DENVER (CBS4) – Coronavirus has paused on live performances, including Broadway shows and the touring productions that are so popular here in Denver. Now the Denver Center for the Performing Arts is hosting a 3-part virtual concert series, called “Live from the West Side: Women of Broadway.”

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“It’s three separate concerts that will happen one in October, one in November, and one in December. They will be live streamed to folks who purchase them. And you can either purchase all three for a discounted prices, or buy them individually, whichever you would prefer,” said John Ekeberg, Director of the Broadway and Cabaret at DCPA. “For folks who do decide to purchase, they can watch the event live, or they also have up to 72-hours to watch the event as well. So it’s not the same as gathering together in the theater, but we think it’s a really unique event that we’re happy to offer to our audience.”

The virtual concerts will feature three big-name Broadway artists: Patti LaPone, Laura Benanti, and Vanessa Williams. Each show, transmitted live in HD with professional sound mixing. At-home audience members will be invited to email in questions to be answered during the livestream.

“This is going to be such an intimate evening. Each of them will perform a mix of show tunes, some pop tunes, they’ll definitely share personal anecdotes and memories. And so, what I think will be great is that the individual personalities of these artists will really be showcased in each of these concerts,” Ekeberg explained.

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The DCPA has not been able to have live performances since March, which has put a huge burden on the organization and the artistic community.

“It’s had an enormous impact on the entire industry. Obviously, there’s a lot of folks who have suffered some loss of work during this time, and that’s really concerning to us. But, we are looking to engage our audiences in new ways, for instance, our education department has made a lot of their classes available virtually, so we’re looking to do those sorts of things,” Ekeberg said.

Ekeberg said that he’s working everyday with his colleagues in New York, and with folks here in Denver, to bring back in-person theater performances.

“For us to get Broadway touring back, the most important thing really on every level is safety…is being able to open the theaters and run them safely for our patrons. It’s also for the shows themselves, setting up protocols for their touring actors and crews who are traveling all over the country, not only Denver, but cities across the nation,” Ekeberg told CBS4. “So we know we won’t be able to see a touring show this calendar year, anyway. We’re working towards ’21.”

LINK: For Tickets & Information about “Live From the West Side: Women of Broadway”

In the meantime, the DCPA is engaging it’s audience with this series of virtual concerts. Subscription packages are $75 and include access to all three livestream events. Single tickets are $30 for each livestream performance. All tickets are available online only.

Libby Smith

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