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Actors' Playhouse to stage 'West Side Story' next season

Westside Story.1Heading into the final week of its wildly successful production of Ragtime, Actors' Playhouse in Coral Gables is revealing five of the six shows it will produce during the 2015-2016 season.

That still-to-be finalized slot from March 16 to April 10, 2016, will be filled with another big musical.  But in celebrating its 20th year at the historic Miracle Theatre, the company and artistic director David Arisco will again tackle a Broadway classic that brought Actors' seven Carbonell Awards in 1998:  West Side Story. Running Jan. 27-Feb. 21, 2016, the great musical about a Polish-American Romeo and a Puerto Rican Juliet is as dynamic and resonant as it was when Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents created it in 1957. 

The Toxic Avenger.2Actors' will kick off its new season Oct. 14-Nov. 8 with a smaller Off-Broadway musical, The Toxic Avenger. Based on the 1984 movie, it's a comic pop-rock musical -- the music is by Bon Jovi's David Bryan, the book by I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change creator Joe DiPietro, and both wrote lyrics -- with an environmental theme.

Mark Brown's play The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge, in which the "reformed" tightwad is suing Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, will run Dec. 2-27. 

After West Side Story and the still-in-negotiations musical, Actors' will present The Tin Woman by Making God Laugh playwright Sean Grennan.  Running May 11-June 5, 2016, the play is about a heart transplant recipient who decides to meet with the family of the donor who saved her life.

And from July 13-Aug. 7, 2016, Jonathan Tolins' tour-de-force solo show, Buyer & Cellar, will be the company's summer show.  Set in the Malibu basement of superstar Barbra Streisand, the play imagines an actor (who also plays Streisand, hubby James Brolin, the home's manager, the actor's boyfriend and others) running a secret underground "mall" for the diva.

Subscriptions for the new season range from $203 for preview performances to $453 for opening night gala performances.  Actors' performs at the Miracle, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables.  For information, call 305-444-9293 or visit the company's web site.

(Photo of West Side Story tour by Joan Marcus; photo of The Toxic Avenger at Danforth Music Hall by Paula Wilson.)