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Judy Garland Concert To Reopen Open Stage In May

The event will be followed by a July concert featuring the works of Carole King, along with shows featuring solo artists from the Harrisburg area.

Judy Garland Concert To Reopen Open Stage In May

Open Stage has announced the theater's re-opening in late May with a series of concerts, beginning with a Judy Garland celebration dubbed Over the Rainbow: the Songs of Judy Garland, running May 28-June 25.

This will be followed by a July concert featuring the works of Carole King, along with shows featuring solo artists from the Harrisburg area. The company hasn't had a public performance for over a year.

"It's obviously been a difficult year for theatre," says Stuart Landon, the Producing Artistic Director at Open Stage. "Last March we asked ourselves 'what is theatre without people sitting in the audience?' and we - the five full time staff members - took some time away from the space. But through a very dark time we were able to find some light." Open Stage kicked off the "Open Stage at Home" streaming program last April with a six-part streaming production of Angels in America. The theatre has since presented over twenty virtual productions.

"The community has been a boon to us during this time. So many patrons have purchased streaming passes and signed up for our monthly giving program - we are really humbled by the passion for the arts during a time when people can't gather. But theatre-goers are ready to return to live entertainment; it's time for us to welcome artists and audiences back to Court Street."

For the first time, Open Stage will produce a full summer season, packed with nights of entertainment, including variety shows, talk shows, and concerts. The fun kicks off with Over the Rainbow, opening May 28. All performances will have limited seating available. Over the Rainbow will culminate June 25 with one outdoor performance at Italian Lake park in Uptown Harrisburg.

The concert features performers Carly Lafferty, Stacey Werner and Rachel Landon with Music Director Nicholas Werner at the helm. The production is directed by Stuart Landon, who believes this concert series, featuring local talent from Central Pennsylvania, will satisfy both the long-time patrons and newcomers to the theatre in downtown Harrisburg. "There is also something very beautiful about a bunch of strangers sitting in a dark room sharing an experience - seeing a well-formulated story, hearing beautiful music - and knowing that the person next to you is experiencing the same thing. Over the Rainbow will be just that."

"We wanted to produce shows that will bring light and happiness into people's lives. A concert featuring Judy Garland's songs will be a show for folks looking for something joyous and fun. She's an icon and she gave us a lifetime of songs that any person can enjoy."

Judy Garland, best known for movies such as The Wizard of Oz, A Star is Born, and Meet Me in St Louis had a career spanning almost her entire life - from a young girl in vaudeville to her death in 1969. Her recordings number in the hundreds and her songs are some of the most iconic in the American canon.

Tickets are available starting May 1 at openstagehbg.com. Capacity will be limited, adhering to CDC guidelines and local and state government regulations. Physical distancing, mask-wearing, and rigorous sanitation practices will be in place in order to keep audiences and artists safe.

Open Stage's regular season will kick off in September and will feature plays, musicals, cabarets, and special events.


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