The Delray Playhouse has a storied past. One of theatrical convention and invention, hard work and creative storytelling.
The theater, that sits on Lake Ida, is surrounded by the beauty of what has always made Florida so vast and wonderful – open land.
But it is what’s inside this 76-year-old venue that holds mystery and magic for all who enter. There are plays that explore the profundities of life, historical reference points and comedies that will make you laugh till tears fall from your eyes.
There are also musical shows that honor the greats such as Steely Dan, James Taylor, Carole King, The Bee Gees, Simon & Garfunkel and more.
The good news is that the Delray Playhouse is stronger than ever – and that’s wonderful news for those who revere the theater, the arts, culture, music and comedy.
The Delray Beach Playhouse now has the distinctive moniker of being the only theater in Delray Beach. With this historical landmark comes a weightier responsibility… and they have risen to that challenge beautifully.
They recently added an educational program, Playhouse Arts Academy. This educational-theatrical based school is for everyone – from seniors to small children. This theatrical endeavor is a joint partnership with BARCLAY Performing Arts and has something for everyone. The classes just started and run through December.
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 Team BARCLAY. Lighten your load of earthly responsibilities and join in the joyfulness of Broadway on Lake Ida. You can drop in for one class or sign up for the entire season (there’s still time).
For the little ones there are classes called “Broadway Babies,” for kids and teens there is “Annie JR,”, “Dance Audition Prep Classes” (with jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop, Broadway and contemporary dancing). There is also Musical Theatre for all age children and teens, “Clowning and Improv” classes, “Acting and Improv” and “On-camera film classes.”
The Delray Beach Playhouse is also celebrating their 76th Anniversary, which is a rare milestone for a local theater.
CEO 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.”
The Delray Beach Playhouse was built in 1957 in the county park at Lake Ida. Their first play was “The Philadelphia Story,” and there was no air conditioning or heat. But those days are long gone and the theatre has been renovated and improved (AC and heat included) and still retains its quaint cozy hometown theatre vibe.
The outdoor patio area has been updated as well with awnings, lights and patio furniture to align with its natural stone parameter.
According to Barrett, there’s an increase in demand for shows and concerts. “We are the only Theater in Delray Beach now – so we’re seeing an increase in attendance. We have free parking, our prices are reasonable and we try to offer something for everyone – musicals and concerts, comedy and classes.”
They also have something new starting in October called “The Playwright Festival.” Playwrights are encouraged to submit their new work each spring and 10 plays are chosen for the festival. This year the play readings will be performed over two days (on October 22 and 23rd). Forty actors will participate in the readings on Saturday night and a Sunday matinee.
“This is a grass roots movement. We had 30 plays turned in and we picked 10 that will have readings in October. We would like to grow the festival to become to a week-long event. Buy tickets and participate in this two- day festival. Tell your friends about it and spread the word,” said Barrett, who added that tickets are only $15 or $25 for two-day pass.
If you’re gearing up for the new theatrical season, you’re just in time. The first show in September is La Cage Aux Folles, featuring a live Club Band and the excitement of Broadway. This Barclay Performing Arts debut performance has a wonderful cast and upbeat musical scores that will take you to your happy place.
The end of September is “Do It Again,” Featuring the Music of Steely Dan. In October there’s “All the Hits” from the Mersey Beatles (a Liverpool-Born Beatles tribute band). There’s also Love, Loss, and What I Wore, The Boomer Boys: A Musical Comedy in October, The Spaghetti & Matzo Ball Comedy & Music Show in November (and others).
The Delray Beach Playhouse also has a new History Series and Off-Broadway series that kicks off in October with plays, comedy and concerts. In October there’s Churchill (an evening with Sir Winston Churchill), Tell Him It’s Jackie, (a one-woman show about Jackie Kennedy), Give ‘Em Hell, Harry! a portrayal of President Harry S. Truman’s life, presidency and more.
There’s also Joe Devito Comedy and A Spectacular New Years’ Eve Michael Bublé Tribute with Rome Saladino that includes dinner and dancers.
There is much more on the roster for the Delray Beach Playhouse 2022 – 2023 season that will have you dancing in your dreams and singing in the shower. Just go to their website, or the box office (open 10 to 4 Monday to Friday).
There are also Talk Backs – where you get to meet the cast and ask questions after the show. Talk Backs will take place after The Simon Wiesenthal and Jackie O productions in November.
The Delray Beach Playhouse is also looking for Volunteers, as well as Actors (children and adults). If you check their website you will see audition notices or sign up for their emails. Their Facebook page also has information.
The Delray Beach Playhouse is a hidden gem in an ever burgeoning population of theatre lovers, music aficionados and comedy seekers from all over the world.
They’ve been bringing culture and good vibes to Delray Beach for 76 years – and are eager to share their new roster of cultural goodies with you!
Join them in this intimate authentic space and enjoy the magical Mecca of culture. You’ll be so glad you did.
The Delray Beach Playhouse950 NW 9th Street Delray Beach, FL 33444 Box Office: 561-272-1281
For a full list of programs and classes go to their website:
Friends of Delray