The Lockport Palace’s Executive Director Cites Lack of Guidance from Albany, Hopes to Convert ‘Scrooge the Musical’ into Concert Piece

“If you can have 25% percent of your capacity at six feet apart.  Okay, I’ll get creative,” said Chris Parada in an interview at The Historic Lockport Palace this week. 

Chris explained that without detailed guidelines, there are variables left unaddressed by Albany.  He remarked, “Does everybody here sitting have to be six feet apart and wearing a mask?  Probably.  What about the orchestra?  What about the performers?  In the dressing rooms, do they have to be six feet apart?  I don’t know, the state hasn’t specified.”

‘The Palace’ has been significantly impacted by the current pandemic, and the subsequent restrictions to ‘non-essential’ businesses across the state.  Chris noted, “We shut down in the prime of our year.  We do our spring show, dance recitals, summer show, and theatre school.  That is our prime, and we were doing tech for Matilda.”  He added, “Now, were scheduling ‘Matilda’ for February.”

Concerning this year’s regular fall season, Chris plans on tweaking the performances towards a socially distanced display.  He explained, “I’m still planning to do the season.  Meaning my first show of the season is in November.  It’s a Broadway Concert; we’re writing it.  I can design it however it needs to be.  If that means I can do the show with four people, I will do it with a grand piano and four people on stage.”

For ‘Scrooge the Musical’, which has been running as a wildly popular local event for the past sixteen years, Chris said, “I can still do some set pieces and other limited designs, but it will be a concert version.”

The only problem is, as Chris mentioned before, the general guidelines set by the state provide no specific analysis.  This lack of nuance in the guidelines reduces the performing arts ability to think creatively and produce their work.

Chris said on keeping the regular season in play, while hoping for specifications from Albany, “I’m not going to cancel these shows if there is a way for me to present it safely.”

A photo of last year’s production of ‘Scrooge the Musical’ taken by the ‘WNYObserver’.

To keep updated with what ‘The Historic Lockport Palace’ is planning for the future, click here: https://lockportpalacetheatre.org/

A list of current restrictions in New York State can be found here:

https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-2020/coronavirus-state-restrictions.html