Saturday, December 7

Players Circle Theatre opens inaugural season Dec. 3

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Players Circle Theatre, Lee County’s newest professional theatre, has announced its 2019 – 2020 inaugural season. The theatre’s home is at the Shell Factory and Nature Park, located at 16554 N. Cleveland Avenue in North Fort Myers.
The inaugural season is scheduled to kick off on Dec. 3 and will include five professional productions.
Opening the season will be an original world premiere, Ho!Ho!Ho! The Christmas Show, a delightful and rollicking musical comic revue written, conceived and directed by producing artistic director Robert Cacioppo.
The musical will run from Dec. 3 – 22 and features a cast of five, including musical director and arranger Knuckles Rosen and be choreographed by Cacioppo’s longtime collaborator, Arthur D’Allessio. Audience members will be invited to sing along to all the great Christmas songs, including “A White Christmas,” “The Christmas Song” (Chestnuts) and “The 12 Days of Christmas.”
Opening Jan.10 and running through Feb. 2, will be The Dining Room by A.R. Gurney. A comedy by the author of Sylvia and The Cocktail Hour, this brilliantly conceived and richly humorous theatrical tour-de-force is set in the dining room of a typical well-to-do household and includes a mosaic of scenes—some funny, some touching, some rueful—which, taken together, create an in-depth portrait of a vanishing species: the upper middle class WASP.
The Dining Room will feature Players Circle Theatre managing director Carrie Cacioppo, leading the cast of six. Director will be associate producer Bill Gregg. He has directed over 150 professional productions at such notable theatres as The Guthrie, Arena Stage, Geva Theatre Center and the Asolo Repertory Theatre.
Opening Feb. 15 and running through March 8 will be Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Directed by Robert Cacioppo, this Broadway hit comedy is homage to Neil Simon’s early days in show business, when he worked as a comedy writer for Sid Caesar’s “our Show of Shows. Simon’s alter ego, Lucas, is stuck in a room with the loosest comedy writers ever, based on Woody Allen, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Larry Gelbart (TV’s MASH and Tootsie) and others.
“Besides being incredibly funny, it’s a fascinating look at early TV, the red scare and a time when the greatest minds of comedy in the second half of the twentieth century were all in a room together,” says Cacioppo.
Opening March 20 and running through April 12 will be Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Simon Stephens. It is based on the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon. Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone has an extraordinary mind but is out of sync with the world. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out a la Sherlock Holmes to find the true suspect.
To close out the Players Circle’s inaugural season will be Miracle on South Division Street by Tom Dudzick, which opens April 24 and runs through May17. This miraculously funny and heartfelt play is about the Nowak family of Buffalo, NY, who have always known they were special, ever since the miraculous night in 1942 when the blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Grandpa in his barbershop. Starring Carrie Lund Cacioppo and directed by Robert Cacioppo, it’s a revival of a play they helped develop eight years ago when they did it locally.
“This is absolutely one of the funniest plays that Robert and I have ever had the pleasure of working on. We’ve been asked to revive it so many times. And Robert and I both know our audiences love a good comedy! So we’re giving it to them,“ said Carrie Cacioppo.
Tickets can be ordered by calling the Players Circle box office at 239-800-3292 or online at www.PlayersCircle.org.

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