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Live shows returning to Victoria Playhouse Petrolia

Victoria Playhouse Petrolia is set to open its doors in September for the theatre’s first live show since the pandemic began.

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Victoria Playhouse Petrolia is set to open its doors in September for the theatre’s first live show since the pandemic began.

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Tickets are on sale for Songs We Love, a show featuring songs from past and upcoming playhouse shows, which is set to run from Sept. 7 to Oct. 3 before socially distanced audiences in the Victoria Hall theatre.

They will be the first live shows at the playhouse since the Christmas season of 2019, which was followed by the arrival of COVID-19 restrictions that brought the 2020 season to a halt.

“We cancelled the first show and kept postponing the next show, not thinking we were going to cancel the whole season,” said David Hogan, who, along with David Rogers, is the Petrolia theatre’s artistic director.

“It’s quite an extraordinary time for everyone,” Hogan said. “But for our sweet little industry, it has been a rough one.”

The playhouse is moving its entire 2020 season lineup of shows to 2022, and Songs We Love is a special add-on for this fall as easing pandemic restrictions allow theatres to welcome back small audiences.

“It’s a celebration show,” said  Hogan , noting this is the 10th year he, Rogers and music director Mark Payne have been at the Petrolia theatre.

Payne will perform during the musical evening, along with Alex Baerg, Michael Vanhevel and Jennifer Walls.

“They are mainstays – very familiar,” Hogan said the cast.

Tickets will be available for 100 to 150 of the roughly 400 seats in the theatre for each show, allowing the required social distancing between audience members.

“We’re going to make sure everyone feels completely taken care of, completely safe, and also, by gosh, we’re going to put on a great show,” Hogan said.

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Seats can be reserved by calling the playhouse box office at 1-800-717-7694.

“Right now, we’re booked into four weeks but we’re ready to extend it up to eight weeks,” depending on demand, Hogan said.

Phones in the box office have been ringing and interest appears high, he said.

“We’re so grateful,” Hogan said. “Our patrons have been so devoted to Victoria Playhouse and are like family to us.”

The theatre attracted close to 40,000 visitors annually, pre-pandemic, and was coming off its most successful year when the restrictions began, he said.

“They’re missing us as much as we’re missing them,” Hogan said about the audiences. “It’s going to be a wonderful reunion.”

Hogan said the playhouse is also making plans to hold its Starbright Christmas shows again this year.

pmorden@postmedia.com

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