After the flood: Virginia Samford Theatre raising money, opening season with ‘Beehive’

The Virginia Samford Theatre is announcing its new season and raising money to repair flood damage.

Birmingham’s historic Virginia Samford Theatre is announcing its new season – musicals, plays and a Birmingham premiere —  and at the same time raising money to complete repairs following  a “devastating” flood.

“If ever we needed your financial support, it is now,” the VST says in a letter signed by Executive Director Cathy Rye Gilmore and board chair Susan Nettles Han.

Heavy rain flooded the theater at Caldwell Park on March 16.

The deluge was such that water poured into our downstairs offices,” the letter says. “Much of the VST’s valuable production equipment was swept away. Scenery, costumes, microphones, computers, musical instruments and other electronic devices were totally destroyed. We were in the middle of rehearsals for Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Company’ at the time. We held fast to the phrase ‘The show must go on.’ And it did. ‘Company’ was a huge success. But much work remains to restore and renovate the spaces affected by the flood, replace the damaged furniture and equipment, and to ensure the theatre never experiences such flooding again.”

Tax-deductible contributions are being taken by mail and online.


The VST’s 2022-2023 season opens in October with “Beehive: The ‘60s Musical,” and a full season follows. Here’s a look at the theater’s season:

“Beehive: The ‘60s Musical” (Oct. 20-30): A musical revue featuring songs sung by women in the 1960s. The evening includes “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “Be My Baby,” “Son of a Preacher Man” and many other classics.

“The Music Man Jr.” (Nov. 17-20): Part of the STARS (Students Take a Role at the Samford) program, it’s a junior version of the Broadway favorite about con man Harold Hill and librarian Marian Paroo.

“Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville” (Feb. 9-26, 2023): The Birmingham premiere of the Broadway musical filled with the songs of Jimmy Buffett. There is a plot, but the songs are the star: “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” the fun title tune and many, many more.

“Honk!” (March 16-19, 2023): A musical version of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling.” Another show that’s part of the STARS series.

“Steel Magnolias” (April 13-23, 2023): Robert Harling’s 1987 play (turned 1989 movie) about six Southern women and their enduring friendships through thick and thin.

“Annie” (June 15 through July 2, 2023): The 1977 Tony Award-winning musical, based on the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” about a young orphan, her dog and the billionaire named Daddy Warbucks who changes her life.

“Descendants: The Musical” (Aug. 3-26, 2023): The STARS season ends with this musical based on the popular Disney series.

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