Best Bets: Theater

Through the Looking Glass at Maltz Jupiter Theatre.

It is a widely varied and provocative theater season coming up throughout South Florida, with plenty of promise (it’s the execution that can trip up a company, especially during these shoe-string budgetary times). Here are 15 shows you just shouldn’t miss.

“Through the Looking Glass,” at Maltz Jupiter Theatre,  Oct. 12: Eye-popping sets, pop music score and the magic of puppetry centered around the charms of 14-year-old Hobe Sound starlet Emily Rynasko as Alice in Wonderland. The show was written and composed by local John Mercurio.

“Venus in Fur,” at GableStage in Coral Gables, Nov. 10-Dec. 9: A sexy and suspenseful comedy with plenty of sizzle.

“Show Boat,” at Stage Door Theatre in Coral Springs, Dec. 7-31: If you haven’t heard Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein’s score, then you really, really should. Really.


Pictures: Miami Heat fans at the season opener

“Forbidden Broadway 30th Anniversary,” at Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, Jan. 4-5: This tour roasts 30 Great White Way hits spoofing the look, sound and hype of Tony-worthy musicals.

“Agatha Christie’s The BBC Murders,” at Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale, Jan. 15-Feb. 3: Radio plays rescued from obscurity in London by theatrical impresario Zev Buffman will get a lush staging for the first time since World War II.

“All New People,” at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, Jan. 20-27: You may remember Zach Braff from TV’s “Scrubs,” but maybe you don’t know that he wrote and starred in this dark and seriously warped comedy, which is being produced locally by Zoetic Stage.

“The Whole Caboodle,” at The Studio at Mizner Park, Boca Raton, Feb. 2-24: What do Stephen Sondheim, Abe Lincoln, munchkins and ambivalent lesbians all have in common? They’re all in South Florida playwright Michael McKeever’s collection of short plays.

“Animals out of Paper,” at Mosaic Theatre, Plantation, Feb. 6-March 17. Two plays by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph to look forward to here.

“Looped,” Feb. 26-March 3 at Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale. You had us at Valerie Harper as Tallulah Bankhead; but then you add a script by Fort Lauderdale playwright Matthew Lombardo and we are sooooo there.

“Lungs,” March 15-April 14 at The Theatre at Arts Garage, Delray Beach. A just-secured-the-rights addition to the season, local theater powerhouse Lou Tyrrell is bringing Duncan MacMillan’s acclaimed work to SoFlo.

“Jekyll & Hyde,” March 26-31, 2013, at Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach. We just can’t wait to see what “American Idol’s” Constantine Maroulis and R&B star Deborah Cox do with this.

“Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” April 2-7, 2013 at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts  in Miami. Produced by Bette Midler and starring discofied drag queens…what else do you really need to know?

“Waafrika,” at Empire Stage, Fort Lauderdale, May 2-25, 2013: This story about the persecution of the LGBTQ population in Kenya will be produced by Thinking Cap Theatre, which has some other fascinating plans for the season.

“War Horse,” at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, May 7-19, 2013. A major coup for SoFlo and the “get” of the season.

“The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,” at Andrews Living Arts Studio, Fort Lauderdale, May 23-27, 2013.  All you need to know is that this one-woman show was written by Jane Wagner and performed by Lily Tomlin for years.