It’s a new year and that means a fresh set of Sarasota Players productions! Finishing out the year on our mainstage with A Tuna Christmas and going into the holidays with the Players Studio Holiday Special, we ended 2023 in the merriest of ways. But our 94th Season is far from over, and we have so much more entertainment in store for you!
From marvelous musicals and special tribute performances to whimsical and heartfelt plays, our lineup for this year is a world of fun and we can’t wait to share it with the community, but until then, we would like to give you a taste of The Players in 2024.
To ring in 2024, we’re starting off the year with a bang, or rather, a boom! Before Rent, there was tick, tick…BOOM!. This autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer Prize– and Tony Award-winning composer of Rent, is the story of a composer and the sacrifices he made to achieve his big break in theatre. Containing 14 songs and 10 characters, tick, tick…BOOM! takes you on the playwright/composer’s journey that led to a Broadway blockbuster.
Performances of tick, tick…BOOM! run January 10-13, 17-20, 24-27 at 7:30 pm and
January 14, 21, 28, 2024 at 2pm. To purchase tickets, please visit https://theplayers.org/events-calendar/tick-tick-boom/.
James and the Giant Peach Jr.
Towards the end of January, The Players Studio take 6 to 11 year olds to the stage for their winter play but rest assured, these little ones are brimming with talent and will be performing a beloved tale that everyone can enjoy, the story of James and the Giant Peach. When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions. James befriends a collection of singing insects that ride the giant piece of fruit across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks, and plenty of disagreements along the way.
Performances of James and the Giant Peach Jr. run January 19–20, 2023 at 7 pm and January 21 at 2 pm at First Presbyterian Church in Sarasota. To purchase tickets, please visit https://theplayers.org/events-calendar/james-and-the-giant-peach-jr/.
The Addams Family the Musical
Not your typical romance, The Players Studio has a wonderfully quirky production leading up to Valentine’s Day. The Players Studio, now with our then age group, will perform The Addams Family the Musical, a comical feast that embraces the wackiness in every family, featuring an original story and every father’s nightmare: Wednesday Addams. The ultimate princess of darkness has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family– a man her parents have never met. And if that wasn’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before– keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.
Performances of The Addams Family the Musical run February 9-10 at 7 pm and February 11 at 2 pm.
Thankfully, the next show on our lineup in February comes after Valentine’s Day. Less of romantic chance encounter and more of an unnerving nightmare, our second mainstage production of the year is a play adaptation of Misery. Based on the novel by Stephen King, Misery follows successful romance novelist Paul Sheldon, who is rescued from a car crash by his “number one fan,” Annie Wilkes, and wakes up captive in her secluded home. Paul quickly realizes Annie has no intention of letting him go anywhere as the irate Annie has Paul writing as if his life depends on it, and it does.
Performances of Misery run February 22-24, 28-March 2, 6-9 at 7:30 pm and February 25, March 3, 10 at 2 pm. To purchase tickets, please visit https://theplayers.org/events-calendar/misery/.
In addition to our homegrown Players productions, we also have some phenomenal special performances occurring throughout the month of March. Jimmy Mazz will perform twice, one involving a whole lot of laughter and a ton of great singing, and the other, singing his way through America with songs from cities and states across the country. And following up the dynamic Jimmy Mazz is BOOM FEST!, a two–day musical tribute experience, including a James Taylor Tribute Band, The JT Experience with the Fire and Rain Band, along with special guest The Pretender, the Tribute to Jackson Browne. Finally, The Drowsy Chaperone, a Simon & Garfunkel Tribute Band, will retrace the greatest hits of this duo that made us appreciate “The Sound of Silence.”
These special performances run one night and one night only, so grab tickets now and don’t miss out. For more information and all showtimes, please visit https://theplayers.org/special-events/.
The Secret Garden
As spring is in bloom, we roll into April on The Players mainstage with an enchanting classic of children’s literature, The Secret Garden, reimagined in brilliant musical style by composers Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman. Orphaned in India, 11-year-old Mary Lennox returns to Yorkshire to live with her embittered, reclusive uncle, Archibald, and his disabled son, Colin. The estate’s many wonders include a magic garden which beckons the children with haunting melodies and the “Dreamers,” spirits from Mary’s past, who guide her through her new life.
Performances of The Secret Garden run April 3–6, 10-13, 17-20 at 7:30 pm and April 7, 14, 21, 2024 at 2pm. To purchase tickets, please visit https://theplayers.org/events-calendar/the-secret-garden/.
Matilda the Musical
Last but certainly not least, we round out the 94th Season with all our Players Studio students for their spring musical. Our students will perform Matilda the Musical. Based on the novel by Roald Dahl and adapted into a film by the same name in 1996, it is a tale of a young girl with astonishing wit, intelligence… and special powers! She’s unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly lovable Miss Honey. Matilda’s school life isn’t completely smooth sailing, however – the school’s mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts and could be the school pupils’ saving grace.
Performances of Matilda the Musical run May 31-June 1 at 7 pm and June 2 at 2 pm.
We hope you are looking forward to 2024’s productions as much as we are! This year is sure to be good one! The Sarasota Players perform year-round, so there is never a lack of affordable, high-quality entertainment available to the community. Check out our digital 94th Season Brochure and fill your calendar with entertainment through to summer! See you next year!