The Mac-Haydn Theatre opens with “The Fantasticks” plus Seven more Musicals for Summer 2013

The Mac is Back with Eight Musicals for Summer, 2013
by Larry Murray

The Mac-Haydn’s summer season is now set with seven musicals that have been scheduled, plus one more (whose name is similar to a big Oscar contender) can not yet be spoken aloud. Be assured that it’s not some Scottish musical spoof, such as, say, Lorna Doone. Not likely, since the nearby New York State company sticks with the war-horses, rarely ever trying the experimental.



Above, a video of Copacabana shows one of their rare forays into the less well known. The classic musicals satisfy their regular audiences, and that is a good thing, in fact, just what the doctor ordered. Their choice of musicals contain the most memorable songs ever written, and are based on classic stories that ticket buyers can enjoy generation after generation. The Mac-Haydn is multi-generational, a reflection of the community it serves.

We are thrilled that this veteran company continues to churn them out, often with some of the finest singing and dancing in the area, but we sure wish they would announce a revamping of their minimalist instrumental approach. The synth and arrangements employed are still their weakest link, and often makes watching shows there just about unbearable. As a former instrumentalist, it is hard to endure such a tinny sound. Yet much of everything else that they do is great fun. The company also has some of the most affordable ticket prices around. More info at their website:

In rehearsal at the Mac.

In rehearsal at the Mac.

Here’s what they have in store for 2013:

Mac – Haydn Theatre 2013 Main Stage Season

May 23-26, May 29 – June 2 – The Fantastsicks

The season opens with The Fantasticks, the world’s longest-running musical, and one of the six shows that made up Mac-Haydn’s first season in 1969. The story of two young lovers, their interfering fathers, a swashbuckling rogue, and the illusions and disillusionment they go through before reaching their enlightened finale is told with equal parts charm and comedy. Fun, romantic and nostalgic songs that enhance the story include “Try To Remember, Soon It’s Gonna Rain, Much More, They Were You, and Plant A Radish.”

June 6-9, 12-16  9 to 5

It’s brand-new to MHT, the songs are bouncy, the women are bold and big-hearted, and the boss is his own biggest fan in 9 to 5. Based on the hilarious hit movie, the show is all fun and a yard wide, and full of frisky, flirty songs by Dolly Parton, like “Backwoods Barbie, Joy To The Girls, Let Love Grow” and, of course, that hymn to the work force title song “9 to 5.” Mr. Hart, the boss, stops at nothing to prove his chauvinism, until the “girls” in his office declare their women’s rights and put a stop to it all, in a very daring way. See what changes they make to the strict office.

June 20-23, 26-30 La Cage Aux Folles

Flirtatious, fabulous and oooooh-la-la so much fun. A long-together couple rediscover their love while their son discovers how much family means in this “mad extravaganza” that admits “just who is who and what is what is quite a question at La Cage Aux Folles. You’ll “have the evening of your life” with zany characters, laughs galore, and a lush Jerry Herman score including “With You On My Arm, Look Over There, The Best Of Times Is Now, I Am What I Am.”

July 4-7, 10-14, 17-21 Singin’ in the Rain

“What a glorious feeling!” The most requested show of the season has the most famous dance scene EVER, plus lots of laughs and romance as the “talkies” hit 1920’s Hollywood in Singin’ In the Rain. Flashy tap-dancing as only MHT can do it and a score full of fun songs including “Make ‘Em Laugh, Good Mornin’, You Are My Lucky Star, You Were Meant For Me.” Warning: if you get front row seats — wear drip dry!

July 25-28, July 31 – August 4 Les Miserables

The long-time top requested show will be seen and heard as never before in the area’s first professional production, July 25 through 28, and July 31 through August 4.

“For years we had to tell our audiences we were not able to present the show because the rights were not released by the royalty house,” Artistic Director/Producer Lynne Haydn said, adding, “so when it did become available in January, we filled out the application that very night!”

Mac-Haydn’s unique theatre–in-the-round space will bring the show into the audience for an especially powerful and emotional experience. Based on Victor Hugo’s epic historical novel of revolution era France, “Les Miz” entwines the lives of paroled convict become wealthy businessman Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert, who is sworn to return him to prison; Fantine, a young mother forced into promiscuity to care for her child, Cossette; the unscrupulous Innkeeper Thernardier, his wife and their daughter Eponine; and the righteous yet doomed revolutionary students Marius and Enjolais.

Ed Note: The only question remaining is what the music to accompany the production will sound like. We cross our fingers. (L.M.)

August 8-11, 14-18 The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the laughs and fun. ‘Twenty Fans are turnin” as The Chicken Ranch tries to outlast the over-zealous watchdog evangelist trying to close it down. Kathy Halenda returns to Mac-Haydn for her liveliest, most touching role as Miss Mona. The foot-stompin’ and tender songs: “Bus From Amarillo, Hard Candy Christmas, Good Ol’ Girl, Twenty-Four Hours of Lovin'” and boot-scootin’ dancing fun.

August 22-25, August 28 – September 1 – Gypsy

Starring Monica M. Wemitt as Mama Rose, the ultimate stage mother. This musical classic is the strong and sensitive story of a woman whose ambitions for stardom drive one daughter away, and the other to unexpected stage reknown. The hit-filled score includes “Some People, Small World, All I Need Is The Girl, Everything’s Coming Up Roses”.

September 6-8, 12-15 All Shook Up

MHT II Productions presents …

The third new show closes Mac-Haydn’s 45th Anniversary Season, as MHT II Productions gives everybody a chance to swivel their hips and fall in love to Elvis Presley’s greatest hits in All Shook Up! Hear “Heartbreak Hotel, Love Me Tender, Don’t Be Cruel, Jailhouse Rock, It’s Now Or Never,” and a whole lot more of the songs The King’s fans clamored for when a leather jacketed, guitar-playing, motorcycle-riding stranger hits a sleepy town and shakes everything up!

Please note the change in schedule for All Shook Up (for the schedule of all other 2013 shows, visit Performance Times & Ticket Information). First week: Friday-8 p.m., Saturday 2 & 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m.; second week: Thursday 2 p.m., Friday-8 p.m., Saturday 2 & 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. More info at their website:

(drum roll, please)
Mac-Haydn Mondays!

Three special shows, on three Monday evenings during the season give you more entertainment than ever before!

Monday, July 15

One Night With You
Bill McGrath sings Elvis and more!

He’s a popular Capital District entertainer who wows crowds with his renditions of Elvis’ songs, plus some Johnny Cash, some Roy Orbison and more of those “unforgettable singers that just can’t be replaced.” The looks, the moves, the voice — you’ll swear “Elvis is in the building!” $15.

 Monday, July 29

Two On Tap – Plus One

Melissa Giattino, Ron DeStefano, and Richard Schwartz reunite on the stage where they met for a night of inimitable songs and tap dancing.  Melissa and Ron have taken their act all over the world, from Singapore to South America to Europe to all parts of the USA, not to mention transoceanic cruises, with audiences cheering for the “chemistry and artistry seen in vintage couples like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.” Melissa and Richard have performed together at MHT as well as in New York. Songs from Big Band nostalgia to musical theatre classics to pop favorites fill the evening while tapping feet fill the stage. $20.

Monday, August 12

Class and Brass

Kathy Halenda, back at Mac-Haydn to star as Miss Mona in The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, leads a sophisticated and silly adventure into the songs and stories of classy Judy Garland and brassy Bette Midler. The legendary singer’s heart and passion are showcased by Kathy’s belting voice and earthy charm. MHT audiences have enjoyed Kathy in her one-woman show Sophie Tucker: The Last Of  The Red Hot Mamas, as well as a host of roles including Mama Rose in Gypsy, Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, and Dorothy Brock in 42nd StreetClass and Brass will be an evening of songs not to be missed! $20.

Showtime for all shows is 7 p.m.  Call 518-392-9292 for information and ticket reservations.

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