Ruth Eckerd Hall Announces Two Special Additions to 2017-18 Broadway Season!

Ruth Eckerd Hall Announces Two Special Additions to 2017-18 Broadway Season!Ruth Eckerd Hall announces two special additions to the 2017-18 Broadway season, a new mystery play, Mike Hammer Encore For Murder, starring Gary Sandy (WKRP In Cincinnati) and the Tony Award-Winning Best Musical Kinky Boots. Previously announced performances for the upcoming Broadway season include the Tony Award-winner for Best Musical Jersey Boys, multiple Tony Award Best Musical winners A Chorus Line and Cabaret, family favorites A Charlie Brown Christmas Live Onstage and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: The Musical, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella and Rain: A Tribute To The Beatles. Tickets and packages are on-sale now.

Mike Hammer Encore For Murder performances will be in the all-new Murray Theatre on Thursday, January 18 through Sunday, January 21 and Thursday, January 25 through Sunday, January 28 (see complete dates and times below). Kinky Boots returns for one night only to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Monday, April 23 at 8 pm.

"Due to the overwhelming demand from our members and patrons, we were determined to present the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Kinky Boots on the Ruth Eckerd Hall stage again this season." commented Zev Buffman, Ruth Eckerd Hall President & CEO. "In addition, we are thrilled to premiere the production of Mike Hammer Encore For Murder, starring Gary Sandy in our newest crowned-jewel of the Ruth Eckerd Hall experience, the all-new Murray Theatre," said Buffman. "In the first act, Mike's 45 kills six gangsters! But don't be misled, there are four-times as many laughs as killings in this all-new production."

Encore For Murder stars Gary Sandy as Mike Hammer, the toughest PI of all, who draws a seemingly routine assignment-playing bodyguard to diva Rita Vance on the eve of her big Broadway comeback. Rita is an old flame of Hammer's and when their romance is rekindled, the detective finds the actress facing death threats and himself the target of one hit man after another. When the actress disappears, the show must go on, which with Mike Hammer means swift, violent retaliation. While the cops and feds go down a false trail, Hammer seeks to make a rescue before Rita's curtain comes down. The production will feature a jazz-quartet (piano, bass, drums and saxophone) performing music on-stage.

"This story takes place in the Broadway district of New York City," said Buffman, "from a Soho art gallery to Little Italy, to a waterfront confrontation that is way, way, off Broadway."

Gary Sandy's most recognizable role was starring as Andy Travis in the classic, WKRP in Cincinnati. Sandy has performed in over 100 theatrical productions but is proudest of the Pirate King in the Broadway production of The Pirates of Penzance, the title role in Barnum, Chance Wayne in Sweet Bird of Youth, Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Billy in Billy Bishop Goes to War, Buck Holden in Niteclub Confidential, Charlie Baker in The Foreigner, Starbuck in The Rainmaker, Milo Tindle in Sleuth, Mortimer in the Broadway revival of Arsenic and Old Lace, Billy Flynn in Chicago, Albert Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie, Terence O'Keefe in the national tour of Breaking Legs, Decker in Bleacher Bums, Elliot Garfield in The Goodbye Girl, Will in The Will Rodgers Follies, Him in I Do I Do, Erie Smith in Eugene O'Neills' Hughie, Gene Glimmer in SideMan, Mack Sennett in Mack & Mabel, Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd in the National Tour of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas opposite Ann Margret and the seven productions he has done as Harold Hill in The Music Man.

Mickey Spillane was a writer of pulp detective fiction whose first novel, I, The Jury, introduced the character Mike Hammer. Hammer appeared in a series of mystery novels and film adaptations (most notably Kiss Me, Deadly).

"2018 will be marked with national celebrations of Spillane's 100th birthday," continued Buffman, "and we will be the first to kick-off this celebration in January."

Max Allan Collins is the author of the acclaimed graphic novel, Road To Perdition, basis of the Academy Award-winning film, author of the multiple Shamus Award-winning Nathan Heller historical novels, writer/director of numerous indie films including the Liftetime movie Mommy and the documentary Mike Hammer's Mickey Spillane, Mickey Spillane's chosen successor who is currently completing unfinished Mike Hammer novels from the late author's files and co-author of the ANTIQUES mystery series with his wife Barbara. Collins was recently the recipient of the Grand Master Award, the highest award bestowed by the Mystery Writers of America.

KINKY BOOTS is Broadway's huge-hearted, high-heeled hit! With songs by GRAMMY and Tony Award winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. Inspired by true events, KINKY BOOTS takes you from a gentlemen's shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan.

Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father's expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory's future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

With direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray) and a book by Broadway legend and four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles), KINKY BOOTS is the winner of six Broadway Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Choreography.

Take a step in the right direction and discover that sometimes the best way to fit in is to stand out. "There is no show hotter than KINKY BOOTS!" - CBS News.

Single tickets for Broadway performances are priced at $100*, $75, $50 and $35*. Broadway Series packages are also available. Pick five** of the eight shows and save $75.

Each Encore For Murder ticket includes a pre-show reception with complimentary champagne and hors d'oeuvres, access to a post-show Q&A discussion on-stage, photo opportunity and autograph with the stars and entire cast.

*$75 Encore For Murder tickets include pre and post show festivities and $100 tickets include, in addition, a premium reserved seat. $50 and $35 tickets are NOT available for any Encore For Murder performances.

**Jersey Boys - Saturday, March 31 at 8 pm is NOT included in the package deal. All other performances of Jersey Boys are included.

Single tickets and packages are available at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office, by calling 727.791.7400 or visiting www.RuthEckerdHall.com. The Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office is open Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm and one hour prior to show time.

Photos and b-roll of 2017-18 season performances are available by contacting Katie Pedretty at 727.712.2774 or by email at KPedretty@RuthEckerdHall.net or Lacy Herman at 727.724.5383 or LHerman@RuthEckerdHall.net.

Times, dates, performers, performances and descriptions of performances are subject to change.

Below are the times, dates and performances for the entire 2017-18 Broadway Season:

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS LIVE ON STAGE!
Saturday, December 16 at 2 pm & 7:30 pm
At The Capitol Theatre

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical
Friday, December 22 at 3 pm & 7:30 pm

Mike Hammer Encore For Murder
Thursday, January 18 at 7:30pm
Friday, January 19 at 7:30pm
Saturday, January 20 at 2 & 7:30pm
Sunday, January 21 at 2pm
AND
Thursday, January 25 at 7:30pm
Friday, January 26 at 7:30pm
Saturday, January 27 at 2 & 7:30pm
Sunday, January 28 at 2pm
All performances in the all-new Murray Theatre

Cabaret
Friday, February 2 at 2 pm & 8 pm

RAIN - A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Saturday, February 10 at 2 pm & 8 pm

Jersey Boys
Friday, March 30 at 8pm
Saturday, March 31 at 2pm & 8pm

KINKY BOOTS
Monday, April 23 at 8pm

Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA
Friday, April 6 at 8pm
Saturday, April 7 at 2pm

A Chorus Line
Saturday, April 21 at 8pm

Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, owned by the City of Clearwater, manages and operates 2,200-seat Ruth Eckerd Hall, the 200-seat Murray Theatre, the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts, the 750-seat Capitol Theatre and Ruth Eckerd Hall On The Road. Our mission is: Changing lives through the performing arts.

Ruth Eckerd Hall was named #10 theater venue in the world and within that same ranking #6 in the United States, by industry trade publication Pollstar in 2016. Designed by the prestigious Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Ruth Eckerd Hall is known for its fantastic sightlines and near-perfect acoustics.

The Capitol Theatre, located in downtown Clearwater's Cleveland District, was constructed in 1921 and is one of Florida's oldest operating theaters. In 2015, the Capitol Theatre was named the #5 venue in the world by industry trade publication Venues Today and the #29 club venue in the world by industry trade publication Pollstar. In 2013, the theater underwent a complete renovation and is the catalyst for downtown development.

The Murray Theatre, located at Ruth Eckerd Hall, originally opened in 2003 as part of an education expansion of the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts. Through the generous support of Ray and Nancy Murray, a state grant and Capital Campaign donors, a $1.5 million renovation was completed, which includes state-of-the-art lighting and sound and a one-of-a-kind hand-painted mural depicting music, theater and dance. The Murray Theatre offers affordable, accessible, high-quality experiences to audiences of all ages.


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