Theater Notebook: Tickets going on sale soon for Matthew Broderick-led play ‘Babbitt’ at La Jolla Playhouse

Matthew Broderick will star in "Babbitt" at La Jolla Playhouse this fall.
(Associated Press)

La Jolla Playhouse has announced that single tickets for its last two productions of 2023 — “Sumo” and “Babbitt” — will go on sale at noon July 26.

“Babbitt” tickets are likely to go especially fast, since the Joe DiPietro play will star Matthew Broderick. Below are synopses of both plays. Exact show dates have yet to be announced.

“Babbitt” — Making his first trip back to the Playhouse since the pre-Broadway tryout of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” in 1994, stage and screen star Broderick will star in DiPietro’s stage adaptation of this 1922 satiric novel by Sinclair Lewis. Broderick will play George F. Babbitt, a middle-aged real estate broker in the Midwest who becomes disillusioned with the conservative materialism of his middle-class life. Playhouse artistic director Christopher Ashley will direct. Ashley and playwright DiPietro last teamed up on the musical “Memphis,” which made its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in 2008 and went on to Broadway where it won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The show will run in November and December.

Lisa Sanaye Dring, the playwright of "Sumo," at La Jolla Playhouse in September 2023.
Lisa Sanaye Dring, the playwright of “Sumo,” which makes its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in September 2023.
(Courtesy of Stephanie Girard)

“Sumo” — First presented last year in the Playhouse’s 2021 DNA New Work Series, this play by Lisa Sanaye Dring tells the story of six men living, eating, playing and wrestling together at an elite sumo wrestling center in Tokyo. Ambitious young newcomer Akio butts heads with his fellow wrestlers, including Mitsuo, the highest-ranked fighter. The play will feature live taiko drumming. “Sumo” will be directed by Ralph B. Peña, artistic director of Ma-Yi Theater Company, an off-Broadway nonprofit dedicated to developing and producing new plays by Asian American writers. Ma-Yi is co-producer on the project which will run in September and October.

For tickets, visit

Leigh Scarritt
Leigh Scarritt will direct “Ride the Cyclone” for Trinity Theatre Co.
(Courtesy of Leigh Scarritt)

Trinity presents ‘Ride the Cyclone’

Trinity Theatre Co. has announced plans to present the San Diego premiere of “Ride the Cyclone, the Musical” July 21 through Aug. 12.

The musical by Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell is a comedy about six teens from a Canadian chamber choir whose lives are cut short in a freak accident aboard a roller coaster. When they awake in limbo, a mechanical fortune teller invites each to tell a story to win a prize like no other — the chance to return to life. The show continues Trinity’s 11th Grown Up Stage season under artistic director Sean Boyd, and it will be directed by San Diego’s Leigh Scarritt, who is an actor-singer and acclaimed youth vocal and acting coach.

“I remember meeting with director Leigh Scarritt to find a piece that resonated with both of us,” Boyd said, of the production. “While working in separate capacities, two separate teenage students approached each of us, asking if we had heard of ‘Ride the Cyclone.’ At the time, we hadn’t. But when we did read and listen to it, we both thought: we should do this. I’m glad we are. So far, the process has been an absolutely awesome ride, and the show will be rocking.”

The production will be presented at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center at 930 Tenth Ave. in East Village. Performances are at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at

Synthia L. Hardy in Oceaside Theatre Company's production of "Billie! Backstage with Lady Day."
(Courtesy of Ted Leib)

‘Billie’ returns to Oceanside

After producing a successful run of “Billie! Backstage with Lady Day” in 2022, Oceanside Theatre Company has announced it is bringing the show back to the the city’s Brooks Theater for an brief encore run July 28-30.

Playwright, actress and singer Synthia L. Hardy wrote and stars in this song-filled production that features Billie Holiday giving a candid backstage interview about her turbulent life to an unseen group of reporters in the first act. In the second act, Holiday gives a concert of her greatest hits, accompanied by a jazz quartet.

Performances are at 8 p.m. July 28 and 29, and at 2 p.m. July 30 at 2017 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside. Tickets are $20-$35. Call (760) 433-8900 or visit