The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre celebrates their 30th anniversary

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre is celebrating three decades as a family business.

The executive producer and owner William Prather is proud of how far they have come.

“Publix had just vacated,” he said. “My dad and I walked into an empty supermarket and said, ‘This could be our future,’ in the home of the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater.”

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre
The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre (CREDIT: WINK News)

The Prather family has taken countless shows on national tours and endured through the pandemic and Hurricane Ian. Prather said the theatre has tried to serve as an anchor during more challenging times.

“Our community has gone through some tragedy. We spent two weeks [last September] having people fed in our driveway. We had free ice. If anyone who wanted ice, come get some ice,” Prather said.

Prather is excited to commemorate the 30th anniversary with the launch of the Tony-award-winning musical Hairspray.

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre
Inside Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre (CREDIT: WINK News)

“It’s a story of resilience. It’s a story of joy, and it’s a story of coming together as a community, all things I think could apply to Fort Myers right now,” said actress Caroline Eiseman. Eiseman will be starring as Tracy Turnblad in Hairpsray.

Hairspray’s opening is Friday, Sept. 22. The musical will run at the Broadway Palm until Oct. 28 and then begin a national tour.

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