One sign that the South Florida snowbird season has fully arrived is that theaters are trotting out the titles for next season in hopes of enticing early subscriptions.
On Monday, Palm Beach Dramaworks and Slow Burn Theatre Company unveiled their 2020-2021 projects, joining Thinking Cap Theatre from last month, with more doubtless ahead.
PALM BEACH DRAMAWORKS
Dramaworks is acknowledging its 20th season by honoring its past as well as its future. Three of the shows are revivals from seasons prior to its current venue on West Clematis, another is a contemporary classic it has not attempted and the fifth will be a full production of a piece it commissioned and just featured in a staged reading.
October 9 – November 1, 2020 — Camping with Henry and Tom by one of artistic director William Hayes’ favorite playwrights Mark St. Germain (Freud’s Last Session). Warren G. Harding, eager to get away from the press, prying eyes, and the presidency, accepts an invitation to join Henry Ford and Thomas Edison on their annual camping trip. Stranded in the woods, they converse about politics, ambition, family, and fame, revealing three starkly different personalities and world views. PBD first staged the piece in the 2001-2002 season in the tiny venue a few blocks to the west on Clematis.
December 4 –27 — The world premiere of Michael McKeever’s The People Downstairs, which tells the story of the courageous souls who hid Anne Frank and seven others for two years during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam. This play explores the complex challenges faced by these brave individuals on their journey of rebellious morality. The play had a staged reading last week. It’s a similar play development track that Dramaworks used for its current production of Ordinary Americans.
February 5 –28, 2021 — Intimate Apparel by the acclaimed playwright Lynn Nottage, set at the turn of the 20th century tells of Esther, a 35-year-old African-American seamstress of exquisite intimate apparel who aches to love and be loved. An unlikely opportunity arises when she enters into a correspondence with a man she’s never met. The play is a lyrical exploration of loneliness and longing, sweet dreams and bitter truths, determination and resiliency. The piece was a major success for GableStage in 2006.
April 2 – April 25, 2021 — Stephen Temperley’s hilarious Souvenir: A Fantasia On The Life Of Florence Foster Jenkins, seen at PBD’s Banyan venue during the 2007-2008 season, once again will star Elizabeth Dimon as the tone-deaf but wealthy socialite, who, despite – or perhaps because of – a legendary lack of talent, managed to sell out her only performance at Carnegie Hall. A version of the same story was recently made into a film with Meryl Streep.
May 21 – June 6, 2021 — Ronald Harwood’s love letter to the British theater, The Dresser, will bring Hayes back to the stage for the first time in years, acting the role he played in the 2003-2004 as the loyal, protective dresser to an actor near the end of his career. It’s 1942, bombs are dropping over England, and a renowned but fading actor is bringing Shakespeare to the provinces with a ragtag troupe. Sir, scheduled to give his 227th performance of King Lear, is in no condition to go on, but his devoted, self-sacrificing dresser, Norman, is determined to get him onstage. Sir and Norman’s co-dependent – if unequal – relationship is the heartbeat of this warts-and-all, tragicomic valentine to the transcendent power of theatre.
For ticket information contact the box office at (561) 514-4042, or visit www.palmbeachdramaworks.org.
SLOW BURN THEATRE COMPANY
Slow Burn has added more performances to its mainstage schedule of self-described “blockbuster” productions at the Broward Center’s Amaturo Theater but is no longer doing its smaller productions in the center’s Abdo River Room.
Oct. 16 – Nov. 1, 2020 – Head Over Heels is the regional premiere of a rock n’ roll musical set to the music of the iconic 1980s all-female rock band The Go-Go’s. This modern musical fairy tale follows the escapades of a royal family that sets out on a journey to save their beloved kingdom from extinction. Where once-upon-a-time is right now, they encounter mistaken identities, jealous lovers, sexual awakening, scandal and self-discovery along the way.
Dec. 18 – Jan. 3 – Mary Poppins — The stage adaptation is based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film.
Jan. 29 – Feb. 14, 2021 — A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, the Tony-winning musical comedy about a distant heir to a family fortune who sets out to speed up the line of succession by using a great deal of charm…and a dash of murder. The show satirizing British class system includes a scene-stealing role for one actor playing all eight of the doomed heirs who meet their ends in the most creative and side-splitting ways.
March 19 – April 4, 2021 — The Full Monty is another Tony winning musical that sets the original British movie in America. The story tells of six down-on-their-luck steelworkers from Buffalo trying to raise a little cash to help a friend in need and who end up baring more than their souls.
June 11-27, 2021 – A title to be disclosed Feb. 14.
Slow Burn Theatre Company subscription renewals are available now with new subscriptions packages available on March 20. Single tickets will go on sale June 5. Buy tickets online at BrowardCenter.org or Ticketmaster.com; by phone at 954.462.0222 or the Broward Center’s AutoNation Box Office.
THINKING CAP THEATRE
The company known for boundary busting daring theater is having its 10th season at the Vanguard Sanctuary in Fort Lauderdale.
Feb. 14-March 1, 2020 – Happy Days is one of Samuel Beckett’s masterpieces, an absurd darkly comic love story. It’s a funny, offbeat, endearing, and thought-provoking study of a day in the life of one aged couple, Winnie and Willy. Winnie, buried to her waist, follows her daily routine and prattles to her husband, Willie, who is largely hidden and taciturn. Her frequent refrain is “Oh, this is a happy day. Karen Stephens and Jim Gibbons star.
April 2-19 – Fefu and her Friends by the late Cuban-American playwright Maria Irene Fornes centers on eight women who have congregated at the title character’s home for a meeting ostensibly about the importance of arts education. However, Fornes pulls back this veil to reveal a play subtly invested in the subconscious lives of these fascinating women, each of whom is struggling to understand herself, her friends, and the gendered rules of the world in which they live.. One of the pioneering landmarks of immersive, environmental and site-specific theater, the second portion of the play is the production divides the audience into four groups to watch each four separate scenes, then they rotate to the next set, as the scene is repeated until each group has seen all four scenes.
Oct. 15-Nov. 1 — Laced by Samantha Mueller, set on the eve of the 2020 presidential election, takes audiences into the lives of three distinct young women who are struggling to come to terms with the implications of what it means for anyone to be true to themselves in a society that is at once progressive, prejudiced, and divided. On the night after a queer bar outside of Tampa is vandalized, the three bartenders gather to grieve, riot, and above all, piece together the events of the night before. Fiery and poetic, it ferociously celebrates the spaces in which we find our truest selves.
Nov. 20- Dec. 6 — Lovesong by Abi Morgan intertwines a couple in their 20s with the same man and woman a lifetime later. Their past and present selves collide in this tale of togetherness. An emotionally, viscerally, and visually moving examination of love, from its youthful inception to its golden maturity. Moving back and forth in time, the play imaginatively and grippingly explores the intricacies of long term love, the highs and lows that couples must endure if they are to grow together gracefully, not apart.
Dec. 18- Jan. 3, 2021 – A Wilde Holiday is based on Oscar Wilde’s most celebrated fairy tales such “The Happy Prince” and “The Selfish Giant” adapted by artistic director/company founder Nicole Stodard and managing director Bree-Anna Obst.
For more information, visit the company website at 954-610-7263 http://thinkingcaptheatre.org or call 954-610-7263