Richmond's CenterStage grand opening is Saturday

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Tomorrow's grand opening show is significant for many reasons, but mainly because it will be the first time all nine resident companies perform together on one stage.

Eight years in the making. A last coat of fresh paint, a marquee already a glow, and Richmond CenterStage is finally ready for the curtain to go up.

"It's almost like they've spent two years or more giving birth and now they've handed the baby over to us, the resident companies, to raise and we take that charge quite seriously," said Keith Martin, Managing Director of the Richmond Ballet.

He's watched patiently as crews brought his theater space back to life. He's also spent the last 21 months planning for Saturday night.

"Rather than bring in somebody like Yo Yo Ma they've asked the nine producing resident companies to showcase the best their art form has to offer," Martin said.

225 performers will take this stage together for the opening act. Patrons filling these seats will see the Ballet, the Symphony, African American Theatre, Elegba Folklore, Jazz, and Shakespeare. It will be a two hour performance kicking off a second act for this 81 year old Landmark Theater.

"I think it's really important to get the community out to see what a gem of a facility they have what an amazing collection of venues are suddenly sitting on this block," said Architect Scott Wilson.

This 74 million dollar project officially opens with a ribbon cutting tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. and then the first performance here is at 8:00 p.m. There are still tickets available, but there are only less than 200 seats. They cost $35 to $100.

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