There was a magical enthusiasm in the voice of Bay Street Theater Artistic Director Scott Schwartz at his annual press conference about the upcoming 2023 Mainstage Season at Bay Street. This will be Schwartz’s tenth season as Artistic Director. He warmly mentioned “how very special” it has become to have both “the building and the Sag Harbor community” be his home for the last ten years. Mr. Schwartz mentioned he is now encouraged by the return of audiences to live theater all over the country, especially on Long Island’s east end.
The first Mainstage show for the 2023 season will be Double Helix, a musical making its World Premiere on May 30th on the Bay Street stage. Mr. Schwartz is directing this Madeline Myers show. This is a project both Ms. Myers and Mr. Schwartz have been collaborating on for five years. Set in the nineteen-fifties in England, this show centers around Rosalind Franklin’s epic story about her key role in the race to discover the structure of DNA. Mr. Schwartz explained that “Double Helix covers this researcher’s adversity (being a brilliant woman) in those times, the ugly elements of antisemitism that she had to navigate through while uncovering the great mysteries of what makes us humans.”
Schwartz believes that this show is about 85% music to 15% dialogue. This ratio will deliver a musical experience. Like the blockbuster hit Hamilton, he stated that even if you know the historical ending you will be on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. According to Schwartz, Double Helix has a brilliant score that will be played live by a diversely talented five-piece ensemble. The show will run from May 30th to June 8th.
Dial M For Murder will be the second 2023 Mainstage Season show. It is a classic set in England in the 1950s. This comedy thriller by Frederick Knott has been adopted for the Bay Street Stage by Jeffrey Hatcher and will be directed by Walter Bobbie. It opens on June 27th and runs until July 23rd. Mr. Schwartz believes in this show. He said that this Alfred Hitchcock adoption of the suspense thriller made famous by the Hitchcock 1950s masterpiece film, “is a perfect thriller with comedy for the Bay Street audience to appreciate.” Schwartz explained part of the adoption was changing the main characters wife’s lover from male to female.
The third production for the Bay Street Mainstage season is Sammy and Me. It is opening on August 14th and running until August 20th. Eric Jordan Young stars, and also co-wrote the show with Director Wendy Dann. Sammy and Me will dig deep into the realities of singer, dancer and child star Sammy Davis Jr. Davis Jr. also was a key member of Frank Sinatra’s “Rat Pack.” Artistic Director Schwartz pointed out this is not a one man show. It is a show that will portray “Mr. Show Business as you have never seen him before,” and take the audiences through “Sammy’s life and his music.” It is not a musical but a play with music.
Tales From the Guttenberg Bible will be the final production of the Bay Street 2023 Mainstage season. Scott Schwartz beamed that both iconic star and native Long Islander, Steve Guttenberg will be starring in his show on the Bay Street stage. It opens August 1st and runs until August 20th. Written by Guttenberg and Directed by David Saint, Scott Schwartz pointed out that this show will have four actors playing 90 parts! It traces Mr. Guttenberg’s journey from, “Long Island to the glamour of Hollywood.”
The Artistic Director noted that once again the Mainstage Season will also contain a new schedule of Music Mondays, three hilarious Comedy Club comedians and the return of the Bay Street Gala.
The 2023 Bay Street Gala will be held on July 8th. This will be the first time ever that the Gala will be held on the premises of Guild Hall. It will a “full on in person Gala.” This year Gala will honor Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker and Julie Andrews.
In closing Scott Schwartz responded to a hamptons.com question about his tenure at Bay Street. He said, “I am so proud what we all have achieved here over the past ten years. This is a story theater; this is a very important theater in the American theater scene going back over 30 years.”
Then Schwartz dug deeper and added, “When I got to come in and take the artistic reins it was such an opportunity. I was building on the enormous success and enormous reputation of Steve (Hamilton) and Emma (Walton Hamilton) of what they built and created together. But I feel we have really grown over the last ten years. We have really become even more professional. I think the level of artists we have given access to harkens back to the very early days of Bay Street. When these big star actors and directors would come or ask to come out, but it’s also just people working at the top of their game.”
He said he was proud of the triumphs and successful shows, “People who may or not be famous but were excellent…whether or not they are from New York or Los Angeles, or from here on the east end. We have very strong ties to many great artists out here. We are really doing work with people at their very highest level.”
For more info, visit www.baystreet.org