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Port Jefferson's Theatre Three to reopen in July with comedy, musical

Theatre Three will finally reopen on July 9

Theatre Three will finally reopen on July 9 with a weekend of comedy shows. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Another opening, another theater.

The curtain is about to rise on Theatre Three in Port Jefferson, which plans to reopen on July 9 and 10 with performances from the Long Island Comedy Festival. Those shows will be followed by the venue's first mainstage production since closing in March 2020, the Harvey Schmidt-Tom Jones musical "The Fantasticks," which will run from July 16 through Aug. 15.

"I think of the count of Monte Cristo — free at last," said Theatre Three executive director Jeffrey Sanzel about reopening. "We have nothing to complain about — we're safe, we're healthy, but at the same time, it's such a joy to know that we're going back to work and doing the things that we love doing."

In accordance with New York state government guidelines, the theater will be opening at 33% capacity and health protocols will be enforced, including mask wearing by patrons and personnel, and temperature checks.

The two comedy nights will feature stand-up comedians from the Long Island and New York City comedy scenes. Sanzel said "The Fantasticks," which ran Off-Broadway from 1960 to 2002 and includes such tunes as "Try to Remember," was chosen since it's a smaller-scale musical that only features a cast of eight.

"The Adventures of Peter Rabbit," an original musical based on the tales of Beatrix Potter and designed for children, is also slated to run this summer.

Tickets for all shows will go on sale May 3 and can be purchased by calling 631-928-9100 or visiting theatrethree.com.

Theatre Three also announced that its Dramatic Academy and Musical Theatre Factory, which offers workshops for children and teens, will also resume starting with a twice-weekly play-writing program for ages 12-17 from June 7 to 30.

The fall schedule is expected to be announced sometime in June, Sanzel said. "If things go in the direction they're going, the anticipation is that we will open at full capacity with full-sized productions," he said, before adding cautiously, "but nobody can see that far down the road yet."

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