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The Belmont Theatre brings the stage to the small screen in virtual concert

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

The Belmont Theatre is bringing performances to the screens of York County residents in a virtual concert after being forced to cancel the remainder of its shows for the year.

Over 40 vocal solos and an original comedy play will be available all weekend for free viewing, from 12:01 a.m Saturday until midnight Sunday night.

Since being forced to close due to COVID-19 in March, The Belmont Theatre has considered alternative ways to bring performances to people, said Lyn Bergdoll, executive director of the Spring Garden Township theater.

"The performers really miss performing, and I know that people really miss coming to live performances," Bergdoll said. "So we're doing the best we can to provide them entertainment they will enjoy."

Bob Haag, left, and Jack Hartman rehearse their original comedy play "Stethoscope," that will be shown on The Belmont Theatre website, Saturday, August 8.
The concert is the first production to happen at the Belmont since pandemic restrictions were set in place in March.
John A. Pavoncello photo

The virtual concert can be viewed at www.thebelmont.org.

The vocal performances were pre-recorded in a video format by each soloist and sent in. All of the songs in the virtual concert were performed on stage at The Belmont Theatre during previous shows, Bergdoll said. 

The original comedy play, called "Stethoscope," written by Belmont Theatre board member Jack Hartman, has a run time of 15 minutes and was pre-recorded on the Belmont stage.

Though the show will be free to watch, donations are being accepted to help fund future programs and events, Bergdoll said.

Lynn Bergdoll, The Belmont Theatre executive director.
John A. Pavoncello photo

"We've been closed since March and have not been selling tickets," she added. 

Three of The Belmont Theatre's productions that were in rehearsal, including "The Miracle Worker," which was slated to open in March, were canceled immediately, and the theater has since canceled its remaining productions for the year.

Additionally, since its summer theater camp was moved online, theater officials decided not to charge parents who enrolled campers.

And one of the organization's biggest fundraising sources, serving up sandwiches at its food booth at the York State Fair, was also canceled.

Though this is the first time The Belmont Theatre has ever organized a virtual event, Bergdoll said she's excited for the community to see the efforts and work put into the production.

"You want to be creative; you want to think outside the box," Bergdoll said. "We're bringing it to them. We're trying to help people through a time that is challenging for so many."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.