GENEVA — The stage lights will be turned on at Smith Opera House for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit more than a year ago.
The Smith Center for the Arts announced Monday that the popular ’50s and ’60s band Ruby Shooz will be performing for a limited audience at 8 p.m. May 28.
“We are so very excited to welcome live music back to the Smith,” Smith Center for the Arts Executive Director Susie Monagan said. “We have such a great community and we want to celebrate together, in person. We know everyone will be sensible about taking the precautions we’ve all gotten used to over the past year such as wearing masks. Every day, the Smith adds more events to our calendar. We’ll be welcoming Geneva Music Festival and Geneva Light Opera back to our stage, and we’re going to make Geneva High School graduation work somehow, TBD!”
Scheduling Ruby Shooz is the result of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s easing of restrictions regarding indoor and outdoor performing arts venues. Plays, concerts and other performances are allowed to resume this month — albeit with significantly reduced capacity limits.
Entertainment and events venues can reopen at 33% capacity, with a limit of 100 people indoors or 200 people outdoors. If all attendees present proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test or vaccination prior to entry, capacity can increase up to 150 people indoors and up to 500 people outdoors.
The Smith chose to sell only 100 tickets for Ruby Shooz — and Monagan expects it to sell out quickly.
“It is just too much for us to handle right now,” she said. “If I thought everyone in Geneva would comply with using the Excelsior app I would do it, but I think there’s a pretty big range out there of comfort with technology, and every person walking through the doors would need to have the app. So it’s a one-step-at-a-time approach for us now with the hope that the allowed capacity will go up early May.”
Monagan said the Smith is excited to reopen its doors to entertainment.
“You have stood by us as we’ve remained closed now for more than a year,” Monagan said to Smith Opera House fans. “We are hoping the vaccines and testing work together to drive the virus away and allow people to feel safe enough to gather in person again. It will be great to see you walk through our doors.”
Tickets to Ruby Shooz are $20. The Smith said there will be a patreon and Smith members-only pre-sale opportunity at noon Thursday, with ticket sales for the general public starting at noon Friday.
To learn more and/or purchase tickets, visit thesmith.org. The Smith said it will not be filling orders over the phone or in person at the box office, and there will be no sales available at the door the day of the show.
The performing arts venue said seats will be sold as general admission, but patrons will receive assigned seating when they arrive at the venue. Due to COVID-19, dancing will be permitted only at a ticket-holder’s seat.
“We know Ruby Shooz will get you moving,” Monagan said. “You are welcome to stand up and dance at your seat as long as your neighbors behind you don’t mind! For now, dancing in the aisles or the pit area in front of the stage are off limits.”
Those attending must wear a face covering at all times, except for when seated, and maintain 6 feet of physical distance between parties. Concert goers cannot attend if they are feeling ill or have been in close contact with anyone with a known case of COVID-19.