Broad­way’s best are com­ing back

‘Hamil­ton’ and ‘Wicked’ will re­turn to Dr. Phillips Cen­ter.

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Matthew J. Palm

In a week where the Dr. Phillips Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts re­ceived $19 mil­lion more from the tourist-de­vel­op­ment tax, fans of big mu­si­cals also had rea­son to cel­e­brate: “Hamil­ton” and “Wicked,” two of the­ater’s big­gest hits, will re­turn to Or­lando in the 2020-2021 sea­son of tour­ing Broad­way shows.

Orange County com­mis­sion­ers ap­proved the tax dis­burse­ment Tues­day evening. The de­ci­sion had been ex­pected since early De­cem­ber, when the county’s Tourist De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil unan­i­mously rec­om­mended the fund­ing. Tues­day’s vote was also unan­i­mous, though Orange County Mayor Jerry Dem­ings made it clear that this was the county’s fi­nal con­tri­bu­tion to build­ing the struc­ture.

“We will not come back for fund­ing for the ex­ist­ing Dr. Phillips Cen­ter build­ing,” arts-cen­ter pres­i­dent Kathy Rams­berger de­clared to the com­mis­sion­ers. The tourist tax, col­lected through a 6 per­cent charge on stays in county ho­tels and other ac­com­mo­da­tions, al­ready has con­trib­uted $207.4 mil­lion to con­struc­tion of the cen­ter — more than a third of the to­tal price tag of $606 mil­lion.

Ad­dress­ing the com­mis­sion­ers, Rams­berger also touched on the im­por­tance of Broad­way tours to the down­town Or­lando fa­cil­ity.

“We are one of the top tour­ing Broad­way mar­kets in the United States,” Rams­berger said. “That’s a bless­ing and a curse be­cause there’s

PHO­TOS BY JOAN MAR­CUS/AP

“Hamil­ton,” left, and “Wicked” were added to the Dr. Phillips Cen­ter’s 2020-21 sea­son. Both of the hit mu­si­cals will stop in Or­lando for longer stints than a typ­i­cal show.

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