East End’s Fall Live Theater Season Begins

John Kern and Matthew Conlon in the Hampton Theatre Company's production of "Harvey.   Tom Kochie photo.
John Kern and Matthew Conlon in the Hampton Theatre Company’s production of “Harvey. Tom Kochie photo.

As autumn’s chill overtakes us all, the board-treaders of the East End’s stages are promising a season of live theater to keep us all engaged until spring comes again.

This weekend marks the opening of two of the East End’s major theater company’s 2014-2015 seasons, with North Fork Community Theatre’s “The Boy Friend” and Hampton Theatre Company’s “Harvey” opening tonight.

“Harvey” is a Pulitzer Prize-winning classic comedy by Mary Chase about the havoc wrought by a 6-foot tall rabbit who is visible to only a few. The play ran on Broadway between 1944 and 1949 before it was made into a movie starring Jimmy Stewart in 1950.

Hampton Theatre Company’s performance stars veteran HTC actor Matthew Conlon as Elwood P. Dood, last seen on the HTC stage in the title role of “The Foreigner” this spring. Pamela Kern, a veteran of four HTC productions, plays Elwood’s sister, Veta Louise Simmons, and Amanda Griemsmann, a newcomer to the Quogue stage, plays Veta’s daughter, Myrtle Mae.

The staff at the local sanitarium, Chumley’s Rest, is headed up by John Kern in the role of Dr. Chumley and HTC veteran Sebastian Marbury as Dr. Lyman Sanderson. Krista Kurtzberg, who also appeared in “The Foreigner,” plays Nurse Kelly, and Russell Weisenbacher plays the orderly Duane Wilson.

The play will run tonight through Nov. 9, with shows on Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available online here.

NFCT presents "The Boy Friend" this month.
NFCT presents “The Boy Friend” this month.

The North Fork Community Theatre’s production of Sandy Wilson’s “The Boy Friend” is a spoof of 1920s musicals.

The play tells the story of Polly, an English heiress who longs for just one thing: a boy friend.

It’s is set against the backdrop of the French Riviera, where Polly’s father forbids her to see anyone because he believes any of her suiters will only be interested in her money. Polly tells Tony, the local delivery boy she’s fallen for, that she ‘isn’t rich,’ setting off a story of mistaken identity, as true love charmingly finds its way through the cast on the way to a happy ending.

The show runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through Nov. 9. Tickets are $20 and are available online here.

Also ahead in the upcoming weeks is Bay Street Theatre’s production of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” with a cast made up of many local actors from Sag Harbor, Hampton Bays and Calverton who have participated in programs at Bay Street Theater.

A scene from Bay Street Theatre's "To Kill A Mockingbird."
A scene from Bay Street Theatre’s “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

The production is part of the theater’s six-year-old “Literature Live” series of productions based on major works of literature.

Tickets are free for all students with a valid ID and $25 for adults. The production runs Nov. 5 through Nov. 29 on Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m. and for Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are available online here.

“Since the start of this program six years ago, we’ve brought nearly 10,000 students from 51 schools across Long Island,” says Tracy Mitchell, Bay Street Theater’s Executive Director.

“In working to ensure that theater remains accessible, this year we offered a Free Student Ticket Initiative,” he added. “And we’ve seen a large jump in the number of students attending because of it. I hope everyone will take advantage of this opportunity.”

Over in East Hampton, the folks at Guild Hall are staging a production of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” opening Nov. 7. The show runs through Nov. 23, with shows at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and Saturday matinees at 2 p.m.

Round Table Theatre Company, whose production of “Macbeth” at LTV Studios in 2013 was both critically acclaimed and boasted sold-out performances, will co-produce the show with Guild Hall.

Round Table Theatre Company's "Hamplet
Round Table Theatre Company’s “Hamplet

The company will feature several players and designers from “Macbeth,” with Morgan Vaughan directing. The cast are classically trained and veterans of the stage.

From “Macbeth,” the ensemble includes Jeff Keogh, who played Macbeth, as King Claudius; Tristan Vaughan as Hamlet; Josh Gladstone as Lord Polonius and the Gravedigger; John Tramontana as Horatio; Dianne B as Gertrude; Peter Connolly as Bernardo and Rosencrantz; Sawyer Avery as Francisco and Guildenstern; Evan Daves as Leartes and the Player Queen; Michael Bartoli as Marcellus/Osric/Player King; and Fabrienne Bottero as Ophelia.

Tickets are $25 and are available online here.

The Riverhead Faculty Community Theater’s fall production of “Godspell” will open Nov. 14 at the Jamesport Meeting House on Route 25 in Jamesport.

The production, directed and choreographed by Anita Boyer, will include performances on Nov. 14, 15, 21 & 22 at 8 p.m. and on Nov. 16 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $15 and are available online here.

 

 

 

 

 

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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