There are many small theater companies and small theaters in South Florida (thank god!), but one of the companies that has impressed me is the Slow Burn Theatre Company. Two seasons ago their production of Titanic and this season’s production of Jekyll and Hyde were both Broadway Quality productions that left me astounded. Therefore, I thought it appropriate in our Broadway Across South Florida edition to spotlight this very talented theater company. 

Slow Burn was born in August, 2009 by director-choreographer Patrick Fitzwater and actor Matthew Korinko. They noticed a theatrical void in South Florida and made the commitment to do what they could to fill it. Their goal was to produce contemporary, challenging, modern musicals that few, if any, theaters would attempt. 

They opened their first show, Bat Boy: The Musical in February of 2010 in West Boca Community High School’s auditorium. In the Fall of 2015, with the Southeastern Premier of Big Fish, they began a partnership with the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale and produce their mainstage titles in the 580-seat Amaturo Theater. Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, which closed their 2018-2019 season was 49th musical Slow Burn Theatre has produced. 

As they look forward to our 10th anniversary this coming year, there’s no denying that they’ve grown well beyond their expectations receiving the 2018 Carbonell Award for Best Musical for their production of Memphis. Since they became eligible for the Carbonell Awards in 2014, Slow Burn Theatre has received 9 Carbonell Awards and a whopping 73 nominations.

I asked Patrick Fitzwater, the Artistic Director of Slow Burn, these two questions:

Going into your 10th year, how has Slow Burn progressed in comparison to your original goals?

 It has exceeded our wildest expectations. When we had initially started the company we were only expecting to do a couple shows a season of small cast under represented musicals. To be in residence at the Broward Center is not anything we would have ever expected. South Florida audiences have catapulted into a major producing theater and helped us dream bigger than we ever thought possible.

What does the future hold for Slow Burn Theatre Company? 

Growth. This season we are becoming an Equity theater joining the union of Regional theaters who hire professional actors.  This such a huge step in our development to continue to grow and be able to sustain the quality entertainment South Florida audiences have come to love. We also are looking at new creative ways to give back to the community that offers us so much support.

Here is a list of the lineup for Slow Burn for the 2019/20 season (all showing at the Amaturo Theater) which is co-presented by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and sponsored by JetBlue:

Shrek The Musical

Friday, October 25-Sunday, November 10

Tickets are $49-$65

Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation motion picture and the book by William Steig, Tony Award-winning Shrek The Musical features all new songs from Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie; Caroline, or Change) and a hilarious book by David Lindsay-Abaire. It’s happily from start to ever-after for audiences in this funny fairy tale world of adventure and romance when an ogre and his sidekick donkey set off to rescue a temperamental princess from her tower. Throw in a short-tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits and you’ve got an irreverent production that’s fun for the whole family. This production is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

A Christmas Story, The Musical

Tickets are $49-$65

a special holiday offering, Slow Burn Theatre stages A Christmas Story, The Musical, from the songwriting team behind the Tony Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen and the Academy Award-winning film La La Land (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul) with a book by Joseph Robinette. A boy’s Christmas present dream of an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle is challenged by his nightmare life of humiliating pink bunny pajamas, demented department store Santas, gaudy leg lamps and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole. The musical is based on the motion picture A Christmas Story distributed by Warner Bros., which was written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark upon In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash written by Jean Shepherd. The production is produced with permission of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures and Dalfie Entertainment.

Groundhog Day The Musical

Friday, January 31-Sunday, February 16

Tickets are $49-$65

Slow Burn Theatre presents the comedic Karma that is Groundhog Day The Musical, 2017’s Olivier Award Winner for Best Musical on London’s West End. A jaded metropolitan weatherman is stuck on assignment in rural Pennsylvania for the annual groundhog sighting only to discover there is no way out and he is stuck there reliving the same day again and again. Always ready with a one-liner or clever quip about the all-too cheery people of Punxsutawney, he is about to discover during this extraordinary day that maybe the joke is on him. Groundhog Day The Musical features a book by original co-screenwriter Dan Rubin and music and lyrics by Tony Award-winner Tim Minchin (Matilda the Musical) and is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).


Friday, March 20-Sunday, April 5

Tickets are $49-$65

Written by the award-winning composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Once on This Island, Seussical and Lucky Stiff) and noted playwright Terrence McNally, and based on E.L. Doctorow’s distinguished novel, Ragtime is the winner of Tony Awards for Best Score, Book and Orchestrations. Ragtime weaves an American tapestry of historical and fictitious characters that tracks three families in New York at the start of the 20th Century. The lives of wealthy men and women, immigrants, African Americans, jazz musicians, union organizers and early movie makers intertwine as they pursue life, love and often-illusive justice. This production is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

Footloose the Musical

Friday, June 5-Sunday, June 21

Tickets are $49-$65

For its summer show, Slow Burn Theatre invites audiences to “kick off their Sunday shoes” with Footloose the Musical featuring the hit song from the best-selling film soundtrack. When a big city boy tries to adjust to high school life after moving to a small town, he faces a few missteps after the daughter of a reverend, who just happens to have banned dancing, falls for him and the locals decide to trip him up. This throwback to teen romance, angst and, of course, the desire to dance celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people and guiding them with a warm heart and an open mind. Footloose the Musical has music by Tom Snow and lyrics by Dean Pitchford with additional music by Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins and Jim Steinman. The stage adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie is based on the original screenplay by Dean Pitchford. 

For more information on Slow Burn or to purchase tickets, please go to: or call them at (954) 323-7884. In addition, you can purchase tickets at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts AutoNation Box Office (201 SW Fifth Avenue Fort Lauderdale) or by calling 954-462-0222.