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.
To order subscriptions, click HERE
To support CenterStage Theatre with a charitable donation, click here.
CenterStage performances are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Post-show discussions follow 1st and 2nd Sunday matinees.
* Denotes Live Captioned Performance (NEW!)
** Denotes ASL Interpreted Performance
OCTOBER 22 - NOVEMBER 6, 2016
A World Premiere Comedy/Drama by Jason Odell Williams
"Gripping entertainment...Simply superb!" — Los Angels Times
"Powerful, often humorous, and highly contemporary" — Huffington Post
A hilariously on-target script by a promising new dramatist" —-Arts in L.A.
A shockingly funny and brutally honest new play about the way religion, guns, and social media influence our elections. When Republican U.S. Senator Charlie Whitmore (Peter Doyle) makes an off-the-cuff comment to a blogger (Matthew Combs) that calls into question his belief in God, the senator's devoutly Christian wife (Beth Winslow) and liberal Jewish Campaign Manager (Esther O'Leary Winter) battle to control the damage. Will the fall-out destroy the Senator's career or change the world? An uplifting and heartbreaking look at what can happen when politicians say what they actually believe.
Emmy-nominated Jason Odell Williams (Handle with Care), developed Church & State with CenterStage Artistic Director Ralph Meranto for this Rolling World Premiere. This summer's production at Los Angeles' Skylight Theatre received rave reviews and was extended multiple times, and producers are ramping up for a NYC run Off-Broadway in 2017.
Directed by Ralph Meranto
- Saturday, October 22 at 8pm (with special Opening Night events)
- Sunday, October 23 at 2pm*
- Thursday, October 27 at 7pm
- Saturday, October 29 at 8pm
- Sunday, October 30 at 2pm
- Thursday, November 3 at 7pm**
- Saturday, November 5 at 2pm
- Saturday, November 5 at 8pm
- Sunday, November 6 at 2pm
Sponsored by Cornell/Weinstein Family Fund
Presented in Memory of Hon. Wilmer J. and Janet Patlow
A National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere
Opening Weekend Events with the Playwright
Saturday, October 22, 6:30-8pm
40th Season Champagne Launch
$40 includes a Pre-show Reception, Lipson Lounge Unveiling and On-Stage Toast with the cast and playwright.
Limited to the first 40 people.
Sundays, October 23 and October 30
Thursdays, October 27 and November 3
Post-show Talk-Back with the director and cast
with Mrs. Kasha Davis
NOVEMBER 14, 2016
There’s Always Time for a Cocktail is the true-life story of little Eddie Popil’s transformation from a young boy in Scranton, PA to International Celebrity Housewife, Mrs. Kasha Davis, and a contender on RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season 7). Join the ultimate hostess for an evening of music, stories and party games with a heartfelt story of love and acceptance. The play was developed here in Rochester with performances at The Fringe and CenterStage before an acclaimed Off-Broadway premiere at NYC’s Laurie Beechman Theatre launched a tour to cities around the U.S. and Great Britain. This autobiographical show about finding your own path returns to Rochester. Written by Ed Popil, Directed by Ralph Meranto, Featuring Kurt Galvan on the Piano
- Monday, November 14 at 7:30pm
starring Brad Zimmerman
DECEMBER 1 - 11, 2016
"Delicious! Distinctly original...Powerfully poignant...Great Comedy!" ---The New York Times
"I've had three great opening acts in my lifetime: Billy Crystal, Garry Handling and Brad Zimmerman." —Joan Rivers
"Must see..Hysterical...I laughed, I cried, I forgot where I parked my car" - Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond)
Comedian/Actor Brad Zimmerman spent 29 years "temporarily" waiting tables in New York, while chasing a career in acting and comedy. Instead of giving up, he transformed his often frustrating and ultimately inspirational pursuit into a hysterical show that played to packed houses in NYC for 15 months. Zimmerman's self-deprecating humor and wicked charm, as he talks about his relationship with his parents, a misbegotten love life, persnickety diners and the sweet rewards that come from never giving up on your dreams, combine for 90 minutes of pure laughter.
- Thursday, December 1 at 7pm
- Saturday, December 3 at 2pm
- Saturday, December 3 at 8pm
- Sunday, December 4 at 2pm
- Tuesday, December 6 at 7pm
- Wednesday, December 7 at 7pm
- Thursday, December 8 at 7pm**
- Saturday, December 10 at 2pm
- Saturday, December 10 at 8pm
- Sunday, December 11 at 2pm*
Sponsored by Debby Goldman
by Donald Margulies
DECEMBER 15 - 18, 2016
A New Tradition...
Last season’s hit returns. Coney Island Christmas weaves together nostalgia, music and hilariously exuberant holiday pageants in a show for all ages and all faiths. Based on “The Loudest Voice” by Grace Paley, a young Jewish girl in 1930s Brooklyn is cast to play the role of Jesus in her school Christmas play as her immigrant parents reconcile their own traditions with their new role as Americans.
Directed by Jeff Siuda.
- Thursday, December 15 at 7pm
- Saturday, December 17 at 2pm
- Saturday, December 17 at 8pm
- Sunday, December 18 at 2pm
- Sunday, December 18 at 4:30pm**
DECEMBER 29 & 31, 2016
BIG WIGS just got bigger. Ring in the new year with Aggy Dune and RuPaul's Drag Race stars Mrs.Kasha Davis and Darienne Lake. An evening of comedy and dead-on musical impersonations of your favorite divas including Barbra, Liza, Judy, Tina, Cher, Celine and more.
- Thursday, December 29 at 8pm
- Saturday, December 31 at 9pm (New Year's Eve)
DECEMBER 29, 2016 & JANUARY 1, 2017
Our four-part harmony group of Matt Wegman, Marc Cataldi, Jason Mincer and Ashley Jake Wegman were so popular in The Hit Factory 2, that we gave them their own show! Featuring incredible vocals and delightful staging, UpStage brings to life popular and musical theatre tunes from Frankie Valli to Lady Gaga.
- Saturday, December 31 at 7pm (New Year's Eve)
- Sunday, January 1 at 2pm
FEBRUARY 4 - 19, 2017
The music that defined a generation and launched the 1960s counter-culture movement is celebrated with songs by Bob Dylan, The Mamas and the Papas, Crosby-Stills-Nash and Young, Jefferson Airplane, The Lovin' Spoonful, John Lennon and many more. An all-new show from the creators of The Hit Factory.
Conceived and Directed by Ralph Meranto
Music Direction and Arrangements by Casey Filiaci
Choreography by Mandy Hassett
- Saturday, February 4 at 8pm
- Sunday, February 5 at 2pm
- Thursday, February 9 at 7pm
- Saturday, February 11 at 2pm
- Saturday, February 11 at 8pm
- Sunday, February 12 at 2pm
- Tuesday, February 14 at 7pm
- Thursday, February 16 at 7pm
- Saturday, February 18 at 8pm
- Sunday, February 19 at 2pm*
Sponsored by the Boev Clinic
Click for Tickets
by Annie Baker
MARCH 4 - 19, 2017
WINNER! 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
WINNER! 2013 OBIE Award, Playwriting
WINNER! 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize
Three underpaid employees of a run-down movie theater tear tickets, clean up popcorn and attend to one of the few remaining 35 millimeter film projectors in usage. Their tiny battles and not-so-tiny heartbreaks play out in the empty aisles and become more gripping than the lackluster, second-run movies on the screen. With keen insight and a finely tuned comic eye, The Flick is a hilarious and heart-rending plea for authenticity in a fast-changing world. A must-see for movie lovers.
Directed by David Runzo
- Saturday, March 4 at 8pm
- Sunday, March 5 at 2pm*
- Thursday, March 9 at 7pm
- Saturday, March 11 at 8pm
- Sunday, March 12 at 2pm
- Thursday, March 16 at 7pm**
- Saturday, March 18 at 8pm
- Sunday, March 19 at 2pm
Sponsored by Elaine P. and Richard U. Wilson Foundation
Click for Tickets
SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2017
Doors open at 7pm, music at 8pm
presented by Abilene on the Road
Live at the Hart Theater at the Louis S. Wolk JCC of Greater Rochester
General Admission Tickets...$23 Advance, $25 day of show
Tickets on sale at:
Abilene Bar and Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way, Rochester, NY 14604
Record Archive, 33 Rockwood Street, Rochester, NY 14610
Online at: www.abilenebarandlounge.com
Info at: www.eilenjewell.com
MAY 6 - 21, 2017
Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston, Story and Book by Peter Stone
WINNER! 5 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score
From the emboldened owner and builder who believed their ship was "unsinkable" to the emigrants in steerage searching for a better life in America, both the epic and everyday stories of the passengers on the legendary RMS Titanic are played out in this gorgeous and beloved musical.
Directed by Ralph Meranto and Esther Winter
Musical Direction by Casey Filiaci
- Saturday, May 6 at 8pm
- Sunday, May 7 at 2pm
- Thursday, May 11 at 7pm
- Saturday, May 13 at 8pm
- Sunday, May 14 at 2pm
- Thursday, May 18 at 7pm
- Saturday, May 20 at 2pm
- Saturday, May 20 at 8pm
- Sunday, May 21 at 2pm
Sponsored by Dawn and Jacquesz"l Lipson
Masters of Variety
JUNE 3 - 4, 2017
Back by popular demand!
Michael DuBois' Solo Circus and The Amazing Viktoria Grimmy amazed JCC audiences with magic, juggling and circus/sideshow stunts. Their new show...The Great DuBois features new tricks and routines wrapped up in a cozy blanket of comedy. DuBois got his start performing as a JCC camper before appearances on Jay Leno and David Letterman catapulted him to international recognition. 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 and Ringling Brothers Circuses.
- Saturday, June 3 at 11am
- Saturday, June 3 at 2pm
- Sunday, June 4 at 2pm
- Sunday, June 4 at 4:30pm**