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Shea’s Broadway Series to kick off with Finding Neverland

WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

Buffalo will be the launch for the first national tour of "Finding Neverland." The tour will open October 11 at Shea's Performing Arts Center. Other big name shows like "42nd Street," "Wicked," and "the Sound of Music" are among the highlights of the 2016-2017 Broadway Series at Shea's.  

Shea’s and Broadway Partner/Producer Albert Nocciolino unveiled the new season at an event Wednesday evening.  It's the M&T Bank 2016-17 Broadway Series.  It features multiple Tony-Award winning musicals and hits on Broadway. 

Credit Photo from Shea's Performing Arts Center
Shea's unveils 2016-17 Broadway Series.

Officials are claiming the "Finding Neverland" tour could generate a one-million dollar economic impact locally.  State tax credit legislation is providing a financial incentive for Upstate theaters in launching national touring productions. 

“On behalf of Shea’s Board and staff, I would like to thank our subscribers, donors, volunteers, sponsors, and the entire Buffalo-Niagara community for the tremendous support given Shea’s over the years.  This support along with new tax credit legislation passed in Albany has resulted in our first opportunity to launch a major National Tour in Buffalo.  The launch will create substantial economic impact for the Buffalo Niagara Region.  We look forward to opening another great season in 2016-17 with the October launching of Finding Neverland," said  Anthony Conte, Shea's President. 

Co-Presenter of Broadway productions at Shea’s for 29 years and Producer Albert Nocciolino expressed his excitement about the evolution and success over the years and the upcoming 2016-17 Broadway Season.  “I’m thrilled with the success we have seen at Shea’s with the growth of our subscription base and the reputation that Shea’s has in the touring Broadway community.  We’re very excited to be able to launch the Finding Neverland National Tour right here in Buffalo at Shea’s!  We thank our subscribers for their support over the years in helping us become one of the top one-week subscription markets in the country and look forward to another spectacular Broadway Season,” he said.

Here is a full rundown of the 2016-17Broadway Series at Shea's:

FINDING NEVERLAND                                                                                          October 11 - 16, 2016

Broadway’s biggest new hit and the winner of's  Audience Choice Award for BEST MUSICAL will kick off its National Tour in Buffalo!  This breathtaking smash “captures the kid-at-heart” (Time Magazine). Vogue cheers, "it’s a must-see you’ll remember for years to come!”  Directed by visionary Tony winner Diane Paulus, FINDING NEVERLAND tells the incredible story behind one of the world's most beloved characters: Peter Pan.  Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers.  With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. The magic of Barrie’s classic tale springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event. FINDING NEVERLAND is “far and away the best musical of the year!” (NPR).

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS                                                                                      November 8 – 13, 2016

An American in Paris is the new Tony Award®-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Acclaimed Director/Choreographer and 2015 Tony Award® winner Christopher Wheeldon brings the magic and romance of Paris into the perfect harmony with unforgettable songs from George and Ira Gershwin in the show that earned more awards than any other musical in the 2014-2015 Season!

A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL                                                                December 13 – 18, 2016

Chronicles young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.  An infamous leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a maniacal department store Santa, and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the distractions that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas wish.  Following its smash hit Broadway run and chock-full of delightful songs and splashy production numbers,

A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL brings the beloved classic movie to life on stage and travels to eight cities across the U.S this upcoming holiday season.

A GENTLEMEN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER                                                February 16 - 22, 2017

The hilarious hit show that won the 2014 Tony Award® for BEST MUSICAL!  As one most gentlemanly NPR critic put it, “I’VE NEVER LAUGHED SO HARD AT A BROADWAY MUSICAL!”

GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way… and be done in time for tea.


THE SOUND OF MUSIC                                                                                         March 28 – April 2, 2017

The Hills Are Alive! A brand new production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, directed by three-time Tony Award® winner Jack O’Brien, is coming to Buffalo! The beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony®, Grammy® and Academy Award® winning Best Score, including “My Favorite Things,” “Edelweiss” and the title song.  The production enjoyed extraordinary success as a live television production when “The Sound of Music Live!” aired on NBC in December, 2013 and was seen by over 44 million people. 2015 marked the 50th Anniversary of the film version, which continues to be the most successful movie musical in history. “Sparkling, fresh and lively.” – Los Angeles Times

CABARET                                                                                                                 April 25 – 30, 2017

Direct from Broadway, the acclaimed masterpiece returns! As part of their 50th Anniversary Season, the critically acclaimed and award-winning Roundabout Theatre Company is proud to present SAM MENDES (SkyfallAmerican Beauty) and ROB MARSHALLS (Into the Woods and Chicago, the films) Tony Award®-winning production of CABARET.

Come hear some of the most memorable songs in theatre history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.” Leave your troubles outside – life is beautiful at CABARET, JOHN KANDER, FRED EBB and JOE MASTEROFF’s Tony-winning musical about following your heart while the world loses its way.

2016-17 Special Engagements:

STOMP                                                                                                                   October 28 - 30, 2016

STOMP is explosive, provocative, sophisticated, sexy, utterly unique and appeals to audiences of all ages. The return of the percussive hit also brings some new surprises, with some sections of the show now updated and restructured and the addition of two new full-scale routines, utilizing props like tractor tire inner tubes and paint cans. STOMP. See what all the noise is about.

42nd STREET                                                                                                           January 20 - 22, 2017

The quintessential backstage musical comedy classic, 42nd Street is the song and dance fable of Broadway with an American Dream story and includes some of the greatest songs ever written, such as “We’re In The Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off To Buffalo,” “Dames,” “I Only Have Eyes For You” and of course “42nd Street.”

Based on a novel by Bradford Ropes and Busby Berkeley’s 1933 movie, 42nd Street tells the story of a starry-eyed young dancer named Peggy Sawyer who leaves her Allentown home and comes to New York to audition for the new Broadway musical Pretty Lady.  When the leading lady breaks her ankle, Peggy takes over and becomes a star.  With a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin, this sparkling new production will be directed by co-author Mark Bramble and choreographed by Randy Skinner, the team who staged the 2001 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival.

42nd Street is one of the great and timeless anthems of the indispensable art form known as American musical theater. An emotional, romantic show.” - Chicago Tribune          “A stage extravaganza.” - The New York Times

WICKED                                                                                                                  May 17 - June 4, 2017  

So much happened before Dorothy dropped in.

WICKED, the Broadway sensation, looks at what happened in the Land of Oz…but from a different angle.  Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another girl, born with emerald-green skin—smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships…until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.”

With a thrilling score that includes the hits “Defying Gravity,” “Popular” and “For Good,” WICKED has been hailed by The New York Times as “the defining musical of the decade.” Time Magazine cheers, “if every musical had the brain, the heart, and the courage of WICKED, Broadway really would be a magical

Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID                                                                                        August 15 - 20, 2017

Produced by Pittsburgh CLO & Kansas City Starlight. Broadway’s Under the Sea Spectacular!  In a magical kingdom beneath the sea, the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories, with music by eight-time

Academy Award winner Alan Menken, it’s a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. Come fall in love with the magic for the first time—or all over again with classics such as “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl, “Part of Your World” and more!

"One of the most ravishing things I have ever seen on a Broadway stage." - Time Magazine