Take me out to the…Broadway


Courtesy / Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

Allison Rafferty, Staff Writer

Grand Rapids Civic Theatre and the LMCU Ballpark are teaming up for the second time to present their event, “Broadway at the Ballpark,” at the end of August.

On Friday, Aug. 27 and Saturday, Aug. 28 members of the Grand Rapids community will be able to see their favorite Broadway productions performed on the West Michigan Whitecaps baseball field. 

Broadway at the Ballpark will open at 6:30 p.m. with a performance by the cast of “Once”, and the concert will start at 7:00 p.m. both nights. Performances are set to last around two hours. 

While the program for the event is still being finalized, Greene said that those in attendance can expect Broadway favorites from classic musicals and modern shows, alike.

Director of Marketing and Engagement for the Civic Theatre Ben Greene credits the COVID-19 pandemic for the event’s origins. 

Greene said employees of the Civic Theatre were seeking a fun way to provide outdoor entertainment to both patrons of the theatre and fans of the Whitecaps in a way that was still safely socially distanced.

Thus, the idea of a Broadway concert on the baseball field was hatched. 

“Broadway at the Ballpark was born last summer, during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic closures for Civic Theatre and the West Michigan Whitecaps,” Greene said. “The event was a lot of fun in the first year, and LMCU Ballpark were great partners, so we were eager to bring the event back for its second year in 2021.”

Courtesy / Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

With fewer COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s family-friendly event will be bigger and better entertainment for everyone, including more musical numbers, greater seating capacity, and a larger selection of food and drinks — including beer and wine. 

Director of Marketing & Media Relations for the Whitecaps, Steve VanWagoner, said that this sort of event is unique to the area. 

“(The Civic Theatre) brings a style of musical and theatrical entertainment that cannot be found anywhere else in West Michigan,” VanWagoner said. “Now, bring that style to the ballpark where people love to sit in the outfield, in lawn chairs, on blankets, and eat ballpark food.”

VanWagoner said that Broadway at the Ballpark is not just a fun event, but one that brings about a wonderful union of sports and theatre fans. 

“There are baseball fans who have never seen the Civic Theatre in action, but love the ballpark. There are Civic Theatre fans who have never seen LMCU Ballpark, but love the theatre,” VanWagoner said. “It’s a wonderful event bringing people together to enjoy both in one place.”

Greene said that he is particularly excited for both those who have previously seen a Civic Theatre performance, and those who have yet to see Civic actors on stage, to witness this event. 

“This event presents entertainment in a new and exciting environment, and opens up doors for some people who haven’t come to see us at the Meijer Majestic Theatre, or haven’t been in quite some time,” Greene said.

Both Greene and VanWagoner said they are looking forward to bringing people from all over West Michigan together for this event. 

“We are most looking forward to presenting such a fun night of entertainment in this special space that’s so close to the hearts of so many in West Michigan,” Greene said. 

LMCU Ballpark expects to seat 1,000 guests each performance night. Tickets for Broadway at the Ballpark are available to purchase through the Civic Theatre’s website.