Live entertainment showing signs of rebirth

CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. — Spring is a season of rebirth, a fact proven by local entertainment announcements over the past week.

Playhouse Stage company announced that at the end of April it will be producing a musical indoors at the Cohoes Music Hall. “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” will run Fridays through Sundays, April 30-May 9.

Seating is limited to 50 people a performance. Masks, social distancing and contact tracing will be in effect. Tickets are $30 each.

The four person cast details the joys and problems of courtship and marriage. The first act is a light-hearted look at dating; the second examines the equally funny realization that courting and wedding require two separate skill sets.

The organization is prepared to extend the run should ticket sales indicate a demand. There is also the potential to stream the show after it closes at the Cohoes Music Hall. To purchase tickets, go to or call (518) 434-0776.

Another positive announcement came from the Berkshire Theatre Group, who announced a live 2021 summer season and a concert series. There will be three shows at three different locations. The season starts June 18 and runs through Sept. 5.

The mainstage tent on the Stockbridge, MA campus will host the Oscar Wilde classic comedy of manners, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” It runs June 18 to July 10.

The family musical, “The Wizard of Oz,” will be offered at the Colonial tent in Pittsfield, MA.

This space has the distinction of being the location where last year “Godspell” became the first live musical in the nation offered after the pandemic shutdown. It plays July 23- Aug. 15.

The final show is “Nina Simone: Four Women.” The play focuses on the famed African-American jazz singer’s transition from performer to activist. It will be offered outdoors behind the Unicorn Theatre on the Stockbridge, MA campus. It runs August 13-Sept. 5.

Equally impressive is the concert series running over nine weeks from May 1-July 3. For theater fans, the “Kelli O’Hara: In-Person” concert on June 25 & 26, as well as Norm Lewis on July 2 & 3, will be highlights. But the inclusion of Chris Thile on May 29 and Tom Rush on June 5 are also treats to their devoted fans.

They, like most performers in the series, (with the exception of O’Hara and Lewis) will offer two performances a day. Most will be held on Saturdays with performances at 5:30 pm. and 8 p.m. at the Colonial tent in Pittsfield. For more details and ticket purchases for all events go to or call (413) 997-4444.

The Playhouse Stage and Berkshire Theatre Group announcements are important signs to indicate a move to a “new normal.”

However, perhaps the announcement with longest range impact is the fact that Capital Rep’s new theater is complete. It is a sign that the “old normal” will eventually return.

The building is at 251 N. Pearl St., about a half-mile from its former location at 111 N. Pearl St. At 28,000 sq. feet it is more than double its former 11,000 sq. foot theater. The stage is 10 feet wider.

Seating capacity is 302 seats, which does not seem a large increase of the previous capacity of 286, unless you realize approximately 20 were obstructed seats. There are no obstructed vision seats in the new space and the furthest seat from the stage is only 24 feet.

Backstage is now more sophisticated with a number of dressing rooms for performers. There is a costume and prop shop.

Concession stands and meeting rooms are larger and more inviting. The building includes an elevator.

To many, the most important improvement is the 14 public toilets, which is at least triple the old space.

The most important feature to help the new normal return to the old normal is a state of the art air ventilation system that constantly recycles the air, making the space safe and secure.

There has been no announcement of performance dates or show titles, but one will be forthcoming in the near future.


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