Productive Weekend

Competition may foster improvement, but in light of Jamestown playing host to four theater productions during one weekend, apparently so does cooperation.

Four area theaters will host productions Friday, including: Jamestown Community College’s “Mister Benny;” Willow Bay Theater’s “The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe;” The Spire Theater’s “Shakespeare In The Farce – Hamlet;” and The Reg Lenna Center For The Arts’ “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.”

There is incentive for those who attend more than one production, as a discount will be offered to those who save their ticket stub. The Reg Lenna, The Spire Theater and Willow Bay Theater will offer a $5 discount off the price of admission for those who bring a ticket stub from any of the four productions.

According to Len Barry, Arts Council For Chautauqua County program coordinator, he’s been in Jamestown for 12 years, and he doesn’t recall any weekend quite like this, where there are so many theatrical productions.

“It’s good to see so many citizens participating in theater, and especially converging on one weekend,” Barry said. “When a community of 30,000 is able to produce four shows on one weekend – that’s pretty exciting. I think it’s a good, healthy risk to take. And, we’ve got a good mix of local talent, regional talent and state talent.”

Barry is incredibly excited to have helped give area residents a chance to see a Broadway production done in Jamestown. “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” is a musical production, however it doesn’t follow a story or plotline, rather it is a review of some very famous songs – 39 to be exact, Barry said.

“Smokey Joe’s Cafe” is set for Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Reg Lenna Center For The Arts, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown. Tickets start at $20. For more information, call 484-7070 or visit

According to Bob Schlick, coordinator of theatre for JCC, “Mister Benny” is a show about Jack Benny, and Act 1 begins in 1950 with the first performance of his television show. Act 2 picks up on the final night of the broadcast in 1965. The show will feature Tim Newell, a Westfield native and a former JCC student who starred in the original debut in 2001.

“He had a successful television show for many years after coming out of radio,” Schlick said. “He reflects on his life, how he got into show business, the people that he surrounded himself with, how he loved radio and didn’t feel comfortable in television.”

“Mister Benny” is set for Friday at 8 p.m. at JCC’s Scharmann Theater, 525 Falconer St. in Jamestown. Tickets are $15. For more information, call 338-1187 or visit

According to Daniel Pierce, co-director, “The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe” the show will feature a cast comprised of members of the Winged Ox Players, as well as other members of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and other area churches. The total number of those in the cast is close to 30 members. It’s the group’s third production overall, and its first at the Willow Bay Theater.

“We’re bringing different parts and people of the community together for this production,” Pierce said. “We decided to do ‘The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe’ because of the Christian message that’s within the production of C.S. Lewis. We’re trying to open it as more of a family-oriented production.”

“The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe” is set for Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Willow Bay Theater, 21 E. Third St. in Jamestown. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. For more information, call 483-6405 or visit

According to a Spire Theater press release, “Shakespeare In The Farce – Hamlet” is a parody adaptation of Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. The show will feature Lee John, Corey Osborne, Michael Taylor, Uriel Ben Itzhak, Joseph Scapelitte, Skylaraven O’Brien, Josh McCord, Nicole Osborne, Angelo and Ylsa Giuffre.

“Shakespeare In The Farce – Hamlet” is set for Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Spire Theater, 317 E. Third St. in Jamestown. Tickets are $15 presale and $20 day of show. For more information, call 450-7357 or visit