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‘Live from the Colonial’ series spotlights local performers

Arts & Entertainment

IDAHO FALLS — The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been rough on lovers of the performing arts, with shows and concerts being canceled and stages sitting empty. But the Colonial Theater in Idaho Falls is hosting a series of concerts this fall to help fill the need for live musical performances.

The “Live from the Colonial” series takes place on Thursday nights throughout the fall and features artists from the Idaho Falls area. The Idaho Falls Arts Council is staging these shows and devised the series as a way to provide live performances to the community while making use of the Colonial stage.

“Our stage is empty right now while we’re waiting for our season show to start, which will hopefully be in January,” Arts Council spokesperson Joy Sorensen told “We thought we might try to do something similar to our ‘River Concerts’ in the summer where we could have performers on our stage and invite patrons into the theater to watch them for free.”

The series includes four shows and began with The Opskamatrists on Sept 24. Future shows include Pioneer 47 on October 8, Dance Showcase on October 22 and Show Choir Showcase on November 5. Not only can patrons see the shows in person, but people can also stream the shows on YouTube and the Arts Council’s Facebook page.

The live audience for each show is capped at 150 people, the maximum number allowed by local COVID guidelines. Groups attending the shows can sit together, but rows will be closed off to maintain social distancing criteria. Patrons can purchase a $5 ticket, which will guarantee them a seat or they can show up the night of the show, though the theater will stop admitting people once the audience reaches 150.

Opskamatrists jamming

Sorensen said that these performances are filling a need within the community and generating excitement for not only audiences but also the theater staff and the groups performing.

“Live entertainment is very missed,” she said. “I think people need it to boost their morale. I think it gives you a sense of normalcy, like ‘If this can happen again, maybe we’ll get to the point where we can do more things like this.’ I think people need the arts to stay motivated and to think that there are good things out there and when you’re missing those in your life, it can get to be kinda devastating and a little depressing.”

“It was so much fun to have a band on our stage,” she added, referring to the Opskamatrists show. To see even twenty people so happy and so to see live music brings tears to your eyes because you’re so happy to see people appreciate that stuff. The performers are just as excited to be on stage, even if they’re only performing to twenty-five people.”

Sorensen hopes that fans of live performances will check out the forthcoming “Live from the Colonial” shows.

“We’ve got three performances left,” she said. “Good shows. Good fun. Safe for anyone who wants to come. If they don’t feel comfortable coming to the theater, (the shows) will be live-streamed on YouTube and Facebook.”

“Live from the Colonial” happens every other Thursday night through the beginning of November with the next show happening this coming Thursday, October 8 at 7 p.m. Admission is free but you can get tickets guaranteeing your seat and find more information at Idaho Falls Arts Council website or their Facebook page.

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