Laguna Playhouse Announces 2023-2024 Season

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The Laguna Playhouse has announced its 2023-2024 season of seven shows, and it’s packed with a variety of musicals, comedies and dramas.

The season begins with the musical “2 Pianos 4 Hands,” followed by the classic drama “The Rainmaker,” and then a new screwball comedy called “The Angel Next Door.”

Up next is a celebration of the music of Fats Waller with the Tony Award-winning musical “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” Then comes the family drama “a Shayna Maide;,” followed by Moliere’s classic comedy, “Tartuffe.”

According to Interim Artistic Director David Ellenstein, “This is truly an exceptional season of plays and musicals as we head into our second century. Our subscribers and audiences are going to be moved, inspired, thrilled, engaged and mesmerized by the seven theatrical events we have planned for them over the coming year!”

The 2023-2024 season details (courtesy of Laguna Playhouse):

2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS

July 5 – July 23, 2023

Written by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt

Get ready for an interlude of laughter and music as two men, or “four hands,” take us on a journey about their would-be careers as concert pianists. The talented duo trade stories about piano lessons, pushy parents and eccentric teachers while playing everything from Bach to Billy Joel. Both hilarious and touching, this musical comedy captures the humor that comes with the path to becoming a pianist, as well as the sense of loss attached with eventually learning to let go of your wildest dreams.

THE RAINMAKER

September 20 – October 8, 2023

Written by N. Richard Nash

A classic tale of Americana, set against the backdrop of a western drought, “The Rainmaker” by N. Richard Nash brings lonely souls together as they traverse the struggles of finding who they truly are and how they fit into the world. Laced with humor and charm, “The Rainmaker” still resonates today with poignancy, hope and courage. A firm part of the canon of twentieth century dramatic literature, revisiting this story will prove to be a satisfying and uplifting theatrical experience encouraging audiences to believe in the unbelievable.

THE ANGEL NEXT DOOR

October 18 – November 5, 2023

Written by Paul Slade Smith (Adapted from “Play at the Castle” by Ferenc Molnar)

Capturing the sheer joy, sophistication, and wit of 1940s screwball comedies, playwright Paul Slade Smith (“The Outsider,” “Unnecessary Farce”) has brilliantly adapted Ferenc Molnar’s classic farce, “Play at the Castle.” The cast of characters in “The Angel Next Door” grapple with romance, misunderstandings, and comical situations which have the potential of major disasters and riotous laughter. Transferring directly from North Coast Repertory Theatre (where Laguna Playhouse Interim Artistic Director Ellenstein serves as Artistic Director) after its World Premiere, “The Angel Next Door” abounds with sharp, fast-paced dialogue that delivers non-stop mirth. A delightful evening at the theatre.

AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’

January 24 – February 11, 2024

Written by Murray Horwitz & Richard Maltby Jr.

Music and Lyrics by Fats Waller

It’s 1930’s Harlem, and the joint is jumpin’! Nightclubs like the Cotton Club and the Savoy Ballroom are the playgrounds of high society, and dive bars on Lenox Avenue pulse with piano players banging out new tunes that are a wild mix of raucous, rowdy, and mournful. Featuring the intoxicating music of Thomas “Fats” Waller – the big-hearted, bigger-than-life impresario and international jazz pianist who helped create and define American swing, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” is a roof-raising musical tribute to the era. Delight in such favorites as “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” and dozens more. Winner of both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards.

A SHAYNA MAIDEL

March 13 – March 31, 2024

Written by Barbara LeBow

Transcending grief and rekindling hope, “A Shayna Maidel” tells one family’s story of survival and resiliency following the Holocaust. Separated for almost 20 years, two sisters are reunited in America after World War II. Through flashbacks and fantasies, the patchwork tale of a life now shattered is painted in haunting detail. A piece originally scheduled in 2020, “A Shayna Maidel’s” touching story is the perfect addition to this extraordinary season.

TARTUFFE

April 17– May 5, 2024

Written by Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (Molière)

Moliere’s “Tartuffe,” acknowledged as one of most enduring comedic masterpieces in the theatrical canon, is given an astonishingly clever translation by two-time Pulitzer Prize poet Richard Wilbur. The charlatan Tartuffe worms his way into a wealthy family causing disruption and pandemonium. With wicked precision and brilliantly rhyming verses, this highly satiric comedy skewers religious hypocrisy, duplicity, lust, and self-inflicted chaos. Lovers of classic theatre and ingenious wordplay will not want to miss this inventively entertaining evening. Transferring to the Laguna Playhouse from North Coast Repertory Theatre, this exciting take on a classic is not to be missed!

HOLMES AND WATSON

May 29 – June 16, 2024

Written by Jeffrey Hatcher

Prepare yourself for a fast-paced, thrilling, suspenseful story that will keep you guessing until its final moments. Sherlock Holmes is dead. Or so it is assumed. The world knows the great detective went over the falls at Reichenbach with his nemesis Professor Moriarty. When a telegram arrives informing Watson of three men, each claiming to be Holmes, it’s left up to him to discover if one of the mad men is the real Sherlock Holmes.

Season subscriptions are on sale now. Single tickets go on sale May 15. Visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com or call (949) 497-ARTS (2787).

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