Live shows make a big comeback at the Capitol Theater

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Live performances are back at the Chatham Capitol Theater, and the coming month will see plenty of local and local talent on stage.

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The Michael Schatte Band will take the stage with guest Tom Lockwood on Friday at 8 p.m.

Schatte, from Chatham, is looking forward to the homecoming show and will perform with acclaimed local guitarist Lockwood.

“What a pleasure to be able to bring my whole group to Chatham again,” he said Tuesday, “and to share the evening with my great friend and former guitar teacher. “

Heather Slater, director of arts and culture, said theater officials were “really delighted” to have so many local artists featured in the Capitol’s “reopening phase”.

Noting that there will be performances by the Theater Kent, Chatham Concert Band and choirs from St. Andrew’s United Church, Slater said: “We are really proud to showcase our local heroes in music and theater. .

Schatte, who currently lives in Cobourg, said he was fortunate enough to be able to weather the pandemic relatively well as he fell back on his teaching duties at Centennial College, as well as his work for the University. McMaster.

“I was very lucky during the pandemic,” he said. “Those two things were already largely online.

“Other than the fact that live performances were almost completely phased out for a year and a half, it didn’t have a huge effect on me. “

While he didn’t quite grasp the idea of ​​virtual performances that many musicians embraced during the pandemic, he said he was always happy that this option was available to the performing arts community during the early days. days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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But with theaters reopening, Schatte said he’s noticing a “real appetite” for live music.

The evening will serve as a real reveal for his album, Conundrum, which actually came out late last year. Schatte said he was excited to finally play his new songs in a spacious venue such as the Capitol.

Slater said sales have been swift and vibrant for upcoming performances and events at the theater.

“You get the feeling that people are just anxious to see live shows again,” she said. “We are grateful that the audience is so understanding because we have had to postpone so many shows since COVID started in March 2020.

The pandemic’s downtime, however, has given time to plan for the reopening of the theater while following COVID-19 guidelines.

While capacity limits for theaters were recently lifted, Slater said spectators will still see some separating seats between groups of ticket buyers.

“We don’t have to do it, but we want everyone to feel as comfortable as possible,” she said.

She added that the theater ticket refund policy has been relaxed, so if someone is unwell or has been in contact with someone who has COVID, tickets will be refunded in full.

Slater said 2022 is shaping up to be a busy year as well, adding that the theater has also been booked for a number of shows by promoters from across the province.

Live shows in December

December 5 – Theater Kent presents Return to Sender by Stratford playwright Joan Veldman, which tells the story of the doomed couple Sally and Bill. After a big fight, Sally tries to move on, looking for love in the wrong places – and hilarity ensues as an entire bunch of suitors vie for Sally’s affection!

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December 14 – Le Chatham Concert Band , Under the direction of Vaughn Pugh, presents a free concert of timeless Christmas music. The group will be joined by singer Kassya Kevany in a program guaranteed to harmoniously fill every adult’s Christmas list!

December 18 – The Capitol Theater and St. Andrew’s United Church will present the annual concert on Christmas Saturday 7th. A carol for Christmas will feature St. Andrew’s Chancel Choir, the Bel Canto Choirs of St. Andrew’s and the Chamber Orchestra, as well as many guest soloists from the community.

December 19 – Legendary Canadian stage, film and television star RH Thomson presents the touring solo version of Charles Dickens of his most famous story, A Christmas Carol. In this very special presentation, Thomson takes on all the age-old roles, including the inimitable Ebenezer Scrooge, alongside the superlative a capella duo Freeplay and acclaimed Canadian fiddler Sarah Shugarman.

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Kenneth T. Shippee