The 2011 summer season at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre has barely started, but the owners and executives at the popular venue are already announcing the shows for next June 8 through June 16, 2013.
Yes, that's 2013 — a full two years from now.
"We like to get these out there early," said Nick Sessa, who owns the theater with his brother, Sal. And so do the patrons, some of whom show up at 6 a.m. on the first day of open sales to get the best seats in the house.
The 2012-13 season includes four original musical revues, a much-requested farce that sounds like it would be a musical but isn't, and three book musicals, including two reprises and a Broadway show making its regional debut, Dolly Parton's 9 to 5: The Musical.
"We asked the customers what they wanted, and a lot of these shows are what they said," Sessa said.
Tickets for current season ticket holders will be on sale July 11-25 (minimum purchase is a three-show package). Individual shows and packages go on sale to everyone at 9 a.m. July 26. Box office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Individual tickets for dinner and show will be $49.50, plus tax. A three-show package is $130.50, a four-show package is $174, or all eight shows are $348, all plus tax. There are no additional fees for tickets picked up at the box office, but a $1.75 mailing fee for those mailed.
June 8 to July 15, 2012: New York Nights, all-new musical revue with sounds of Motown, rock 'n' roll, disco and Broadway with high-energy dancing and the sights and sounds of the Big Apple.
July 20 to Aug. 19, 2012: Lend Me a Tenor, a farce requested more than any other nonmusical. It's set in 1934, when the Cleveland Grand Opera Company is about to welcome a world-famous tenor to sing one night in Otello. To sooth his nerves, he accidentally takes a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. To save the evening, an underling is persuaded to put on the Otello costume and becomes an instantaneous hit — just as the famous star wakes up, determined to perform the show.
Aug. 24 to Sept. 23, 2012: The All New Fabulous '50s and '60s Revue, a brand-new version of one of the Show Palace's most popular shows. This one features music made famous by Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Dave Brubeck, Richie Valens and Connie Francis, going into the '60s with the Beach Boys, Patsy Cline, Simon & Garfunkel, the Mamas & the Papas, Bob Dylan and many more.
Sept. 28 to Nov. 17, 2012: The Sound of Music, Rodgers & Hammerstein's final collaboration, based on the true story of Austria's Von Trapp family, who escaped Hitler's regime to become a world-famous singing troupe.
Nov. 22 to Dec. 25, 2012: A Show Palace Christmas, new show, new script, new dances, new and traditional songs by the Show Palace production team.
Jan. 4 to Feb. 24, 2013: 9 to 5: The Musical. Nashville's Dolly Parton won several awards for her songs, but the story of three secretaries taking revenge on a bullying, blustering boss made the 1980 movie a hit and led to the 2009 Broadway show. The show played in Tampa in 2010, but this is the first time it has been scheduled for a local theater.
March 1 to April 21, 2013: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The quirky, upbeat, Bible-based musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice set attendance records for its time slot when it played the Palace in July 2001.
April 26 to June 16, 2013: Doo-Wop Dream, the Golden Oldies Musical. The Show Palace has brought in several doo-wop groups, but this will be the first time its production team has created its own doo-wop show. It takes place in 1960, when two competing doo-wop groups on their way to a gig get trapped by a thunderstorm in a Miami bus station and learn about relationships, equality and ambition.
More immediately …
The 2011-12 season continues, with current prices in effect until 3 p.m. July 10 for shows playing through June 3, 2012: dinner and show, $48; show only, $36.95, plus tax.
Starting at 9 a.m. July 11, all shows are priced at the new, higher rate.
Call (727) 863-7949 in west Pasco; toll-free elsewhere at 1-888-655-7469.
Those shows are:
Through July 17: Little Shop of Horrors, a musical spoof of sci-fi and horror movies, set to doo-wop and Motown sounds.
July 22 to Aug. 21: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: The Neil Sedaka Musical, a Show Palace premiere, featuring music by Sedaka from the 1950s, '60s and '70s, such as Love Will Keep Us Together, Calendar Girl, Where the Boys Are and the title song.
Aug. 26 to Sept. 25: Steel Magnolias, a warm comedy-drama set in a Truvy's Beauty Salon in south Louisiana, where six women come to share their joys, sorrows and some really good gossip.
Sept. 30 to Nov. 19: Meet Me in St. Louis, based on the MGM movie starring Judy Garland and featuring many of showbiz's iconic tunes: Trolley Song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, The Boy Next Door and the title track. It's set in 1904 St. Louis, where the Smith family has just learned it may have to move to — horrors! — New York City.
Nov. 24 to Dec. 25: A Show Palace Christmas, an all-new show by the Show Palace production team.
Jan. 6 to Feb. 26: Hairspray, the high-energy show about a chubby teenager who longs to be a dancer on the Corny Collins Show, starring Sara DelBeato and Matthew McGee.
March 2 to April 22: Jackpot, the all-new Las Vegas musical revue created by the Show Palace production team, featuring tributes to all the Vegas stars and dancers.
April 27 to June 3: Swing!, a dance and music show featuring diverse styles and new forms.