Broadway Grand Rapids celebrates 35 years

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Broadway Grand Rapids is celebrating 35 years of show-stopping performances in Grand Rapids.  

The 35th season kicks off Tuesday with Funny Girl, which is making its Michigan debut.  

“It is so exciting to be celebrating 35 years of bringing incredible theater to our community,” said Meghan Distel, the president and CEO of Broadway Grand Rapids.  

But not everyone has the means to see the shows that hit the stage at DeVos Performance Hall. 

“Asking for a $35 donation is accessible for people, and they can kind of participate in feeling good about getting someone to be able to see a show,” said Distel. 

This year, Broadway Grand Rapids is asking people to give $35 to its Broadway Arts Access program. The program has three pillars: seats for kids, seats for families and seats for the community.  

Broadway Arts Access allows teachers to apply to bring students, families to apply for a four-pack of tickets for just $5 a seat and Broadway GR partners with places like The Boys and Girls Club to bring in the kids they serve. 

“Asking for people to make a small $35 donation, which really has an impact. If you were to donate $35, you know you are funding one person who can’t afford to come to a Broadway show,” Distel said.

You may see more of Broadway out in the community as Broadway GR is partnering with local small businesses across the city to bring in donations and awareness.  

“To celebrate and commemorate this milestone year, we wanted to collaborate with community partners and celebrate Broadway in new places, new neighborhoods and bring Broadway off the stage,” said Distel. 

This is all in the hope of introducing the magic of Broadway to anyone who wishes to experience it.

“The magic of Broadway is that it transports you. It transports you to whether it’s another time and place or to someone else’s life experience. It does so when you are watching live theater. There is a connection to the audience, the music and even to the patrons sitting around you,” Distel said.  

In all, there will be a total of nine weeks of Broadway shows at DeVos Performance this season, which is more than any previous season.

More than 170 thousand attendees are expected over the 35th season. 

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