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Miller to be part of CityStage's 22-event season

Date: 5/17/2011

May 16, 2011

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD — CityStage and Symphony Hall will present a 22-event season beginning later this year that will bring back some popular favorites.

At the announcement of the new season made in Symphony Hall on May 11, CityStage president Cindy Anzalotti admitted the 2010 to 2011 season was "a tough year" for the two venues. Part of the reason was the economy and part of the problem was because of the limitations imposed by the size of the stage at Symphony Hall. Three of the traveling Broadway shows Anzalotti had hoped to bring to the city couldn't come because of their physical requirements.

With a crew assembling lighting for that night's performance of "Legally Blonde" in the background, Anzalotti added the size of Symphony Hall actually results in greater labor costs in unloading a touring show.

"Broadway shows are larger," she said. "This building has become a challenge."

In picking events, Anzalotti said the staff must decide not only what is financially feasible, but will literally fit into the building.

One bonus for audience members is the new parking arrangements offered to CityStage by Tower Square. Anzalotti explained parking will be free in the Tower Square garage.

Gary Breton, the president of the CityStage board of directors, said the events presented at the two venues are valuable additions to the city.

"We are a source for drawing people downtown," he said.

Season tickets go on sale June 7 and General Manager Tina D'Agostino said that patrons can design their own season by buying tickets to a minimum of four shows.

This season's shows include the following:

• The Late Nite Catechism

The interactive spoof of Catholic school comes back to Springfield from Oct. 12 to 16.

• Women Fully Clothed

A sequel to the play "Older & Hotter," this comedy that will play Nov. 2 through 6 mixes friendship, family dynamics and self-preservation. It stars Kathryn Greenwood of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" Robin Duke from "Saturday Night Live" and "SCTV," Jayne Eastwood of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and Teresa Pavlinek from "The Jane Show."

• Comedian Bobby Collins returns to CityStage Nov. 12.

• Justin "Kredible" Willman

Willman, who hosts the hit shows "Cupcake Wars" and "Last Cake Standing" on the Food Network, will bring his popular one-man comedy and magic live show to CityStage on Nov. 18 and 19.

• 4 Sides of 40

"The Four Sides of 40" are four performers, all in their 40's who each offer a different perspective and take on the milestone. The show will appear Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 at CityStage.

• Comedian Chris Tabbwill appear Jan. 28 at CityStage.

• Parents Night Out

This play presents comedy about parenthood from both sides and will appear Feb. 2 to 4 at CityStage.

• The Irish Comedy Tour

The Irish Comedy Tour takes the party atmosphere of a Dublin pub and presents Detroit native Derek Richards; Boston-born Mike McCarthy; and from Dublin, Ireland, Keith Aherne. The show will appear Feb. 24 and 25 at CityStage.

• Forever Kings: A Tribute to Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley will be presented Feb. 29 through March 4 at CityStage.

• Cocktails with Larry Miller

Comedian and actor Larry Miller will take the stage with his one-man show to share his comic perspective about marriage, children and drinking from March 7 through 10 at CityStage.

• Country Royalty: Tribute to Hank Williams & Patsy Cline will be presented March 28 through April 1 at CityStage.

• Almost Elton John: Starring Craig Meyer, a tribute to Elton John, will appear April 11 through 14 at CityStage.

• Comedian Paul Venier will appear at CityStage on April 21.

• Capitol Steps

The acclaimed political satirist Capitol Steps will appear April 25 through 29 at CityStage.

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