Westchester Broadway Theatre Celebrates 40th Anniversary Today

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Westchester Broadway Theatre Celebrates 40th Anniversary Today

Today, July 9, 2014 Westchester Broadway Theatre will celebrate its 40th Anniversary. The Theatre has a history of 184 main-stage productions and nearly a thousand Monday/Tuesday special events and concerts. WBT's objective with this world-class venue is to always provide its audiences, which come from far and wide, with the highest production values and most memorable entertainment and dining experiences.

On July 9, 1974, with their first production, Kiss Me Kate, Bill Stutler and Bob Funking pioneered the Dinner Theatre concept in Westchester by designing, building and opening An Evening Dinner Theatre, serving dinner and lunch. A culmination of what many considered to be two of the most risky business types, a restaurant and a theatre, Bill and Bob pushed the envelope to develop what has become the longest running year-round professional equity theatre in the state of New York."

An Evening Dinner Theatre boasted many strengths over other area theatres of the time such as a unique seating arrangement (every table faced the stage - there were no 'bad' seats), a 3/4 thrust stage, as well as the casting of Broadway performers at auditions and the hiring the creative staff (Directors, Choreographers, Musical Directors, Set, Costume and Lighting Designers) in New York City. An inevitable alternative to traveling into the city to see a Broadway show where the parking is free, dinner is included, the talent is top-notch, and you were sure to have a truly memorable experience.

In 1991, Bill and Bob moved the theatre to a new location not far from the original. A larger performance space, state-of-the-art technology, increased seating capacity, and many other features were among the positive aspects of this change. The theatre was also given a new name. Gone was An Evening Dinner Theatre. The days of the Westchester Broadway Theatre (WBT) had begun. The musical, A Chorus Line was the first performance at the new theatre.

In 2004, Bill and Bob were inducted into the Westchester County Business Hall of Fame. They have produced more shows than most Broadway producers!

At the time of this writing, Mary Poppins will fly onto the main stage as the 184th production to have graced the stages of An Evening and WBT, not including many special events and concerts featuring performers such as Jackie Mason, Tom Jones, George Carlin, Paul Anka, Wayne Newton and Harry Belafonte.

WBT, as we know it today, is a cultural mainstay of the tri-state area. It is the only theatre of its kind in Westchester, where Broadway performers, directors and designers gather to create this level of Musical Theatre. With the continued support of our audiences, we pledge to continue to present the best in theatre and dining!

About MARY POPPINS:

Westchester Broadway Theatre presents Disney's and Cameron Mackintosh's MARY POPPINS, A Musical based on the stories of P. L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film. Featuring Original Music & Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, Book by Julian Fellowes, New Songs and Additional Music and Lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Co-Created by Cameron Mackintosh and directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford with musical direction by Leo Carusone. The show runs May 8 - July 27, 2014, starring Lauren Blackman as Mary Poppins and Leo Ash Evans as Bert.

The cherished 1964 Disney film has been re-imagined into a spectacular new musical. The show has been created, in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh, by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator, Julian Fellowes. It delighted Broadway audiences for over 2,500 performances and received nominations for nine Olivier and seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Featuring all of the unforgettable songs of the movie, timeless classics, such as "Feed the Birds", "Jolly Holiday", "Step in Time".

Bert, the jack-of-all trades, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes both children and adults alike on many magical and memorable adventures, discovering a world where "anything can happen if you let it".

The multi-talented cast features: Lauren Blackman as Mary Poppins, Leo Ash Evans as Bert, Joe Dellger as Mr. Banks, Leisa Mathers as Mrs. Banks, Karen Murphy as Mrs. Brill, Peter Cormican as Admiral Bloom, Jan Neuberger as Miss Andrews, Mark Blowers, Sara Brophy, Laura Cable, Mark Donaldson, Maria Logan, Evan Mayer, Maggie McGrath, Kristyn Pope, Matthew Ranaudo, Roger Preston Smith, Matias Stegmann, Karen Webb and Eric Whitehead.

Jane Banks will be played by Michelle Moughan and Jane Shearin in alternating performances. Brandon Singel and Gabriel Reis will, alternately, play Michael Banks.

The productions is Directed and Choreographed by WBT favorite, Richard Stafford, who has been at the helm for many WBT productions including Guys & Dolls, Fiddler On The Roof, Can-Can, George M!, Hairspray, Beauty & the Beast, Gypsy, and Singin' in the Rain. Associate Director and Choreographer is Jonathan Stahl. The Musical Director is Leo Carusone, Set Design is by Steven Loftus, Lighting Design is by Andrew Gmoser, Sound Design is by Jonathan Hatton and Mark Zuckerman, Costume Design is by Derek Lockwood, Wig design by Gerard Kelly and the Production Stage Manager is Victor Lukas, Properties are by Grumpy Props. As with all our productions, Lisa Tiso is the Associate Producer.

Ticket Prices Dinner & Show range between $54.00 and $80.00 PLUS TAX depending on the performances chosen. Beverage Service & Gratuities are not included in the ticket price. Discounts are available for children, students, and senior citizens at selected performances. Also check the website for on-going Special Offers! More news at: www.BroadwayTheatre.com.

Show Times: Wednesday Matinees (except July) : Lunch: 11:30 am & Show 1 pm. Thursday & Friday Matinees: Lunch: 11:30 am & Show 1 pm. Thursday, Friday, & Saturday Evenings: Dinner: 6:30 pm & Show: 8 pm. Sunday Matinees: Lunch: 12 pm & Show: 1:30 pm. Sunday Evenings: Dinner: 5:30 pm & Show: 7 pm. Reservations: Call (914)-592-2222. Also at: www.BroadwayTheatre.com. Group Reservations: Discounts for Groups of 20 or More: Call 592-2225. Luxury Boxes: Call 592-8730. For private parties of 6 to 22. Enjoy dining and theatre in an elegant private box. Additional features include an expanded dinner menu, hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, private powder room, and Luxury Box reserved parking. Additional cost, call for details.

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