Rehearsals and set construction are well under way as Genesee Community College prepares to launch its Spring 2012 theatrical season with a production of the Neil Simon comedy "God's Favorite."
The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 29 when the GCC Forum Players, in conjunction with the Genesee Center for the Arts, take the stage in the Stuart Steiner Theatre.
"God's Favorite" is loosely based on the biblical Book of Job, with God and Satan making a bet involving a wealthy Long Island businessman whose faith is tempted by a wisecracking messenger from God.
The cast and crew, under the direction of Fine and Performing Arts Director Maryanne Arena, reflect the GCC community of faculty and students, as well as local performers. They include Jerry Newell, of Attica, as pious businessman Joe Benjamin, and Rochester's Ben Liebrand as the tempter Sidney Lipton.
Rounding out the cast is: Patrick Dodge, of Warsaw, as prodigal son David Benjamin; Tyler Eldred, of Dansville, as son Ben Benjamin; Perry's Sara Stabley as Ben's twin sister Sarah Benjamin; Nikole Marone, of Batavia, in the role of Joe's long-suffering wife Rose Benjamin; Rochester's Whitney Sellers as maid Mady; and Bobby Steeves, of Albion, as the butler Morris.
GCC technical theater faculty member Ed Hallborg tackles the set design and technical direction of the comedy, with students Alison Scharvella (Copake Lake) and Roger Williams (Kendall) sharing stage manager duties.
"The cast and crew work incredibly hard and have shown an amazing amount of dedication to their craft," Arena said. "I am extremely proud of each and every one of our performers and crew members."
In addition to the debut performance on Thursday, tickets are also available for the 7:30 p.m. shows on Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31, as well as a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 1.
General admission prices are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (55+), students and GCC faculty and staff, and $3 for Genesee students with valid ID. GCC alumni receive a $2 discount with valid alumni ID card. The theater box office is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and one hour before the start of each performance.
Reserve tickets are available through the box office at [email protected] or by calling (585) 345-6814. Payment is accepted via cash, checks, and Visa or MasterCard credit cards.
Genesee Community College is located in Batavia, just two minutes from NYS Thruway Exit 48. Visit http://genesee.edu for door-to-door directions sent via email.