While the dog days of August have stayed busy at Venice Theatre, with summer stock productions and a cabaret festival, the community theater is already looking ahead to its 2018-19 season.
That season commences next month with two shows, one on the mainstage and the other in the Stage II series in the smaller Pinkerton Theatre. Ken Ludwig’s perennial hit farce about an opera tenor (Rik Robertson) who faces multiple stumbling blocks on the way to performing at a Cleveland opera house, Lend Me A Tenor, opens Sept. 21 on the mainstage (to run through Oct. 7). Directed by Ron Ziegler, it also features Kristofer Geddie as a harried assistant to hotel manager Saunders (Neil Kasanofsky); he's dealing with a starstruck girlfriend (Rachel Scheer), a jealous spouse (Susan Laielli) and more before the big opening night of Otello.
Meanwhile, over in the Pinkerton, Natalie Taylor, Charlotte Crowley and Caitlin Spain are the trio delivering 1960s pop hits like “Please, Mr. Postman” and “It’s My Party” in Suds: The Rocking ’60s Musical Soap Opera. The cast also includes Brian Craft in multiple male roles. Suds is onstage Sept. 28 through Oct. 21.
The rest of the mainstage season includes Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific (Oct. 26 through Dec. 2); the two-hander Always, Patsy Cline (Jan. 11 through Feb. 10); the stage musical of the classic film 42nd Street (Feb. 22 through March 24); and the Tennessee Williams drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, ending the season April 12-28.
Stage II follows up Suds with another musical show, Silence! The Musical, a parody of the terrifying Silence of the Lambs movie with Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. (Warning: contains adult content.) That takes to the stage Nov. 2-25.
It’s followed by another show with some adult content, Joe Mantello’s adaptation of humorist David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries, about a writer who briefly becomes a Macy’s elf (onstage Nov. 30 through Dec. 23). Arlene Hutton’s See Rock City, a sequel to her Last Train to Nibroc, follows a young married couple during the World War II era (Jan. 4-20).
Two more musicals are on tap. Assisted Living: The Musical (back by popular demand) entertains Feb. 1 through March 10; and Disenchanted! (more adult content here) explores the darker side of all those Disney-type princesses you think you know (March 22 through April 14). Finally, Stage II closes its season with David Mamet’s Race, a provocative tale of sex, guilt and accusations, onstage April 26 through May 12.
VT’s Generations series of family-oriented productions includes Peter and the Starcatcher (Sept. 7-16), the traditional A Christmas Carol (Dec. 14-20) and Honk! A Musical Tale of The Ugly Duckling, playing May 10-19. For tickets to shows, call the box office at 488-1115 or visit venicestage.com.