On May 11 thru 13, Arts Enter and the Palace Theatre will present the musical Don’t Stop Believin’.
“This story really hit home us, and really for many of our kids,” said Co-Director Amy Watkins. “The Palace Theatre is home for them; they’ve actually grown up on that stage. My own kids have worked on this stage since they were four.”
“Both of my kids have grown up here too. The fate of the Community Center in the play, we were actually looking at a something like that happening to the Palace,” said Co-Director Wayne Creed. “The last few years have been hard on Arts Enter’s finances, which were practically depleted. The board was looking at options, like selling it off as a movie theater, or who knows what else. For a while, it looked like our kids were going to be locked out of the theater.”
“The resilience of the kids in Don’t Stop Believin’ reminds us of our dancers and actors,” Watkins said. “They are so committed, especially for this show, which is a full-length musical, and all the work that goes along with that.”
“All that said, we have some very talented performers like McKay Shockley, Allison Shockley (star of The Clam Digger’s Daughter), Forensics champ Connor Handwerk, Mel Stein, Eva Noonan and Christy Iverson. They really make this a fun and dynamic show,” Creed said. “It also has very a contemporary feel…the music is very rock, new wave and also incorporates a lot of hip-hop.”
“Our hip-hop instructor, Dana Schnezler has done a great job with dancers, it’s so much fun to watch. One of the great things is the range of our performers,” Watkins said. “We have actors as young as 5 years old, and some in their sixties, it creates a very rich and textured feel for the show.”
“We were also lucky to be able to get the brilliant Peter Helk, who recently did the work for Arsenic and Old Lace for set design and construction,” Creed said.
If you like music, this is the show for you. The show is bursting with large rock and pop chorus numbers and a powerful, anthemic finale, Don’t Stop Believin’ is an energetic, contemporary musical that is sure to leave you dancing in the aisles.
The showtimes are 7:30 on May 11th and 12th, 2:30 on the 13th. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for students (K-12).
The Palace Theatre is located at 305 Mason Ave, Cape Charles, Virginia 23310.
Erin Harvey says
I was very involved in some of those discussions about the future of the Palace Theatre, speaking at length with multiple board members and also the heavy artistic contributors like Amy, Wayne, and Renata, but I never heard any discussion that involved “locking the kids out of the theatre.” Every discussion I was a part of always included the kids maintaining majority access to the Palace, while also adding movies for a minority of the time. Movies running at the Palace would allow the artists there to focus on their art rather than constantly fundraising. Movies at the Palace would also finally return the Palace to its historical roots as a movie theatre and offer entertainment to more of the same community that is constantly being asked to support those fundraising efforts. All while allowing the kids to continue what they’re doing. As it is, the Palace is being held hostage from the larger community while only serving a selectively small group. It could continue to serve that group while also bringing steady entertainment to the entire county and additional economic opportunity to all of the businesses in Cape Charles.
People support Arts Enter and its programs with a belief that it is the only way to keep the doors open at our beautiful Palace Theatre. But that is just not true. Supporting the current arrangement only digs a deeper financial hole while keeping the Palace Theatre locked away from most of our community when it should be open every single week to entertain all of us – as it did for the first 55 years of its life. For a small group of people, it is wonderful to have a private stage/theatre to practice the arts in. But if that same group would just be willing to share a little bit, the Palace could offer so much more to all of us.
The play looks great. Happy to see the kids and the other artists continuing their great work at the Palace, as always imagined by anyone involved in discussions about its future.