The top 12 most anticipated San Diego theater productions of 2023

The cast of "Six: The Musical" perform at the 75th annual Tony Awards in June in New York.
The cast of “Six: The Musical” perform at the 75th annual Tony Awards in June in New York. The musical’s first national tour arrives in San Diego in June 2023.
(Charles Sykes / Associated Press)

World premiere plays and musicals, works by several San Diego playwrights and composers and more will arrive on local stages in the coming year


From world premieres to classics, plays to musicals, large productions to small, San Diego theater and opera companies will bring a fascinating variety of productions to local stages in 2023. Here are the 12 shows that I’m most looking forward to seeing in the coming year.


‘Ripped’ — Loud Fridge Theatre Group

Loud Fridge Theatre Group's creative team
Loud Fridge Theatre Group’s creative team, founder John W. Wells III, front right, Kate Rose Reynolds, front left, William “BJ” Robinson, back left, and Eboni Muse, back right.
(Courtesy of Loud Fridge Theatre Group)

Loud Fridge will open the year with the regional premiere of this drama by San Diego playwright Rachel Bublitz. “Ripped” explores the topics of sexual assault on college campuses, the definition of consent and how consent can shift from moment to moment. Jan. 21-Feb. 5


‘The Ferryman’ — New Village Arts

In an era of belt-tightening and small-cast shows, Carlsbad’s New Village Arts will reopen its newly renamed Dea Hurston New Village Arts Center with the international regional theater premiere of Jez Butterworth’s 2019 Tony Award-winning play about a farming family living through the “troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1981. The production will feature a cast of 21 actors. Jan. 27-March 5


“Birds of North America” — Moxie Theatre

Written by Anna Ouyang Moench, a writer for the wildly imaginative Apple TV+ series “Severance,” this play is about a father and daughter whose passion for bird-watching in their family’s suburban backyard over nine autumns brings up issues about aging, politics and climate change. Lisa Berger will direct. Feb. 6-March 5


‘Sunday in the Park with George’ — CCAE Theatricals

Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim
Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim co-wrote “Sunday in the Park with George,” which will be presented in February by CCAE Theatricals in Escondido.
(Associated Press)

Winner of the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this masterpiece by the late, great composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim and bookwriter James Lapine is the story of French post-impressionist painter Georges Seurat’s struggles as he creates his famous piece: “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” Feb. 17 -March 5


‘The Outsiders’ — La Jolla Playhouse

The American folk duo Jamestown Revival
The American folk duo Jamestown Revival will co-write the score for La Jolla Playhouse’s world premiere musical “The Outsiders.”
(Jackie Lee)

This world premiere musical will be based on S.E. Hinton’s beloved 1967 coming-of-age novel about two rival teen boy gangs fighting over turf in 1960s Oklahoma. It will feature a book by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rappand a score by Jamestown Revival, an American folk duo composed of Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance, and Tony winner Justin Levine . Feb. 19-March 19


‘Monsters of the American Cinema’ — Diversionary Theatre

San Diego playwright Christian St. Croix, wearing a cap and red plaid shirt
Award-winning San Diego playwright, Christian St. Croix’s “Monsters of the American Cinema” will be presented in 2023 at Diversionary Theatre.
(Photo by Christian St. Croix)

Written by queer Black San Diego playwright Christian St. Croix, this new play is the story of Remy, a widowed Black man, and his late husband’s straight White teen son, who are trying to build a relationship around their shared love for classic horror films that they screen at the family’s drive-in cinema.March 6-16


‘The Music Lesson’ — Teatro Máscara Mágica

Teatro Máscara Mágica will present a workshop production of this play by Jósefina Lopez (“Real Women Have Curves)” about a school music teacher and her multicultural students. March 9-19


‘The XIXth (The Nineteenth)’ — The Old Globe

U.S. Olympic athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos make a black power salute in 1968 in Mexico City.
U.S. track athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos make a political statement during the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Their silent protest is the subject of an upcoming play at the Old Globe in San Diego.
( Associated Press)

This world premiere play by Kemp Powers will chronicle the famed Black Power raised-fist protests by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympic Games. Powers wrote the beautifully nuanced and touching script for Disney-Pixar’s animated film “Soul”. March 17-April 23


‘Ghosts’: ‘Eden,’ ‘Dormir’ and ‘House’ — San Diego Opera

San Diego Opera presents the world premiere of San Diego composer Nicolas Reveles' "Ghosts" in April 2023.
(Seth Mayer)

San Diego Opera will present the world premiere of three horror-inspired one-act operas by San Diego composer Nicolas Reveles as part of its popular Detour Series of nontraditional works. April 14 , 15 and 16.


‘Six: The Musical’ — Broadway San Diego

One of Broadway’s biggest hits of the 2021-22 season and the Tony winner for Best Original Score, this hilarious concert-style musical imagines the six wives of Henry VIII competing for audience votes as a Spice Girls-style pop sextet. National touring production at the San Diego Civic Theatre. June 27-July 9


‘Underground’ — Coronado Playhouse and Blindspot Collective

This immersive world premiere musical comedy is being written by local theater artists Amy Cordileone, Donnie Tuel and Rachel Tuggle Whorton. It will be based entirely on on the discography of musician Ben Folds and will tell the stories of the interior lives of regular customers at a pub. July 7-July 23


‘The Little Fellow (Or — The Queen of Tarts Tells All)’ — Cygnet Theatre

Playwright Kate Hamill, right and her husband Jason O'Connell.
Playwright Kate Hamill, right and her husband Jason O’Connell will star in Hamill’s world premiere play “The Little Fellow” at Cygnet Theatre in 2023.
(Jemal Countess / Getty Images)

Cygnet opens its 19th season with the world premiere of this new play by Kate Hamill. Hamill will co-star with her real-life husband, actor Jason O’Connell, in the risqué comedy drama based on the memoirs of real-life 19th-century British courtesan Harriette Wilson. Sept. 28-Oct. 23