Playhouse Stage Company Announces 36th Season
This year, Playhouse Stage Company enters its 36th Season presenting professional and youth musical theatre to Capital Region audiences. The upcoming lineup features a four-show mainstage season to be presented at Cohoes Music Hall and Albany’s Park Playhouse, as well as special productions for schools and young people in the community.
Playhouse Stage Company has been producing free, outdoor summer musicals at Park Playhouse since 1989, and has been presenting musicals year-round at the historic Cohoes Music Hall since 2016.
“Our goal is to continue exceeding audience’s expectations with first-rate musical theatre that’s both entertaining and engaging,” said Producing Artistic Director Owen Smith. “This season, we’re offering a lineup of shows that, each in their own way, invite audiences to reflect on, reconsider and redefine how they see the world around them. With a mix of the region’s most talented young performers from our Playhouse Stage Academy, local and regional professional actors and musicians, and a world-class design and creative team, we’ll once again work hard to prove to audiences why we were dubbed ‘Broadway in the Capital Region’s backyard’ when we were founded all the way back in 1989!”
The Playhouse’s 36th Season kicks off just in time for the holidays with the festive musical adaptation of the popular children’s book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, running December 1 – 23, 2023 at Cohoes Music Hall. Back by popular demand, following a nearly sold out run in 2017, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a hilarious and heart-warming crowd pleaser that takes the classic book by Barbara Robinson about the “horrible Herdmans,” the rough and rowdy kids who force their way into their town’s annual Christmas pageant, and transforms the story into a toe-tapping, tuneful extravaganza. With a funny, touching story, and memorable songs that blend a modern Broadway sound with traditional holiday melodies, the show is an ideal choice for family entertainment this holiday season.
Next up, the Playhouse will present Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s Spring Awakening, from April 12-28, 2024 again at Cohoes Music Hall. Featuring a cast of advanced teen students working alongside professional actors in age-appropriate roles, Spring Awakening employs a fearless approach to taboo topics. This unforgettable musical, a winner of eight Tony Awards, grips audiences with an intense, emotional story based on the 19th century German book of the same name. Resonating with timeless themes, it delves into the lives of teenagers grappling with the consequences of ignorance and suppression, as well as the exploration of their own sexuality.
Kicking off their summer lineup at Cohoes Music Hall is the effervescent musical The Marvelous Wonderettes. A nostalgic journey through the music of the 1950’s and 60’s, this charming show brings you the unforgettable harmonies and fabulous fashions of a bygone era as four talented friends unexpectedly take the stage at their high school prom with a jukebox full of classic girl group hits. With performances from June 28 – July 21, 2024, The Marvelous Wonderettes is a hilarious musical joyride of friendship, love, and the enduring magic of music that will leave audiences smiling from ear to ear.
For its final 36th season mainstage offer, the company will return to Park Playhouse in Albany’s
Washington Park with the high-energy, fan favorite, Legally Blonde: The Musical. Based on the book and smash hit 2001 film, the show follows Elle Woods, a fashion-forward, determined young woman, as she breaks stereotypes and embarks on a journey to study at Harvard Law School. With a vibrant, catchy score, unforgettable characters, and a hilarious story, the show is a vivacious celebration of self-discovery and female empowerment. Performances will run from July 16 – August 18, 2024 and lawn seating will, as ever, be offered free-of-charge to break down barriers of access to the arts.
In addition to its mainstage offerings, Playhouse Stage will offer two additional productions geared towards schools and children. In an effort to integrate the performing arts into scholastic curriculum, Playhouse Stage will present the musical Grace for President for school field trips at Cohoes Music Hall from February 26 – March 22, 2024.
“Grace for President is a much-needed, wholesome, and entertaining civics lesson for students during a time when national politics has become so frequently negative,” said AshleySimone Kirchner, Playhouse Stage Company’s Director of Education. “We can’t wait to welcome school field trips to our historic venue for an entire month for this timely scholastic offering.”
Finally, to close out the 36th season, Playhouse Stage Academy’s summer youth camps will present the big, blue ocean-based story of Disney’s Finding Nemo Jr., based on the beloved 2003 film. Perfect for family audiences, performances will play August 21-25, 2024, at a new outdoor venue to be announced later this season.
Four-ticket Flex Packs that can be used for any of the company’s mainstage productions are available online via www.playhousestage.org and www.thecohoesmusichall.org, or by phone at (518) 434-0776. Patrons can get Flex Packs for only $120 through October 7, and then $140 subsequently. Tickets to individual productions will go on sale later in the season. For more information, audiences can visit www.playhousestage.org.