by Jan Davisson
Exciting things are happening on the Palm Beach County theater scene in preparation for the start of the 2016-17 season.
Breaking all records with the amount of season subscription ticket sales at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, individual tickets are now available for each production. The season opens with The Audience, a new play that takes audiences behind the walls of Buckingham Palace where Queen Elizabeth II meets weekly with her Prime Ministers. The Audience features meetings with many of the prime ministers during her reign, starting with Winston Churchill. The Broadway production starred Helen Mirren as the Queen.
Where has Andrew Kato, the Executive Artistic Director been keeping himself lately? Traveling around to casting calls to get the best actors, singers and dancers for the upcoming season.
The Audience runs from October 23 -November 6, 2016. The second production at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre is always a lighthearted musical for the holiday season. Me and My Girl takes us back to Hereford, England when a charming, but unrefined chap finds out that he’s inherited a Earl’s title but has to give up his true love in order to receive it. What could be a more fun holiday show! The glamour of the thirties costumes, lots of dancing and great songs guaranteed to get your toes tappin’ and, best of all, it’s G-rated so that you can take the kids as a special holiday treat.
The hottest ticket of the season is bound to be The Producers, running from January 10-29. This over-the-top Mel Brooks’ Tony Award-winning musical has everything. Comedy, singing, dancing and put together with that distinctive hilarity that only a Mel Brooks script can provide!
A brand new Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Disgraced, is a provocative play that examines the stories that we share with our friends. It opens February 12 and runs through February 26.
Last, but very definitely not least, is Gypsy, the tale of the legendary queen of burlesque, Gypsy Rose Lee. The hit songs from this classic musical are too numerous to mention, but, when you hear the word gypsy, the image of Ethel Merman belting out “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” immediately flashes through your memory bank. Gypsy runs from March 21-April 9 to ends this spectacular season.
Keep in mind that there are numerous one-night shows also available starting with Christmas Cabaret featuring the future stars from the Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts .
Tickets for the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, 1001 E. Indiantown Rd., Jupiter are available at the box office, by phone (561) 575-2223 or online at www.jupitertheatre.org.
As usual, Palm Beach Dramaworks has again come up with a stellar season. There is so much going on at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre, 201 Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, that I don’t know where to begin.
A new program, Dramawise, kicks off for the 2016-17 season. It provides an opportunity for theater patrons to explore each production the day before opening. It’s referred to as “an engaging series that explores the playwright’s words and how a production is brought to life.” It takes a look at the characters, themes and viewpoints expressed by the playwright. In this case, Tennessee Williams.
The beauty of the Dramawise series is the availability of tickets, in advance, for the entire program or just one act. The complete program runs from 10am to 2pm and includes a lunch intermission. Other options are tickets for either the first act or the second. Call the box office to reserve tickets.
Palm beach Dramaworks’ new Director of Education and Community Engagement, Gary Cadwallader, will examine the play’s big ideas, characters, themes and social relevance during the first act. The second act will be an opportunity to get an inside view and opinions of the actors, designers and director. The inaugural program is now accepting reservations for Thursday, October 13, just prior to the opening of The Night of the Iguana. This Tennessee Williams classic is the last major play by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. It’s probably been a long while since you’ve either seen the play or the movie, so here’s a brief synopsis.
A defrocked and spiritually bankrupt minister takes refuge at a Mexican hotel and connects with a kind, lonely artist who could hold the key to his salvation. The 1964 film, directed by John Huston, starred Richard Burton, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr.
The Night of the Iguana runs from October 14-November 13.
Tickets to the Palm Beach Dramaworks production at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre, 201 Clematis Street, West Palm Beach are available by calling (561) 514-4042, ext. 2 or online at www.palmbeachdramaworks.org.
Heading south to Boca Raton, the Wick Theatre is gearing up for two big events. When Runway Meets Broadway is the new costume exhibit in the Wick Costume Museum. The display will include costumes from 35 shows including Coco, Les Miserables and The Music Man.
To kick off the new display, a gala luncheon will be held on September 23 from 11:30am to 3pm. Tours of the costume museum exhibit opens to the public on September 24 and will run through May 24, 2017. Tours are offered daily at 11am by reservation and are followed by a luncheon at the Wicks Tavern, a charming cafe within the Wick Theatre. Other packages are available, including one that includes a matinee performance of the current show. My oldest daughter gave this treat to me for Mother’s Day. It was one of the nicest gifts I ever received.
The Wick season opens on October 13-November 6 with the musical They’re Playing Our Song starring Andrea McArdle. Remember that cute little girl who starred as Annie in the Broadway hit of the same name? Well, she’s all grown up and still a major talent. The play was written by Neil Simon with music by Marvin Hamlish and lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager.
This will be followed by Sister Act, as they say, “It’s habit forming.” The show will run from November 25-December 23. A rather fun holiday musical!
The Wick Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. Tickets available at (561) 995-2333 or online at www.thewick.org.
Last, but not least, is the upcoming season opener at Art Garage, 180 NE 1st Street, Delray Beach. A new Executive Director, Keith Garsson, has put together several outstanding shows that, although not well known, give the avid theater buff the opportunity to see something they probably have never had the opportunity to enjoy.
The first presentation is The Mystery of Love and Sex, a comedy by Bathsheba Doran and directed by Genie Croft, writer for Boardwalk Empire. The New York Times called it “a perfectly wonderful new play…a tender and funny exploration of the lives of two couples from two generations….so packed with humanity that it seems infinitely larger, like a chart depicting the sexual and emotional anatomy of us all.”
Going to the Arts Garage is a really entertaining experience. You can pack a picnic supper for your group, purchase wine and beer at the theater and just soak up the unique atmosphere at the Art Garage before the show starts.
Opening night is October 7 at 7 pm, with additional performances on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7:30pm. There is also an 8pm performance on Saturday and a 2pm on Sunday.
Tickets start at $35. Student rush tickets are $10 cash, with id, and are subject to availability at www.artsgarage.org or by calling (561) 450-6357.