San Diego

From Shakespeare to Steve Martin: A Look at San Diego's Theater Scene in 2017

San Diego has some of the country's best theater, and this year will be no exception.

San Diego has some of the country's best theater, and this year will be no exception. From an adaptation of a popular Disney movie to a classic Shakespeare play to a Steve Martin comedy, there's plenty to see (and love!) in America's Finest City this year. 

Here's a look ahead at what San Diego theater fans can mark on their calendars for 2017... 

January: Freaky Friday the Musical
La Jolla Playhouse

The West Coast premiere of "Freaky Friday", based on the hit Disney movie, is first up for local theater you can't miss. With a book by Bridget Carpenter ("Parenthood", "Friday Night Lights") and music by Tom Kitt ("Next to Normal", "If/Then") and lyrics by Brian Yorkey ("Next to Normal", "If/Then"), recipients of multiple Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize, the show promises to be a delightful and polished production. It runs from Jan. 31 to March 12. You can buy tickets here

February to March: Picasso at the Lapin Agile
The Old Globe (Balboa Park)
Don't miss the third piece in comedian and playwright Steve Martin's collaboration with San Diego's iconic Old Globe theater. The play, written by Martin and directed by Barry Edelstein, opens on The Lapin Agile in Paris 1904, where struggling artists (Pablo Picasso, for one) and one-day geniuses (picture: young Albert Einstein) come together for an extraordinary, witty night. Get your tickets to this early: like his other productions, it will likely sell out soon. The show runs from Feb. 4 to March 12. 

May to June: Escape to Margaritaville
La Jolla Playhouse 
Fans of Jimmy Buffet (and really anyone looking for a fun time) won't want to miss this world premiere musical, already slated to make its way to the Great White Way. "Escape to Margaritaville" features a score packed with some Buffet's most iconic and fun songs, including "Margaritaville" and "Come Monday", in addition to original songs written by Jimmy Buffett. The plot follows a part-time bartender and part-time singer who falls for a beautiful tourist who makes him question the life he thought he had figured out. The show will run from May 9 to June 25 - before it make a few stops across the U.S. and heads to Broadway

June to July: San Diego Fringe Festival
Various locations across Downtown San Diego
Some of San Diego's most experimental and inventive theater steps onto the stage this summer. Artists from around the world will join local artists to perform a variety of theater, as well as buskers/street performers, cabaret, comedy, poetry, music and more. The festival runs from June 22 to July 2. 

July: Book of Mormon on Tour Returns to San Diego
Broadway San Diego, San Diego Civic Theater

Anyone who has seen this show will tell you: you can't miss "Book of Mormon." The hilarious musical comedy - called "the best musical of this century" by the New York Times - is written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Frozen composer Bobby Lopez. The show follows mismatched missionaries sent to Uganda to spread the word of God. Regardless of whether or not you saw it the first time around - it's worth seeing again, and again (and then listening to the soundtrack again and again). The show runs from July 25 to 30. 

July to August: Ken Ludwig's Robin Hood!
The Old Globe (Balboa Park)
See the timeless story of hero Robin Hood in a new light: on stage, in this brand-new, Globe-commissioned play by Ken Ledwig. Ludwig, a playwright whose works have appeared on Broadway and London's West End ("Crazy For You", "Lend Me a Tenor", "An American in Paris", and more), comes back to The Globe for this world premiere comedy. Ludwig most recently premiered "Baskerville" at the Globe, bringing Sherlock Holmes to San Diego. The piece promises thrills, romance, laughter and more. It will run from July 22 to Aug. 27, and tickets are not on sale yet. 

August to September: Shakespeare's Hamlet
The Old Globe (Balboa Park), the Lowell Davies Festival Theater
One of the greatest plays ever written comes to San Diego this fall! The iconic Shakespeare play will be staged at The Old Globe, directed by Barry Edelstein. Even if you have not read "Hamlet", you'll still recognize the famous lines, including: "To be or not to be, that is the question." The riveting drama will be performed on the Globe's outdoor stage. Tickets are not on sale yet, but the production will run from Aug. 6 to Sept. 10. 

September: Lin-Manuel Miranda's In The Heights
Moonlight Stage Productions, Moonlight Amphitheatre

North County's Moonlight Productions has a number of fantastic shows lined up for their 2017 season - including "Aida", "The Little Mermaid" and "Sunset Boulevard" -but in the fall, the theater is putting on Lin-Manuel Miranda's "In The Heights". The Broadway hit, from the creator of "Hamilton", tells the unique stories of residents in the vibrant New York City neighborhood, Washington Heights. The Tony Winning show's book was written by Quiara Alegria Judes, who co-penned the La Jolla Playhouse world premiere show "Miss You Like Hell." Don't miss this wonderful musical, playing Sept. 13 to Sept. 30. 

September to October: Billy Elliot
Spreckels Theatre

This regional production of Billy Elliot is a special treat for San Diego audiences: it features a unique collaboration between The California Ballet Company and San Diego Musical Theater. The Broadway musical, with music by Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall, follows one boy's journey to follow his dreams to dance amid challenging times. Tickets are not yet available, but the show will run from Sept. 22 to Oct. 8. 

October: Without Walls Festival
La Jolla Playhouse, Locations Across San Diego
A weekend of immersivetheatre, dance and music returns to San Diego this fall with La Jolla Playhouse's Without Walls Festival. The festival includes anywhere from 15 to 20 pieces of theater by local art organizations performed across the weekend at the theater or in unique places across San Diego, like the backseat or a car or a eucalyptus grove. It's a weekend of original, barrier-defying theater. Exact dates have yet to be announced and tickets are not on sale yet. Learn more by clicking here

November: Untitled Donna Summer Musical
La Jolla Playhouse
The Queen of Disco makes her debut at The La Jolla Playhouse late this fall. The original musical, untitled as of now, will chart the life of Donna Summer - the voice of a generation. The score will feature more than 20 of Summer's classic hits and electric dance songs. The musical will be directed by Des McAnuff, who worked on the Broadway hit "Jersey Boys" (another La Jolla Playhouse original). 

Bonus: Hamilton on Tour Stops in San Diego
Broadway San Diego, San Diego Civic Theater

The national tour for the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton" is coming to San Diego...but here's the catch: we don't know exactly when just yet. The tour is scheduled to stop at the Civic Theater during its 2017-2018 season, but the full season schedule has yet to be announced. This means the tour could stop here this year, or in 2018. Keep a watchful eye on the Civic Theater's website for details. 

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