Saturday, May 18, 2024

Wick, Maltz announce 2016-2017 seasons

We’re still in the thick of the 2015-2016 theater season, but that hasn’t stopped many of South Florida’s arts institutions from unveiling next season’s slates of shows. The Kravis Center and the Broward Center have both unveiled their Broadway tours for next season, but we’re focusing here on two of Palm Beach County’s finest regional theaters, whose array of musical comedies, substantial dramas, music revues and eccentric gems promise another eclectic year on the boards.

Maltz Jupiter Theatre

 

The Audience (Oct. 23-Nov. 6, 2016): Covering more than 60 years of private meetings between British prime ministers and Queen Elizabeth II, this fresh-from-Broadway play by Peter Morgan offers such juicy parts as Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and, of course, the Queen, in a show that Maltz’s Artistic Director Andrew Kato describes (affectionately) as “a big, epic monster.” 

Me and My Girl (Nov. 29-Dec. 18, 2016): “My Fair Lady” isn’t the only post-“Pygmalion” musical comedy about the education of an unrefined Cockney protagonist. This rarely produced hit by Noel Gay, Douglas Furber and L. Arthur Rose centers on one such working-class chap who discovers he’s a royal heir—an inheritance he can only accept if he foregoes his true love.

 

The Producers (Jan. 10-29, 2017): Few introductions are needed for Mel Brooks’ beloved musical, which secured 12 Tony Awards in its 2001 Broadway debut. Based effortlessly on the hit 1968 film, “The Producers”—about a scheming impresario and his squirrely accountant, whose plan to finance the worst musical ever fails when the show becomes an unexpected hit—is filled with theater in-jokes and pungent satire.

 

Disgraced (Feb. 12-26, 2017): A year and a half after its regional premiere at GableStage, the Maltz will try its hand at Ayad Akhtar’s provocative, beautifully written drama about prejudice, injustice and tribalism in contemporary America, where politics and religion come to a searing head during a colossally disastrous dinner party.

 

Gypsy (March 21-April 9, 2017): The Maltz closes its season with one of the all-time biggest of the big-tent musicals, which explores the tumults of a real-life showbiz mom who embodies the blurred line between mothering and smothering. The talents of composer Jule Styne, lyricist Stephen Sondheim and book writer Arthur Laurents comprise a dream team of irrepressible talent, which have kept this belt-y show in frequent rotation for more than 50 years.

The Wick

 

They’re Playing Our Song (Oct. 13-Nov. 6, 2016): The indefatigable Neil Simon worked with real-life couple Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager, who turned their own industry experience into a musical comedy about two ambitious, funny and neurotic songwriters trying to establish themselves in the New York City music business. The Wick has already cast its female lead: Andrea McArdle, aka Broadway’s original Annie, now all grown up. 

Sister Act (Nov. 25-Dec. 23, 2016): Spreading seasonal holiday joy, the most recent Broadway success on the Wick’s slate is this screen-to-stage adaptation with music by hit-making composer Alan Menken (“Little Shop of Horrors,” ‘Newsies”), in which an aspiring disco diva is sequestered in a convent after she witnesses a crime, and forms a choir of singing nuns.

West Side Story (Jan. 12-Feb. 19, 2017): It’s Shakespeare taken to the streets, in the epic musical that gave us “Maria,” “America” and “Somewhere.” Still fresh in Boca art lovers’ minds after its stirring film adaptation screened at Festival of the Arts Boca last year, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents’ ageless musical continues to change minds and pierce hearts.

 

Guys and Dolls (March 9-April 9, 2017): This is the indelible Frank Loesser musical that originally ran for 1,200 Broadway performances and won the 1950 Tony for Best Musical. Inspired by the mythical New York underworld of journalist Damon Runyon, the musical’s outsized characters and songs have become synonymous with big-city glamour and romance, from the title song and “Luck Be a Lady” to “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” and “I’ve Never Been in Love Before.”

Beehive (April 20-May 14, 2017): This bustling musical revue of ‘60s pop includes upwards of 40 hits from the period, from Lesley Gore and Janis Joplin to Aretha Franklin and Kris Kristofferson, with the decade’s ubiquitous “beehive” hairdos well represented in the costume design. “Beehive” has been around longer than most of its lazy imitators, but it’s hard to feign much excitement over choices like this—the only shrug-worthy entry in an otherwise exciting slate. 

Season tickets for both theaters are available now. For the Wick, call 561/995-2333 or visit thewick.org, and for the Maltz, call 561/575-2223 or visit jupitertheatre.org.

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