CHAMPAIGN — General admission tickets are still available for Opening Night at the Virginia Theatre.
Friday's season-opening fundraiser is also the world premiere of the original, locally written play "The Galloping Ghost: Red Grange Visits the Virginia."
The play opens at 7:30 p.m. at the Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park St., C. WDWS 1400-AM will broadcast the evening's programming live beginning at 7:30. The program will also be streamed live at wdws.com.
Tickets range from $10 to $100 at the theater box office; to purchase, call 356-9063 or visit http://www.thevirginia.org.
The Champaign Park District has restored the historic theatre to its vaudeville-era style.
The fundraiser is, appropriately, a vaudeville-styled variety show with various artists performing music, comedy, dance and theatre.
On stage will be The Chorale, local comedian Tony Clements, the University of Illinois Marching Band, members of the Champaign Park District Dance Arts troupe and area vocalists.
The event also will serve as a kickoff for the University of Illinois football season as Voice of the Illini Brian Barnhart interviews Coach Tim Beckman on stage.
The evening will conclude with the world premiere of the one-act play "The Galloping Ghost: Red Grange Visits the Virginia," written by UI alumnus Charlie Finn.
Before the show a free outdoor ice cream social starts at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Virginia and includes a performance by the Bowdacious String Band.
Doors to the theater open to the general public at 7, with David Schroeder performing on the Virginia's Wurlitzer organ.
The stage show will last about 95 minutes with no intermission. There will be a cash bar in the eastern lobby.
For further information, call 356-9063 or visit http://www.thevirginia.org.