Friday, February 8, 2013

Manatee Players go big for 2013-14 season at Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton

The Manatee Performing Arts Center is in the final stages of construction, preparing for its opening in March and the Manatee Players' new 2013-14 season. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald

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The Manatee Players' first full season in the multimillion dollar Manatee Performing Arts Center, scheduled to be ready for the March 28 opening of "Miss Saigon," promises to impress with an eclectic lineup featuring several large productions that wouldn't have been possible in the troupe's current Riverfront Theatre.

The 2013-14 season includes eight major musicals in its main Stone Hall and six shows in the smaller Bradenton Kiwanis Studio Theater.

The Stone Hall highlights are a trio of Broadway hits, all premieres for the Bradenton community theater company. These start with Mel Brooks' comedy "Young Frankenstein" followed by the family-friendly crowd pleaser "Shrek: The Musical" and the Gershwin showcase "My One and Only."

"We're trying to reach out to a younger audience without alienating our true patrons," said Rick Kerby, the Manatee Players' producing artistic director. "We tried hard to get new, just-released titles in the mix."

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