Setting the Stage


Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Broadway musicals, concerts and Christmas shows are coming to the Columbia County Performing Arts Center.

It’s almost time to raise the curtain on the Columbia County Performing Arts Center’s inaugural season, and the lineup deserves a standing ovation. The Broadway Series alone should captivate new and avid theater-goers with a quartet of critically acclaimed musicals.

“I think the season is a really exciting start for us. The shows are classic. People know these shows. They can relate to them,” says Matt Jameson, the PAC general manager. “It’s a great way to kick off and introduce Broadway in Columbia County.”

To start the season, Anastasia, from the Tony Award-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, begins at 8 p.m. Friday, October 15. Transporting the audience from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, the musical tells the story of a young woman who sets out to discover the mystery of her past.

Photo credit: Joan Marcus

The Tony-nominated, newly staged revival of Fiddler on the Roof is scheduled for Tuesday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. The original production won 10 Tony Awards, including a special Tony for becoming the longest-running Broadway musical of all time. Audience members will recognize the Broadway classics “Tradition,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “To Life.”

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent will come to the PAC on Monday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m. This cultural touchstone follows a year in the lives of a diverse group of artists and friends struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. In its “Farewell Season of Love,” this is the final chance for first-timers or faithful fans to experience this beloved touring production.

Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Featuring “Memory,” one of the most recognized songs in musical theater, Cats will begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12 and Wednesday, April 13. The record-breaking musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber has captivated audiences in more than 30 countries and 15 languages. Winner of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Cats tells the story of one magical night when an extraordinary tribe of felines gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which one will be reborn.

Season subscriptions, which range from $220 – $335, for the Broadway series went on sale in August, and dates for individual and group tickets will be announced later. Individual tickets range from $50 – $85, and a 10% discount will be applied on a single ticket price for groups of 10 or more.

Other upcoming events at the PAC include Thuderstruck: America’s AC/DC tribute band at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 2; Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at 8 p.m. Friday, November 5 and Disney Princess: The Concert at 7 p.m. Monday, November 15.

Photo credit: Amy Boyle

In addition, Columbia County Ballet will perform The Nutcracker at the facility at 7 p.m. Friday, December 10. Other Christmas shows are in the works as well.

“I hope people will stay tuned and continue to enjoy watching us announce shows,” says Jameson. “We like to keep up the suspense.”

Currently, he says, there are no plans to put restrictions in place because of covid. However, he adds, “Health and safety are at the forefront of our minds. We will continue to monitor the situation. We’ll do what makes the most sense. Right now, it’s all systems go.”

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