Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Sneak a peek at what's in store for local theater in 2015

Several major musicals and a play about Frank Rizzo are on the bill next year.

The new year kicks off with the Philly debut of "Motown: The Musical" on Jan. 6 at Academy of Music.
The new year kicks off with the Philly debut of "Motown: The Musical" on Jan. 6 at Academy of Music.Read more

SO WE HAVEN'T yet sung "Auld Lang Syne." That doesn't mean we can't do a little future-gazing to check out what lies in store for the local theater scene in 2015:

'Motown the Musical'

The new year launches on a high note as the touring version of the Broadway smash boogaloos into town as part of the Kimmel Center's "Broadway Philadelphia" series.

The "jukebox" musical surveys the classic pop 'n' soul from the Detroit-based home of such megastars as Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson, the Supremes, the Four Tops and the Temptations. (Jan. 6-18)

Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6- 8, 13-15, 8 p.m. Jan 9 and 16, 2 and 8 p.m. Jan. 10 and 17, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Jan. 11 and 18, $20-$130.50, 215-893-1999,

'Doubt: A Parable'

Lantern Theater Company stages this version of John Patrick Shanley's meditation on moral certitude and ambiguity in the human condition. It's about a priest (played by local stalwart Ben Dibble) who may or may not be a pedophile. (Jan. 15-Feb. 15)

St. Stephen's Theater, 10th and Ludlow streets, show times vary, $22-$56, 215-829-0395,

'Always . . . Patsy Cline'

Celebration of country music's first lady is told from the perspective of Louise Seger, who befriended Cline before she became a superstar. (Jan. 27-Feb. 22)

Bristol Riverside Theatre, 120 Radcliffe St., Bristol, show times vary, $25-$45, 215-785-6664,

'Mothers and Sons'

Philadelphia Theatre Company presents Terrence McNally's drama (which had its pre-Broadway, world premiere at New Hope's Bucks County Playhouse) about grief, family and coping in an ever-changing world. (Feb. 6-March 8)

Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad and Lombard streets, show times vary, $46-$73, 215-985-0420,

'The Miracle Worker'

Jennie Eisenhower, great-granddaughter of Dwight Eisenhower and granddaughter of Richard Nixon stars as Annie Sullivan, who was Helen Keller's tutor, in this drama about Keller's early struggles with her multiple disabilities. (Jan. 28-Feb. 18)

Media Theatre, 104 E. State St., Media, show times vary, $42 (discounts available), 610-891-0100,


Great news for fans of the 1970s musical based on the Depression-era comic strip, "Little Orphan Annie," who are apt to be disappointed (if not P.O.'d) by Jay-Z's big-screen, hip-hop remake. The sun will come out tomorrow indeed! (March 17-22)

Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets, 7:30 p.m. March 17-19, 8 p.m. March 20, 2 and 8 p.m. March 21, 1 and 6:30 p.m. March 22, $20-$105.50, 215-893-1999,

'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'

Edward Albee's drama about a married couple is unpleasant but riveting. (April 16-May 17)

Theatre Exile, 1340 S. 13th St., show times vary, $10-$50, 215-218-4022,

'To the Moon'

1812 Productions' doyenne Jen Childs penned this comedy (starring Scott Greer) about "a Ralph Kramden who longs to be a Jackie Gleason." (April 16-May 17)

Plays and Players, 1714 Delancey Pl., show times vary, $26-$40, 215-592-9560,

'In the Mood'

A 13-piece ensemble powers this nostalgic look at the pop music of the Big Band Era featuring songs made famous by Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey. (May 5-10)

Bucks County Playhouse, 70 S. Main St., New Hope, 7:30 p.m. May 5, 2 and 7:30 p.m. May 6 and 9, 2 p.m. May 7 and 8, 1 and 5:30 p.m. May 10, 215-862-2121,

'Kinky Boots'

Yet another blockbuster based on a film, this multiple Tony winner about an unlikely alliance between a struggling shoe manufacturer and an over-the-top drag performer features a book by Broadway titan Harvey Fierstein and a score by Cyndi Lauper. (April 28-May 10)

Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets, 7:30 p.m. April 28 and May 5, April 29 and May 6, April 30 and May 7, 2 and 8 p.m. May 1 and May 8, 1 and 6:30 p.m. May 2 and 9, ticket prices TBA, 215-893-1999,


The Tony-winning musical is set in the early days of rock 'n' roll and boasts a score by Bon Jovi keyboardist, David Bryan. (May 12-July 12)

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., show times vary, $20-$75, 800-736-1420,


Stephen Sondheim musical (with a book by his longtime collaborator James Lapine) is based on the film "Passion de Amore" and focuses on love and obsession in 19th-century Italy. (May 21-June 28)

Arden Theatre, 40 N. 2nd St., show times vary, $36-$50 (discounts available), 215-922-1122,

One last thing

Of course, September will see the annual Fringe Festival which grows bigger and more important by the year.

And there is one other production we are avidly awaiting, but which to date has not been officially booked: "The Rizzo Project," being created by Theatre Exile and based on the 1990s bio of "the Cisco Kid" by former Inquirer reporter (and current ESPN NFL guru), Sal Paolantonio.