Sorg Opera House partnering with community theaters to expand shows in Middletown

The Sorg Opera House on Main Street in Middletown has started having shows again after many of them were postponed during the coronavirus pandemic. Sorg Opera Revitalization Group volunteers have spent many hours painting, cleaning and sprucing up the interior and exterior at the historic building built in 1891. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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The Sorg Opera House on Main Street in Middletown has started having shows again after many of them were postponed during the coronavirus pandemic. Sorg Opera Revitalization Group volunteers have spent many hours painting, cleaning and sprucing up the interior and exterior at the historic building built in 1891. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The Sorg Opera House has partnered with several community theater groups to bring plays, comedy, musicals, and a variety of theatrical productions to town.

“We have over 200 seats available, and some of these small, local theater companies have a very limited number of seats, like 15, or 18, so it’s a good partnership for both of us and it helps mix up our programming,” said Nancy Griffith, board president, at the Sorg Opera House Revitalization Group.

In partnership with Xenia Area Community Theater, the Sorg will bring several upcoming shows to the stage. Beyond Glory, a one-man presentation based on true stories of eight Medal of Honor recipients from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, will be at the Sorg on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m., nightly.

Tickets are $25 in advance plus online ticketing fees. Previously purchased tickets for both shows will be honored at these rescheduled dates.

Directed by Carter Hume, another play that will be presented in collaboration with the Xenia Area Community Theater is Neil Simon’s Rumors, which will come to the Sorg on March 5 to March 7. Shows will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. on Sunday. General admission tickets are $25 (plus online ticketing fees).

On April 24 at 8 p.m., the Sorg will host its first stand-up comedy night with Ricky Glore, Charlie Wiener, and Mike Conley. Tickets are $25, and will go on sale, beginning Jan. 29.

With six shows on July 9-11 and July 16-18, INNOVAtheatre will present Children of Eden. Shows will be held at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Tickets are $25 (plus online ticketing fees).

“These productions help people forget all the craziness we are living with every day. It’s a nice break. It’s a nice getaway. We make it affordable. There are five members in my family, and we can all go out for an evening and not break the bank,” Griffith said.

She said these theater productions offer a nice change of programming and they expose community members to live theatrical productions. “Live theater is kind of going away. It’s not taught in school anymore and for some theaters, it doesn’t happen anymore, so there’s going to be a whole generation who have never been exposed to live theater,” Griffith said.

The Sorg continues to work with state and local officials regarding safety protocols and social distancing guidelines. Face coverings are required. The current maximum capacity is about 229 guests. Family groups, and small groups of ticketholders, who purchase tickets together will be assigned seats together at the venue, upon arrival.

“We put polls out on our Facebook page, frequently, and we ask people what they want to see, and people have been really good about telling us what they want, whether that’s musicals, comedy, and so on. Middletown Lyric Theatre is going to bring a musical to us called ‘8-Track,’ and that revolves around a survey we put out, asking, ‘What’s your favorite genre of music?’ and the number one genre was 70′s music,” Griffith said.

MLT’s presentation of “8-Track” will be coming to the Sorg in September. Tickets for all of the shows may be purchased at www.cincyticket.com. Sorg Opera House is located at 63 South Main Street in Middletown. Free parking is available behind the building, off of Broad Street, and off of First Street. Visit www.sorgoperahouse.org for the latest details about upcoming shows.

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