Westchester Broadway Theatre Celebrates 40 Years of Great ShowsPublished: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 By: Colette Connolly
Even after 40 years in the business, they are often surprised by what audiences want.
“There is no sure way to gauge the popularity of a production beforehand,” Funking said.
But that hasn’t stopped them from providing top quality Broadway entertainment over the years, while helping to launch many careers.
“There isn’t a musical on Broadway that doesn’t have someone who came from the Westchester Broadway Theater,” said Stutler.
The most recent example is Andy Keslo, the male lead in “Kinky Boots.” He had the lead role in WBT’s production of “Rent” a couple of years ago.
The last five choreographers/directors who collaborated with the WBT have won Tony Awards. Others who have graced the WBT stage include actors Scott Bakula, who later starred in “Quantum Leap” and “Star Trek,” Estelle Harris, who played George’s mother in “Seinfeld,” Holland Taylor, who has starred in “Two and a Half Men” and has also won an Emmy for her part in “The Practice,” and Rob Marshall, who directed WBT’s “Side by Side” and later the films “Chicago” and “Memoirs of a Geisha.”
Stutler and Funking agree WBT’s success is because of their passion for providing high quality entertainment and their ability to appeal to different audiences.
“The industry is actually getting more difficult,” Funking said. “Years ago, all we had to compete with was the TV, and it was very easy to reach an audience.”
Still, Stutler and Funking aren’t deterred from offering new and exciting musical theater, tribute shows and an array of children’s productions throughout the year.
For more information about the theater, its schedule of shows and ticket availability, visit www.broadwaytheatre.com.