The Florida Keys & Key West

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Curtain Rises on Stellar Florida Keys Theatrical Productions

FLORIDA KEYS — The Florida Keys & Key West are known for their vibrant culture, including a top-quality performing arts community. During the year audiences can enjoy musicals, comedies and Broadway-style performances at Keys venues. Explore some of the season’s offerings here.

Originally built as a carriage house in the 1800s, the building that is home to Key West’s Red Barn Theatre has hosted modern-era performances since 1981.

Back by popular demand, with entertaining and innovative 10-minute plays is “Short Attention Span Theatre,” running through Feb. 9. Other 2019 season standouts include “Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical” Feb. 19 through March 16 and “Meteor Shower” March 26 through April 20. The theater is located at 319 Duval St. (rear). For information, tickets and a complete schedule of productions, visit redbarntheatre.com or call 305-296-9911.

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Thought to be one of the oldest continuously operated theater companies in Florida, the Key West Players present their shows at Waterfront Playhouse located in the heart of Key West’s historic Mallory Square.

The 2019 season includes the critically acclaimed Tony Award Best Play nominee “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” a smart, funny and imaginative continuation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic “A Doll’s House.” The play by Lucas Hnath runs through Feb. 9.

Also showing at the playhouse, from Feb. 26 through March 23, is “Young Frankenstein, the Musical.” The eagerly anticipated production is the stage version of Mel Brooks’ iconic parody of horror films.

Other season standouts include “Sex with Strangers,” running April 9-27 and “Red Speedo” May 14 through June 1. The Waterfront Playhouse is located at 407 Wall St. For more information and tickets, visit waterfrontplayhouse.org or call 305-294-5015.

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Exploring the art of “immersion” theater, Fringe Theater Key West sets itself apart by performing in diverse settings around Key West and the Keys.

In February, Fringe Theater celebrates Black History Month with a two-night reading of August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson.” The reading takes place Feb. 15-16 at the Frederick Douglass Gym at 111 Olivia St.

The company presents a “theater in the park” pop-up performance in the back yard of the Oldest House Museum (322 Duval St.) set for Feb. 26-27. “Key West Characters” is a collection of short plays presented in a “picnic” atmosphere. A $10 donation at the door is suggested. 

Running March 20-30, “The Clean House,” written by Sarah Ruhl, is a contemporary American comedy that explores love, loss and the perfect laugh. Also this season, the Fringe Theater presents “Air Heart” which blends fact, fiction, theater and acrobatics to take the audience on a flight to the 1930s with Amelia Earhart. The performance is scheduled April 9-11 at the Tennessee Williams Theatre.

Next comes the original musical “It’s About Time,” a time-travel showcase examining perfect love and two producers’ casting challenges. The play is set for April 24-27 at the San Carlos Institute, 516 Duval St.

“Golda’s Balcony,” a riveting one-woman show that explores the life of the late Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, will be performed May 1-3 at Key West’s B’nai Zion Congregation, 750 United St., and May 4 at the Marathon Community Theater, 5101 Overseas Highway in Marathon. For information and a full schedule, visit fringetheater.org or call 305-731-0581. 

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Located on the campus of Florida Keys Community College at 5901 College Road, the Tennessee Williams Theatre presents exciting musical and theatrical works. The spring schedule includes “The Sound of Music,” a spirited and romantic musical showing March 18-19, and the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner “Rent” showing April 15-16. For information and a full schedule, visit twstages.com or call 305-295-7676.

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Burlesque takes center stage at the SideBar, 504 Angela St., when Key West Burlesque presents “Weekly Backroom Burlesque.” Audiences can catch the best in burlesque and variety performance Saturday nights at 8 p.m. every week through March 30. The show is to include appearances by Tatah DuJour, Chief Peach and Cheeky Derrière.

In addition, the troupe presents “The Bone Island Boys Burlesque and Male Revue” the last Friday of each month at the venue. For more information and booking options, visit sidebarkeywest.com/burlesque or call 305-294-0555.

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Started as a small community group in 1944, the Marathon Community Theatre has grown to perform many shows throughout the year, all showcasing a talented group of local residents.

The upcoming lineup features a Feb. 15-16 gallery reading of “The Drawer Boy” by Michael Healey. Noteworthy spring productions include the musical “La Cage aux Folles” written by Harvey Fierstein with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Performances are scheduled from March 7 to April 6.

The 2019 season will also feature “Making God Laugh,” a family comedy by Sean Grennan. The show runs May 9-25. The theater is located at 5101 Overseas Highway, mile marker 49.5 oceanside in Marathon. For more information and ticketing, visit marathontheater.org or call 305-743-0994. 

Florida Keys calendar of events: fla-keys.com/calendar

Florida Keys cultural information: fla-keys.com/culture

Florida Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com or 1-800-FLA-KEYS

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Key West’s Red Barn Theatre was originally built as a carriage house in the 1800s.

Key West’s Red Barn Theatre was originally built as a carriage house in the 1800s.

At Fringe Theater, running March 20-30, “The Clean House” is a contemporary American comedy that explores love, loss and the perfect laugh.

At Fringe Theater, running March 20-30, “The Clean House” is a contemporary American comedy that explores love, loss and the perfect laugh.

Audiences can catch the best in burlesque and variety performance Saturday nights at 8 p.m. every week through March 30.

Audiences can catch the best in burlesque and variety performance Saturday nights at 8 p.m. every week through March 30.

Audiences can catch the best in burlesque and variety performance Saturday nights at 8 p.m. every week through March 30.

Audiences can catch the best in burlesque and variety performance Saturday nights at 8 p.m. every week through March 30.

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