HOBBY CENTER PREPARES FOR REOPENING
UPTICK IN NEW BROADWAY AT THE HOBBY CENTER SUBSCRIBERS SUGGESTS HOUSTON READY FOR LIVE THEATRE
Broadway at the Hobby Center will officially bring Houston’s protracted intermission to a close when the acclaimed Lincoln Center production of Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY takes the Hobby Center stage September 14-19, 2021, marking the beginning of its 2021-22 season. With Broadway set to reopen in New York in September and Broadway touring shows heading back on the road in late summer, life is on the brink of returning to an industry that has been wrought by uncertainty for more than a year.
The 2021-22 Season will feature four Houston premieres, as well as winner of eight 2019 Tony® Awards including Best Musical, HADESTOWN. Additionally the season brings Tina Fey’s hilarious new musical comedy MEAN GIRLS, the beloved FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, the hilarious Broadway smash TOOTSIE, the aforementioned production of MY FAIR LADY, the musical that is melting hearts, FROZEN and Broadway mega-sensation HAMILTON. Also included are two season options, the inspiring true story BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL and Houston’s most “popular” musical WICKED.
“Houston is more than just a top four market; it’s a community of passionate theatergoers and cultural tastemakers. It happens to be my hometown, and it delights me to no end to think of patrons returning to the Hobby Center to experience these great shows,” Broadway League Chair Lauren Reid said. “Equally important is the economic impact of getting these productions back out on the road. Not only are we getting artists back on stage, but also putting production teams, crews, venue staff, and so many others back to work. We know that a one-week engagement can infuse more than $3M in local economic impact, bringing business to a range of sectors including restaurants, hotels, and retailers. We have all waited a long time for this moment, and I know that no theater lover will take it for granted.”
Early ticket purchasing data indicates a renewed enthusiasm for live theatre from both new patrons and life-long theatre fans.
“Everyone in the entertainment sector was unsure how quickly live audiences would return, but the response proves people are longing for it. Approximately 25% of current Broadway at the Hobby Center 21-22 subscribers are first time subscribers. And based on sales trends, we expect that percentage to continue to grow,” said Fran Macferran, President and CEO of the Hobby Center Foundation. “I think folks recognized the importance of the arts during this past year and that nothing can replace the shared experience of live performance.”
The Hobby Center Foundation has been working very hard to prepare the venue for reopening. Integral in this process has been the establishment of a partnership with Houston Methodist as a health care advisor. Audiences can rest assured the Foundation has taken thoughtful steps to provide a healthy and safe environment for all subscribers, ticket holders, staff, volunteers, artists and all those who make up the Foundation’s community.
The Hobby Center achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. Under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, the Hobby Center has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention in its facility.
Facility upgrades and preparedness highlights include:
- MERV-13 air filters have been installed throughout the facility
- HVAC systems have been thoroughly tested, inspected, and modified to introduce the maximum amount of treated fresh air which will give the building a positive air pressure
- Restroom sinks and fixtures have been replaced with touchless faucets, soap dispensers and flushing mechanisms
- CDC-approved cleaning products will continue to be used, including the introduction of electrostatic disinfecting sprayers to the standard housekeeping routine
- A dedicated disinfecting staff has been established as part of the housekeeping team to focus specifically on sanitizing and disinfecting high touch areas
- Hand sanitizing stations have been installed thought all areas of the venue
- Box office and ticketing operations have been upgraded to limit contact
The Foundation will continue to consult with Houston Methodist throughout the reopening process and will comply with guidelines set forth by the City of Houston. Finalized and approved plans will be shared closer to show dates, with ample notification prior to the first show.
2021-2022 SEASON SUBSCRIPTIONS
2020-2021 season subscribers keep the same subscription seats for the 2021-2022 season including MY FAIR LADY, TOOTSIE, HADESTOWN, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Disney’s FROZEN, and MEAN GIRLS. Subscribers have priority access to secure their same package seats for HAMILTON. If applicable, credits from previously canceled Broadway at the Hobby Center shows may be used towards HAMILTON tickets. In the event of additional unforeseen scheduling changes in the season or any performances on the series are cancelled, subscribers will have the option to receive a credit, refund, or the ability to donate the value of their tickets. Individual show ticket sales will be announced at later dates.
Photos: Broadway Across America