February 20, 2015

As spring nears, 'tis the season to announce seasons

Despite the chill in the air, theaters around South Florida are looking to create some heat at the box office by announcing their 2015-2016 seasons, enticing current subscribers to renew and wooing new ones.

We already know the details of what Actors' Playhouse in Coral Gables will be producing next season.  We know what Broadway Across America is planning for its lineup at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale, and what Slow Burn Theatre will be doing for its first full season at the Broward Center.

So what will Palm Beach Dramaworks in West Palm Beach, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, the Wick Theatre in Boca Raton and the Stage Door Theatre in Margate be producing for 2015-2016?  Happy to share.

MarqueeSeasonDramaworks, which earlier this week announced that its concert-style summer musicals would be Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's A Little Night Music (July 9-19) and the Harvey Schmidt-Tom Jones-N. Richard Nash musical 110 in the Shade (Aug. 13-23), today revealed its new season. 

The lineup is a mixture of American classics and newer works, starting with William Inge's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1953 play Picnic (Oct. 9-Nov. 8). Next is Alan Bennett's Tony Award-winning The History Boys (Dec. 4-Jan. 3), followed by Eugene O'Neill's brilliant Pulitzer winner Long Day's Journey Into Night (Jan. 29-Feb. 28).  John Patrick Shanley's recent Broadway play Outside Mullingar (March 25-April 24, 2016) and Terry Teachout's Louis Armstrong play Satchmo at the Waldorf (May 13-June 12, 2016) close out the next season.  Current subscribers can renew beginning March 16, and new subscribers can sign up starting March 23. Single tickets go on sale Sept. 14. Dramaworks is at 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. For information, call 561-514-4042 or visit the company's web site.

Like Dramaworks, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre is a heavily subscribed company, so going for a season subscription isn't a bad idea at all.  A couple of plays and three big musicals will be featured on the Maltz mainstage, starting with Agatha Christie's classic whodunnit The Mousetrap (Oct. 25-Nov. 8).  Next is Billy Elliot the Musical (Dec. 1-20), then The Will Rogers Follies (Jan. 12-31).  The season ends with Peter Morgan's Frost/Nixon (Feb. 7-21) and Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate (March 8-27, 2016).  The Maltz is at 1001 E. Indiantown Rd. in Jupiter. Call 561-575-2223 or visit the theater's web site.

The Wick Theatre is presenting a summer season featuring productions of Peter Pan (June 11-28), a concert version of George M! (July 2-19) and Pump Boys & Dinettes (Aug. 6-23).  Its 2015-2016 season kicks off with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Oct. 1-Nov. 1), followed by Hello, Dolly! (Nov. 5-Dec. 6), a holiday spectacular (Dec. 10-Jan. 3), South Pacific (Jan. 7-Feb. 14), Curtains (Feb. 25-March 27, 2016) and I Love a Piano (April 14-May 22, 2016).  The Wick is at 7901 N. Federal Hwy. in Boca Raton. For information, call 561-995-2333 or visit the web site.

Stage Door Theatre has a dozen shows planned for the new season to fill its two theater spaces.  The Pulitzer-winning comedy Harvey starts things off (July 31-Sept. 6).  Then come The Fantasticks (Sept 4-Oct. 11), Dial 'M' for Murder (Oct. 30-Dec. 6), Promises, Promises (Sept. 25-Nov. 1), Gypsy (Nov. 20-Jan. 3), Pompadour (Dec. 6-Jan. 31), Carnival (Jan. 22-Feb. 28), What's New Pussycat? (Feb. 19-March 27), Sunset Boulevard (March 18-April 24, 2016), Same Time, Next Year (April 15-May 22, 2016), Putting It Together (May 13-June 19, 2016) and A Night in Motown (June 10-July 17, 2016).  Stage Door is at 8036 W. Sample Rd. in Margate.  Call 954-344-7765 or visit the theater's web site.

February 16, 2015

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.)