The Players Centre for Performing Arts is not ready to move into its new Lakewood Ranch home for quite a while yet (we’re talking a few years, probably), but the continually expanding neighborhood was the setting for the community theater company’s announcement of its 2017-18 season—its 88th.
The official announcement took place at the home of Players supporters Lou and Ann Marie Marinaccio in the Concession in Lakewood Ranch, but the season brochure has also been in the mail this week for subscribers.
And it’s a show biz kind of season (apart from a special pre-season production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible opening Aug. 31). All six of the mainstage shows involve people working on stage or in the movies. Here we go.
The Will Rogers Follies (Sept. 28-Oct. 15) won the Tony for Best Musical and Best Original Score in its retelling of the onstage (and offstage) life of beloved comedian Rogers.
Moon Over Buffalo (Nov. 2-19) is a comedy by Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor) about a theatrical couple whose star is fading in the 1950s. Will they get one more chance at the big time?
1940s Radio Hour (Dec. 7-23) is a holiday season show, delivering a slice of a “live” radio broadcast in December of 1942, when World War II kept servicemen and their loved ones apart. Be prepared for nostalgia.
Singin’ in the Rain (Jan. 18-Feb. 4, 2018). Yes, the movie made the late Debbie Reynolds a star, performing with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. The stage version came later, but tells the same story of Hollywood during the transition from silent to sound films, with songs including “Make ‘em Laugh,” “Good Mornin’” and, of course the title number, complete with raindrops.
Bullets Over Broadway (Feb. 22-March 11, 2018) is an adaptation by Woody Allen of his own hit movie about a young playwright whose first Broadway show is financed by a gangster. Expect lots of jazz and pop standards of the years between World War I and the 1930s.
Funny Girl (March 29-April 15). Who will step into the shoes of Barbra Streisand as comedienne-singer Fanny Brice, making fans laugh even as her own heart breaks due to her tumultuous relationship with gambler Nick Arnstein? Stay tuned, and be ready for showstoppers like “People” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”
For more information about the Players’ Broadway series, call (941) 365-2494. Information should also be available soon at theplayers.org.