Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Falsettos" in Rhinebeck, NY this weekend

Falsettos is By William Finn (Music and Lyrics) and James Lapine (Book)

I just learned that Bill Finn's wonderful Falsettos is being performed not too far away in Rhinebeck, New York, and highly recommend seeing this moving and entertaining musical before it closes February 28. Remaining performances are Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 3:00.

Last Saturday's performance was a benefit for the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, which hosted an after party. Rural Intelligence was there, and did some fabulous coverage of the event and its guests.

With music and lyrics by William Finn and book by William Finn and James Lapine, this Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of a totally dysfunctional Jewish family. Jason, the 13 year old son of Marvin and Trina is preparing for his Bar Mitsvah. Enter Mendel, the family psychiatrist, who is bedding down with the wife of Marvin who has just come out of the closet. The husband has taken up with the younger “Whizzer”. Got all that?

The Rhinebeck Cast.

Well, Jason thinks Whizzer is cool and has flat-out stated that there will be no Bar Mitzvah if Whizzer is not included. Across the hall lives a lesbian couple – Cordelia, the kosher caterer in charge, and her partner Charlotte, a doctor who will eventually determine that Whizzer has AIDS. From the opening number “Four Jews In A Room Bitching” through Jason’s “Everyone Hates His Parents”, Trina’s tour-de-force “I’m Breaking Down”, and Marvin’s lament, “What Would I Do” – the show is a complex and richly entertaining journey filled with laughter and tears.

The musical, while not heavy is nevertheless poignant, being set at the time when AIDS was beginning its insidious spread. A CENTERstage Production directed by Kevin Archambault with musical direction by James Fitzwilliam.

Composer Finn is a Berkshire regular with a house in Pittsfield (he teaches at NYU) and in residence each summer to nurture new writers and composers at the Stage 2 Music Workshop at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield. He is also the composer of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and many other works.

Tickets are priced at $22 for adults and $20 seniors and children. More information at or call Box Office Manager Eileen Contreni at 845-876-3080.

Also on their schedule is Rent another musical which touches on gay themes, plaing from March 12 to 28.

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