NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – In March of 2020, as the pandemic began, the lights of Broadway in Norfolk went out.

“Broadway is definitely the crown jewel of our lineup,” said Ma’rie Hodges, Seven Venues Marketing and PR Manager in downtown Norfolk.

Nearly two years later, the lights of Broadway are back at Chrysler Hall, beginning with the show, Anastasia.

“It’s told through the lens of a daughter who grew up in the Russian Empire, and her family’s palace is overrun, and the family is executed, and there is a rumor that she somehow survived this. It tells the story of a daughter trying to discover her past. It’s a very romantic show, very mysterious. A lot of attendees will recognize the score. It’s quite beautiful,” said Hodges.

After Anastasia comes Hairspray. The performance is set in 1960s Baltimore where the characters face bullies, discrimination, and racism head on.

“You can apply those to modern day times as well,” said Hodges.

Many of the shows are applicable to all ages, from children to grandparents.

“The two shows I just mentioned are great introductions to Broadway if you have teens that you’re trying to introduce to the Broadway world,” said Hodges.

She said these shows give you a chance to leave reality behind for a moment. “I don’t know of a lot of things I’m encountering on a daily basis that transport me like a Broadway show. You’re hearing it. It’s dark. You’re seeing the stage. It really, really transports you.”

And while you’re being transported, Hodges said these performances work wonders for the local economy.

“There’s so much that goes into a show, you know, wardrobe, hair, and make-up. We pull a large, local pool of stagehands and lighting riggers, crew, things like that. They rely on a lot of local crew and staff. Runners, who just, their job is to run. They run all day long. So, we pull a lot of local runners. Same with catering. A lot of catering companies get involved in backstage catering, because you have to feed these actors and crew. So, a lot of jobs that come when a show comes to town.”

As the shows create jobs, they also help businesses in the area.

“I think what’s been detrimental about the pandemic is that the kind of economic impact these shows can have. You know, they create jobs. People, when they come downtown, they go to restaurants, they come early, they shop, they pay parking. So, that’s a lot of money and financial investment put into downtown,” said Hodges.

“We are really, really pleased to have these shows back. They do a lot not just for us in terms of programming, but for the city as a whole.”

Broadway In Norfolk 2021-22 Season
ANASTASIA: November 19 – 21, 2021 ~ 5 performances
HAIRSPRAY: December 17 – 19, 2021 ~ 5 performances
JERSEY BOYS: January 28 – 30, 2022 ~ 5 performances
THE SIMON & GARFUNKEL STORY: March 18 – 20, 2022 ~ 5 performances
WICKED: September 14 – 25, 2022 ~ 16 performances

Rescheduled from the 2019-20 season:
Roald Dahl’s CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: February 11 – 13, 2022 ~ 5 performances   

Subscriptions are on sale right now. It’s really affordable. We have all five shows you can get as low as $236,” said Hodges.

To learn more about the subscriptions, buying tickets, or upcoming shows, click here.

As for COVID protocols?

Hodges said, “We leave it up to the promoters to decide what works best for them, and then we message out to the patrons. So, right now Broadway does not have any proof of vaccination, or testing, in place. No mask policy. Masks are encouraged, our Broadway provider encourages them, but they’re not required. If there is some kind of COVID protocol, we’ll list it. If you don’t see anything listed on that web page, there is no protocol.”