CenterStage began in 1977 as the volunteer theatre company at the Rochester Jewish Community Center. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Ralph Meranto since 2005, CenterStage is now a professional theatre utilizing the finest local actors, directors, and designers to present a 5-show subscription series of plays and musicals.
SUBSCRIBE NOW and lock in the best seats at the lowest prices.
CenterStage is a proud member of TheatreRocs.org: your central source for Rochester Theatre schedules and information.
Tickets available at the JCC Main Desk whenever the JCC is open: (585) 461-2000 x 0 or CLICK FOR TICKETS at the links below.
WEATHER NOTICE: CenterStage shows do not cancel for bad weather conditions (the show must go on!) but we will always try to exchange tickets when possible for those that miss due to weather conditions.
To order subscriptions, click HERE
To support CenterStage Theatre with a charitable donation, click here.
SEPTEMBER 24 & 26, 2015
Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins and Joan Baez have enjoyed long careers in music as the female faces of folk in the 1960s. Linda Foster leads a team of musicians in a celebration of the legacy of these amazing singer-songwriters. Linda is joined by vocalist Laura Jean Smillie-Diekmann, Kevin Leib on piano, David Ianni on guitar and Kelly Schroeder on bass.
Thursday, September 24 at 6:00 pm
Rochester Fringe Festival, TheatreROCS Stage, Xerox Auditorium, Broad Street at Chestnut
Tickets available at rochesterfringe.com starting July 14.
Saturday, September 26 at 7:30 pm with Special Guest Connie Deming
Jewish Community Center Hart Theater, 1200 Edgewood Ave
Click for Tickets
OCTOBER 1, 2015 at 7:30pm
Doors at 6:30pm
John Sebastian and David Grisman's musical history dates back to college days at New York University circa 1963 when the Greenwich Village folk revival was in its' heyday. They made their first recording together as members of the Even Dozen Jug Band with future luminaries Maria Muldaur, Stefan Grossman and others. The rest, of course is musical history. John Sebastian became lead singer and songwriter of one of America's most popular bands - The Lovin' Spoonful and David Grisman spearheaded an acoustic music revolution with his genre-defying "Dawg" music.
Finally, after a 40+ year hiatus, their paths crossed again at a benefit concert in Mill Valley, California. After this mutually enjoyable evening of spontaneous music, it became obvious that they would continue collaborating and the result is a stunning collection of acoustic duets featuring traditional folk tunes, blues, classy instrumentals and originals by these two legendary masters.
(Click on seating chart to enlarge.)
Proceeds to benefit the JCC's Camp Seneca Lake
October 8-25, 2015
When Delphine and Carmela Calamari are hired to cater an event at a Jewish funeral home, there's no telling what they'll whip up in their kitchen. From matzah balls to meatballs, challah bread to pizza dough, and gefilte fish to baccala, the girls try desperately to bridge the cultural gap.
The sisters pay their respects in the only way they know how — by singing, dancing, and cooking through memorable songs less-than-appropriate for your typical interment. Needless to say, by the end of the show, you’ll agree that death becomes the Calamari Sisters.
Click here for a personal greeting from Carmela and Delphine... thecalamarisisters.com
- Thursday, October 8 at 7 PM
- Saturday, October 10 at 8 PM
- Sunday, October 11 at 2 PM*
- Wednesday, October 14 at 7 PM
- Thursday, October 15 at 7 PM
- Saturday, October 17 at 2 PM
- Saturday, October 17 at 8 PM
- Sunday, October 18 at 2 PM
- Wednesday, October 21 at 7 PM
- Thursday, October 22 at 7 PM
- Saturday, October 24 at 2 PM
- Saturday, October 24 at 8 PM
- Sunday, October 25 at 2 PM
- Wednesday, October 28 at 7 PM
- Thursday, October 29 at 7 PM
- Saturday, October 31 at 8 PM
- Sunday, November 1 at 2 PM
*ASL interpreted performance
JCC Members: $27 Regular Seats, $35 VIP Seats,
Non-Members: $29 Regular Seats, $40 VIP Seats
Students: $20 Regular Seats, $35 VIP Seats
(VIP Seating is in the front rows of the theater.)
DECEMBER 5 - 20, 2015
East Coast Premiere
by Donald Margulies, based on "The Loudest Voice" by Grace Paley
Directed by David Henderson
East Coast Premiere
A delightful holiday show for people of all ages and all faiths, this new play from Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Margulies weaves together nostalgia, music, merriment, and multi-holiday pageants.
When a young Jewish girl is cast to play the role of Jesus in her school Christmas play, her immigrant parents struggle to balance their holiday traditions with their new role as Americans.
"A Yuletide treat, and a present no one will want to take back." Variety
- Saturday, December 5 at 8 PM
- Sunday, December 6 at 2 PM
- Thursday, December 10 at 7 PM
- Saturday, December 12 at 2 PM
- Saturday, December 12 at 8 PM
- Sunday, December 13 at 2 PM*
- Thursday, December 17 at 7 PM
- Saturday, December 19 at 2 PM
- Saturday, December 19 at 8 PM
- Sunday, December 20 at 2 PM
*ASL interpreted performance
DECEMBER 27 & 31, 2015
Big Wigs, featuring Mrs. Kasha Davis and Aggy Dune
Rochester's favorite drag duo Mrs. Kasha Davis and Aggy Dune are back by popular demand to ring in the new year with dead on impersonations of your favorite musical divas. This all-new show features favorites like Barbra, Liza, Judy, Tina, Cher, Celine and some new surprises. Mrs. Kasha Davis has been touring the world since appearing on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 7, but was sure to be back in Rochester for this annual JCC tradition. Big Wigs sells out every year, so book your tickets early.
- Sunday, December 27 at 2pm
- New Year's Eve: Thursday, December 31, at 9pm
DECEMBER 30 - 31, 2015
Starring Janine Mercandetti
You know her as the booming voice of The Witch in Into the Woods, the hair-impaired Daphna in Bad Jews, the passionate wife of Leo Frank in Parade and the quirky half of the couple in The Last Five Years. Now, one of this area's most versatile performers is getting "out of costume" for a premiere event at JCC CenterStage.
From classics to contemporary, and of course a belt or two from Broadway, unwind with this charming and captivating reflection on life's quick changes and wardrobe malfunctions. Expect the unexpected with Janine Mercandetti - Out of Costume.
With special guest, Ru Paul's Drag Race star Mrs. Kasha Davis.
- Wednesday, December 30 at 7 PM
Cheese and wine reception with Janine following the show
- Thursday, December at 31 at 7 PM
JANUARY 2 & 3, 2016
with the Amazing Viktoria Grimmy
Back by popular demand!
Solo Circus sold out all 5 performances last season so we knew we had to bring it back for another weekend of amazing magic, juggling and circus/sideshow stunts. Rochester area native Michael DuBois got his first taste of performing as a camper before appearances on Jay Leno and David Letterman catapulted him to international recognition. He has performed his ever-evolving SOLO CIRCUS at over 500 colleges, cruise ships, theaters and resorts all over the world.
The Amazing Viktoria Grimmy is a fifth-generation circus performer and aerialist who created and performed circus acts for the Tony® Award Winning Broadway production of, PIPPIN and has performed with the Big Apple Circus, Ringling Brothers Circus and Britney Spears Circus Tour. Together they wowed JCC audiences with their incredible skill and fun audience interaction and all wrapped up in a cozy blanket of comedy.
Expect new tricks and routines in this fast paced show for all ages (although you could find a little more adult banter at the Saturday night show.)
Saturday, January 2 at 11am, 2pm and 7:30pm
Sunday, January 3 at 2pm and 4:30 pm
$16; $15 for JCC Members
JANUARY 10, 2016
"Fiercely funny, honest and moving." -- New York Times
"Riotously funny and ultimately quite moving." -- Hollywood Reporter
"A genuine mitzvah." -- Time Out New York
Emmy-winning actress/comedienne Judy Gold's critically acclaimed play, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother makes it's Rochester premiere at JCC CenterStage after sold old runs Off-Broadway and around the country. A Drama Desk nominee for Outstanding Solo Performance and GLAAD Award-Winner for Outstanding New York Theater, this heartfelt and hilarious play is Gold's personal journey about becoming a parent, while learning to be a daughter to a nagging Jewish mother of her own. Gold seamlessly weaves anecdotes from her own life with snippets from interviews conducted with 50 Jewish mothers across the United States.
Reserved tickets: $45 / $40 JCC Members
VIP tickets: $75 (Center rows A-D and side section rows A-B. Includes post-show meet & greet with Judy)
- Sunday, January 10 at 2pm
- Sunday, January 10 at 6:30pm
About Judy Gold
Comedian Judy Gold is well known for her stand up routines on Comedy Central, virtually every late night television show and in comedy clubs throughout the U.S. Judy's most recent Off-Broadway show, The Judy Show – My Life As A Sitcom played to sold-out audiences at The Geffen Playhouse and The DR2 Theatre. She has guest starred on a variety of television shows including Louie, Celebrity Wife Swap, 2 Broke Girls, Melissa & Joey, The Big C, 30 Rock and has co-hosted The View and Anderson Live. Gold won two Emmy Awards for writing and producing The Rosie O'Donnell Show. She was nominated twice for The American Comedy Award's funniest female stand-up and has written for The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wondertime Magazine, Momlogic.com and The Advocate. Gold lives in New York City with her two children and partner. www.JudyGold.com
FEBRUARY 6 - 21, 2016
World Premiere Musical
Conceived and Written by Ralph Meranto and Sandy Foster
Musical Direction and Arrangements by Casey Filiaci
Throughout the 1960s, the musicians in NYC's legendary Brill Building defined the pop charts with a string of chart topping hits including Twist and Shout, Hang on Sloopy, Piece of My Heart, Daydream Believer, and Sugar Sugar. When the British invasion sound hit our shores, these artists adapted to create a new American sound that made stars of Neil Diamond, Paul Simon, Neil Sedaka, Carol King, Bobby Darin and many more. The cast and creative team from last year's sell-out sensation, The Hit Factory, are back with an all-new show and an exciting tribute to the songs we all know and love.
"The range and high level of singing in the cast will knock you out. The Hit Factory is a joyous celebration -- and a must see." - Jack Garner, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
- Saturday, February 6 at 8 PM
- Sunday, February 7 at 2 PM
- Thursday, February 11 at 7 PM
- Saturday, February 13 at 2 PM
- Sunday, February 14 at 2 PM
- Thursday, February 18 at 7 PM
- Saturday, February 20 at 2 PM
- Saturday, February 20 at 8 PM
- Sunday, February 21 at 2 PM
APRIL 2 - 17, 2016
by Jon Robin Baitz
Directed by David Runzo
A searing comedy-drama in the tradition of August: Osage County and Bad Jews, the joys of a family reunion quickly unravel when a prodigal daughter returns to her family's Palm Springs home and announces plans to publish a childhood memoir. As her retired ambassador father, image-conscious mother, rehabbing aunt and ne'er-do-well brother team up to stop her, long-held family secrets continue to be revealed. This 2012 Broadway hit, from the author of Substance of Fire and the creator TV's Brothers and Sisters, was nominated for a Tony Award® for Best Play and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
"Witty, deeply enjoyable. All family reunions should be this satisfying." Ben Brantley, NY Times
- Saturday, April 2 at 8 PM
- Sunday, April 3 at 2 PM*
- Thursday, April 7 at 7 PM
- Saturday, April 9 at 8 PM
- Sunday, April 10 at 2 PM
- Thursday, April 14 at 7 PM
- Saturday, April 16 at 8 PM
- Sunday, April 17 at 2 PM
*ASL interpreted performance
MAY 7 - 22, 2016
Tony Award® Winner, Best Musical
Music by Thomas "Fats" Waller
Conceived by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby Jr.
Directed by Ralph Meranto
Musical Direction by Casey Filiaci
Choreography by Esther Winter
Creative Consultant Zoe Itoh-Walker
Tony Award® Winner, Best Musical
The Joint will be Jumpin' when the golden age of The Cotton Club and Savoy Ballroom get recreated in this rollicking, finger-snapping, toe-tapping and bawdy tribute to the Harlem Renaissance of the early 1900s. A stellar cast, including Di'ta Monique and Darren Frazier from The Hit Factory, sing the songs that made the inimitable "Fats" Waller an international sensation.
- Saturday, May 7 at 8 PM
- Sunday, May 8 at 2 PM
- Thursday, May 12 at 7 PM
- Saturday, May 14 at 8 PM
- Sunday, May 15 at 2 PM
- Thursday, May 19 at 7 PM
- Saturday, May 21 at 2 PM
- Saturday, May 21 at 8 PM
- Sunday, May 22 at 2 PM