Broadway is finally getting back on the road. Starting Oct. 19, famous national tours will park their wheels at the First Interstate Center for the Arts in downtown Spokane.

“Cats,” “Mean Girls,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Anastasia,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Jersey Boys” will be performed, with tickets available for purchase online.

All of these shows have nights with reserved tickets for student discounts, offering GU students the opportunity to see these performances for a cheaper price.

The first production to come to town is “Cats,” an absurd musical written by Andrew Lloyd Webber about a group of cats and their journey throughout one night.

Many may know this show because of the movie remake; however, the stage production is a whole different experience. This show will be coming to Spokane from Oct. 19-24.

“I am most excited about ‘Cats’ because it makes no sense, but there is a really cool two-person cartwheel,” said Abby Cole, a sophomore Gonzaga student.

The second show will be “A Christmas Carol.” This classic musical about Ebenezer Scrooge will come to town for only two nights: Nov. 12-13. “Mean Girls” follows that from Nov. 23-28. 

“Mean Girls’ has great music and is a close second to the show I am most excited to see,” Cole said. 

“Anastasia” will come to Spokane from Dec. 28 through Jan. 2. This stage adaptation of the story and animated film from 1992 has a great plot and fantastic music. 

Next, the theater will see “Fiddler on the Roof” from Jan. 11-16. This is a must-see musical and is one of the classics.

“Jersey Boys” will round out the season from Feb. 11-13. This is the rags-to-riches story about the rock band The Four Seasons. 

Broadway coming back to the stage, whether in New York or on tour is extremely important. COVID-19 practically halted all shows for almost two years.

Justin Kobluk, President of West Coast Entertainment (WCE), the company that organized tours arriving in Spokane, said that the city lost 109 performances due to COVID-19. With these national tours coming back, Kobluk has managed to book 70 of the 190. While that number seems like a lot, it has been a real challenge trying to reschedule.

“Everything that was scheduled for 2022 and 2023 has had to be pushed back, or the commitments have had to be reworked altogether,” Kobluk said.

Not only is rescheduling difficult but ensuring that COVID-19 protocols are followed has been a real challenge as well. The venue, sanitation, filters for air filtration and touchpoints such as ticketing are major factors in creating a COVID-19 safe environment.

Other than the physical aspects, Kobluk has had to create plans for staff vaccinations and audience COVID-19 tests.

The only thing that will keep these shows alive is a willingness to partake in COVID-19 protocols. So, if an individual is planning on attending one of these shows, a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination record is required.

The hope is that these national tours will run smoothly with the pandemic and will bring the community together through art once again.

To buy tickets for these performances, visit www.broadwayspokane.com

Grace Spiegel is a staff writer.

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