By Kathy L. Collins

History is repeating itself as the Village Players present The Pink Panther Strikes Again at the historic James McCabe Theatre in Valrico in February. Fourteen years ago, the show was produced by the Village Players. James McCabe directed the show along with Gail Pierce as assistant director. Pierce decided to produce the show once again but with a different director, Vinnie Natale.

“Vinnie came to me and said he would like to direct a ‘high energy show,’ and I gave him the script to read and the rest is history,” said Pierce. “Vinnie is a great character actor and a very ‘hands on’ director. He has a large cast and has them broken down in sections so he can give them each their own personal character development. I’m not in a habit of giving shows I want to direct away, but I felt Vinnie was a great choice to direct The Pink Panther Strikes Again and I still do. I tell myself to always trust your instincts and I did and I do,” explained Pierce.

The Pink Panther Strikes Again opens on Friday, February 7 and will run February 8, 14-15 and 21 and 22. The doors open at 7:30 with a curtain call at 8 p.m. There will be one matinee on Sunday, February 16. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and the curtain rises at 3 p.m.

The Village Players have begun a tradition of having a dinner and a show on opening night. Local restaurants interested in sponsoring the dinner for The Pink Panther Strikes Again or any other show in the 2014 season, should call 643-8292.

Tickets are $14 for general admission, $12 for students, seniors and military with ID and $10 for groups of 12 or more. Dinner and a show is $25.

The James McCabe Theatre is a historic building which will turn 100 years old in 2015. The Village Players have been working on renovating the building, but they need the community’s help. “You can be a part of our restoration of a historical building by using your talents either on stage, behind the scenes or with a donation to our building fund. We are a non-profit organization so your donations are tax-deductible. In addition, students can earn community service hours,” said Pierce.

For more information on The Pink Panther Strikes Again or on how you can help renovate the historic James McCabe Theatre, please call 643-8292 and leave a message.


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