By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
WORCESTER – Broadway musicals, comedy, magic, favorite family holiday shows, and more. The Hanover Theatre & Conservatory for the Performing Arts in Worcester continues to offer a variety of shows and programs that keep audiences of all ages entertained throughout the year. It’s the Broadway experience without the traffic and parking issues.
The Hanover Theatre was renovated and restored in 2008 and seats 2,300 guests. It has been a vital part of the revitalization of the Worcester cultural district.
The Hanover Theatre’s Vice President of Communications Lisa Condit said they are eager to welcome back their favorite audiences to pre-pandemic numbers.
“We are adding shows all the time,” she said.
A variety of upcoming shows
One show that Condit said will be a “laugh-out-loud” production is “Tootsie” ―coming September 29 – October 2. This will kick off the theatre’s 2022-2023 Broadway series.
“It’s a show that the audience will remember,” she said. “They will enjoy all the references and the production numbers. It’s a really high-quality musical.”
“Mean Girls,” originally postponed during the pandemic, is scheduled for October. Other shows in the Broadway series lineup include Disney’s “Aladdin,” “Annie,” “Hadestown,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
The majority of the Broadway series shows run from Thursday through Sunday.
Condit is also excited about “Hadestown.”
“It’s amazing―the music, the acting; it’s all amazing,” she said. “I think the audience will love it.”
Condit said being a Broadway series subscriber to all six shows on the schedule has its perks, including a cost savings and pick of seats.
She also expects a sellout for the “Piff the Magic Dragon & Puddles Pity Party: Misery Loves Company” tour on September 28. It will bring comedy, magic and music.
“The Nutcracker” and “A Christmas Carol” are always traditional highlights of the holiday season.
“The Nutcracker evolved from a community-based production to one with Broadway-worthy lighting and design,” Condit said. “We continue to elevate the quality of what you see on the stage.”
There’s more to the theatre than the shows
Condit encourages people to take the two-hour, volunteer docent-led Historic and Architectural Tour of the theatre. It is $10 per person, but free to subscribers and members.
The Conservatory classes will resume this fall. It recognizes the vital role the arts play in developing children’s self-esteem, compassion and problem-solving skills.
“There are a lot of options for all ages,” said Condit. “There is everything from dance to technical design, acting, and voice classes.”
The Conservatory also offers a smaller venue for students and community-based organizations to perform.
“We have the ability to be flexible and to be engaged with our loyal community base,” said Condit.
Buy tickets directly
Condit advises people to purchase tickets directly from the theatre’s website or box office to guarantee best seats and price and avoid potential issues.
“Don’t buy tickets from third party ticket sellers,” she said. “Purchasing through the website will guarantee valid tickets and important communications, such as schedule changes.”
The Hanover Theatre also offers great savings for group outings. A group can be as small as 10 people. A block of seats can be placed on hold with no obligation and payment confirmation is needed only 30 days before the date of the show.
A tiered ticketing model is now being used.
“It helps to make offerings accessible to more people and allows more people to attend within their budget,” said Condit. “People are happy when they come here. People who go to cultural events and live performances in a theatre—it’s an escape from everyday life in some ways.”
Hanover Theatre operates as a non-profit organization. A small portion of ticket sales, along with donations, grants, and conservatory class tuition, helps with operational costs.
The theatre values its engagement with the community. Those partnerships come in many forms including restaurants and gourmet partners within walking distance of the theatre. It also includes partnerships with several high schools to provide integrated study and educational outreach.
“Arts make everything better,” said Condit. “If it was up to us, performing arts would be incorporated into everyone’s life whoever they are…preschool or part of a retirement community.”
All information on upcoming shows, tickets and conservatory classes can be found at TheHanoverTheatre.org.