The Genesee Center for the Arts begins its 13th season with a varied calendar of events that begins September 24. All events are held in the Stuart Steiner Theatre on the Batavia campus of Genesee Community College.
The season opens with blues artist Rory Block on September 24 at 8:00 p.m. A four-time W.C. Handy award winner, Block was heralded as "one of the greatest living acoustic blues artists" by Blues Revue magazine. She began playing guitar at the age of 10 and made her recording debut at 12. By the age of 14, she had become part of the Sunday jam sessions in Washington Square Park in New York City where her father, Allan Block, eventually became the reigning impresario of the vital folk revival scene in the West Village. Now, with 16 recordings to her credit, including folk, soul, and contemporary, Block remains deeply rooted in the blues. Her most recent recording, Last Fair Deal, is a powerful interpretation of traditional acoustic blues showcased by her urgent, soulful vocals.
The Forum Players, the student-based acting group at Genesee Community College, will present Oscar Wilde's buoyant comedy of manners, The Importance of Being Earnest, on October 7, 8, and 9 at 8:00 p.m. This celebrated text chronicles the exploits of Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrief as they concoct witty deceptions to pursue their sweethearts. This play, which is thought to be Wilde's greatest dramatic achievement, contains some of literature's most famous epigrams. Through farcical dialogue, Wilde unleashes a comic attack on the shams of superficial "earnestness" in late-Victorian society. This play is being directed by local resident Steve Vaughan.
Musical skits spoofing the Great White Way poke fun at everyone from Ethel Merman to Carol Channing and Michael Crawford to Tommy Tune in "Forbidden Broadway", on October 15 at 7:00 p.m. This long-running parody of Broadway musicals has kept off-Broadway audiences laughing for nearly two decades. The emphasis of the show is on musicals with a sprinkling of favorite musical icons like Liza Minnelli and Barbra Streisand. Le Miz, Annie Get Your Gun, Jekyll and Hyde, and Ragtime are all targets for the cast. Even the much beloved Music Man cannot escape the conviviality, the musical's famous grand finale, "76 Trombones" becomes "76 Hit Shows".
Four ghosts pay a Christmas Eve visit to the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens' classic take of Victorian social reform and moral rebirth in A Christmas Carol on November 18, 19, and 20 at 7:00 p.m. A matinee performance for area school children will take place on November 18 and 19 at 9:30 a.m.
The Ten Minute Play Festival returns in 2005 when the Forum Players present their third bi-annual contest winners featuring the best short plays of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties on February 24, 25, and 26 at 8:00 p.m. The plays are presented as script-in-hand format. Submissions will be accepted until November 1. Manuscripts must be no longer than 10 pages in length and contain no more than 4 characters. All authors must hail from the GLOW region. The top four plays are presented and the top three plays carry a cash prize: $100.00 for first place, $75.00 for second place and $50.00 for third place. For more information on the Ten Minute Play Contest, please call the Arts Center office at 585-345-6802.
Live jazz accompanies the Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers when the David Leonhardt Jazz Group joins Ms. Oliver and Co. as they perform original and historic routines with lightning-speed footwork that explodes onto the stage on April 8, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. Synchronized ensembles and stunning solos provide an exciting evening of sophisticated music and dance. The Village Voice calls this Pennsylvania-based dance troupe, "Stupendous!" This event is co-sponsored by Robin Cotler's Images in Dance.
Tickets are $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for students and senior citizens. Genesee students with a current ID pay only $2.00.Tickets for these events are on sale now and can be reserved by calling the Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office at 585-345-6814.