ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Fans of hit musicals like Hamilton and In The Heights can see one of the stars in a virtual concert this weekend and proceeds are helping out Albuquerque’s Popejoy Hall. The performance venue says they’re hurting because of canceled performances, but still want to find a way to entertain.
“It’s something we wanted to offer our patrons because we’ve been dark since March and the show must go on and now, the show must go online,” said Tom Tkach, Director of Popejoy Hall. “Popejoy relies on about 95% earned revenue from tickets.”
That need is leading them to a live concert experience with Christopher Jackson, who you might recognize as George Washington from the musical Hamilton. The concert will be live-streamed and benefits a handful of arts organizations, including Popejoy.
“We did purchase and invest in this, and all profits will go to Popejoy,” said Tkach. “Anything that comes out of this will help to financially support Popejoy.”
A week ahead of the live concert, Jackson talked about why he jumped on this benefit show.
“I’ve been itching like so many others to get on stage and the prospect of doing it safely,” said Jackson. “I think we’re all trying to find a lane where we can get back on stage and share what we do with the public.”
He says ‘Live From the West Side’ is a way to thank all of those in the arts who helped him get his start. He says while he’s used to performing in front of an in-person audience, he still looks forward to the opportunity to get on stage again.
“Performing arts centers don’t just put on shows. They employ a tremendous number of people.They support organizations that work outside of just the four walls of the particular center,” said Jackson. “It was a no-brainer to at least want to make the effort to help them.”
Jackson says he plans to perform a medley of classics, pop standards and musicals. He says there will likely be some Hamilton in there and is happy to see how many kids, including those in New Mexico, have been impacted by the musical.
“They now see history as more than just the names and dates on a piece of paper but they get a sense of what history can be,” said Jackson. “I’ve just been waking up every day and thinking about nothing else other than doing this show and I’m really excited that we can bring it to people in a safe way.”
Tickets for the concert are $40 total for a household and are available on Popejoy’s website. The show begins at 6 p.m. but will also be available on demand for 72 hours for those unable to watch it live.
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