PPAC announces 2021-22 schedule; ‘Hamilton’ returning

PROVIDENCE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER announced Tuesday its schedule for the 2021-22 Broadway season. / COURTESY PROVIDENCE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
PROVIDENCE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER announced Tuesday its schedule for the 2021-22 Broadway season. / COURTESY PROVIDENCE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

PROVIDENCE – Providence Performing Arts Center’s curtain will rise again in October.

Twelve performances for the 2021-22 Broadway season were announced Tuesday by Providence Performing Arts Center leadership, signaling a sign that the historic downtown theater will raise the curtain soon after being dark for more than a year.

PPAC’s lights have been dim since March 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other performance venues have been temporarily repurposed for pandemic-related matters. PPAC initially planned to reopen in January, but then pushed its restart back until the fall of 2021. PPAC President J.L. “Lynn” Singleton said at the time that the Broadway industry as a whole opted to do a national reset of all touring shows – which PPAC regularly hosts – and the shows would not be held between January and June.

Singleton announced that the first show part of the Taco/White Family Foundation Broadway Series, Pretty Woman, will be held Oct. 9-16. That show is among six performances as part of the Broadway series.

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“Hamilton,” one of the most attended shows at the theater ever, will return to PPAC on Nov. 30 through Dec. 12.

The other shows part of the Broadway series are:

  • The Prom, March 8-13, 2022
  • Oklahoma!, March 22-27, 2022
  • Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations, April 12-17, 2022
  • My Fair Lady, May 11-15, 2022

Singleton also announced the three-show Encore Series, starting with “RENT 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour,” on Jan. 14-16, 2022. “An Officer and a Gentleman” (Feb. 18-20, 2022) and “Blue Man Group” (May 20-22, 2022) will be part of the series, Singleton said.

Three shows part of the Broadway Specials, which are separate from the Encore and Broadway series, were also announced. They are:

  • Cirque Dreams Holidaze, Dec. 17-18, 2021
  • Jesus Christ Superstar, Jan. 25-30, 2022
  • Dear Evan Hansen, April 5-10, 2022

Singleton said about 35% of PPAC’s staff has been working at the theater for the last 13 months helping to protect the theater while it was inactive. He said restarting the series is akin to coming back from a “very bad car accident.”

“We’re going to have to walk again and run again, and to function again,” Singleton said. “But at the end of the day, it’s all about the shows.”

Comfort and safety of the patrons attending the shows is also of importance to PPAC, Singleton said. He said the theater entered into an accreditation process with Global Biorisk Advisory Council STAR Accreditation, which is the “good housekeeping seal of approval” for COVID-19 cleaning and protocols nationally. Two facilities in Rhode Island, PPAC and The VETS – which PPAC also operates – received such accreditation from GBAC, Singleton said.

PPAC is also installing a high-tech filtration system to increase safety within the theater, Singleton said.

“When people come here and see a show, they’re going to have peace of mind that whatever is going to be done, it will be done well,” Singleton said. Singleton, though, did not address what the theater’s capacity limit will be during his announcement.

Tickets and packages for shows can be purchased by visiting PPAC’s website.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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