South Florida is fortunate to boast a wide range of non-profit regional companies, even if the economy has culled a few, particularly in Broward County. But, audiences can still experience the full range of the theater repertoire from big musicals and experimental works to the great dramas.
Coral Gables remains an epicenter for theater in Miami-Dade County, with Actors Playhouse at the Miracle Theater opening its season with Ruthless the Musical (Oct. 9 –Nov. 3) and continuing with Sean Grennan’s new comedy, Making God Laugh (Dec. 4 – 29), while down at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Joseph Adler’s Gablestage gets a late start (Nov. 23 – Dec. 22), bringing the Off Broadway hit, My Name is Asher Lev, to South Florida. For tickets, go to ActorsPlayhouse.org and Gablestage.org.
The Arsht Center’s Theater Up Close series launches with Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses, based on the tales of Ovid, in partnership with the University of Miami. The 2002 Drama Desk Award-winning play makes its much-anticipated regional premiere in the Carnival Studio Theatre. For tickets, go to ArshtCenter.org.
Zoetic Stage, also in residence at Miami’s Arsht Center, offers the world premiere of company co-founder Christopher Demos-Brown’s new play, Fear Up Harsh (Nov. 7 – 24). In just three seasons, Zoetic has staked out a place as one of the region’s most inventive companies, thanks to the original works from Demos-Brown and co-founder Michael McKeever and expert direction from Stuart Meltzer. For tickets, go to ZoeticStage.com.
Perhaps due to the concentration of LGBT residents in Wilton Manors and Fort Lauderdale, Broward theater companies are targeting the gay community to open their 2013-14 seasons.
Lesbian pulp fiction comes to life in Kate Moira and Ryan Linda S. Chapman’s new play, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles (Sept. 6-29), based on the books of Ann Bannon. Director Kim Ehly has brought a fresh women’s perspective to Broward theater, through her Kutumba Theatre Project. See the play at the Galleria Studio Theatre in the Galleria Mall, Fort Lauderdale. For tickets, go to BrownPaperTickets.com.
If you liked The Facts of Life: The Lost Episodes at Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler in Fort Lauderdale, this summer, you’ll love The Silence of the Clams (Sept. 12-22), the latest parody from twisted sister Jamie Morris. He introduces audiences to butch FBI agent Clarice Startling, on the hunt for “Beaver Bob” with the help of Dr. Hannibal Lichter. For tickets, go to EmpireStage.com.Broward Stage Door is typically known for big musicals and chestnuts from the likes of Neil Simon, but the company is turning to Jonathan Tolin’s The Twilight of the Golds (Sept. 20-Oct. 27), the thought-provoking play that raises the question whether parents would terminate a pregnancy if they knew the child was genetically predisposed to grow up gay. The drama promises to turn traditional notions of sexual orientation and a woman’s right to choose on their head. For tickets, go to StageDoorTheatre.com.
Palm Beach County continues to be home for some of the strongest regional companies. Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St. in West Palm Beach, offers one of the greatest dramas of all time, John Steinback’s Of Mice and Men (Oct. 11 – Nov. 10), followed by John Goldman’s gripping play, The Lion in Winter. For tickets, go to PalmBeachDramaworks.org.
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter turns to a classic whodunit, Dial M for Murder (Oct. 27 – Nov. 10), to open its season but then quickly returns to its bread and butter, big impeccably-produced Broadway musicals, this time proving “the sun will come up tomorrow” with Annie (Dec. 3-22). For tickets, go to JupiterTheatre.org.
The Theatre at Arts Garage in Delray Beach opens its season with The Longing and the Short of It (Nov. 1-24), a deliriously funny song cycle written by Daniel Mate and directed by resident Artistic Director Lou Tyrrell. Arts Garage is a wonderful, intimate space, well suited to these types of productions. For tickets, go to ArtsGarage.org.And, all eyes will be on the newest company in South Florida, The Wick Theatre in Boca Raton. Marilynn Wick, the extremely successful businesswoman behind Costume World and The Broadway Collection, moved into the former Caldwell Theatre this summer and is promising a line-up of classic Broadway shows. Her new costume museum will also be opening in November. She opens the season with The Sound of Music (Sept. 19 – Oct. 20) and follows with Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Nov. 14-Dec. 25), all staged with the original Broadway costumes. For tickets, go to TheWick.org.
For more theaters and shows check out SFGN’s listings section in the back of the book.