Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples will kick off the new year with Native Gardens, one of the top new comedies taking the country by storm. The play will be presented at the Norris Center Jan. 11 – Feb. 2.
Written by one of the nation’s top playwrights and also named on American Theatre’s “Top 20 Most-Produced Playwrights of 2018-19,” Karen Zacarias’ Native Gardens has been wildly popular among regional theatres since it premiered in 2016 at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.
Directed by Kristen Coury, founder and producing artistic director for Gulfshore Playhouse, Native Gardens explores timely issues of culture and race in a captivating comedic setting, that’s also heartwarming.
The play centers on two neighbors: Pablo and Tania, an ambitious young couple expecting their first child, who have just moved next door to community stalwarts Frank and Virginia and their prize-worthy English garden. What begins as a friendly civil dispute over a fence line erupts into a no-holds-barred turf war where cultures, classes and tastes hilariously clash. Nobody comes out smelling like a rose in this brilliant, smash-hit comedy of bad manners.
In addition to Coury, the creative team for Native Gardens includes David Arsenault, scenic designer; Jimmy Lawlor, lighting designer; Renee Baker, costume designer; John Kiselica, sound designer; and John Patrick, vocal coach.
The cast includes:
- William Parry previously performed at Gulfshore Playhouse in the hit productions of All My Sons and My Fair Lady. Parry was in the original Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar, and went on to work with its celebrated director, Tom O’Horgan in some seven productions. He’s also originated roles in the Broadway productions of the rock musicals, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road and Rockabye Hamlet, as well as several productions at the acclaimed Lincoln Center. Parry has also performed in the national tours of A Few Good Men, The King and I and Titanic. Film and television credits include In & Out, Domestic Disturbance, Spencer for Hire and One Life to Live, and several episodes of Law and Order and The Pretender.
- Maureen Silliman is longtime Broadway veteran whose New York credits include Shenandoah, I Remember Mama and Is There Life After High School. Off-Broadway works include The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Marathon Dancing, Three Postcards and Reckless. She also previously toured nationally in the productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Marigolds and The Gingerbread Lady, as well as numerous film and TV credits. Silliman’s previous work at Gulfshore Playhouse includes Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and My Fair Lady.
- Elizabeth Ramos’ Off-Broadway credits include Then They Forgot About the Rest, The Surgeon and her Daughters, The Idea of Me and others.
- Armando Acevedo recently appeared as Bill in Mamma Mia! at American Stage in the Park in St. Petersburg and as Amir in GableStage’s acclaimed production of Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer-winning Disgraced.
Evening shows begin at 8; matinees begin at 3 p.m. at the Norris Center, 755 8th Ave. S. in Naples. Show subscriptions are available and include priority seating, exclusive events and discounted pricing. Tickets start at $45; $25 for students. All tickets are $38 two hours before a performance. Preview performances on Jan. 9 and 10 are also $38. For purchase information, visit online at www.GulfshorePlayhouse.org or contact 239-261-PLAY (7529).
Free pre-show discussions take place Jan. 12, 15, 26 and 29 where Gulfshore Playhouse artistic staff lead conversations about themes and topics related to the production. Audience members can also stick around for post-show conversations on Jan. 16 and 19. The Script Club will meet on Jan. 14 for further in-depth discussion on the play.
Plans are currently underway for the new Gulfshore Playhouse Theatre and Education Center at Goodlette-Frank Road and First Avenue South, which will include two theatres and an education wing to support programming for children, adults and families.