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Florida Keys Stages Come Alive with Community Theater Performances

The 2022 performing arts season in the Florida Keys & Key West offers audiences lively musicals, comedies, dramas and first-class community theater. Here are some upcoming highlights.
FLORIDA KEYS - The 2022 performing arts season in the Florida Keys & Key West offers audiences lively musicals, comedies, dramas and first-class community theater. Here are some upcoming highlights.

Since 1978 The Key Players group has provided live community theater in the Upper Keys. The next production, "The Great American Trailer Park Musical," is to run March 3-6 and 10-12. The musical characters are developed around Armadillo Acres, a come-as-you-are trailer park brimming with spirited personalities. Performances are staged at the Murray E. Nelson Government & Cultural Center at 102050 Overseas Highway. Visit thekeyplayers.org or call 305-942-4339.

Started as a small community group in 1944, the Marathon Community Theatre at 5101 Overseas Highway has grown to perform many shows with a talented group of local residents.

February productions include "Sunset Village," a rollicking comedy set in Florida's most notorious retirement community, running select dates Feb. 3-12. Set for March 24 through April 16 is "The Outsider," a timely and hilarious comedy that skewers politics and celebrates democracy. From May 12-28, "Unnecessary Farce" presents a Who's Who of comedic confusion in a cheap motel room setting populated by crooks and cops. Visit marathontheater.org or call 305-743-0994.

Originally built as a carriage house in the 1800s, the building that is home to Key West's Red Barn Theatre at 319 Duval St., rear, has hosted modern-era performances since 1981. All curtains are at 8 p.m.

This season's standouts include "Quarantine for Two," a humorous take on the trials and tribulations of pandemic quarantine, running Feb. 15 through March 12; and "Hurricane Diane," an unconventional new comedy set for March 22 through April 16. Finally, "How to Eat Like a Child and Other Lessons in Not Being a Grownup" is to be staged with a talented young cast April 29 through May 1. Visit redbarntheatre.com or call 305-296-9911.

Entertaining audiences for over 80 years at its 310 Wall St. location beside Key West's renowned Mallory Square, the Waterfront Playhouse presents the comedy whodunit "Clue" live on stage Feb. 16 through March 5.

A one-night-only showcase of Tennessee Williams' "This Property is Condemned" March 13 is to be followed by the Bottom Brothers attempting to write the world's first musical in "Something Rotten! A Very New Musical," March 22 through April 16. Springtime performances include "Trunk Material 3: A Broadway Musical Revue" (April 3), an ode to acting in "A Life in the Theatre" (May 4-21), and Ernest Hemingway's 1938 play set in besieged Madrid, "The Fifth Column" (May 8). Visit waterfrontplayhouse.org or call 305-294-5015.

Dedicated to presenting distinctive offerings that enrich, educate and entertain, Fringe Theater Key West is to stage its series of upcoming performances at the Armory, 600 White St.

In early February, Fringe presents playwright August Wilson's "How I Learned What I Learned," a heartfelt theatrical memoir of Wilson's days as a struggling young poet. The play is scheduled to run Feb. 8-12. The spring roster includes "Looped," based on a 1965 recording session with intoxicated actress Tallulah Bankhead (March 15-26), and a celebratory "Conch Republic the Musical!" set for April 21-24. Visit fringetheater.org or call 305-731-0581.

Located on the Key West campus of the College of the Florida Keys at 5901 College Road, the Tennessee Williams Theatre presents exciting musical and theatrical entertainment. Winter/spring standouts include "An American in Paris, A New Musical" (Feb. 5); the precarious maneuvers, precision tumbling, juggling and gymnastics of the Peking Acrobats (March 1); and Neil Berg's "50 Years of Rock n' Roll, Part II," featuring a cast of stars from Broadway's top rock musicals (March 11). Visit twstages.com or call 305-295-7676.

Situated at 512 Eaton St. is the Key West Theater, an all-around performing arts center that presents original plays, musicals, films, concerts and more. Key West Burlesque is to present "Honky Tonk Heartbreak: A Classic Country-and-Western Burlesque Revue" (Feb. 18). Upcoming live comedic offerings include shows by Tom Papa (Feb. 11), Jim Breuer (March 1), Kevin Nealon (March 13) and Nick Swardson (April 3). Visit thekeywesttheater.com or call 305-985-0433.

Comedy Key West is devoted entirely to local and visiting standup comedians, many of whom appear on television's Comedy Central and live stages nationwide. A full slate of acts is scheduled at 218 Whitehead St., Unit 5.

February highlights include Jackie and Kevin Flynn's flavor of sarcastic observational humor in their "Brothers from Another Mother Comedy Tour" (Feb. 10-12); a special two-night event with renowned April Macie (Feb. 15-16); and New York City regulars Joe List and Sarah Tollemache (Feb. 24-26). March shows kick off with Jimmy Schubert (March 3-5), whose resume includes appearances on "The King of Queens" and "Entourage." View a monthly performance calendar at comedykeywest.com.

The Studios of Key West, located at 533 Eaton St., uses the arts to build friendships and supports the advancement of the Keys' creative spirits. In addition to studio space, lectures, workshops and artist residencies, offerings include scheduled performances at the Helmerich Theater. Among those planned are "The Pleasing Recollection, A Cabaret Opera," to premiere April 1-2 and explore a young man's musical adventures in 1970s Manhattan. In May, "The Pickpocket's Daughter" promises audiences a first-class thriller with lots of laughs (May 18-21, 25-28). For more special events visit tskw.org.

When planning to attend any of the shows outlined here, please note that COVID protocols are to be observed for everyone's safety. Check with individual venues as to what COVID-compliant protocols are in place such as seating and capacity limits.

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