Musical production company abandons Broadway

Posted February 12, 2010 6:04 p.m. EST
Updated February 13, 2010 12:38 a.m. EST

— For years, Broadway Series South brought the best national touring musicals to Raleigh, but officials said the program is shifting its focus.

Jim Lavery, general manager of the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, said the production company will no longer feature Broadway musicals in an effort to broaden its reach.

The decision was based, in part, on the opening of the Durham Performing Arts Center in late 2008, Lavery said. The DPAC features some of the same type of entertainment, producing musicals like "Phantom of the Opera" and "Mamma Mia!"

Lavery said the audience for Broadway shows is shrinking, and the Progress Energy Center wants to offer more variety.

The Raleigh arts center will start staging shows like Cirque de Soleil and musical themes focused on rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Queen and Pink Floyd, he said.

Some of the performances will be staged at the amphitheater that is set to open in May across from Raleigh's downtown convention center, Lavery said.