At center stage

A light beams from the darkened historic Palace Theatre in downtown Manchester as a sign of hope.

Like many other venues, the Palace Theatre in downtown Manchester has called off a series of shows, but it’s leaving a light on as a sign of hope and resilience — and getting some light-hearted responses to a Facebook page request posted Wednesday.

The venue asked people to share bright moments at the historic Hanover Street landmark, which was built more than a century ago.

One patron posted about the night his son proposed to his girlfriend on stage after a show. Another recalled her big debut 10 years as a butterfly in a youth program.

And then there’s a post about a “Wizard of Oz” production in the late 1970s and a mishap reportedly revolving around a pig on set for a farm scene. Apparently, the pig had an accident on stage right before Dorothy was supposed to sing “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” prompting a certain well-known Queen City fixture in the theater world to step from the wings and quickly pocket the offending package —to great applause.

The show, indeed, must go on. As so many people practice social distancing, they’re also connecting with people who share the same interests.

This week’s cancellations of events across the Granite State and country have been swift, bringing poignant responses from patrons and popular venues, including the Palace Theatre.

In a Covid-19 statement, issued by the venue, a small, but blazing bulb at center stage is a stark contrast to the backdrop of the darkened, empty hall:

“While the lights have dimmed at our four theaters, one light shines brightly on our Palace stage, knowing that we will all be back as soon as we are permitted. We’ll be back with our shining star performers and our brightest and best bands to ‘light up the stage’ once again. Please watch for the start-up of shows in the near future.”

The Palace’s stages include the main theater, the Palace Youth Theatre, the Spotlight Room and the Rex Theatre.

Among the shows that have been postponed or canceled there are the musicals “Mamma Mia” and “Footloose,” comedy at The Rex, a MiniFoodFest that was to feature fare from local restaurants, a Carole King Tribute and a Brooks Williams concert.

For status updates, go to or call 668-5588. Ticket holders of canceled shows can transfer the value to gift cards for future shows.