Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Florida - West Coast

Broadway by the Bay
The Players Center for Performing Arts
William S. Oser | Season Schedule

Also see Bill's review of Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer

Courtesy of The Players Centre for Performing Arts
It was a perfect Florida day: temperatures had climbed to low 80s and the sun was setting over Sarasota Bay. The audience at the gorgeous Marie Selby botanical gardens were treated to a lively 60-minute show of favorite show tunes. Some performers I knew from previous work around the area (Alana Opie, Teresa Stanley), and two were new to me (Jamon Buie, Jamie Molina).

The stage was setup between two stone sets of steps leading up to a conference/event room, so what director/choreographer could resist to pay homage to Gower Champion's "Lullaby of Broadway" production number? Not Dewayne Barrett. After that came a string of Broadway favorites: "Anything Goes" (Ms. Opie, who was slated to play Reno before the pandemic knocked everyone off stages), "Corner of the Sky" (Mr. Buie), and a mashup of "You Can't Get a Man With a Gun" and "I Cain't Say No" (Miss Melina). Ms. Opie gave a souvenir of one of her best remembered performances, as Patsy Cline in Always ... Patsy Cline, which is always loved around these parts. At the end, Teresa Stanley as guest artist treated the audience with a powerful "I Am Changing" before joining her cast members in "A Brand New Day" to conclude the merriment.

This same weekend and next, The Players Centre is offering Spoon River Anthology at Jiggs Landing Outpost, with promises of Sylvia and another Broadway by the Bay coming in April. I hope when that happens they will take the opportunity to up the ante in terms of production values, especially performance attire.

Broadway by the Bay ran February 25-28, 2021, at The Players Centre for Performing Arts, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota FL. For more information visit or call 941-365-2494

Jamon Buie
Jamie Melina
Alana Opie
Teresa Stanley