New Resident LORT House, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Opens With My Fair Lady and Big Plans for 2004-05

News   New Resident LORT House, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Opens With My Fair Lady and Big Plans for 2004-05 Florida has new resident Equity theatre, housed in what used to be the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater in Jupiter, Florida.

The Maltz Jupiter Theatre launched its first production, a small-cast My Fair Lady, March 13, in the renovated former dinner theatre. The multi-million-dollar auditorium facelift is part of an ambitious $10 million plan to create a new LORT theatre in the fertile South Florida theatre community.

A season of small-cast shows has been announced to follow its inaugural production, the regionally-popular lean version of My Fair Lady (it closed April 4 after an extension).

The company, run by Todd Alan Price, who serves as executive and artistic director, will partner with regional theatres and producers to bring the Jupiter stage to life, but will also produce its own work and invite concert and cabaret stars in on dark nights.

The Maltz Jupiter My Fair Lady was seen in a co production between Alliance Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. In the announced 2004-05 season, Maltz Jupiter Theatre will co-produce Anna in the Tropics with Seattle Repertory Theatre.

The 2004 season will include the musical revue, Golf: The Musical, this summer. Following that in the fall to-spring season are The Big Bang (a popular two person musical comedy); Neil Simon's musical, They're Playing Our Song (March 25-April 17, 2005); a revised version of the new comedy, Shooting Craps, by Tom Dulack, billed as Broadway-bound and directed by John Tillinger (Jan. 28-Feb. 20, 2005); and a stage version of Studs Terkel's The Good War, by David H. Bell and Craig Carnelia (Feb. 25-March 20, 2005). The Good War will have its world premiere May 12 at Northlight Theatre in Skokie, IL.

Golf: The Musical will be directed by that show's New York director, Christopher Scott, who will cast local Equity talent. The Off-Broadway musical was conceived by Eric Krebs and has songs by Michael Roberts; its Florida run will have local references added to the script. It plays July 6-Aug. 1. Tickets are now on sale for Golf.

Sharon Ott will direct Nilo Cruz's Pulitzer Prize-winner, Anna in the Tropics, Nov. 26-Dec. 19. The Big Bang follows Jan. 1-23, 2005.

Single tickets for the November season go on sale in the fall, but subscriptions are now being offered.

The first phase of renovation has been completed, allowing for the unveiling of a 550-seat, nonprofit regional theatre that has an League of Resident Theatres (LORT) Equity arrangement. Renovations between the old structure and the new included raising the roof 14 feet, adding stadium seating and updating sound and lighting systems, as well as sprucing up the lobby and adjacent areas.

A capital campaign is now underway toward realizing Phase II, which will include a new, two-story outer lobby, studio theatre, founders lounge, and Children's Theatre Institute.

The theatre was named after Palm Beach Gardens residents Milton and Tamar Maltz, who contributed $3 million to the theatre. About $7 million has been raised so far, with $2 million coming from Palm Beach County, executive director Price told Playbill On-Line.

Price, an entertainment lawyer who grew up in New Jersey and attended Broadway show since childhood, was associate producer at Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami 1995-97.

"The goal was simple," Price said. "To create a first class professional regional theatre, to make it a premiere regional thatre. This is obviously a great testing ground for new works, a very sophisticated audience."

The theatre will use local and national Equity actors.

For information, call (561) 575-2223 or visit www.jupitertheatre.org.

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Brent Barrett and Judy Kaye performed at a Feb. 29 gala for the theatre.

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