Joan Marcus/Hamilton National Tour

The Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s elusive 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons have once again disappeared -- and reappeared -- in the course of one press release.

The city’s marquee theater organization, presenting hit Broadway shows, announced on Tuesday morning a once-again reworked schedule that pushes the remains of both seasons back to a fall restart, including the return of “Hamilton” in late 2022.

Rochester Broadway Theatre League

This is, John Parkhurst says, “the longest intermission of our lives.”

As we churn toward what epidemiologists predict will be the darkest period yet of the coronavirus pandemic, venues such as Rochester’s Auditorium Theatre are shuttered in uncertainty.

“Right now, you plan for the worst and hope for the best,” says Parkhurst, chief operating officer of the Rochester Broadway Theatre League. “And if we can be open in March or April, it’s still a possibility.”


The Rochester Broadway Theatre League is adding walk-through metal detectors during performances at the Auditorium Theatre on Main Street.

That process will begin this week, and will be used at all entrances for future events.

Officials say the new security measure is intended to continue to provide a safe environment for patrons, performers and staff, and it will replace the current hand-held wands as a screening device.

The 2019-2020 M&T Bank Broadway Season lineup at RBTL’s Auditorium Theatre has been announced.

Organizers say that the upcoming season will offer seven award-winning shows, headlined by the musical Dear Evan Hansen.

The shows announced Thursday night by the Rochester Broadway Theatre League and Albert Nocciolino are:

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, October 1-6, 2019

Come From Away, November 19-24, which follows the true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Philanthropist and entrepreneur Tom Golisano announced Wednesday that he is withdrawing his support of $25 million for the Performing Arts Center in downtown Rochester.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

There are some big changes to the proposed Performing Arts Center in Downtown Rochester that were announced Tuesday morning.

As reports had indicated late Monday, Mayor Lovely Warren says the idea now is to move the project from Parcel 5 to the site now occupied by the Riverside Hotel on Main Street.

It is a proposed $250 million project, that would see a new hotel at that location, along with two theaters, retail, restaurant and residential development.

The debate over Parcel 5 in Rochester has heated up, with arts groups calling on City Council to more fully vet the proposal for a Broadway theater. Our guests discuss it:

  • Arnie Rothschild, chairman of the Rochester Broadway Theater League
  • Dana Miller, vice president of Rochester City Council
  • Dawn Lipson, Rochester Arts and Cultural Council

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced last week that the city's prime Parcel 5 will become a performing arts center, owned and operated by the Rochester Broadway Theater League. This has been a dream more than two decades in the making for RBTL's Arnie Rothschild, who joins us for the hour.

But does this project have the funding? Where will the money come from? Can RBTL guarantee that taxpayers won't be on the hook to subsidize it? What happens to the Auditorium Theater? We examine all of that and more.

Does Rochester need a new downtown performing arts center? It's a question that has been explored by local arts organizations and city government for 22 years.

On Monday, the City of Rochester released the results of a feasibility study that recommends building a 2,850-seat performing arts center at Midtown. The study says the project would cost more than $75 million and would not require public subsidy.

Is it time to pursue the project? The Rochester Broadway Theatre League is in favor of a new center, saying a larger theater is necessary for Rochester to remain competitive in attracting hit Broadway shows like Hamilton. But representatives of local theaters say a large downtown center would not help existing arts groups and venues.

Mayor Lovely Warren has been pushing for a performing arts center and has extended the deadline for proposals.

We discuss a number of questions surrounding the project, including who would pay for a new center, who would own it, and what type of facility the city needs...if it needs one at all. Our guests:

The upcoming season for the Rochester Broadway Theatre League opens on October 7, with the Return of "The Book of Mormon". We sit down with RBTL presenter Albert Nocciolino to talk about the shows coming to Rochester this year, which includes "Kinky Boots" and "Annie".