SALEM, NY, June 22, 2023 – Fort Salem Theater is thrilled to announce the highly anticipated benefit concert performance of “Corn! The Musical” in honor of writer Al Budde. The one-weekend special event will take place on July 7 and 8, 2023, with performances on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 PM.
“Corn! The Musical” tells the compelling story of the modern family farm and the challenges faced by the new generation when a patriarch passes away, leaving them torn between their aspirations for a different life and the call of their agricultural heritage. This heartfelt production serves as a tribute to the hardworking farmers of Washington County, NY, and is a poignant “call-to-farms” for all of America.
The show brings together Jay Kerr, the songwriter and former owner of Fort Salem Theater, and Kyle West, the theater’s newest owner as co-directors, honoring the memory of book writer Al Budde, who passed away in April 2022. Bringing the charming story to life on stage are Jerry Gretzinger, Sue Caputo, Jordan LaMothe, Jessica O’Keefe, Peter Kidd, Dennis Budde, Rosie Spring, and Dan Garfinkle, which includes members of the original cast of Corn! The Musical, actors from the original play’s reading, and other Fort Salem Theater alumni artists.
Read more about the cast below:
Jerry Gretzinger (Bo Settle) is a seasoned performer with a diverse background in both television and theater. Widely recognized for his 20-year career as a television newscaster, Jerry has also graced the stage in over 200 Broadway-style musicals and cabarets. A lifelong fan of Frank Sinatra, he has performed his Sinatra and rat pack music reviews and cabarets in various venues. Jerry co-wrote the musical comedy “Frank ‘N Stein” with Jay Kerr, which premiered at Fort Salem in 2018.
Sue Caputo (Laney Settle) is thrilled to reprise her role in “Corn! The Musical” at Fort Salem Theater, a place that holds a special significance for her. With numerous credits to her name, including performances at the Capital Region’s renowned theaters, Sue is grateful for the opportunity to bring this important story to life alongside the brilliant music and lyrics by Jay Kerr.
Jordan LaMothe (Chester) hails from neighboring Hebron, NY, and is a familiar face on the Fort Salem stage. A graduate of Williams College, Jordan has pursued his passion for both voice and saxophone. While he may be a new addition to the “Corn!” cast, Jordan fondly remembers seeing the original run at Fort Salem and is excited to join this talented ensemble.
Jessica O’Keefe (Molly Settle) has a longstanding connection with Fort Salem Theater, having been involved in various productions and even working as a waitress in Quentin Beaver’s diner. After taking a break from the stage, Jessica is thrilled to return to her passion with “Corn!” and share her talents once again.
Peter Kidd (Brad) originated the role of Brad in “Corn” in 2008 and is delighted to be back at Fort Salem Theater, reuniting with Jay Kerr and other original cast members. His recent credits include notable roles in productions such as “Pirates of Penzance” and “Bright Star” in Los Angeles, where he currently resides.
Dennis Budde (Rick Spellman) is the youngest son of Al Budde, the writer of “Corn! The Musical.” Dennis has been involved with Fort Salem Theater since his teenage years, taking on various roles and contributing his talents in multiple aspects of production. His involvement in theater continued through college and into his adult life, including writing and performing in sketch comedy shows.
Rosie Spring (Shelby) first performed at Fort Salem in 2009 in Al Budde and Jay Kerr’s production of “Significant Others.” With a background that includes touring and performing in regional theaters across the country, Rosie is deeply involved in her local community, teaching voice lessons and owning Kindermusik at Saratoga Sings. She is thrilled to be back on the Fort Salem stage.
Dan Garfinkle (Mark) has been part of several Fort Salem productions, including the premiere of “Corn! The Musical.” He is now based in New York City, where he serves as the board co-chair of EPIC Players NYC, a neurodiverse theater group. Dan is known for his emceeing roles and has performed at esteemed venues like Joe’s Pub, Lincoln Center, and 54 Below.
Tickets for “Corn! The Musical” are now on sale and can be purchased online at FortSalem.com. Don’t miss this limited engagement, as it promises to be an extraordinary celebration of the arts and the enduring spirit of America’s farmers.
Tickets for Corn! The Musical can be purchased at www.FortSalem.com or by calling 518-854-9200. Additional shows at Fort Salem Theater this season include Footloose (June 22-July 2), The Little Mermaid Jr. (August 4), and The Pirates of Penzance (August 11-20).
About Fort Salem Theater: Fort Salem Theater, located in Salem, NY, recently celebrated 50 years as a performing arts venue after decades serving as a Presbyterian church. The historic building was originally built in 1774 and used as a fort in the Revolution War. Now a 501c3 Non-Profit organization, the group’s mission is to provide entertainment, education, and inspiration to Salem and the neighboring communities through high-quality, engaging, and diverse stage productions.