San Diego theater companies have announced nearly 70 shows for their 2022 seasons, ranging from new plays and musicals to Shakespeare’s comedies and site-specific experiences. Here’s a look at 10 shows I can’t wait to see in the coming year.
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The Scripps Ranch Theater reopens with the San Diego premiere of this 2015 play about the unlikely relationship between an aggressive American woman in her 40s and a quiet Irish butcher in her 70s. It was written by British playwright Simon Stephens, author of Tony’s award-winning play “The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night”. January 14-30. 9783 Avenue des Nations, San Diego. scrippsranchheatre.org
“On his shoulders we stand”
Turnkey and TuYo Theaters collaborate on writer-director Patrice Amon’s immersive new play about Latinx women in WWII. The 40-minute play will be presented as a fully immersive, seven-room tour experience where members of the audience hear hidden stories from the community and collect mementos of their experience as it goes. February 11-26. Bread & Salt Gallery, 1955 Julian Ave., San Diego. tuyotheatre.org
“Mother of the maid”
Moxie Theater presents its very first play by Jane Anderson. This 2015 play tells the story of Joan of Arc from her mother’s perspective. As a mother herself, Moxie’s Executive Artistic Director Jennifer Eve Thorn said she was touched by Anderson’s description of the piece in an interview where she said, “When I was a girl gay growing up, i loved Joan of Arc. … But when I became a mother, I suddenly realized how difficult it must have been for my own mother to raise a strange and talented daughter. … It’s hard to be a Joan, but loving a child like Joan is a whole different thing. April 24 May 22. 6663 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego. moxietheatre.com
” Eighty six “
Diversionary Theater presents the world premiere of this musical by Jeremy J. King and Sam Salmond. Based on the novel by David B. Feinberg, it is the story of BJ Rosenthal, a gay man trying to keep the party going in 1986 in New York City as AIDS deaths skyrocket. When an ex-lover falls ill, BJ is forced to redefine his life. The show’s creative team includes director Kevin Newbury and Obie Award-winning choreographer Raja Feather Kelly. May 12-June 12. 4545 Park Blvd., San Diego. diversion.org
Broadway San Diego presents the first nationally touring production of this musical by Anaïs Mitchell, which won eight 2019 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It is a mixture of the two mythical tales of Orpheus and Eurydice and of King Hades and his wife, Persephone, in a post-apocalyptic setting. May 31-June 5. San Diego Civic Theater, 1100 Third Ave., San Diego. broadwaysd.com
North Coast Repertory presents the world premiere of this Sherlock Holmes-inspired mystery musical co-written by company artistic director David Ellenstein and Omri Schein, with lyrics by Schein and music by David Lincoln. Ellenstein said that Holmes-themed musicals and plays have been top sellers on the North Coast in the past. He calls this show a “crazy mystery” which is a bit like “My Fair Lady” meeting “The Producers”. July 20-August. 14. 987D Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. northcoastrep.org
Cygnet Theater presents the Southern California premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s 2019 family drama. Delicia Turner Sonnenberg would stage this play about two generations of black sisters, the first pair living in the early 1960s and the other sisters today. Cygnet Artistic Director Sean Murray said it was a powerful story about healing, generational challenges and ongoing conflict as the sisters find space to heal and move forward. May 19-June 19. 4040 Twiggs Street, Old Town San Diego. cygnetheatre.com
“Lempicka: a new musical”
La Jolla Playhouse presents this acclaimed 2018 musical by Carson Kreitzer and Matt Gould inspired by the story of charismatic Polish painter Tamara de Lempicka, who fled the Russian Revolution in 1917 and flourished in bohemian Paris with her paintings sensual. Then, when the Germans entered Paris in 1940, she fled again to Los Angeles. Tony winner Rachel Chavkin (“Hadestown”) performs. June July. 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. lajollaplayhouse.org
“What are we talking about when we talk about Ann Frank”
The Old Globe has commissioned this play by Nathan Englander which will be directed by Globe artistic director Barry Edelstein. The duo previously collaborated on Englander’s “The Twenty-Seventh Man”. It’s based on a short story about two old high school friends whose lives have dramatically diverged on topics of culture, religion, and family. Edelstein describes the play as both “very Jewish” and “fantastic, funny, daring and rather shocking”. 15 Sep-Oct 16. 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, San Diego. theoldglobe.org
“The last dream of Frida and Diego / El último sueño de Frida y Diego”
The San Diego Opera House will present the world premiere co-production of this Spanish-language opera that will explore the passionate relationship between Mexican painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The story takes place in 1957 during the Mexican holidays of Dia de los Muertos. It includes a score by Grammy-winning classical composer Gabriela Lena Frank and a book by Pulitzer-winning playwright Nilo Cruz. Opening October 27. San Diego Civic Theater, 1100 Third Ave., San Diego. sdopera.org