A handful of classic musicals dating back to what has become known as the Golden Age of the Broadway Musical are among the anticipated highlights of the upcoming community theater spring season. These, along with more recent productions and a pair of straight plays that first delighted audiences in an even more distant past, make up this spring’s offerings.
Originally presented Off-Broadway, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” will charm audiences all over again as the beloved Charles Schulz characters come to life courtesy of St. Gregory’s Theatre Group in Bellerose.
Stephen Anastasia heads the cast as the title character, with support from Kelly Conrad, Melissa Jillian, Scott Stuart, Frank Auriemma and Kristina Dowling, playing Charlie Brown’s friends, both human and four-legged.
The show, most recently revived on Broadway in 1999, is now under the direction of Kathy Rollo Ferrara, who co-choreographs with Rickie Tice. Musical direction is by Frank Sanchez.
Performances will be at Gregorian Hall (244-44 87 Ave., Bellerose) on Feb. 24 and 25 at 8 p.m., and Feb. 25 and 26 at 2 p.m.
Tickets, bought in advance, are $18, $15 for seniors and $7 for children. Add $2 to each ticket at the door.
For more, call (718) 989-2451.
To the strains of Lionel Bart’s wonderful score, Theatre By the Bay’s intergenerational cast will bring the musical adaptation of Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” to the Bay Terrace Jewish Center, with the opening night of “Oliver!” set for March 3.
Marc Crawford Leavitt takes on the role of that old curmudgeon Fagin, who encourages his young charges to “pick a pocket or two,” all, of course, for his own benefit. The devoted Nancy will be played by Dana Hart Lubeck, while the title role, in a gender-bending twist, will find Isabel Robin center stage once again, following her lauded appearance with the same troupe in “Annie” a couple of seasons ago.
Director Lawrence Bloom announced that the production, in keeping with the show’s theme, is sponsoring a food drive, and invites audience members to bring nonperishable items for donation to City Harvest.
The show’s musical director is Richard Louis-Pierre, with choreography provided by Jessica McCuiston.
Performances at BTJC (13-00 209 St., Bayside) are on March 3, 10 and 17 at 8:30 p.m., and March 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $20, $18 for seniors and children under 13.
For more, call (718) 428-6363.
More than a bit of ancient Roman lunacy will envelop Marathon Jewish Community Center in Douglaston as the Marathon Players present “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” the first musical Stephen Sondheim wrote both the lyrics and music for.
Chaz Peacock takes on the daunting role of Pseudolus, a slave in search of his freedom, with David Risley as his partner in crime, Hysterium. Lloyd Baum appears as Senex, a hen-pecked old man with a roving eye, with Annice Auriemma playing Philia, the already-spoken-for virgin in whom he takes a particular interest. Gary Krigsman is Marcus Lycus, the buyer and seller of beautiful women.
Barbara Auriemma directs, with Rhea Arkin providing the musical direction.
Performances at MJCC (245-37 60 Ave., Douglaston) are on March 10, 17 and 24 at 8:30 p.m., and March 11, 18 and 25 at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $18, $16 for seniors and children under 13.
For more, call (718) 229-4644.
Little Orphan Annie and her friends will be making a return stop at St. Luke’s Church in Forest Hills, where the Gingerbread Players will once again be presenting the “Tomorrow” musical, “Annie,” opening on April 21.
Under the direction of Louise Guinther and musical director Velma Adams, the cast is headed by Caroline Rosenblum in the title role, David Friedman as billionaire Daddy Warbucks and Ngan Ping Chiang as the evil Miss Hannigan.
Performances at St. Luke’s (85 Greenway South, Forest Hills) are on April 21, 22, 28 and 29 at 2:30 p.m., and April 21 and 27 at 7:30 p.m.
For more, call (718) 268-7772.
Considered by many as one of the all-time musical theater masterpieces, “Gypsy,” based on the memoirs of the famed stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, will be offered by the FSF Community Theatre Group for a three-performance run.
Direction is by this writer, with Paul Johnson providing the musical direction.
Performances at the Free Synagogue of Flushing (41-60 Kissena Blvd., Flushing) are on May 12 and 19 at 8 p.m., and May 13 at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $16, $14 for seniors over 60 and children 12 and under.
For more, call (516) 521-5500.
On the nonmusical front, “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, is the next attraction from the Parkside Players.
Featuring an unusually large cast for a straight play, under the direction of Mark Dunn, the classic comedy centers around the antics of a famed critic who is forced by circumstances to move in with an unsuspecting midwestern family.
Local favorite W. Gordon Innes takes on the marathon role of Sheridan Whiteside, with Bridget Bannec lending support as his devoted secretary, Maggie. Susan Young is the easy-to-despise Lorraine; Ian McDonald plays the Marx Brothers-inspired Banjo; and Rich Weyhausen, a Chronicle staffer, plays the Noel Coward-inspired Beverly Carleton.
Performances at Grace Lutheran Church (103-15 Union Turnpike at 71st Road, Forest Hills) are on Feb. 18, 24 and 25, and March 2 and 3, at 8 p.m.; and Feb. 19 and 26 at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $14, $12 for seniors.
For more, call (718) 353-7388.
Clifford Odets’ “Awake and Sing!” — which originally opened on Broadway in 1935 — is set in the Bronx during the Depression, and focuses on the lives of the Bergers, an impoverished family with complicated relationships, dreams and conflicts.
Last revived on the Great White Way in 2006, the play is presented by the Douglaston Community Theatre under the direction of Teresa Zugger and features an ensemble cast that includes Al Carbuto, Marty Edelstein, Lisa Lawrence, Eric Leeb, Barbara Mavro, Cody Parham, Dean Schildkraut, Marilyn Welsher and Michael Wolf, reprising a role he became familiar with while a college student many moons ago.
Performances take place at Zion Episcopal Church Parish Hall (44th Avenue off Douglaston Parkway, Douglaston) on Feb. 24 and 25, and March 2 and 3, at 8 p.m.; and Feb. 26 and March 3 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $15, $13 for seniors and students with ID.
For more, call (718) 482-3332.