MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - For years, folks have flocked to the Fox Theatre in Atlanta to see Broadway's biggest hits...but now, The Grand Opera House in downtown Macon is bringing those shows to Middle Georgia.
The theatre has been repurposed through the years--but recently, it's found it's real purpose.
"Those big shows have the spectacle, I mean that's what it's really all about," says the Grand's Interim Executive Director Phil Banze.
This season at the Grand aims to be spectacular...with Tony Award-winning shows like Memphis, Bring it On..and the most expensive production to ever hit the Grand's stage--Beauty and the Beast.
"We're talking Disney's full out Beauty and the Beast--same exact show that's been at the Fox, I can promise you the tickets here are cheaper."
Up until recently, big ticket shows like these would automatically take their tours to Atlanta, but smaller cities around Georgia-- like Macon--are becoming a destination for touring groups. Bob Mavity, the technical director at the Grand says the stage's unique features are perfect for these big shows.
"Our biggest asset is the depth of the stage, What we have here is the ability to really create depth with a program," says Mavity. "We are even using these LED washlights that are fairly new and they make a huge difference in how we can pull off productions here."
So could we see even bigger hits like The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, or The Lion King visit the Grand? Banze says right now they're a little limited, but the future looks bright.
"There are certain shows out there that don't fit in our space in their current standing...Les Mis for example, amazing show...The touring production of Les Mis is just a bit too big on the wings for our space...at the moment. But tours are constantly changing," says Banze.
To get more of the toast of Broadway to Mulberry Street...it's up to the community.
"The more people that we get in the seats, the bigger the shows are that we can bring in," Banze told 41NBC. And the bigger the shows, the bigger the cash flow for our local businesses.
41NBC asked Mr. Banze what other Broadway shows are on the horizon for the 2015 season...he couldn't tell us specific titles, but he said there are some very recent smash hits that could be headed our way.