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Volume 15, Issue 22  | March 17, 2023Subscribe

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Laguna Playhouse announces its 2023-2024 season of shows!

Laguna Playhouse is excited to announce its 2023-2024 season of shows. This sensational season begins with the musical smash hit 2 Pianos, 4 Hands; followed by the legendary classic play turned iconic film, The Rainmaker, then the Playhouse presents a delightful new screwball comedy, The Angel Next Door. Next, they head to Harlem to celebrate the extraordinary music of Fats Waller with the Tony Award-winning musical, Ain’t Misbehavin’; then experience the power and resilience of the human spirit with the moving family drama, A Shayna Maidel; followed by a wonderful production of Moliere’s classic Tartuffe. They complete their season with one of the great whodunit mysteries of our time, Holmes And Watson. 

A “something for everyone” season of shows all at your Laguna Playhouse. According to Interim Artistic Director David Ellenstein, “This is truly an exceptional season of plays and musicals as we head into our second century.  Our subscribers and audiences are going to be moved, inspired, thrilled, engaged and mesmerized by the seven theatrical events we have planned for them over the coming year!”

Laguna playhouse Holmes and Watson

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Photos courtesy of the Playhouse

“2 Pianos, 4 Hands” runs from July 5-23

“A rare jewel of real entertainment, 2 Pianos 4 Hands, written by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, not only hits all the right notes, but tickles the ivories and your funny bone too!” –The Daily Mail. 2 Pianos, 4 Hands runs from July 5-23, with a press opening July 9 at 5:30 p.m. 

Get ready for an interlude of laughter and music as two men, or “four hands,” take you on a journey about their would-be careers as concert pianists. The talented duo trade stories about piano lessons, pushy parents and eccentric teachers while playing everything from Bach to Billy Joel. 

Laguna playhouse Holmes and Watson

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“The Rainmaker” runs from September 20 through October 8 

Written by N. Richard Nash, The Rainmaker opens on September 20 with the press opening September 24 at 5:30 p.m.

 “After nearly half a century, The Rainmaker still makes a handsomely staged case for miracles.” –Los Angeles Times 

A classic tale of Americana, set against the backdrop of a western drought, The Rainmaker brings lonely souls together as they traverse the struggles of finding who they truly are and how they fit into the world. Laced with humor and charm, The Rainmaker still resonates today with poignancy, hope and courage. A firm part of the canon of 20th century dramatic literature, revisiting this story will prove to be a satisfying and uplifting theatrical experience encouraging audiences to believe in the unbelievable. 

Laguna playhouse Holmes and Watson

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“The Angel Next Door” runs from October 15 through November 5 

         The Playhouse introduces a brand-new play – The Angel Next Door.

It will run from October 18 through November 5 (Press Opening is October 22 at 5:30 p.m.) Written by Paul Slade Smith, it was adapted from Play at the Castle by Ferenc Molnar. 

Capturing the sheer joy, sophistication, and wit of 1940s screwball comedies, playwright Paul Slade Smith (The Outsider, Unnecessary Farce) has brilliantly adapted Ferenc Molnar’s classic farce, Play at the Castle. The cast of characters in The Angel Next Door grapple with romance, misunderstandings, and comical situations which have the potential of major disasters and riotous laughter. Transferring directly from North Coast Repertory Theatre after its World Premiere, The Angel Next Door abounds with sharp, fast-paced dialogue that delivers non-stop mirth. 

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Laguna playhouse Holmes and Watson

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“Ain’t Misbehavin’” runs from January 24 through Feb 11, 2024

One never knows, do one? Ain’t Misbehavin’ continues through February 11, 2024 (Press Opening is January 28 at 5:30 p.m.) 

Ain’t Misbehavin’ was written by Murray Horwitz & Richard Maltby Jr. with music and lyrics by Fats Waller. It’s 1930s Harlem and the joint is jumpin’. Nightclubs like the Cotton Club and the Savoy Ballroom are the playgrounds of high society, and dive bars on Lenox Avenue pulse with piano players banging out new tunes that are a wild mix of raucous, rowdy and mournful. Featuring the intoxicating music of Thomas “Fats” Waller – the big-hearted, bigger-than-life impresario and international jazz pianist who helped create and define American swing, Ain’t Misbehavin’ is a roof-raising musical tribute to the era. Delight in such favorites as “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” and dozens more. Get your tickets early, because this stellar show, winner of both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards, will sell out quickly. You’ll be tapping your feet to an evening of unforgettable, raunchy and humorous songs.

Laguna playhouse Holmes and Watson

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“A Shayna Maidel” opens on March 13, 2024 

 …a tribute to the sustaining power of family and to man’s indomitability.” –The New York Times

A Shayna Maidel, written by Barbara LeBow, runs through March 31, 2024.  (Press Opening is March 17 at 5:30 p.m.) 

Transcending grief and rekindling hope, A Shayna Maidel tells one family’s story of survival and resiliency following the Holocaust. Separated for almost 20 years, two sisters are reunited in America after World War II. Through flashbacks and fantasies, the patchwork tale of a life now shattered is painted in haunting detail. A piece originally from their canceled 2020 line-up, A Shayna Maidel’s touching story is the perfect addition to this extraordinary season.

Laguna playhouse Holmes and Watson

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“Tartuffe” runs from April 17-May 5, 2024

Tartuffe, written by Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (Molière), was called “…an astonishingly delightful romp!” –NY Post. It runs from April 17-May 5, 2024 (Press Opening is April 21 at 5:30 p.m.)

Moliere’s Tartuffe, acknowledged as one of most enduring comedic masterpieces in the theatrical canon, is given an astonishingly clever translation by two-time Pulitzer Prize poet Richard Wilbur. The charlatan Tartuffe worms his way into a wealthy family causing disruption and pandemonium. With wicked precision and brilliantly rhyming verses, this highly satiric comedy skewers religious hypocrisy, duplicity, lust, and self-inflicted chaos. Lovers of classic theatre and ingenious wordplay will not want to miss this inventively entertaining evening. Transferring to the Laguna Playhouse from North Coast Repertory Theatre, this exciting take on a classic is not to be missed.

Laguna playhouse Holmes and Watson

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“Holmes and Watson” runs from May 29-June 16, 2024

 New York Newsday called Holmes and Watson “…a rollicking evening of grace and fun.” Written by Jeffrey Hatcher, it runs May 29-June 16, 2024. (Press Opening is June 2 at 5:30 p.m.)

Prepare yourself for a fast-paced, thrilling, suspenseful story that will keep you guessing until its final moments. Sherlock Holmes is dead. Or so it is assumed. The world knows the great detective went over the falls at Reichenbach with his nemesis Professor Moriarty. When a telegram arrives informing Watson of three men, each claiming to be Holmes, it’s left up to him to discover if one of the mad men is the real Sherlock Holmes. 

 “A truly smashing play full of twists and turns,” Holmes and Watson stands as a very worthwhile addition to the Sherlock Holmes canon, sure to excite even the most astute mystery buff!” according to

 Season subscriptions will go on sale Tuesday, March 21. Seven-Play Season Tickets range from $250-$350 and can be purchased online at, or by calling 949.497.ARTS (2787). Single tickets go on sale Monday, May 15, 2023.                                                                                                                 

The box office is open Tuesdays through Sundays: 12-4 p.m.; Mondays, open two hours prior to show time and until 15 minutes after curtain. Open until showtime on all performance days.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

Shaena Stabler, President & CEO -

Lana Johnson, Editor -

Tom Johnson, Publisher -

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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