On the town
Music, theater, film, dance—it’s all right here in Rochester. Make your plans with the help of our comprehensive guide to what’s On the Town.
A Magical Journey
875 East Main St., Rochester,
A Magical Journey Thru Stages is a nonprofit youth theatre company operating on the third floor of the Auditorium Theatre. The company performs high-quality plays and musicals that delight audiences, educate youth in theater arts, benefit local charities, and foster personal and professional growth.
Disney’s Aladdin (First Stage)
November 3 & 4
Take a “magic carpet ride” to get to this mystical show featuring Disney modern classics you’ll want to sing along to. The Genie, Jasmine, Aladdin, and, of course, Abu, the loveable monkey, all are waiting to give you an adorable and memorable performance.
Rock of Ages (Mainstage Teen)
Featuring the music of 80’s favorites Journey, Bon Jovi, and Def Leppard, this tale follows a young, aspiring singer from the midwest trying to make it in Hollywood but who finds love instead.
Footloose (Stages Junior)
January 27–February 5
Dancing and rock music are illegal. What else could go wrong? Newcomer Ren, who comes from a big city, tries to turn the town upside down with his two new friends.
Twisted Tales of Terror (Stages Players)
Based on a book by Jeanine Harvey, this spooky tale takes place in a graveyard in which Claudia retells tales of Dracula, Frankenstein, and more in a humorous, new way.
Dear Edwina (Stages Kids)
April 7 & 8
This musical follows a 13-year-old girl who loves giving advice to her family and friends in the neighborhood and creates musicals out of her garage.
274 N. Goodman St., Rochester,
The Black sheep Theatre Coalition is committed to providing live performance experiences to the Rochester area, emphasizing interactive, unique, and experimental formats. The theater also offers service opportunities for participating artists to give back to the community as well as educational opportunities for students to develop valuable skills for a life long journey of learning.
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
September 2 & 3
This 1967 musicalal comedy is based on Charles Schulz’s timeless characters. The play features a day in the life of Charlie Brown and his friends with original music by Clark Gesner, a notable playwright.
795 E. Main St., Rochester, bftix.org, 454-1260
For more than sixty years, Blackfriars has provided quality theatrical entertainment to the greater Monroe County and Finger Lakes region. The professional theater company, located in downtown Rochester’s “Theatre Row,” mounts six shows each year as well as one special summer production. Its mission is to offer the best possible showcase for actors and actresses, theater artists, and technicians who have chosen to make Rochester their home.
Ever wondered about the lives of the assassins or attempted assassins of presidents of the United States? Now is your chance with this dark comedy “bending” history and the rules of the world in which Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wilkes Booth and more meet up and chat.
The Boys Next Door
October 28–November 13
In a scenic New England town where a communal residence houses four mentally handicapped men and their social worker, Jack, this touching play shows us that everyone wants love, laughter, and a purpose out of their short time on Earth.
The Flight Before Christmas
This story is written by three of Rochester’s finest, and follows a motley crew stranded in a “not-so-winter wonderland.” The characters must pool together their resources to find a way home in this fast paced comedic adventure.
A story about a woman who can’t keep her underpants on and her husband Theo has a problem with that…? Theo sees this as a scandal, but when he rents out a room in his house to a poet and hypochondriac, they find the best of the situation.
Hands on a Hardboy
March 17–April 2
Don’t mess with Texas. Or the brand spankin’ new truck one of ten Texans could win if they keep their hand on the truck while competing in a contest to win it.
Death of a Saleman
Arthur Miller’s classic you read in high school comes to Rochester. Willy tries to follow the so-called American Dream but fails to see what is right in front of him.
Bread & Water Theatre
172 W. Main St., Rochester,
Founded in the fall of 2000 by J. R. Teeter at Nazareth College of Rochester, Bread & Water Theatre is committed to making the arts accessible to a broad-based audience through simply styled theater where actors are the primary focus. It also strives to bring to light lesser-performed works of literature, made clear by its opening production in 2000 of a play by Christopher Marlowe.
The Bristol Valley Theater
151 S Main St, Naples, bvtnaples.org, 374-9032
As the only venue of its kind in a fifty-mile radius, Bristol Valley Theater serves an audience that would not otherwise have ready access to professional theater productions. Its mission is to produce life-affirming theater for a diverse rural and regional audience, present a variety of performing arts, and provide training to young actors and offer scholarships to make such training possible.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
August 25–September 4
Six actors onstage create a new version of the classic and timeless tale of the wild duo.
The Paulsen Baker Band
An annual visit from a Finger Lakes local folk band.
Mystery Radio Theater
Just in time for Halloween, the theater presents an old-fashioned mystery radio-esque show live on stage.
The College at Brockport Fine Arts Series, Tower Fine Arts Center and Hartwell Hall at the College at Brockport
350 New Campus Dr., Brockport, brockport.edu/finearts, 395-ARTS
Brockport’s School of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences presents theater productions, music performances, dance events, and art exhibits both for enrichment of the student experience and for community enjoyment.
20 Windsor St., Rochester, downstairscabaret.org, 325-4370
Downstairs Cabaret Theatre performs year-round on a repertory schedule. Since opening its doors in 1983, it has presented thousands of musicals, comedies, dramas, new works, and musical performances at a variety of locations. Fourteen years later, the theater found its current home at 20 Windsor Street and prides itself on producing unique works and hopes to attract nontraditional audiences and first-time theatergoers.
Everyone’s Theatre Company
Various Locations, everyonestheatre.com, 415-4747
This charming theater service strives to commitment to the community, providing a broad variety of programs to enrich and improve the quality of the future of theater.
Christmas My Way
Geva Theatre Center
75 Woodbury Blvd., Rochester, gevatheatre.org, 232-4382
Founded in 1972, Geva Theatre is home to productions created and rehearsed in and for Rochester. With two downtown venues, Geva has featured a wide variety of performances, from musicals to American and world classics.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
October 4–November 6
A Tony winner, this show is fast-paced and quick-witted, taking place in ancient Rome. A slave will do anything for his freedom, including help his master win the heart of the girl next door.
Mother (and Me)
Mother is slipping into dementia while daughter is slipping into middle age. The touching tale follows the two women who are “losing everything they ever had.”
The Lake Effect
A tale perfectly titled for New York State follows two estranged siblings who are trapped in the family restaurant overnight because of, yes, a lake effect snowstorm and spend the time reminiscing.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
February 14–March 12
While Joanna, a white woman with white liberal parents, brings home her African-American fiance, her fiance’s parents are ultimately the ones who disapprove of the relationship. The show is based on the 1967 classic, an Oscar winner.
Sex with Strangers
A young male blogger amd a middle-aged female novelist trapped in a house during a snowstorm. What could go wrong? What could go right? A night stuck together proves you can’t judge a book by its cover.
March 21–April 16
Divorced for five years. New spouses. A terrible surprise run-in happens when the ex-spouses, on their honeymoons in the French Riviera, find themselves in adjacent suites.
727 E. Main St., Rochester,
Founded in 1996, the Greater Rochester Repertory Companies is committed to providing an environment for actors, musicians, writers, and directors to teach and learn from each other, as well as giving local and regional authors a venue to perform their work.
This one-act play follows fifty-year-old Victor, who is not happy about being a fifty-year-old. Victor gets invited to a mysterious club and invites his friend Joe along for the ride and the two have a night of hilarious adventures.
September 17 & 24
Lucy is a four-year-old girl whose imagination is too active. The play follows the life of her imaginary friend, Mr. Marmalade, who has a cocaine addiction, loves to beat up his personal assistant, and has a thing for pornography.
JCC Centerstage Theatre
1200 Edgewood Ave., Rochester, jccrochester.org, 461-2000
Since 1977, CenterStage has served as the resident professional theater company of the Rochester Jewish Community Center. Under the artistic direction of Ralph Meranto, each year the theater presents a five-show subscription series of plays and musicals and an annual play-reading series and features accomplished high school and college students in its SummerStage musical and other special events.
2171 Monroe-Wayne County Line Rd., Macedon, kalidastheater.org, 381-1541
Named after a renowned classical Sanskrit poet and dramatist, Kalidas is known as the Indo-American Theater Group of Rochester and debuted in November 2006 with Neil Simon’s Rumors.
The Method Machine
142 Atlantic Ave., Rochester, methodmachine.org, 319-7427
The Method Machine prides itself on producing daring and relevant performances and art exhibits. Founders David Henderson, Marcy J. Savastano, Michael Frances O’Connor, and its ensemble of artists hope to challenge self-discovery in the community through performance.
Cultural Center (MUCCC)
142 Atlantic Ave., Rochester, muccc.org, 244-0960
The muCCC (“muck”) provides performance space for local theater groups and presents a great variety of shows year-round.
4245 East Ave., Rochester, artscenter.naz.edu, 389-2170
Nazareth College Arts Center is a nonprofit institution that brings world-class dance, children’s theater, and international entertainment to the Rochester region annually. As well as housing the Nazareth College departments of arts, music, and theater arts, it is also the home of the Rochester City Ballet, Garth Fagan Dance, Rochester Children’s Theatre, and Bach Children’s Chorus.
Rochester City Ballet
In its New York State premier, Slightly Sinful is an award-winning ballet choreographed by Danny Rosseel. The ballet has a gothic vibe and is set to cathedral music.
Vertex Saxophone Quartet
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
October 14–16, 21–22
A musical version of the movie of the same name, this story tells the tale of a woman who has two men trying to court her. The dysfunctional life of Pepa takes place in Madrid in the 1980s and is both heartwarming and hilarious.
Known as the country’s best, young dance talent, this troupe of dancers has merged spirit and energy into one with its creativity.
Various Sites, off-monroeplayers.org, 232-5570
For more than thirty years, Off-Monroe Players has chosen its three shows per year from a pool of only thirteen works.
Out of Pocket
142 Atlantic Ave., Rochester, outofpocketproductions.org, 319-7427
Since opening in 2008, Out of Pocket Productions’ mission has been to raise awareness and funds for local and national nonprofit organizations. The company presents high-quality shows with minimal production costs, to maximize the funds donated to these nonprofits.
The Penfield Players
Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd., Penfield, penfieldplayers.org, 340-8655
One of the oldest continuing theater groups in the Rochester area, the Penfield Players is currently launching its forty-ninth season with a mission to provide audiences with a welcoming and intimate theater experience. The nonprofit theater organization is sponsored by the Penfield Recreation Department.
High School Auditorium
55 Sutherland St., Pittsford, pittsfordmusicals.org, 586-1500
Pittsford Musicals began as a PTA fundraiser in 1966 led by Pittsford parents and teachers and has since grown to include people from all over the Rochester area. The community has been integral to the success of the theater, and, thus, the theater is committed to giving back to the community.
The Wizard of Oz
October 15, 16, 21, 22
Follow the yellow brick road to Pittsford High School as the beloved tale of Dorothy and Toto comes to the local stage.
Rochester Association of Performing Arts
200 W. Ridge Rd., Rochester, rapatheatre.org, 325-3366
RAPA is a nonprofit organization that has been entertaining the Rochester area with plays and musicals since 1978. It also serves as an educational community resources, providing theatrical, voice, and dance training for young people.
My Fair Lady
This classic about a girl with a Cockney accent turned lady comes to the stage.
Winnie-the-Pooh: The Musical
October 22, 23 & 28–30
Oh bother! Pooh and his gang of loveable Disney characters make an appearance on stage in this musical for all ages.
Miracle on 34th Street
The Christmas classic right in time for the holiday. The story follows the mishaps and misadventures of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and a man parading around as Santa Claus at the Macy’s store on 34th Street and Herald Square.
With music by the acclaimed Alan Menken, be sure to visit your sisters when they come to stage this spring. This story is about a convent in need of some change.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
April 22, 23 & 28–30
The magical world of Narnia comes to stage and brings its most famous inhabitants, including Aslan, the lion, an evil ruler, the White Witch, and the object that brings four siblings to another land during World War II, the wardrobe.
885 E. Main St., Rochester, rbtl.org, 222-5000
The Rochester Broadway Theatre League (RBTL) owns and manages Rochester’s Auditorium Theatre, which looks forward to hosting some of Broadway’s best productions during the M&T Bank Broadway Season. The Auditorium also hosts a number of live concerts, comedy, and dramatic events throughout the year and is used by local performing groups for recitals and other presentations.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
September 27–October 2
The story is about a brilliant fifteen-year-old who can’t interpret everyday life and is suspected of killing the neighbor’s dog and is convinced he should be the one to find the real person behind the crime.
October 25 -30
We learn the truth behind B. M. Barrie, and, more importantly, Peter Pan in this drama. Barrie finds inspiration in four young boys and their widowed mother who have the imagination Barrie craves.
November 30–December 3
What do you know as the four seasons? Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi are the true Four Seasons in this beloved true tale of music superstars.
142 Atlantic Ave., Rochester,
Rochester Community Players is one of the oldest community theater organizations in the country—its first production opened in 1925. RCP is home to the Shakespeare Players, who produce a free Shakespeare play every July in the Highland Park Bowl, and the Irish Players, who produce a play by an Irish author each year.
The Gatesinger Company, Gates Hall
4107 Lake Rd., Pultneyville,
A not-for-profit, the company claims that Gates Hall is the oldest continuously operated community theater in the United States.
TYKEs: Theatre Young Kids Enjoy, JCC Hart Theater
1200 Edgewood Ave., Rochester, 723-6080
TYKEs (Theatre Young Kids Enjoy) is a nonprofit organization cofounded by Gina Donahue and Freyda Schnedier with a desire to present child-friendly theatrical productions to the Rochester community. Scripts are tailored for audience interaction, even occasionally allowing children up on stage to further deepen their connection to the performance.
SkippyJon Jones: Snow What
Known as the cat with big ears and big dreams, this cat wants to be anything other than what he is.
Bad Kitty On Stage
Based on the comic books, this play is about a cat living the ideal life until a puppy enters the picture.
Gulliver’s travels take him to a far and distant land in an attempt to get to know his grown son.
International Theatre Program at the University of Rochester, Todd Theater, River Campus
Established in 1990, the University of Rochester International Theatre Program has produced more than seventy-five full productions and is committed to producing four major works every year. Led by professional artists, the program aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the performance aspects and technical demands of theatre.
WallByrd Theatre Company
142 Atlantic Ave., Rochester,
WallByrd is a theatrical art production company based in Rochester. For entertainment lovers seeking art as intelligent as it is enjoyable, WallByrd pulls forth modern and universal themes from classic works through an infusion of European performance technique and a heavy dose of art history.
Webster Theatre Guild
421 W. 54th St., Webster, webstertheatreguild.org, 234-1069
Webster Theatre Guild is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization that has been dedicated to enriching the community and supporting excellence in the arts since it began in 1936. It awards student scholarships and grants to youth in the Webster Central School District to further the mission.
Garth Fagan Dance
50 Chestnut St., 4th Floor, Rochester, garthfagandance.org,
Now approaching its forty-sixth season, Garth Fagan Dance features Tony award-winning choreography, most notably featured in the Broadway production of The Lion King. This dance troupe has received numerous accolades, including the New York Governor’s Arts Award and the New York Performance Awards.
Hartwell Hall at the
College at Brockport
350 New Campus Dr., Brockport, brockport.edu/finearts, 395-ARTS
Brockport’s School of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences presents major theater productions, music performances, dance concerts, and art exhibits. All events are provided for both the enhancement of its students’ experience at the College at Brockport and for the enjoyment and enrichment of the life of the community.
PUSH Physical Theatre
359 West Bloomfield Rd., Pittsford, pushtheatre.org, 415-PUSH
PUSH Physical Theatre describes its award-winning work as akin to watching a live-action movie. Founded in 2000 by husband-and-wife team Darren and Heather Stevenson, the company has toured across the United States as well as in England and Malta.
Rochester City Ballet
1326 University Ave., Rochester,
Founded in 1987by Timothy M. Draper, Rochester City Ballet is a contemporary ballet company based in Rochester. The Rochester City Ballet is now under the artistic direction of David Palmer.
This ballet is mysterious, mythical and gothic all in one set to cathedral music. This is part of David Palmer’s first full season as artistic director for Rochester City Ballet.
September 30–October 1
Set to the music of composer George Gershwin.
Featuring the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Bach Children’s Chorus, this beloved Christmas classic brings the Mouse King and the Land of Sweets to Rochester.
Green Eggs & Ham
February 4, 5
A retelling of Dr. Seuss’s kid favorite, this ballet is for the entire family.
There’s something for everyone in this ballet tribute to the music of legendary prog-rock band Pink Floyd.
University of Rochester Program of Dance
The Program of Dance and Movement at the University of Rochester is committed to offering experiential and theoretical study of dance and movement practices that honor and inform the whole person. Through diverse dance techniques and contemplative practices from all over the world, this unique program explores dance and movement as art, as spiritual practice, as community building, and as personal and interpersonal development.
Rochester’s LBGT film and video series runs October 6 to 16 and is now in its twenty-fourth year. Since its inception, the festival has evolved into more of an outreach program, offering special programming for youth, discounted tickets for people experiencing financial hardships, interpreting services, an annual literary publication, and special events happening outside the ten-day time frame. Screenings are at the Little and Dryden Theatres.
High Falls Film Festival
Celebrating women in film, this series is presented with the George Eastman Museum in collaboration with the Susan B. Anthony house (fittingly, as Rochester is the birthplace of both film and women’s rights). Since 2001 the festival is a celebration of women behind the camera, in leading roles, and as the backbone of storylines. This is the festival’s fourteenth run this November 10 to 14.
The Cinema Theater
975 S. Clinton Ave., Rochester, cinemarochester.com, 271-1785
Rochester’s oldest neighborhood theater since 1914 screens offbeat flicks to blockbuster hits, hosts events like weddings and parties, and is surrounded by a cluster of great South Wedge eateries from “cheap eats” to high-end.
The Dryden Theatre
900 East Ave., Rochester, dryden.eastmanhouse.org, 271-3361
The Dryden Theatre at George Eastman Museum is the sole exhibition spaces for showcasing its unparalleled collection of motion pictures, as well as fine selections from the world’s other great archives and premieres of new foreign and independent cinema.
The Little Theatre
240 East Ave #100, Rochester, thelittle.org, 258-0400
Started as the “Little Cinema Movement,” the Little Theatre was a theater for showing alternative films in its heyday, starting in 1928. Today the theater does the same, presenting foreign and American independent films.
Eastman School of Music
25 Gibbs St., Rochester,
For more than eighty years, the Eastman School of Music has provided world-class music through its students, faculty, and guest artists. The school also provides a home to the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
Going for Baroque
September 4, 11, 18, 25, October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
A twenty-five minute presentation by Eastman students on an Italian baroque organ.
Double Reed Holiday Concert
Orchestra and Chorus
20 E. Church St., Fairport, gvoc.org, 223-9006
The Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus has developed a repertoire ranging from spirituals to showtunes and folk songs to oratorios. The GVOC is dedicated to providing opportunities for musical growth for its members and enriching the lives of area residents by presenting high-quality musical performances.
Golden Link Folk Singing Society
The Golden Link Folk Singing Society has been the driving force behind bringing excellent folk, roots, blues, bluegrass, and other acoustic-oriented music to the Rochester area for more than forty years. The Society hosts Tuesday night informal sing-arounds, monthly concerts and musicians’ workshops, and the weekend-long annual Turtle Hill Folk Festival.
Turtle Hill Folk Festival
September 9–11 (809 Five Points Road, Rush)
Including not only performances but also workshops for budding musicians, this festival has an array of activities for the entire family as well as playgrounds, DIYs, and nature trails.
Honeoye Falls Community Concert Band
5 East St., Honeoye Falls, hfccb.org
Founded in 1988, the HFCCB is composed of seventy active members who range in ages and occupations—mostly nonprofessional musicians including traditional marches, showtunes, contemporary compositions, film soundtrack selections and orchestral transcriptions.
Penfield Symphony Orchestra
1587 Jackson Rd., Penfield, 872-0774,
Founded in 1955, the Penfield Symphony Orchestra continues to provide local residents with “live symphonic music close to home.” The musicians are music educators as well as professionals and musically talented community members from all walks of life.
Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus
121 North Fitzhugh St., Suite No. 325, Rochester, 423-0650, thergmc.org
Founded in 1982, the Gay Men’s Chorus sings with the mission of “using music to create an acceptance of social diversity and to use the harmony of voice to create a harmony of the spirit.” More than thirty years later, the group has grown from five to more than fifty members and has performed across the country.
Comfort and Joy
December 9, 10
A range of songs from pop to classical.
We Will Rock You
A blend of gospel, rock, opera, and disco will be included in the group’s season closer, with music exclusively from Freddie Mercury and Queen.
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
433 E. Main St., Rochester, rpo.org, 545-2100
Since its founding by George Eastman in 1922, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music. Now in its ninety-third year, the RPO looks forward to maintaining its high standard of artistic excellence, unique tradition of musical versatility, and deep commitment to education and community engagement.
Ward Stare Conducts Beethoven 7 and Nakamatsu Returns
September 16, 17
A blend of the well-known Beethoven classic and Nakamatsu, whose music has captivated audiences to the theater to the movie screen.
Beethoven and Haydn
Wands and Wizards: The Magical Music of Harry Potter
Featuring the music from the Harry Potter scores as well as other recognizable family favorites.
November 23, 25–27
February 2, 4
Society for Chamber Music
PO Box 20715, Rochester, chambermusicrochester.org, 413-1574
The Society for Chamber Music in Rochester is the oldest chamber music society in the Rochester area. SCMR is a volunteer organization that provides an opportunity for the community to hear musicians of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the faculty of the Eastman School of Music as well as selected local and visiting artists, in performances of the great works of chamber music of all periods and styles.
Mendelssohn’s Magnificent Octet
Featuring the works of Johan Halvorsen, Friedrich Hermann, David Popper and Feliz Mendelssohn, this is an anniversary celebration concert.
Great Cello Quintets
Harry Stafylakis’ work, a competition winner and contemporary classical composer, will be showcased along with two other works.
Bach to the Future
Mozart and Guggenheim Fellow
University of Rochester Department of Music
UR Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony Concert
October 8, Upper Strong
The Women’s Chorus
October 21, Kilburn Hall
Rock Repertory Ensemble Concert
November 6, Lower Strong
Men’s Glee Club and UR Chamber Singers Concert
December 4, Interfaith Chapel
West African Drumming Ensemble Concert
December 11, Upper Strong
25 Gibbs St., Rochester, 274-1000, concentus.org
Founded in 2000 by conductors Edna Huelsenbeck and Gwendolyn Gassier, the chorus is devoted to exploring the wide variety of classic music, ranging from medieval chant through contemporary compositions, written specifically for women’s voices.
1050 East Ave., Rochester, 473-2234, rossings.org
Rochester Oratorio Society, a symphony of voices, delivers creative choral performances of sacred and popular music in collaboration with western New York’s leading performing artists, dance companies, and vocal and instrumental ensembles.
Rochester Lyric Opera
440 East Ave., Rochester, 738-5995,
The Rochester Lyric Opera, western New York’s only professional opera company, is in its second year in its new home. Renamed the Lyric Theatre, the former First Church of Christ, Scientist – with a magnificent 900-seat auditorium – is opportunely located in the heart of Rochester’s entertainment, historical, and cultural district.
Community Voice Recital
A celebration and recital of the various voice talents in and around the Rochester area.
Angelone High School Voice Competition
Students in grade nine to twelve compete for a cash prize and performance spotlight.
Ladue Professional Recital Competition
Singers eighteen and over can compete for a cash prize and a professional recital opportunity.