Mark Fleischer, the artistic director of the Adirondack Theatre Festival, and Lindsey Gates, founder of the Lake George Theater Lab, will present A.R. Gurney’s epistolary play Love Letters on Friday, February 11 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, February 13 at 2:00 pm at The Montcalm Restaurant in Lake George.
Here’s the press release:
It is usually summer when the Adirondack Theatre Festival of Glens Falls and Lake George Theater Lab of Bolton Landing perform, but this February the artistic leaders of these professional summer theatres have teamed up to offer audiences a Valentine treat: A.R. Gurney’s epistolary play Love Letters. Lindsey Gates, LGTL’s founding artistic director, and Mark Fleischer, ATF’s producing artistic director, will perform the Pulitzer nominated show Friday, February 11 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, February 13 at 2:00 pm at The Montcalm Restaurant (1415 U.S. 9) in Lake George. Seating is limited to only 50 people per performance. Tickets are $25 and include a champagne intermission and post-show dessert reception. Those wishing to dine at The Montcalm before the show will receive a 10% discount. Reservations for the show can be made by calling The Montcalm at 793-6601. Proceeds from these benefit performances will be divided between the two companies and used to fund their upcoming summer seasons.
Called one of the best plays of the ‘80s by Time Magazine, Love Letters was first performed in 1988. It has since become a favorite of audiences and actors alike. Love Letters centers on the dutiful and staid Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and the eccentric and lively Melissa Gardner. The play unfolds as two actors read the characters’ letters. The audience experiences Melissa and Andrew’s unique, 50 year friendship and romance through the notes, postcards, letters, and holiday greetings they wrote one another starting at the age of seven through boarding school, college, military service and beyond. The play captures a world gone by, where letter writing (not emails and tweets) were a vital form of communication – especially between men and women.
Love Letters is ATF and LGTL’s first joint project. While approaching their missions differently, both are committed to developing new works for the theatre. Gates credits the success of both companies to their audiences. “Something exciting is happening upstate. I have long felt that the communities of the Adirondacks are excellent audiences for new and current work. Through the intersection of local audiences and professional artists, our two organizations have helped redefine the expectations for summer theatre.” Gates says that her appreciation for Fleischer’s artistic leadership fuels her desire to collaborate with ATF. “Watching Mark assume the leadership of ATF with incredible style and success has been inspiring. I’m a huge fan of his work (Ordinary Days in particular) and I’m motivated by his ability to connect with his audiences. I for one am hoping that this is the beginning of an energetic partnership both with Mark and between our organizations.”
Gates has performed in several LGTL productions. ATF audiences know Fleischer for his directing. While this will be Fleischer’s local debut on stage, it is not the first time area audiences have seen Love Letters. ATF’s first production was a benefit performance of Love Letters in 1995 starring the legendary Jason Robards and Elaine Stritch. Fleischer is quick to point out that by selecting Love Letters he recognizes that he and Gates have big shoes to fill. “Both Lindsey and I wish we had seen that performance which is now a part of local theatre legend. I know it must have been an electric evening. While we are professional theatre artists, we are not comparing ourselves to Robards and Stritch. We simply love Gurney’s play and with Valentine’s Day approaching, we wanted to share it with the community.”