By Christopher Brown
Richmond resident Cat Peddicord never thought a song from the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” would have her sitting in the freezing cold on a Saturday night. Yet, Peddicord and her dad came out to the Diamond baseball stadium to watch selected songs from her favorite musical become a firework spectacle.
“‘Hamilton’ was actually the first thing that introduced me to Broadway, so it’s kind of like a big thing for me to be here,” Peddicord said.
Almost 600 fans joined Peddicord and her dad at the stadium; bringing blankets and buying hot chocolate to help endure the chilling temperatures.
The Broadway musical premiered in 2015 and through rap and song tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, America’s “ten-dollar founding father without a father,” and his rise from the West Indies to U.S. Congress.
First lady of Virginia Pamela Northam and Tony Award-winning actor Chris Jackson, who starred in the role of George Washington in the original Broadway cast, were in attendance. Jackson described combining fireworks and music from “Hamilton” as genius and said that events like Saturday were similar to a church experience.
“It’s allowing our spirits to be open and exposed, and to feel something that maybe we don’t allow ourselves to feel in our everyday lives,” Jackson said.
Fans who purchased VIP tickets had the opportunity to meet Jackson before the event. Before the firework show, Northam, on behalf of the governor, declared Nov. 16, “Hamilton Day” in the commonwealth.
During the performance, fireworks were timed according to a selection of songs from the soundtrack. Songs like “Alexander Hamilton” and “One Last Time” were cut short to meet the number of fireworks being used.
The event was hosted by the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibit “Founding Frenemies: Hamilton and the Virginians,” which explores the relationship between Hamilton and Virginia’s key founding fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
“We have been looking forward to ‘Hamilton’ coming to Richmond for months since it was announced,” said Tracy Schneider, VMHC’s vice president of marketing and communications. “We thought it would be fitting if we did something in the museum since a lot of the founding fathers are from Virginia and a part of the show.”
Much fanfare has surrounded Altria’s announcement that “Hamilton” will play at the theater Nov. 19 to Dec. 8 as part of the 2019-2020 Broadway in Richmond season. This is the first time the national tour of “Hamilton” will visit Richmond. Previously, the tour held shows in New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., and San Francisco.
“Thank God,” Morgan Schinkel said. “We’ve been so excited.”
Freelance writer and editor Lia Tremblay said she is excited more local people have the opportunity to see it and to understand why she hasn’t been able to stop talking about the play since she became a fan.
Altria Theater has prepared for the 24-show run since the national tour was announced. Audrey Booth, community and municipal operations director for Altria, said the theater is working with the Richmond Police Department and Virginia Commonwealth University to handle issues like parking prior to the show’s opening. Altria Theater expects to sell over 3,000 tickets per show. Booth recommends that ticket holders arrive early to park in the West Main Street Parking Deck.
Peddicord recommends that people who haven’t seen the musical attend the national tour in Richmond. Tickets can be purchased through the Altria Theater website or at the box office. If fans can’t make it to the Richmond dates, the national tour will head to Norfolk’s Chrysler Hall from Dec. 10 to Dec. 29. The tour also is drawing fans for a second helping.
“I have already seen Hamilton once,” Peddicord said. “It was so amazing. It’s so different listening to the album than watching it live.”
Stuck at home? Explore some of Virginia’s most significant historic, cultural sites online for free
Just because you’re social distancing it doesn’t mean you cant explore some of Virginia’s most magnificent cultural and historical sites virtually, online, for free. Here’s a roundup of where you can explore and what you can learn.
By Caroline Logan, Virginia Tourism
With the international crisis regarding COVID-19, also referred to as Coronavirus, visitors may be canceling or rescheduling upcoming travel plans and staying home.
While people are self-isolating and social distancing, many museums, historic sites, and other tourism destinations are offering virtual options for visitors to explore and learn.
Mount Vernon will continue its mission to educate people around the world through its robust digital presence. The historic site will provide digital tours of the mansion through mountvernon.org/virtualtour. The Washington Library has also prepared digital resources for students and their parents will be working with its network of teachers nationwide to support their educational efforts. These resources can be accessed at mountvernon.org/digital. Mount Vernon’s YouTube channel also features a livestream of the estate’s newborn lambs.
Monticello hosts a number of online exhibits including “The Declaration Around the World,” “The Life of Sally Hemings,” and “ Users can also download the Slavery at Monticello: Life and Work on Mulberry Row app for free.
James Madison’s Montpelier has publicly accessible blog posts, websites, podcasts, and social media posts for visitors to enjoy. Access to podcasts and video series can be found on the site’s YouTube page. Those interested in the research, history, archaeology, and collecting at Montpelier can visit the Digital Doorway for a wealth of information at digitaldoorway.montpelier.org.
Colonial Williamsburg is adding content to its Explore From Home website from the people who bring history to life. Resources include guides for teachers, quizzes and puzzles for students, interactive timeline, pages for exploring art collections, and printable coloring sheets from The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, as well as libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions around the world.
The Virginia Museum of History & Culture in Richmond will be offering free online video content, webinars, student learning resources, and virtual tours at VirginiaHistory.org/AtHome.
The National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle has a virtual tour and numerous distance learning opportunities. The rich, interactive virtual environment will serve as the gateway for Marines and visitors to see the museum from the comfort of their homes. The museum’s online distance learning programs engage audiences with the history of the United States Marine Corps. Programs include a plethora of virtual learning experiences and subject matter for people to learn important and interesting topics related to the Marine Corps. Take the virtual tour at virtualusmcmuseum.com and access the distance learning programs at usmcmuseum.com/distance-learning.html.
The Chrysler Museum of Art located in Norfolk’s NEON Arts District features 50 galleries, 30,000 objects, and a world-renowned glass collection. Viewers can take a virtual tour through the galleries as well as explore the museum’s Digital Collections featuring European and American paintings, sculptures and decorative arts and works from African, ancient Egyptian, Pre-Columbian, Islamic and Asian cultures.
Join the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk for a Virtual Voyage every day at 2 p.m. (March 16 – 30, 2020) on its Facebook page. Visitors can go behind the scenes, tour the zoo, and check in on their favorite animals. The zoo’s Virtual Voyage website also offers augmented reality tours, printable activity sheets, a YouTube video series, and more.
Take a virtual walking tour of historic Fincastle in Botetourt County with over 50 individual “stops,” each complete with a picture and background about the location.
The Kids Square Children’s Museum in Roanoke will go live on Facebook at least once a day during the week until reopening. They’ll be doing everything from science experiments to book reading. Visitors joining the livestream have the chance to win one of the items that Kids Square is playing with that day.
The Blue Ridge Institute and Museum in Ferrum offers the following online exhibits for individuals to learn more about folk heritage in the Blue Ridge region.
- Full Throttle: Racing and Rodding in Southwest and Central Virginia
- Moonshine: Blue Ridge Style
- Deathly Lyrics: Songs of Virginia Tragedies
- Earthenware Along the Great Road in Virginia and Tennessee
The Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke has images and background information on nearly every item in the rail, road, air, and ship collections. Collections are separated by category and can be accessed here.
The William King Museum of Art in Abingdon will be broadcasting live via Facebook every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. Videos will include tours of the galleries, insider looks at collections, family-friendly art projects, and live art demos.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond is sharing “Virtual Visits” on its Facebook page as well as putting resources for learning (including activities for kids) and ideas for relaxation and mental health on its website lewisginter.org.
Take a virtual tour around Virginia Beach’s cultural enclave by using this Google Mural Map to explore the ViBe Creative District on a virtual, self-guided mural tour. Click on the map icons to find information about the artists, artworks and locations, along with multiple images of the artwork and video links of murals created during the last two years of the ViBe Mural Festival.
The Barter Theatre in Abingdon is working to offer its patrons the ability to stream productions from home. The production of “Peter Pan” that was originally scheduled to open on April 7 will be online to patrons as well as access special bonus features. The theatre will also be providing coordinating educator resources, including lesson plans and a study guide. More information can be found here: bartertheatre.com/barter-theatre-on-demand
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach will provide entertaining, educational content to fans including live streams, video footage, crafts for kids, and behind the scenes peeks on its website and social media channels.
The City of Alexandria created a new web hub called ALX at Home, which brings residents and nearby visitors their favorite Alexandria restaurants, shops and attractions to the comfort of their own home. Features include:
- 50+ restaurant and 15 retail deals and offerings
- Attraction offerings such as virtual tours and a “Ride it Out” bike rental program from Unlimited Biking.
- Cocktail Corner for Happy Hour at home with instructional videos from The Hour boutique.
- Puppy Love, bringing a daily dose of cuteness from Alexandria’s four-legged friends.
The Omni Homestead Resort’s podcast, Beyond the Tower offers an insider’s look into one of America’s most iconic resorts. From historical anecdotes to one-of-a-kind experiences, Beyond the Tower includes topics from the history of the resort and golf to the Garth Newel Music Center and the resort’s partnership with a local farmer. Each episode begins and ends with “Welcome to My Homestead,” an original composition from David Hill, a native of Roanoke, Virginia and one of the resort’s most popular musicians.
For those interested in historic moments of Virginia, listen to the Following Harriet podcast. Following Harriet takes a closer look at the life of one of the bravest and most extraordinary women in our country’s history. It also puts Harriet in a broader context, examining the 19th Century experience of African Americans, especially in Virginia.
Do you know of any other online options that attractions are providing? Let us know in the comments below.
Planned Weekend Opening for Goochland Drive-In Canceled
If you want to catch a movie on a big, really, really big screen this is pretty much your only option.
As you know, the GDIT had planned to open this weekend – with modifications to our operations that would promote social distancing and responsibility.
The news and mandates continue to change daily. The latest info from our health department states we can open, but no concession sales. We simply don’t know what restrictions may be imposed tomorrow.
Right now things are unfamiliar and uncomfortable for all of us. But we believe brighter days are ahead……as they always are. They’ll get here quicker if we all do our part….and that’s what we plan to do.
So we’ve decided to delay the start of our 2020 Season…..we sincerely hope you understand and promise to keep you all updated. Thank you all for the love & support.
Hope to see you soon under the stars.
With kindest regards,
It’s easier to practice social distancing when you’re in a car. That being said the folks at Goochland Drive-In are making some changes outlined below. I can only speak to one of the movies being shown. 1917 was an amazing film that benefits from being on the big screen of a normal theater I can only imagine what it’ll look like at the drive-in.
- Parking limited to 70% of capacity
- Markers placed in service lines at Snack Bar to separate folks
- Condiments will be handed out in packets – self-serve pumps removed from front tables
- Outside Food Permit — while we survive off concession purchases, this weekend patrons may bring in their own food for an extra $15 per vehicle….paid at the Ticket Booth along with admission…..and will be provided a food permit to display
- We have always been sticklers for cleanliness…that will never change — but for now….a Crew member will be present to constantly clean and sanitize
- Doors to the restrooms will be propped open to allow fresh air and to avoid touching the door.
PLAYGROUND – CLOSED
- Children have proven to be nearly immune – but in the best interest of all, the playground will be closed…….however, feel free to bring along your own frisbees, cornhole, games, etc. to stay entertained before the show
Thank you all for taking a moment to read this post — we look forward to seeing you guys this weekend!!!
Music at Maymont announces Carbon Leaf as first 2020 season show
The Richmond favorites will take the stage July 18th at historic Maymont as part of their Brothers In Arms tour.
Haymaker Productions has announced the first act for Music at Maymont for the 2020 series: Richmond’s own Carbon Leaf will take the stage Saturday, July 18th at 7:00 PM. After their Richmond start, Carbon Leaf has been entertaining audiences worldwide for well over two decades.
Blending rock, folk, Celtic, bluegrass and Americana traditions into a high-energy style the group calls ether-electrified porch music, Carbon Leaf’s poetic songs are brought to life with acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, fiddle, bass, drums, cello, banjo, pennywhistle, pedal steel, accordion, and rich vocal harmony.
The Virginia quintet writes, records and produces its music independently from their studio in Richmond and has performed over 2,400 lives shows across 17 albums in their long career. The group’s independent music and spirit continue to resonate with its fans.
Doors open at 6:00 PM. Tickets for Carbon Leaf are $25 in advance and $35 at the gate.
Children under 10 free with paid adult admission. Tickets can be purchased beginning March 13 at eventbrite.com. The Maymont Stage is located at 1700 Hampton Street.