Hamilton-Gibson Productions Stage a Comedy with an Unusual Premise

A woman’s impatience with a fellow diner at a restaurant leads her down a rabbit hole into his life.  Sarah Ruhl’s comedy Dead Man’s Cell Phone comes to Wellsboro from long-time theatre company Hamilton-Gibson Productions.  We hear from the director, the actor portraying the main character, and the actor playing the titular “dead man.”  

Photo credit: Hamilton-Gibson Productions

It’s a Life-or-Death Situation in a Comedy in Owego

Harry Segall’s comedy ‘Heaven Can Wait’ takes the stage performed by the Ti-Ahwaga Community Players.  Director Linda Fenescey and actor Kerry Kane are on hand to talk about the prize-fighter who refuses to believe he has died.  It turns out that it was just a clerical error, but putting things right proves difficult…and hilarious.

Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ Plays in a Mysterious Theatre

Kitchen Theatre welcomes Fitz&Startz Production for ‘The Mystery of the Magic Flute’, a re-imagining of Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ with music from other Mozart operas for a detective story for kids about a mysterious theatre. “Three American girls–Bettina age 15, Anna age 12, and Suz age 9–are off to Salzburg, Austria with their Uncle Wolfie to see the sights and experience going to the opera in Mozart’s home town. Uncle Wolfie has told his nieces about a mysterious opera house that is on a street with no name and is not on any map. Can they find it? When Uncle Wolfie turns a corner and disappears and a mysterious door appears, the girls decide to enter.

Noel Coward's 'Blithe Spirit' at Chenango River Theatre

Greene’s Chenango River Theatre presents Noel Coward’s timeless comedy ‘Blithe Spirit’ August 18 through September 10, with a talk-back after the August 25 performance. “To research a new book he’s writing, Charles invites the eccentric medium and clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, to his house to conduct a séance.  The disbelieving Charles is shocked when the séance unleashes the ghost of his late first wife, the clever and insistent temptress Elvira.  Both worldly and unworldly personalities clash in one of the most refreshing “menages a trois” in modern theatre as Charles’ current wife Ruth battles Elvira for her husband’s attention. ”

Jennifer Terrell, playing Ruth, and Eliza Shea, playing Elvira, join us to talk about this hilarious play.  And we were pleased to say hello to Eliza’s parents who were listening in London. http://wskg.org/audio/blithe.mp3

KBKabaret Presents a Music and Comedy Festival

KBKabaret presents a Music and Comedy Festival on Sunday, August 13 from 1pm to 7pm at Traditions at the Glen, 4101 Watson Boulevard in Johnson City.  Founder and comedy writer Bree Harvey joins us to talk about growing up watching television variety shows hosted by Carol Burnett, Sonny and Cher, and the Smothers Brothers, and how they inspired her to create KBKabaret. http://wskg.org/audio/bree.mp3


Photo credit: KBKabaret

Geneva Light Opera presents Mozart's 'Don Giovanni'

Geneva Light Opera presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s dramma giocoso ‘Don Giovanni’. Jimi James, the baritone singing the title role, joins us along with General Manager Gena Rangel to talk about this unique and challenging work that runs the gamut from high drama to slapstick comedy. http://wskg.org/audio/genevadon.mp3


Photo credit: Kevin Schoonover for Geneva Light Opera

'Easy Out' by Arthur Bicknell Premieres in Ithaca

The Homecoming Players of Ithaca present Arthur Bicknell’s new comedy, ‘Easy Out’. Director Rachel Hockett talks about the gestation of the play, a sequel of sorts to the first play Homecoming Players performed, and the cast.  She also tells how going to her high school reunion led to the founding of Homecoming Players. http://wskg.org/audio/easyout.mp3


Photo credit: Jeff Hodges for Homecoming Players

The Endless Mountains Theatre Company Presents Frank Loesser's 'Guys and Dolls'

The Endless Mountains Theatre Company presents Frank Loesser’s classic musical ‘Guys and Dolls’ in the Elk Lake High School in Springville.  Based on stories by Damon Runyon, it has a memorable score including “Fugue for Tinhorns”, “Adelaide’s Lament”, “Luck be a Lady”, and “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat”. Director Sandra Raub talks about fielding a large cast for this delightful but demanding show. http://wskg.org/audio/guysdolls.mp3


Photo credit: Endless Mountains Theatre Company

The Summer Savoyards Present 'The Sorcerer"

The Summer Savoyards of Binghamton present Gilbert and Sullivan’s early operetta ‘The Sorcerer’ in the Chamber Hall of the Anderson Center on the Binghamton University campus. An egotistical nobleman about to be married conspires with a hapless “Family Sorcerer” to administer a love potion to the entire village. Since it is a comedy, the plot goes hilariously wrong. WSKG’s Sam Goodyear chats with Music Director Sherri Strichman and with the Sorcerer himself, John Starks. http://wskg.org/audio/sorcerer.mp3


Photo credit: Kirsten Johnson for the Summer Savoyards

Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Performed Outdoors

Cider Mill Playhouse and the City of Binghamton have joined to present Shakespeare’s comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in Confluence Park for three performances.  Andrea Gregori, playing Titania, and Shan Towns, playing Oberon, talk about this joint venture, and give an overview of this comedy of mismatched couples. Audience members are encouraged to bring folding chairs. http://wskg.org/audio/midsummer.mp3


Photo credit: Joshua B for Shakespeare on the River

BU Theatre Department Presents Wilde's 'Lady Windermere's Fan'

Binghamton University Theatre professor Tom Kremer has adapted Oscar Wilde’s first big theatrical success, ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’. It’s a story of blackmail, accusations of infidelity, gossip, social climbing, shameful secrets, and, finally, a selfless act that redeems all involved. Director Kremer and assistant director Carol Hanscom talk about this adaptation, Wilde’s rich language, and their long partnership. http://wskg.org/audio/windermere.mp3


Photo credit: peterjr1961 via Flickr

Comedic Actress and Singer Christine Pedi Performs in Binghamton

The Goodwill Theatre present singer and voice impressionist Christine Pedi  performing her show ‘Great Dames’ in a ‘Stardust Gala’ at the DoubleTree in downtown Binghamton on Friday, March 31. No stranger to radio, she talks about how, as a long-time cast member of ‘Forbidden Broadway’, she discovered her talent for vocal impressions. In ‘Great Dames’ she brings a host of Broadway voices with her. http://wskg.org/audio/pedi.mp3


Photo credit: www.christinepedi.com

Improv Comedy Comes to the Phelps Mansion Museum

The Phelps Mansion Museum hosts a performance by graduates of Tim Mollen’s improv comedy workshop. He joins us to talk about how he got interested in improv comedy, what techniques he uses to teach, and how the improv group he founded while in college is still going strong.  Workshop graduate Heather Merlis is along to speak about how and assignment to write about the workshop turned her into a happy participant. http://wskg.org/audio/comedyimprov.mp3


Photo credit: Tim Mollen

Robert H. Lieberman's Comedy 'Green Lights' is Screened at Cinemapolis

Cinemapolis is offering a screening of Robert H. Lieberman’s 2002 comedy ‘Green Lights’ on Saturday, March 25. Filmed in Ithaca, the cast is a mix of New York and Ithaca actors. In a classic ‘fish out of water’ plot, a film location scout is mistaken for a big-time producer, and starts to enjoy the perks that adulation provides.  Film maker Robert H. Lieberman talks about filming this love letter to Ithaca, and the many hats he wears. http://wskg.org/audio/greenlights.mp3


Photo credit: Robert H. Lieberman

Ti-Ahwaga Community Players Present 'A Christmas Story'

Ti-Ahwaga Community Players present their annual production of the stage version of the holiday film ‘A Christmas Story’ adapted by Philip Grecian. It’s the fifteenth year for this hilarious classic.  Jamie Cornell, playing the narrator, the grown-up Ralphie, talks about his and his whole family’s involvement over the years. Executive Director Sonny DeWitt is also on hand to talk about new additions to the production alongside the flagpole, the slide, and the infamous leg lamp. http://wskg.org/audio/1202christmasstory.mp3


Photo credit: R.E. Baker for Ti-Ahwaga Community Players

Ithaca Ballet Presents ‘Peter and the Wolf’ and ‘Carnival of the Animals’

The Ithaca Ballet presents a double-bill of ‘Peter and the Wolf’ and ‘Carnival of the Animals’ in Lavinia Reid’s choreography. Cindy Reid talks about how these two classics translate onto the stage, and hints at some of the funny aspects of having animals played by humans.  Performances are at the State Theatre of Ithaca. http://wskg.org/audio/peterwolfmix.mp3


Photo credit: Thomas Hawk via Skype



Ithaca Ballet Presents 'Peter and the Wolf' and 'Carnival of the Animals'

The Ithaca Ballet presents a double-bill of ‘Peter and the Wolf’ and ‘Carnival of the Animals’ in Lavinia Reid’s choreography. Cindy Reid talks about how these two classics translate onto the stage, and hints at some of the funny aspects of having animals played by humans.  Performances are at the State Theatre of Ithaca. http://wskg.org/audio/peterwolfmix.mp3


Photo credit: Thomas Hawk via Skype



Rachel Lampert’s ‘Precious Nonsense’ is Revived at Kitchen Theatre

Ithaca’s Kitchen Theatre is reviving Rachel Lampert’s Gilbert and Sullivan mash-up ‘Precious Nonsense’.  A Depression Era G & S company battles financial troubles to produce ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ with only seven actors.  Kitchen Theatre is also the recent recipient of a theatrical award.  Director Sara Lampert Hoover and Associate Directing Producer Lesley Greene talk about the play and about the award. http://wskg.org/audio/preciousmix.mp3


Photo credit: Dystopos via Flickr

Rachel Lampert's 'Precious Nonsense' is Revived at Kitchen Theatre

Ithaca’s Kitchen Theatre is reviving Rachel Lampert’s Gilbert and Sullivan mash-up ‘Precious Nonsense’.  A Depression Era G & S company battles financial troubles to produce ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ with only seven actors.  Kitchen Theatre is also the recent recipient of a theatrical award.  Director Sara Lampert Hoover and Associate Directing Producer Lesley Greene talk about the play and about the award. http://wskg.org/audio/preciousmix.mp3


Photo credit: Dystopos via Flickr

A Church Puppet Ministry is Devastated when a Puppet Asserts its Independence

Kitchen Theatre presents Robert Askins’ dark comedy ‘Hand to God’.  A recalcitrant teenager is forced to participate in a church puppet ministry, but the puppet he creates asserts its independence.  Is the puppet possessed by the devil, or is the puppet just allowing the teenager to express feelings he has suppressed? And is the play an exploration of teenage psychology, or an irreverent satire?  Director Rachel Lampert tells us about this recent play and how popular it has become. “In the quiet town of Cypress, Texas, recently widowed Margery takes over the church puppet club. But when one puppet is possessed by the devil, there are wildly funny and deliciously devastating consequences. This hilarious play was nominated for five Tony Awards.

Two Actors Play All the Parts

The Franklin Stage Company presents Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’ in a version adapted for two actors.  Director Daniel Swern has had experience adapting Shakespeare in unusual ways to bring new immediacy to the sometimes disturbing themes of the play, and new playfulness to the comic scenes. “In this arresting two-hander adaptation, two strangers discover the text of William Shakespeare’s play ‘The Merchant of Venice’. Armed with costumes and books-in-hand, what starts as a game turns into a confrontation of personal prejudice and reconciliation with our past. A stunning and innovative feat from director Dan Swern of New Brunswick, New Jersey’s Smugbug Productions.”  


Photo credit: Franklin Stage Company



A Chic Suburban Kitchen is the Setting for Bad Behavior

Chenango River Theatre is presenting Michelle Lowe’s dark, yet relentlessly funny play, ‘The Smell of the Kill’. “The story revolves around housewives Nicky, Molly, and Debra, marginal friends who have tolerated one another during once-a-month dinners for years. Nicky is married to an embezzler and is ready to kill for money.  Molly is married to a stalker and is ready to kill for more sex. Debra is married to an adulterer and is just ready to kill. While their unseen spouses practice putting in the dining room, the women exchange confidences for the first time, revealing chinks in all three marriages.  When a completely unlikely opportunity  presents itself, and gives each of them an opportunity to escape their marriages, one by one the women make their choices with more than a little help from one another.”

An Off-beat New Play Ponders Whether We Ever Really Leave Our Home Towns

Chenango River Theatre presents the off-beat and touching comedy ‘Last Gas’.  The title comes from the location, the last gas station in Maine before the Canadian border. The main character returns to this little town to bury her mother, and reconnect with her past.  We hear from the actress playing that role and her return to Chenango County, where she grew up. http://wskg.org/audio/gasmix.mp3


Photo credit: Chenango River Theatre

Comedian Tommy Koenig is a Musical Tour Guide Through the Baby Boom Generation

Ti-Ahwaga Performing Arts Center is presenting comedian Tommy Koenig in his one-man show ‘Baby Boom Baby’. The show charts the journey of the Baby Boom Generation through the sound-track of their life. Koenig is a veteran of National Lampoon and a Baby Boomer himself. His song parodies reflect the times that the generation was living through. http://wskg.org/audio/koenigmix.mp3


Photo Credit: Tommy Koenig

Chenango River Theatre Opens its Season with a Warm-Hearted Comedy

Chenango River Theatre is presenting Bruce Graham’s comedy ‘Stella and Lou’.  Three people meet in a bar in South Philadelphia and contemplate the changes in their lives and how to deal with those changes. Brigitt Markusfeld and Dan Mian talk about this heart-warming comedy, and their acting profession. http://wskg.org/audio/stellamix.mp3


Photo credit: Chenango River Theatre

A Southern Gothic Play Comes to Ithaca

The Homecoming Players present Beth Henley’s southern gothic play, ‘Crimes of the Heart’. A Pulitzer Prize winner, it presents three sisters who couldn’t be more different, until tragedy brings them together. It’s a heart-warming and hilarious play performed as readers’ theatre at the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca. http://www.wskg.org/audio/crimesmix.mp3


Photo credit: A. Strakey via Flickr

The Play is a Disaster, but the Play About the Play is All Laughs

The Ti-Ahwaga Community Players are presenting Michael Frayn’s comedy ‘Noises Off’, a quirky look at the cast of a not-very-successful play, whose backstage inter-relationships are much more entertaining than the play they are performing. Ti-Ahwaga produced it last not that long ago, but demand for its revival has been so strong that it is back.  Actors Shawn Yetter and Jamie Cornell tell about the joys and terrors of doing fast-paced comedy. http://wskg.org/audio/noisesmix.mp3


Photo credit: sc63 via Flickr

Tri-Cities Opera Presents Two One-Act Operas by Menotti and Bernstein

Gian-Carlo Menotti’s comedy ‘The Telephone’ and Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Trouble in Tahiti’ are presented in the round in the Tri-Cities Opera Center, 315 Clinton Street in Binghamton in four performances this weekend. Stage Director Carleen Graham and conductor Warren Jones talk about this innovative production. http://wskg.org/audio/tahiti2.mp3


Photo credit: Bunn Hill Photo and Randy Cummings

A Gender-bending Cult Musical Comes to Hartwick College

Director Nathan Skethway and actor James Canal join forces to present the cult musical ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ at Harwick College.  It’s almost 20 years since this musical premiered, but the themes are still challenging and more timely than ever. And, as a two-actor show, it’s a real challenge for the performers. http://wskg.org/audio/hedwigmix2.mp3


Photo credit: ldhren via Flickr


"Morning's at Seven" premiered in 1939 and hasn't lost any laughs

Paul Osborn’s play Morning’s at Seven inhabits a world of family events and emotions that remains unchanged since it opened on Broadway in 1939.  It has been revived several times on Broadway, and is popular in community theatre for its colorful and still-relevant characters.  Southern Tier Actors Read are presenting it in the ballroom of the Phelps Mansion Museum on Saturday, January 23rd, and Sunday, the 24th.  



Photo courtesy clio1789 via Flickr

Actor Alexander Boyce displays his magical side at the Schorr Firehouse

Alexander Boyce is probably most familiar to audiences in the Triple Cities for his acting, at Union-Endicott High School, SRO Productions, and Know Theatre, and he is now pursuing acting studies at the Tisch School of Arts at NYU.  His interest in magic began about the same time as his interest in acting, and that is what brings him to the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage of the Goodwill Theatre in Johnson City with fellow magician David Oliver for Bam! It’s Magic! http://wskg.org/audio/boycemagicmix.mp3

Photo courtesy Goodwill Theatre


Gilbert & Sullivan's collegiate satire feels at home in the Finger Lakes

Gilbert & Sullivan’s satire on women’s education, Princess Ida, has been relocated to a thinly disguised Wells College in the late 1800s by Anthony Di Renzo. The Cornell Savoyards are on a tour of this version, now appearing at the Endicott Performing Arts Center on Sunday, January 10th at 3pm. Two wealthy robber barons unite to launder their ill-gotten gains by founding a college, but the high-minded daughter of one of them refuses to cooperate, and opens her own university. http://wskg.org/audio/Idafinal.mp3


Photo courtesy Savoyards Musical Theatre


Ti-Ahawaga Community Players have the leg lamp turned on for you!

Ti-Ahwaga Community Players offer their annual production of A Christmas Story.  The flag pole, Santa, the Old Man, the leg lamp, Lifebuoy soap, the Ovaltine decoder ring, and the Red Ryder BB gun all make their appearance. Todd Smith, who plays the narrator, the grown-up Ralphie, talks about this perennial favorite. http://wskg.org/audio/toddsmithmix.mp3


Photo by R.E. Baker via Ti-Ahwaga Community Players



Stealing with Friends | Best Comedy 2015

What happens when five friends decide to rob a bank? You’ll be surprised where their minds will take them…! Stealing with Friends’, created by (and starring!) Xzavier Villie, was awarded ‘Best Comedy’ in the 2015 Rod Serling Film Festival. https://youtu.be/xkHlJHLRwyI

Paula Poundstone is coming to Ithaca

Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me panelist Paula Poundstone is bringing her trademark comedy to the State Theatre of Ithaca. WSKG’s Sarah Gager had a chance to talk with Paula by phone earlier this week. http://wskg.org/audio/POUNDSTONE.mp3

Franklin Stage Company presents "An Ideal Husband"

Carmela Marner, Artistic Director of Franklin Stage Company talks about their production of Oscar Wilde’s comedy An Ideal Husband.  The play addresses some very serious subjects: class, bribery, blackmail, and divulging state secrets, still it was successful enough that it took the theatre that premiered it from the brink of bankruptcy to financial success. It also premiered just as Wilde’s life was about to fall apart.  

Cider Mill Playhouse presents Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods"

Perry Davis Harper (Cinderella’s Prince and Wolf) and Andrew Simek (Rapunzel’s Prince) speak with WSKG’s Bill Snyder about Cider Mill Playhouse’s production of Into the Woods. The musical is a mash-up of several fairy tales: Rapunzel, Cinderealla, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Little Red Riding Hood (with references to Sleeping Beauty and Snow White), with the characters unified by another new fairy tale, The Baker and his Wife.  Everything ends happily ever after at the end of Act I, but then comes Act II… http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-1036682.mp3


Photograph Courtesy C@rljones via Flickr

Cider Mill Playhouse presents "One Slight Hitch"

Ben Williamson talks with WSKG’s Bill Snyder about the Cider Mill Playhouse production of Lewis Black’s One Slight Hitch.  Black is best known as a stand-up comedian who has described his style of  humor as “being on the Titanic every single day and being the only person who knows what is going to happen.” But his play, full of eccentric characters and frenetic situations, is surprisingly gentle. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wskg/local-wskg-1037244.mp3


Photograph Courtesy Cider Mill Playhouse

Franklin Stage Company presents Moliere's "Tartuffe"

Carmela Marner of Franklin Stage Company speaks with WSKG’s Bill Snyder about the new production of Moliere’s Tartuffe in a translation by Richard Wilbur. The Franklin Stage Company performs  a season of plays each summer with admission offered only a voluntary basis, in Chapel Hall the in Franklin, NY. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wskg/local-wskg-1035373.mp3


Photograph Courtesy Jade Goodrich


Spare Productions presents "The Drowsy Chaperone"

Tony DeLousia and Brian Ives speak with WSKG’s Bill Snyder about Spare Production’s presentation of the musical The Drowsy Chaperone.  It’s a musical within a musical about a reclusive Broadway show fan who plays a record of his favorite 1920’s musical, and the audience sees it though his eyes. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-1034893.mp3


Photography Courtesy thephotographymuse via Flickr

"Unnecessary Farce" opens the Chenango River Theatre season

Cast members of Paul Slade Smith’s Unnecessary Farce opens the season at Chenango River Theatre.  Cast members Hayley Zale, Brendan Cullen, and Katie Lamark speak with WSKG’s Bill Snyder about this play which has been described as “Law and Order if the Marx Brothers took over”.  Two cops, three crooks, eight doors.  GO! http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-1033908.mp3


Photo courtesy Philippe Put via Flickr