The State Theatre for the Performing Arts in Easton has a devoted legion of fans who supported the nearly century-old theatre throughout the pandemic shutdown. Now, one month after the long-awaited launch of the 2021-2022 season, the State Theatre is eager to welcome guests to its October line-up, which includes exciting new performances and several rescheduled shows.
The State Theatre, located in the heart of downtown on Northampton Street, has a long history that dates back to 1926, when the current building opened. Architect William H. Lee designed the 1,500-seat theater in the style of old Spain and the Davanzanti Palace in Florence, Italy. There’s balcony seating and ornate frescoes on the walls for that “wow” factor when guests enter.
“We’re this jewel in the city of Easton but also in the region,” said Jamie Balliet, senior vice president of marketing. “People love it because it’s an old fashioned-style theater.”
Audience members will be wowed by the entertainers as well. Balliet said she’s “thrilled” to host Postmodern Jukebox on Oct. 21. The musical group is one of two new shows appearing in October. Their performance will be “a lot of fun,” Balliet said. “They do modern songs in a ’20s style so it’s really funky and cool and they have a lot of fun on stage, almost a New Orleans feeling. They come out in great outfits.”
Celebrity chef and food scientist Alton Brown is the second new performer in the line-up and his performance marks his return to the State Theatre. “The audience loved it,” said Balliet about his first show of zany science tricks and audience engagement, including calls for volunteers! His current tour, “Alton Brown: Beyond the Eats,” is a treat for all ages.
Another fall treat involving the belly (as in laughs, that is) is “The Daily Show Writers Comedy Tour.” Rescheduled from June, this show brings four writers from the “Daily Show” on stage for humorous takes on modern life and, of course, politics.
Singer and entertainer Engelbert Humperdinck opens the month with an Oct. 7 performance. “He brings a great crowd,” said Balliet and audience member should expect to hear classics from his more than 50-year musical career, such as “Release Me,” “The Last Waltz,” and “A Man Without Love.” October nears its end with “Haunted Illusions: Magic of David Caserta,” “an evening of mind-blowing magic and comedy.”
Looking ahead, several traveling Broadway productions are scheduled for the current season including “Waitress,” appearing on stage in November. Other musicals include “Beautiful,” “Rent,” “Hairspray,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “Jersey Boys.” “River Dance” and “Blue Man Group” will also have performances at the State Theatre.
The holiday season is a busy one starting with a cappella group “Straight No Chaser” and “The Elf on the Shelf” in November. Popular shows in December include “Chris Collins & Boulder Canyon: A John Denver Christmas,” “A Christmas Carol,” and Kenny G.’s holiday tour.
Because of the evolving Covid situation, safety measures will be evaluated at the start of every month, according to Balliet. At press time, proof of vaccination is required and seating is limited to 500; all seats are general admission. “People will sit where they want to sit and feel comfortable,” Balliet said.
The State Theatre is member supported. Donors are eligible to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the public. There’s a senior rate of $55, otherwise the minimum donation for ticket pre-sales is $75 per person.
Getting early access to tickets is a good idea after more than a year of living in quarantine conditions and newcomers being drawn to the magic of live theater. “I think that we’re seeing a little of that now, I’m hoping it continues,” Balliet said.