Tuesday, October 23, 2012

UPDATED at 5 p.m.: Sarasota professional theater company moving to Bradenton area

UPDATED: Golden Apple Theatre group relocates from Sarasota to Bradenton area 

PLATO, which produced shows at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre in downtown Sarasota before being evicted last month, will start staging shows in Nov. at the Ramada on Tamiami Trail in Manatee County. HERALD FILE PHOTO.

Two months after being evicted from its home in downtown Sarasota, the organization behind the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre has a stage in the Bradenton area.

The Professional Learning and Theatrical Organization (PLATO) 
informed the Bradenton Herald today that it has a new performing partner, the Ramada Waterfront at 7150 N. Tamiami Trail in Manatee County.

"PLATO is emerging as a powerful creative force in our community and is excited to bring professional theater to Manatee County,"  said Kyle Ennis Turoff, president and artistic director of PLATO, in a statement. "We strive to provide top notch entertainment and education which will enhance our lives and families! Please support our efforts and entertain yourself this upcoming season with a great show and an even greater cause!"

While Manatee County is home to the community theater troupes the Manatee Players and the Anna Maria Island Players, PLATO will be Manatee's only professional company. In March, PLATO received Internal Revenue Service approval to form as a non-profit organization and operate the Golden Apple. A seasoned director/producer, Kyle Ennis Turoff is the daughter of former Broadway actress Roberta MacDonald and husband Robert Turoff, the couple who opened the Golden Apple in 1971.

Performances will take place in The Ramada's Harborside Ballroom, which has been transformed into a 150-seat theater. PLATO's first show in the new space is Alan Jacobson's "Waist Watchers: The Musical." A comedy directed by Kyle Ennis Turoff about four women and their love/hate relationships with food, dieting and exercise. "Waist Watchers" will run from Nov. 15 – Jan. 6. Tickets are $35 and refreshments with a full bar will be available for purchase.

Other performances at the Ramada include PLATO's Magic Box Theatre inaugural presentation, which will be "Rumpelstiltskin" by Beth Duda and Adam Ratner. Directed by Jared Walker, this modern twist on a classic tale will be performed twice on Saturdays Nov. 17-Dec. 8. At each performance there will be a joke contest so children are encouraged to bring their favorite joke to share. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Two shows on Saturdays: 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. All tickets are $10.

PLATO’S education program ByKids4Kids will celebrate each day of the holiday season in "The 12 Days of Christmas" with a special appearance by Santa Claus at each show. This children’s performing group, directed by Jared Walker and Eric Berkel, has performances 7 p.m. Dec. 11-12 and 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Dec. 15. Tickets are $8 for children and $10 for adults. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

Finally, PLATO introduces its team of multi-talented seniors the PLATO Platinum Players performing their original show "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." Shows are 2 p.m. Dec. 15 as well as 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 16. Directed and choreographed by Walker, Eric Berkel and Helen Holliday, tickets are $15 and refreshments will be available for purchase.

All tickets can be purchased by calling 941-363-1727 or visiting www.platoarts.org.

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