Yesterday, a small contingency of media gathered at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts for the venue's annual season announcement. What none of us expected was the list of shows and acts that were about to appear on the screen in front of us.
Gasps could be heard as each of the TSYS Broadway on Broadway titles were released:
A national tour launch of the 20th Anniversary production of RENT .
A new tour of Fiddler on the Roof.
Two of the first major tours of shows still currently running on Broadway:
Beautiful : The Carole King Musical and Waitress, the hit musical by Sara Bareilles.
And then? There was more news that surprised us all.
Gladys Knight will be here in November as the headliner for Synovus' Center Stage series.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is coming in April.
And one of the largest military tours put together in the last decade will be here for free public performances in March.
It didn't stop there.
A contemporary ballet set to music by Bach and David Bowie.
The crowd pleaser Escape to Margaritaville - a Jimmy Buffet musical.
The Pout-Pout Fish, The SpongeBob Musical, Pilobolus, and What Do You Do with an Idea? are headed here for school and public children's performances.
And finally, an announcement that local staple Cantus Columbus will be featured in its final season after 20 years.
Overall, the season concert announcement was received with great acclaim by those in attendance. Columbusites are raving today about the lineup.
Below, is the complete list of RiverCenter's 2018-19 Season. For more information about each show, visit www.rivercenter.org and stay tuned to The Columbusite for stories about each production as the season progresses.
RiverCenter's 2019-20 Season
TSYS Broadway on Broadway Series:
RENT (August 3)
The August 3 performance of RENT marks the end of a two-week residency for the new national tour. This is a national tour launch, which means that the producers and directors of RENT have decided that Columbus is the perfect place for their cast to come and complete their final rehearsals together before heading out on tour. Columbus will see the first performance of the show.
For a city of our size to receive a national tour launch is an incredibly big deal. No other theatre in the state of Georgia is launching one this year. What's more? It's our second national tour launch in two years. Last year, RiverCenter kicked off its season with the national tour launch of Something Rotten. It was an enormous success, and more than one touring company approached Columbus for a tour launch this year.
"This is an exciting thing for Columbus," Easterbrook said. "and it's our second national tour in consecutive seasons. We are proud to be the only theatre in the state to be involved in the launching of a national tour, and hope that many more tours will originate from the RiverCenter stage."
The national tour launch of RENT will mean more than a great performance to open RiverCenter's season though. The cast and crew are expected to need a total of about 750 nights in local hotel rooms, caterers for each day of rehearsal, materials and supplies purchased locally. Overall, it's estimated that an economic impact of $500,000 will come to the community as a result.
TSYS Broadway on Broadway Series
Fiddler on the Roof (October 23-24)
Beautiful (December 4-5)
CATS (February 11-12)
SpongeBob Squarepants (May 6-7)
Waitress (June 23-24)
SYNOVUS Center Stage Series:
Gladys Knight (November 8)
Pilobolus Shadowland II: The New Adventure (November 19)
Cantus Christmas 2019 (December 17)
Stray Cats' Lee Rocker (January 16)
Escape to Margaritaville (March 19)
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (April 2)
Complexions Contemporary Ballet: Bach to Bowie (April 16)
Coasters, Drifters, Platters (May 1)
Cantus Columbus: The American Songbook: Gems by Kern, Berlin, and Rodgers & Hart
RiverCenter ArtsReach Series:
The Pout-Pout First (February 1)
US Navy Bands: Concert Band, Sea Chanters Chorus, and Cruisers (March 12)
What Do You Do with an Idea? (May 16)
For more information or to purchase season tickets, visit www.rivercenter.org or contact RiverCenter’s Box Office at (706) 256-3612. ◼︎