It was a celebration 100 years in the making and a toast to 100 more at the Ritz Theater on Broadway’s east end Monday night. The lobby walls of the historic structure echoed with the sound of champagne glasses clinking and Mike Pacer’s orchestra of one set the mood with some classic Americana arrangements reminiscent of Sinatra. A string of photos across the wall told the story of a lost era while airing on the subject of history in the making. The Ritz aims to become a state-of-the-art 825 seat theater in 2016.
In the long term the revival project aims to create administrative and operational positions on-site and strengthen community partnerships like the one they are currently enjoying with Newburgh’s mainstay college campus – SUNY Orange. In the short term it hopes to become a safe-haven for Newburgh’s aspirational theater arts and performance groups.
Edward Gibbons-Brown the creative director and founding partner of a new local nonprofit theater company called Hatmaker’s Attic Productions was hob-nobbing with his spatial partners at the Ritz and Safe Harbors of the Hudson. Hatmaker’s Attic theatrical programming has been integrated into Safe Harbor’s 2013 calendar year beginning with a May production of the beloved contemporary musical THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE*, peaking with a summer camp theater program.
The celebration doubled as the kick-off for the capital campaign which aspires to raise 100k in this the Ritz’s 100th year.
*Auditions for the 25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will be held in The Ritz on February 9th, from 12:00PM to 4:00PM.
Article and photos by Stefanie Pearl – Publisher at HappyHudsonValley.com