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August 28th, 2013

Woodstock Playhouse celebrating 75 years

The iconic Woodstock Playhouse, which has played home to a wide variety of entertainment since its establishment in 1938, in currently celebrating its 75th year in operation with a slate of performances. Photo: Ed McCarthy

By Reneé Ruwe

WOODSTOCK - The Woodstock Playhouse is celebrating 75 years in operation. The theater, which was established by Robert Elwyn in 1938 to create an extension of New York City’s Broadway theatre district, hosts a wide variety of great entertainment. The theater recently added two galleries to go along with the music, theatre, film and dance.

This season launched on June 20th with "Les Misérables", continuing with "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Biloxi Blues". The final show of the season ended with The Who’s rock opera, "Tommy", which delivered high energy performances, dynamic choreography and a live house band directed by Brendon Shapiro. The cast for the performances are a core group of actors from a New York City company.

Throughout the years this iconic playhouse has served as a platform for debut performances given by great actors such as Larry Hagman, Judd Hirsch, Chevy Chase, and Peter Boyle. The Woodstock Sound-Outs ran for many years before and after the legendary Woodstock Festival and many of the legendary performers also came to the Playhouse during the 1975 Midnight concert series featured Tom Paxton, Peter Yarrow, Pete Seeger and Ritchie Havens. The Band’s album "Stage Fright", featuring Todd Rundgren as engineer, was recorded there.

Jazz legend Sonny Rollins will be attending the upcoming 14th Annual Woodstock Film Festival. A screening of the documentary "Sonny Rollins: Beyond the Notes" will kick off the festival at 8 p.m. on October 2nd. A Q&A will follow with director Dick Fontaine and Rollins. For more information check out the website at

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