In the first of what could be many changes of venue rippling out of the shuttering of Peekskill’s Paramount Center for the Arts, the gospel musical “Tell Hell I Ain’t Comin'” will now move down-river to the Tarrytown Music Hall at 8 p.m. Oct. 16.
The musical, about a preacher who wakes up in Hell, has played London and across the U.S., promoter James Turner said this morning. It was to start a new tour in Peekskill, and had sold about 200 tickets, when the Paramount’s board abruptly suspended operations last week and closed the doors of the 80-year-old former moviehouse. Tickets sold at the Paramount will be honored at Tarrytown’s Music Hall.
“We don’t know how many of those people will show up,” Turner said. “We’re hoping we don’t lose too many.”
Tickets to the 8 p.m. show Oct. 16 are $35.
In the musical, instead of going to heaven one Sunday, Pastor Allgood goes to Hell and witnesses the damned in torment. Satan tells the pastor to get used to it, as he’ll be there forever.
“Forever, do you know how long forever is?” he says to Allgood. “And if your human intelligence could even fathom how long forever is, you would not have imagined a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of forever. Because just when you think FOREVER is over, it starts all over again.”
Bjorn Olsson, executive director at the Music Hall, told me last week that it was unlikely that his venue would be able to pick up major concerts, like The Go-Gos, who were to play the Paramount tonight, but it appears that the music hall’s calendar had an opening that “Tell Hell” could fill.
It will be interesting to see if any of the other canceled shows — Tower of Power & Average White Band (Oct. 14), Bernie Williams (Oct. 20), “Arrival: The Music of ABBA” (Oct. 27) and Blood Sweat & Tears (Jan. 18) — will find their way to Tarrytown at some point. Or if a white knight arrives to clean up the Paramount’s $300,000 budget gap.
Or if the Paramount’s temporary suspension of operations lasts forever.
For tickets to “Tell Hell I Ain’t Comin'”, call the Music Hall Box Office at 914-631-3390 ext. 100, charge by phone at 877-840-0457 or go to www.tarrytownmusichall.org. The Music Hall is at 13 Main St., Tarrytown.