homepage logo

Players Circle Theatre prepares to kick off season

By Staff | Nov 20, 2019

Players Circle Theatre, Lee County’s newest professional theater, recently announced its 2019-2020 inaugural season.

The season for the new venue at the Shell Factory and Nature Park is scheduled to kick off on Dec. 3 and will include five professional productions.

Opening the season will be an original world premiere, “Ho!Ho!Ho! The Christmas Show,” a delightful and rollicking musical comic revue written, conceived and directed by Producing Artistic Director Robert Cacioppo. The musical will run from Dec. 3-22 and features a cast of five, including musical director and arranger Knuckles Rosen and be choreographed by Mr. Cacioppo’s longtime collaborator, Arthur D’Allessio. Audience members will be invited to sing along to all the great Christmas songs, including “A White Christmas,” “The Christmas Song” (Chestnuts) and “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

Opening Jan. 10 and running through Feb. 2, with discounted previews Jan. 7-10, will be “The Dining Room” by A.R. Gurney. A comedy by the author of “Sylvia” and “The Cocktail Hour,” this brilliantly conceived and richly humorous theatrical tour-de-force is set in the dining room of a typical well-to-do household and includes a mosaic of scenes-some funny, some touching, some rueful-which, taken together, create an in-depth portrait of a vanishing species: the upper middle class WASP.

“The Dining Room” will feature Players Circle Theatre Managing Director Carrie Cacioppo, leading the cast of six. Director will be Associate Producer Bill Gregg. Mr. Gregg, has directed over 150 professional productions at such notable theatres as The Guthrie, Arena Stage, Geva Theatre Center and the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

Opening Feb. 15 and running through March 8, with discounted previews Feb. 12-14, will be Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor.” Directed by Robert Cacioppo, this Broadway hit comedy is homage to Neil Simon’s early days in show business, when he worked as a comedy writer for Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows.” Simon’s alter ego, Lucas, is stuck in a room with the loosest comedy writers ever, based on Woody Allen, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Larry Gelbart (TV’s “Mash” and “Tootsie”) and others.

“Besides being incredibly funny, it’s a fascinating look at early TV, the red scare and a time when the greatest minds of comedy in the second half of the twentieth century were all in a room together,” says Cacioppo. Warning: this play contains adult language.

Opening March 20 and running through April 12, with discounted previews March 17-19, will be “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” by Simon Stephens. This will be Lee County’s first professional production of the Tony and Oliver Award winning Best Play! Based on the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon. Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone has an extraordinary mind but is out of sync with the world. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out a la Sherlock Holmes to find the true suspect.

“We are thrilled to be producing this beautiful and powerful play that is both dramatic and extremely funny. It’s really about what it truly means to love and be loved. We couldn’t be prouder to be celebrating National Autism Month with this play that took Broadway and London’s West End by storm!” said Cacioppo, who will be directing it.

To close out Players Circle’s inaugural season will be “Miracle on South Division Street” by Tom Dudzick, which opens April 24 and run through May17, with discounted previews April 21-23. This miraculously funny and heartfelt play is about the Nowak family of Buffalo, NY, who have always known they were special, ever since the miraculous night in 1942 when the blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Grandpa in his barbershop. Starring Carrie Lund Cacioppo and directed by Robert Cacioppo, in a revival of a play they helped develop eight years ago when they did it locally.

“This is absolutely one of the funniest plays that Robert and I have ever had the pleasure of working on. We’ve been asked to revive it so many times. And Robert and I both know our audiences love a good comedy! So we’re giving it to them,” said Carrie Cacioppo.

Tickets can be ordered by calling the Players Circle box office at 239-800-3292. Online at PlayersCircle.org.

Box office hours are Monday-Saturday noon-5 p.m. and one hour before curtain. Tickets are $50 and $35 for discount previews. Seven performances per week: Tuesday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Wednesday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Audiences can subscribe to season at deeply discounted rates of up to 50 percent off regular ticket prices. Both 4 and 3 show subscriptions are now available. Preview subscriptions at $25 per ticket (first four performances) will sell out quickly. “Ho! Ho! Ho! The Christmas Show” is not part of subscription series, but subscribers will be able to add-on at the discount rate of $35. Groups rates are available by email JLindsey@playerscircle.org or by calling the box office.

The Shell Factory and Nature Park is at 16554 N. Cleveland Avenue in North Fort Myers.

About Players Circle Theatre

The Players Circle Theatre was developed by veterans of the Southwest Florida theatre movement, Carrie Lund- Cacioppo and Robert Cacioppo. They have been the prominent faces of theatre in Lee County for over 35 years, starting the first professional theater in the county in 1985. In 1998, the Cacioppos created the Florida Repertory Theatre, the largest not-for-profit arts organization in Lee County history, which has garnered numerous accolades, including being named “One of America’s best regional theatres” by The Wall Street Journal. Players Circle Theatre is a professional black box theatre that provides Broadway-level entertainment. Online at:PlayersCircle.org.

Source: Players Circle Theatre