Key West’s Waterfront Playhouse in Mallory Square is no Broadway – it seats just 150 people and is closed in the summer months, but for those needing a break from pub crawls and chaos it makes an enjoyable night out. For such a small city, the talent pool that performs at the Playhouse continues to impress locals and visitors alike. The non-for-profit organization is a theater group of professionals whose history goes back more than 70 years. Spelling Bee by the Key West Players — Photo courtesy of Waterfront Playhouse
In 1940, a group of locals and navy personal joined forces to create impromptu productions in any space they could use, including a naval ship. Twenty years later, the Key West Players had a created home base in what was once an 1880s storage building for Key West’s sponge industry (and later a warehouse for ice shipped from New England) and the Waterfront Playhouse was born. Today, the Key West Players remain the oldest continuing theater group in the state of Florida.
The group showcases comedies, dramas, musicals, classics, family shows, and new productions. Recent performances include “Twelve Angry Men,” “Reefer Madness,” and “The Full Monty.”
Just behind the Waterfront Playhouse is the infamous Mallory Square Sunset Celebration, so be sure to watch the outdoor “performance” before taking in a show at the air-conditioned theater. Playhouse tickets can be purchased online or at the theater’s box office.
As they say at the Waterfront Playhouse, “when the sun sets the curtain rises.”