BRADENTON -- The DaVinci and Michelangelo "Side by Side" performance and exhibit is returning to the Bradenton Auditorium with an anticipated opening date in the week before Christmas.
Organizers of the show last week submitted a request for a lease that will extend through the end of April. The Bradenton City Council called a special meeting Wednesday to take action on the lease after organizers said they would need an immediate answer to prepare the auditorium in time for Christmas.
Given the success of the DaVinci Exhibit that ran from November of last year all the way through the summer after a couple of lease extensions, city officials were enthusiastic to see the show return.
During the initial run, 6,000-8,000 visitors a month came to the show and the result was a solid economic benefit to local businesses as well as the city, which for the first time since the auditorium opened for public use, minimized losses from $100,000 annually to $20,000, essentially saving the city $80,000.
The special meeting lasted barely 10 minutes as the council unanimously approved a lease similar to the last one that will require the show's organizers to pay all utilities and share 10 percent of the profits with the city. The only difference in the lease is that City Clerk Carl Callahan included a notification that the city had become aware of a termite problem in the building's ceiling.
"It was discovered as recently as (Tuesday night) and the city is going to take care of it before they begin to set up for the show," said city spokesman Tim McCann.
DaVinci curator Mark Rogers said he is happy to be back in the auditorium.
"Everything is ready to
go," he said. "We are more than excited to bring DaVinci and Michelangelo back to Bradenton."
The DaVinci Exhibit launched a brand new show called "Discover DaVinci and Michelangelo Side by Side," a 2.5-hour theater-style performance, which will run through April. Included in the return of that show will be the Divine Michelangelo and DaVinci exhibit featuring authentic castings of the great artists' works.
Details of an exact opening date are expected soon and information will be available at discoverdavinci.com and discovermichelangelo.com.
"We love it here," said Rodgers. "This show has been touring for four years and the best place of the entire tour has been Bradenton. Our crews will be coming in the next week and hopefully we will be set up and ready to go within 7-10 days from there."
Mark Young, Herald urban affairs reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041 or follow him on Twitter @urbanmark2014.