July 23-Sept. 2, 2004
Vol. 34, Issue 14
Back Issues
Under One Roof:
New Children’s Medical Center planned
Musical: Ticket to Heritage season success
MacArthur Fellows ‘transcend boundaries’
Fall leaves turn to ‘black gold’ in summer
Credit Union turns 50
‘Out of Country’ exhibit features Queensland art
Review Your Financial Portfolio
Students Experience Spain


cast members of ‘Ragtime’
Photo by Michael Bailey
Cast members Maceo Oliver (left) and Lauren Hooper from the Heritage Repertory Theatre’s production of “Ragtime.”
Musical: Ticket to Heritage season success

How are you going to top this?

That’s the question everyone is asking Robert Chapel following the artistic and box-office success of the Heritage Repertory Theatre’s season opener “Ragtime.”

The show’s run played to sold-out audiences for seven of the 10 performances as well as for the Saturday matinee. When all the analyses are completed, “Ragtime” could be the Heritage’s biggest hit ever, said Chapel, artistic director for the theatre and chairman of U.Va.’s Drama Department.

Chapel directed the first Heritage musical, “I Do, I Do,” as a visiting director from New York in 1988. When he took over as artistic director in 1995, Chapel, a musical theater expert, introduced the big musical season opener.

“Attendance increased in a very great way when we started adding musicals,” he said.

Although three of this year’s six productions are musicals, Chapel chooses each season’s bill of fare from shows he likes and respects while taking into consideration popular appeal and box office draw as well as the capabilities of the actors and the behind-the-scenes contributors.

This year’s $538,000 budget supports the work of 110 employees. From cast to box office staff, all work hard to make each performance a success, Chapel noted. “Selecting the season is the hardest thing I do.”

In addition to the musical opener, he includes a show with a great message — and music; a comedy with a message — and if possible, music; a more serious play; and a family-oriented show.

This year’s line-up included “The Syringa Tree,” the Obie Award-winning, one-woman show starring Heritage favorite, Sarah Dandridge, whose role required her to portray 23 different characters. Like “Ragtime,” this show exceeded attendance projections during its run.

The season also features four other plays, still in repertoire through Aug. 7. They are: “Snoopy!!!,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “True West” and
“ Five Guys Named Moe.”

For information about show schedules and ticket sales, call the HRT Box Office at 924-3376, or visit http://www.uvahrt.org.


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