ORLANDO — As the summer moves along, the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre is planning for a lively fall, one that will include popular musicals, Charles Dickens, a Shakespeare war epic, and even the haunting blues music of Billie Holiday.
The Orlando Shakes is billing its 2022-2023 productions as the “Shake It Up” season, which celebrates a remarkable 30+ years entertaining Central Florida audiences from their stages at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center in Loch Haven Park.
“From high-stepping and fan-favorite musicals to compelling award-winning dramas — we’re thrilled to have you join us for Season 34,” the Shakes noted in a news release.
Tickets are now available for the season, with single tickets starting at $25.
So, what to expect this upcoming season, you ask?
What Plays are in the Orlando Shake’s Signature Series?
Their fall season begins with the musical Noises Off by playwright Michael Frayn, which runs from Sept. 9-25. This comical play-within-a-play is known for its sight gags and screwball antics.
Then from Oct. 7-30, the Shakes is presenting Apologies To Lorraine Hansberry (You Too, August Wilson) by playwright Rachel Lynett, where “A community of an all-Black state raises concerns after a resident’s partner, who is Afro-Latinx, moves to town.” This play was the winner of the 2021 Yale Drama Series Prize and previously seen at Orlando Shakes’ PlayFest 2020, now being presented as a fully staged production.
During the holiday season, the Shakes will produce Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in an adaptation written by their artistic director Jim Helsinger. That production runs from Dec. 2-24.
What Plays Will the Orlando Shakes Produce in 2023?
The new year begins with Henry V, Shakespeare’s epic about war, with King Henry V of England going to battle with France in an attempt to claim his throne. That production will run from Jan. 20-Feb. 5.
The legendary music of Billie Holiday and her troubled life is the focus of Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill, the biographical musical drama by Lanie Robertson that offers a portrait of the jazz singer. That production runs from Feb. 10 to March 5.
The Shakes then shifts from the often sad music of Billie Holiday to the upbeat pop sounds of Cyndi Lauper, who provided the music and lyrics for Harvey Fierstein’s play Kinky Boots, the smash Broadway musical that runs from April 7-30.
The Shakes will also continue with its ongoing children’s series, with the next production being Charlotte’s Web, an adaptation of the classic children’s novel by E.B. White, adapted by Joseph Robinette, that tells the story of young pig Wilbur and his friendship with the spider Charlotte.
The Shakes is also continuing its Courtyard Cabaret Series, and first up is Michael Andrew’s 20th Century Swing & Soul Revue from Aug. 13-13, featuring the hits of Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, and more.
Orlando Shakes is at 812 E. Rollins St. in the Mills 50 District of Orlandlo. For more details, call the box office at 407-447-1700.
To purchase season tickets, visit the Shakes here.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book When I Woke Up, You Were All Dead. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.