With generous programming support from local donors and local, state and regional arts organizations, the DeSoto Historic Theater Foundation announces fall events for the 2020-2021 season.

The lineup will bring national and international arts and entertainment to DeSoto, as the iconic historic theater promotes the arts while continuing successful renovation efforts.

“Our historic theater is a vibrant space that has brought our community together for generations,” said Jim Powell, President of HDTF. “We want to present entertaining and educational shows that will have an impact on children and adults, without having to travel to Atlanta for a big show. We also want to serve as an economic engine and have our shows attract people from all over Northwest Georgia to spend their money in the restaurants, retail businesses and hotels in downtown Rome. .


The season kicks off on October 17 with The Adventures of Tortoise and Hare: The Next Generation from the Lightwire Theater in New Orleans.

This electroluminescent puppet show was a semi-finalist contender in America’s Got Talent and is traveling nationally and internationally with great success.

“We have wanted to bring this group to Rome for a long time,” says Michelle Picon, HDTF Development Director. “Because the show contains music and dance but no language, it will captivate audiences of all ages, backgrounds, languages ​​and physical abilities – an audience who might otherwise find it difficult to follow a show in words. . And because the characters are animals, it’s easy for kids to understand the message of the story.

The puppet show begins with Aesop’s fable, but moves on to a modern day Turtle Jr. and Lil ‘Hare. Old Man Turtle and Big Daddy Hare must unite despite their differences to find and save their children. With dazzling visuals, poignant storytelling and the creative use of music from classic to pop, this production with life-size creatures mixes puppetry, music and technology, and brings this classic tale in a brilliant new light.

HDTF seeks to partner with individual sponsors, businesses or civic organizations that wish to enable families in need to attend. The performance will be funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, bringing great prestige to DeSoto and leverage for future grants. And thanks to support from the Georgia Presenter booking consortium of the Fox Theater Institute, four theaters, including DeSoto, have received special package rates to make the show more affordable for everyone.

On November 6, DeSoto will present two Broadway Bradshaws concerts, sponsored by Karen and Gary Smith of Rome.

Lindsey and Jared Bradshaw are best known for their lengthy Broadway appearances in “Wicked”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Jersey Boys”. The shows are part of the extensive menu of tribute shows with national talent offered by Buicentennial Productions and its founding producer Taylor Buice, a Shorter College graduate with ties to Rome. Also a graduate of Shorter College, Jared Bradshaw recently performed A Bing Crosby Christmas in Rome.

The first concert, on November 6 at 11 a.m., will bring the whole family together with The Broadway Bradshaws – A Disney Concert. It will feature all of the kids’ favorites including hit songs from “Frozen”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Aladdin” and many more. Lindsey Bradshaw was Glinda’s stunt double on Wicked and will – literally – bring “Wicked” from Broadway to the DeSoto stage.

The second concert, on November 6 at 7:30 p.m., will see the couple perform The Broadway Bradshaws – From Hollywood to Broadway. They will delight audiences with a mix of standards, Broadway hits and rock and roll classics, with songs from Broadway to Hollywood and from Frank Sinatra to Judy Garland.

Powell said the concert was a perfect excuse for a special night out in Rome with friends or for a special date. People can dine and have a drink at a downtown restaurant before the show, or can purchase VIP tickets for the pre-show hospitality reception. The reception will offer hearty appetizers, drinks and special themed cocktails.

Picon said Smith’s generous sponsorship of the Bradshaws concert is Karen’s tribute to her husband Gary and Rome’s historic DeSoto. Gary starred as Captain Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music,” the opening performance of Rome Little Theater’s first performance at DeSoto in 1982.

As long-time owners of The Movies at Mt. Berry Square, the Smiths have an affinity with DeSoto’s past as the premier talking film theater in the South and want to help secure its future as a modern company in the South. the cutting edge of technology. place of the arts.

Returning events are the Pridemore-Cox Polar Express Sleepover on December 14 at 6:30 p.m. and the free Holiday Hangout at DeSoto on December 18, with mixers at 6 p.m. and music at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the Lightwire Theater and The Broadway Bradshaws concerts go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, September 7 at www.thedesoto.org. General admission rates for family shows are $ 12 for children and $ 15 for adults. For the Lightwire show, a pre-show puppet workshop and post-show meet and greet with photoshoot will be available for an additional $ 12 each.

On Friday, November 5, the Bradshaws will be hosting Broadway Drama and Choreography Workshops for interested area schools and individual students or groups. Details will be posted on the website as they become available. Prices for the evening performance of The Broadway Bradshaws range from $ 127 for Premier VIP seating with reception, $ 77 for reserved seating, and $ 47 for general admission.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for companies who wish to market their services to the DeSoto public. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.thedesoto.org, or follow the historic DeSoto Theater on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.

Donations can be sent by mail to HDTF, 530 Broad Street, Rome GA 30161. For more information on sponsorship, please contact Jim Powell or Michelle Picon at 706-591-8377 or [email protected]

For the safety of our customers, the DeSoto will adhere to Covid-19 security measures. While DeSoto’s all-new heating and air system will provide optimal air circulation and purification, seating will be limited and face masks will be required for children and adults to limit the potential spread of the virus within. an indoor environment. It is strongly recommended that adult members of the public be vaccinated. Customers with fever or symptoms of Covid-19 are urged to stay home.

Proceeds from all events benefit the preservation, restoration and operation of the historic DeSoto Theater. Built in 1929, the DeSoto Theater was the first in the South built specifically for talking movies.

It continues to be the home of the Rome Little Theater resident community theater group and the staging area for Sunday services for Seven Hills Fellowship. Partnerships like these and income from rentals and vibrant programs help keep the jewel of Broad Street alive for generations to come.

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