Sunday, December 7, 2014

Zulily Magic Kingdom Collection Sale Continues

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This morning, Zulily is continuing its Magic Kingdom Collection sale.  As usual with Zulily, there are a lot of variety in the items they are offering -- clothes, kitchenwares, Thomas Kincaid items, and more.

Check out just a few of the current listings not yet sold out:

Snow White cell framed photo.http://www.zulily.com/invite/dhudson407





Cinderella Castle coffee mug.

Minnie Mouse face pillow.

To visit and/or join Zulily, click here.  Remember, Zulily rewards you for referrals.  It's not only a great money-saving website, but it allows you to earn credits toward what you buy!




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Monday, December 1, 2014

Marvel Universe Live Comes to Atlanta TWICE!

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To purchase tickets, click here.

My family is SO excited for this show.  We love Marvel, and thus, we can't wait to see Marvel Universe Live when it comes to Atlanta later this month.  Did you know Marvel Universe Live is going to play Atlanta - TWICE?  It will play Atlanta's Philips Arena December 20 - 22 and then The Arena at Gwinnett Center December 26 - 28.  Here is a description of this action-packed show:
"Marvel fans, assemble!  Marvel Universe LIVE! is taking the live entertainment experience to a whole new level, with a mind-blowing show unlike anything you’ve seen before.  Watch your favorite Marvel Super Heroes including Spider-Man and The Avengers (Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk, and more) and threatening villains come to life in an action-packed arena extravaganza, coming to Atlanta & Duluth.  You’ll definitely feel the energy with cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles, and more. It’s being hailed as the most technically advanced live show ever. Join Marvel fans of all ages for this once-in-a-lifetime, monumental performance. The fate of the universe depends on it!"
Want to be in the loop and keep up with this show?  Make sure you "Like" Marvel Universe Live on their facebook page and follow them on twitter.


Tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster.  (Click on the link above to purchase tickets now.)

Will you be helping to defend the galaxy from Hydra?  We will.  Hope to see you there!




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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dirty Dancing Opens in ATL to a Packed House!

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Oh wow.  What can I say?  Oh yeah, I know.  Let's be cliche:  "I had the time of my life!"


Last night was phenomenal, and I owe it all to Brave PR for allowing us, once again, to preview a show and then come back here and tell you all about it.

I knew last night was going to be different...from the moment I was sitting in traffic on Peachtree Street.  Not only were all the lots packed full with parking, but the crowds on the street were walking to the Fox en masse.

I had no idea.  I mean, I liked the movie.  Who didn't, right?  But, this many people turning out for opening night?  I had not seen such crowds in a while.  To be honest, I wasn't sure so many people had it "right."  Maybe I was missing something.

Well, I am happy to report that, yes.  I was, indeed, missing something.  Opening night for Dirty Dancing was exceptional.  A packed house; a lively, interactive audience; and music from a decade full of angst, turmoil, morals, and limitations.

Put all of these key ingredients together, and you have a successful recipe for a night of outstanding entertainment.


Take a moment and watch the brief trailer above.  Did you catch how many reviewers gave this production four stars?  Let me tell you -- it deserves every one of those stars, if not more.  A stunning and exciting show for sure.

Let me add in two disclaimers here, if I may, while I'm writing.  The show does veer off slightly from and add to the movie in a few areas (as a lot of Broadway shows do), and there are some sexual scenes (no nudity).  I did see two young children in the audience, so please be aware of this before bringing younger children to the show.  While I believe the show is fine for teenagers, I think judgment should be exercised before bringing a child of elementary school age.

One other item of interest:  The souvenirs for this show are so much fun.  Ringer t-shirts for Kellerman's and "dancing" shorts that sport B A B Y across the backside.  Fun souvenirs to help you remember your visit to Kellermans.

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As touched on above, the production follows the 1987 movie pretty closely.  A coming of age drama that documents teenage Baby's relationship with one of the dance instructors she meets during her family's summer vacation to Kellermans.

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In this traveling version, Baby is played beautifully by Jillian Mueller and Johnny Castle is played to perfection by Samuel Pergande.  They don't stray far from what our minds already see - Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, and with each iconic jump, soulful look, or pose, the crowd last night at The Fox Theatre let out their approval with whistles, whoops and hollers, and cheers and applause.

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I tell you!  I love when I go see a performance, and the audience is so engaging and electric!  It just brings a smile to my face and a joy to my heart.  I can only imagine how much more meaningful it must make it for the performers.

Other key performers you won't want to miss (although the entire cast - in my opinion - was chosen perfectly) are Jenny Winton as Peggy, Jennlee Shallow as Elizabeth, and Doug Carpenter as Billy.  Jennlee and Doug provide some of the most incredible solos and performances I have heard on stage in a while.  Just unbelievable and almost bringing the audience to its feet several times.

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To help you understand the miracle of Jennlee and her voice, let me fill you in on a brief summary of her background - She was raised on a Caribbean island by a single Mother with three other siblings.  She left the island, landing in America, for a college education - with no formal voice or dance training.

While here and attending the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in L.A., one of Jennlee's college professors overheard her singing and encouraged her to attend an audition for Disney's, "The Lion King."  Guess what?  Even with no sheet music or formal training to her resume, she beat out everyone and got the part of Nala.  Now, that - my friends - is talent!

This play, like its movie counterpart, is infectious, and I encourage you to go and see it before it ends on Sunday.  One different to keep in mind, though, as you settle into your seat -- while the storyline remains true to the movie, this play is different from others in that the lead characters do not sing in this production.  Their stories are told through Jennlee and Doug, as they bring to life more than 40 tunes - Pop, Soul, and R&B - all weaving the storyline together for us, the audience.  The songs are Baby's and Johnny's storytellers.  It works like a charm.

This is the way Music Supervisor Conrad Helfrich wanted it to be, "purely exists to support the main characters, their thoughts, their hopes, and their aspirations."

Ah, yes.  We get it Conrad.  We get it.  You have helped to make a wonderful production, and I am so glad the touring company stopped here in Atlanta to give us all a taste of what other countries around the globe already knew...


Tickets for remaining performance of Dirty Dancing still available:
  • Wednesday through Thursday:  7:30PM
  • Friday:  8PM
  • Saturday:  2PM, 8PM
  • Sunday:  1PM, 6:30PM
Tickets start at $33 and are available by visiting:
  • foxtheatre.org/dirtydancing
  • Calling 1.855.285.8499
  • Visiting the Fox Theatre Box Office (660 Peachtree Street)
 ...And please don't forget -- the Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta is doing a holiday canned food drive in conjunction with the Thanksgiving week engagement of “Dirty Dancing.”  All week long, patrons can donate non-perishable items that will help The Salvation Army to serve Atlanta-area families during the upcoming holiday season.

On Thanksgiving only, guests who donate three or more items can take advantage of a $20 discount (dress circle only) for that evening’s performance!





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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Betty Crocker Cake Mixes - Under $.70 at Kroger!

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$0.75 off Betty Crocker Ready to Spread Frosting

Ready to stock up on more cake mixes?  Here's how to make the magic work at Kroger this week:
  • Betty Crocker Super Moist Cake Mix - $1 
  • Use (1) MQ (above, can be printed twice)
  • FINAL COST = $.63
To score more mixes, you can use this SavingStar coupon too!

Save 75¢ when you buy TWO (2) Betty Crocker® Ready to Spread Frosting, Supreme Brownie Mix, Dessert Bar Mix, SuperMoist® Cake Mix, OR Cookie Mix


*Thanks to Kroger Krazy for the heads up!



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Aveeno Shampoo and Condition - $.79 at Kroger

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$3.00 off AVEENO Shampoo AND AVEENO Conditioner

Great deal on Aveeno shampoo and conditioner at Kroger when your Catalina prints out:
  • Aveeno Shampoos and Conditioners (10.5-oz.) - $3.79
  • Use (1) MQ (above, can be printed twice)
  • FINAL COST = $.79 (after $3 Catalina prints)
*Thanks to Southern Savers for this update.
 


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Purex Frgrance Crystals Only $1.99 at Kroger!

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$3.00 off (2) Purex Crystals Fragrance Boosters

Great deal on these Purex Crystals Fragrance Boosters at Kroger right now.  Here is how to work the magic:
  • Purex Crystals (18-oz.) - $3.49
  • Use (1) MQ (above, can be printed twice)
  • FINAL COST = $1.99

Enjoy!




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Are You Ready? Dirty Dancing Hits ATL Next Week!

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FOX THEATRE ENGAGEMENT RUNS NOVEMBER 25-30

Individual tickets for the Atlanta premiere of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage at the Fox Theatre are on sale now.

Tickets start at $33 and are available at by visiting foxtheatre.org/dirtydancing, calling 1-855-285-8499, or visiting the Fox Theatre Box Office (660 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308).  Group orders of 10 or more may by placed by calling 404-881-2000.

The staged musical of this worldwide smash-hit film will play the Fox Theatre November 25-30, with a special performance at 7:30PM on Thanksgiving.  The performance schedule is:
Tuesday-Thursday         7:30 p.m.
Friday                           8:00 p.m.
Saturday                       2:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m.
Sunday                         1:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m.

“As I learned how many people watched the movie over and over and over,” said Eleanor Bergstein, screenwriter of the film Dirty Dancing and book writer for the musical, “I began to think that what they really wanted was to share more intensely in the event, to step through the screen and be there while the story was happening.  And if that was true, then its natural form was the theatre – audiences watching live bodies dancing here and now in the present – on the log, on the bridge, on the dance floor and in the staff quarters at Kellerman’s.  Writing it for the stage, I was also able to add more Baby and Johnny scenes, more about the family, more songs I couldn’t afford last time, and, most exciting of all – more dancing.”

Dirty Dancing is one of our most beloved and timeless properties,” said Lionsgate Television COO Sandra Stern.  “Its magic has enchanted audiences on film, television, DVD and digital platforms alike, and it remains a perennial best-seller in our film and television library.  We’re delighted to participate in the latest stage incarnation that will introduce Dirty Dancing to a whole new generation of fans, and we expect the stage play to prove yet again that nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

The production’s book is written by Eleanor Bergstein and the North American tour will be directed by James Powell with choreography by Michele Lynch based on the original choreography by Kate Champion.

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this timeless love story features the hit songs “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart-stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.” London’s Sunday Express says “This crowd-pleasing stage adaptation hits the jackpot!”

It’s the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is on vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents. Mesmerized by the racy dance moves and pounding rhythms she discovers in the resort’s staff quarters, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort’s sexy dance instructor.  Passions ignite and Baby’s life changes forever when she is thrown in to the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady, both on-stage and off.

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage was first performed at the Theatre Royal in Sydney, Australia in November 2004 before embarking upon a hugely successful tour of Australia and New Zealand.  A new production opened at the Theater Neue Flora in Hamburg, Germany in March 2006 where it broke records for achieving the highest advance in European history. 

The production began performances on London’s West End in October 2006 with an £11 million advance and went on to become the longest running show in the history of the Aldwych Theatre.  It closed in July 2011 in advance of a two-year UK national tour and then returned to London for a strictly limited season at the Piccadilly Theatre.
 The show has gone on to perform across the world in markets as diverse as Utrecht, Holland, Johannesburg, and Cape Town, South Africa.  It is currently represented by a new UK tour, which launched March 2014 in Bristol.
 The North American tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is produced by Amber Jacobsen, NETworks Presentations LLC, Grove Entertainment, and Col Joye in association with Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the premier next generation global content leader, and Magic Hour Productions.

CREATIVE TEAM BIOS

Eleanor Bergstein (Book) is a novelist, screenwriter, producer, and director.  Her stories have been published in national magazines, ranging from Transatlantic Review to Redbook, and Cosmopolitan.  Her first novel, Advancing Paul Newman, about women and politics in the 1960s, was published by the Viking Press, and her first movie script was It’s My Turn, starring Jill Clayburgh and Michael Douglas.  Her second novel, Ex-Lover, about sexual obsession, was published by Random House.  She has worked on a variety of film projects, including the final script revision of Sister Act.  She then wrote and directed Let It Be Me, which starred Campbell Scott, Jennifer Beals, Leslie Caron and Patrick Stewart.  Her most famous project was one of the most successful independent films of all time, Dirty Dancing.  It was the unique continuing response to the story over the years that made her decide to reimagine Dirty Dancing as a stage event.  The multiple viewings by audiences all over the world made her suspect that what the audiences really wanted was to be more physically involved in the story.  This would mean that its ultimate form should be one that combined dance and story and music onstage in a new way.  It was also her chance to add new scenes not in the movie, as well as songs she had wanted for the movie and been unable to obtain.  Ms. Bergstein, through her company Magic Hour Productions, is at work on a new stage musical set in London in the late 1960s, a new work of fiction, and preparing a film to be shot in Rome as well as film to be shot in Slovenia.

James Powell (Director) was an actor for 12 years and was appearing in Les Misérables at London’s Palace Theatre, when he was asked to take over the position of resident director in 1996.  Since that time, he has worked on a variety of productions and during that time he was staff director at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, assisting Jude Kelly on a number of projects including the Olivier Award-winning Singin’ in the Rain, which transferred from Leeds to the Royal National Theatre in London.  On returning to London, he joined Cameron Mackintosh’s production of The Witches of Eastwick at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane as resident director.  He then went to Melbourne, Australia, to direct its first foreign production for Jacobsen Entertainments.  James returned from Australia to take on the position of associate director on Les Misérables and oversaw the show’s move from its home of many years, the Palace Theatre, to the Queen’s Theatre on Shaftesbury Ave.  He was also invited to direct a concert version of the show in Scandinavia and a full-scale production in Berlin.  2009 saw James working on Cameron’s brand new production of Les Misérables which opened in Cardiff and toured the UK and which celebrates the 25th anniversary of a show he was involved in originally as an actor and is now part of a new creative team.  Whilst maintaining his position as associate director on Les Misérables, James also worked on Cameron’s new presentation Mary Poppins, originally in Bristol and then in London’s West End and on Broadway.  In June 2008 he directed the UK tour of Mary Poppins and has since directed the production in Holland and been the associate of the Broadway production.  James was delighted to renew his association with the Jacobsen Entertainment Group when they asked him to direct their production of Dirty Dancing in London’s West End, a partnership that has seen him direct the show in Toronto, Utrecht, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, and Berlin.  In 2010, James directed the Australian production of Mary Poppins where it opened to great success in Melbourne.  He has also co-directed Les Misérables in London, at the Barbican, a tour in the UK, a production in Madrid and on tour in the United States, culminating in the25th Anniversary concert of Les Misérables at the O2 Arena.  In 2011, James worked on moving Mary Poppins to Sydney and later in the year he co-directed the international arena tour of Batman which opened in Manchester and moved to London and onward internationally.  Over the last two years, James has worked on Les Misérables in Spain, the US, Australia, and Japan.  He recently returned from Toronto and this production of Les Misérables before he directed a production of Half a Sixpence at his old alma mater at Mountview Drama School in London.

Michele Lynch (Choreography) is thrilled to be a part of Dirty Dancing.  She recently choreographed Little Miss Sunshine at Second Stage Theatre as well as The Last Five Years film.  Choreography Broadway credits include Everyday Rapture, The Coast of Utopia, Hairspray (assoc. choreo), The Full Monty (asst. choreo), and Urinetown (asst. choreo).  She choreographed the national tours of Little House on the Prairie (also at Papermill Playhouse) and Happy Days the Musical (also at Goodspeed, receiving a Connecticut Critics Circle Award for her work).  Off-Broadway she choreographed Everyday Rapture and We the People (Joe A. Calloway Award nomination). Other film credits include Joyful Noise (starring Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah) and Camp.  For opera, her production of Showboat was seen at Chicago Lyric Opera, Washington National Opera, and Houston Grand Opera.  Regional Theaters include Mark Taper Forum, Yale Repertory Theater, Riverside Theater, St. Louis MUNY, Capital Repertory Theater, Asolo Theater, Ford’s Theater, Stamford Center for the Arts, North Carolina Theater, and Starlight Theater. She also choreographed Dolly Parton’s Better Day World Tour.

Kate Champion (Original Choreography) is the Artistic Director and founder of the Sydney based dance-theatre company Force Majeure.  She has also worked variously as a director/choreographer/performer for Sydney Theatre Company, DV8 Physical Theatre, Australian Dance Theatre, Opera Australia, Belvoir, Legs on the Wall, NIDA, and The English National Opera.  In 1996, Kate was awarded the Robert Helpmann Scholarship for Choreographic Excellence enabling her to create her first solo work Face Value which was awarded a Green Room and a MO Award.  In 1997, she directed Under the Influence for Legs on the Wall, which premiered in Sydney and toured to the Edinburgh Fringe and Riverside Studios, London.  In 2001, she created a new solo show About Face and in 2002 directed Same, Same But Different for Force Majeure.  Both these productions won Helpmann Awards. Kate choreographed the world premiere of the stage version of Dirty Dancing, which opened in Sydney November 2004 and has subsequently toured to Europe, UK, and USA.  Since 2005 Kate has directed Already Elsewhere, Tenebrae 1 and 11, The Age I’m In, Not In A Million Years, Never Did Me Any Harm (a co-production with Sydney Theatre Company), and Food (a co-production with Belvoir) for Force Majeure.  In 2010, Kate choreographed the premier production of Opera Australia’s Bliss which subsequently toured to the Edinburgh Festival and Spring Awakening for Sydney Theatre Company.  Kate was Associate Director of Opera Australia’s 2013 production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

PRODUCER BIOS

Amber Jacobsen worked for Jacobsen Entertainment as the head of touring and executive producer from 1997 to 2009 in Australia.  She was responsible for the research, procurement, and presentation of many concerts for artists including Elton John, Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, the Bee Gees, Shania Twain, Pearl Jam, and Usher as well as being executive producer for theatre and arena productions such as Fame – The Musical, SHOUT!, The Man From Snowy River and Long Way to the Top. Amber was the executive producer for the first production of Dirty Dancing in Australia and has executive produced and subsequently produced all productions thereafter.

NETworks Presentations LLC, founded in 1995, has continued to grow and expand to become one of the largest producing organizations of touring Broadway musicals in North America and remains committed to delivering quality entertainment to audiences around the world.  Its extensive and diverse list of touring productions include:  Cameron Mackintosh’s The 25th Anniversary Production of Les Misérables and the spectacular new production of The Phantom of the Opera; The National Theatre of Great Britain’s production of War Horse; Queen and Ben Elton’s We Will Rock You; Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; Blue Man Group national tour; The Lincoln Center Theater productions of The Light in the Piazza, and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific, as well as Cinderella starring Eartha Kitt and Deborah Gibson, Seussical, Annie, La Cage Aux Folles, Rent, The Producers, Hairspray, Spring Awakening, Sweeney Todd, Billy Elliot the Musical, Elf the Musical, Dirty Dancing, and many others.

Grove Entertainment. Helmed by producer Beth Williams, Grove Entertainment is a production company dedicated to developing new work for stage and screen.  Ms. Williams helped launch Key Brand Entertainment in the United States and was the COO, Head of Production and CEO – Theater Division for Broadway Across America for six years. Broadway productions include Pippin, Big Fish, Million Dollar Quartet, Hands on a Hardbody, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,  Promises, Promises, Grey Gardens, The Producers – The New Mel Brooks Musical, and the upcoming Tuck Everlasting, Bull Durham and The Blonde Streak.

COL JOYE has had No. 1 hits, recorded 15 Top 10 albums and was the first inductee into the Australian Hall of Fame (ARIA).  He has numerous platinum and gold albums and hundreds of awards and toured extensively throughout Australia.  Col was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) for his contribution to music and charity on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.  Col was chosen to run with the Olympic Torch for the Sydney Olympics’ and recently received his own postage stamp.  Col has been a producer of every production of Dirty Dancing worldwide.

Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms, and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate currently has 34 television shows on 22 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the comedy Anger Management, the network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, and the critically-acclaimed series Orange is the New Black.  Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first two installments of The Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the first installment of the Divergent franchise, Now You See Me, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Warm Bodies, The Expendables 2, The Possession, Sinister, Roadside Attractions' Mud and Pantelion Films' breakout hit Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.  Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate.  Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses.  The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.  www.lionsgate.com
Magic Hour Productions was founded by Eleanor Bergstein in 1994 to develop and produce works by herself and others for print, film, and stage.  Magic Hour Productions has been involved in the development and production of the stage musical of Dirty Dancing since its inception, including the first staged workshop in New York in 2001.  Currently, Magic Hour Productions is working to bring Dirty Dancing to new territories around the world, including Greece and Japan.  In addition to Dirty Dancing, Magic Hour Productions is developing a new musical by Ms. Bergstein set in late 1960s London, a film to be shot in Rome, and a romantic comedy film to be shot in Slovenia.  Magic Hour's team includes Tomoko Minami, who has worked with Ms. Bergstein since 2001, and Robin Nahas.  The company is based in New York City.

For more information, please visit http://us.dirtydancingontour.com/.

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BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA is part of the Key Brand Entertainment family of companies which includes Broadway.com and is operated by John Gore (Owner & CEO).   BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring musicals and plays in North America, operating in 40 markets.   As a leading Broadway producer, BAA is dedicated to the development and production of new and diverse theatre.  Current/upcoming productions include Beautiful, Bullets Over Broadway, Million Dollar Quartet, and Pippin.  Past productions include Hairspray, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Memphis, Promises, Promises, and The Producers.  Broadway.com is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content, and ticket sales.  For more information please visit BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com and Broadway.com.







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