Openings this week

Here’s a new feature — a list of local theater openings every week.

Here you go:

Come Back, Little Sheba, Melbourne Civic Theatre

Director Peg Girard and Melbourne Civic Theatre, Brevard’s Oldest Community Theatre, present Come Back, Little Sheba, written by William Inge, and presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Truly great theatre is often defined by classic, vintage pieces  brilliantly capturing relationship nuances   William Inge’s “Come Back, Little Sheba” offers a strong platform not only for MCT’s Director Peg Girard, but for actors, designers, and artistic craftsmen alike. While Inge created his characters in 1950, the interconnections of emotions are just as riveting today.  What appears to be a simple story of people who love, laugh, play, suffer, and cry – testing loyalties and even sanities – is a reflection of the timeless genius of William Inge.  Girard showcases Nadine Antaillia and Alan Selby, (real-life husband and wife) in the extraordinary roles of Lola and Doc Delaney.  As the show’s Director, she stretches the talents of the brilliant Caroline Osborne in set design, Gary Postelthwait in technical direction, Wendy Reader in sound design, and Alan Selby in lighting design.  We trust Girard will deftly wring out every drop of subtlety and angst, either written or implied.

The intimacy of the MCT performing space allows audiences to experience shows as though sitting in the very living quarters of the characters being portrayed.  For true connoisseurs, “Come Back, Little Sheba” offers a classic buffet guaranteed to please the most discerning artistic palates through this exquisitely shared encounter we call “live theatre”.  Join us if you are hungry for great performance.

The show runs weekends from March 12th through April 11th.  Tickets are $20 for Adults, and $18 for Seniors, Students, Military, and may be reserved by calling the Box Office at 321-723-6935.  Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm.  For more information please visit

WHO:    Melbourne Civic Theatre (MCT)
WHAT:   Come Back, Little Sheba, Directed by Peg Girard
WHEN:   Weekends, March 12 through April 11.  Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm
WHERE: Melbourne Civic Theatre,  Le Gallerie Plaza, 817 E. Strawbridge Avenue, Melbourne

Stomp, King Center for the Performing Arts

The international percussion sensation to play the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts
Performing March 12 – 14, Tickets On Sale Now!

, the international percussion sensation, will play in Melbourne at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts March 12 – 14 for three performances only.  From its beginnings as a street performance in the UK, Stomp has grown into an international sensation over the past thirteen years, having performed in over 350 cities in 36 countries worldwide.

will be performed Friday and Saturday evening at 8 p.m., as well as a Sunday matinée at 2 p.m.  Tickets for Stomp start at $45 and can be purchased at the King Center Ticket Office (3865 North Wickham Road, Melbourne, Florida 32935) or online at To charge-by-phone call 1-321-242-2219. Group orders for 20 or more may be placed by calling 1-321-433-5824.

Stomp continues its phenomenal run with the ongoing sell-out Off-Broadway production at New York’s Orpheum Theatre, a North American tour, and two productions overseas – a permanent London company and a European tour.

Stomp, an overwhelming success marked by rave reviews, numerous awards, and sell-out engagements, is the winner of an Olivier Award for Best Choreography (London’s Tony Award), a New York Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatre Experience, and a Special Citation from Best Plays. The young performers “make a rhythm out of anything we can get our hands on that makes a sound,” says co-creator/director Luke Cresswell. Stiff-bristle brooms become a sweeping orchestra; Zippo lighters flip open and closed to create a fiery fugue; wooden poles thump and clack in a rhythmic explosion. Stomp uses everything but conventional percussion instruments – trashcans, tea chests, plastic bags, plungers, boots, and hub caps – to fill the stage with compelling and infectious rhythms.

Critics and audiences have raved: “Stomp is as crisp and exuberant as if it had opened yesterday,” says The New York Times. The San Francisco Chronicle declares “Stomp has a beat that just won’t quit!” The Los Angeles Times exclaims: “Electrifying! Triumphs in the infinite variety of the human experience.” “A phenomenal show! Bashing, crashing, smashing, swishing, banging and kicking – a joyous invention!” says the Chicago Tribune.

Stomp is directed and created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas. The smash hit will be presented at Melbourne’s Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts from March 12 – 14 for three performances only. There will be Friday and Saturday evening performances at 8 p.m., and a Sunday matinee performance at 2 p.m.  Tickets for Stomp are on sale now and start at $45.00 and can be purchased at the King Center Ticket Office (3865 North Wickham Road, Melbourne, Florida 32935) or online at To charge-by-phone call 1-321-242-2219. Group orders for 20 or more may be placed by calling 1-321-433-5824.

Garden Theatre, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

Garden Theatre presents The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

The Garden Theatre is pleased to present The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), from March 12-April 3, 2010 [Please note there is no show on Easter Sunday, April 4] at the Garden Theatre (160 West Plant Street, Downtown Winter Garden).   Sponsored by CenturyLink, the Garden Theatre’s presentation of Complete Works includes three talented improvisation actors from the Central Florida area – Jay Hopkins, Christopher Prueitt and Will Hagaman, and will be directed by local acting legend Richard Width, who was recently touted in the Wall Street Journal for his direction of Hamlet. This play will mark the final production Width will direct before he moves back to his hometown of Califon, New Jersey.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) is a parody of the plays written by William Shakespeare with all of them being performed (in shortened form) during the show by only three actors.  Typically, the actors use their real names and play themselves rather than certain characters.  The fourth wall is nonexistent in the performance with the actors speaking directly to the audience during much of the play, and some scenes involve audience participation. The director and stage crew also may be directly involved in the performance and become characters themselves.

The script contains many humorous footnotes on the text that are often not included in the performance.  However, improvisation plays an important role and it is normal for the actors to deviate from the script and have spontaneous conversations about the material with each other or the audience.  It is also common for them to make references to pop culture or to talk about local people and places in the area where performance is done.  As a result, each performance can be vastly different from another, even from night to night.

Located in the heart of historic downtown Winter Garden on Plant Street, the Garden Theatre is operated by the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit community organization which works to preserve local history and offers cultural theatric experiences unique to West Orange County and the citizens of Winter Garden.  The theatre restoration project, which began in 2003, showcases an atmospheric theatre in a Mediterranean Revival style venue.  The former single screen movie theater hosts live theatre, dance and music, cinema viewings, various community events and educational programs.

For tickets or additional information, contact the Garden Theatre Box Office at 407-877-GRDN (4736) or Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Garden Theatre Box Office, located at 160 West Plant Street.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer & Jess Winfield
Directed by Richard Width
March 12-April 3, 2010
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 2pm
Please note: No show on Sunday, April 4

This high-speed roller-coaster type condensation of all of Shakespeare’s plays, accomplishes all 37 Plays in 97 Minutes!  An irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) was London’s longest-running comedy, praised by the Los Angeles Times as “wildly funny” and by the Montreal Gazette as “the funniest show you are likely to see in your entire lifetime.”  “A fantasia of zany energy that throws together Monty Python-ish drag and Mel Brook-ish anything-for-a-laugh gags.”   Michael Musto, New York Daily News

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays:$22 ($18 seniors/students)
Sundays: $18 ($10 kids under 12)
Recommended for children 12 and up.

Steel Magnolias, Shoestring Theatre

The Shoestring Theatre proudly presents Robert Harling’s classic Steel Magnolias.  This delightful comedy directed by Shelley Ackman is set in Truvy’s beauty salon located in small town Louisiana, where all the ladies who are “anybody” come to have their hair done.  Assisted by her eager new assistant, Annelle; the outspoken, wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoos and free advice to Ouiser (the town’s rich killjoy), Miss Clairee (an eccentric millionaire), and the local social leader, M’Lynn, whose daughter Shelby (the prettiest girl in town) is about to marry a “good ‘ole boy.”

Tragedy strikes in the second act when Shelby (who is a diabetic) risks pregnancy and forfeits her life.  The sudden realization of their mortality affects the others, but also draws on the underlying strength – and love – which gives the play, and its characters, the special quality to make them truly touching, funny and marvelously likable company in good times and in bad. This production is skillfully written.  Filled with hilarious banter, sharp & funny dialogue, and builds to a conclusion that is deeply moving.

Steel Magnolias opens on Friday March 12, and runs through Sunday March 28.   Friday & Saturday performances are at 8 PM, and Sunday matinees are at 2:30 PM.  Admission – $18 (Adults), $15 (Seniors 62+), and $7 (Students).

Shoestring Theatre is located at 380 S. Goodwin Street in Lake Helen.  Reservations can be made by calling (386) 228-3777.

The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Surfside Players

Surfside Players announces our spring comedy The Prisoner of Second Avenue, by Neil Simon

Mel is a well paid executive of a fancy New York company which has suddenly hit the skids and started to pare the payroll. Anxiety doesn’t help. Mel, too, gets the ax. His wife takes a job to tide them over, then she too is sacked. As if this weren’t enough, Mel is fighting a losing battle with the very environs of life. Polluted air is killing everything that grows on his terrace; the walls of the high-rise apartment are paper-thin, so that the private lives of a pair of German stewardesses next door are open books to him; the apartment is burgled; and his psychiatrist dies with $23,000 of his money. Mel does the only thing left for him to do; he has a nervous breakdown. It is on recovery that we come to esteem him all the more. For Mel and his wife and people like them have the resilience, the grit to survive.

Surfside Players, Cocoa Beach, proudly presents The Prisoner of Second Avenue, by Neil Simon, at our playhouse on March 12 – 28, 2010 (three weekends), Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.  Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and active military, and $10 for students, with group discounts available. There will be an opening night reception with hors d’oeuvres for ticket holders on Friday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m. Call (321) 783-3127 for reservations.

Directed by Troy Jones.  Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French.  Caution: Play contains strong language.

The Playhouse is located at the corner of Brevard Avenue and Fifth Street South in Cocoa Beach, FL.  For more information, call (321) 783-3127, E-mail or visit our website,

WHO: Surfside Players
WHAT: The Prisoner of Second Avenue, by Neil Simon; directed by Troy Jones
WHEN: March 12-28, 2010  Fridays / Saturdays 8 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m.
Opening Night Reception Friday March 12, 7:00 p.m.
WHERE:  Surfside Playhouse, corner of Brevard Avenue and Fifth Street South,  Cocoa Beach, FL
ADMISSION:  $18 adults, $15 seniors, active military, $10 students MORE INFO:  Phone (321) 783-3127             E-mail

Website –

55 West: A High Rise Church Street Comedy, Wanzie Presents

Wanzie continues Ladies of Eola Heights saga with his newest Orlando-based play:
55 West: A High Rise Church Street Comedy

Playwright Michael Wanzie will once again take to the stage as Pearl Locksdale, along with Frank McClain as psychiatrist Dr. Robert Burroughs and Miss Sammy playing herself in 55 West: A High Rise Church Street Comedy opening on Saturday, March 13, at the Footlight Theatre, 410 N. Orange Blossom Trail.

In this, his third sequel to the original Ladies of Eola Heights (which broke all box office records at the 170 seat Footlight Theatre during its unprecedented 9-month run in 2005, Wanzie pares the cast down to 3 onstage performers as the action of this installment moves from the old clapboard house on Cathcart Street to Orlando’s newest condo tower located at 55 West Church Street.

In this new stand-alone comedy (which can be enjoyed whether or not theater-goers are familiar with the previous 4 plays) Pearl can see a lot through her binoculars from her high-rise patio perch!

Orlando notables ranging from Theater Critic and Arts Blogger Elizabeth Maupin to Orlando City Commissioner Daisy Lynum along with many other familiar people and Orlando locales figure into the dialogue and the laughs in this 2-person hi-camp comedy punctuated with novelty lip-sync routines performed by Orlando’s premiere drag persona, Miss Sammy.

The play will be staged by Wanzie Presents’ Artistic Director Kenny Howard.

55 West: A High Rise Church Street Comedy will be presented Saturday evenings only, March 13 through April 3, 2010. Tickets ($12) go on sale on Friday, February 27, 2010, exclusively through the on-line box office at


A Wanzie Presents Production
55 West: A High Rise Church Street Comedy

Written by  Michael Wanzie
Directed by Kenny Howard

Miss Sammy
Frank McClain
Michael Wanzie

Show Times: Saturdays March 13 through April 3, 2010 at 8PM

Venue: The Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House Resort, 410 N. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando Florida, 32819

Cost/Reservations: Tickets:  $12    Available exclusively online:

Tickets go on sale, Friday, February 27, 2010, at 6AM

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