The 2017 fall theater season may seem a long way off right now, but if you are a subscriber to one of our local theaters, you know that some productions have already been announced, and it’s time to start planning your show dates.

Case in point: the Manatee Players, which presents shows at Stone Hall and the Bradenton Kiwanis Theater, both housed within the Manatee Performing Arts Center. The 2017-18 line-up for both venues was announced recently; the mainstage season relies heavily on musicals, and the second stage on plays that focus on “Action through Acting,” involving collaboration with various community organizations to discuss social issues.

Showing at Stone Hall:

Mel Brooks’ wildly popular musical The Producers opens the season, Aug. 10-27. That’s followed by Mame, telling the story of free spirit Mame Dennis and her young nephew, Patrick (Sept. 14 through Oct. 1); Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, based on an Ingmar Bergman film (Oct. 26 through Nov. 12); and Annie, brightening the holidays Nov. 30 through Dec. 18.

Heading into 2018, the Stone Hall line-up continues with the musical Nine, based on Fellini’s film 8 ½ about a director facing personal and professional crises (onstage Jan. 11-28); The Hunchback of Notre Dame, an Alan Menken-Stephen Schwartz collaboration based on the hit Disney film (Feb. 15 through March 4); Little Women, based on Louisa May Alcott’s classic (March 22 through April 8); and lastly, Nice Work If You Can Get It, a recent Broadway musical set in the Roaring ’20s with music by George and Ira Gershwin and a book by Joe DiPietro (April 26 through May 13).

Meanwhile, over in the Bradenton Kiwanis Theater, the season kicks off with The Father, a play by Florian Zeller that takes viewers inside the mind of an 80-year-old facing dementia (Aug. 24 through Sept. 10). That’s followed by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz, set inside an Ybor City cigar factory (onstage Oct. 12-29); Flowers for Algernon, adapted for the stage from the short story and novel about a man who undergoes a life-changing treatment (Nov. 30 through Dec. 17); Driving Miss Daisy, Alfred Uhry’s hit about a Southern Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur (Jan. 25 through Feb. 11); and the musical Baby, which shows three couples working their way towards parenthood (March 1-18). That season closes with a production of Good, a play by Cecil Phillip Taylor that reveals how a liberal-minded professor with a Jewish best friend is nevertheless seduced by Nazism (running April 5-22).

For season tickets and more information about these Manatee Players productions, call (941) 748-5875 or visit manateeperformingartscenter.com

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