By Jamie Kuser
Our first professional theatre in Southwest Florida reopened in August. Operating at 50% capacity, the Broadway Palm started its new season with Dean Martin Variety Hour that runs through Sept. 26.
The leadership and staff at Broadway Palm have created a very safe environment for enjoying live theatre. Salads are delivered to your table. You are served by staff at the buffet (or order off the menu) and desserts are pre-plated. No customers touch any food items that have been touched by other customers. Dining tables are separated and more private. Sanitizers and signage are all over, and masks are required when not eating or drinking.
As for the show on stage, well, it is simply a wonderful step back in time with Dean Martin (played by the multi-talented Seth Abrahms) and his ensemble of singers and dancers who recreate the old television show. Musically for me, the show stopper was the duet between Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland.
Other guests to the Dean Martin Variety Hour include Cher, Rosemary Clooney, Bobby Darin, Marilyn Monroe, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Frank Sinatra and, of course, Sammy Davis Jr. A special tip of the hat to SW Florida’s Victor Legaretta for creating, writing and directing the wonderful show. Again, well done to those on and off stage for making this production safe and entertaining.
Meanwhile, some of our community theatres are back on stage. Cultural Park Theater in Cape Coral is offering two productions this month. On Stage … Places Please will be performed Sept. 10 – 20, and Jersey Girls will be presented Sept. 24 – Oct. 4.
The Charlotte Players will present A Shot in the Dark Sept. 11 – 20 at the Langdon Playhouse in Port Charlotte.
The Studio Players will perform Walter Cronkite is Dead Sept. 25 – Oct. 11 on the Joan Jenks Auditorium stage in Naples.
Staying with social distancing, the Laboratory Theater of Florida will broadcast its production of Disenchanted on Sept. 18 and 26 and Oct. 4.