“Jersey Boys”, Spongebob, Carole King, Green Day in the Erie Playhouse lineup

A Tony Award-winning musical about a boy band, a Pulitzer Prize-winning 1936 wacky comedy, plus Carole King and SpongeBob – the Erie Playhouse’s recently announced 2023 season features variety and premieres for theater lovers.

Next year’s lineup also includes a drama examining themes such as Reagan-era politics, homosexuality and the AIDS epidemic; a musical about inspiring women who overcame social, economic, and racial barriers to make waves across United States history; and a concert featuring the music of Green Day.

In an announcement streamed live on Playhouse’s Facebook page, executive director Kate Neubert-Lechner said it will be “a very exciting year on the Playhouse stage” and “almost an entire season of premieres.”

“Every musical or play on our list, except one, has never been performed on our stage before,” Neubert-Lechner said. This exception is “You cannot take it with you”.

Here is what awaits us:

Main Stage Shows

“Jersey Boys”

When: Jan. 20, 21, 27-29 and Feb. 2-5

“Jersey Boys,” which won a Tony for Best Musical, is the international phenom of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, New Jersey’s iconic foursome, Playhouse reports. Told in a documentary-style format, the musical features hits such as “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like a Man”, “Rag Doll” and “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)”.

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“You can’t take it with you”

When: March 17, 18, 24-26, 30, 31 and April 1, 2

When the one normal person in a quirky family announces that she’s fallen in love with her boss’ son, her goofy relatives eagerly await her arrival to pick her up for a date. But she fears her Wall Street-type family will never accept her family. The overarching message of the Pulitzer-winning show is to pursue what you love and don’t worry about money.

“The SpongeBob SquarePants Musical”

When: August 4, 5, 11-13, 17-20

"The musical SpongeBob SquarePants," adapted from the Nickelodeon animated television series "Sponge Bob SquarePants," featured here, will be performed at the Erie Playhouse in 2023.

Adapted from Nickelodeon’s animated TV series “SpongeBob Squarepants,” this upbeat musical with neon-colored sets has a tiered story for kids and adults, according to the Playhouse. The theater show also features original songs from Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Sara Bareilles, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Plain White T’s and more.

“Magnificent: The Carole King Musical”

When: Sept. 15, 16, 22-24, 23-30 and Oct. 1

“Beautiful” tells the inspiring true story of King, from her early days as a Brooklyn teenager struggling to break into the recording business to her years as a chart-topping music legend, according to the Playhouse. The jukebox musical features pop classics including “You’ve Got a Friend,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” and “The Locomotion.”

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“Angels in America Parts 1 & 2”

When: Oct. 20-22, Oct. 27-29 and Nov. 2-5

“Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes” is a two-part play by Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright Tony Kushner featuring dialogue that offers a complex examination of themes including Reagan-era politics, homosexuality, the spread of the AIDS epidemic and a rapidly changing social and political climate. Both parts – “Millennium Approaches” and “Perestroika” – will be presented in performance, playing different days of the week, officials said.

holiday show

Details, including dates, of what the Playhouse website calls “an all-new show for Erie” have yet to be revealed.

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Theater performances

“She Persisted: The Musical”

When: February 17-29, 24-26; school matinees, February 22-24

“She Persisted” is based on Chelsea Clinton’s bestselling children’s book, “She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World.” The musical’s story centers on a fourth-grade student whose school trip to a women’s history museum turns into an adventure through time where she meets inspiring women, including Harriet Tubman, Virginia. Apgar, Ruby Bridges, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Sonia Sotomayor and Nellie Bly – who overcame social, economic and racial barriers to make waves throughout United States history.

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Spring musical for children

When: May 12-14, 19-21

Details of this show have yet to be announced.

“Fall into the classics”

When: 17-19 Nov; school matinees, 16-17 Nov.

The Playhouse website describes this as a fun and educational exploration into the world of William Shakespeare, delving into the language and stories that set the stage for many contemporary stories told today to produce a student-led adaptation of the one of his works.


Green Day performs during the Formula One United States Grand Prix on October 21, 2022 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin.  The Erie Playhouse will present a concert version of

“Green Day’s American Idiot”

When: June 23-26

This concert version of “Green Day’s American Idiot” will feature all the high-octane energy from the full production, according to the Playhouse. The musical uses songs from the Grammy-winning punk band’s groundbreaking concept album “American Idiot” to tell the story of three disgruntled men struggling to find meaning in a post-9/11 world.

Tickets for the Playhouse’s 2023 season were not yet on sale. For more information, call 814-454-2852 or visit erieplayhouse.org/2023-season-announcement.

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