Local theaters’ curtains to rise

Broadway musicals, Artown drama on the playbills

"Hamilton" will kick off the Pioneer Center's Broadway Comes to Reno series this fall. Tickets are now on sale.

Reno’s stages have been vacant since March 2020, but that’s about to change.

The Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, 100 S. Virginia St., announced its Broadway Comes to Reno season starting in the fall, with tickets on sale this month and Artown is hosting a comedy based on The Bard’s characters from “Hamlet.”

The Pioneer is hosting a slate of popular musicals starting in the fall and running into summer 2022.

“Hamilton” comes to town

The mainstage theatre at the Pioneer Center for The  Performing Arts is a 1500 seat Reno treasure. There is an unpretentious elegance to the place which encourages you to get dressed up and go see a play.

The Pioneer opens its Broadway Comes to Reno series  Nov. 3 with a professional production of “Hamilton.”If you don’t have a spare $800 for a ticket on the Great White Way (I hear that’s the going price), this is the venue for you.

Don’t delay, as there are certain restrictions on acquiring tickets for the popular musical. Sales for new and renewing season subscriptions as well as group sales are underway at the box office.

Group tickets for all other shows will be available later in the summer. On-sale dates for individual tickets will be announced as each performance approaches.

The Pioneer Center continues its Broadway Comes to Reno series in 2022 with: “Fiddler on The Roof,” Jan. 18 – 23; “Jesus Christ Superstar,” May 17 – 22; “Cats ,” June 14 – 19; and “Hadestown,”  July 26 – 31.

 Box Office: (775) 686 6600; Tickets by phone, (775) 434 1050.

Hamlet makes a comeback

“When Churchyards Yawn,” the latest work by award-winning playwright Jeanmarie Simpson, will be featured during Artown on July 17.

It’s 40 years later, and all the dead Hamlet characters have graduated from Limbo to Purgatory. It seems there’s been a bit of a backlog.

Hamlet Senior is ancient and over it. Polonius is befuddled, as ever. Rosencrantz feels like a nit wit, Guildenstern blames Rosencrantz. Ophelia is innocent and furious, Gertrude is spitting mad. Claudius is contrite to the point that you want to smack him.

Simpson’s new divine comedy will be on the boards for the first time.

Purgatory of a plague

“This is a pandemic-inspired piece,” Simpson said. “We were stuck, for a time. Not knowing when it would end or where we would be when it was over. It’s not a ‘No Exit’ situation, because Purgatory is a place from which you either ascend to Heaven or descend to Hell. It’s up to you. At least, that’s true in my play,”

“When Churchyards Yawn” answers questions and takes on some 400-year-old issues Shakespeare fans have had with various HAMLET characters, she said.

Admission is “pay-what-you-can,” she said, plus a non-perishable food item donation for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. The cast includes: Tom Strekal, Cori Cooper, John Frederick, Annikki Larson, Gary Eugene Cremeans II , Michael Peters, Kirk Gardner, Mary Bennett and others.

Curtain is July 17 at 10 a.m. at Ali’s Alley (Potentialist Workshop space) at 836 E 2nd St. in Reno. Brunch will be provided and donations are enthusiastically encouraged. Details: (775) 686-8201.

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