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Arena's move and more LI theater events

Jeffrey Sanzel makes his 1,000th performance as Scrooge

Jeffrey Sanzel makes his 1,000th performance as Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" the evening at Theatre Three, Port Jefferson. (Dec. 10, 2011) Photo Credit: Steve Ayle Photo/

New home / major premiere (Arena Players, Vanderbilt Museum Carriage House, Centerport, Oct. 14-Nov. 16). "God of Carnage," Yasmina Reza's Tony- and Olivier-winning play, makes its belated Long Island premiere -- the first major production at the Carriage House since Arena announced the sale of its East Farmingdale theater after 39 years. The play -- parents discuss a brawl between their boys -- was to open last fall at Arena, but rights were pulled while Roman Polanski directed the film version, "Carnage," which just opened at the Venice Film Festival. arenaplayers.org, 516-293-0674

'In the Heights' (Tilles Center, Brookville, Oct. 30). Set to a vibrant uptown beat with a Latin accent, the winner of the 2008 best musical Tony makes its Long Island premiere as the national touring company drops by for one night. tillescenter.org, 516-299-3100

The 1,000th Scrooge (Theatre Three, Port Jefferson, Dec. 10). Jeffrey Sanzel, who's played Scrooge and written and rewritten adaptations of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" for two decades, will play Ebenezer for the 1,000th time at the 8 p.m. performance Dec. 10 -- barring earlier cancellations. The annual "Carol" runs on Theatre Three's main stage Nov. 19-Dec. 27. theatrethree.com, 631-928-9100

Idina Menzel's homecoming (Tilles Center, Nov. 5). The Syosset High grad and star of two of Broadway's greatest hits of the past 20 years, "Rent" and "Wicked" -- and now a recurring character on "Glee" -- headlines the annual Tilles Center gala with an evening of show tunes and more.

Gala alum (Tilles Center, Oct. 28) Brian Stokes Mitchell, who wowed Gala '09 patrons with his warmly booming baritone, returns with songs from his Broadway starring roles, "Man of La Mancha" and "Kiss Me, Kate," plus his Carnegie Hall concert performance of "South Pacific," also seen on PBS.

'Assassins' (Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, Oct. 15-Nov. 8) Stephen Sondheim's dark history lesson, on nine individuals who assassinated a president of the United States or attempted to, explores the underside of the American experience. From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, it's a harrowing musical ride. smith townpac.org, 631-724-3700

Speaking of presidents . . . (Engeman Theater at Northport, through Nov. 6). In this 50th-anniversary year of the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, the King Arthur musical "Camelot," which became a moniker for JFK's White House years, gets a major new Long Island production. engemantheater.com, 631-261-2900

'Defending the Caveman' (Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, through Oct. 2). Rob Becker's one-man adult comedy -- the longest-running solo venture in Broadway history -- comes to Long Island. Not recommended for tweens and younger kids.

Second and third chances (BroadHollow Theatre at Elmont, through Oct. 2). "A Grand Night for Singing," the Tony-nominated musical featuring some of Rodgers and Hammerstein's greatest (and lesser) hits, had its recent Long Island premiere truncated by Tropical Storm Irene. BroadHollow opens a new production starring Mary Ellin Kurtz that plays Elmont before moving to East Islip's BayWay Arts Center Nov. 5-20. broadhollow.org, 631-581-2700

'Ethan Claymore' (Studio Theatre, Lindenhurst, Nov. 26-Dec. 17). Norm Foster, a favorite playwright among Studio subscribers, created this not-your-usual-holiday show. The title character, an egg farmer/artist, receives a visit from his recently deceased brother the week before Christmas -- just as he's met a woman who may change his life. studiotheatreli.com, 631-226-8400


10 more shows to keep in mind

 

'Annie Get Your Gun' (through Sept. 25). You have two chances to catch Irving Berlin's musical fictionalizing the life of Annie Oakley and bursting with classic songs, from "You Can't Get a Man With a Gun" to "There's No Business Like Show Business." BroadHollow Theatre at Elmont; also BayWay Arts Center, East Islip, Oct. 15-30, broadhollow.org, 631-581-2700

'The Pajama Game' (through Oct. 9). Fresh from the national tour of "Monty Python's Spamalot," Steve McCoy, who starred as King Arthur, takes the leading man's role in this classic musical about labor and love. Theatre Three, Port Jefferson, theatre three.com, 631-928-9100

It will make you want to shout (through Oct. 9) "Shout! The Mod Musical" revisits the swinging '60s. You may be tempted to twist and shout in the aisles. But for heaven's sake, keep those cellphones muted! CM Performing Arts Center, Oakdale, cmpac.com, 631-218-2810

Speaking of oldies . . . (Oct. 1-30). If you're a fan of girl-group hits of the '50s and '60s, "The Marvelous Wonderettes" is for you. Merrick Theatre & Center for the Arts. merricktheatreandcenterforthe arts.com, 516-868-6400

'Sherlock Holmes -- The Final Adventure' (Oct. 15-30). Tell that to Robert Downey Jr. and his Sherlock movie franchisees! Nevertheless, Stephen Dietz tests Holmes' power -- and Watson's lack of -- in this wits-matching challenge by archnemesis Moriarty. BroadHollow's BayWay Arts Center; also Nov. 15-27 at BroadHollow Theatre at Elmont

Christmas arrives early (Oct. 20-Nov. 6). In "My Three Angels," amiable convicts rescue a damsel in distress -- and her hapless family -- on Christmas in French Guiana, circa 1910. Hampton Theatre Company, Quogue, hamptontheatre.org, 631-653-8955

No, not that Phantom (Oct. 22-Nov. 20). "Phantom of the Opera," the longest-running musical in Broadway history, shows no signs of going regional. But some think Maury Yeston and Arthur Kopit's "Phantom" is a better show. CM Performing Arts Center, Oakdale

'Betrayal' (Nov. 11-Dec. 4). Director Frederic De Feis says he'll offer more highbrow fare at his new location. Harold Pinter's love triangle masterpiece certainly qualifies. Arena Players at the Vanderbilt, Centerport.arena players.com, 516-293-0674

Direct from Broadway (Nov. 5). Kerry Butler, star of the just-closed "Catch Me If You Can," and Jarrod Spector from "Rock of Ages," double up for a gala evening. Landmark on Main Street, Port Washington. landmarkonmainstreet.org, 516-767-6444

'A Wonderful Life' (Nov. 25-Jan. 15). The musical stage version of Frank Capra's beloved "It's a Wonderful Life," by Sheldon Harnick and Joe Raposa, makes an encore holiday appearance. Engeman Theater at Northport, engemantheater .com, 631-261-2900

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