October 16, 2015

Love new theater? No problem in South Florida

New play (and musical) work is on the rise in Palm BeachCounty thanks to an award-winning theater and a new venture led by an old hand at script development.

Hayes (1)Palm Beach Dramaworks is seeking submissions of new, unproduced plays for its developmental lab The Dramaworkshop. Scripts can be submitted from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, and those chosen may get workshops, staged readings or developmental productions — or all three things. Guidelines are at www.palmbeachdramaworks.org/dramaworkshop. Launched in 2014, Dramaworkshop has already done work on Buried Cities by Jennifer Fawcett, Blue Train by Andrew Rosendorf, Psycho and Dummy by Cliff Burgess and Domestic Animals by Jennifer Faletto. The upstairs at Dramaworks’ home in the Don & Ann Brown Theatre, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach, is being remodeled into a second stage, where Buried Cities will get the first developmental production.

Sit04 NEWPLAYS TROP RDEIn Boca Raton, the new Theatre Lab run by Louis Tyrrell (founder/artistic director of Florida Stage and the Theatre at Arts Garage) is launching its series of concert-style musical presentations and play readings. The first event in the Making Musicals series, Fugitive Songs by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Following that will be presentations of Vote for Me: A Musical Debate by Drew Fornarola and Scott Elmegreen (7:30 p.m. Oct. 24, 2 p.m. Oct. 25), and Shining Lives by Jessica Thebus, Andrew Pluessand Amanda Dehnert (7:30 p.m. Nov. 7, 2 p.m. Nov. 8).

Theatre Lab’s Play Slam series begins at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 with a reading of Bakersfield Mist by Stephen Sachs. That will be followed by a reading of Informed Consent by Deborah Zoe Laufer Oct. 28, American Hero by Bess Wohl Nov. 4 and Soldier’s Heart by Tammy Ryan Nov. 11.The readings are at Parliament Hall on the campus at 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton. Admission is $20 ($10 students). Call 800-564-9539 for tickets; for Theatre Lab info, call 561-297-4784 or visit www.fau.edu/theatre/theatre_lab.php.


Janis1Speaking of fresh theater, Coral Gables-based Area Stage is opening a showcase production of the new musical The Ballad of Janis Matthews and The Dodo Scouts. With a folk-rock score by Rachel Dean, the original story and musical book are by the multi-talented Giancarlo Rodaz, son of artistic director John Rodaz and producer Maria Banda-Rodaz. The playwright is also the show’s director and its set and lighting designer.

Set in 1968, the musical follows the perils faced by a lost scout troop trying to find its way back to camp on a perilous trail through the RockyMountainNational Park. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday through Oct. 25 at Area Stage, 1560 S. Dixie Hwy., Coral Gables. Tickets are $20 and $25 (students pay $10).   For information, "Call 305-666-2078 or visit www.areastagecompany.com.

 (Photos of William Hayes, Louis Tyrrell and 'The Ballad of Janis Matthews")

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.