Broadway Theatre League readies for 2014-2015 season

Sister Act


ELF smileUTICA — The Broadway Theatre League (BTL) is bringing family favorites, Broadway classics, and more to the area with its 2014-2015 seasons at the Stanley Center for the Arts, 261 Genesee St., Utica.

The season kicks off Sept. 22 and 23 with Annie. Along with being a family-oriented show, “Annie” is a tech show. That means the stop in Utica is the first show in the tour. “It’s actually put together here in Utica,” Courtney Taurisano-Sprague, coordinator of marketing and public relations for BTL, said. It will be the first time the cast, crew, and set for the show are all together in one location, and that means weeks of prep work. The result of that is between a $1.2 and $1.5 million boost to the local economy including hotels and restaurants.

Next on the schedule is “Elf – The Musical,” a takeoff on the popular Will Ferrell holiday movie on Nov. 10 and 11. “We’ve been trying to get it now for a few years,” said John Fehlner, executive director. “It’s a perfect fit for our season following Annie.”

After two back-to-back family shows, the BTL will take a break in December before coming back Jan. 27 and 28 with “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” Filled with Gershwin music, the show is set in the 1920s.

sisteractIn February, “Sister Act” takes the stage Feb. 17 and 18. “We think this will be a really popular show in this area,” Fehlner said of the show, based on the Whoopi Goldberg movie.

Another family favorite arrives April 7 and 8 with “Beauty and the Beast” and the season ends April 21 and 22 with “Anything Goes,” filled with music by Cole Porter.

Along with a season packed with top-notch shows, the BTL is continuing its arts and education campaign to help get more school-aged children into the theater. This past January, BTL offered $5 tickets to “Memphis, The Musical,” bringing nearly 1,700 local students to the show. This year, Taurisano-Sprague said, they plan to do the same with “Beauty and the Beast.”

“Broadway Theatre League’s mission is to get people who haven’t been into the theater into the theater,” she says. It’s all about making the theater accessible and helping create the next generation of theater lovers.

In that same regard, BTL has also expanded the amount of reduced-price seating available for seniors and students. BTL previously offered half-price tickets to students aged 4 through college in the “D” and “E” pricing levels at the Stanley. This year, that savings will also include seats in the “C” pricing level as well. That means students can attend a show for $27.25, $24.25, or $22.25 including all fees.

For seniors, those aged 65 and older can save 10 percent on tickets in pricing levels “A” through “E.” The BTL previously did not offer a senior discount on single tickets.

anything-goesBTL is currently selling subscriptions as well, which will give purchases a five-show package for the price of four shows.

Groups of 10 or more will receive a 10 percent discount on their tickets – a decrease from the previous group requirement of 20 people – and groups of 26 or more will receive a 20 percent discount.

With these prices, Fehlner noted, a family of four can attend a show for less than $100. “There are no excuses not to come to one of these shows,” he said.

Tickets for “Annie” are on sale now. Tickets for the remaining shows go on sale Sept. 16.

For more information about the Broadway Theatre League, any of the upcoming shows or tickets, visit

– Traci DeLore
The Fuze Magazine

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