Friends of the performing arts world will soon have the opportunity to return to the music and styles of the Roaring '20s. On Oct. 26, from 7-9 p.m., the Richmond Area Arts Center (RAAC) will transform into a speakeasy from a century ago in "Live at the Speakeasy."
"There will be 18 different acts," April Schultz, the executive director of Vagabond Stage Productions, said.
Vagabond is the theatrical and musical group who will be providing the entertainment for the evening. Most of the acts are musically-based, but there will also be some dance and comedy acts, including the classic "Who's On First?" sketch.
Some of the musical numbers performed will be songs from the musical "Anything Goes," the Frank Sinatra tune "My Way" and other selections made popular by musical legends, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. Humorous skits from the radio days of Gracie Allen and George Burns will have the audience laughing.
Schultz said, "There will be lots of good local talent. Dale Jerry is going to be our emcee, and he's writing a script that's going to be a lot of fun."
The Richmond Area Arts Center will be in charge of the table decor, while Vagabond Stage Productions will handle the stage decorations and lighting to create the speakeasy atmosphere.
The audience will be encouraged to get up and dance, and at times, the performers may even step out into the audience to ask for their participation. In addition, there will be a few prizes that audience members can win.
"Because it's a Halloween event, we have some local ghost stories adapted to the speakeasy theme," stated Schultz. Costumes are encouraged but not required. As Schultz added, "We would love for people to show up in costumes for the era. Costumes really helps people get into the spirit of the event."
Tickets for the event are $35 per person and may be purchased online at www.ArtsinRichmond.org, in person at the RAAC, or by phone at (859) 624-4242.
Schultz noted, "When [they] get their tickets at RAAC, they have to get a password along with the ticket to get into the very exclusive event." However, she joked they might be able to "sweet-talk" the doorman into letting them in if they've forgotten the password.
Vagabond Stage Productions is a relatively new organization, having only begun performing live about a year ago, but the performers have decades of experience among them. Schultz stated, "One of our main missions is 'Art Where You Are'." They strive to provide equitable access to performing arts. Knowing that sometimes the cost of an event can prohibit people from going, they try to put on frequent free events in addition to those that charge admission.
"Live at the Speakeasy" should be about a two-hour program, including dinner provided by M & D Catering. A cash bar will also be available during the event. Schultz said the evening will be "an incredible bargain for the caliber of these acts."