ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ticket sales comprise 85% of the Albuquerque Little Theatre’s revenue.
Now in its 90th year, Albuquerque’s oldest showcase for Broadway musicals has been shuttered due to the pandemic.
To prevent the iconic institution from closing for good, organizers will stage “Showstoppers,” an online benefit performance by 16 actors, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, at albuquerquelittletheatre.org.
Led by New York actor and master of ceremonies Jonathan Ragsdale, the show will feature musical numbers from such hit shows as “South Pacific,” “West Side Story,” “Wicked,” “Mamma Mia!” “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and “Phantom of the Opera.” So many actors wanted to participate that executive director Henry Avery had to turn people away.
The performers include Sharee Gariety, Amy Poland, Ron Gallegos, Mark Pino, Christy Burbank, Evie Long, Emily Melville, Laura Nuzum, Travis Ward-Osorne, Arianne Cohen, Nicholas Handley, Jon Galleos, Paul Ashby, Abby Vanggerpen and Lando Ruiz.
The production will be a mix of live performances on the theater stage and pre-recorded videos.
“We’re going to be doing numbers from all the big Broadway hits,” Avery said.
Organizers hope to raise $25,000 in donations from the free event.
“We’ve already got $1,000 in,” Avery added.
“We’re hurting,” he continued. “We had some of the (government funding). That ran out. Everybody’s taken some salary cuts.
“Now we have absolutely no income. Hopefully, there will be more (government) money available in August. We’ve worked too hard to let it go at this point. We’re being creative; we’re trying to reinvent the wheel.”