FISH CREEK, Wis. (WFRV) – Variety is in store again at Peninsula Players Theatre for 2023.
According to a press release: “(The season) will have something for everyone, including adventure, joy, reflection and plenty of laughs,” said Linda Fortunato, in her second season as artistic director.
Entering its 88th season, the company is America’s oldest professional resident summer theater “and a Door County theatrical icon.”
Nestled along Door County’s scenic shores, “the award-winning artistic company has enthralled generations of audiences in its 600-plus seat, all-weather pavilion. Since 1935, the theater has presented hundreds of world premieres, pre-Broadway tryouts, classic dramas, comedies and musicals.”
The season will run June 13 to Oct. 15. An overview:
+ “A Rock Sails By” by Sean Grennan: June 13-July 2. World premiere production.
It will be the fourth of Grennan’s plays to make its world première at Peninsula Players Theatre. His previous works “Making God Laugh,” “The Tin Woman” and “Now and Then” have all been audience favorites.
“A Rock Sails By” was a part of the theater’s 2022 winter play reading series, The Play’s the Thing, and received a terrific audience response.
Snapshot: Dr. Lynn Cummings, an astrophysicist, is grappling with personal questions, trying to reconnect with her daughter and dealing with the loss of her husband. When an unidentified object is discovered heading toward Earth, a journalist tracks down Dr. Cummings for some perspective on the situation, and she is forced to re-examine what might actually be “out there.”
“A Rock Sails by” is being produced in conjunction with World Premiere Wisconsin. The statewide festival will celebrate new plays and musicals from March 1 to June 30, 2023, hosted by professional theaters in the state.
+ “Blithe Spirit” by Noel Coward: July 5-23.
The witty and smart comedy has entertained audiences on Broadway, in London and around the world since its debut in 1941 and has been adapted to film many times.
Snapshot: Novelist Charles Condomine invites a medium to perform a séance at his home. Charles, his new wife, and their guests are all quite skeptical, but things take a turn when Elvira, Charles’s first wife, is summoned. Appearing only to Charles, Elvira turns the household upside down, disrupting his life and new marriage.
Peninsula Players Theatre first produced “Blithe Spirit” in 1947 “and is looking forward to revisiting this ‘improbable farce’.”
+ “Dames at Sea” by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller (book and lyrics) and Jim Wise (music): July 26-Aug. 13.
“The tap dance-happy gem celebrates the golden era of movie musicals with a heart as big as the ocean.” It was named Best Musical of the Year by both Time and Newsweek magazines.
Snapshot: The story features fresh-faced Ruby, who arrives in New York City in the early 1930s with nothing but a pair of tap shoes and a dream of performing on Broadway.
“The light-hearted musical comedy features six actors serving up rousing tap dancing, love at first sight, joyful music and a boatload of laughs.”
+ “Trying” by Joanna McClelland Glass” Aug. 16-Sept. 3.
The award-winning memoir of two polar opposites trying to understand each other is based on the playwright’s emotionally charged time as Judge Francis Biddle’s personal secretary. Biddle served as attorney general for Franklin Roosevelt and as the chief American judge at the Nuremberg Trials.
Snapshot: In 1968, the brilliant and refined Biddle meets his new secretary, the young and tenacious Sarah, fresh from the Canadian prairie. Through their time together, we see how strangers from diverse backgrounds at different points in their lives can grow to understand and even learn from one another.
“It is a lovely story of learning from those of different generations and of dealing with one’s own mortality.”
The play received the Jeff Award (Chicago’s equivalent of the Tony) for New Work.
+ “Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” by Ken Ludwig: Sept. 6-Oct. 15.
Some of Ludwig’s other comedies that delighted Peninsula Players Theatre audiences are “Lend Me a Tenor,” “The Fox on the Fairway” and “The Game’s Afoot.”
Snapshot: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson must crack the mystery of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” before a family curse dooms its newest heir. The comical adventure is “filled with a dizzying web of clues, disguises and deceit as five actors deftly portray more than 40 characters.”