GLENS FALLS — Ever since he came to Glens Falls, Chad Rabinovitz has been delivering on his promise that each upcoming Adirondack Theatre Festival Summer Season will be bigger and better. Last year, ATF broke all attendance records, selling out most performances of shows that often pushed the edges of innovation.
With this summer season’s planning underway, Rabinovitz, producing artistic director, says this is the best one yet.
“This is our biggest season by a long shot,” he said. “It’s longer, the cast size is much larger, it’s highly entertaining, also emotionally diverse. We’re trying new things.”
Videos: Adirondack Theatre Festival releases summer lineup
The Adirondack Theatre Festival announced its summer lineup with four plays. Watch the trailers for the performances below and for more information visit atfestival.org.
Famed six-time Grammy and three-time Academy Award winner Burt Bacharach is composing the music for the first show of the season, “Some Lovers.”
In 2015, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Bacharach at No. 32 in their list of “100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.”
And while he has kept up a heavy touring schedule of his hits — 73 U.S. Top 40 hit songs and 52 in the U.K. Top 40 — this is Bacharach’s first musical in 50 years.
“Burt hasn’t written a musical since the Broadway hit, ‘Promises, Promises’ in 1968,” said Rabinovitz.
The producer of last year’s “Song of Bernadette” told “Some Lovers” writer Steven Sater about ATF and connected him with Rabinovitz.
“A lot of commercial producers are looking at ATF as a place to develop their stories,” said Rabinovitz. “It’s not everywhere you can keep doing new work. “
Sater is the winner of two Tony Awards, the Laurence Olivier Award and a Grammy Award for writing the book and lyrics for “Spring Awakening.”
“Some Lovers,” opening on June 15, is based on the O. Henry tale, “The Gift of the Magi,” about a couple who ironically each give up their favorite thing to buy a special gift for the other. Sater brings O. Henry’s story into the present-day lives of two 40-somethings, who are revisiting their broken relationship as they look back on their 20-year-old versions of themselves.
Bacharach’s music for “Some Lovers” was performed at a 2016 Lincoln Center concert and it had a “Page to Stage” minimal workshop in London in 2016.
The show has a cast of four and a large, seven-piece band, said Rabinovitz.
“Burt is planning on attending,” he added.
The second show of the season, “Loch Ness,” by Marshall Pailet and AD Penedo, will be directed by Pailet, who directed last summer’s sold-out hit, “Tesla.”
“It’s the story of a young girl who loses her mother and, in search for her, stumbles upon the Loch Ness Monster,” Rabinovitz said. “Ultimately, she finds herself on a quest to save the monster and reunite her with her own mother on the other side of the lake.”
It’s a Disney-style family musical — think “War Horse on Water,” Rabinovitz said.
A Broadway designer is creating a giant puppet as the monster.
“We haven’t done anything like this,” he said.
Broadway star, Gabby Pizzolo, who played Matilda in the Broadway production of “Matilda the Musical,” is being cast as the star of “Loch Ness.”
According to several reviews of its early work, “Loch Ness” is an imaginative and magical musical.
The winner of numerous Canadian awards for best new play for “Mary’s Wedding,” Stephen Massicott brings his latest creation, “The Jedi Handbook,” to Glens Falls as the third production of the summer season.
“It’s nostalgic and told in three parts,” said Rabinovitz, who is directing “Jedi.”
“It’s for fans and non-fans,” said Rabinovitz, referring to “Star Wars.” “My favorite part is the nostalgia.”
ATF wraps up the main stage season with a large-scale tap dance musical, “Front Page Flo.”
“Think glitz, glam, big lights and vintage showbiz, like ‘42nd Street,’” he said.
Written by George Pinney and Larry Kass, “Front Page Flo,” takes place in the 1940s in New York.
“Rambunctious reporter Flo is hungry for her big break. So, when word hits the wires that a Soviet spy has landed in Manhattan, Flo follows the clues to get the scoop,” Rabinovitz said.