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Popejoy cancels five shows, postpones others

Popejoy Hall, the largest performing arts center in New Mexico, has announced a multitude of postponed and canceled shows due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the devastation COVID-19 is still effectuating in large swaths of the country, many shows have been postponed — and five have been canceled. Upon reopening, Popejoy Hall will follow federal, state, local and University guidelines for the safety and well-being of patrons, staff, artists and volunteers.

“It wouldn’t be safe to bring in people,” Tom Tkach, the director of Popejoy Hall, said. “We can’t have more than five people together in a group, so you can imagine it would be impossible to reopen Popejoy.”

Step Up for Popejoy, a general fund designed to keep the hall operating during the pandemic, is a way to contribute to the theater and expand entertainment and arts education for New Mexico residents.

“This campaign is called Step Up for Popejoy, and it’s meant to support operations at Popejoy while we’re dark so we can continue to be here to open again,” Tkach said. “There is no end to the date as of now: It’s ongoing until we open up again.”

Tkach said 95% of Popejoy’s sales come from ticket revenue in a separate interview with the Daily Lobo.

“Popejoy has served our community for over 50 years as the performing arts theater for Albuquerque and New Mexico, and it has brought many great performances to our citizens,” Tkach said. “We just want to continue to be New Mexico’s performing arts center and be here when it’s time to open again, and people can help us by making a contribution.”

Donations to the general fund will help pay for shows to come to Popejoy in the future and keep the theater renovated and clean.

“I love the shows at Popejoy Hall,” Tamela Lewis, a regular patron of Popejoy, told the Daily Lobo. “They always do an amazing job at enriching the community with wonderful shows that are vibrant, entertaining and top-of-the-line quality.”

Tkach said the venue’s tentative plan is to reopen when public health guidelines allow large gatherings, but the hall will have to wait to adhere to future safety standards set by the state.

“We are planning to reopen. However, we understand these are unique times,” Tkach said. “We’re keeping an eye on everything, and whenever possible, we will reschedule a show.”

Lewis said Albuquerque is lucky to have a venue of Popejoy’s caliber.

“Hamilton” is still currently set to perform in January of next year and is included in the season tickets available now.

“(Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham) does not allow large gatherings still, so we have to get to the point when the governor feels we can have a large number of people,” Tkach said, adding that the main performance space has a capacity of 1,985 people.

The following shows from Popejoy’s 2020 season have been canceled.

“Escape to Margaritaville”
“The Tap Pack”
“Bollywood Boulevard”
“The Play That Goes Wrong”
“The Cher Show”

The following shows have been postponed, with the rescheduled dates tentatively announced as of the publication of this article.

“Capitol Steps,” rescheduled for February 2021
“Canadian Brass,”  rescheduled for April 2021
“Broadway Princess Party,” “A Mariachi Mother’s Day” and “The Righteous Brothers,” rescheduled for May 2021
“Anastasia,” rescheduled for June 2021
“Come From Away” rescheduled for July 2021
“Killer Queen” rescheduled for September 2021
“ABT Studio Company,” “Ailey II,” “Christmas with the 5 Browns,” “Cirque Mechanics,” “Drum Tao” and the “TEN Tenors” are all postponed for the 2021-2022 season with dates still to be announced

“Our patrons’ and artists’ safety are our primary concern — the most important thing to us,” Tkach said.

Lauren McDonald is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at culture@dailylobo.com or on Twitter at old_mcdonald25


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