The Play Is On

Venice Theatre's Pinkerton Theatre Will Reopen Today

After facing devastation from Hurricane Ian, the theater has been issued a certificate of occupancy. The Cemetery Club is its first show since the storm.

By Staff January 20, 2023

Venice Theatre was closed in late September 2022 after suffering severe damage from Hurricane Ian. Its Pinkerton Theatre reopens Jan. 20, 2023.

Venice Theatre was closed in late September 2022 after suffering severe damage from Hurricane Ian. Its Pinkerton Theatre reopens Jan. 20, 2023.

This Wednesday, after months of grappling with the devastation from Hurricane Ian, Venice Theatre will reopening its Pinkerton Theatre today, Jan. 20.

Venice Theatre's entire main building was deemed uninhabitable and unsafe for public use after the storm roared through Southwest Florida at the end of September. Now, just three months and 23 days after Ian destroyed the back wall of the structure and lifted the roof off the main stage house, the theater has been granted a certificate of occupancy for the 90-seat, black box Pinkerton Theatre, which is located on the west side of the main building.

First up is The Cemetery Club, a play by Ivan Mitchell about three Jewish widows who meet once a month for tea before going to visit their husbands’ graves. The heartfelt comedy is a warm welcome back.

"Only with the entire community working together could this be accomplished," says producing and executive director Murray Chase. "City of Venice officials made the process as efficient as possible. Magnum Builders and its subcontractors have been working tirelessly. Sweet Sparkman Architecture quickly provided the legal specifications for temporary use. Our staff has been moving forward with great energy. And, of course, the emotional and financial support of foundations, donors, patrons, and volunteers have kept us afloat. I am excited about this milestone in our recovery."

Damage to Venice Theatre from Hurricane Ian

Damage to Venice Theatre from Hurricane Ian

The work that had to be completed before portions of the building could reopen included full water mitigation, replacing 90 percent of the drywall and carpet, a full rerun of electric lines through the building, replacement of air conditioning, new fire alarm equipment and sprinkler monitoring, a new Life Safety Plan, roof repair and more. Work on the building will continue for more than a year. The MainStage Jervey Theatre will reopen in late 2023 or early 2024.

Ticket buyers should also be aware that most Venice Theatre events this season have limited availability due to space constraints. The theater urges patrons to buy early through its website or by calling (941) 488-1115. The box office is not open for walk-up business.

Subscribers and ticket holders with seats they are unable to use are encouraged to contact the box office at the above number or by sending an email to [email protected] to make exchanges. Released tickets will be made available to others interested in seeing the show.

Here's a look at the revised 2023 schedule.

Up On the Roof: The Songs of Carole King and James Taylor

Through Jan. 29, Raymond Center

The Cemetery Club

Jan. 20–Feb. 12, 2023
Pinkerton Theatre

Chicago Rewired: The Premier Chicago Tribute Band

Feb. 5
Venice Performing Arts Center

Gypsy, A Musical Fable

Feb. 17–March 19, 2023
Raymond Center

Arabian Nights

Feb. 24–March 5, 2023
Pinkerton Theatre

An Evening with Norm Lewis

Feb. 26, 2023
Venice Performing Arts Center

Showtime Benefit for Venice Theatre Rebuild

March 5, 2023
Venice Community Center

Let’s Hang On: America's No. 1 Frankie Valli Tribute Show

March 6, 2023
Venice Performing Arts Center

Back Home Again: A Tribute to John Denver with Tom Becker

March 12, 2023
Pine View School


March 24–April 16, 2023
Pinkerton Theatre

The Silver Foxes Present "Bodacious Broadway"

March 28–April 2, 2023

Raymond Center

The Brothers Doobie

April 17, 2023
Venice Community Center

Graceland and Asleep On the Wind

April 21–May 7, 2023
Raymond Center

50 Years After: A Tribute to the Woodstock Generation

April 30, 2023
Venice Community Center

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised) [again]

May 5 – 21, 2023
Pinkerton Theatre

Teen Improv Troupe

May 14, 2023
Raymond Center

Pinky’s Players Present "Keep a Song in Your Heart"

May 19 – 21, 2023
Raymond Center 

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