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The Vanguard to Open with ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE

Artists and Patrons of the Arts in Fort Lauderdale and throughout South Florida have a good reason to be excited! This March a new performing arts space will open its doors in the South Andrews corridor of downtown Fort Lauderdale. The venue, The Vanguard, is located at 1501 S. Andrews Avenue in what was formerly a church when the building was first erected in 1939.

Special opening night festivities will take place on March 13th, starting at 7pm, with complimentary 'Southern fixins' provided by Tap 42 and other local sponsors, including Croissan'Time, Wine Watch, and Starbucks Coffee. Sculptor Glen Mayo will be displaying a piece entitled "Windows" in the lobby of The Vanguard for the month of March.

The creative team behind The Vanguard has given the space a remodel - with the emphasis on "mod" - because the building's décor has a definite mid-century flair. The intimate, black box space boasts beautiful, original Dade County pine ceilings that reach 30 feet high. The venue will seat 100 people.

Dubbed a 'sanctuary for the arts' - a nod to the building's history and an indicator of the venue's mission, The Vanguard will be a creative refuge for artists and arts lovers. Founding Executive Director, Nicole Stodard hopes the unique setting will be a fresh beacon of hope for the arts, particularly theatre, in Broward County:

"For too long Broward has been viewed as the inferior county in between two artistically richer counties, Miami Dade and Palm Beach," she explains. "I am passionate about helping to change that perception. There is great work being done in our county, and The Vanguard will strive to draw attention to this work by providing it a home."

The Vanguard will function as a venue as well as a producing entity in its own right. In addition to Vanguard productions, programming will include work by its resident theatre company, Thinking Cap Theatre, along with work by other local and distant theatre practitioners; dance events; film screenings; stand up comedy; art installations; and live music. For more information about The Vanguard, visit http://vanguardarts.org.

The Vanguard has chosen Always Patsy Cline as their inaugural production at The Vanguard. Stodard says the choice was an easy one:


"I grew up listening to my mother and older sister singing Patsy Cline's songs and came to love her music myself," she says. "The Vanguard has an air of nostalgia to its atmosphere, so a work that tapped into that nostalgic spirit seemed like a great way to open the venue, not to mention the fact that Cline was a strong woman and a talented artist, and I'm always happy to put talented actresses on stage to tell the stories of other women, real and fictional."


Always...Patsy Cline is a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The play is based on a true story about Cline's friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in l961, and continued a correspondence with Cline until her death. The Vanguard's production will star Ann Marie Olson as Cline, and Sally Bondi as Seger. Stodard will direct the production, and Andy Gilbert will provide musical direction.

Always...Patsy Cline will run from March 13th through March 29th at The Vanguard.
Tickets are $35, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased on line at www.vanguardarts.org or by phone at 813-220-1546. Performances are on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 pm, and on Sundays at 5 pm. There is an 8 pm performance on Wednesday, March 25. The Vanguard is located at 1501 S. Andrews Avenue in Ft. Lauderdale (33316).


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From This Author Carol Kassie