The Delray Beach Playhouse is known as a hidden cultural gem. And it is.
Though not under the haze of amazement on Atlantic Avenue, and not surrounded by the culinary commerce that lines downtown Delray, it is still one of the most coveted and enduring parts of Delray’s cultural legacy.
The theater, surrounded by the natural beauty of Lake Ida, offers guests a cultural feast of plenty. There are wonderful plays, musicals, concerts, comedies and musical theater classes. It may be 1,238 miles from New York City, but that doesn’t mean that The Delray Beach Playhouse is any less compelling or entertaining than Broadway.
As a matter of fact, there are legions of fans that flock to the playhouse in Delray on a regular basis to bask in the cultural and musical enlightenment of its mission.
Robert Zaret is one of them.
“They should have had a standing ovation. The performers were professional and talented, and the stage crew did a marvelous job. We are always here and we are never disappointed.”
Zaret is right. The Delray Beach Playhouse is one of the most endearing and oldest non-profit community theaters in South Florida. Built in 1957, it still retains its quaint cozy heritage but has been updated, modernized and revolutionized by those who protect its honor.
There are plays that inspire us to be better people, musicals to tickle your endorphins and cabaret shows that cure whatever ails you.
Seeing a live play, concert or musical in this idyllic setting reminds us how life can be both poignant and poetic at the same time.
If all of life is but a stage, then The Delray Beach Playhouse is a metaphor for what is right in the world. The producers, managers and actors work relentlessly and tirelessly to bring top-notch performances (and performers) to Delray Beach.
“We are putting on a lot of musicals this season because people enjoy them,” said Executive Director Kevin Barrett.
In January the amazing Tovah Feldshuh will be performing her cabaret show called: “Aging is Optional.” Feldshuh is a six-time Emmy and Tony nominee, has won four Drama Desks, four Outer Critics Circle, three Dramalogues, the Obie, and the Helen Hayes and Lucille Lortel Awards for Best Actress.
There is also a new cabaret series called: The Best of Broadway that kicks off December 11th through May 16th. Included in the cabaret series is award-winning actor, singer and Broadway star Ann Talman. Her musical cabaret performance, “Elizabeth Taylor and The Shadow of Her Smile” includes the amazing tales of her work on Broadway and her friendship with Elizabeth Taylor through music and song.
If you want to see a terrific musical comedy, get your tickets to see “She Loves Me.” The show runs from November 24 to December 10th is a legendary musical of love and its fortified folies.
This December 21st to January 7th is a performance by acclaimed performer Tom Dugan called “Tevye in New York!” The story is a funny and poignant one-man musical tale show based off Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof.
This musical is filled with laughter, heartbreak, and joy as Tevye tries to balance tradition with what it means to be an American Jew.
If it’s laughter you’re after (and who’s not) come see Boeing Boe-ing, a comedy about a playboy in Paris. The show details his dalliances with different stewardesses. This theatrical farce runs from January 18 to 27th in the Black Box, the new home for Boca Stage at The Playhouse. They used to perform at the Sol Theater in Boca, but moved to The Playhouse this season for a bigger audience.
Also on tap are wonderful tribute concerts. What is life if not a musical romp in greatness? They include The Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash, Earth Wind and Fire, Tom Petty, Carole King, Willy Nelson and others.
The Delray Beach Playhouse also added an educational program, Playhouse Arts Academy. This educational-theatrical based school is for everyone – from seniors to small children.
The Fall semester runs from August through December 15 and a spring semester starts in January.
If you’re 55 (or older) join the “Bubbies for Broadway.” This musical theatre class is for the young at heart and will have you singing, dancing and acting with the Playhouse Arts Academy.
For little ones (ages 3 to 6) there is a class called “Babies on Broadway,” that serves as an introduction to the wonderful world of theater.
They also have a Musical Theater for kids and teens with singing, dancing and acting classes.
The outstanding local Playwright Festival is happening again this year. Ten plays are chosen from local playwrights and performed on stage in October. This year’s festival was sold out. But, if you submit your work by May 31, you could be in next year’s play-wright festival.
The Delray Beach Playhouse is a mixture of nostalgia and the new. They added lovely landscaping and new furniture around the patio grounds. They also offer light snacks, beer and wine.
This Miracle on Lake Ida Park is built on legend, performance excellence and hard work. Their marketing director, Bridget Callinan, also relishes the arts and its ramifications.
“It is so rewarding seeing patrons fill up the seats to the diverse shows we offer. It’s proven just how important theater is!”
Executive Director Kevin Barrett explains their success and longevity this way: “We have a small stage, but we have a big vision and big things happen here. We run everything with a very small staff, but we have a tremendously busy building. We’re busy probably 300 to 350 days a year.”
Add free parking, reasonably priced musicals, concerts, comedy and acting classes and you have an extravaganza of the arts.
If desire is the subliminal goal of entertainment, then being enthralled with music, song, dance and acting is what life is all about!
THE DELRAY BEACH PLAYHOUSE 950 NW 9th Street
Delray Beach, FL 33444
Box Office: 561-272-1281
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