Reviews

(Almost) 20 Shows We’re Looking Forward to in 2020

With most new seasons being announced this summer, here’s almost 20 shows we’re looking forward to seeing along the Gulf Coast in the first half of 2020!

Wow, that wasn’t specific AT ALL…

1. EVIL DEAD
Improbable Cause Mystery Theatre, January 2-4

Based on the cult classic horror films, “Evil Dead: The Musical” follows five college students to an old, abandoned “Cabin in the Woods” where they encounter demonic possession and an army of the dead … and sing about it all while splattering the audience with bloody good special effects.

2. WAITRESS
Saenger Theatre Pensacola, January 15-16

Based on the 2007 film of the same name, Waitress made its premiere in 2015 and quickly earned a spot in the hearts of theater lovers as a winning dark musical comedy. When the unhappily married Jenna finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, the hardworking waitress struggles to find her own independence even through missteps in love, business, and motherhood. Featuring music by award-winning pop singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, Waitress the musical promises an uplifting trip to the theater.

3. SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!
Pensacola Little Theatre, January 24 – February 9

Tom is a nervous school teacher about to start his first day of teaching. He tries to relax with a little TV when various characters representing facets of his personality materialize from the television set. Reviving the catchy, playful Saturday morning hits of the 1970’s, Schoolhouse Rock Live! is both educational and enjoyable for everyone!

4. RESURRECTING VAN GOGH
Emerald Coast Theatre Company (Destin), January 30

Resurrecting van Gogh is an original performance based on the life, work and writings of Andy Martin, a medical student and oncology patient at Tulane University, who conducted groundbreaking research on sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (SNUC), an extremely rare form of cancer that eventually took his life. The majority of the performance text is taken directly from Andy’s unpublished private journals with permission from the Martin family.

5. CLUE ON STAGE
Kaleidoscope Theatre (Panama City), February 6-9

The classic board game is brought to life in Clue: On Stage! Six guests are invited to a dinner party thrown by an anonymous host. They are given aliases–Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum, and Miss Scarlet. What follows is a madcap, slapstick evening full of murder, mystery, and laughs as they seek to puzzle out the culprit.

6. SILENT SKY
University of West Florida, February 14-23

Silent Sky tells the true story of Henrietta Leavitt, the astronomer ahead of her time. It is 1900, and Henrietta has the opportunity to work at Harvard University as a human computer, one of Dr. Edward Pickering’s “harem,” mapping the stars but receiving no scientific credit. When Henrietta arrives, she is eager to use Harvard’s telescope – the Great Refractor – but is told that she will not be able to do any sort of astronomical discovery, as she will only log the stars photographed by the men of the department. However, Henrietta will not be dissuaded, and begins the process of recording the changes in Cepheid stars – a scientific discovery that has profound and lasting impact on the field of astronomy. Silent Sky is the poignant tale of a woman’s dedication to the stars, and the human touch that makes life under the vast sky beautiful and timeless.

7. BURT or WHEN I WAS FIVE I KILLED MYSELF
Gulf Coast Stage College (Panama City)February 14-23

Burton Rembrandt has the sort of perspective on life that is almost impossible for adults to understand: the perspective of an 8-year-old. And to Burt, his parents and teachers seem to be speaking a language he cannot understand. This is Burt’s story as written in pencil on the walls of Quiet Room in the Children’s Trust Residence Center, where he lands after expressing his ardent feelings for a classmate. It begins: When I was five I killed myself….

8. NO EXIT
Arrant Knavery, February 20 & 21

Three damned souls, Joseph Garcin, Inès Serrano, and Estelle Rigault, are brought to the same room in Hell and locked inside by a mysterious valet. They had all expected torture devices to punish them for eternity, but instead, find a plain room furnished in the style of the French ‘Second Empire’.

9. WEST SIDE STORY
Washington High School, March 5-8

A musical in which a modern day Romeo and Juliet are involved in New York street gangs. On the harsh streets of the upper west side, two gangs battle for control of the turf. The situation becomes complicated when a gang member falls in love with a rival’s sister.

10. CINDERELLA
Gulf Breeze High School
, April 3-5

The smart and beautiful young Ella lives in the care of her wicked, self-absorbed stepmother Madame and Madame’s two daughters, Charlotte and Gabrielle. Ella’s only friends in the world are the animals in the woods, “crazy Marie” and the revolutionary student Jean-Michel. Meanwhile in another part of the kingdom, Prince Topher is trying to find himself and learn his place in the kingdom. When his scheming advisor Sebastian suggests throwing a ball so the Prince could meet potential brides, Ella and Topher’s different worlds come together. Expect the unexpected in this clever retelling of the beloved fairytale.

11. URINETOWN
University of West Florida, April 17-26

In the not-so-distant future, a terrible water shortage and 20-year drought has led to a government ban on private toilets and a proliferation of paid public toilets, owned and operated by a single megalomaniac company: the Urine Good Company. If the poor don’t obey the strict laws prohibiting free urination, they’ll be sent to the dreaded and mysterious “Urinetown.” A brilliant satire modeled off the plays of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, Urinetown is a wickedly funny, fast-paced, and surprisingly intelligent comedic romp.

12. OTHER DESERT CITIES
Pensacola Little Theatre, May 1-9

Brooke Wyeth returns home to Palm Springs after a six-year absence to celebrate Christmas with her parents, her brother, and her aunt. Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history—a wound they don’t want reopened.

13. I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE
Theatre98 (Fairhope, AL), May 1-17

This celebration of the mating game takes on the truths and myths behind that contemporary conundrum known as ‘the relationship.’ Act I explores the journey from dating and waiting to love and marriage, while Act II reveals the agonies and triumphs of in-laws and newborns, trips in the family car, and pick-up techniques of the geriatric set. This hilarious revue pays tribute to those who have loved and lost, to those who have fallen on their face at the portal of romance, to those who have dared to ask, “Say, what are you doing Saturday night?”

14. THE GRADUATE
Pensacola State College, May 14-17

Benjamin Braddock is a confused young man. Having spent four years achieving a brilliant scholastic record, upon graduation he finds himself adrift, uncertain about his future, disconnected from his purpose, and increasingly alienated from the upper-class, suburban, “plastic” world of his parents. Fighting panic and boredom, he is deeply conflicted but ultimately willing when Mrs. Robinson, the unhappily married, alcoholic, and dangerously charismatic wife of his father’s business partner, tempts him into an affair. Based on the novel and the iconic 1967 film, The Graduate is a bitterly hilarious dark comedy, full of rapid fire dialogue between fascinating and horrifying characters. This play explores family dysfunction, parental expectations, crumbling marriages, and the naive, yet disillusioned, dichotomy of youth, against the shiny backdrop of affluent Southern California in the 1960s.

15. THE COLOR PURPLE
Saenger Theatre Pensacola, May 23-24

Based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel of the same name, The Color Purple spans 35 years in the life of Celie, a teenage African-American girl living in Georgia who is given by her abusive stepfather to an even more abusive husband. Though Celie spends most of her days as a servant in her own household, she, cut off by her husband from those she loves, tries to remain hopeful that she will ultimately be reunited with her sister Nettie and her children by way of her stepfather, Adam and Olivia. Though her string of unfortunate events, though, Celie learns that the most important thing is that she is a survivor, and that no matter what happens to her, she is still here.

16. I NEVER SAW ANOTHER BUTTERFLY
Pensacola Little Theatre’s Academy Class, May 29-31

A one-act play that is based on the poetry written by Jewish children from Prague imprisoned in the model concentration camp Theresienstadt. The play chronicles the experiences of Raja, a girl in Thersienstadt, her family, a teacher, who encourages children’s creativity, a young male friend, with whom Raja creates an underground newspaper, and a Terezín rabbi. 

Follow us on Instagram: @thestagemoms