Auburn, N.Y. - If its pilot show is any indication, Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival will be a smashing success. Halfway through the run of a pilot show, it has already sold nearly 70% of all the seats available for the entire run. More than 4,000 people have attended a performance at the Auburn Public Theater's Main Stage in downtown Auburn, and there are packed houses for nearly every performance. There were only four empty seats during the two performances on July 27th! The pilot show - Cooking with the Calamari Sisters: Mangia Italiano is produced by Merry-Go-Round Playhouse. Affectionately called "Broadway in the Finger Lakes", the Playhouse is known for the quality of its musical productions and the professional actors, designers and creative teams behind them. The Playhouse will produce all of the shows for the Festival, which will feature a variety of musicals from "on, off and beyond" Broadway and give audiences the opportunity to see as many as three different shows during their visit. This pilot marks the first time that Merry-Go-Round Playhouse has run two shows simultaneously. On July 20, more than 1,300 people saw a performance in a single day! All four performances - two performances of Cooking with the Calamari Sisters and two performances of Hairspray - had either sold out or nearly-packed houses. "Groups are travelling to Auburn and Cayuga County to see multiple shows during their visit," said Ed Sayles, Producing Artistic Director for the Festival. "They are also dining and shopping while they are here, eating lunch before the matinee shows and dinner before the evening performances." Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival will offer a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, whether it's at the lakeside Playhouse or one of the downtown venues - there's not a bad seat in the house. The quaint waterfront villages and lakeside retreats of the Finger Lakes region are sure to be a hit with audiences. In fact, the Finger Lakes region has been ranked as the #1 Top Lake Destination in the world in 2010 by Shermans Travel and the #5 Top Value Travel Destination in the world for 2011. "The tremendous success that we have already seen demonstrates that the audience potential not only exists, but that the region is ready for something of this magnitude," said Michael Chamberlain, Managing Director for the Festival. Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival will officially launch in June 2012 and provide theatre goers with multiple venues of professional theatre based in Auburn (New York). The Musical Theatre Festival, Inc. was established to create a multi-venue theatre festival that will become a destination for summer musical theatre in the nation, initially drawing more than 100,000 visitors annually, and in the process, having a transformational impact on Central New York and the Finger Lakes Region. For more information about the history and the future of the Festival, visit Follow Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival: Contact: Megan Mullin 315.255.1305