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Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center Toasts “Falsettos” in Rhinebeck
It’s the rare community theater company that has the chutzpah to put on William Finn’s landmark Tony-winning musical comedy about neurotic New York Jews at the dawn of the AIDS crisis. But the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck is a rarity—a gutsy community theater that does everything with the polish of a serious regional theater and its razor-sharp production of Falsettos (which runs through February 28) made me laugh and cry just as it did when I saw it on Broadway in 1992. The audience on Saturday, February 20, was especially enthusiastic because the performance was a benefit for the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, which hosted an after party in the lobby (where the guests included, above, AnnChris Warren with Victoria Howland, who plays the kosher caterer in Falsettos.) At the curtain—an inspired homage to the AIDS Memorial Quilt—actor Bill Ross, who played Marvin, told the audience that the Center had gotten some local criticism for staging this show, and he hoped that everyone would spread the word to help fill every seat for the final weekend and prove that there is community support for theater that tackles difficult subjects. In fact, the Center’s next production is another powerful exploration of the AIDS crisis: Rent, the 1996 rock musical, will run at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck from March 12 - 28.
Lance Ringel, president of the board of the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center which hosted the after-show party, with Bill Ross, the actor, who plays Marvin in Falsettos; stage manager Donna Betts with Andrew Weintraub, the president of the board of the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck.
Thomas Netter, age 12, who plays Jason whose bar mitzvah is a major plot point in Falsettos, flanked by Anita & Faith Otey.
Stagehand Bryan Mechtly with director Kevin Archambault; Jim Nurre, who plays Whizzer, with Molly Parker-Myers, who plays Dr. Charlotte in Falsettos.
Maria Hickey, who plays Trina and sings the show-stopping number “I’m Breaking Down,” with Lisa Lynd, who runs The Center’s Kids on Stage Theater Program.
Actor Donald Corren and set designer Richard Prouse; writer Jay Blotcher and social work student Scott Jeune.
J.R. Cassidy, Chris Coad, Brian Lange, who’s on the board of nearby Wilderstein, and literary agent Matthew Carnicelli.
Sue Brooks and vocal coach Tony Regina; Cheryl DelVecchio with Frank Fasano.