," the upcoming locally produced musical at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
, a takeoff on Disney's "Alice in Wonderland," should bring a substantial economic tea party to the Tampa Bay region.
Center estimates that the show will fill 10,000 hotel rooms and that
direct spending from the production locally will be $8.136 million and
generate $1.366million in local and state tax revenue, says Michael
Kilgore, vice president of marketing and
consumer experience for
the Center. The production starts its world premiere in Tampa Nov. 24
and will travel to Houston, and most likely a host of other cities next.
Center has hosted locally produced theater before, but not on the scale
of "Wonderland," Kilgore says. "This is a much, much bigger
production," he says. It has 24 cast members who arrived Oct. 12 and
will be in town until Jan. 3.
The writers are a veteran Broadway
team and the director is from the Alvin Alley Theater in Houston. There
is also an unrelated, but similarly themed movie, starring Johnny Depp,
that is also attracting a buzz to the classic Disney tale.
"Wonderland will be in Ferguson Hall, the second-largest of the Center's facilities in downtown Tampa, with 1,100 seats.
of the idea for buying the script for "Wonderland," was to encourage
other writers and directors to start productions in the Tampa Bay area.
want other productions to come down," Kilgore says. "We have the
rehearsal space. We're in Florida. We're in the same time zone as New
York. People who want to come back and forth from here and New York can
do so a lot easier than cross country to California. We also have
planety of hotels close by."Dave Szymanski, a Tampa-based journalist, likes running 5ks, other sports and writing poetry. Comments? Contact 83 Degrees