A Funny Thing Happened... ...On the Way to the Forum The Cocoanuts Disney's The Little Mermaid Spamalot The Fantasticks Spring Awakening Next To Normal right next to me Always...Patsy Cline The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)[revised] The Marvelous Wonderettes Side By Side By Sondheim Dogfight
A Funny Thing Happened...
Geva Theatre Center Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim Book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart October 4 - November 6 Wilson Stage
Geva's ‘Forum’ a bawdy, madcap success
Everything turns into mayhem in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, the madcap farce that delivers on every one of its promises — especially the one promising “Comedy Tonight.”
Director Melissa Rain Anderson takes full advantage of the frenetic pace and the highly talented cast, which includes Broadway actor (and Rochester native) Steve Rosen as the slave Pseudolus and a team of acrobatic wunderkinds known as 2 Ring Circus.
Gleefully saucy, it’s hard to argue Forum’s success. It makes us laugh, which makes for a miraculously happy ending for the audience. – Marcia Morphy, Theater Critic, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle A funny "Forum"
Under the capable and imaginative direction of Geva favorite, Melissa Rain Anderson, this Forum is vivid, fast-paced and zany. The show's slapstick, vaudevillian roots are on ample display. Anderson has even added a new, entertaining bonus to the Broadway chestnut — four circus gymnasts who she weaves cleverly into the nonstop stage action. – Jack Garner, Columnist, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle Comedius Maximus
Cheery, tuneful, and packed with gags, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum offers nothing less than a night filled with rollicking fun and non-stop laughs.
Melissa Rain Anderson directs Forum on Geva’s Wilson Stage with cirque-esque staging complete with hula-hoops, juggling and tumbling by the multi-talented Proteans ... and Adam Koch’s colorful and clever set is worth the price of a ticket by itself. It’s a show crammed with smiles and good vibes. Worry tomorrow. Go see a comedy tonight. – Michael Galvin, Kids Out And About Something for everyone
Director Melissa Rain Anderson is known and loved by Geva audiences for her sold-out directing success of last year's "Spamalot," and 2013's "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." Anderson excels with works that rely on comedic timing, and this production is another such achievement. – Leah Stacy, City Newspaper Rochester A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Geva Theatre Center
The cast...delivers the still-hysterical story with a tight pace and clean look under the direction of Melissa Rain Anderson the most jaw-dropping part of this production is its inclusion of actual circus performers who fill the stage with tricks and antics that bring classic gag comedy to the next level (sometimes literally in the case of aerial work).
. . .if you’re looking for “comedy tonight,” or tomorrow, or next weekend, Geva’s latest production is one to catch. – Marisa Caruso, NY Theatre Guide Upcoming Work
A Christmas Carol
Denver Center Theatre Company By Charles Dickens Adapted by Richard Hellesen Music by David de Berry Nov 25 - Dec 24, 2016
Disney's The Little Mermaid
Cape Fear Regional Theatre Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Howard Sherman and John Musker Book by Doug Wright 1/19 - 2/12
Utah Shakespeare Festival Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin Book by George S. Kaufman Adapted by Mark Bedard July 1 to October 15 Randall L. Jones Theatre
The Cocoanuts’ » Perfectly paced direction and energetic performances keep this Marx Brothers-inspired show barreling along.
As Melissa Rain Anderson points out in her director's notes, "The Cocoanuts" is a unique hybrid: "The Marx Brothers vaudeville meets farce meets romantic musical theatre meets madcap musical comedy." Anderson adeptly blends these disparate styles by keeping the comedy anchored midway between anarchy and programmed, focusing it on the storyline, such as it is, and maintaining a brisk pace so the audience never gets ahead of the actors....Well-done farce requires discipline and perfect timing, and this production translates them into a very entertaining package. – Barbara M. Bannon, The Salt Lake Tribune Director Melissa Rain Anderson keeps the multiple plates — I mean plots — spinning to a fare-thee-well, balancing “The Cocoanuts’ ” numerous nutty elements with throwaway ease. But you may be too busy laughing to notice the considerable artistry on display — which is exactly as it should be. – Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal Shakespeare Festival's 'The Cocoanuts’ is the perfect chaotic summer musical... Director Melissa Rain Anderson said the production is a puzzle, and it was certainly entertaining to watch the actors seamlessly and carefully piece everything together. Anderson said that there are rules to comedy such as timing and freedom. This musical has all of those rules perfectly memorized. – Emily Havens, The Spectrum
Arkansas Repertory Theatre Book by Doug Wright Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and Disney film Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater December 04, 2015 - January 03, 2016
It's difficult to single out what is most endearing about the show -- the great voices, charming costumes, dynamic dancing, a stage design that evokes the sea, or all of the above. Director Melissa Rain Anderson certainly knew how to assemble everything into a seamless whole, choreographer Adam Cates created some fancy footwork, and Rafael Colon Castanera designed costumes that must be seen to be believed. – Jack W. Hill, Democrat-Gazette
Geva Theatre Center Book & Lyrics by Eric Idle Music by John Du Prez & Eric Idle September 9 – October 11, 2015 Wilson Stage
Director Melissa Rain Anderson takes full advantage of the script’s wit and audacity, managing to draw bold performances from the stellar 17-member cast and orchestra in this fast-paced show that calls for swift scene and costume changes. The actors, one and all, deserve acclaim for not over-milking the broadness of the comedy and simply immersing themselves in it.
Puns, parodies, and a quest that even Indiana Jones couldn't resist. This is what makes Spamalot the ultimate live experience for Monty Python fans who want to sit back and have a rousing good time. – Marcia Morphy, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle Geva favorite Melissa Rain Anderson -- who also directed Geva's "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" -- expertly directs "Spamalot." Anderson's direction is conscious of the physicality and timing needed for the quirky production to work. – Leah Stacy, Rochester City Paper I also must give the director, Melissa Rain Anderson, so much credit for putting together a wonderful and side-splitting show... it is one of the best, if not the best, musical performance I have ever seen. – Collin Arend, NY Theatre Guide ... sure-handed, gifted director... Melissa Rain Anderson’s bouncy direction and Lenny Daniel’s sharp choreography keep it moving briskly and performed with charm and solid skill. – Herbert Simpson, Artes Magazine
Geva Theatre Center Music and Lyrics by William Finn Book by Rachael Sheinkin
Director / Choreographer
The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On (World Premiere)
Stages Repertory Theatre Written by Roger Bean August 5th - September 18, 2016 **EXTENDED through October 16!