is the opera scene where La Traviata meets the songs of Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance.

Davani VanRensalier & Trent Saunders

Trent Saunders and Davani VanRenselier represented Hadestown, a story in Greek Mythology that follows Orpheus and Eurydice to Hades, but updated for a more modern touch as Hadestown.  Their take on it was or the juxtaposition of Love vs. Tragedy, summer vs. winter (as Hades wife Persephone spends the 6 months winter in Hades and the 6 months of summer outside).  Also, new love (Orpheus and Eurydice) vs older love (Hades & Persephone).  

Sarah Lasko

Sarah Lasko, representing The Wizard Of Oz at theREP, spent a year and a half on tour with the show before coming here to perform in the show, although it hasn’t officially been cast yet, loves the journey Dorothy takes in the show.  While spending so much time wondering what it’s like somewhere else, she finds that “There’s no place like home.” Plus she gets to sing the wonderful “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, which she did, to rousing applause, as part of the Bash.

Here is the official Press Release:


Lineup for 2020-21 features mixture of classic favorites, contemporary hits and new works

SCHENECTADY – A ‘sell out’ crowd of subscribers, members, group leaders and supporters gathered at Proctors on Monday, February 24, as Proctors Collaborative leadership unveiled the venue’s 2020-2021 Key Private Bank Broadway Series as well as the 2020-2021 Season at Capital Repertory Theatre (theREP) at its annual Season Announcement Bash.

The interactive ‘game show’ themed celebration, hosted for a 5th consecutive year by NEWS 10 Albany/NEWS10 ABC/FOX 23 anchors John Gray and Lydia Kulbida and sponsored by Hill, Gosdeck & McGraw LLC, featured exciting reveals of both venues’ upcoming shows, leaving those in attendance feeling like jackpot winners.

John Gray

Highlighting the exciting list of touring Broadway productions coming to Proctors is the Schenectady premiere of smash-hit Mean Girls, as well as the celebrated Lincoln Center Theater production of the classic My Fair Lady, Aaron Sorkin’s critically acclaimed adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird, contemporary Broadway hit The Prom and the dazzling production of Pretty Woman: The Musical. Rounding out the subscription series, and continuing the trend of productions choosing to tech and launch tours in the Capital Region, are winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards® including Best Musical and the 2020 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theater Album, Hadestown and a new production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s award-winning Aida.

This upcoming season will feature the first full year of programming hosted in theREP’s new state-of-the-art facility at 251 North Pearl Street in Albany. The excitement kicks off in September with a behind the curtain look at Albany’s Democratic political machine in The True. Subscribers will enjoy an eclectic slate of shows, including a production of The Wizard of Oz featuring actor-musicians, the world premiere of 2017 ‘NEXT ACT! New Play Summit’ winner The Way North, the powerful story of the Tuskegee Airmen in Fly, and, of course, the continuation of the summer musical tradition with the toe-tapping hit, Jersey Boys.

Lydia Kulbida

In addition to the shows featured on both venues’ subscription series, subscribers will have priority access to this year’s exclusive title – the highly anticipated Capital Region return of Disney’s The Lion King. Subscriptions also include a cross-venue ticket, allowing patrons to visit their sister venue for a performance of their choice.

“With a season featuring Tony Award® winners, exciting new productions, contemporary and classic favorites and our latest collaboration with Disney, it’s clear that Schenectady has cemented its place as a tour stop for Broadway’s best and brightest,” said Proctors Collaborative CEO Philip Morris. “Each year, the Bash offers us the opportunity to unveil our exciting slate of programming to a room of our most dedicated supporters and theatre lovers, and we look forward to welcoming all our patrons later this year for what promises to be another fantastic year at Proctors and theREP.”

“Each year, theREP strives to present our subscribers, supporters and guests with a diverse, exciting and most-importantly – entertaining selection of theatrical delights, and this season is no exception,” said Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, theREP’s Producing Artistic Director. “Now, as we prepare to enter our first full year in our new home, we have the unique opportunity to offer our patrons more than ever before, and I couldn’t be more excited. With new takes on classic favorites, powerful human stories inspired by true events and the world premiere of a play first workshopped on our stage in 2017, I’m confident this season is the perfect way to begin our new era at theREP.”

Subscriptions for the 2020–2021 Key Private Bank Broadway Series at Proctors and the 2020–2021 Season at Capital Repertory Theatre go on sale 10 a.m. Tuesday, February 25 at the Box Office at Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady; and by phone at 518.346.6204.

Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill & Philip Morris

2020 – 2021 Key Private Bank Broadway Series at Proctors

Oct.  13-18, 2020  


Welcome to HADESTOWN, where a song can change your fate. Winner of eight 2019 Tony® Awards including Best Musical and the 2020 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theater Album, this acclaimed new show by celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and innovative director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) is a love story for today… and always. 

HADESTOWN intertwines two mythic tales — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone — as it invites you on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers and singers, HADESTOWN is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you and never let’s go. 

My Fair Lady 
Nov. 10-15, 2020  

From Lincoln Center Theater that brought you The King & I and South Pacific, comes “a sumptuous new production of the most perfect musical of all time” (Entertainment Weekly), Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY.  Director Bartlett Sher’s glowing production is “thrilling, glorious and better than it ever was” (New York Times).  “Every so often a revival comes along that reminds you how indispensable great theater can be” (NY1). 

Boasting such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “On the Street Where You Live,” MY FAIR LADY tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.”  But who is really being transformed? 

Pretty Woman: The Musical
Dec. 2-6, 2020  

After an incredible run on Broadway, Audience Choice Award winner Pretty Woman: The Musical is coming to Schenectady! Pretty Woman: The Musical is brought to life by a powerhouse creative team representing the best of music, Hollywood, and Broadway. Featuring direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde), an original score by Grammy® winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance (“Summer of ’69”, “Heaven”), and a book by the movie’s legendary director Garry Marshall and screenwriter J.F. Lawton, Pretty Woman: The Musical will lift your spirits and light up your heart. “If you love the movie, you’ll love the musical!” (BuzzFeed News).

Atlantic Records’ Pretty Woman: The Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording) is produced by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance and is now available on all DSPs.

To Kill A Mockingbird 
Dec.  29, 2020 – Jan.  3, 2021  

All rise for Academy Award® winner Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prizewinning masterwork. The New York Times Critic’s Pick TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is “the most successful American play in Broadway history. It has not played to a single empty seat” (60 Minutes). Rolling Stone gives it 5 stars, calling it “an emotionally shattering landmark production of an American classic,” and New York Magazine calls it “a real phenomenon. Majestic and incandescent, it’s filled with breath and nuance and soul.” With direction by Tony Award® winner Bartlett Sher, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD — “the greatest novel of all time” (Chicago Tribune) — has quickly become “one of the greatest plays in history” (NPR). 

Mean Girls 
Feb.  2-7, 2021  

Direct from Broadway, MEAN GIRLS is the hilarious hit musical from an award-winning creative team, including book writer TINA FEY (“30 Rock”), composer JEFF RICHMOND (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), lyricist NELL BENJAMIN (Legally Blonde) and director CASEY NICHOLAW (The Book of Mormon).  

Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung. 

New York Magazine cheers, “MEAN GIRLS delivers with immense energy, a wicked sense of humor and joyful inside-jokery.” USA Today says, “We’ll let you in on a little secret, because we’re such good friends: GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!”

Mar.  16–21, 2021  


The New Yorker says, “Disney’s Done it Again!” 

Allison Semmes & Allen Louis

The winner of four Tony® Awards returns to the stages of North America! 

With a Grammy® and Tony Award-winning score by the legendary Elton John and Tim Rice and a revised book by Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang, the hit Broadway musical AIDA returns to the stage in a thrilling new production. The producers of THE LION KING and FROZEN have reunited the original Tony Award-winning design team of Bob Crowley (scenery and costumes) and Natasha Katz (lighting) to reinterpret their designs in the retelling of this passionate and timeless story for today’s audiences. 

Directed by Schele Williams, choreographed by Camille A. Brown and musical supervision by Tony Award-winning Jason Michael Webb, AIDA is a compelling tale of star-crossed lovers belonging to feuding nations, torn between their conflicted loyalties to their countries and to each other. With its stirring contemporary score and its powerful love story, AIDA reveals that we have the power to change history, but only when we make brave choices and embrace our destiny. 

The Prom 
Mar.  30 – Apr.  4, 2021  

Everyone’s invited to the joyous Broadway hit that New York Magazine hails it “smart and big-hearted” while The New York Times declares it “makes you believe in musical comedy again!” THE PROM is a new musical comedy about big Broadway stars, a small town, and a love that unites them all.  

Variety raves, “It’s so full of happiness that you think your heart is about to burst.” And The Hollywood Reporter cheers, “It’s comic gold!”  

THE PROM features direction and choreography by Tony ® Award winner Casey Nicholaw (Mean Girls, The Book of Mormon), a book by Tony Award winner Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (Aladdin), music by Tony Award nominee Matthew Sklar (Elf) and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin. 

You belong at THE PROM! 

Disney’s The  Lion King 
Apr.  15 – May 2, 2021 

Giraffes strut.  Birds swoop.  Gazelles leap.  The entire Serengeti comes to life as never before.  And as the music soars, Pride Rock slowly emerges from the mist. This is Disney’s THE LION KING, making its triumphant return to Proctors!

More than 100 million people around the world have experienced the awe-inspiring visual artistry, the unforgettable music, and the uniquely theatrical storytelling of this Broadway spectacular – one of the most breathtaking and beloved productions ever to grace the stage. 

Winner of six Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, THE LION KING brings together one of the most imaginative creative teams on Broadway.  Tony Award®-winning director Julie Taymor brings to life a story filled with hope and adventure set against an amazing backdrop of stunning visuals.  THE LION KING also features the extraordinary work of Tony Award®-winning choreographer Garth Fagan and some of Broadway’s most recognizable music, crafted by Tony Award®-winning artists Elton John and Tim Rice. 

There is simply nothing else like THE LION KING. 

2020-2021 Season at Capital Repertory Theatre

The True
Sept. 25 – Oct.  18, 2020

1977. Albany, NY. Peek behind the curtains in Sharr White’s drama about the blunt, profane, decades-long defender of Albany’s Democratic Party machine, Dorothea “Polly” Noonan. Politics is personal for Noonan, especially now that her hero, “mayor for life” Erastus Corning II, is battling for party control, while at the same time fighting the fiercest primary challenge of his life. THE TRUE is an intimate portrait of the bounds of love, loyalty and female power in the male-dominated world of 1977 patronage politics.  

Fresh off of a 2018 Off-Broadway debut, theREP will be bringing this play back to its roots in Albany, NY.  

“Riveting!” New York Theatre Guide 

The Wizard of Oz 
Nov. 20 – Dec. 27, 2020

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Revisit your childhood in Frank Baum’s beloved classic story, with all the songs we love from the award-winning movie.  You’ll meet all your favorite characters from Kansas and the wonderful land of Oz. Follow Dorothy and Toto as they travel the yellow brick road in search of the Wizard, while coming in contact with new friends as well as dangers caused by the Wicked Witch of the West.  

Sing along with the Munchkins to timeless classics such as “Over the Rainbow,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” and “Yellow Brick Road”. The show gets the special REP treatment with actor-musicians, delightful new arrangements and an imaginative setting — in the intimate environment of our new theatre.  You’ll leave the show feeling braver, smarter with your heart wide open! 

The Way North – World Premiere 
Jan. 22 – Feb. 14, 2021 

What would you do if your most deeply-held principles came up against the longings of your heart? Would you live with the heartache and stick to your principles? Or might you bend a little and compromise? That’s the predicament of Freddy Hansen, a retired sheriff, who has isolated herself in the woods of Northern Minnesota to serve as an occasional wilderness guide for hearty hikers. When a lost, cold and very pregnant, Agnes, stumbles on to her rural homestead seeking refuge, Freddy must decide whether to turn a blind eye for her love of the law or let the chips fall as they may.  To complicate the situation, Freddy’s daughter arrives to urge her to “do the right thing”, while the current sheriff shows up with a very different point of view.  Don’t miss the exciting 2017 Winner of the NEXT ACT NEW PLAY FESTIVAL, THE WAY NORTH at theREP. 

Apr. 9 – May 2, 2021

Experience the thrill of flight commandeered by WWII flying aces, the Tuskegee Airmen. Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan’s soaring play takes us on a breathtaking journey with the first African-American Army Air Corp fighters. Based on true events, FLY takes you through the trials and tribulations of four recruits who transform from a collection of motley individuals into a true brotherhood of fighter pilots. Using tap dancing and spoken word, this ingenious play will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, as you experience the magnitude of this emotional ride t first hand.  

“Moving and Powerful.” The New York Times 

Jersey Boys
Jul.  9 – Aug. 8, 2021

“O, What A Night!” and you’ll want to dance it away to this tune-filled journey with the Four Seasons!  Follow the four boys from New Jersey, from their first stumbles and fumbles to their rise to become international icons of their generation. See how the group was almost ripped apart by personal problems and professional differences, yet managed to climb to the top of the pop charts over and over again with big hits, including “Sherry,” “Walk Like A Man, “ “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” and many more.  Travel with the boys to “late December back in 63,” and relive the music hits of Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi.  

“The crowd goes wild!” New York Times 

1 Comment
  1. Kathy says

    Great show lineup announced at 2020-2021 Proctors Season Bash review/photos by Ed Conway!

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