Fresh off its nine Carbonell nominations, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre has continued its newsworthy January by announcing its 2018/2019 season—well, most of it, anyway. Contractual obligations prevent the theatre from announcing its January 2019 show, which the company has teased as a “big, splashy musical,” until April 1 of this year. The sky’s the limit on big, splashy musicals; we’re waiting on pins, so it better be exciting! (And no, it won’t be “Hamilton,” so curb your enthusiasm just a little bit.)
What we do know is that Maltz will open the season Oct. 28-Nov. 11 with “Steel Magnolias,” Robert Harling’s touching dramedy set in a beauty salon. I’ve seen this safe, conservative selection too many times for it to light a fire under me, but it’s an oft-produced touchstone for a reason; it speaks to a generation (or two) with insight and empathy.
It will be followed Nov. 27-Dec. 16 by “Disney Beauty and the Beast,” an astute pick that fits snugly into the Maltz’s lavish bailiwick. The family-friendly production of the classic fairy tale ran last summer at the Wick in what reportedly was that company’s most expensive production to date. Expect Maltz to pull out all the stops in terms of sets, costumes, choreography and casting.
After the TBA musical in January 2019, the Maltz will open my most-anticipated production of its season, “A Doll’s House, Part 2” (Feb. 24-March 10, 2019). Playwright Lucas Hnath (of “A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney” fame) penned this witty and intellectually robust sequel to Ibsen’s 19th century masterpiece, in which Nora has returned home from a 15-year absence having become a best-selling advocate of women’s empowerment. This timely comedy arrives fresh from its run on Broadway, where it opened this past April.
Maltz closes its season March 26-April 14 with an unimpeachable classic in “West Side Story.” This singular collaboration of Leonard Bernstein’s music, Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics and choreography inspired by Jerome Robbins continues to be one of the most-produced musicals in the nation. The timeless, haunting, streetwise reimagining of “Romeo and Juliet” is a rite of passage for any producer of musical theatre, and it’s great to see the Maltz finally scaling this mountain.
Season subscriptions are available, and begin at $218. Call the box office at 561/575-2223 or visit jupitertheatre.org. While you’re at it, pick up tickets for the Maltz’s next show, the thriller “An Inspector Calls,” which begins previews Feb. 4. All photographs in this blog were shot by Jason Nuttle.