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Performing Arts Fort Worth, Casa Mañana announce season lineups

Casa Mañana and Performing Arts Fort Worth today announced separate 2010-2011 Broadway seasons, but each with the same goal in mind: popular entertainment that will bring families to the theater.

The season announcements come about two weeks after a report that the performing arts organizations are ending a 12-year arrangement in which they shared revenue from touring Broadway shows that they co-presented at Bass Hall.

While neither collection of shows boasts any A-list marquee stars, they all present cozily familiar entertainment.

Performing Arts Fort Worth's Bass Hall season highlights include Disney's fairy-tale love story Beauty and the Beast -- a Broadway smash hit making its Fort Worth debut; the all-new Cirque Dreams Illumination, from the award-winning creators of Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy; the Tony-winning A Chorus Line; Australia's the Ten Tenors chorus; and the Dolly Parton-scored 9 to 5: The Musical -- also making its Fort Worth debut.

"If I had to point to one theme throughout our season, it is most definitely family-oriented fun," says Dione Kennedy, president and chief executive officer of Performing Arts Fort Worth. "Part of our motivation for how we planned this season is that in this current economic climate and time in our country, I felt we needed to bring in things to the community that would allow more families to attend shows together."

Casa Mañana will produce the Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber hit Jesus Christ Superstar at Bass Hall. (As producer, the organization creates the entire show -- as opposed to presenting it, which means that the organization puts on a show that someone else is producing.)

Casa, under the guidance of president and executive producer Wally Jones, also will present a slate of Broadway touring shows at its silver-domed theater that includes the Fort Worth return of actress Ruta Lee in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

The schedule also includes Broadway favorites Hairspray, The Sound of Music and another winning Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber collaboration, Evita.

"In a nutshell, we've gone for providing something for everyone," Jones said. "I'm especially looking forward to working with Ruta Lee in Best Little Whorehouse, and Evita is certainly one of my favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals of all time. And both Hairspray and the Sound of Music will give us a great chance to work some local kids into the cast."

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Andrew Marton is a Star-Telegram senior arts writer, 817-390-7679; John Austin, 817-390-7874

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