Broadway Palm, Lab Theater, New Phoenix announce new Fort Myers seasons | #insurance | #seniors | #elderly
After a rough pandemic year, the curtain is rising again on a new season of theater in Southwest Florida.
Florida Repertory Theatre already unveiled its 2021-22 season last month. Now three more Fort Myers theaters have done the same: Broadway Palm, Lab Theater and New Phoenix Theatre.
There’s a lot to be excited about for theater lovers, including the hair-metal musical “Rock of Ages” and the first local production of “In the Heights” (Broadway Palm); the “Sunset Boulevard” parody “Sunset Schmoulevard” and the naughty puppets of “Avenue Q” (Lab Theater); and the Mel Brooks comedy “Young Frankenstein” and Go-Go’s musical “Head Over Heels” (New Phoenix).
Florida Rep’s uplifting new season: ‘West Side Story,’ Buddy Holly, a ghost story and more
Gulfshore Playhouse announces season: August Wilson’s ‘Radio Golf,’ ’39 Steps’ parody, etc.
Here’s a closer look at what’s coming up at all three Fort Myers theaters.
Other Lee County theaters are expected to announce their seasons later this year, including the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers, Cultural Park Theater in Cape Coral and Players Circle Theater in North Fort Myers.
“A Night on Broadway” (September 9-October 2, 2021): This all-new musical revue features songs from Broadway favorites “42nd Street,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Wicked” and more.
“Social Security” (September 23-November 6, 2021 in the Off Broadway Palm, the theater’s smaller, black-box space): A comedy about family responsibilities, elder care and romance. The story focuses on a well-to-do married couple earning their living as art dealers in the big city. Their idyllic lives turn upside down when they suddenly become caregivers for the wife’s feisty elderly mother.
“The Sound of Music” (October 7-November 20, 2021): Broadway Palm had to canceled its production of the beloved musical last summer during the height of the pandemic. Now the Rodgers & Hammerstein show returns to tell the story of the singing von Trapp family.
“No Claus for Alarm” (November 11-December 25, 2021 in the Off Broadway Palm): In this British Christmas farce, two lawyers accidentally bring on the head of the Russian Mafia as a client. Soon they’re trying to keep their girlfriends, a bossy barrister and a clueless receptionist from finding out.
“Holly Jolly Christmas” (November 25-December 25, 2021): A holiday song-and-dance extravaganza packed with favorite songs such as “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” “Silent Night” and “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.”
“Singin’ In the Rain” (December 31, 2021-February 12, 2022): The stage musical adapted from the classic 1952 movie starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds. The lighthearted romantic comedy is set in 1920s Hollywood as three stars get caught up in the rise of “talkies” — movies with dialogue and other recorded sound.
“Over the River and Through the Woods” (January 13-March 5, 2022 in the Off Broadway Palm): Joe DiPietro’s comedy shows what happens when a single Italian-American man has to tell his doting grandparents he’s moving far away.
Show to be announced (February 18-April 2, 2022): Broadway Palm will announce this show later.
“Greater Tuna” (March 10-April 30, 2022 in the Off Broadway Palm): Two quick-changing actors play 20 quirky characters in this satire set in the fictional south Texas town of Tuna.
“In the Heights” (April 8-May 14, 2022):Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning Best Musical follows the mostly Latino residents of a Washington Heights neighborhood. It’s packed with the sounds of hip-hop, salsa, merengue and more. The musical was turned into a new movie playing this month in movie theaters and streaming on HBO Max. This is the first locally based production of the stage musical in Southwest Florida.
“Rock of Ages” (May 20-June 25, 2022): Relive the glam-metal ’80s in this jukebox musical packed with hits such as “Sister Christian,” “I Wanna Rock,” “Heaven,” “Cum on Feel the Noize” and “The Final Countdown.” It tells the story of a small-town girl who falls in love with a Los Angeles rocker in a Sunset Strip nightclub.
“The Wizard of Oz” (July 1-August 13, 2022): Follow the yellow brick road as America’s most beloved movie comes to life on stage with Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, Toto and more.
— Single tickets range from $45-$75. Season tickets are also available. Broadway Palm dinner theater, 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. For more information, call 278-4422 or visit broadwaypalm.com.
“Sunset Schmoulevard” (June 11-July 3, 2021): Norma Desmond returns in this parody of film classic “Sunset Boulevard.” The world premiere comedy was adapted and directed by artistic director Annette Trossbach. It’s done in the same campy style as previous Lab Theater hits “Baby Jane: A Parody of the Horror” and “Hush Up Sweet Charlotte.” The show features adult language and raunchy humor. “Sunset Schmoulevard” and the July show “Failure” are part of Lab’s recently announced summer season and not its full 2021-22 season.
“Failure: A Love Story” (July 29-August 8, 2021): The musical fable follows the three Fail sisters — all of whom will be dead within a year, expiring in reverse order from youngest to oldest. A Southwest Florida premiere.
“The Color Purple” (September 3-October 2, 2021): Musical based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about an African-American woman’s journey to independence in the early 20th century. The novel was later adapted into a 1985 movie starring Oprah Winfrey. Mature themes. A Southwest Florida premiere.
24-Hour Screenwriting Project (October 9, 2021): The annual 24-Hour Playwriting Project gets a new twist. Instead of writing short plays, the creative teams will make 10-minute movies. Screenwriters will be assigned a theme, a director, a videographer and actors. Then they have to create a short film in just 24 hours and present it to a live audience and a panel of judges.
“White Rabbit Red Rabbit” (October 14-23, 2021): Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour’s acclaimed theatrical experiment gets off to an unusual start: No rehearsal, no director and a different actor every night. The script is in a sealed envelope, and the actor doesn’t even read it until taking the stage. The rotating Lab Theater cast includes a mix of local actors and celebrities, including Eric Raddatz of the Fort Myers Film Festival, columnist Stephanie Davis and former News-Press journalist Melanie Payne. A Southwest Florida premiere.
“The Tempest” (November 5-20, 2021): Shakespeare’s classic story of magic, betrayal, jealousy, an exiled sorcerer and a shipwreck on a remote island.
“The Complete History of America (Abridged)” (December 3-19, 2021): This wacky comedy presents 600 years of U.S. history in just 6,000 irreverent, manic seconds (or 90 minutes). A Southwest Florida premiere.
“Killer Joe” (January 14-February 5, 2022): In this 1993 dark comedy, a dysfunctional Texas family hires a hitman to kill the matriarch for her insurance money. Written by Tracy Letts, author of “August: Osage County.” A Southwest Florida premiere.
“Avenue Q” (February 25-March 27, 2022): Puppets behave badly in this Tony Award-winning hit musical inspired by Sesame Street, but definitely not safe for kids. A Southwest Florida premiere.
“Les Liaisons Dangereuses” (April 15-May 7, 2022): The 1985 play was later turned into the hit 1988 movie “Dangerous Liaisons,” starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer. Set among aristocrats before the French Revolution, the wicked romantic drama involves seduction, morals, manipulation and using sex as both a game and a weapon.
— Single tickets are $30-$37. Subscription packages are also available. The Laboratory Theater of Florida, 1634 Woodford Ave., downtown Fort Myers. For more information, call 218-0481 or visit laboratorytheaterflorida.com.
NEW PHOENIX THEATRE
“Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein” (September 30-October 24, 2021): Hit musical based on Brooks’ 1974 parody movie of classic Frankenstein films. In the musical, the grandson of infamous mad scientist Victor Frankenstein (pronounced “FRONK-en-steen”) returns to Transylvania and soon finds himself following in his grandfather’s footsteps.
“I Hate Hamlet” (November 4-21, 2021): In this play, a popular TV actor struggles over whether he should take the dream role of Hamlet. The big problem: He hates the play.
“Quartet” (January 6-23, 2022): Three elderly opera singers at a home for retired musicians find their peace destroyed when an old friend arrives.
“Pageant: The Musical” (February 10-27, 2022): Six contestants compete for the title of “Miss Glamouresse” in this musical comedy described as “’Miss America’ meets ‘Kinky Boots.'” Judges selected from the audience get to pick the winner.
“The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife” (March 10-27, 2022): Charles Busch’s 2000 comedy about the middle-aged wife of an Upper West Side doctor and her mid-life crisis of epic proportions. Then a mysterious childhood friend arrives and shakes things up.
“Head Over Heels: A New Musical” (April 7-May 1, 2022): A jukebox musical packed with hits from ’80s rock icons The Go-Gos, including “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Vacation” and singer Belinda Carlisle’s own “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “Mad About You.” The story follows the escapades of a royal family on a journey to save their kingdom.
— Tickets go on sale Tuesday, June 15. Single tickets are $25. Season tickets are $125 for six tickets. New Phoenix Theatre, 13211 McGregor Blvd., Units 1 and 2, south Fort Myers. For more information, call 284-5214 or visit newphoenixtheatrefortmyers.org.
— Connect with this reporter: Email email@example.com or connect on social media at Charles Runnells (Facebook), @charlesrunnells (Twitter) and @crunnells1 (Instagram).