Three national tours launching at Shea’s bringing millions in economic impact to Queen City


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Three national tours; Frozen, Tootsie, and To Kill A Mockingbird, will launch their tours from Shea’s Buffalo Theatre as part of the M&T Bank Broadway Series.

Frozen will kick off the series on September 10, but the cast and crew will arrive a full month before, according to Albert Nocciolino, a presenting partner for Shea’s. “They’ll be teching and rehearsing. That means over 100 cast and crew will be staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants, eating three meals a day. So, hotel room nights with 5these three shows represents almost 10,000 hotel room nights during the period of time when these three shows would normally not have been here if they were just coming here for the engagement.”

For every dollar a performance crew spends here, they get 25% back in a NY State Music and Theatrical Production Tax Credit.

But, the economic spinoff, estimated at $25 million dollars for the Buffalo area seems well worth the tradeoff, according to Crystal People-Stokes, the majority leader of the new York State Assembly. “There’s some of my colleagues who don’t believe in tax credits. In fact they think that it’s a giveaway. It’s because they can’t see the investment brings you a huge return.”

Shea’s president, Michael Murphy expects the theater to be at 100% capacity by September but he considers it too soon to say whether or not vaccinations or even masks will be required. “What we’re speculating on is that we’ll be able to open on September 10. Speculating on what the protocols and regulations will be. I have no idea, if anyone has a crystal ball, I’m happy to take a look at it.”

Here’s a look at the schedule for the productions:

  • Disney’s FrozenSeptember 10 – 24, 2021
  • TootsieOctober 10 – 16, 2021
  • Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird: March 27 – April 2, 2022

Shea’s officials say this will result in more than a $25 million economic impact on Western New York.

Each show will arrive three to six weeks before the performance dates to conduct technical rehearsals and other pre-tour activities at Shea’s.

Officials tell News 4 the Queen City will have an economic benefit from travel, hotels, restaurants, parking, and other businesses that theatergoers and production staff will visit, resulting in hundreds of jobs.

“Not only will these productions be spending money in our community, but they will also hire local workers and create hundreds of jobs. It has been a long road to get back, but the future is bright in Buffalo’s Theatre District. Arts and culture are vital for a thriving economy – which in turn builds better-connected communities while elevating the quality of life in our region,” Shea’s President Michael Murphy said.

Shea’s officials also say they will be transitioning to mobile ticketing for all events at their theatres to provide a contactless and more eco-friendly way to enter the theatre safely. The performing arts center is also looking to reduce the risk of lost, stolen, or counterfeit tickets.

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