Coming Back Strong

Venice Theatre Reveals What's in Store for Its 74th Season

While the theater's Jervey Theatre, severely damaged by Hurricane Ian, won't reopen until summer 2024, there's still plenty to see.

By Staff May 23, 2023

Venice Theatre recently revealed what it has in store for its upcoming 2023-2024 season, which will see a variety of shows presented in its temporary 130-seat Raymond Center and 90-seat black box Pinkerton Theatre. (The Jervey Theatre, severely damaged by Hurricane Ian, is expected to reopen in the summer of 2024.)

From newer musicals like Jimmy Buffett's Escape to Margaritaville to annual favorites like A Christmas Carol, from the outrageous musical satire Reefer Madness to historical one-person plays about Harry Truman and Mark Twain, the lineup contains a variety of offerings to please the theater's diverse audience.

Here's what there is to look forward to:

In the Raymond Center 

Golf With Alan Shepard

This play by Carter W. Lewis offers a sardonically humorous look at grumpy old men in a grumpy old round of golf with their questions, fears, loves and Metamucil. Plus: an appearance by an out-of-this-world guy who hit the longest golf shot in history. Performances run from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10.

The Addams Family

With music by Andrew Lippa, lyrics by Andrew Lippa and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, this show is based on the comic strip The Addams Family by Charles Addams. See the lovable characters you know well: Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley and Lurch. Performances run from Oct. 13 to Nov. 12.

A Christmas Carol

Based on the story by Charles Dickens, Venice Theatre’s musical version of A Christmas Carol returns with the joyous spirit of the year-end holidays. Intergenerational veterans from past productions (including Brad Wages as Scrooge) join with new cast members to tell Dickens' story of redemption and rebirth. Performances run from Dec. 1 to 20.

Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville

It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, so escape to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. The popular musical with a buffet of Buffett hits promises to change your attitude and latitude. Performances run from Jan. 19 to Feb. 18.

The 30th Annual Silver Foxes Show: Broadway by the Sea

The youngest cast in town will once again regale audiences with song, dance and ribald humor in the 30th edition of the Silver Foxes. Being “mature” never looked and sounded so good. Performances run from Feb. 27 to March 3.

The Spitfire Grill

Based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff, this play is heartwarming, homespun and hopeful. The Spitfire Grill is a folk musical in the Rodgers and Hammerstein tradition and is about second chances, starting over and mending what’s broken. Performances run from March 22 to April 21.

Pinky’s Players

Delight once again in the inspiring performances of Pinky’s Players, Venice Theatre’s Community Engagement Program that gives adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities a chance to develop and share their artistic talents. Performances run from May 3 to 5.

In the Pinkerton Theatre 

The Cemetery Club 

This play by Ivan Menchell is back by popular demand. It's a funny, sweet-tempered, moving romantic comedy about three Jewish widows who meet once a month for tea before going to visit their husbands’ graves. Last season, this play sold out, so the theater is bringing it back with the same cast: Jan Wallace, Gina Scarda, Loretta Zullo, Jim Parise and Sandi Wall. Performances run from July 14 to Aug. 13.

Reefer Madness*

The room will light up with the campy, over-the-top musical Reefer Madness, last seen at Venice Theatre in 2008. Reefer Madness pokes hilarious fun at the 1936 cult film. Don’t eat the brownie, and don’t smoke the demon weed. Performances run from Sept. 8 to Oct. 8.
Includes adult language and themes. Audience discretion is advised.


Jeff Daniels’ Pickleball is a quippy screwball comedy about the predominant mania of our time: pickleball. Goofy, lightning-fast and slightly naughty, it’s a "pwocking" good time. Performances run from Oct. 27 to Nov. 19.


A new festival of three one-person plays. Up close and personal, you will meet American humorist Mark Twain in They Told Me to Be Brief, performed by Alan Kitty; the 33rd president of the United States in Give ‘Em Hell, Harry, performed by Jack Rabito; and working-class Liverpool housewife Shirley Valentine, played by Jan Wallace. Performances run from Dec. 8 to 17.

Calendar Girls

Tim Firth's Calendar Girls is a poignant comedy about posing nude for a good cause. Based on the 2003 film of the same name and inspired by a true story, these ladies raise funds while raising eyebrows. Performances run from Jan. 12 to Feb. 11.

The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On

Stroll down memory lane as four lifelong friends sing about love, life and changing times at their Springfield High 20th reunion. The Marvelous Wonderettes perform the greatest girl-group hits of the '60s and '70s such as "I Will Survive," "You're No Good," "Band of Gold" and more. Performances run from Feb. 23 to March 17.

The Enchanted Bookshop

Rediscover the joy of reading in The Enchanted Bookshop by Todd Wallinger. In this play, characters from famous works of literature magically come alive to rescue a bookstore owner from a pair of bungling smugglers. The fanciful tale features Robin Hood, Pollyanna, Sherlock Holmes, Heidi, Tom Sawyer, Frankenstein, Long John Silver and more. Performances run from April 4 to 21.

Bank Job

In this play by John Kolvenbach, two brothers pull off a bank heist, but their escape plan involving an executive washroom hits an unexpected snag when a young woman, a cop and a hostage show up. The show includes hilarious, high-energy shenanigans, with a little romance thrown in. Performances run from May 3 to 19. 

Three different subscription packages are on sale now and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at (941) 488-1115. The box office is not open for walk-up business at this time. The theater has also announced audition dates for all shows. More information about auditions can be found at

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