Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

A Mix of Old and New

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

A Mix of Old and New

Article excerpt

The Players Theatre will be looking for a lot of "Applause" next season with a lineup of one play and six musicals representing old favorites and a couple of Sarasota debuts.In an effort to rebuild audiences that have dipped slightly in number this season, artistic director Jeffery Kin has created a season that mixes familiarity with a little something different.The familiar titles include "Annie" and the Mary Chase comedy "Harvey" and the Players' first production of the enduring "Nunsense."But there are some more offbeat options that include the short-lived Broadway musical "Side Show," about a pair of conjoined twins who perform in carnival side shows, and "Violet," a small, off-Broadway musical about a young girl injured in an accident and the people she meets on a bus ride to be healed by an evangelist."It's an amazing story but the show just never took off," Kin said.The Players also will be the first area theater to stage a production of the recent Broadway musical "9 to 5," which features a score by Dolly Parton wrapped into the story of three office secretaries getting some revenge against a sexist boss.The season opens with "Applause," a Tony-winning Broadway hit based on the film "All About Eve," about a young actress trying to push aside the older star for whom she works. The musical, not seen in Sarasota since a Golden Apple Dinner Theatre production in the late 1980s, features a music by Charles Strouse and a book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green."We're trying to find a balance between great warhorses and some things that don't have the same great name recognition," Kin said.He acknowledged that the first half of the current season has not sold to expectations, which he and managing director Michelle Pingle attribute in part to the economy."It's impossible to know what's going to spark people's attention and what isn't," he said. …

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