Movies and TV shows can be wonderful to watch from the comfort of your own home or on the big screens of a movie theater, but there’s nothing quite like seeing live actors performing right there on the stage in front of you. Theater is one of the oldest and most beloved forms of entertainment, dating back thousands of years to the days of ancient Greece and Rome.

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Now, even in a modern world that seems obsessed with technology, gadgets, and gizmos, there’s still something special and irreplaceable about stepping into a theater, taking one’s seat alongside like-minded performance art enthusiasts, and watching talented actors bring a story and characters to life in a truly organic and dynamic way.

One of the most wonderful things about the theater is that every performance, despite following a script and being repeated countless times, truly feels unique. Unfortunately, many cities all around the world miss out on the top theatrical performances and productions. We’re all familiar with Broadway in New York and the West End of London, but what about all of the other cities out there?

Well, many smaller cities do still have historic theaters of their own and local arts communities and groups working tirelessly to bring the big shows to life. For those living in Richmond, Virginia, the incredible efforts of the Broadway in Richmond team are helping to bring Broadway-style performances and production values to the capital of the Commonwealth.

Broadway in Richmond - Live Broadway Shows in Richmond, Virginia

As one of the oldest and most historically significant cities in the entire United States, first settled way back in the early 1600s and playing a key role in the Revolutionary War and Civil War, Richmond is a key cultural hub for the Commonwealth of Virginia, with a lot of history and heritage behind it.

Fittingly, Broadway in Richmond is helping to keep the age-old tradition of live theatrical performances alive in the city of Richmond, offering the best and brightest Broadway shows to Richmond audiences at select venues around the city. Here’s all you need to know about Broadway in Richmond:

- The Best Shows - Broadway in Richmond lives up to its name by bringing the very best Broadway shows to theaters in Richmond. This is the only way to see iconic shows like Cats, Wicked, and Fiddler on the Roof, as well as more recent Broadway additions like Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Play That Goes Wrong. Broadway in Richmond really aims to bring the best of Broadway to the capital city of Virginia, letting you enjoy those same standards of quality you’d expect in NYC.

- A Wide Variety - The variety of shows on offer through Broadway in Richmond is a big selling point of these theater subscription packages. Those looking for something to make them laugh will be rolling in the aisles at the hilarious antics and silly mistakes featured throughout The Play That Goes Wrong, for example, while those in search of something a little more dramatic and thought-provoking will find a lot to love in shows like Hamilton.

- Historic Venues - The venues for the Broadway in Richmond theater shows are chosen to really provide the perfect stage and setting to create that classic Broadway experience for Richmond theater-goers. For the 2019 season, the Altria Theater, once known as the Landmark Theater and first opened back in 1927, was chosen.

- Broadway Quality - In order to really guarantee the Broadway vibe and experience in each and every show, Broadway in Richmond performances are produced by Jam Theatricals, a Chicago-based entertainment company that has won multiple Tony awards over the years and produced dozens of shows both on Broadway and elsewhere around the country. Every aspect of the performance and production for these shows is designed to meet the highest possible standards.

Broadway in Richmond is bringing the best of Broadway to the city of Richmond, allowing residents and visitors alike to experience those distinctive Broadway shows and performances without having to travel all the way to New York City.

You can sign up for a subscription at any time for both matinee and evening performances of leading Broadway shows like Cats, Hamilton, Wicked, and The Play That Goes Wrong. Both Prime and Non-Prime subscription packages are available, with various prices to suit all budgets and needs. Sign up today to enjoy the best theater shows in Richmond, VA. website

More Ideas: Maymont

Maymont is a 100 acre estate in Richmond, Virginia open to the public to enjoy the grounds, visit the mansion, host an event or tour the petting zoo and wild animal exhibits. The estate at Maymont is a well-preserved example of the mansions built by the American upper class in the Gilded Age. The home is built in the Romanesque and Queen Anne styles and is lavishly detailed.

The 33-room 12,000 square foot home was named May Mont, a combination of owner Sallie Dooley’s maiden name and the French word for hill. The home is rare in that it was opened to the public almost immediately after the death of the Dooley’s, thus leaving many of their personal belongings intact, and offering visitors a clear view of how millionaires in the early 20th century lived their lives. A permanent exhibit on the first floor explores the relationship between the owners and their servants, and rich and poor citizens of Richmond at the time the Dooley’s lived in the home. Upstairs, the home offers a relatively untouched collection of furnishings, décor and the personal belongings of the Dooley’s. Aside from the home, there are over 25 structures including garden buildings, carriage houses, bridges, gazebos, and the Dooley’s mausoleum throughout the estate. These historic preserved structures are examples of Doric temple architecture and Victorian, Adirondack and Italian Neoclassical design. The landscapes and gardens of the estate are very much as the Dooley’s left them. The diverse grounds range from rose gardens, to rocky cliffs, to streams and expansive lawns. A student of horticulture, Sallie Dooley did much of the landscape design work herself, along side the United States’ best landscape architects and a team of over 20 groundskeepers. Formal gardens include the Italian Garden, a formal Victorian garden incorporating many stone structures such as gazebos and statuary with formal plantings. The fountains, the geometrically planted beds, and the play between sun and shade are all components of the classical ideal. The Japanese Garden is by contrast a naturalistic, cool and shaded space. The Japanese garden is believed to have been designed by Muto, a Japanese gardener working on the east coast of the US in the early 1900’s. The garden was renovated by Earth Design Inc. in 1978. Smaller specialty gardens are not original to the estate but add to the appeal. These gardens include a butterfly trail, herb and vegetable garden, Daylily and Daffodil display and Virginia native garden. Maymont’s Wetland Habitat occupies the lowlands near the Children’s Farm and offers a diverse ecosystem suited for the feeding and nesting of wildlife. Maymont is home to many animals, including some rare and endangered species. A Nature Center contains over 30,000 gallons of exhibit space for reptiles, amphibians, and the popular North American River Otters. Outdoor wildlife exhibits showcase animals native to the area such as bears, bald eagles, bison, deer and wildcats.

History: Richmond-born financier James Dooley and his wife Sallie lived at Maymont from 1893 through 1925. The Dooley’s purchased the 100 acre former dairy farm on the banks of the James River in 1886 and proceeded to landscape the countryside and build the home, which was completed in 1893. The architect was Edgerton Stewart Rogers (1860-1901), born and educated in Rome. When Sallie Dooley passed in 1925, there were no heirs and the home was immediately gifted to the City of Richmond. Maymont opened as a public estate just six months later, with the grounds and the home intact, including all of the Dooley’s personal belongings. The non-profit Maymont Foundation was formed in 1975 to take on stewardship of the property for the City of Richmond, as well as to raise funds for its ongoing care. The Foundation undertook what was the first major renovation of the home in the 1970’s. Maymont is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ongoing Programs and Education: The estate hosts a number of educational programs through the home and gardens. Special tours are available for scout groups, schools and others. Animal Encounters at the Nature Center offer public fish feeding, snapping turtle feeding, and an alligator presentation. The Maymont Farm offers a children’s petting zoo, and behind-the-scenes tours for close-up interactions with the animals. VIP Animal Adventures and Training Adventures take guests behind-the-scenes of the Wildcat exhibit and on a golf-cart tour to see bears, bald eagles and other wildlife on the estate. Annual events include Spring Break at the estate, offering a series of outdoor family games and programs. Herbs Galore and More is a Saturday market held each spring with local vendors, a food court, gardening workshops and family activities. Victorian Holidays runs November through December each year and offers caroling, wreath-making workshops, holiday markets, and special tours of the home.

1700 Hampton Street Richmond, Virginia 23220, Phone: 804-358-7166

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More Ideas: Edgar Allan Poe Museum

Richmond, Virginia’s Edgar Allan Poe Museum is home to the largest collection of Poe memorabilia in the world. Artifacts include items from Poe’s personal possessions, memorabilia such as posters and action figures, as well as manuscripts, first editions and letters. The objects provide insight into the life and work of Edgar Allan Poe.

Highlights from the collection include Poe’s childhood bed. The bed is just one of a number of pieces from Poe’s childhood home with John and Frances Allan, his foster parents. The bed was donated to the museum by the Raven Society in 1979. A daguerreotype portrait of Poe from 1848 is included in the collection. The photograph was taken just 4 days after a suicide attempt, 1 year after the death of his wife, when his proposal of marriage to the poet Sarah Helen Whitman was denied. The small photograph is just 3 inches in height, and survives after the original plate disappeared in 1860. The image was copied as a wood engraving in 1880 and published in an issue of Scribner’s Magazine, making it one of the most well known images of Poe. The museum includes a lock of Poe’s hair, cut from his brow after his death. The hair is attached to a piece of paper inscribed for authenticity. At least 50 of Baltimore’s leading citizens viewed the writer’s body after his death and clipped locks of hair for prosperity. The particular lock at the Richmond Museum was cut by John Snodgrass, a friend of Poe’s and a magazine editor. Snodgrass capitalized on Poe’s death in additional ways, by giving lectures on the subject in the years following. Poe’s walking stick inscribed with his name on the silver tip has been part of the collection since the museum opened in 1922. The walking stick was left at the home his friend, Dr John Carter, just two weeks before his death and was sold to the museum by the daughter of Carter’s caretaker. The museum’s collection includes a number of Poe’s original manuscripts, letters and first editions. Among these is Poe’s autobiography. The note was originally part of a larger letter that Poe had sent to Rufus W. Griswold, who was writing a book, The Poets and Poetry of America. The autobiography includes several lies and exaggerations, and demonstrates how Poe wished the public to see him, and why he had gained fame as a poet far before his most popular poem, The Raven, was published.

History: The Poe Museum began in 1906 as the Poe Memorial Association, founded by Poe collector and enthusiast James Howard Witty. In 1916 the group saved the remnants of the recently demolished Southern Literary Messenger building. The Messenger was where Poe began his career as a literary editor and journalist. Stones salvaged from the building were used to create pathways in the garden behind another historical building, Richmond’s Old Stone House. The garden became a shrine to Poe, and eventually, the Old Stone House became home to Witty’s collection of Poe memorabilia and possessions. The Poe Memorial Association is now the Poe Foundation, and the Shrine is now the Poe Museum. Today’s museum occupies not only the garden, but also three adjacent structures.

Ongoing Programs and Education: Events at the museum include “Unhappy Hours” which take place the last Thursday of each month. Unhappy Hours include food, drink and live music in the garden. The Museum welcomes the Holiday season each year with a garden illumination, including musical performances, hot cider and costumed interpreters who teach children what Christmastime was like while Poe was alive. The tradition of Literary Salons is alive and well at the museum. Authors are invited once monthly to lead discussions on their work and to workshop with other writers. Tours of the museum may be self-guided, or guided by audio-tour. Tours for groups may be arranged on a variety of topics. In The Tell-Tale Heart Mock Trial Tour guests enjoy a reading of the Tell Tale Heart, then split into mock groups of prosecutor and defense attorneys to decide if a person is guilty or not guilty by way of insanity. Walking Tours offer 50-minute strolls through Richmond to visit sites associated with some of Poe’s most famous short stories and poems. The Curator’s Corner Tour takes visitors on a behind the scenes look at some of the artifacts that are rarely on public display. Tours can be arranged for any sized group, although discounts only apply to groups of 10 or more.

1914-16 East Main Street Richmond, VA 23223, Phone: 804-648-5523

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