The Broadway curtain is lifting on Long Beach


Long Beach’s live entertainment scene is receiving two new acts straight from Broadway, courtesy of The American Theatre Guild. 

“It gives us the opportunity to bring the performing arts and Broadway tours to markets that wouldn’t normally be able to have that high quality of a product,” said Amy Hamm, executive director for the American Theatre Guild. 

Long Beach residents have the chance to see two popular Broadway productions, “STOMP” and “The Simon and Garfunkel Story,” this season at The Terrace Theater downtown for single shows in January and March. The American Theatre Guild (ATG), a not-for-profit touring Broadway presenter, is expanding its market to Long Beach for the first time, making it the 16th city to benefit from the handpicked productions. 

ATG is the largest not-for-profit touring Broadway presenter in the nation, and has been working with cities across the United States to provide communities with high-quality Broadway musical production shows since 2017. The not-for-profit has worked with cities such as Birmingham, Alabama; Eugene, Oregon; Lubbock, Texas; Riverside, California; Toledo, Ohio and more. 

Broadway musical production “STOMP” will show at the Long Beach Terrace Theater in March 2023 as part of The American Theatre Guild’s 2022-23 season. (Courtesy of The American Theatre Guild)

Talks of a partnership between ATG and Long Beach started before the COVID-19 pandemic, though they had to be put on hold while live theater performances from ATG were prohibited for 18 months. During this time, Hamm and the company’s board refined ATG’s mission for the communities they were working with. 

“I was excited about the idea of being able to assemble with our own board, what we wanted our company to be, and what we wanted to stand for and the impact that we wanted to make around the country,” Hamm said. “I think that arts and performing arts are so important…the opportunity to come into the theater and be moved by the excitement and the thrill of it.”

On top of offering Broadway musical productions to over a dozen cities, ATG works with the youth in underserved communities through its program, Staging the Future. The program provides thousands of free tickets annually to students as well as educational opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in theater. 

During the 2021-22 season, ATG distributed 5,000 tickets to underserved students and members of the community. The company hopes to double that number this upcoming season with 10,000 Staging the Future participants. 

“I’m most excited about continuing this amazing crowd that we’ve had in our education and outreach program,” Hamm said. “The impact that we’ve made across the country has been absolutely unbelievable, and I’m so incredibly proud of the efforts our team has made to be able to fund these tickets and the great care and consideration that was put into making sure that we invite the most deserving students and people into our theaters to have that experience.”

Hamm said that great care also went into the selection for this season’s shows, which were chosen for their “fun, upbeat” performances. 

Broadway musical production “The Story of Simon and Garfunkel” will show at the Long Beach Terrace Theater in January 2023 as part of The American Theatre Guild’s 2022-23 season. (Courtesy of The American Theatre Guild)

The season will begin with “The Simon and Garfunkel Story,” an immersive concert-style show that takes audiences through the lives of folk-rock duo Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. The show features huge projected photos, original film footage and a live band that will perform hits such as “Mrs. Robinson,” “Cecilia” and “Homeward Bound.” 

“STOMP” is an eight-person troupe of percussionist performers. The group creates unfounded sounds and melodies from unconventional instruments: matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and hubcaps, to name a few. 

Tickets for “The Simon and Garfunkel Story” went on sale Nov. 18 and will have a single production on Jan. 23. Ticket sales have also begun for the second show of ATG’s season, “STOMP.” 

“Our goal in Long Beach is to learn that there’s enough support and interest in the market for us to be able to meet our goals,” Hamm said. “We’re really trying to get a feel for the market and the potential with these two titles. Then yeah, absolutely our goal is to grow into having these annual touring Broadway seasons year after year.”

Hamm also said she is looking forward to growing ATG once again, with Long Beach being at the forefront of the company’s expansion. She commended the City and Long Beach Convention Center for recognizing the value of live art performances for the community. 

Tickets can be purchased for “The Simon and Garfunkel Story” and “STOMP” on ATG’s website. Single tickets for performances begin at $46, and groups interested in receiving tickets through the Staging the Future program can apply here

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here