NICEVILLE — The Broadway is making its way to the Emerald Coast and taking center stage at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at the Northwest Florida State College.
This season the Mattie Kelly Arts Center will host 12 national and international touring shows, making it the biggest Broadway and Artist Event series to visit the art center.
Jeanette Shires, the associate director of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, said the Broadway series provides a wide appeal.
“We were trying to touch as many of our patrons as possible and also entice new patrons to our community,” Shires said. “This series is diverse. It offers something for everyone.”
The series includes award-winning productions such as, “Hair” and “Shrek the Musical,” as well as the National Circus of China in Cirque Chinois.
Richard Sandelin, a Broadway enthusiast and longtime supporter of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, said he is ex-cited for the season and plans to see a few shows.
“I’ve been going to theater for several years,” Sandelin said. “It’s a beautiful facility with great shows and acoustics. I and my wife thoroughly enjoy the Broadway shows.
“I’m looking forward to ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ and ‘Broadway Rox' should be good.”
Shires also said many of the shows were brought to the theater because of popular demand.
“We have been getting feedback from patrons for several years requesting ‘Menopause the Musical’,” she said. “We get a lot of snowbirds who love Broadway and want to see classics like ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ or a concert with traditional Irish music like ‘Women of Ireland’.”
Also featured in this season’s lineup is “DRUMLINE Live,” a contemporary musical that has high energy marching band performances. Shires said the center decided to bring back a show that was a bigger production than last season’s youth favorite and box office hit, “Blast!”.
Shires said audiences can look forward to an authentic Broadway experience.
“I hope that audiences will get a taste of Broadway,” she said. “Our goal was to bring a piece of the Big Apple to Niceville.”