Thursday, September 5, 2013

Catch great plays from the UK at Silverspot

Silverspot Cinema at Mercato will join the National Theatre of Great Britain in a series of broadcasts that will bring some of the the U.K's great plays to American audiences.

National Theatre Live is an initiative by Britain's National Theatre to broadcast live performances onto cinema screens around the world. The program began in 2009 and has since reached more than 1.7 million people around the world.

Encores to be presented this season will include: "The Audience," "Othello," "MacBeth," "Frankenstein," "Hamlet, "The Habit of Art" and "Coriolanus." Tickets to each are $30; that's probably cheaper than what you'd pay in the West End - and definitely cheaper than airfare to London.

Get the link to the full schedule here:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

FGCU 24-Hour Festival offers works for free at 8 p.m. Saturday

Florida Gulf Coast University's 7th Annual 24-Hour Festival will start at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6.

Works will be shown to the public (and judged) at 8 p.m. Saturday, September 7. Stage plays, films, visual or performance art will be shown in the TheatreLab located in the Arts Complex on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University. Admission is free.

For more information, go online to or

I'll be a judge at this year's festival, along with some other *intriguing* panelists. It would be worth your time to attend.

Get $6 off tickets for Lab Theater's "Amadeus"

The discount code for the Lab Theater's production of "Amadeus" is "SALIERI."

"Amadeus" runs at 8 p.m. Sept. 13-28, with one 2 p.m. matinée on Sunday, Sept. 22. Tickets are $12 for students and $20 for adults. Call (239) 218-0481 or purchase online here:

Let's Put On A Show launches Kickstarter

For-profit theater company Let's Put On A Show becomes the second local group to attempt to fund a show using Kickstarter.

Let's Put On A Show announced a Kickstarter ( to fund their production of Laura Lorusso's original work "Afterlife of the Rich and Famous" over Labor Day weekend. LPOAS, co-founded by Scott Lilly and Kevin Moriarty, seeks $1,500 to fund lights, costumes, props, publicity and facility rental.

Here's the video prepared by Let's Put On A Show:

Kickstarter is a great tool, although the platform definitely has some quirks, particularly with regard to rewards. If other theaters jump on board, I'd love to see how they adjust their rewards in order to gain funding.

Ghostbird Theatre Company, Britney Brady's experimental, not-for-profit troupe entering its sophomore season ensconced at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in Fort Myers, raised almost $3,000 from 42 backers in May via KickStarter.  The success nearly doubled the theater's goal.

Rewards are the backbone of Kickstarter. (Read my Ghostbird story for more in Kickstarter: Backers want something tangible, like a book, a shirt, a poster or a game. The most successful Kickstarter projects tap into that desire - finding things people didn't even know they wanted, like that "Veronica Mars" movie.

Others, like the Ghostbird one, offer unique rewards, like pieces of the set, a styling session or dinner with the cast.

In the future, theaters may offer many smaller rewards, like signed playbills, posters and thank-you cards. From a donor's perspective, it is much more realistic to give $5 or $10 than it is to hand over $100 or $200. Also, most Kickstarters have a reward level that's basically "face value for the item;" for amateur theatre it would likely be a pair of tickets for $25.

VIDEO: Florida Rep teases season 16

So, kudos to Jenn Blosser up at Florida Rep. She edited four minutes of video teasing Florida Rep's upcoming season. Please watch to the 2:34 mark for one of my favorite Crumpet the Elf photos from "The Santaland Diaries."

Producing artistic director Robert Cacioppo even drops a great line about one of the season's (hopefully) funniest shows, "Social Security," in the first minute: "A Broadway comedy where aging in-laws have never been funnier - as long as they're not your aging in-laws!"

Folks, this is how you do it. Capitalize on the face you put in front of audiences on your opening nights... How many lines from that speech do you recognize?

Check it out. Single tickets and subscriptions for all Florida Rep productions are on sale now. Call 239-332-4488 or online at

Broadway Palm welcomes 3,000,000 customer at "Burt & Me" performance

Anna Proto was Broadway Palm's 3,000,000th customer.
Broadway Palm welcomed their three-millionth customer Friday, surprising Anna Proto with a balloon drop, season tickets and other goodies. Congratulations!

There's still plenty of time to catch the current show, "Burt & Me," which has been getting raves from everyone who's seen it. Read my review here:

While Broadway Palm is a longtime institution in the community, I hope other theatres take the opportunity to celebrate these type of milestones, be it for the ten-thousandth customer or the millionth.

Anna Proto was Broadway Palm's 3,000,000th customer.
Congratulations to Broadway Palm! Onward to five million, and then to ten!

Enjoy these photos. Complete press release below. Thanks Melissa Vogt!

Anna Proto was Broadway Palm's 3,000,000th customer.


Broadway Palm is excited to announce that they have entertained their three-millionth customer! The theatre opened its doors in October of 1993 and annual attendance has grown to more than 170,000.

The owner, management team, staff members and customers in attendance greeted the three-millionth customer just before 5:30pm on Friday, August 30, 2013. Anna Proto was joining a group for the evening performance of Burt and Me and was surprised when she walked through the theatre doors with a balloon drop, champagne, a basket full of goodies and a season subscription for her and a guest Broadway Palm’s 21st Season.

Ms. Proto has attended many productions at Broadway Palm and has even been a season subscriber with the theatre, but this was her first time attending a production in over a year. When asked how she felt about being Broadway Palm’s three-millionth customer Anna said, “This is the best thing that has happened to me in quite a long time!”

In the last twenty years, Broadway Palm has been involved with hundreds of different productions including 152 main stage shows, 60 Off Broadway Palm Theatre productions, 55 children’s theatre shows and numerous specialty concerts.

To date, the Broadway Palm complex includes the main stage, the Playbill Bar, Art Gallery, Gift Shop, Café Cabaret, Art Café and Off Broadway Palm Theatre.  Prather Entertainment Group owns and operates both the Broadway Palm and the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster, PA.

Sondheim musical "Merrily We Roll Along" coming to movie theatres on Oct. 23

Tickets for the West End adaptation of Sondheim musical "Merrily We Roll Along" will go on sale Sept. 13.

The musical will be show in select theaters as part of CinemaLive, a partnership between West End Theatres, NCM Fathom Events, CinemaLive and Digital Theatre.

"Merrily We Roll Along" will be shown at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23. A list of participating theaters is not yet available. Hollywood 20, Bell Tower and Coconut Point usually show these features, but not always.

Check this website for details:

Complete press release below.

CinemaLive and Digital Theatre bring the acclaimed
West End production of
Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s
to cinemas worldwide

Broadcast across the United States


CinemaLive and Digital Theatre are today excited to announce Maria Friedman’s award-winning production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG as the first production to be distributed as part of the West End Theatre Series.

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG will be broadcast in cinemas across the United States for one night only on October 23, 2013.

Tickets in the US are on sale beginning September 13, 2013 at Fathom Events

For information and ticketing for venues around the world go to

In April, CinemaLive and Digital Theatre announced their partnership to distribute a series of acclaimed productions captured live in London’s West End to cinemas around the world. The West End Theatre Series marks the first time that productions from the West End’s leading commercial theatre producers are available in High Definition as a global cinema series.


MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG is the first production in the series to be distributed to American cinemas as part of a worldwide cinema event. Other countries taking part in the series include Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, Russia and Brazil.

With music and lyrics by renowned American composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth, MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG transferred to the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre following a sell-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory. The production received more five-star reviews than any other musical in West End history and won the 2012 Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical.

Starting in 1980 and travelling backwards in time, this powerful and moving story features some of Sondheim’s most beautiful songs including “Good Thing Going,” “Not a Day Goes by” and “Old Friends.” Triple Oliver Award-winner Maria Friedman makes a thrilling directorial debut with this vibrant, full-scale production with an exceptional cast led by Mark Umbers, Jenna Russell and Damian Humbley.

Stephen Sondheim was recently awarded one of the top honours in the arts world: the Edward MacDowell Medal for lifetime achievement. He has won an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, six Olivier Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, an Oliver Special Award and the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

Sondheim said: “This production of MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG is not only the best I've seen, but one of those rare instances where casting, direction and show come together in perfect combination, resulting in the classic ideal of the sum being greater than the parts.”

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG has been awarded five star reviews by the Independent, Daily Telegraph, The Times, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Express, WhatsOnStage, The Public Reviews, Metro, Guardian and the Independent on Sunday.

“It is, make no mistake, one of the great musical productions of this or any era.”

“Hugely witty, tunefully inventive and brightly entertaining.”

“Stunningly performed.”

“Musical theatre at its most sophisticated.”

“It’s impossible not to be moved.”
- METRO *****

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG was produced in the West End by Chocolate Factory Productions, Neal Street Productions, Sonia Friedman Productions, Bob Bartner & Norman Tulchin, Debbie Bisno, Scott M. Delman, Just for Laughs Theatricals, Tanya Link.


CinemaLive is one of the world’s leading producers and distributors of premium Event Cinema for cinemas and big screen venues worldwide. Its parent company, The Shooting Star Picture Company, has been producing high quality concerts and events for over 20 years and has a reputation for quality and global excellence. With offices in the UK and Australia, the CinemaLive subsidiary has quickly become one of the fastest growing theatrical distributors since establishing in 2008. It delivers the very best music, cultural and family entertainment via satellite and hard drive to over 70 countries around the world.


Digital Theatre works in partnership with Britain's leading theatre companies to capture live performance authentically onscreen from multiple camera angles and makes productions available to a worldwide audience in high definition. Visit

Recent Digital Theatre releases include the 2011 Olivier Award-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. The Public Theater later transferred the production to New York’s Central Park in the summer of 2012.

Other productions include: the Almeida Theatre’s production of King Lear starring Jonathan Pryce, Long Day’s Journey into Night starring David Suchet and Laurie Metcalf, Much Ado About Nothing starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, Royal Shakespeare Company productions of The Comedy of Errors and As You Like It, the multi award-winning A Doll’s House starring Hattie Morahan for the Young Vic, the West End revival of Jonathan Harvey’s seminal Beautiful Thing and Frantic Assembly and Abi Morgan’s Lovesong.