by Susan Braun

Shea’s Performing Arts Center has just announced its 2010-11 M & T Bank Broadway Series. A quick glance at the schedule indicates that the up-coming season has something for everyone. Here’s a quick rundown.

Disney and Cameron Mackintosh kick off the season October 14-31, 2010 with a new touring production of the Tony®-award winning musical, Mary Poppins. You can learn more about the play at www.marypoppins.com

A new stage production of Dreamgirls will arrive December 14-19, 2010. This play tells the story of Effie White, Deena Jones and Lorrell Robinson, who form an R & B trio in the 1960’s known as The Dreamettes. Starting as back-up singers, the three soon find themselves front and center as musical superstars. The show alludes to the lives and careers of The Supremes and the rise of Motown Records and features hits such as “One Night Only” and “Listen.” Visit www.dreamgirlsonstage.com

Look out for Shrek the Musical to be onstage February 22-27, 2011! An ogre, a princess with a mind of her own, a donkey who talks non-stop, a nasty short-tempered guy and a cookie are just a few of the “characters” you’ll come across in this Tony® and Academy® award winning musical. (www.shrekthemusical.com)

Young Frankenstein is next onstage March 22-27, 2011. This new production is based on the Mel Brooks film of the same name and is a hilarious interpretation of the story of Dr. Frankenstein’s attempts to create a monster. The music and lyrics were written by Mel Brooks who co-wrote the play. (www.youngfrankensteinthemusical.com)

Back by popular demand, Wicked will be in town April 27—May 22, 2011. The New York Times recently named Wicked “the defining musical of the decade”. We all know the story of Dorothy and her red shoes, but did you know that long before Dorothy arrived on the scene, a girl with emerald green skin and another who is beautiful and popular met in the Land of Oz and became the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda, the Good Witch? Come see Wicked and find out how it all happened! (www.wickedthemusical.com)

It’s been more than 50 years since West Side Story opened on Broadway and yet, it is still timely today. The musical is set in 1950’s New York, against a backdrop of rivalries between 2 street gangs of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The members of the Sharks, led by Bernardo, are all first generation Americans from Puerto Rico while the Jets, led by Riff, are all from working-class families who consider themselves the “real” Americans. The story revolves around Tony, a member of the Jets, and Maria, the sister of the leader of the Sharks who meet and fall in love. Musical theater changed dramatically after West Side Story originally opened because it used a romantic story filled with memorable music and dancing to comment on social justice issues. Don’t miss West Side Story on stage June 7-12, 2011. (www.broadwaywestsidestory.com)

Season tickets for the 2010-2011 M & T Broadway Series are on sale now. For more information and to order tickets, visit www.sheas.org , stop by the Shea’s Ticket Office at 650 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203 or call 716-847-0850.

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