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RiverCenter to Host Four National Tour Launches Bringing $1.5 Million Economic Impact

Written by Blake Blackmon

Have you heard? Not only has the RiverCenter announced it’s exciting new season, but they are celebrating 20 years of presenting world-class artists and nationally touring Broadway shows to our city.

Of the shows coming up this season, three stick out in a unique, special way and stand to benefit Columbus in more ways than one. Staying true to its mission to be a key player in the preservation of the social, economic and civic vitality of the region, the RiverCenter will host a total of three tour start-ups this season. This means the cast, crew and producers will be on site for approximately two weeks as they conduct their technical rehearsals and launch the new tours from the RiverCenter stage. This gives our Columbus audience a first viewing of these spectacular shows and benefits our economy through bringing these groups into our city for an extended period of time.

“All of us at RiverCenter are as pleased as can be with this coming season,” said RiverCenter Executive Director Norman Easterbrook. “Despite some nearly insurmountable challenges of the past couple years, RiverCenter is back in the business of bringing world class, professional entertainment to the region. We are especially proud that we will be originating three national touring productions right here in Columbus – the national tours of Jesus Christ Superstar, A Magical Cirque Christmas and the outstanding Aquila Theatre education tour. These projects not only give area residents the opportunity to see the very first public performance of a fresh and new national tour, but also will have a significant impact on our local economy.”

There is an intricate process to bringing a Broadway hit on the road to a new location. The technical crew has to bring in the sets and costumes and the tour travels with lighting rigs and sound rigs to ensure they have the same lighting design and sound design wherever they go. This makes it seamless for the sound and technical engineers to deliver the same product regardless of location. “These shows travel with four or five semis carrying all the things they need for the production, so it’s kind of a complicated process and they need to have a fitting place for it all to work,” said Easterbrook.

In terms of economic benefits, these shows allow the RiverCenter to not only sustain local employees, up to 25 a day for two weeks, but to also host traveling groups of up to 40 people who will require room and board at local hotels and likely visit local restaurants and sites paying local taxes; all money they will leave behind here in Columbus. “It’s a very low risk venture for the theatre, the return on it is always profitable and always there is an even greater impact that is left in the community,” Eastbrook noted, “They’ll probably generate about a 1.5 million dollar economic churn, new money that keeps flowing through the community and supports other trades around us, with Jesus Christ Superstar alone for the time that they’re here.”

The national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar is up first followed by Magical Cirque Christmas and then the Aquilla Theater who will be traveling with two shows: Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, targeted at high school ages, and in the evenings for general audiences, Pride and Predjudice. More information on how you can attend these exciting FIRST performances of amazing broadway tours below.

If You Go:

What: Jesus Christ Superstar

When: October 8th; 7:30 p.m.

Where: The RiverCenter

If You Go:

What: Magical Cirque Christmas

When: November 15th, 7:30 p.m.

Where: The RiverCenter

If You Go:

What: Julius Caesar

When: January 12th; 10:00 a.m.

Where: The RiverCenter

Get tickets: Tickets for this performance are through the box office only and can be purchased by calling 706-256-3612 or in person Monday-Friday 10AM-5:30 PM.

If You Go:

What: Pride and Predjudice

When: January 123h; 7:30 p.m.

Where: The RiverCenter


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