Winter Park Playhouse delays its season
Winter Park Playhouse has canceled summer programming, including its annual Festival of New Musicals, and pushed back the start of its season until Oct. 1. In addition, summer cabarets have been postponed, and the 2020-21 season’s lineup has been reshuffled — with a new title joining the mix.
In revamping its schedule of plays, the theater follows the lead of Orlando Shakes, which a few weeks ago announced a similar timeline for its upcoming season. Theaters across the country are grappling with how and when to safely open in light of the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, Broadway theaters announced they would stay shut at least until Sept. 7.
The most immediate effect of Winter Park Playhouse’s changes is the cancellation of “Pump Boys and Dinettes,” a musical the theater had previously postponed but was still hoping to produce during the summer. The show will be rescheduled for the 2021-22 season, the theater said in its announcement.
This summer’s Festival of New Musicals would have been the fourth. The exhibition of works still in development has steadily increased in attendance since its establishment, last year drawing more than 1,200 theatergoers during its four days. It also has caught the eye of New York producers; six attended the festival last year scouting the new works.
The six works that were to be showcased this summer will instead be seen when the Festival of New Musicals returns June 22-27, 2021, according to the Playhouse announcement.
The 2020-21 season at the Playhouse, which specializes in musicals, will now begin Oct. 1 with “The Book of Merman.” The offBroadway show, making its regional premiere, imagines a meeting between brassy leading lady Ethel Merman and two Mormon missionaries.
“A Grand Night for Singing,” which was to have opened the season at the end of July, will instead be presented Jan. 22-Feb. 20. The salute to composing team Rodgers & Hammerstein replaces “Five Guys Named Moe,” which has been dropped from the schedule.
A new addition, though, found at the end of the season.
“Crazy For Gershwin” pays
is tribute to famed songwriting brothers George and Ira Gershwin through high-energy singing and tap dance. It will run July 30-Aug. 22-2021.
The season’s other offerings remain as previously announced: They include “Christmas My Way: A Sinatra Holiday Bash,” holiday fun in the style of Frank Sinatra; “Respect: A Musical Journey of Women,” featuring decades of female-fronted pop hits; and “Five Course Love,” a musical comedy about love that takes place in different restaurants.
Chronologically, the revised lineup of shows is as follows.
Nov. 12-Dec. 10
Jan. 22-Feb. 20, 2021
14-June 13, 2021
30-Aug. 22, 2021
For more information, go winterparkplayhouse.org.
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