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Fall Arts Roundup | Classics stage a comeback


The area’s autumn theatre offerings include goofy comedies, female-centered dramas, adaptations of favorite films, and the chance for local theatregoers to be among the first audiences for exciting new work. Here are a few promising picks:

“Clue” | Blackfriars Theatre |
For those who missed last winter’s sold-out viewing of the 1985 cult classic “Clue” at The Little Theater, a live version will be produced by Blackfriars Theatre. Based on the film, which is based on the murder mystery board game, “Clue: On Stage” is a whodunnit romp set at a deadly dinner party in a fancy mansion on a stormy night. Crack the case of who killed Mr. Boddy, and in what room, and with what weapon, from September 8 – 24.

Baron Vaughn. - PHOTO PROVIDED
  • Baron Vaughn.
“The Work Out Room” | Geva Theatre |
For a different style of comedy, check out “The Work Out Room,” led by Geva Theatre’s Artist-in-Residence Baron Vaughn. His acting credits include “Grace & Frankie'' and “Mystery Science Theatre 3000,” but this new comedy series is driven by his more than 20 years as a stand-up comedian. Vaughn will curate comics who will then test out new material each performance – an intriguing new direction for Geva into the realm of comics. You can see how it all works out on Geva’s Fielding Stage from September 26 – October 8.

“The Moors” | Out of Pocket, Inc. at MuCCC |

If autumn leaves and Halloween decorations put you in the mood for a Victorian gothic, you may enjoy Out of Pocket, Inc.’s production of “The Moors” by Jen Silverman. Set in the 1840-ish moors of England, this dark send-up of the Brontë sisters begins when a governess arrives at a remote manor, greeted not by the mysterious Mr. Branwell with whom she’s been exchanging letters, but by his two spinster sisters. Jen Silverman is a delightfully oddball playwright, and you can take advantage of this chance to see one of her less frequently produced plays at the MuCCC from October 13 – 21.

“And the Four Last Things” | Nickel Flour at MuCCC |
For a theatrical experience completely unique to Rochester, check out Nickel Flour’s production of “And the Four Last Things” by up-and-coming local playwright Samantha Marchant. Inspired by a Hieronymus Bosch painting, this fantastical tale uses music and actors playing multiple roles to tell the story of an angel and devil deciding the fate of one man’s soul. This wild, original script has received several developmental readings in the past three years and will be fully staged for the first time at the MuCCC from October 26 – November 5.

“Love, Loss, and What I Wore” | JCC CenterStage |
A refreshingly serious approach to fashion, examining the lives of women through what they wear with intelligence and heart. Based on the 1995 bestselling memoir by Ilene Beckerman and adapted for the stage by screenwriting sisters Nora and Delia Ephron, these monologues address marriage, motherhood, mastectomies, and more. You can try it on from December 2 – 10.
Kate Duprey, Carl Del Buono, Erik Wheater, and sean Britton-Milligan co-founded The Company Theatre in Rochester in 2022. - PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH
  • Kate Duprey, Carl Del Buono, Erik Wheater, and sean Britton-Milligan co-founded The Company Theatre in Rochester in 2022.
“The Man Who Came to Dinner” | The Company Theatre at Temple Theatre |
Now in its second season, The Company Theatre has tackled some of the most famous tragedies in the Western canon. This December they’re taking a lighter tone with the farce “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” Film buffs may be familiar with this 1939 Kaufman & Hart play through its 1942 film adaptation starring Bette Davis and Ann Sheridan. In this screwball comedy, a sharp-tongued, overbearing radio personality passing through a small town wreaks havoc on the family who hosts him during the Christmas holiday. It plays December 7 – 17 at the Temple Theatre.

Katherine Varga is a freelance contributor to CITY. Feedback about this article can be directed to [email protected].