SALEM, NY — Fort Salem Theater, Washington County’s Theater Home for Music, Musicals, and Cabaret, has announced its summer schedule for 2017. 

The Rose Center Theater, from Westminster, California, artistically directed by part-time Salemite Tim Nelson, returns for the ninth year to the Fort Mainstage on June 23-25, with his Rose Center adult repertory company, including Mary Murphy-Nelson, Melissa Cook, and Chris Caputo, with their second entry in the season, his original adaptation of Washington Irving’s classic tale, Rip Van Winkle: The Musical. Nelson’s  research took him to the Catskills, where he steeped himself in oral history of the nineteenth century, and many of his characters are based on the twenty-first century locals whom he met.

On July 14-16, in a co-production with Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, NY, opera diva Alison Davy plays Florence Foster Jenkins, the role that won Meryl Streep her latest Oscar nomination. In Souvenir, a musical, Davy/Jenkins meets the man who will support her through a career in which people dubbed her “the worst singer in the world.” Fort artistic director Jay Kerr plays Cosmé McMoon, an unsuccessful composer who has to tolerate her flawed rhythms and flat notes just to make ends meet. When this production debuted this spring in Catskill, Berkshire Bright Focus reviewer J. Peter Bergman said: “The right director and cast … it sparkles with humor, touches the warm places and is so very enjoyable.”

Dancer, author, philosopher and musician Kimerer LaMothe synthesizes the eleven-year journey upon which composer/pianist Geoffrey Gee and she were led by their five children on July 21-23. Happy If…, Happy When…, an original musical supported by a grant from the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council, follows a sophisticated suburban family to a chaotic farm life in rural Washington County. With life imitating art imitating life, the multi-talented musical family will play itself.

Jerry Gretzinger, former CBS6 news anchor and now Director of Communications and Marketing at Glens Falls Hospital, returns with a new concert show, The Pack Is Back: The Rat Pack in Vegas. With his own style, his own energy, and his own brand of bravura, Gretzinger pays homage to the iconic sounds and repertoire of Sinatra, Davis, and Martin in their best Vegas years. The Gretzinger show will be part of a Farm-to-Table Cabaret at Gardenworks Farm on Saturday, August 12, and at Fort Salem on Sunday afternoon, August 13.

In its sixth year, the successful collaboration with farm-to-table at Gardenworks continues with Saturday night performances of Rip Van Winkle and Happy If, as well as Gretzinger’s cabaret. On September 16, Gardenworks and Fort Salem present Farm-to-Table Dinner at the Movies/Route 30: Arts and Agriculture. Films, slides and live music celebrating local farms, landscapes, and artists that populate, create, and regenerate along Washington County Route 30, all accompanied by a four-course, locally sourced meal at Gardenworks.

To punctuate the summer season, the popular Classic Country Group, The Spurs USA, play a Sunday matinee on the Fort’s Mainstage. Their top-drawer classic country catalogue includes Johnny Cash, George Strait, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton; their musicians made their names in Nashville and on national tours.

“It’s something for everyone, and then some,” says the Fort’s Jay Kerr. “Actually, it’s two or three somethings for everyone and we hope to see everyone multiple times.” For season tickets, reservations, or more information, visit their website,, or call the box office at (518) 854-9200.


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