Colonial Theatre to reopen in September with new programming


Cullen Granzen

The Colonial Theatre

By Camilo Fonseca, Editor-at-large

The Emerson Colonial Theatre will open its doors to the public in September 2021 for the first time in seventeen months, the Ambassador Theatre Group announced on Thursday.

The historic theatre—which, before the COVID-19 pandemic, was the oldest-continuously operated theater in Boston—has been shuttered since March 2020, when all public gatherings in Massachusetts were halted. It is one of the first venues in Boston’s Theater District to announce its reopening—others, including Emerson’s own Cutler Majestic and Paramount Theatres, have not yet released new programming.

“We are proud to say, once again, that Boston’s Crown Jewel is back!” said Erica Lynn Schwartz, the Colonial’s general manager, in a statement. “We’ve put together a terrific variety of offerings that we hope will inspire and entertain. There’s a little something for everyone, because everyone belongs here.”

The new programming slated for the 2021-22 theater season includes a multitude of different plays and performances. In the fall, the theater will showcase the musical Stomp, jazz vocalist Gregory Porter, and MasterChef Live. Its winter  slate includes Fiddler on the Roof and  concerts from Kenny G and Leslie Odom Jr, among other fare.

Porter’s September 17 show will be the first public performance in the theater since Fiddler on the Roof closed on March 8, 2020.

While the theater has been closed to the general public since last year, Emerson used its stage as a socially-distanced classroom for the duration of the pandemic.

Owned by the college, the Colonial has been operated by the London-based Ambassador Theatre Group since 2017.