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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Coronado Playhouse Announces 76th Season

Coronado Playhouse proudly announces its 2022 Season of six fully-staged productions, three of which are San Diego premieres, and two cabaret shows. For the 2022 Season, the Playhouse welcomes five returning and three debuting directors, bringing theatregoers a wide variety of musicals, plays, including a modern take on classical theatre, to entertain and enlighten young and old alike. Also in the works for next summer is a brand-new festival of staged readings by BIPOC playwrights.

The oldest arts organization in Coronado, Coronado Playhouse stands proudly among the best in the Community Theatre world of San Diego and constantly strives for excellence in their productions. They diligently strive to select diverse creative and production teams that will deliver smart and enlightening productions to CPH audiences.

Season ticket renewals for existing season ticket holders are available starting August 23. New subscriptions are available October 11. Single tickets are available to the general public November 22. Please contact the box office for best availability.

The SpongeBob Musical

  • Based on the series by Stephen Hillenburg Book by Kyle Jarrow
  • Musical Production Conceived by Tina Landau
  • Original Songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady A, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, T.I.
  • And Songs by David Bowie, Tom Kenny & Andy Paley
  • Additional Lyrics by Jonathan Coulton / Additional Music by Tom Kitt
  • Nickelodeon, SpongeBob SquarePants, and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.
  • Adapted from the iconic Nickelodeon series! SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, Squidward and all of Bikini Bottom face total annihilation—until a most unexpected hero rises to take center stage.

San Diego Premiere of Broadway’s Award-Winning Hit!
January 14 – February 20, 2022
Thursday-Saturday @ 7pm, Sunday @ 2pm
Directed by Teri Ang, returning CPH director

The stakes are higher than ever in this dynamic stage musical, as SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Chaos erupts. Lives hang in the balance. And just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage. The power of optimism really can save the world!

Since its launch in 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has reigned as the number one kids’ animated series on TV, while generating a universe of beloved characters, theatrical releases, consumer products, and now a Tony award-winning Broadway musical.

The SpongeBob Musical was named Best Musical by the Drama Desk Awards and Outer Critics Circle and earned 12 Tony Award nominations – the most nominated musical of the 2017-2018 theatre season.

While children will delight in recognizing their favorite characters, the musical’s creative team took care to infuse the show with elements specifically targeting adults, including the eclectic musical score. The SpongeBob Musical boasts a rare collection of original tunes written by a slew of today’s top music stars, including John Legend, Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Panic at the Disco and more.

Murder on the Orient Express

  • By Agatha Christie. Adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig

San Diego Premiere of the Classic Whodunnit!
March 18 – April 16, 2022
Thursday-Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 2pm
No performance Easter Sunday 4/17
Directed by Tyler Richards Hewes, returning CPH director

Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, the passengers rely on the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot to identify the murderer – before he or she decides to strike again. Everyone is a suspect in this celebrated mystery crime drama.

Ken Ludwig’s clever adaptation of the Agatha Christie classic boasts all the glamour, intrigue and suspense of Dame Agatha’s celebrated novel, with a healthy dose of humor to quicken the pace.

Ken Ludwig has had six shows on Broadway, seven in London’s West End, and many of his works have become a standard part of the American repertoire. His 28 plays and musicals have been performed in over 30 countries in more than 20 languages and are produced throughout the United States every night of the year.

Dame Agatha Christie, known as the best-selling novelist of all time, is recognized for her contributions to literature as well as to the theatre. Agatha Christie’s 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections have sold over 2 billion copies and ranks third in the world of most-widely published books, behind Shakespeare and the Bible. In 1954, she became the first female playwright to have three plays running simultaneously in London’s West End. The Mousetrap is Christie’s longest running play, having first opened in November 1952 and still runs to this day in London’s West End.


  • The Fats Waller Musical Show
  • Conceived by Richard Maltby, Jr. and Murray Horwitz

The Joint is Jumpin’
May 20 – June 19, 2022
Thursday-Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 2pm
Directed by Spencer John Powell, debuting CPH director

Assembled under the expert eye of acclaimed director/lyricist, Richard Maltby, Jr., Ain’t Misbehavin’ is one of the most popular, well-crafted revues of all time and winner of the 1978 Tony Award for Best Musical.

The inimitable Thomas “Fats” Waller rose to international fame during the Golden Age of the Cotton Club and that jumpin’ new beat, swing music. Although not quite a biography, Ain’t Misbehavin’ evokes the delightful humor and infectious energy of this American original as a versatile cast struts, strums and sings the songs that he made famous in a career that ranged from uptown clubs to downtown Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood and concert stages in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

The intoxicating music of Fats Waller will delight and energize audiences as well as provide great insight into a vibrant time in American history and music.


  • Edited and adapted by James Saba from The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare
  • Musical arrangements by Steve Gunderson

San Diego Premiere!
26th Annual FREE Classic Series
Made possible by a grant from the City of Coronado
July 15 – August 7, 2022
Thursday-Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 2pm
Directed by James Saba, debuting CPH director

Two Gentlemen Rock Verona follows the misadventures of two best friends, Valentine and Proteus set in the Rockin’ and Rollin’ 1950s. Valentine is about to leave his small town for a life in the big city, while Proteus chooses to stay behind to woo the lovely Julia. Proteus’ father has other plans for him, however, and instructs him to follow Valentine to pursue his education. When Proteus arrives, he gets one look at the Duke’s daughter, Sylvia, and immediately forgets Julia back home. The problem is that Sylvia is his best friend’s girl; and Julia won’t be dumped that easily! Mix in some bandits, an incensed father and a disguise (of course) and it’s friend versus friend in a madcap tale of romantic rivals.

Set to the soundtrack of the wild and wacky 1950s, the play deals with the themes of friendship, passion and infidelity, and the scandals that occur when fools fall in love.

Writer and director James Saba brings the show to Coronado Playhouse as part of the FREE Classic Series. Saba and Steve Gunderson, who provides musical arrangements, are fixtures in the San Diego theatre community and beyond.

James Saba, a native San Diegan, is Executive Director of San Diego Junior Theatre. As a freelance director, he has worked at Webster University, Diversionary Theatre, North Coast Repertory Theatre, and was Craig Noel’s assistant on four productions at the Old Globe Theatre. Saba also has a long history as an actor in regional theatre and on many local stages.

Steve Gunderson is an actor, singer, composer, arranger, and playwright. Born in San Diego, he studied in London and spent 15 years in New York before settling back on the West Coast. Gunderson co-wrote, starred in, and was the musical arranger for Off Broadway’s Suds, which has gone on to have scores of productions worldwide and was produced at CPH in 2013.

This production is based on William Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona. The exact composition date of Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona is unknown, but it is generally believed to have been one of Shakespeare’s earliest works, if not his first play.


  • Book by Doug Wright
  • Lyrics by Amanda Green
  • Music by Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green

A New Musical. Made in America.
September 2 – October 9, 2022
Thursday-Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 2pm
Directed by Teri Brown, returning CPH director
Music Direction by Jim Tompkins MacLaine

For 10 hard-luck Texans, a new lease on life is so close they can touch it. Under a scorching sun for days on end, armed with nothing but hope, humor and ambition, contestants fight to keep at least one hand on a brand-new truck in order to win it. In the hilarious, hard-fought contest, only one winner can drive away with the American Dream. Inspired by the true events of the acclaimed 1997 documentary which was adapted into a musical commissioned by La Jolla Playhouse.

Hands on a Hardbody received three Tony Award nominations, nine Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Musical, and won in the Outstanding Sound Design category. The musical also received three Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical.


  • Book by John August
  • Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa

Dream, Love, Live Bigger.
November 4 – December 11, 2022
Thursday-Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 2pm
No performance on Thanksgiving 11/24
Directed by Hunter Brown, debuting CPH director

Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, Big Fish tells the story of Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman who lives life to its fullest…and then some! Edward’s incredible, larger-than-life stories thrill everyone around him—most of all, his devoted wife Sandra. But their son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales.

The story shifts between two timelines. In the present-day real world, sixty-year-old Edward Bloom faces his mortality while his son prepares to become a father himself. In the storybook past, Edward ages from a teenager, encountering a Witch, a Giant, a Mermaid, and the love of his life, Sandra. The stories meet as Will discovers the secret his father never revealed.

Overflowing with heart and humor, Big Fish is an extraordinary musical that reminds us why we love going to the theatre—for an experience that’s richer, funnier and bigger than life itself.

Special Events:


Coronado Playhouse Cabaret Series
One Weekend Only!
October 14 – October 16, 2022
Friday & Saturday @ 7pm, Sunday @ 2pm
Directed by Thomas Haine, returning CPH director

Coronado Playhouse is bringing our patrons a love letter in the form of a very special cabaret: Love Songs from Berlin to Dylan.

The nearly two dozen songs include solos, duets and group numbers sung by 12 performers, including old and new faces. This diverse group will help the Playhouse express our gratitude to our patrons for their support and will highlight popular productions from our 76-year history.

Existing audiences know that CPH cabarets are favorites among our patrons. This feel-good show will sell out during this one weekend run.


Coronado Playhouse Cabaret Series
One Weekend Only!
December 16 – December 18
Friday & Saturday @ 7pm, Sunday @ 2pm
Directed by Desha Crownover, returning CPH director

Celebrate the close of Coronado Playhouse’s 2022 season with this year-end Holiday Cabaret. Existing audiences know that CPH cabarets are favorites among our patrons. And this holiday-themed, feel-good show will sell out during this one weekend run.

Join us as we mark the Holidays with songs that will warm your heart, including old favorites and some fun sing-a-longs. This talented group of musicians and performers will help the Playhouse ring in the holidays as we enjoy the close of our 76th season.

Coronado Playhouse is a qualified 501(c) 3 non-profit organization as San Diego County’s longest continuously run community theatre.