Piano Men Concert Ushers in Lancaster's New Theater
An energetic Piano Men concert opens the new 200-seat downtown Lancaster theater with free on-site parking.
Prima, a non-profit theatre organization, has had an exciting eight-year history. From hosting Broadway guest artists (Stephen Schwartz, Billy Porter, Adam Pascal, Jason Robert Brown, Shoshana Bean) to a host of boutique musicals and concerts (First Date, Chess, Big Fish, Tick Tick Boom), Prima knows little about standing still.
Founded by Mitch Nugent, an impresario at 34 years old, Prima quickly banded together the region's finest talent with Broadway's best, performing in over a dozen venues across Lancaster County. Quickly, being nomadic began to take a toll. Venue-hopping challenged Prima's production teams and inconvenienced audiences.
Earlier this year, with the leadership of Carol Culliton of the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation, Sequinox and TONO Group, Prima acquired what was formerly the Hamilton Ballroom at Wheatland Place. After an impressively speedy three-quarters of a million dollar renovation, Prima will open its doors with a celebratory concert this December 7, 8, 14, and 15 at 7:30pm. PIANO MEN is an original concert featuring the music of Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Ray Charles. Songs include "We Didn't Start The Fire," "Bennie and The Jets," "Hit The Road Jack," and "You Are The Sunshine of My Life." Tickets can be purchased by calling the box-office at (717) 327-5124 or online at primalancaster.org.
Backed by a live band are singers including Diedre Cravey, Joy Lee, Reji Woods, and Jeremy Schonfeld (also on keys). Woods can be seen in Netflix's Orange Is The New Black, and played the Lion in the Central Park production of The Wiz). Schonfeld is a rock musical singer and composer whose work has been sung by singers including Terrence Mann, Adam Pascal, Julia Murney, Tracie Thoms, Amy Spanger, and Lauren Kennedy.
The new Prima venue offers flexible seating and staging arrangements. Prima's new home is a contemporary destination for theatre, music, film, and special events. The venue is prepared for hospitality services with a full kitchen and bar.
Programming plans for 2019 include a series of MainStage musicals (Disenchanted, Godspell, Jekyll & Hyde) and a concert series called Altro (70s Smash Hits, Sondheim Unplugged, Motown Legends).
In order to utilize this new community resource to its fullest potential, a 3-year 3.2 million dollar effort has begun called FWD, launching forward Lancaster's new home for fresh theatrical experiences. Nearly half of the funds to be raised (1.57 million) has been committed thus far for renovations and facility expenses. The remaining funds raised through FWD will go towards expanding artistic programming and supporting artists (including student internships and local performers). More details can be found at primaFWD.org.
Get a preview of the evening below: