Most of South Florida’s theatre companies have announced their 2022/2023 seasons, and for the first time in more than two years, we’re fairly confident the shows will go on as planned. We scoured Palm Beach County’s premier presenting house (the Kravis Center) as well as its top regional theatre producers for the five plays/musicals we’re most excited about for next season. Get your tickets now at the links below!
The Thin Place, Nov. 4-20 at Boca Stage, 3333 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton; 561/447-8829, bocastage.net
Boca Stage opens its next season with this regional premiere from celebrated playwright Lucas Hnath (“A Doll’s House Part 2,” “The Christians”). The “H” in his name is silent, much like the disembodied voices hiding somewhere among the consciousness of Linda in “The Thin Place.” A self-described psychic, medium and spiritualist, she forms a friendship with a younger client who fervently believes in portals connecting the physical and spirit worlds—a dynamic that comes to a head in the show’s spooky and nerve-wracking final act.
Twelve Angry Men, Dec. 9-24 at Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561/514-4042, palmbeachdramaworks.org
The one “classic”—i.e., a play not written in the 21st century—in Dramaworks’ 2022/2023 season may end up being its most timely and potent selection; such is the enduring insight and compassion of Reginald Rose’s 1954 TV drama turned stage play. You probably know the story: Twelve jurors—traditionally all white—are tasked with deciding the guilt or innocence of a Black youth accused of murder. Only one juror is unconvinced of the child’s guilt, and he’ll spend the play’s duration attempting to sway his colleagues, in turn exposing their inherent biases. Nearly 70 years after it was written, “Twelve Angry Men” remains both a crackling piece of stagecraft and a paean to how our judicial system is supposed to work.
Hadestown, Jan. 3-8 at Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561/832-7469, kravis.org
Arguably the most anticipated Broadway musical to tour since “Hamilton,” “Hadestown” is the brainchild of Vermont folksinger Anaïs Mitchell, who first released its alternately haunting, ethereal and rousing songs as a concept album before bringing the fully staged musical version off-Broadway. Her source material is as ancient as 29 BCE: the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and the former’s harrowing journey into a hedonistic underground to rescue the latter. Hermes, Persephone and, of course, Hades figure into the plot as well, and the sets, costumes and Mitchell’s cerebral but catchy songcraft helped propel the eventual Broadway production to eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Last Night in Inwood, Jan. 28-Feb. 12 at Theatre Lab at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton; 561/297-6124, fauevents.com
This production had been slated for earlier this year until it became a prudent casualty of the omicron wave, and I’m delighted it’s back on the docket for next season. In a world-premiere play by prize-winning New Yorker Alix Sobler, Manhattan is in the throes of the apocalypse, leaving its frantic islanders scrambling literally for higher ground: in this case Danny’s one-bedroom apartment in Inwood. As it fills up with her family and friends, they all must survive each other to survive the end of the world.
Good People, Feb. 12-26 at Maltz Jupiter Theatre, 1001 E. Indiantown Road, Jupiter; 561/575-2223, jupitertheatre.org
The only straight play in a Maltz season of splashy and comic musicals, “Good People” is as grounded as its other shows are fleet of foot. Written by David Lindsay-Abaire (of “Rabbit Hole” fame), “Good People” is set in the playwright’s native blue-collar South Boston, where protagonist Margie has just lost her job cashiering at a dollar store—unwelcome news as she tries to raise a special-needs daughter as a single mother. Desperate for financial security, she contacts her old high school boyfriend, now a successful doctor, seemingly with a scheme to blackmail him into believing he’s the father of her child. Class and, it turns out, race figure heavily into Lindsay-Abaire’s absorbing drama, a play that feels sadly fitting today, as whispers of recession and an economy on the brink make Margie’s travails all the more relatable.