September 9, 2009 was a day of great celebration in Downtown Richmond. Under bright late summer skies and a digital countdown clock ticking away its final minutes and seconds, local leaders of the arts, business and government joined hundreds on East Grace Street to commemorate the Grand Opening of the long-awaited performing arts complex and education center known as Richmond CenterStage.
Two years later, the celebration continues as one of the premier performing arts venues on the East Coast welcomes one of the leading voices of gospel and soul music. CenterStage recently announced that they will welcome Grammy Award winner Patti LaBelle to the historic Carpenter Theatre in celebration of their 2nd Birthday on September 10, 2011. This much-anticipated performance is presented by CenterStage with SunTrust.
“An Evening with Patti LaBelle” will include performances of Ms. LaBelle’s hits throughout her four decade career. Whether it is the up-tempo crossover hit “New Attitude,” the incomparable soul classic “Lady Marmalade,” or her stirring rendition of the iconic “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” audiences around the globe are blown away by Ms. LaBelle’s amazing vocal talent.
In many ways, it is fitting that such an iconic performer will be in town to commemorate the two years since Richmond’s performing arts complex opened its doors to the public. Since the ribbon-cutting, CenterStage has welcomed artists from around the corner and around the world – performances range from Grammy winner John Legend to the world-renowned Brazilian music and dance troupe Bale Folcorico da Bahia, from Sesame Street Live! to a variety of performances by local performing arts organizations that call CenterStage home. Whether 8 years old or 80, there’s something for everyone at the many venues that encompass CenterStage.
These venues include the fully-renovated, 82-year-old, nearly 1,800-seat Carpenter Theatre. In addition, CenterStage offers guests and performers three separate venues: the multi-use space Rhythm Hall; the intimate Gottwald Playhouse; and Showcase Gallery, for exhibition of the visual arts. The Genworth BrightLights Education Center, located on the third floor, promotes arts in education to the region’s K-12 students.
Also included in CenterStage’s venues is the Landmark Theater, which is located in the heart of Richmond’s historic Fan District at 6 N. Laurel Street. Since CenterStage opened its doors in 2009, both the Landmark Theater and Carpenter Theatre have been host to the long-awaited return of “Broadway in Richmond.”
Added to CenterStage in November 2010 was Richard M. Parison, Jr. as Executive Director. Parison recently said, “When I first came to CenterStage I was struck not only by the beautiful facilities, but also by the vital people that help bring it to life every day.” He added, “The board members, staff and resident companies have made our first two years so successful, and I know that CenterStage will be taken to new heights on the heels of Patti LaBelle’s performance on September 10 and the upcoming announcement of our 2011-12 Season!”
For more information about Patti LaBelle tickets, please visit
www.RichmondCenterStage.com or call 1-800-514-ETIX (3849).