Next Acts: Playhouse Announces ’23 Schedule

Westport Country Playhouse theater-goers have enjoyed one of the most entertaining, thought-provoking and exciting seasons ever. One more production remains: “From the Mississippi Delta,” next month.

But the creative team is already looking ahead to 2023. The 5-show season — the historic Playhouse’s 93rd — includes a musical, a thriller, a comedy and a classic.

The season — which returns to 3-week runs after a condensed 2-week schedule this year, and with more 7 p.m. curtains — opens April 11 with “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” The sassy song-and-dance tribute to jazz great Fats Waller won 5 Tony Awards in 1978.

Then comes a reimagining of “Dial ‘M’ for Murder,” with even more surprises and twists than in the legendary Alfred Hitchcock film of blackmail and revenge.

A world premiere modern translation and adaptation of “Antigone” follows. Especially resonant today, the drama explores the nature of power and resistance, as a determined young woman defies a tyrannical king.

The season concludes with “School Girls, or, The African Mean Girls Play.” It’s a comedy about the universal similarities — and glaring differences — faced by teenage girls around the globe.

A fifth production has not yet been finalized.

Ticket information will be available soon at the Playhouse website.

The historic curtain rises next spring, on the 2023 season.. (Photo/Robert Benson)

11 responses to “Next Acts: Playhouse Announces ’23 Schedule

  1. Dial M for Murder – one of the best by Hitch! That should be great.

  2. I went to the Playhouse the other week to see 4,000 Miles with a friend who got us tickets. I used to love going to the Playhouse every season and was looking forward to going back to the theater more regularly.

    However, I was disappointed that masks are still mandatory (2 1/2 years after the pandemic, 1 1/2 years after the vaccine rollout, etc.). I realize they say it’s because the actors union requires masking — well, the solution is to stop using unionized actors, like some other theaters have been doing. I had a hard time hearing the performers because all you could hear was the sound of people breathing through their masks. At one point the breathing sound got so loud it sounding like a bunch of people were sleeping, with the heavy breathing. It was the worst theater going experience I’ve had.

    I also didn’t appreciate hearing the woke statement at the beginning about how the Playhouse is on Native American Tribe land. No kidding, so is the rest of the country. If the Playhouse really cared deeply about stealing the land from the Native Americans, it would immediately turn over ownership of the property to an Indian tribe. But alas, it’s just woke virtue signaling.

    • John D McCarthy

      “…the solution is to stop using unionized actors”…….Happy Labor Day to you too.

    • Maureen, I have been to every show this Playhouse season. I have never once — in a theater, in schools when masks were required, or in any other situation, heard anyone having difficulty breathing through a mask.

      That’s not an argument I’ve heard from even the most passionate anti-vaxxer. You must have very sensitive hearing.

    • That is preposterous. Broadway and the Met Opera are still requiring masks and people have absolutely no problem with it.

      With two million Americans dead from COVID and two years of declining life expectancy in the US, it dismaying to see that folks like Maureen still have their priorities out of wack.

      Well, to paraphrase the COVID-deniers from the earlier days of the pandemic, Maureen can just hide in her basement, if she doesn’t want to wear a mask, while the rest of us go back to living our lives.

      • I wasn’t looking to get into a back-and-forth, but come on…

        First of all, the 2 million statistic you cited captures a large population of deaths before a vaccine came out. How about citing more recent stats? How many people died over the last week, or the last month, from COVID? Give me a break. (And life expectancy is down because of suicides and overdoses, not because of COVID.)

        You consider wearing a mask full time to be going back to living your life? When you go to a restaurant, are you able to eat while wearing a mask?

        Going back to living our lives is what life was like before the pandemic. There are now multiple vaccines and boosters…… if not now, then when will things go back to normal? What are people waiting for? COVID will never go away, it’s a virus like the common cold.

        Anyway, I’ve already gone back to living my life. I give patronage to businesses and other organizations that recognize that we can’t keep living in a bubble and need to move on with our lives. I’m vaxxed and boosted and enjoying life.

      • Bill Strittmatter

        Actually, masks have been optional in Broadway theaters since July 1, 2022. Either they are all using non-union actors (doubtful) or it’s not actually a union requirement (at least the NY local).

  3. Attending a play (while wearing a mask) isn’t “living in a bubble.” And while you may be “enjoying life” you are certainly going to plenty of trouble to complain about wearing a mask during the continuing pandemic.

    “It’s a virus, like the common cold”… that has killed two million Americans and reduced life expectancy in the US for a second consecutive year. At least pretend you care about that – and that it isn’t all about you not wanting to wear a mask. It’s selfish of you and shows a lack of regard for your fellow citizens and especially for the health workers who treat all of us.

    Neither the vaccine nor the booster is 100% effective and booster effectiveness wanes, which is why there will be new boosters that target the Omicron variants coming soon.

    As someone who recently got COVID despite being fully vaccinated and boosted, I am grateful to venues that put the health of the performers, crews, and audiences ahead the fatuous complaints of the few.

  4. To Maureen —
    1. I was fully vaccinated with all four shots and still got Covid. I am now living in Meadow Ridge in Redding, which put me in a two week quarantine. I consider it a minor inconvenience to prevent giving it to others.
    2. If the other attendees’ breathing prevents you from hearing the dialogue properly, you can borrow hearing aids at the front desk. You won’t miss a word, and they’re free!

  5. Masks are now “optional but encouraged” on Metro North trains:

    Broadway made masks “optional but encouraged” in July:

    The trending norm (health care facilities excluded) appears to be “let the individual decide.” An entertainment venue that chooses to require masks must accept the risk of reduced attendance by persons who prefer to patronize venues that allow the individual to decide.