Theater is starting to step back into the spotlight in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
While COVID-19 has brought down the curtain on Broadway until next spring and national tours coming to South Florida have been delayed until January (as of now), some regional theaters here are starting to stage productions again.
Of course, the coronavirus pandemic means that going to see a show now will be a very different experience. Randy Singer, the managing partner of the Boca Black Box, says that performance spaces have to operate at 50% capacity, mask-wearing is mandatory and there is hand sanitizer at every other table.
“Every party is separated with at least three seats in between them," Singer says. “And then we skip a row because you don’t want people to be on top of each other.”
The Boca Black Box — which is focusing on standup comedians and musical tribute acts for now — also produces shows for the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center, the Coral Springs Center for the Arts and co-manages the Tradition Town Hall in Port St. Lucie. In about six weeks they will take over the Kelsey Theater, rebranding it as the Lake Park Black Box.
Audiences are starting to trickle back. “It’s increasing about 10 percent every week,” Singer says. “Whatever happens ... in a crisis, you got to get back to normal sooner or later. It’s not the zombie apocalypse.”
Here are stage shows you can book a ticket for now.
What: The one-act play “Bunker” will be performed live and simultaneously live-streamed for one show only. Written by Sharonda Eccentrich Richardson, “Bunker” follows the struggle of a Black mother trying to raise her son while dealing with social issues that many families are facing.
When: 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24
Tickets: Tables for the in-person performance are $150 (seats 2, 4 or 6 people); tickets for the live-streamed performance are $25
Where: Arts Garage, 94 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach
Contact: 561-450-6357 or ArtsGarage.org
Delray Beach Playhouse
What: Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers” won the Pulitzer Price for drama in 1991 as well as four Tony Awards. The comic drama is set during WWII and is about two brothers who are forced to live with their strict grandmother who shares a home with the boys’ off-center aunt and a low-level gangster uncle.
When: 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 4-20
What: The revue “Gower Champion on Broadway: Put On A Happy Face” follows the showman’s career from MGM musicals to choreographing and directing some of the Great White Way’s most enduring shows, including “Hello, Dolly!,” “Bye Bye Birdie” and "42nd Street.
When: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14-23
Where: 950 NW Ninth St. Delray Beach
Contact: 561-272-1281, ext. 5 or DelrayBeachPlayhouse.com.
Island City Stage
What: “Dixie’s Happy Hour” is a one “woman” show featuring Dixie Longate, the drag persona of comic actor Kris Andersson. Best known for “Dixie’s Tupperware Party," an interactive performance that included a real Tupperware selling event, this time around the focus is on getting tipsy — Dixie, not you.
When: 5 p.m. (Sundays) and 8 p.m. Oct. 30-Nov. 8
Where: Wilton Theatre Factory Mainstage/Island City Stage, 2304 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors
Contact: 954-928-9800 or IslandCityStage.org
Lake Worth Playhouse
What: The Stonzek Studio, a black box performance space at the Lake Worth Playhouse, will have a production of “The Boys Next Door,” a dramedy about four mentally handicapped men living communally along with a stressed-out social worker.
When: Nov. 12-22. Showtimes to come.
What: The mainstage will have a production of “Annie,” the Broadway musical based on the Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie. The show, which has been made into a movie twice, includes such hits as “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Tomorrow,” “Little Girls,” “NYC” and “Easy Street.”
When: Dec. 3-20. Showtimes to come.
Where: 713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth
Contact: 561-586-6410 or LakeWorthPlayhouse.org.
What: This theater in Lake Park will soon be rebranded as the Lake Park Black Box. For this Halloween the production on stage is a drag queen tribute to the campy 1993 movie “Hocus Pocus.” This version, which has been a popular draw for eight years, is titled “It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus.”
When: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31
Tickets: $65 for general admission and $75 for VIP tickets. To save $10 off of all tickets, use the promo code “SAVE10.”
Where: 700 Park Ave., Lake Park
Levis JCC West Boca Theatre Company
What: Neil Simon’s romantic comedy “Barefoot in the Park” is about newlyweds who appear to be mismatched, the wife is more of a free-spirit while the husband is more or a button-down type.
When: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10-Sunday, Dec. 13
Tickets: $30 for virtual members, non-members and general admission; $25 for Gold or Gold Plus members; $10 for Weinberg House and Gould House Residents and free for Platinum members.
Where: 21050 95th Ave S, Boca Raton
Contact: 561-558-2520 or LevisJCC.org/culture/theater.
Ronnie Larsen Presents
What: Local playwright and performer Ronnie Larsen — best known for “Making Porn, ” last season’s surprise hit “An Evening with John Wayne Gacy” and some other unpublishable titles — is performing his own drag-a-licious turn as the First Lady in “The Devil in Melania Trump.” But that isn’t all. Larsen is also hosting “The Penis Talk Show” as well as a series of live game shows such as “Naked Trivia Night” and “XXX Game Show.”
When: 8 p.m. Saturdays Oct. 24, 31 and for the foreseeable future.
Where: Wilton Theatre Factory - The Foundry, 2306 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors
Contact: 954-826-8790 or RonnieLarsen.com
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