Call it the âgrand reveal.â
Monday morning about 25 members of the media and friends of the State Theatre learned about some of the programs on tap as the renovated facility opens its first season May 4.
First up: legendary singer, pianist and songwriter Bruce Hornsby, perhaps best known for the hit song âThe Way It Isâ and for his time with the Grateful Dead from 1990-92. He is known for the energy and creativity he brings to his live performances.
Hornsby will appear in the May 4 concert at the new State Theatre from 8 to 9 p.m.
Hornsby will be followed on May 5 with a $10 special screening of âBeasts of the Southern Wildâ with special guests and an onstage discussion. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards.
There will also be a number of free events during the season including: An Evening of Choral Music with the Bel Canto Ensemble, Madison Chorale and Blue Ridge Chorale; music from stage and screen with the Crossroads youth Orchestra and large screen HD screenings of the Indy 500 (May 26), the opening day of the Tour de France (June 29) and Breakfast at Wimbledon (July 7).
âThe easiest thing to do would have been to tear down this building that was built in 1938,â said Bednarczyk. âBut we did the hard thing. Nine years ago this $9.3 million project began and now opening day is almost here.â
He said the Theatre has a staff of six and has hired McKinsey Development of Warrenton to handle public relations and marketing. The theatre board has also brought on Heather Holliday as director of marketing.
Other programming highlights include: The Courage to Lead: Martin Luther King Jr., presented by the American Negro Playwright Theatre (May 6), Lyle Lovett (May 11), Second Annual All Things Bridal Show (May 19), a Groucho Marx Classic Film Festival in conjunction with the Library of Congress (May 31), the film 25 Hill in conjunction with the Culpeper Soap Box Derby (June 22), an Aviation Film Festival and flyover featuring as many as 50 T-6 World War II aircraft in conjunction with AirFest (Oct. 9-13) and an evening with C.S. Lewis and Chronicles of Narnia movies Nov. 2-3.
Bednarczyk said tentatively planned for sometime in October is a one-man show on the life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt presented by Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actor Ed Asner.
Where can I park?
And parking should not be a problem for theatre guests.
Roque Castro, creator of the LOVE sculpture in downtown Culpeper, told Culpeper Times Monday he has won an exclusive contract to provide valet parking through a company called The Parking Solution (TheParkingSolution.com)
âIt’s a valet parking and management business based on South Florida and this will be basically a franchise in Culpeper,â Castro said. âGuests can pull up front, hand their keys to a valet, go in and enjoy the show and have their car waiting for them when they come out.â
Bednarczyk said that although May is a tough time to launch a season he sees the State Theatre âeasing into greatnessâ as it books more acts and its reputation grows.
April 1 is the planned launch date for a new website with tickets being made available to State Theatre foundation members on April 3 and to the general public April 5.
âWe want to work with the community that is here and the other nine counties that surround us,â Bednarczyk said. âWe want to hear from you. What do you want onstage?
âWe think this will be a great economic asset to Culpeper and an amazing experience for downtown shops and restaurants.â
Bednarczyk said he believes the State Theatre has the power to make a difference in people’s lives.
âThere will be people walking through these doors who have never seen a live performance before,â he said. âIt’s up to us to make this the best experience they’ve ever had in their life. If we can inspire them by what happens on this stage then we have done our job.â
These programs are already booked through July for the State Theatre. Go to the website (where listed) to find out more about the individual or group:
May 4 â Bruce Hornsby (brucehornsby.com)
May 5 — Special film Screening: beast of the Southern Wild
May 6 â The courage to Lead: martin Luther Kingcrossroadsyouthorchestra.org) Jr. (jrafinearts.com/anpt-courage-to-lead; anpt.org/About_Us.html)
May 7 â An Evening of Choral Music
May 8 â Celebration of Latino Music and Dance featuring Beleza Brasil (belezanusic.com/about/)
May 9 â Crossroads Youth Orchestra (crossroadsyouthorchestra.org)
May 10 â BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet (rosebudus.com/beausileil/)
May 11 â Lyle â Lovett (75thAnniversary Celebration of the State Theatre)
May 12 â Mother’s Day Double Feature (Bringing Up Baby and Steel Magnolias)
May 18 â An Evening of Irish Music (solasmusic.com/band.php)
May 26 â Indy 500 live on the large screen in HD
May 31 â Groucho Marx Classic Film Festival
June 1 â Frank Ferrente: An Evening with Groucho (baylinartists.com/artist/frank_ferrante_in_an_evening_with_groucho
June 7 â Paul Reisler and A Thousand Questions)
June 8 â Sherlock silent film starring Buster Keaton (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock,_Jr.)
June 15 â Masked Marvels and Wondertales with Michael Cooper (www.baylinartists.com/artist/michael_cooper_masked_marvels_and_wondertales/)
June 22 â Soap Box Derby celebration with 25 Hill produced by Corbin Berenson
June 23 â Soap Box Derby celebration with The Sandlot
June 29 â Opening day of the Tour de France on the big screen in HD
July 7 â Breakfast at Wimbledon live on the big screen in HD
Check out www.culpepertimes.com for extended listings
For more information, including how to become a member of the foundation, go to: culpepertheatre.org or Facebook at: The State Theatre Foundation